Y’all know I was looking forward to selector spread WIXOSS after the first cour ended solidly in the at the end of the spring season. Episode 1 gets us started back up in what seems to be chronologically only a few weeks or so after the events of last season’s finale, and I was happy to see that we got good end-of-season WIXOSS instead of episodes 2-5 WIXOSS.
The stage is set. Open!
Yuzuki, I have missed you.
Sometimes, I feel like selector infected WIXOSS is deliberately trying to be a deconstruction of Madoka Magica. I think Madoka is a good show, but I don’t really like it. I haven’t seen the movies, but I always felt like the show itself was just a little bit too…easy. Everything fell together too perfectly, the ending was too convenient and the characters served their purposes a little bit too well. Weird complaints, I know, but seeing as WIXOSS currently feels like a more engaging, more interesting and more substantial version of Madoka, those little differences mean a lot.
J.C. Staff doing their best SHAFT impression.
And this is the last time I’m going to compare the two shows, because WIXOSS has obviously diverged from the path Madoka took. Essentially, episode 12 reached the end of Madoka and showed what happens when you have all the right pieces (enough wins, a grand battle, even a special power), but everyone isn’t on the same page. And now heading into selector spread WIXOSS (sweet name) in the fall, WIXOSS is firmly out of Madoka territory.
Another week, another really good episode from selector infected WIXOSS. Have I said enough times how pleased I am that WIXOSS is turning out to be good? Suddenly, we’ve moved from having characters that are essentially faceless to characters with defined personalities and desires, and character growth happening all over the freaking show. Man, stuff like that gets me excited to watch a show. And WIXOSS is now at the level where I wait to watch it when I’m not exhausted, because I want to have the best experience I can.
It doesn’t really fit into anything else I want to talk about, but this was such a lovely moment between Ruko and her grandma.
If you had asked me after week 4 which anime would be the most consistent through the rest of the season, I probably would have told you Ping Pong, and I would have been right. If you had asked me after week 4 which anime would show the most improvement over the next six weeks, I would not have said selector infected WIXOSS, and I would have been wrong.
I am genuinely impressed with WIXOSS currently, and it has done a ton to restore my faith in Mari Okada’s skills after Nagi no Asukara went off the tracks in its second cour. For a long time, WIXOSS has essentially just been running on having a twisted plot and a foreboding atmosphere, and that’s been enough to keep me interested. Now, though, Okada is starting to weave in some truly fascinating character threads and is slowly deepening both the characters and the pit into which they are descending.
If you were doubting at all that WIXOSS was calling for Madoka comparisons…
Sure, there are some problems with this show, starting with the characters. But, it’s time to stop pretending that the sense of foreboding each episode creates isn’t a noteworthy feat in itself. Some shows do things better than other shows, and selector infected WIXOSS does a great job of controlling atmosphere each week, and has been doing it since the very first episode. Creating an appropriate atmosphere for your show isn’t enough to make a show great on its own, but it’s foolish to disregard a show’s good traits because not all of its parts are of equal quality.
With toys like that, no wonder Tama likes to battle.
selector infected WIXOSS, out of J.C. Staff and written by Mari Okada, has been my most highly anticipated show this season that wasn’t based out of a preexisting franchise (Fairy Tail, Soul Eater NOT), and I’m glad to say I wasn’t let down by the first episode.
I still have yet to see a J.C. Staff show that I regretted (or even disliked) watching, so until something comes out that really lets me down, I have more faith in them than there seems to be out in there in the community at large. However, I’m not blind to their missteps (Golden Time could have been totally irredeemable if not for the content), and WIXOSS seems like it might be the type of show that needs everyone on their A-game the entire way through. Generally, I have liked Okada’s work, but I do fear a bit having seen the stumbles that Nagi no Asukara experienced during its second cour.