OP: 「world’s end, girl’s rondo」 by 分島花音 (Wakeshima Kanon)
「この開幕は無音」 (Kono Kaimaku wa Muon)
“This Silent Beginning”
Hi, I’m Xumbra. I normally record and edit the podcasts and encode the PVs for the previews, and I was asked to preview this show. However, since I’m only a support tech, I will not be covering future episodes.
Selector Spread WIXOSS (pronounced “wi-cross”) is the continuation of a story about a group of girls who are chosen to play the WIXOSS card game as Selectors, who possess living cards called LRIGs. If a Selector manages to win her WIXOSS games, and if certain conditions are met, then the Selector will have her wish granted. However, as discovered in the previous season, if the Selector loses three matches to other Selectors, then she will no longer be a Selector and her wish will become corrupted. Furthermore, in an ironic twist, if the Selector wins, then the LRIG will replace the Selector’s body and fulfill the wish while the original Selector is born as a new LRIG.
This episode is mostly a recap. We’re reintroduced to the main cast—Kominato Ruuko (Kakuma Ai), Uemura Hitoe (Kayano Ai), and her ex-human LRIG Kurebayashi Yuzuki (Sakura Ayane)—who have all come to terms with the true nature of the WIXOSS game and resolve not to play anymore in an effort to sustain their friendship. As Ruuko and Hitoe are hanging out and trying not to think of WIXOSS games, they are approached by another Selector by the name of Chiyori (Morino Mako), a delusional girl who is absolutely crazy about WIXOSS. Even after being told about its serious consequences, she challenges them to a duel, but Ruuko and Hitoe refuse to play. However, when Ruuko’s new LRIG Urasoe Iona (Seto Asami) urges her to battle, she remembers the troubling sequence of events that stole her original LRIG Tama (Kuno Misaki) away from her.
I’m going to admit the main thing that made me happy this episode was the greatly needed introduction to Chiyori, our WIXOSS-crazed chuunibyou character. She is the exact opposite of the sensible Ruuko and Hitoe, yet so lovable because she’s unabashedly honest in her feelings and eternally thirsty for adventure. Watching her conversation with her LRIG Eldora (Arai Satomi) is like watching Yuuta talking with Rikka from Chunnibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, except it’s an even younger kid who’s just really excited about card games. She even tries to dress the part of a heroine, but only manages to look silly. And adorable.
And I’m glad to see that Hitoe recognizes that she’s had friends all along. Just last season she was hesitating before talking to people, and now here she is taking selfies and teaching Ruuko the joys of modern technology. The change in her behavior is remarkable, and I’m pleased to see that she realizes that participating in the Selector WIXOSS games won’t make her wishes come true. Now that she’s evolved from a character who needs support to one that actively helps others, I expect this series to continue showing Hitoe in this same light.
Overall, this show seems to be very balanced. I like its opening song, especially the part where Wakeshima’s voice gets distorted as Ruuko is being corrupted by the card in the opening sequence. I also like the calm acoustic music that sets the tone in the beginning as the main heroines are browsing wares, exchanging banter with each other, and enjoying themselves. The animation doesn’t seem to be lacking and does its job fine. The storytelling seems to be well-paced and keeps me interested, even when all the characters are despairing over their circumstances. We’re seeing hints of more irony in the future when Iona points out an important contradiction: Ruuko doesn’t want to participate in WIXOSS games, yet has an innate urge to continue battling. Yuzuki is especially perceptive of this, and I think that in the future her efforts to stop Ruuko from playing will be in vain. It’s this irony, and that of the entire Selector system, that makes me laugh even when everyone else is not.
Selector Spread WIXOSS continues the same trend of irony and despair from its previous season, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this series plays out. Will Ruuko and Iona get to battle Tama? Like Hitoe, will Akira return as a Selector? Who’s the new character and what role does she play? And who is Mayu and what’s her plan? I’ll be watching to find out.
: Apparently pronounced “loo-rig”, but yes, that’s just “girl” backwards.
ED: 「Undo -明日への記憶-」 (Undo -Ashita e no Kioku-) by Cyua
FINALLY A GREAT POST! THANK YOU!
Going to be interesting where things go from here taking into account the bombshell at the end of last season, not much to go off of so far with all the flashbacks this episode :P.
Interesting bit though is the amount of focus the WIXOSS lore has on exactly what Ruuko, Hitoe, and Yuzuki
sufferedexperienced previously (as Chiyori rambled on with), it’s as though someone (hint hint) is deliberately trying to set girls up to actually want to be LRIGs; quite likely relates back to why LRIGs and the wish system exists in the first place. LRIGs are unlikely to exist in a void after all, they must have some other reason for being than to simply transfer places with an unfortunatewish-fulfilled girl when the wish’s requirements are met.
Your theory makes sense, and my best guess is that it has something to do with the Tetris imagery, and possibly the dream Ruuko had in the first episode of season one. I like your idea, and I’ll look out for developments that’ll confirm it.
Actually, now that I rewatched the first episode of last season, I’ve noticed that its beginning is very similar to this episode’s. Interesting!
On a related note, the way you’ve described the LRIG system is reminiscent of the role of Incubators in Madoka Magicka. In fact, there was an entire paragraph I wrote about the similarities that this show shares with Madoka, but in the end I tossed it out. I just wanted to mention that here, because I surely can’t be the only person who connected the two shows together.
Don’t worry too much about not mentioning it in your post Xumbra, you’re right in that there has been numerous comparisons already made between the shows, largely due to nature of the truth behind the wishes and the cycle between Selectors and LRIGs; it was inevitable really that Madoka would become the preeminent reference just for the “scale” of the twist here.
Your mention of the Incubators is interesting too come to think of it as Madoka’s magical girls had two linked “parts” of suffering: signing up for a wish which would eventually corrupt their souls, and the discovery of the Incubators handing out contracts just to collect the corrupted souls (i.e. energy). So far in WIXOSS we have one part in that Selectors who succeed are turned into LRIGs, with their LRIGs free to live through their bodies and enjoy their wish. The part missing is the “why” as laid out above, i.e. WIXOSS’ version of the Incubators.
Not much to go off of, but logically it lends credence to the idea we haven’t seen the last twist in WIXOSS just yet.
Haha! Time for suffering!!
You’ve done an excellent job, Xumbra, thanks for taking up the request to write this post! As much of a distraction the flashbacks were, this first episode was still packed with many things. Comfy scenes of Ruuko and Hitoe bonding were thought to be forever lost in the first season after Hitoe lost the rights to being a selector, so I’m glad we got to see it here. Chiyori was also a character that very much needed to be touched on, especially since the first opening practically implied she’d play a larger role in the first episode.
While this episode was quite slow, it was done right. Ruuko manages to be adorably cute and joyful like she usually is for a good portion of the episode. Almost like waves rising higher and higher up the shore, we’re always reminded of the typhoon that’s bound to hit. Ruuko wants to see Tama again (and vice versa), Mayu isn’t going to let selectors be swayed by Yuzuki’s words for long, Akira is going to come back in an explosive fashion, the dream sequence and Tetris imagery hasn’t been explicitly touched on yet, and Iona just might flip the whole shit around for kicks in the end again. This is why this is my most anticipated series for this season, I really want to see what will happen next!
Also, it looks like there’s going to be a whole slew of new characters which is pretty exciting considering the fact this is our second time seeing Chiyori who we thought would be a major character in the first season. I’m also thinking that Hitoe’s friends are selectors? So many things upcoming, I hope this post gets more people to watch it!
I totally agree that while this episode may have been slow, the story was told at this pace to first establish the characters and the setting before gradually building the excitement with new developments and finally delivering the long-awaited finale. Your typhoon metaphor was spot on, and I’m glad you mentioned that because I never thought of it like that!
By the way, you have Zephyr to thank for requesting me to write this post! As far as I can tell, he’s got a master plan where he’ll ask me to do writerly things for him, and he’ll step up each request until I practically function as one. I mean, I’ve already written a preview, and now that this intro is done who knows what he’ll ask me to do next! It’s like I’m a Pokemon and I’m leveling up and learning new moves, except I’m not fighting in the quarterly writer knife fights. Yet.
Wait. nonononono zephyr no no no I WANT OUT
You might as well keep going now that you got your hands wet, Xumbra. It looks great.
At first I thought it was going to be a cheap advertisement for the trading card game of the same name (and perhaps it still is), though I neglected to notice that Okada Mari is handling the script. And she somehow managed to turn it into some decent Madoka-level angst story.
You did watch
Selector Infected WIXOSS did you?
The Wixoss project is led by anime companies, so it’s actually a show first and foremost. The producers (Kouhei Kawase of Warner Bros. and Yuji Matsukura of J.C. Staff), director, and writer insisted on being able to create the story they wanted to tell.
Partnering up with a card game company was simply a way to reduce financial risk, whereas in a typical promotional arrangement, the card game company finances the project and commissions an anime to advertise their product.
You know what I’ve just realized from that snip I’ve pulled? The whole WIXOSS script is a twisted case of contradictions started by Okada-Sensei. Why? A show where the focus is completely different from what its name indicates, girls that wants nothing to do with the twisted games that somehow have a hidden desire to be in the middle of the storm that is Selector, and then all the ironies…gah.
I can’t wait to see what insanity is in store for this cour.
Yuzuki’s not impressed on what I’ve used for the sole anchor link… 😛
Also, it’s supposed to be a card game advertisement, but this is nearly the opposite (few of the game is shown, and all the backstory about it isn’t really engaging.)
Tries to lull us into a false sense of security, as if the whole first episode will be light-hearted activities before diving back into the darkness starting with the second episode.
Nope, instead it’s giving us a few minutes of happiness and expects us to be happy for it and goes right back down into the darkness.
Hopefully next episode, we’ll get an explanation as to how Aki still has her memories of WIXOSS despite losing three times.
It’s Xumbra!! Thanks for covering this though there won’t be future posts.
I also think happy Hitoe is much more likeable than Hitoe-in-despair, and I hope she stays happy this way (somehow I think that’s not likely). Not sure what to think if Akira really comes back, but I’m excited to see more from Chiyori. Though whatever I get, I’m sure it’ll be interesting and full of despair (and a dash of hope?).
Playing card games is suffering…
But Yu-Gi-Oh! taught me that long ago.
Lately some friend wanted to show how to play Magic the gathering Cards.. So many Rules, my head hurt after a while
Your wallet is the one that suffers when you get too invested into card games. The amazing cards you have now will only pale in comparison to the next booster sets where you have to constantly upgrade your cards. Yu-Gi-Oh and Vanguard taught me that :X
Well, I think this is adorable:
I’m sticking with this one, along with Chaika. I always seem to be drawn to series that don’t get a lot of attention, like playing PS3 games that not many people play.
I’m beginning to get curious with the actual card game, but with no chance of it actually getting imported to the west, I’ll settle with learning to play it.
Eeeh Xumbra actually writing a post. Thanks for the stuff you’re always doing behind the scenes.
The Madoka of Card Games. Love this.
And so, BATORU: The Animation continues. With special guest appearances by Aki-Lucky, Aki-Lucky, and hopefully more Aki-Lucky.
Nice post, Xumbra. I like the OP, too. Also, I knew I hear Cyua’s distinctive voice when the ED started. I’m surprised to see her finally singing for a series that doesn’t involve Sawano Hiroyuki.
Scratch that about Cyua. I forgot about the old ED… oops.
PLEAAAAASE SOMEONE WRITE A POST ABOUT THE FIRST 6 EPS OR HELL MAYBE JUST LIKE A, “HOW IT’S GOING SO FAR WITH THE SUFFERING” POST. I like this show, but i also hate it. Maybe it’s just Ruko’s obnoxious behavior. Is it bad that i’m hoping Ulith will kill someone? There is CRAZY in this story that i really want to talk about with others!!! RC PLEASE.