Look alive, sunshine. Everyone’s favorite disturbed card battle anime is back for another season, so grab your deck and prepare a wish! What? That’s not what the winner gets anymore? Well then, cherish your memories, and let’s get to it already~
After a several year absence, second-year high school student Suzuko Homura has returned to the town that she grew up in. This was the place where she first met Chinatsu, her best friend, though, they eventually lost contact with one another. Despite wanting to track down Chinatsu, Suzu is also eager to make new friends, so she buys a WIXOSS set in hopes that having a shared interest with others will allow her to befriend new people. Little did she know that by doing this, she’s now become a Selector and will be forced into the twisted game of Selector battles.
Okay, so I haven’t actually seen the Selector Destructed WIXOSS movie yet. I plan to—and it might actually be the next review—but it still hasn’t happened, so I hope that going out of order here isn’t making me miss any important plot points. However, references to the past two seasons are pretty sparse (other than that one character), so I don’t really think that should be much of a problem. Now, moving on to the actual story.
Compared to the two previous seasons, Infected and Spread, the story in Lostorage doesn’t seem to have quite as much depth and complexity, and seeing that Mari Okada isn’t involved in this new season, you could say it’s understandable. Granted, some of her more recent efforts (Mayoiga, anyone?) weren’t all that great, but the first two seasons of WIXOSS seemed darker, more sinister, and they fashioned a world that seems more compelling than the one we have in Lostorage.
Even though the basic outline of the rules involving the Selector battles were stated, there was still far too much that was left unclear, so certain moments over the course of the season felt like blatant asspulls (I’m looking at you, scene from the final battle). Having your memories at stake is kind of interesting, yet the potential reward doesn’t seem so great to me. And unless you’re an actual WIXOSS player, you, once again, shouldn’t expect to understand what exactly is going on during the battles themselves. Explaining all the nuances of a complex card game smack dab in the middle of an anime doesn’t sound like my idea of entertainment, so I guess it’s better left this way.
Another problem was the pacing, which maintained a leisurely pace for too long, resulting in a rushed ending that left me a little unsatisfied. Good thing there’s another season coming (Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS). For me, part of the appeal of the WIXOSS series is knowing that there’s gonna be some messed up stuff happening (I know, I should seek help :D), but this season wasn’t nearly as depressing as I was hoping for. There was some despair, some sad stories, but nothing that really shocked or surprised me.
All in all, I was expecting a bit more from the story in Lostorage. More despair, more greed, more twisted shenanigans that keep you guessing. And it also would be nice if the Infected/Spread/Destructed universe felt more attached to this one. So this feels a bit like WIXOSS lite, and I’m hoping the next season will be an improvement.
As the title suggests, this isn’t exactly a continuation of the events of Selector Spread WIXOSS, so there are a slew of new characters that we’re introduced to, and that may not be a good thing.
Suzu is supposed to be the main protagonist, but she’s essentially a supporting character for an extended period of time, so it’s harder to connect with her than it should be. And when she’s back in the lead role, even more so than Ruuko before her, Suzu’s just not a very memorable character. Her personality is vanilla and not unlike almost every other generic protagonist out there. Speaking of personality, this next character definitely has one, it just happened to be shitty most of the time.
I’m speaking of Chinatsu, whose personality seemingly did a one-eighty, and for a good portion of the season, I actually disliked her more than the main antagonist himself. Of course, this was before he revealed the extent of his scumbaggery, but the point still stands. Her motivation seemed extremely contrived to me, and the whole “tying myself down” explanation made me roll my eyes every time I heard it. How anyone could like her during that time is a mystery to me, but thankfully, she wasn’t like that all the time, so at least there’s that.
While we’re on the topic of Suzu and Chinatsu, how does yuri fit into all of this? Well, the strong friendship that those two forged as children doesn’t exactly get rekindled when they reunite, but even then, Suzu’s desire to once again be beside her best friend is pretty much what’s driving her throughout the entire season. It’s a nice thought, but Chinatsu’s attitude doesn’t do anyone any favors, neither does Suzu’s temporary role reduction as well as the crush that Shou, Chinatsu’s male friend from middle school, has on her. The flashbacks that both girls have to their school days are incredibly sweet, but this is WIXOSS after all, so all sorts of stuff happens that keeps this from being a sweet and carefree relationship. Things do eventually improve, yet so much time was spent on Chinatsu’s bitchy phase and Shou’s white knight mini arc that it can’t really be enjoyed like it should. Largely because of this, I found Ruuko and Tama’s relationship from the first two seasons to be more touching, but Suzu and Chinatsu do have their moments, just not nearly enough of them and they aren’t as effective as I would have liked.
As for the supporting characters, they aren’t that bad, and I thought they were somewhat comparable to those in earlier seasons. To me, Satomi was far more hateable than the antagonists in Infected or Spread, and at least some of this comes as a result of the ridiculous faces he’d make. Just look at this example, and try telling me that’s it’s not a classic case of Backpfeifengesicht. You can’t do it! Yes, he was extremely annoying, but I have to admit that he was a pretty good villain. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Shou, who was as noble as they come. I actually found Shou to be a more likable character than either Suzu or Chinatsu (at least for part of the season), and he was a big improvement over Kazuki from Infected/Spread. I should also mention that this time around, there are male Selectors, yet the LRIGs remain exclusively female.
If I could award the title of Best Girl for this season, that would have to go to Hanna, whose unsatiable appetite for all things WIXOSS helped her stand out like a sore thumb. Taking a quick look at her character page on MAL, you can see that she has the same number of Member Favorites as Chinatsu and only a few less than Suzu, so it seems like that’s a popular opinion. The runner-up would be Suzu’s LRIG, Riru, who’s really likable and quite different than Chinatsu’s drab LRIG, Meru. The other Selectors and LRIGs (Narumi/Aya, Rio/Mama, Kiyoi/Piruluk, etc.) each have their charms, but I can’t say that they’re any better or worse than their counterparts from the first two seasons.
Overall, I was disappointed with Suzu and Chinatsu and felt like, as main characters, they left a lot to be desired. The supporting cast helps matters, but I think I still prefer the cast from Infected/Spread, and combined with the aforementioned story flaws, this greatly hurts the enjoyability of Lostorage.
This newest season of WIXOSS is once again in the capable hands over at J.C.Staff, so this more or less looks like what we’ve come to expect from the series. The Selector battles are the visual highlight that tries to make up for the averageness of the rest of the show, and though those battles are nothing extraordinary, they’re more than acceptable. I should mention the great expressions some of the characters display, namely Satomi as well as the occasional Chinatsu one. They were disgusting, but I loved them. 😀
And lastly… the noses are nowhere near as bad as they were in previous seasons. We can all sleep soundly knowing that someone in a position of power finally noticed how awkward they looked before and did something about it. 😛
Moving on to the audio, Yuuichi Nakamura is one of my favorite voice-actors, and he did a particularly great job of portraying the main antagonist. Moving on to the themes, the ED wasn’t bad, but it’s the OP that’s the real winner. Of all the previous OPs and EDs, it’s my favorite of the bunch, and it’s not really that close. As far as the rest of the music, none of it left much of an impression on me, positive or negative, so let’s just say that it’s okay and not much more than that.
While Lostorage Incited WIXOSS maintains the overall feel that the series is known for, to me, there was just something missing from the previous seasons. Perhaps it was the lackluster characters, the disappointing story, or any number of other factors, but my interest in the series continues to go down with each passing season. If you enjoyed the previous seasons, you can probably find something to like with this latest WIXOSS season, but if you’re anything like me, it may leave you yearning for more Ruuko and Tama~