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« Lostorage Incited WIXOSS – 11

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS – 12 (END)

「夜明け」 (Yowake)
“Dawn”

And with that, Lostorage is over. As fully expected, the final fight turned into Bookmaker versus Suzuko buoyed by a Chinatsu now firmly back under the “Suzuko love” umbrella. I must admit it’s a fitting conclusion, effectively freeing Chinatsu from the chains of her poorly made decisions while showcasing Suzuko’s newfound strength. The fight too was interesting largely from its longevity. We got to see multiple coin bets and some interesting ability usage. Suzuko’s and Chinatsu’s combined coin bet ability in particular fascinates me because it points towards Selectors being able to physically connect their fates to one another. Normally this would be nothing (especially given its function as a deus ex machina here), but there’s also Bookmaker’s (through Carnival) new ability to use the coin bets of other Selectors. Combine these late revelations with Bookmaker’s apparent ability earlier to physically manipulate the Battle Space, and it’s clear something significant is missing from the picture. Almost explains that sequel announcement, doesn’t it?

Although unclear if Bookmaker (well, the newly Carnival body swapped Bookmaker) still has a secret or two remaining, I do know the sick bastard ended up growing on me. For all of Bookmaker’s unctuousness, he was pretty unique between the hilarious facial expressions, the ridiculous dirty talk (which was pretty well acted), and a fellow LRIG every bit as naughty as him. Watching Suzuko deflect his obvious manipulations and crush the blatant attempt at subverting Riru was glorious, mostly for how utterly crazed it made the guy. Drifters this season might have had some epic faces, but I’ll be damned if Bookmaker didn’t give them a run for their money. It’s disappointing Bookmaker’s end effectively boiled down to the heart of the cards power of friendship, but it’s difficult imagining how else to wrap it all up in one final episode.

The one good thing about the battle, however, is that the schism between Suzuko and Chinatsu has finally been filled. I was slightly surprised seeing Suzuko use her wish to retain her memories of Riru, but it does make sense considering Suzuko successfully mended things with Chinatsu. Rather the big surprise lies with Chinatsu losing her memories of Suzuko. Game rules or not (the 90 day limit and random memory loss is well known), it’s an incredibly sad end for such a happy conclusion. Yeah technically both girls will just rebuild what they lost, but damn, all that fighting just to see you punted back to square one. Chinatsu, however, is definitely is to blame for that one when she could have fought her way back to five coins, all with Suzuko’s unwavering support.

While I couldn’t tell you where Lostorage goes from here story-wise, with Piruluk still in the picture, Aki now being teased, and a thoroughly unchanged Carnival-Bookmaker, a few possibilities do exist. Conflate after all is defined as combination, which likely means we can expect several more crossovers with the first season next time. Could one of those previous LRIGs/Selectors be the person behind this new wave of games? Just going to have to wait and see.

Final Impressions

Heading into Lostorage this season I wasn’t sure what to expect. The previous WIXOSS was good as an entertaining, B-grade horror-type show, but had a decent conclusion and no clear way of expanding beyond it. Lostorage, however, managed to succeed against this preconception. For me the outstanding changes were pace and characters. Suzuko and Chinatsu had a clearly defined relationship they were fighting for since the start: Suzuko to save it, Chinatsu to destroy it. This conflict was successfully resolved in 12 episodes, resulting in a plot which never particularly dragged during its duration. The original never succeeded in producing a similar feel, largely because Ruuko didn’t really find her wish until the end of the first season. Bookmaker even improved on things by offering up with Carnival a livelier Iona/Ulith sadist combo.

Where Lostorage faltered for me, however, is in shock value. While I really enjoyed the twists and turns here, there was nothing as surprising as the original’s first reveal of body swapping, and then the true horror that body swapping only triggered upon winning. Yeah we had memory loss here along with body swapping, but the setup was largely conventional, with winners actually winning, and the true despair resulting from final defeat. Without some additional mechanism for inciting fear and suffering, we were basically reduced to watching the tormented antics of a victorious Hanna and the groveling of defeated Selectors. Combine that with minimal development for some characters (particularly Shouhei and Masaru), and many of the shock moments never left any serious impact.

This reason is why I probably think Lostorage was at its strongest around the middle, when we were largely in the dark and uncertain what was coming. The show was truly suspenseful then, which with the tight pacing created some fantastic moments, particularly Chinatsu’s mental dissonance and Suzuko’s run in with reality. It is likely Lostorage’s hesitancy to pull an Okada which held it back from really improving beyond the original WIXOSS at the end. If there was just something else to the plot, something more tragic, this show could have definitely bumped up a level or two given everything else. Of course the real twist could be coming in Lostorage’s sequel, but until we find out what occurs then, it’s hard fully singing Lostorage’s praises. Given how well Lostorage improved structurally compared to the original, it’s certainly no worse than Selector, but it’s a hard case claiming Lostorage is significantly better.

Although I’m criticizing harshly here, it doesn’t take away the fun of watching Lostorage. For a trading card game show, Lostorage still offers a novel, interesting plot with the tried and true theme of psychological suffering. It’s plenty good for a watch and sticking around for the twists, but one shouldn’t expect stupendous writing, fantastic characters, or a jaw-dropping story. Like with the original WIXOSS, enjoy it for what it is, but don’t expect something more. That path will only lead to disappointment.

December 24, 2016 at 12:05 am
12 comments »
  • December 24, 2016 at 2:03 amFuwa Fuwa

    “Screw the rules, I have friendship!” So I’ll say this: Bookmaker was able to really channel his inner Wario to get some of those toothy grins, quite impressive. I’ll also say this, to tie it into my original statement: I liked the idea of Bookmaker and Suzu using their ability coins to counter the other until they down to one/ran out. Kind of made the stakes pretty high. Though, it raises questions. Like Suzu using Honest to dispel the Berserk on her was creative…but if she could always do that, that could have averted the results of prior games. And using coins from a spectator has to be a cheating move, but it’s allowed and no one has been able to utilize this in other battles. Man, I really think that reading the rules for this game causes more despair than actually playing lol.

    So I dunno, the match had a cool idea, the Suzu/Riru gambit was nice, but all these things that just work now makes me feel like much of it didn’t seem earned. Though seeing they haven’t *completely* eradicated the greed/hate that will always be present to make these sort of events always present, to never escape an inevitability of human nature was still haunting. Maybe nothing new, but I liked how they presented it. That and everything after that was pretty good. Though, I don’t know what it was, but the Suzu/Riru interaction, as weighted as it was, didn’t give off the same impact as the Chinatsu/Meru interaction. I don’t know if it’s because Chinatsu had to go through a lot more, or I don’t remember Riru that much from the second half of this run, but that’s a personal thing. A fairly bittersweet ending I sort of expected, though it resulting from Chinatsu shooting herself in the foot to not want to get the five coins is a little detracting. However, that is a really neat way for them to advertise the next Wixoss project.

    All in all, I think I’m on a similar ground. I think Incited had its best parts in the middle and had some better expressed characters. But something about the last few episodes, maybe it was a way for them to push the envelope, but I remember where it peaked to really crank the despair to 10 to have Hanna take the blame for her brother’s death, Chinatsu sees an LRIG plunge over a bridge, Shouhei disappearing, which was some major stuff, but then just last episode, Hanna’s over it and Chinatsu is on better terms. If those episodes were paced out further apart, I’d have liked it a lot more, but the way those happen about one episode apart, I can’t really shake the feeling of mood whiplash. So I end up thinking it’s above average, it does some stuff better, and some stuff a little weird. I found it a fun watch, even if it doesn’t raise the stakes as much as it really should have, and when it does, it’s largely in one large peak before averaging out again.

    But I still find enjoyment in the universe it takes place in, and I’m always up to see how things unfold in it. This run, while I feel above average at best, indifferent at worst toward it, I’m still looking forward to seeing what Conflated will bring. Thanks again for the coverage!

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:29 pmPancakes

      Glad you enjoyed the coverage, I liked covering this one that’s for sure. It’s funny too because Lostorage wasn’t particularly “good”, but it was an incredibly easy show to talk about. It probably speaks in part to how well Lostorage was structured compared to Selector because we never had any serious downtime between events. The downside of course was how fast some events happened as you mention, particularly the rushing towards the end.

      I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel too, if just to see where the hell things head next. Still betting on there being something else behind this round of games, because a sequel wouldn’t have been announced otherwise lol.

  • December 24, 2016 at 2:12 amVelvet Scarlantina

    Satisfying end to a tragedy filled season. It was bitter sweet to see Meru and Riru going off like that. They’ve grown on to me. But on to more pressing issues…

    http://randomc.net/image/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    I’m happy that they didn’t end Piruluk’s role there and than. I’d love to see how she ties in Mayu and the current Wixoss time line together. Did anyobe also catch Mayu being mentioned in the laptop screen shor?

    http://randomc.net/image/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2037.jpg
    Aki Lucky… You were bat shit insane back in SELECTOR. How much of a sociopsychopath will you be in LostRage? Will we also see Ruko and Tama in LostRage’s continuation?

    http://randomc.net/image/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
    That’s a subtle way to announce LostRage continuation. That aside, JC Staff, when will you continue Raildex???

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:38 pmPancakes

      More likely to see Railgun than Index IMO, but even then it’ll probably occur once hell freezes over. For whatever reason no one wants to throw more money at that cash cow lol.

      • December 24, 2016 at 1:07 pmLyfe

        I think they’re just too far behind with Index that they wouldn’t want to pick it up for a full season of episodes. At least with Railgun, they could wait for enough material to adapt half a season worth of story & half a season of filler and still do well commercially.

  • December 24, 2016 at 7:21 amKamui

    Hello there, Ilona.
    http://randomc.net/image/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

    Overall, I liked the series quite a bit. Let’s see what they have in store for the sequel.

  • December 24, 2016 at 7:24 amChris hall

    She lost her best friend in the end when the coins ran out

  • December 24, 2016 at 7:30 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    http://randomc.net/image/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2013.jpg

    In ways, this face was actually scarier than any of Satomi’s faces, which were actually more funny due to how over-the-top crazy they were.

  • December 24, 2016 at 10:04 amLyfe

    I wonder when they’ll do another Wixoss series? They seem eager to push the Wixoss card collections. The Blu Ray/DVD releases all come with cards too. This doesn’t look like a series that’s over by any stretch of the imagination. It’ll be back in some form, it’s a grown up version of Yu Gi Oh. ;)

    • December 24, 2016 at 12:35 pmPancakes

      The Yu-Gi-Oh! similarity is actually the primary speculation for the sequel announcement. Supposedly the WIXOSS card game is selling very well in Japan, so this looks like the reason for continuing the anime. Not sure how much more we can expect, but if WIXOSS’ popularity continues we can be sure Lostorage’s sequel isn’t the last one.

      • December 24, 2016 at 1:09 pmLyfe

        Agreed! I would be surprised if they don’t announce a sequel or a Wixoss anime of some kind in the next few months. I’ve seen plenty of places selling the cards etc. This is one reason why I think the disc sales won’t be the only thing factoring into continuing it.

  • December 25, 2016 at 11:28 amsandboxgod

    Thanks for the well written blog. I think I like this series a little better than the original due to some of the reasons covered in the blog. Was surprised to see Chinatsu lose her memory of her best friend like that but was a good story

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