「記憶/裏と表」 (Kioku/Ura to Hyou)
“Memories / Front and Back”

WIXOSS, the Madoka in a card game returns for a surprise third season, and oh boy do things get going fast. Expect some spoilers from the previous seasons so read cautiously.

Let’s Play a Game

The original WIXOSS was probably one of the most surprising game adaptations produced. Instead of a mechanics-focused series like Yu-Gi-Oh, WIXOSS turned into a psychological mindf*ck, using its card game as a vessel to illuminate the struggle of its cast both to find their desires and see them realized. It was not a perfect series by any stretch of the imagination, but offered up some wonderfully entertaining twists. Thankfully Lostorage looks to be continuing on the same path.

Our new girl Suzuko starts off much like Ruuko before. Transfer student to a new town, unable to make friends, and left alone by a father busy with work (no doting grandmother and brother this time around). Hell, Suzuko is just one of a handful who occupies the vaunted window seat to not be easily noticed. No surprise then she winds up buying the exact game as Ruuko in a desire to make a few friends. What is surprising though is how quickly the hidden mechanics behind that game reveal themselves. Before it took a couple of episodes for the LRIG introductions, and only around episodes 6-7 did the twists start coming. In Lostorage though we are getting everything up front, immediately.

The big shocker of course is the changes to the game. Selectors are not playing for wishes anymore, now the Selector fights for their very existence via memories. Previous Selectors could also avoid battles if desired, but now battles are mandatory, with a strict limit on the time spent between matches. Moreover beginner Selectors can now be eliminated in their first match, whereas before the Selector had two throwaway chances before officially losing. Then there’s the inclusion of male(!!!) Selectors. This radical shift in setup forges a whole new dynamic for WIXOSS, taking a largely risk versus reward focused plot and transforming it into a pure survival game with one tangible goal: collecting five coins. What was once a system offering girls the chance of love or happiness now becomes an insidious battle for life where literally anyone can be forced to play. I dare say I’m excited.

What I found particularly intriguing though is the potential link (beyond the card game itself) back to the previous seasons. The devastated room Suzuko met her LRIG in bears a striking similarity to Mayu’s white room, while the battle room shown looks a lot like a degraded version of the old battle room. Furthermore each LRIG seemingly starts out as a tabula rasa, with their activation infusing them with their Selector’s memories. These things invite a whole host of questions, specifically what happens when a Selector now loses. They don’t seem to be become new LRIGs like in the original (each LRIG in fact seems to start out the same), and turning male Selectors into female LRIGs is probably a stretch for this series. Where these new LRIGs come from, what happens to defeated Selectors, and the whole purpose of this new game (because guaranteed there is one) are likely the most interesting questions going forward. And we haven’t even considered what twists yet are lurking around the corner.

Next Time: Friend vs. Friend

Although unclear just where Lostorage is going with this story, it’s pretty damn obvious the struggle will be real. Not only must Suzuko find the courage to keep on fighting, but she’s all but guaranteed to run headfirst into her childhood friend Chinatsu. If this episode’s allusions were any indication, we are definitely in for one hell of a ride.

Random Tidbits

The keen eyed may have noticed a particular LRIG in the intro featured in the original.

No batoru being yelled anymore, so disappointed.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Chinatsu owes her current living situation to WIXOSS itself. Actually come to think of it that would be a good way to tie the original in with Lostorage if so desired.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「Lostorage」 by Yuka Iguchi

Preview

30 Comments

  1. Man, when those random girls started smack talking Suzuko over some dumb thing like a keychain my eyes just rolled back. “Japanese girls being typical petty Japanese B’s” The sad thing is that type of behavior isn’t all that far from real life.
    But this interesting to see how they’ll add in the twist. Because there might be any card-body switching. Because the LRIG’s this time started off as a blank slate and were transformed via-memories of their Selector. So it’s kind of a stretch to think of them being real girls at one point.
    That is a good point to bring up with Chinatsu. Something clearly happened sometime along the road that caused them to move into one of those discounts apartments from their previous home.

    marsh381
    1. I almost found that humorous because it felt bizarre they would go at such a huge length to mock her for this keychain, while the Wixoss craze is going on, and it seems like they’d raise some kind of stink about that being a goofy card game or something. It felt like it was a moment to really make Suzuko feel more distanced, which typically is a bit of a lame way to approach that, but that theory would add a neat bit of continuity and make it a little different.

      Fuwa Fuwa
      1. It did seem like a lame way to make her seem distant from the others. But what I noticed is that whenever media portrays bullying, they usually use themes that are from real life (plus it helps having a friend who guest teaches in Japan for her degree to relay some of this eye-rolling stuff). In America kids usually get bullied over being mentally-handicapped, not heterosexual, your mom’s a hooker or something. The media usually pulls from that kind of stuff. But in Japan god forbid you wear the wrong sweater to school or come in with a dirty backpack and get labeled a social-pariah. In their media (including live-action) they usually pulls those kind of examples.
        Anyways, I’m hoping Suzuko ends up asking help from those girls from before again considering she did weirdly (to them at least) brush them off. Granted she had a reason as all she was told was that if she loses one match she disapears forever. But still, this girl needs some friends!

        marsh381
    2. Yeah the LRIGs are the most interesting bit for me at the moment. They’re clearly not body switched anymore as mentioned, but then there’s the possibility they are failed girls who simply had all their memories wiped. I really have no idea and I want to know 😛

    3. I’ll just say that from my own experiences as kid having moved to three different highscool, the type of bullying Suzuko received is the same I did. Ostracized for petty reasons, everything from simply being a shy new kid to being called gay (which wasn’t actually calling me homosexual but uncool). Apparently the stupid kids I went to school with equated gay with being uncool.

      Suzuko bullying in this first episode not a Japanese type of bullying but an American type as well. One I can verify from my own experience in highschools in new york and PA.

      wissenschaft
  2. I remain intrigued where this series will go, and in many instances, I can be someone who enjoys the journey more than the destination, but I have a bit of a hard time getting into the idea of the end goal is you get your self back and you get to stop playing. I can believe it’s aiming for a darker tone, which I’m fine with, but it really seems that the best you can do is not really win, but mostly get to break even, which kind of reminds me of a few Saw movies I’ve seen, and am not a big fan of many of those. Maybe it’s something to allow a person to honor their memories more, but this manner just strikes me as a questionable approach. Not bad, just strange.

    But I did like the Infected/Spread series, flawed with some stuff as it may have been but still a neat watch, so I can bet Lostorage will be going interesting places as well, see how it goes about its twists.

    Fuwa Fuwa
    1. I don’t think the show is going for a break even ending, it doesn’t really fit with the series overall. Very likely there’s something else going on here we don’t know of yet. Personally I’m betting on Chinatsu having a role in whatever that is.

    1. For the most part yes, unless they decide to actually tie in the first 2 seasons to this series instead of it being a stand-alone….kind of hard to say because they threw in like 2 call backs to the other 2 series in this episode….its up to you. Honestly though, just watch the first 2 seasons. If you can’t stand them then you know this isn’t for you.

      marsh381
    2. As Marsh stated it’s not entirely clear yet. The show certainly looks like a standalone, but there is potential to link heavily back to the first two seasons later on. I’d also recommend giving the first two seasons a shot if you have the time, as they will also help give a basis for some of the things happening here.

    3. Thanks for your replies.

      I watched 3-4 eps of the first season back then but then dropped it. It was kinda interesting but too weird for my taste, so I guess I better not start with this one.

      Pega
  3. Definitely interested in seeing where this will go given the new Selector rules.

    I also wonder if human Piruluk will be the only former LRIG we see or if we get references to other characters, and maybe perhaps Ruko’s actions in the previous two series being what lead to the Selector rule changes and such.

    HalfDemonInuyasha
  4. Aw No Please, Not another Mind Bungling Game of erasing people memories, I seen these many time and it’s worst!, I thought this will became a friendly tournament BATTLE card game…But again it’s not! UGH

    Seriously…What with the LRIG thinking? is it that they don’t really like light sided ideas…Uh, I’am just saying anyways!

    Namaewoinai
  5. In the original series at least the girls fight for their wish but wtf is this bullshit new game? You gain literally nothing by winning and losing means death ? Holy shit the new game master is even more psycho than Mayu.

    Henrietta
  6. Aren’t these Wixoss anime shows just one big advent for the Wixoss card games?(Which admittedly look kinda cool but don’t interest me enough to buy). I’ve noticed there’s quite a few decks and stuff available to buy and more incoming. Someone must be buying them.

    Lyfe
    1. Having watched the originally series, I can safely say that no, the shows are actually not just an advertisement for the card game. Very little of the actual card games mechanics are discuss.

      wissenschaft
      1. Ah ok sure. I just noticed there was a lot out there. They even have decks from the Wixoss movie to buy. The Black Desire one has support cards for the Ulith LRIG for example.

        Lyfe
  7. I’ll just say that from my own experiences as kid having moved to three different high school, the type of bullying Suzuko received is the same I did. Ostracized for petty reasons, everything from simply being a shy new kid to being called gay (which wasn’t actually calling me homosexual but uncool). Apparently the stupid kids I went to school with equated gay with being uncool. This use of gay as uncool happened in all three highschools I went too.

    Suzuko’s bullying in this first episode not just a Japanese type of bullying but an American type as well. One I can verify from my own experience in highschools in new york and PA.

    wissenschaft
      1. Thanks, it just somewhat odd to read people believing that this type of bullying is somehow a Japanese phenomena. I assure, I know first hand exactly Suzuko. I only wish I was able to handle it as positively as Suzuko seems to. Fortunately, turns out most people in the real working world are not idiotic jerks. So outside of the long years of torment in grade school, my life has been peachy.

        Needless to say, I felt an immediate sympathy for Suzuko since I know exactly what shes going through. Honestly, this was a much more honest reaction of high school kids to a new kid the typical anime bull of some new kid instantly making friends.

        wissenschaft
  8. I finally got round to watching LostRage and really, being a Selector is suffering.

    https://randomc.net/image/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
    https://randomc.net/image/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS/Lostorage%20Incited%20WIXOSS%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2018.jpg

    I love how they made a throw back to the original Selector series. The ravaged White Room and battle space reflects that the mechanics that govenred Infected and Spread and its girls’ story has ended.

    Speaking of the forced battle, I think ot goes back to the title “Incited”. A quick check in the doctoonary and the word means “to encourage and stir up”. Hemce going by that thinking, holding the memories hostage and the threat of being erased “encourages” the Selectors to battle. That’s why battles are mandatory in LostRage

    Velvet Scarlantina
  9. Good first ep, but I’m going to miss the wish/body-swap system. This new system (unless there’s more to it) is simpler–just stay alive. That doesn’t leave as much room for psychologizing the f*** out of the plot like the other system. Or maybe I’m just being preemptively negative.

    Also, if LRIGs are now part of their selectors, what’s the male selector’s LRIG supposed to represent? His inner trans self?

    blargnobia

Leave a Reply to blargnobia Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *