|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Selector Spread WIXOSS
(All episodes watched--twice):|
At the beginning of season two of WIXOSS, I recalled that the original series had felt confusing, frustrating and unsteady, yet still very neat in a way, and I remained eager to watch some more of it. The first episode refreshes our memories of where things stand at the moment: Iona has replaced Tama as Yuuko's LRIG (a real-world person converted into a fighting avatar), Yuuko didn't want this, and Tama is missing somewhere within the Wixoss world. Finding her and converting her into a real-world girl will be the main issue of this sequel series. Yuuko doesn't want to battle anymore, having seen how very different the end result of having one's wish granted is from all the promises, but the fighting is frighteningly addictive, and finding Tama will no doubt demand it. Basically, this is a pretty complex and intriguing plot for an anime based on a card game. The fact that no 'Battles' take place in this episode is indicative of the fact that this show doesn't depend on just action to hold the viewer's interest. One thing I didn't entirely like about episode one was the way Chiyori takes a totally goofy and wacky approach to WIXOSS, which we have seen is a very serious matter indeed. If this is an attempt to inject humor into a serious plot, it doesn't work very well. The OP and ED songs were OK but I liked those of the first season better. But all-in-all, Selector Spread Wixoss looked like fun. These are developed characters--they must be, since I remember them from the original series--and I want to see things work out OK for them. I quickly decided that I would watch to the end.
For me, the biggest problem with the original WIXOSS in general was that except for Iona, whose wish happened to concur with the power behind WIXOSS, nobody's wish has come true, has it? Nobody has gained wealth or happiness or anything like that, and nobody said anything about how you would have to do time as an LRIG before your wish would be granted. Supposedly your LRIG will make your dream come true for you after you switch places with her, but that doesn't do you much good while you're trapped in the WIXOSS dimension. Even if you manage to get out, you don't return to your previous body and home, so you're basically a sucker who fell for a promise that was too good to be true. It takes a good while for this to dawn on the characters. So, while the problem is not overwhelming, the characters seem to be acting in a manner which has a basic irrationality to it, and that makes it hard to make sense of the choices they make.
Still, I wanted to know who or what is screwing with these girls, and why, and whether the problem would ever be fixed. If LRIGs were once real-world girls, how did the game get started? Who acted as LRIGs before anybody had won or lost three matches? Yuu and friends slowly make progress towards figuring out what the hell is going on behind this seemingly magical card game and who's in charge of it. I had feared that maybe there never would be an explanation, and we were just supposed to suspend disbelief and go with it, but fortunately that's not the case. The explanation is hardly a plausible scientific one, but this is much better than just leaving us hanging like that. Again, the story can be simultaneously intriguing and confusing. I get the feeling that I partly understand what's going on, and partly don't. I can't be shocked and thrilled all that much if the revelations we get only leave me bewildered, and that was sometimes what happened. At times we would only get a vague explanation of a new discovery, then the show would move on to yet another one with an equally vague explanation.
I needed to watch the show twice in order to feel that I had a fairly good understanding of what had happened. But the fact that I was willing to do that shows how much I was enjoying it. For all the confusion, WIXOSS remained one of my favorite shows of the season, and I always looked forward to the next episode. Perhaps that was because the premise is so weird and novel, but probably most of all it was because this was the story of a quest by characters who I had gotten to know well and hoped would succeed. With time the basic goal which Yuu must reach at the climax is made clear: she must defeat the despicable Ulith and the messed-up Mayu in order to free all the girls who have been converted into LRIGs and are missing in the netherworld of WIXOSS. For all the (typical) confusion, this building climax was pretty neat, as a lot of things made some sense at long last--like Iona's comment that battling made her 'feel alive for the first time'. It would be easy to include fancy lines like that but leave them unexplained, but here they actually make a good deal of sense. You can sympathize with even the once heartless Iona.
After the mystery behind WIXOSS previously developing at a slow, measured pace, during episode eleven it seems to lurch into high gear and leap forward. Kazuki goes from largely ignorant of the secret form of WIXOSS to completely fluent regarding it in the space of less than one episode. He even comes up with ideas which haven't occurred to the girls who have been investigating the strange game since episode one of the first season. I had been thinking that surely this would have to be at least 24 episodes long to explain everything, which was fine with me since I was enjoying it a lot and didn't want a rushed, hasty conclusion (and I still didn't understand everything). But the pieces of the puzzle rapidly fall into place. Fortunately, the conclusion largely makes sense (as much sense as it could, given the bizarre nature of Mayu, the power behind the Selector scam), and I felt satisfied. A number of questions remain unanswered or without clear answers, like what became of Mayu ( I think I know) or how she managed what she did in the first place. But the strange case of the Selectors comes to a close and and while I haven't seen anywhere near every anime with a supernatural twist, WIXOSS seems to me to possess the all too rare gift of originality. You might call it a plausible supernatural anime (if that's possible): supernatural powers are at work, but they are employed for ultimately understandable reasons by more-or-less human beings, rather than by Gods or Goddesses whose motivations we can only guess at.
My favorite line: "She's mental" –Eldora
Last updated Monday, March 30 2015. Created Sunday, October 05 2014.