OP Sequence

OP: 「killy killy JOKER」 by 分島花音 (Wakeshima Kanon)

「この奇跡は兢々」 (Kono Kiseki wa Kyoukyou)
“This Miracle Trembles”

Horrific card battles where girls battle it out to make their impossible wishes come true–perhaps. There are only hints of darkness so far, along with characterization and plot that is just a tad uneven.

Card Battles Are Serious Business

The idea behind this series is that certain players of the card game WIXOSS are chosen to be selectors by possessing an living card, and they use these to battle to become a magical girl grant their wishes and dreams. All well and good, but I got a strange feeling from the card battles. It seemed too…clean, perhaps, that the card battles take place in another world where they’re sitting at desks. It seems an odd choice to me, when they could have had the combat be a lot more visceral by making the girls stand up and get close to the danger.

Hints of Darkness

So far there’s a bit of tonal dissonance. Many scenes – including the very first one – were giving a distinct things-are-not-going-to-end-happily-here, but the family and school portions gave none of that. Often in this kind of story there’s an undercurrent of wrongness shot throughout the entire narrative, a sense of slight discomfort on the characters’ behalf that keeps the audience from ever truly relaxing. I’m not getting that here. It’s almost like the normal world is normal and the other world is not. At once episode I have no idea whether that’s good or not, so I’m just pointing it out for now.

What was done well was the hints of darkness we saw in Tama (Kuno Misaki). I’m impressed Kuno Misaki managed to sound anything but hyper-cute (hyper-cute with a dash of scary will do), but the flashes of brutal power from her were encouraging, even if they kept referencing them too much. A light touch is better on the foreshadowing, people.

Uneven Characterization

They tried to force a lot into this first episode, and it showed. They got the basic premise out there, but characterization sometimes suffered for it. Take how Kurebayashi Yuzuki (Sakura Ayane), who just showed the hell up suddenly and started spouting exposition. This led to our listless main character Kominato Ruuko (Kakuma Ai) agreeing to a battle she only barely understood, despite just learning that she could only lose three times. Even if she doesn’t have a wish yet, that’s awfully sudden to decide “Oh well, I’ll throw this all away.”

Better was later in the episode when Ruuko offered to lose to Yuzuki, because by then she had the opportunity to think about the whole thing a little. That’s not going to make me like her, though. Such a listless main character isn’t attractive.

Good Production Qualities

I’ve come to really like J.C.Staff’s animation style, and this was that animated very well, with maybe a touch of a KyoAni/Kyoukai no Kanata vibe. The acting, the soundtrack, the action…all the fundamentals were done well, it just feels like the story hasn’t hit its stride yet. It’s only episode 1 though, with an untried story. It’s understandable.

Twincest Already!?

This smacks of a show where everything will not end well for our heroes, and we’ve got hints of twincest already. While I’m all for using forbidden love to add spice to a storyline, I have to say that the incest thing has gotten out of control lately – I could say something about how that reflects on the industry itself, but I’m not going to…except for when I alluded to it right there – so I rolled my eyes a bit when Hanayo (Kawasumi Ayako) spilled the beans on Yuzuki’s wish. But revealing it so soon…I can’t help but think that dream will be crushed, and likely soon. Especially he she tries to battle Tama again.

Looking Ahead – In Summation

The first episode of Selector Infected WIXOSS was decent. It had some good points and some spots of worry. As an original series I’m likely to watch it just to see where it will go, but at this point it was just good enough to earn the 3-episode rule with a decent expectation I’ll drop it after that. They’re going to have to do something special to pull me in, but with much of the set up out of the way now (or hopefully, finished by next time), hopefully they’ll have a chance to flex their muscles and show me something interesting.

I have no plans to continue blogging this series, but it’s not impossible that someone else will pick it up. Keep an eye on the season schedule for updates. Thanks!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Hints of darkness & uneven characterization mark this first episode. Also, probably tragic twincest #selector_anime 01

Random thoughts:

  • There were a lot of allusions to Tetris, both having to do with the city and more subtly with the characters’ clothing (skirts) and accessories. I don’t have a hypothesis here yet, just something to watch out for.
  • I don’t think telling grandma you have a card friend called Tama is going to make her happy, Ruu-chan. I think it’ll just make her worried again.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Missing the point; You don’t get credit for the words you don’t write; Right, not best; and Three lessons from the editing desk.


ED Sequence

ED: 「realize -夢の待つ場所-」 (realize -Yume no Matsu Basho-) by Cyua



  1. TANOSII INCOMING! Prepare to kill and have fun while killing.

    Seriously, Okada is trying to become the next Urobutcer or what? I hope she’s not having depression.

  2. They definitely tried to cram a whole lot of shtuff in one episode. I’m guessing WIXOSS isn’t an actual card game either, so having a world element as complex as a TCG in a one core series means you have to explain the game without taking 12 episodes to do so.

    Another thing that also sort of rubbed me wrong when Ruuko just started playing the game as if she knew what she was doing. Granted, she was getting outside instruction, but she hardly spent any time actually learning the game.

    Another thing that bothered me was how listless Ruuko was when she found out she was being cheated and taken advantage of. Generally, when you get sucked into an alternate mirror world to play a death game you have no clue about, you’re probably very panicked about what’s going on.

    Also, when you’re trying to dupe someone who’s ignorant of WIXOSS, you aren’t going to give them the lowdown on secret magic behind the game. Time was definitely not spent wisely, and Okada Mari definitely was done in by the law of conservation of detail. This intro I think could have been done better if it was spread out over two episodes.

    For example, you could have Yuzuki drag Ruuko into magical death world after luring her in with her own RLIG, then have Kazuki rush in the next episode and then shame Yuzuki into giving her a proper explanation.

    All in all, I’ll give it a chance. The stuff is there for a good ride, but the writing has me gravely nervous.

    1. “Another thing that also sort of rubbed me wrong when Ruuko just started playing the game as if she knew what she was doing. Granted, she was getting outside instruction, but she hardly spent any time actually learning the game.”

      I get the feeling that they may have skipped over several turns (of instruction) and jumped ahead to the “end”, considering how much stronger Tama appeared to be by that point along with how worn out Hanayo was looking.

    1. Same here, three episode rule it is. This first episode had a boatload of flaws, but I’m just intrigued enough not to drop it right off the bat. I hope my impression of it will improve.

    1. My guess is that the grandma created the card game so her granddaughter will have an avenue to make friends, but it turns out the grandma has a very twisted way doing things when it comes to games.

  3. and they use these to battle to become a magical girl

    I see what you did there. lol

    I agree it has some Madoka vibes. Heck, maybe when Ruuko wins she’ll wish to make Tama real and that’s what leads to this wonderful creature. https://randomc.net/image/Selector%20Infected%20WIXOSS/Selector%20Infected%20WIXOSS%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2019.jpg

    Something interesting I think they might do though is make it so that everyone who loses has the opposite of what they wish for come true. in that case, seeing as how the only wish we actually know so far is Yuzuki’s, she could come to see Ruuko as her best friend, and because of her wish not coming true, her bro falls for Ruuko or some crap. It’s kind of like taking a gamble on your wish getting granted or ending up worse off than when you started.

    Seeing as how this is essentially advertising for the card game that’s coming out though, I’m not expecting a heck of a lot.

    I did have to laugh at your eye rolling to the incest though. If only because of the the show you already decided to blog and the other one I know you’re doing an intro for. Even being a fan of it myself though, I do have to agree that Japan’s going way too crazy with its usage of late.

    Also, Tama’s voice hurts my brain.

    1. Honestly, it has a lot of things vibe. I kind of regret making that quip because Madoka is just one of them, and if it takes influence from a lot of other things and is good, that’s totally fine. Hell, I do that myself with my own book. Artists steal. It’s just we do.

      Then again, during that moment I got a bit of an overload on the Madoka-ness, so eh, whatever. Nuance will have to go in the comments here, lol

      As for the incest thing, yeah it’s overboard, but when it’s built into the premise I can prepare myself for it. When it’s just like “Whoa, twincest!” in a series I never expected it to pop up in, I’m like holy shit, calm down ya perverts, lol

    2. Quite amazed at the inclusion of (albeit only hinted) twincest, especially so early in the show too. It’s as though the writers are going for shock value and (fantasized) fan service over actual story depth. While not a game ending decision, it does hint towards a superficial, melodramatic plot development.

    3. That image is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Creepiest thing I have ever saw watching animes this year. I’ll give this series a go since I’m expecting many dark moments to come.

    1. You know… it’s a decent enough song but I kinda feel like, with the mood they’re trying to set, Yousei Teikoku probably would have been a perfect fit for this. Then again, I’m biased as frig cause I love Yousei Teikoku.

    1. We know. After the emotional roller coaster last episode in Nagi, this show aired 4 hours afterwards too.

      Okada’s raking up the victims with chained depression. My guess is that she’s trying to be the next Urobutcher.

      1. I think she’s a more complex and varied writer than that. In fact, so is the Urobutcher himself. Gargantia, anyone? He just got unfairly nailed with that title due to a string of applicable shows, like me being called to ecchi blogger.

        I feel for you, Urobuchi-san! Stay strong! *bro power*

      2. @Stilts

        It’s a bit more than a string of applicable shows. He wrote visual novels before which were much the same as his pre-Gargantia anime. He pretty much spent 12 years putting characters he created through hell. Unlike your moniker (but let’s be honest here, you know you love it), he rightfully deserves his.

        Granted, I have no idea if you were being serious… but just in case I suppose.

      3. He just got unfairly nailed with that title due to a string of applicable shows…

        That may be, but why is he writing all of them where everything is depressing?

        like me being called to ecchi blogger


        And you’re still RC’s ecchi-blogger, in our hearts and minds. Because you’ll probably do Highschool DxD season 4 if ever.

      4. @Stilts: …like me being called to ecchi blogger.

        Ehh? Didn’t Seishun think of you as echhi-blogger sensei? 😛 I consider that pretty convincing evidence. 😀


        @TheMoondoggie: Because you’ll probably do Highschool DxD season 4 if ever.

        Season 4? O.o When was HS DxD Season 3 even done? At any rate, all for Stilts’ covering HS DxD seasons 3, 4, etc. if they are made.

      5. I think he’s also doing #7 and Psycho-Pass has hint of #5, if my interpretation of “Start as close to the end as possible” meant doing the same as the end of Psycho-Pass.

      6. Psycho-Pass isn’t a bad example of #5. Mostly what it means is to resist the temptation to go “Since the dawn of time…”. If the fun stuff comes at the end, start as close to that as possible.

  4. Card Games…heh…I seen it worst…

    as for this WIXOSS (or i should called it the Super Experimental Card Game)
    …i would like to say myself like…
    “They’ll never find a more wrecthed hive of scum and villainy!”

    Again…Just Saying!

    1. You could call it WICROSS, that’s what the characters say.
      Joking aside, that pronounciation was kind of… Off, I guess. Though maybe I shouldn’t be as bothered about it as I was…

      Also, kudos to Ruuko for learning the game lingo after so little explanation.

  5. soooo… BRS x Madoka Magica x YuGiOh.
    At this point, whenever a series mixes cute middle-school girls and “dark” themes, it feels like a Madoka wannabe. The shock value has long since fallen off, and attempting to reuse a similar formula fails (for me) since there’s nothing empathetic or interesting about the troubles of prepubescent girls.

    And it’s impossible to take anything to do with card games seriously. YGOTAS has long since taken care of that.

    1. Calling it a Madoka clone isn’t fair. Throwing vulnerable young characters into a dark world predates Madoka by centuries, even millenia. We as humans have been doing that since we’ve been around telling stories, and we’ve codified and passed down a lot of them – Grim’s Fairy Tales come to mind, though they have been many, many others.

      What’s more, it’s fine to take ideas and inspiration from Madoka, if they did. If they do it well, that is. I’ll say it now and I’ll say it again, artists steal. It’s what we do. It’s when you steal and reassemble the pieces into something new, interesting, and hopefully meaningful that new art is created.

      It can transcend its influences and become something great. I don’t know if it can, but it could.

    2. A tad unfair to call it a Madoka clone at this point, after all there is no Puella Magi nor any tactless alien selling wishes for souls. The (potential) dark and twisted plot elements are nothing new, Madoka wasn’t the first to apply them, it simply used them to rejuvenate (what had been up to that point) a cute and friendly genre and create something new.

      It can be related to the wave of RPG-themed shows coming out now being immediately related to SAO, largely because it was the first broadly successful one (no one remembers .hack after all). Are all of them clones of SAO? Of course not. It’s simply the presence of similar plot elements and imagery which promotes viewers to immediately draw comparisons.

      If comparison is a must then WIXOSS should hesitantly be viewed as the potential “Madoka” for card game anime, that one show which turns the whole genre on its head. Will it do it? Probably not, but it does give a good foundation for judging the final product.

      1. Man, I miss .hack//

        Even today, it’s still pretty unique in my eyes with the fact that you can’t really learn the whole ever-continuing story with just one source. You need to look at each of the sources. the animes, mangas, video games, OVAs, etc. (most of them considered canon too) to get all the pieces and put them together. If people try to look at just one of the sources, just one piece of the puzzle, they’re probably going to be confused to no end if they try to look at the bigger picture after, lol.

    3. Madoka is Madoka… Ruuko is Ruuko… Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime is Puella Magi Madoka Magica… Wixoss is Wixoss… The plot, theme etc may be similar, but its not identical… Each anime has its own unique aspect… just like Hiiragi Kagami from Lucky Star and Shana from Shakugan no Shana… They have the same personality (tsundere), which makes them similar… But they are not the same person nor identical…

  6. This is going to need the 3 episode rule. It screams stereotypical, and yet has good potential to morph into something sinister not unlike Madoka (as many have been quick to notice the similarities to). Pacing is actually pretty good for a single cour show, it’s the characters themselves which are the main concern. Their actions jumped too quickly, there was no interaction that could explain away things like the MC understanding how to attack in the game. Hopefully just a bug and not a feature of what’s to come.

    Until the plot actually gets going it’s unclear how well this will perform. Especially need to find out if the card game and its associated rules are the primary focus or rather the vessel for some psychological machinations. Overall WIXOSS has all the necessary pieces to be a good show, just remains to be seen if they’ll be stitched together correctly.

  7. GAH! That… picture! You know, the horrifying one. I’m not going to link to it, because then it would show up here. That alone is enough to warn me that this show will probably be going somewhere disturbing. I think I’ll keep my distance from this one.

  8. Madoka vibes… I suppose I can see that, but my first thought went to Black Rock Shooter.

    Liked it overall, definitely qualifies for my modified 3 ep. rule (modified in so much that I don’t count ep. 1 to the three).

  9. Just don’t be like Fantatista dolls. That anime didn’t really have enough going for it other than cute all female cast of characters with like one dude acting like Sailor Moon’s Tuxedo Mask. Funny enough the main character looked just like Cardcaptor Sakura, in an anime about cards lol.

    Twincest, meh, just don’t be like “that chick” and I’m cool with it.

    The main character is not that interesting, but I like her relationship with her brother. Those scenes of them together were the best in this episode.

    Tama is what a human Pikachu would be like. All the cute sounds with that hint of Yandere. Yes, Pikachu is a Yandere, go rewatch the first season of Pokemon and tell me it isn’t!

    I liked the first episode, I’ll continue if it keeps my interest.

  10. Checked this out on a whim and what struck me most was the Mal “age” rating – “R – 17+ (violence & profanity).” Seems this one is going to be pretty dark/grim if that’s any indication. As for the first episode, wasn’t too bad, but wasn’t great either IMO. Agree with a lot of what Stilts wrote. The “desk combat” seemed kind of odd to me, but whatever. Tama definitely has a lot of battle lust which doesn’t mesh with her cute appearance and voice.

    Personally, this seems very much a “sampler” season. Apart from a few core shows in which I’ve already read the source material and/or watched the previous season, a lot of trial and error before my watch list is set. “3” episode rule here as I expect will be true for a lot of shows.

    @Stilts:I don’t think telling grandma you have a card friend called Tama is going to make her happy, Ruu-chan. I think it’ll just make her worried again.

    LOL – had the same thought. 😀

    Twincest Already!?

    Yeah, wondered about that myself. Didn’t expect that to pop up in this show not to mention so early. Is there really no other wish that the writers could come up with for this girl? O.o

  11. Reminds me a little of Gen'ei wo Kakeru Taiyou with the alternate world setting,
    or maybe Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya.

    Seems as cute as Tama is, she’s pretty tough. It’s a good first episode…

    1. I would agree it’s very much like Gen’ei.

      I would also concur that it is very much like fantasista dolls.

      But I would doubt the credibility if someone categorises this with both though. Something just doesn’t feel right from the first episode – something eerie.


    Intriguing first episode that reminded me greatly of Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou… Though with the names attached to the show and not a full blown committee working on it this time around, I’m hopeful this will commit to its ideas, unlike Genei which was sun fucking unstable in its ability to just pick a tone and STICK WITH IT.

    Really, that was Genei’s biggest flaw that caused its other problems. Rather than embrace its grimdark tone as a whole with a more bittersweet tone and instead going after ‘generic happy ending #4233’ we had a really unsatisfying experience.

    Hopefully when shit hits the fan in Selector Infected WIXOSS, it won’t just magically clean itself up right away. If someone dies in this show, for the love of ‘god’ just let them STAY DEAD. You DIMINISH the pain and loss in death or failure in dramatic shows if you just magically undo it later on.

  13. hope the card game comes to the states, it looks like it can be fun.

    some interesting points:

    * use of tetris for foreshadowing — does completion == destruction? does grandma have a bigger role in this being the designer of the level ru’s older brother was playing that resembled a large line piece completing the tetris?
    * prologue girl — is it tama, or ru? tama wears earrings, but ru wears diamond hair pieces that looks similar to the earrings. does this mean selectors become infected and become a part of WIXOSS?
    * rei ayanami — looks like we are supposed to think it is tama. will tama develop a type of obsession to not just battoru, but ru? is taking a tower to the chest fulfilling a contract? what is tama’s wish?
    * how are selectors chosen? — ru’s older brother gave her the deck in order to make friends.

    although a lot of people can call this generic off the bat, and while it is fairly so, there is a lot of foreshadowing and setup going on; and for this reason, i cannot say that the story is lacking. there looks to be a lot of suffering ahead and i can’t deny that i’m hooked to that concept (no thanks to urobuchi). it doesn’t look as bad as gen’ei so while this can be easily dropped, i think so far the outlook looks bright (or dark…).

    the PV showing psychotic tama(?) and the music hooked me, and this episode has reeled me in. hopefully this can get covered, but honestly, i’m not expecting much. thanks for the write-up, your guys’ page looks awesome with all these first episode impressions.


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