Momentary Lily’s creators want to prove slice-of-life genre can work in the apocalypse

Virginia Glaze

Momentary Lily is an upcoming anime series brought to life by GoHands, a studio known for their stunning 3D animations and impressive digital camerawork.

These two facets are both present in Momentary Lily, which follows a group of superpowered high school girls living in an apocalypse where humanity has been eradicated by alien invaders. I got the chance to attend the world premier of the show’s first episode at Anime Expo 2024, where I was treated to GoHands’ beautiful handiwork and an exclusive panel with the anime’s creators.

Right out of the gate, I could tell that Momentary Lily is a feast for the eyes. The bright colors, fluid animations, and eye-popping action in its debut episode make it worth a watch for the visuals alone — but there are a couple of conflicting elements that I found myself focused on during the screening.

For one, the series is set in a post-apocalyptic version of a futuristic world where humanity appears to be nearly completely wiped out.

However, the girls all remain extremely cheerful and constantly banter back and forth with each other as they go about their daily lives, taking out titan-sized monsters with machines for heads.

On top of that, Momentary Lily surprised me by being one-part action show, one-part cooking show, as a newcomer to the group introduces the rest of the gang to her culinary skills by creating a meal out of ingredients she scavenged during her travels.

It made me curious to try out the recipe itself, and it provided a wholesome moment for viewers to catch their breath amidst the ongoing chaos in the episode. Momentary Lily manages to balance extremely serious, life-or-death sequences with slice-of-life style storytelling in a way that isn’t jarring. It feels natural — and it’s something that the anime’s creators really want audiences to focus on when they watch it.

“We wanted to depict the daily lives of people fighting and eating to survive, since other anime series in this genre usually don’t showcase slice-of-life elements,” they told me in an exclusive interview. “Even though the invaders are coming to attack the girls, their lives and friendship are the main focus of the series. And humans have to eat, too. Cooking is part of their lives.”

Throughout our conversation, the team seemed excited that I understood the point of the show — that, even though the girls are in an apocalypse, they still have to eat to survive. Their friendship is also a big part of that dynamic, and the world doesn’t stop just because aliens are invading. People still have to eat and take care of one another.

Momentary Lily features six individual female main characters, each with their own special weapon. Their unique personalities and stories are one particular thing the team is excited about bringing to the world when the anime eventually airs in 2025.

“We’re going to gradually show you what this world is like, little by little,” they said. “And we want viewers to get to know the characters, their personalities, and their characteristics. Each girl has her own, different personality, so that’s why we’ve included a slice-of-life element, so viewers can see that the girls have more than one side to them.”

Given that the anime has six female protagonists, it was important for the team to represent high school girls in an accurate way — so they asked their female coworkers for help to achieve this goal. They also hired a professional coordinator to teach them about cooking due to the show’s heavy emphasis on post-apocalyptic cuisine.

It’s clear that the minds behind Momentary Lily care deeply about the project, aiming to provide audiences with a different take on the usual post-apocalyptic anime fare… but a teaser for episode two shown at the end of the screening made me wonder if this seemingly lighthearted series has a secret dark side, similar to titles like Made in Abyss or Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

When I mentioned this during our conversation, the team wouldn’t say yea or nay — but merely said “thank you” in response, leaving the possibility up in the air.

They were curious about my favorite anime, quizzing me about what mahou shoujo (magical girl) series I like best. I answered with Pretear and Tokyo Mew Mew, and of course Sailor Moon, because who doesn’t love fighting evil by moonlight?

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with the Momentary Lily team and walked away feeling as though they’re genuinely working hard to bring a new, fresh take on a popular anime genre that they hope will find success with viewers worldwide. Although it’s unclear if the show will air Stateside, it’s set to premier in 2025.

I’d recommend Momentary Lily to fans of magical girl anime, beautiful animation, and high-octane action sequences. Although it’s difficult to get a read on the overall quality of the series based on one episode alone, it looks like things could turn out very shockingly for the girls in future episodes, and I’m excited to see where the story takes them.