WIXOSS Diva(A)Live

Title:WIXOSS Diva(A)Live
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - JC Staff
Hirana has always admired champion WIXOSS players, especially the 'Eternal Girls'. It takes a three-girl team to play the latest incarnation of WIXOSS in virtual reality, but Hirana's team has broken up after a lack of success. She drafts Akino, a friend who is reluctant to play the game before large audiences, as one ad hoc comrade. The third member turns out to be Rei, a hard driving, perfectionist player who left her own previous team because she felt her fellow team members were not trying hard enough to win.

12 episodes

Franchise WIXOSS
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch Stretch [series:4245#628]
(All episodes watched):

One thing that soon occurred to me as I watched episode one of this show was that, unlike the first several seasons of the WIXOSS (pronounced 'Wi-Cross') franchise, nothing seems to have gone wrong with this game system. There are no special cards with inexplicable capabilities, no players trapped in alternate reality, and a person presumably can't be reduced to agony if they lose all their special coins. Instead, it looks as if this will be a matter of three plucky girls teaching obnoxious opponents lessons by kicking their asses while playing the game. This sort of seemed like a combination of a card game and the idol theme--games are played before large audiences (in virtual reality), the audience waves lightsticks and subjectively awards 'Selector Points' to the teams they like best. Players often sing, dance and wear costumes to please the spectators. The game itself, however, isn't all that exciting. The rules have been changed to include things like 'Life Cloth' and 'Piece Cards', whatever those are, but we are basically watching somebody else play a game. The bad girls in this episode were quite 2D, just selfish girls (why can only girls play this game?) who get a kick out of humiliating opponents. If there won't be anything freaky, psychological and supernatural, then what is at stake? Will this just be a matter of giving bitchy girls a taste of their own medicine? This show isn't really bad--it is sort of silly-fun in a way (like the bit where Hirana discovers who Rei is in real life). But it seems far less ambitious than the earlier WIXOSS series--as if the right to make anime about 'WIXOSS' had been sold to another company. I couldn't help feeling that maybe I'd be making better use of my time if I re-watched the original series than if I watched this one.

I watched episode two nevertheless, in part to see what the deal with Rei would be, and couldn't help being modestly amused and entertained. there seems to be a theme of friendship and loyalty, as the girls are warned that surely Rei will desert them eventually (although ultimately this doesn't seem to be a major problem). I've never understood the rules of WIXOSS (why is it so important to 'Grow'?), but could generally understand what was going on during a match. In this incarnation, where there are no cursed LRIGs and it's just a matter of winning fair and square, it can get kind of boring as we basically watch somebody else play a game that we don't know how to play. Thankfully, in episode four we fast-forward through most of the games and most of the airtime is spent dealing with the three friends trying to figure out how to put an idol-like act together to earn extra 'Spectator Points'. The jokes were almost laughworthy, which is to say a little better than average for anime. A difference from the previous Wixoss series is that this one has a definite touch of comedy--like episode eight, where an attempt is made to blackmail the girls into throwing important matches, or episode nine, where Hirana is tricked into helping a strange woman (obviously one of the players of Deus Ex Machina, a group Hirana has always admired) search for a food truck in downtown Tokyo. With time it becomes clear that for the most part these girls' opponents aren't obnoxious at all and might be described as friendly rivals. Anyway, one definite difference between this show and the previous WIXOSS incarnations must be that the plot here is pretty easy to follow while that of the others was typically confusing and frustrating.

Oh, and who wouldn't notice that Akino has tremendous boobs?

The story does have a sort of a plot to it: Hirana has a philosophy of never giving up, hence her group's name, which has served her well. But she is deeply humiliated in a match against DEM which was almost disturbing, and her spirit seems to have been broken. No doubt she will realize that her initial attitude was the correct one and she just needs to try a little harder. I couldn't help wondering what part luck plays in these competitions--it seems that DEM is virtually undefeated, and the message almost seems to be that the only thing that really matters is willpower while luck makes no real difference. That the team with the most motivation and positive thinking will always win, because, you know, that's what matters. The final episode held some surprises--like the ultimate showdown with DEM not quite going the way you would expect, or the link to Hirana's all-time favorite team, Eternal Girls. Definitely not a brilliant show, but one which served as a lightweight source of fun when I wasn't in the mood for something deep.

Last updated Tuesday, March 30 2021. Created Thursday, January 14 2021.

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