selector infected WIXOSS
Episode 1: This Miracle Trembles
Everybody needs to relax every once in a while. To take time away from the world and just unwind. How you choose to do so is of course a matter of choice, but chances are whatever you pick, somebody else will have chosen similarly. Enter a world much like our own, where a humble card game has taken students by storm. Female students specifically. The girls spend their money buying new cards and upgrading their decks in order to best their friends and enjoy a little healthy competition. Or at least, that’s true in most cases. However, within the seemingly innocuous game lies a secret only a few bear witness to. A secret that changes the rules entirely.
First things first, meet Ruko. Just an average girl making her way through the trials and tribulations of high school. Unfortunately, her personality is such that she leans towards introversion, resulting in a distinct lack of friends. Though this doesn’t seem to bother her to any major degree, the brief glimpse we see of her on the train expresses the kind of melancholy that comes with loneliness. If you couldn’t gather that she was a sweetheart from her relationship with her family, it is only after hearing how her Grandma worries about her isolation that she truly begins to seek out friends. An “awww” moment if there ever was one. It is also in this vein that her brother decides to introduce her to the world of WIXOSS, the titular card game, unknowingly setting off a chain of events that will change Ruko’s life forever.
To cut a short story shorter, upon opening her starter deck, Ruko notices that her LRIG card (the centre of her deck) is alive…and cute as a button. Naturally, once her shock dies down, she begins to learn about the game and sets off to find similar minded people at school. Which she does. Kinda. Something I really enjoyed about this episode was how quickly it jumped into the world of WIXOSS. Despite talking to her card at school, we didn’t have to sit through watching her be judged and embarrassed, as is the case in a number of these anime that deal with a secret reality. Instead, another character immediately realised the truth behind Ruko and invited her to fight. I mean, we all know how these kinds of situations usually play out, it was nice to skip it for a change.
Though the animation was excellent throughout the entire episode, the card battle was where it really got a chance to shine. Albeit rather briefly. More of an exposition than an actual battle, we got to see the LRIGs outside of their 2D form (in a manner of speaking) firing energy blasts and punches, that somehow have something to do with actually playing WIXOSS…I guess. Though I said that this introduction was expository, I still don’t actually have a handle on the intricacies of the game…because they didn’t really tell us them. The whole “summon SIGNIs to attack” seems simple enough, though the “Grow” function is still rather mysterious. Oh well, I’m just gonna chalk it up to early days. That being said, it would be rather interesting if the anime chooses to focus more on the impact of the game than the game itself. I guess we’ll just have to see which path it decides to take.
Speaking of impact, the titular game is said to bestow one of unequivocal power unto a truly powerful selector (those who possess living LRIGs). Should they continue to win, they will be granted a single wish. Any wish at all. Regardless of how possible it is, it will come true. Or so they say. It is for this reason that the newly introduced Yuzuki is so desperate to win. Her desire is kinda…weird. Ok, really weird. She loves her brother, but not as her brother. You catch my drift? Naturally this is unrequited and carries a 0% chance of ever amounting to anything…because they’re related. But with a little WIXOSS magic who knows what could happen…who would want to know what could happen? That being said, Yuzuki possesses a bizarre kind of innocence, even in this odd situation. It’s certainly strange, but i kinda seems like she never matured when it came to understanding relationships. She just knows she cares deeply for her brother. Maybe it has something to do with her being the younger sister that makes it appear this way. I’m not really sure. It’s undeniably weird, but it’s not twisted. Poor Yuzuki…I think.
Certainly one of the most interesting events of the episode is the one that didn’t actually happen. Let me explain. After learning of the living LRIG that she now owns, Ruko had a nightmare. One hell of a frightening one at that. Her vision of an odd wax monster ominously looming over her expresses that WIXOSS may take a rather dark turn in the future. Perhaps granting the power of an unrestricted wish to high school girls isn’t the best idea. Who’da thunk it? The fact that the nightamarish creature bears similarities to Ruko’s own LRIG, and the previously showcased bloodlust that she expresses in battle, may be some blatant foreshadowing that Tama’s cutesy appearance conceals something far darker. Or, looking at it a little more objectively, could it be that Tama is simply responding to a wish that Ruko herself has not made yet. Maybe Ruko’s own fear of this new world simply twisted the visuals presented to her. After all, the dream did seem rather prophetic and the creature did appear to be saving a town from being Tetrised out of existence. Whatever the case, I can’t wait to find out.
So there we have it. Our first look into the odd world of a card game brought to life. An interesting one if I do say so myself. Which I do. With plenty of desire driving at least one of the selector’s introduced thus far, Ruko may be hard pressed to keep up. Though does she even want to? Sure losing Tama would be sad, but from what we’ve seen so far, it mightn’t be the worst thing to happen. Lacking the eloquence of other LRIGs, we don’t actually know what is running through her head. Other than she loves fighting. Though in the opening moments of the series, a much more evolved Tama did appear to be exclaiming her undying loyalty to someone. Is this a sign of evil, or simply unrestrained innocence? I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out.
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