No, the title is correct: So begins the adventure of Allison and Will, not of Allison and Lillia. Lillia will not make her appearance until around half way into the series.
The first episode is pretty well polished. Everything from animation to the music work well coherently to give the mood of a society with simpler technologies. The planes are propeller driven and no building is taller than two floors. The world reminds me of another great show Fullmetal Alchemist.
On the other hand, the storytelling aspect is a bit shortchanged. It tends to tell instead of to show. In fact, in a few places it feels quite preachy. While I may excuse using a history lesson to tell us the moral struggles between the two nations, I can’t forgive using the entrance of another character to interrupt the moment of answering the most interesting question: So which nation is right? That gimmick is just so overused. But as preachy as it sounds, it does bring up some intriguing points that will probably be the themes:
- History serves not to preserve the truth but to make convenience for those who write it.
- “An orphaned little bird will fly anywhere without knowing bounds.”
The first point pokes some deep questions into my own understanding of history. The second point is still an enigma. It is certainly used as a type on Allison’s character, but I suspect it may also be a type on a grander scale — humanity’s own wandering into dangerous territories.
But the best part of Allison and Lillia is its character interactions. They are intriguing and feel realistic. I love how Allison tried to allude to Will her prowess to attract men but instead he was more intrigued how soldiers from opposing factions could even write letters to each other at all. The disconnect is both illustrative of their personalities as well as fun to watch. Well done.
As for the plot, the story begins with Allison and Will — she is an emotional person who is ready to fight for justice at a whim and he is a logical person who can recall the page and line number of everything he read — two persons of contrasting personalities, who meet an old man with a history that may turn upside-down the political landscape of two nations. How much the old man has told them is true remains a mystery since he is quite fond of bullshitting, but he is certainly being kidnapped and Allison will give chase until she gets to the bottom of it all. Will of course is being pulled into her chase somewhat reluctantly. And so begins the adventure of Allison and Will…