|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Lostorage incited WIXOSS
(All episodes watched):|
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that yet another WIXOSS series was being released, since I had enjoyed the first two. The surprise came largely from the fact that, IIRC, the basic problem behind the game was resolved at the end of episode two, so what's going on here? A prequel? Parallel universe? Episode one was OK, but didn't exactly thrill me the way I recall the first two seasons did. The episode was largely just restating the basic problem: girls get caught in a supernatural cardgame which transports them to and from some alternate dimension and has terrifying consequences for losing (or even winning). What has changed is what lies in store for the losers, and how a person's ranking is measured. While one major asset of the first two series was their colorful characters, Suzuko's personality didn't jump out at me and her first opponent seemed very generic and uninteresting. I was left fearing that LIWIXOSS might not measure up to those shows, and might be a substandard anime made as an attempt to squeeze more yen out of an unexpectedly successful two part series.
And, unfortunately, LIWIXOSS never did live up to the standard set by the first two seasons. In episode two we get an introduction to Suzuko's childhood friend, Chinatsu, who comes under tremendous stress as her life undergoes a meltdown. She becomes bitter and cynical and even seems to hate Suzuko, which doesn't make complete sense. This business of memory loss being the punishment of losers and memory tricks being the reward for winners is confusing. I can imagine a person winding up basically brain dead, but somehow that doesn't seem all that terrible, perhaps because I'm largely having to imagine it rather than having it be made clear by the anime. In the previous series even being a winner had a secret curse, but it was never made clear here which rules from the original series still applied and which didn't. In episode three we are told that 'disappearance', not memory loss, is the real thing that those with few coins should fear; which is it? Maybe the reference was to the 'disappearance' of memories. As you might guess, the rules were difficult to understand. Just how crucial gaining a certain number of 'coins' is wasn't emphasized enough, I think. So far I didn't detect any hints about what the origin of LRIGs is, either; in the previous show there was a surprising story behind them. While confusing at times, the previous two-parter story was a genuine mystery, which intrigued me; I wasn't feeling the same way here. While it could be interesting at times (like episode five, which did some badly needed clarifying), this show didn't draw me in in the same manner as the original series did. I wish the story would pick up the pace and get on to what really matters, like who are the LRIGs and where do they come from? In this incarnation of WIXOSS, they don't seem to get developed much. The question of why there are thinking beings encased within game cards doesn't seem to occur to anybody here. Wouldn't you have a long discussion with your LRIG about WTF is going on here and how much they know about it? One variation between this series and the previous two is that boys play a significant role here--in the original story, I recall only one male character and boys never 'battled'. I'm not sure if I like the change. There was something mysterious and fantastical about Wixoss being an all-girl system; it made the contestants into magical girls in a way. Here, the guys just seem to dirty the system up, since several of them are assholes.
Sometimes a story within an anime is told with such precision, such carefully chosen words and images, that the viewer knows exactly where it is going, understands what is important and what is at risk, and feels the gravity of the situation as a climax approaches. LIWIXOSS is not such a show. Here, the plot is muddled and confusing; while we understand that the basic conflict is about Suzuko's wish to restore her friendship with Chinatsu, it's not clear why this is so important. Suzuko just wants it to happen, therefore we are expected to consider it to be just as critical as she does, even though her reasons why aren't explained all that well. And in episode 11 all of a sudden it finally seems to dawn on Chinatsu that Suzuko was right all along, and her attitude makes an abrupt 180 degree turn. Say what? We've been following the story for 11 episodes for this? It isn't terrible, but it's a distinct disappointment.
One issue remains: even if they have made up, how do the two girls break out of the WIXOSS trap? I had been watching Lostorage under the assumption that, since the original WIXOSS had been a two-season job, this one would be as well, and therefore we were just approaching the halfway mark. No doubt there would be some sort of sensational cliffhanger, probably a revelation of something amazing and unexpected about how WIXOSS works, which would leave us eager for the second half which would come along in three months or so. But episode twelve seemed to be wrapping the story up, not preparing us for yet another season. The main villain gets into a Battle with Suzuko, and is whipped—something about a card or game move which allows the purity of one's heart to be employed (the WIXOSS rulebook must be the size of an encyclopedia). I had already been thoroughly confused about what happens to people who run out of coins—you would think they would wind up devoid of memories, or brain dead or something, but no two people seem to suffer the same effect, so I gave up long ago trying to understand it. I recall that the original WIXOSS two-parter series was confusing, but not nearly to the same extent as this one. Riru is 'gone'? What happened to her? Chinatsu won't 'battle' anymore? I thought you had no choice. Has a way out of that requirement been found? if so, I must have missed it. And what the f--- was the deal with Suzuko and Chinatsu seemingly meeting for the first time at the end? Have they both somehow been stripped of their memories? I didn't get a damn thing about how this show was ending. And another thing I didn't get was that apparently it wasn't ending—there was a mention of a 'Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS' series, so I guess my original assumption was correct and the show is only halfway finished. But I am so lost at the moment that I wonder if there would be any point to watching any more of this. What is there left to do? Was the Bookkeeper guy not the ultimate architect of this version of WIXOSS, like the (spoiler) dead girl in season two? Is there an even bigger villain who needs to be defeated in order to break up WIXOSS altogether? Whereas I gladly watched the original two WIXOSS series twice, I dread having to do the same here. I can only say that I am left very frustrated by this unfocused and maddeningly confusing story. I wish somebody had explained exactly what had happened to me, and then had allowed me to do some editing of the anime in order to make those answers clear to others.
Last updated Monday, February 27 2017. Created Friday, October 14 2016.