Even though all three seasons of WIXOSS have already been reviewed here on YuriReviews, we’re still not done with the series. 2016 not only saw another season, it brought us a movie, Selector Destructed WIXOSS. Is it worth an hour-and-a-half of your time? Here’s my take~
Going into this, I didn’t realize that this movie was largely a recap of the first two seasons of WIXOSS. I know, I should probably read a description sometime, but I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t somewhat disappointed when I realized this. During an anime season, nobody likes a recap episode, so the same probably applies to movies. Whether you’re already familiar with the first two seasons or not, Destructed has some pacing problems that are a major issue.
I don’t want to call the story rushed, but Selector Destructed WIXOSS goes so quickly through the two seasons, that if you haven’t seen them and are jumping straight into the movie, you’re going to be missing out on some important world-building as well as character development. So, in other words, I guess I really do have to call the recap rushed. 😀
Several times, I wasn’t sure whether what I was watching actually happened during the two seasons, or if it was added just for the movie. That probably has more to do with my memory of what did or didn’t transpire, but I think it can be a bit confusing for some. However, this doesn’t apply to the handful of scenes involving Ulith (who we learn is really named Rumi), which go a long way towards making her a more understandable character. It’s easy to peg her as just some sadist girl, but seeing her perspective helps add quite a bit to the story.
Those added scenes focusing on Rumi/Ulith are probably the most compelling reason to watch this movie, not counting the actual ending, of course. Speaking of that ending, I thought it tied everything up quite nicely and was more impactful for me than the entirety of Lostorage Incited WIXOSS. As much as I wanted to see Ruuko and Tama reunite in the “real world”, there’s the whole scene between Rumi and Sachi that I enjoyed even more than that. Say what you will about the recap portion of the movie, but I thought that the ending was pretty well done, and it ties a pretty bow on this portion of the WIXOSS universe, though, I’d still like to see these characters pop up in Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS or some other future season~
All in all, the unenviable task of shoehorning twenty-four episodes worth of plot developments into less than ninety minutes is far from seamless. The story of this movie has its fair share of problems, but at the same time, it ultimately gives previous WIXOSS viewers what they wanted, as well as a few new scenes that add a bit to the story and keep this ship from sinking.
Since this is mostly a recap of what was shown before, pretty much everyone returns, even though the screen time of almost everyone is diminished. Yuzuki played a major role in Infected and Spread, yet she’s only briefly featured, and you can say the same for many other important characters. We don’t get to see the extent of Aki-lucky’s obsession, nor do we see as much of Mayu’s unfortunate life, so most the characters suffer a bit. It was probably inevitable, but it’s still unfortunate to see. Mayu’s story is especially missed, since she’s the one who started it all, yet there’s barely any time to tell her tale.
One other negative effect of the brisk pace of this movie is that a lot of the earlier interactions between Ruuko and Tama are left out. As a result, the build-up of their relationship is lacking, and it just doesn’t have quite the same emotional impact that the two anime seasons had. That’s not to say that there’s no yuri subtext between them anymore, but it’s certainly not as obvious as it was before. This also applies to Akira and Ulith. Their messed up relationship was a rare instance of a really negative yuri relationship, and it’s almost all gone. One bittersweet positive was Rumi x Sachi, which sort of feels like the main relationship in this movie, even more so than Ruuko and Tama.
As has already been mentioned, where the movie does do a good job handling the characters is with the fleshing out of
Ulith’s Rumi’s story. She was one of the most interesting characters from before, but not much was known about her. That all changes here, and I guess you could say it helps offset some of the negative aspects that were brought forth. I don’t think it would’ve been a bad idea to ditch the movie, and instead, take the new scenes and make this an OVA. On the plus side, forgettable characters like Kazuki, Chiyori, and Ayumu are all but omitted, so that’s not so bad. 😛
At the end of the day, the character development is another victim of the recap movie format, and if this is your introduction to the series, you’re unlikely to care about these characters as much as if you had watched the anime seasons, but if this isn’t your first meeting with them, I think you’ll appreciate how things ultimately play out.
Even though this premiered before Lostorage—and featured a lot of recycled footage—I actually prefer the darker, more dreary visual tone in this. From an animation standpoint, the biggest drawback of this movie for me was the fact that the Selector battles were cut short, so they’re not as satisfying to watch as I remember. Those battles are where the majority of the eye candy involving this series comes from, so now, it’s lost a bit of its luster for me. Still, this movie is almost all scenes we’ve seen before, so expect more of what we’ve become accustomed to.
As for the sound, honestly, I have no idea whether the music used was a holdover from Infected/Spread or if it’s new, but the electro vibe definitely feels familiar. It’s easiest for me to compare this with Lostorage, and this is another instance in which I’m leaning more towards the Selector side of things, rather than Lostorage. That said, I don’t think there’s anything that’s especially memorable, so I guess you could say it falls in line with every other WIXOSS anime thus far.
In closing, I think that Selector Destructed WIXOSS has just enough new material to make this a worthwhile watch for those who have already seen the first two seasons. If you haven’t already seen the first two seasons, prepare for a fast-paced recap that doesn’t do the first two seasons justice, but that still ends up being a decent way of catching up. If it’s the latter—and you enjoyed what you saw—I’d recommend going back and watching Infected and Spread, since I think you’d have a better appreciation of the story and characters that way.