Yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you! Today’s lovely collaboration is with the one and only Jon Spencer Reviews & Lethargic Ramblings. I am so happy to have you guys aboard this time around! My first collaboration was with the ever exuberant Moya-chan. We did a fun post about the manga/anime Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain). If you want to check out that collab then click here (but be warned there are some spoilers in this post): https://kawaiipaperpandas.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/topic-tuesday-koi-wa-ameagari-no-you-ni-after-the-rain-manga-discussion-with-moyatori-chan/.
If you couldn’t tell from the title…the boys and I decided to have some fun with the WIXOSS series. All three of us are pretty big fans of this series and we wanted to give our overall first impressions of Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS. The first episode of the new series aired yesterday…and boy oh boy! Do we have some things to talk about. If you are new to this series let me give you the anime synopsis for you to peep at:
“Things are not always what they seem. This is especially true for Ruuko Kominato, when she receives a deck of cards for the popular card game WIXOSS, only to find a girl trapped inside her LRIG, or avatar card. Upon meeting others in the same situation, Ruuko discovers that she has now become a “Selector,” a player in a special version of WIXOSS where girls can battle each other for a chance to have their deepest desires come true. However, there is a catch. In contrast to the glory that awaits them after their victories, there is a cruel fate: if they lose three times, their lives will be destroyed.
In an ominous game filled with lies and deceit, Ruuko and her newfound friends must uncover the secrets behind WIXOSS and realize what is truly most important to them before it is too late.”
The original Selector Infected WIXOSS came out in spring of 2014. I can’t believe its been four years since it premiered! So in lieu of the new series airing I decided to ask Jon & Leth some random questions about the series as a whole. I guess you could call it an interview of sorts? Yeah. Let’s just go with that! *SPOILER WARNING* If you have not seen this series you may want to skip out on this part. You have been warned!
Question 1: Who is your favorite Selector and who is your favorite LRIG character?
Leth: Favourite human character–Depends really. If it’s the original series characters, I would have to go with Akira. I love Akira because she’s a super manipulative bitch and a fantastic foil for all of the heroes….but I’m also a huge fan of Ruko. I find her mindset fascinating compared to the other characters. Most characters have some kind of goal or wish in mind, but Ruko just enjoys battling. It’s super interesting.
In Lostorage, I was a huge fan of Chinatsu and really liked how the series made her slowly descend into madness as she kept playing matches. I thought her motivations were interesting.
LRIG: I really like Tama, because she has an awesome design and has the best personality…like…EVER. She’s cute, hyperactive and full of energy; which make her so likable in my opinion. And her relationship with Ruko! It’s just fantastic.
Jon: Much like Leth, I also like Akira from the first season for pretty much the same reasons. Jamie Marchi (I watched dubbed) is ideal for this kind of role and I actually found some other good stuff to seek out as a result of WIXOSS. Anyway…the rest of the cast in Season 1 & 2 are interesting but she would easily take the cake for me there. Hmmm…well I also like Chiyori (AKA “Skull Girl” as I call her), because she was so goofy and carefree in this high stakes game. Her backstory was surprisingly decent too for such a minor character. For Lostorage, I once again have to echo Leth. I don’t have anything extra to add here!
LRIGS is where we differ. I enjoyed Tama less and less as the story progressed. I actually preferred Hanayo for the OG series. I thought her character really demonstrated the fine line that LRIGS and players had to ride in regards to their relationships. On the other hand, the LRIGS want to be free from their curse of being in the card, but they don’t all feel super awesome about deceiving their human partners.
Moving into Lostorage my favorite LRIG is Aya. I thought she was just really funny and a good riff on people who are into the imouto thing. There isn’t much rhyme or reason beyond that.
Ayano (das me): My favorite Selector would have to be Iona. I liked the fact that she knew what she wanted but that was mainly due to her being Kuro in the end. It was like she was in this vicious cycle of being reborn over and over again. I wonder if she ever grew tired of it? Kuro represented the evil side of Mayu but she was never truly “evil” so to speak. She was a stoic, quiet person but that was merely a façade. Iona had a thirst for battling and it is what drove her in the first season. The real Iona however didn’t want to be herself and that is why her wish was to “stop being Iona Urazoe.” Enter the LRIG assuming Iona’s identity. She is the person we get to see most of the series. I wonder if the LRIG that took over was somewhat like the old Iona since she did assume her identity? I guess we will never know.
From the Lostorage season I liked Hanna. She is one smart cookie. She is trying so hard to regain her memories of her younger brother and it makes me feel for her! I love her calculated responses and how blunt she is. Also Hanna is my spirit animal because she loves eating sweets. Who doesn’t love sweets?
Is it wrong to say my favorite LRIG’s are Ulith (from season 1) and Carnival (from season 2)? I love Ulith’s sadistic nature and how Carnival just eggs the other contestants on while playing the game. Carnival also has a very nice character design. I think some of the other LRIG’s appearances are kind of boring. Give me some good costumes dammit!
Question 2: What color would your deck be; white, red, blue, green black or colorless?
Leth: Naturally I would go for white because of my fondness for Tama. Mechanics wise I also really like white because of its defensive properties and its focus on blocking the opponents attacks while delaying them from taking offensive actions. It’s my style of play for sure!
Jon: If I had to choose a color type I think I would choose blue. From what I understand (from my limited research into the real game) and from the show, that seems to be the more control oriented deck type with some luck mechanics. I’m all about that in IRL games so I think that would be my preferred style. While the RNG aspects would be TERRIBLE in a scenario like this, there are ways to mitigate it in this game that seem to counteract a lot of the potential downsides.
Ayano: This shouldn’t come as a surprise but of course my deck would be black. It has trash and charm manipulation for crying out loud! Plus black is my favorite color anyways (even though technically it’s a shade…I know I know).
Question 3: What type of partner would you want if you were a player?
Leth: Most likely a partner like Tama; who is easygoing and full of energy, mostly because it would motivate a lazy guy like me to get his head out of the clouds and DO something. If my partner isn’t motivated, I’m unlikely to motivate them or myself because…simply put…I’m UNMOTIVATED!
Jon: The kind of partner I’d want if I were to find myself in this scenario is one that would be encouraging and thoughtful. I’d want my LRIG to help me strategize and not rush the game too much as to avoid mistakes. There aren’t really any that fit the bill that I could think of from either series, but I’m sure there is one. I haven’t watched either season recently enough to pinpoint any specific one off the top of my head anyway.
Ayano: If I was a player I would want my partner to be strong-willed and cunning…maybe even a little mysterious. I do love me some good yandere girls, but I don’t know if I would want my partner completely off their rocker? Maybe a little more level headed if anything.
Question 4: What would your wish be?
Leth: I’m not sure what my wish would be actually…Probably to be successful in some capacity or to achieve some kind of lifelong dream. But weirdly enough, I’m actually not so sure about specifics. I already have just about everything I could ever want from my life.
Jon: If I had to choose a wish…well I don’t know. The wishes are kind of specific in this world to boot so that makes it harder. I’m the kind of person who would really struggle with coming up with the ideal wish. Likely I’d get swept up in playing the game and kind of loose sight of that. I LOVE card games and tend to be pretty good at them. Sorry that isn’t the most amazing answer probably >.<
Ayano: For my wish I think I would want to incorporate something with friendship. My friends are like my family and I would want them to form a stronger bond with me. Maybe eternally happiness with the people who are in my life currently? Not 100% sure. It’s hard coming up with one on the spot!
Question 5: Do you like the idea of the wishes from season 1 or the coins from season 2 better?
Leth: I found the first seasons idea of the characters battling one another to achieve their wishes interesting, especially the part where if they lose they’ll never be able to achieve their wish no matter how hard they try. It created a fascinating conflict where the characters desires would be pitted against each other, and they’d bring themselves to a breaking point to achieve them. In turn the winner would be rewarded with their wish, at the expense of the losers potentially losing any chance of getting their deepest desire forever.
I also really liked the coin concept of Lostorage and how it turned the game from one of choosing to participate to gain your desires to one where you’re forced to play to protect your most precious memories and as a result…your identity. It really changed the nature of the game from a calm focused strategy, to frantic survival mode.
Jon: Season one’s wish mechanic is the one I definitely like less. As Leth mentioned, the concept of not being able to achieve your dream if you fail no matter what is what made the concept so interesting. I really wish that could have been explored a bit more in the original series, but I can’t complain too much about where all that went, even if the end game is a bit nuts.
Lostorage and the memory bit with the coins was by far a more interesting concept once the reason why the wishes were in place no longer could be the driving force for the game. Most people would absolutely want to protect their memories for the reasons mentioned above with Leth. It also allowed for some interesting dynamics and storytelling to play out from a narrative perspective that just really worked for me.
Ayano: Personally, I like both concepts from season 1 and season 2. I think both are perfect for each series. I always knew something was up with the wishes from the very beginning. It always felt like there was this dark underlying presence when everyone started playing the game. There is always some price to pay when you play a game. It is essentially the same with season 2. With the coins, you are giving up your precious memories in order to win your desire. So, in reality you can’t play to lose, you have to win. I think I would rather keep my memories than have one wish granted. But we also got boys this time around! It was cool to see that everyone could participate the second season. As Leth stated everyone seems more frantic this time around. I think it’s going to be a free for all in the end and it could be anybody’s game. I am excited to see where Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS will take us. It looks like we are going down the rabbit hole once more guys!
-Overall Impressions of Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS Episode 1-
When the first series in the WIXOSS franchise (Selector Infected WIXOSS) started airing (in 2014) I went into it with more or less zero expectations. By the end, along with its second season that aired two seasons later, it wound up becoming the biggest surprise of the year for me. With a perfect score on my MyAnimeList page and a spot in my all-time favorite anime series. I’ve always considered the series to be a deconstruction of the card game genre, due to its tendency to focus more on the characters taking part in the card battles, and their conflicting ideals, as opposed to the card game itself. In an approach that, while not for everyone, it is one that I’ve always appreciated. I feel that went over a lot of people’s heads because they were expecting Yu-Gi-Oh: Cute Girls Edition.
The same was also true for the sequel series, Lostorage Incited WIXOSS, which I jumped into headfirst with a great deal of uncertainty/unease, given how much I loved the original series. It appeared, more or less, to have tied up all the loose ends and concluded the main story. Yet, in a shocking turn of events, it proved to be yet another phenomenal series. It was a worthy successor to the Selector series, with equally entertaining main characters and a whole new set of stakes. It added fresh concepts to a series that was already full of originality and interesting ideas to begin with.
So naturally, this has been the most anticipated show of the season for me, and I’m happy to say that I’m not disappointed at all. Not in the slightest!
I guess I’ll start with the negatives: A good chunk of this first episode is mostly a recap of the events of the previous season. Given how many things happened last season and given how long ago the first season of Lostorage aired, I appreciate this little trip down memory lane. Despite this, there is plenty of foreshadowing thrown at us in this episode as well. It hints at some very interesting developments that are possibly going to occur this season. Piruluk, now known as Kiyoi, was given the role of a brief but important cameo in the first season, who now seems to have been promoted to the status of main character…which is a welcome change in my book.
Of course the main draw of this episode is the return of the protagonist from the original series: Ruko! This is something that I’d always hoped would happen back in the previous season. I’m incredibly excited to see what kind role Ruko and the rest of the original Selector gang (if the casting list is to be believed) will play in this new story! How will they interact with Suzuko and the rest of the Lostorage cast? Will they be taking part in the new Selector battles that are no doubt going to unfold? Will we see best girl Aki-Lucky in all her bitchy glory again? Only time will tell…but I am hoping for all of this and more!
The production values also seem to have taken a step up from last season as well. With everything looking a lot cleaner than it did previously and more up to par with the original Selector series. Which…by the way…was phenomenal in its presentation. WIXOSS has always been a very well directed franchise, with some incredibly unique set pieces and a distinct visual style. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the usual as this new series progresses.
Naturally, the music is as great as ever! With a great soundtrack and a kickass opening theme…just like the previous seasons. Some excellent excellent stuff.
The latest entry in the WIXOSS franchise likely isn’t going to appeal to those who haven’t seen the previous seasons. Mainly due to it being a direct sequel. Much of the context is left out completely, which is guaranteed to alienate newcomers. But if you’re a fan of the previous seasons, you’ll likely find yourself really enjoying this first episode. I know I did! I can’t wait to see how things develop as the season progresses on. This has the potential to be the best anime of the season for me and I have very high expectations for what’s to come.
If you haven’t seen the previous entries in the WIXOSS franchise, I strongly recommend you get caught up. It’s truly amazing!
Wow! Leth really had a lot to say. I am pretty similar when it comes to him, we have very similar tastes and stories when it comes to the WIXOSS franchise. I got into the the show with the promise of a card game battle with a heavier leaning into the realm of Madoka Magica. A lot of people compare these shows but they are actually pretty different. That’s not what I’m actually here to talk about though…so another time for that one!
The first episode of this newest installment in the WIXOSS franchise pulled out all the stops. As Leth mentioned already, the production values have taken a step up while still managing to stay consistent with its older seasons. Story wise, we are offered a mystery with heavy foreshadowing that things are going to get pretty messed up…and fast. If you are already a fan of this series, then I am confident that WIXOSS is going to deliver. You don’t want to miss watching this one live if you can avoid it!
While episode one is largely recapping the entire story thus far, it also manages to get most of the setup out of the way so the ball can really get rolling in upcoming episodes. I really appreciated this because so much stuff happens across all of WIXOSS that it can be a bit hard to remember everything. Not to mention the time period between each new installment in the series (a lot of time gap). The bits it recaps are just the critical story beats and it was done in a way that made sense given the context of the narrative itself. Characters definitely exposition the information, but they did so in a fluid and dynamic way. My point is, is that the recap was definitely necessary and it is something that you shouldn’t skip over, even if the series is still pretty fresh for you.
The setup for what’s to come was interwoven throughout parts of the recap bits which added to the flow of the narrative. Even knowing from the synopsis and looking at the MAL page, the end of the episode is where the bombshell hits. We are finally pulling everything together for one (hopefully EPIC) conclusion! All the characters from both the original Selector and Lostorage series are going to be playing a role in this newest season. That has me super excited for sure!
Unfortunately, if you didn’t watch either the original WIXOSS, or at least Lostorage, then this probably won’t be your cup of tea. I definitely wouldn’t advise starting here since there are going to be TONS of characters (with full backstories) that you just won’t have any context for. That being said, the recap so far and the bit of setup that episode 2 will have, may be enough if you really wanted to watch this. It may just give you the most general idea of what’s going on. However, the series is just starting and Crunchyroll has at least Lostorage for sure on it. So I say catch up if you want to get into this! Basically, if you haven’t watched WIXOSS yet, now is a good time to start from the beginning so you are ready for this season. It’s one wild ride!
All I have to say is…Man! IT FEELS GOOD TO BE BACK BABY!!! Watching the first episode of Lostorage Conflated brought back all the emotions on why I loved the first series so much. As the boys stated above, the first episode is mainly a recap of prior events. It is needed in order to move forward with the new story line. It isn’t uncommon to see partial recap episodes in anime. I guess it’s better than having a filler recap episode thrown into the middle of the series. I’ll gladly take it at the beginning if given the choice!
I’m pretty stoked to see Carnival has taken over Satomi’s body. I want to see what this bitch can do now that she is a human! YAAASSS…It has drama written all over it and I LIVE for drama. I also think it’s pretty cool they are giving Piruluk (AKA Kiyoi) the reigns this time around while still bringing back the old cast from season 1. It is going to make for some serious twists and turns throughout the episodes. I really don’t have much else to say since the boys pretty much covered it all. I feel like their answers encompass how this season will progress. MY BODY IS READY! It’s time to duel….oh wait! Wrong anime XD Let’s do this y’all!
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.