selector infected WIXOSS Episode 1 [First Impressions]
Back when we compiled the Spring Preview, we could only find a short tagline for selector infected WIXOSS, with only a promise that it would be a dark and harrowing show with the esteemed Okada Mari on board. So I found out about the card games the hard way. WIXOSS is apparently all the rage amongst the population, with everyone from teenage girls to celebrities playing it. But, as is usually the case, it’s not just a card game. Certain girls who can hear the voices of LRIGs (avatar cards) are deemed Selectors, who fight card battles which are real – in a different dimension, and with high stakes: if one keeps winning, they will have their wish granted. Kominato Ruuko is one such girl.
It’s a decent premise, and it’s probably right to classify this within the psychological genre. The dark foreshadowing within this pilot episode alone definitely suggests that – beneath its surprisingly mild exterior there are some very worrying things about the game system, the LRIGs and the fate of the Selectors themselves. All this spiel about making a wish come true through a miracle has been very vague – I’m not sure whether that’s just something they’re withholding for now, or whether the Selectors themselves don’t actually know the fine details of everything. You have to win, ostensibly, but how many times? Over how long? Until only one Selector is left? And if you lose three times, you lose your right to be a Selector, which is a system not unlike other game-based shows like Accel World or [C]. This is definitely going to be a key aspect to pay attention to – the strong element of risk is likely to result in some very desperate girls in the near future. I can easily foresee themes like greed, hope and human nature coming through too – these girls want a miracle granted, which is not something that can usually be achieved through hard work. Miracles are called miracles because they don’t happen, after all. If they have to keep winning to get one… well, I suppose some will try and win at all costs.
At this point, Ruuko seems like your standard innocent girl, who doesn’t really have a wish she wants granted and is more interested in how cute Tama is than anything else. I’m calling it now – watch how that changes when her grandma falls critically ill, has an accident or dies or something. Anyway, her personality’s very different from Yuzuki, who’s really thrown herself into this whole WIXOSS thing so she can achieve her twincest miracle – so much that she’s willing to play dirty to knock out an inexperienced Selector before she can learn the rules properly. As expected, Ruuko and Tama are stronger than they think they are, and I’m pretty sure Yuzuki would have lost had they continued.
While the LRIGs may seem like cute loli avatars for now, I’m getting a vibe that there’s more to them than that. Especially with Tama. I’m guessing they “mature” over time, starting off with a childlike mind like Tama’s and eventually becoming capable of speech like Yuzuki’s LRIG – I think a similar sort of development occurs in battle too, where LRIGs power up and become more feral, perhaps even ending up like that skull-like monster Ruuko saw in her dream. Bet that’s Tama.
Anyway, I enjoyed this pilot episode. While it might seem underwhelming to those who wanted to dive straight into the dark angst, I’m sure there’ll be something next week – you’ll want to apply the 3-episode rule here. The one thing I still can’t quite embrace is the whole card game system. To be honest, I’m not really interested in painstakingly trying to understand how it operates – if we have to go through the motions no matter what, I’m hoping we can do it as Ruuko slowly learns how to play herself. What I’m hoping is that the LRIGs take center stage with fighting, and everything’s concentrated around them rather than the card game aspect of WIXOSS – the start of the show did show two developed LRIGs fighting after all. As for blogging… I’m honestly not sure. I really want to do the rabbit show after seeing its diabetes-inducing PV, and I probably can’t juggle multiple shows on the same day in the long run. Also, the Funimation hardsubs from hell aren’t very encouraging. But don’t worry, it’ll probably be covered – nearly everyone has signed up to do a first impression after all!
Possibility of Watching: Moderate
Possibility of Blogging: Low
Sidekick’s First Impressions
I’m gonna be honest. This was really boring. It’s definitely got great animation to go with its darker, edgier style, and the music’s not too shabby either (apart from that horrendous OP), but everything else was so boring. The characters are lame – Ruuko, her brother, the twins, they’re all boring. I’m getting Sayaka Miki vibes off the other selector girl introduced in this episode (can’t be arsed about her name), but this is incest they’re going for right? I honestly doubt we’re going to get Koi Kaze levels of competency in dealing with such a relationship. In fact, the entire series just screams Madoka right off the bat. The wish-granting, the avatars that get kinda creepy and continuously pressure their selectors to battle, the eerie vibe…but it just lacks a more competent foundation for the story to be built on. Card games are really not suited for where the story is probably going. (I cannot believe Ruuko totally did not get mad at the girl for starting a battle without Ruuko herself knowing the rules. The girl even got free cake!)
The card battles themselves are lame too. The cards (other than the avatar ones) don’t even like get animated or whatever, they just stay as cards. The way Tama and Hanayo battle was just boring too. No interesting battle choreography or whatever. Lastly, the game itself seems to be very low stakes considering that becoming an Eternal Girl grants you a wish. Battles being stopped halfway with no penalties? Games being played without the rules even being mentioned? It really isn’t fair. It isn’t fun to watch either.
Possibility of Watching: Low (Sticking around for one more week I guess)
Possibility of Blogging: Nah.