In the popular game WIXOSS, there are special cards called LRIGs that few players know about - cards that possess personalities and wills of their own. Ruko is a teenage girl who just found one of these rare cards. Now, she can use her LRIG to battle in a strange, dark plane of existence. If she wins, her wishes will be granted - but what happens if she loses?
I'm writing this review for both seasons, Selector Infected and Selector Spread as one is the continuation of the other and they both tell one story. Actually, the second series is much better than the first, but this is because the first introduced the story and characters while the second takes everything to its conclusion - so it's bound to feel more satisfactory. I read some reviews lamenting plot holes and pointing out many incongruous and implausible things in the first series; but really most of the inconsistencies are addressed and given an explanation in the second series, so don't allow that to discourage you. The story is about a card game, Wixoss. The peculiarity is that only some girls, called selectors, are assigned a special card through which they gain access to another dimension where they can battle other selectors. So the card game becomes, in a certain sense, real. The selectors are all girls who have a pressing desire they want to see come true and if they win at least three battles, their wish does comes true. The LRIG is the special card which only selectors can hear and interact with, and it is the LRIG that grants the selectors wish. In the first series we are introduced to these basic facts and to the protagonists: Ruu, Yuzuki and Hitoe, all three are girls who find LRIGs in their set of Wixoss cards and start battling at first each other and then other selectors. Ruu seems the odd one out as she appears to be the only selector without a specific desire of her own. I can understand that at this point it seems a bit inconsistent as there don't seem to be any rules behind the game and no explanation given as to how it's even possible. But, as I already mentioned, it's only in the second series that you really start to understand the how and the why. And I cannot go into more detail here because it would be a major spoiler. So just have faith that it isn't as random as it initially appears to be and that everything will eventually make sense. In my opinion, the story is well-conceived and intelligent. And I really liked the fact that it is quite unexpected, I mean I couldn't piece it together until I was well into the second series. The idea that a teenage girl's wish isn't anything exceptional or unattainable, but that the girl herself cannot make it come true because of self-imposed limits that vanish if someone else is put in her place - that had a truthful ring to it. And maybe I just gave away something, so I apologise. Just to say that a deal more thought than is usual has been given to the story and the message behind it. I found the story entertaining, well-paced and well-narrated. As for the characters, they are pretty well-described: I haven't got major complaints. They develop a nice bond of friendship. And I do think it's more about the story than the characters, so I wasn't expecting any large-scale psychological development. They are all likeable and they have their back-story which gives depth and helps the veiwer understand their feelings. I think Yuzuki is a good character. And I loved Tama. Probably Mayu deserved a better portrayal, given her importance to the story. She didn't move me as much as Tama; which is kind of weird given that Tama had basically no story of her own. We lack information also on Ruu, even though she is the protagonist. Animation, music and voice-acting are good. All in all, it's a good watch. When I started watching the first series I was expecting something more superficial and much worse. So it was a pleasant surprise. The characters, especially Ruu and Mayu, could have been developed more, and the ending felt a bit rushed and half-baked; but as I said, all things considered, it's not bad at all.
When is first found out about this anime, it was from recommendations for Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It exceeded my expectations in most parts but let me down on minor parts. Let's start with the story, it was very good and complex . At first it seems like your runoffthemill magical girl story where a girl is goven a special thing that unlocks her potential, etc. But this one has a twist . Besides all of the battles, the story has some drama with a girl who loves her brother a bit too much and a girl who ends up being screwed over by her own wish. Definitely dramatic and the you can see how each character changes and their challenges. Next, the animation. It was good especially during battles when magic attacks were used. The rest of the animation wasn't problematic. Next, the characters. All of them were pretty unique in their own way, all having personal challenges. The only thing was a character was brought it who was interesting, but was never seen or even mentioned again.Alsso, one of the 'antagonists' made a wish that didn't make sense. It was never explained and it seemed a bit random. Yuzuki has the most problematic situation in my opinion. Not only did she have unrequited love, but when it was returned, she wasn't even there to experience it. She developed a lot and was one of the more intense characters. Hitoe seems like your average shy moe girl but she's not going to be that way later on. She definitely had to suffer the most throughout the series. Her wish was granted but the reprocussions of that were brutal. Ru seemed like your average newbie to the world of WIXOSS, all shy and stuff. But once she got into it, she enjoyed battles a little too much. Similar to Hitoe, her innocent character was shattered but from a different thing. It was kind of like PMMM in that aspect, a character is messed up after learning the truth. Lastly, sound. It was good for the most part, being clear and going with the atmosphere. The opening threw me off slightly. I'm not sure about everyone else, but the opening sounded. ..off. it fit the show but the song was...odd. Overall a good series. It fit the psychological genre very well and it's somewhat dark despite the cute characters (like PMMM). I'm haven't seen the sequel yet but it plan on marathoning it.
Be thankful for what you have, and you'll end up having more - that’s the central message of Selector Infected WIXOSS. An emotional journey of several oblivious schoolgirls following their aspirations in life; accompanied with a very strong atmosphere, and a pathway that will have you guessing during the whole narration. You’ll watch ambitions get shattered, friends part, and the Heart of the Cards turning its cold shoulder to our naive heroines. Given the depressing nature of the show, Selector Infected WIXOSS plays out all innocent at first, but gains up on that in the other half of the show (in a similar sense that Madoka Magica did). It presents a common idea of a card game having an immeasurably valuable reward that is worth risking your life for. To be more specific, having your wildest dreams come true if certain requirements are met. What are these mystic necessities? Well, it appears that the show hasn’t set a clear rule on that part - largely it’s said that you have to be victorious in three battles with other Selectors (randomly chosen persons with a unique deck containing a LRIG card), yet at some instances it is mentioned that there are additional conditions to whom we never receive any further insight. The base game suffers from a similar shortcoming - the rules are never addressed, ever. As obscure as it sounds, it puts more focus on the actual action and the inner struggles during battles than actually establishing a solid play-mechanic. That works well at the beginning of the show, hatching insecurity or confusion when prematurely exposed to an unfamiliar gamble, but becomes incredibly defective at the midpoint. There’s no way to tell which card does what, if the players use any strategies or just bluntly attack, or how much damage does either opponent inflict. The several rules that can be grasped are in the lines of evolving your LRIG, and being able to attack on the first turn - and don’t get me started on how unfair that is. Another flaw arrives at idea of this card game even existing. The origins of WIXOSS are, again, unexplained. It’d be too much to ask to clarify how these talking cards are made or function; however, a more direct question would be: why do put such effort in publishing these LRIG cards if there’s close to no gain from them to the company? People couldn’t possibly keep this Selector dilemma a secret (and in no way is this legal), so when the public would come across the truth, quite a ruckus couldn’t be evaded. But that seems to be the least problem of the show. All these errors, and the absence of a strong backbone for the story, lead to believe that the whole concept of card battles was thrown into the tale at some point. And if not for the game, what else is there to look forward to? Well, the show does provide a refreshing sense of insanity. It’s quite remarkable how good it conveys a grim, saddening vibe throughout the whole act. However, Selector Infected WIXOSS still falls short on its continuous tries to transform normal situations, feelings, thoughts into ill-suited drama. For example, pupils creating rumours about Kurebayashi siblings having an affair when in real terms it’s widely known for twins to stick together, so teenagers sparking sexual tones out of this one fact seems overblown. Much alike is the fulmination towards Ruko for not having any wishes, which they try to make a big deal yet feels fuzzy in the end, since barely any of the Selectors have an ethical goal themselves. Let’s stop at this idea for a second - Ruko not having any dreams - while it’s something that every tear-jerking teenager will relate to; frankly, it’s virtually impossible to be without one. Even if a person isn’t conscious about it, the experience acquired through life will generate an aspiration if one desires it or not - shall it be becoming a great artist, moving out of your parent’s house, or just having a burger tonight. Some dream big, some small. Especially if we tackle the idea of depression which most often comes from failing an ambition. Complex subject none the less, even makes the show come into conflict with its own preachy views (not to spoil anything). Within the scope of these events, once in a while Selector Infected WIXOSS treats the audience to clever indications, in character dialogue, events, and used terms, about the true essence of the card game - it’s intellectually stimulating and creates a good rewatchability value. Even with this, it’s hard to shake off the feeling that this anime tries to be a spiritual successor to Madoka Magica. For instance, the relentless tries having a shocking nature, similar trickery from reliable individuals, events that always seem to have an unfavourable outcome, saddening atmosphere, and so much more that could aid as an example for the visible analogy. In conclusion, the show does add an interesting twist to a usually straightforward tale, but never crosses the line of being a satisfactory adventure; mostly because of the anti-realistic and excessive drama. In fact, if you long for a good card battle anime, you’re better off watching Yu-Gi-Oh!; or if the sentimental, mysterious aspect had your heart trembling, then it’s worth trying out Kokoro Connect or Anohana.
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