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.
I’m back to school these days, and last week I had a paper due that I really didn’t want to write. This is also know as the prime conditions in which I marathon a lot of anime, so of course I wound up cranking through a couple shows, finishing both Dream Eater Merry and the exhaustively titled Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They? I’m not reviewing them together solely because I finished them in the same week (although that’s part of it), but more because I had somewhat similar responses to them.
Both shows finished with a 5/10 rating (Rankings).
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.
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.
NOTE: Having finished this review, I recognize that it is largely devoid of those prized reviewing things called “logic” and “good analysis.” I apologize. And yet, I think it might still be worth reading. It’s not really a review; it’s a response, because that’s all I can manage for this show and because maybe that’s what this show really needs.
I’m just going to start off here: this was the most difficult
review piece I’ve written all season (although I haven’t yet seen Nagi no Asukara), and I apologize in advance (again) if this review is disjointed or just ends up making not a lick of sense. Golden Time hit me emotionally and connected at a very personal and visceral level, and yet, I see that there are inherent and obvious flaws in the show. At what point does a reviewer have to scrap their own feelings and aim to be objective? Is it even possible to be objectively review a show when there is so much emotion bound up in one’s impressions of said show? Continue reading
And so, I bid farewell to one of my beloved pet shows from the Winter 2014 season, Witchcraft Works, a show that gets better the less seriously you take it. Although Witchcraft Works wasn’t the best show of the season, it was probably the most fun. And I’m partial to fun. Fun things have good re-watch value. And they make me happy.
On the strength of the fun factor and the ridiculously lovely art from J.C. Staff, I am pleased to award Witchcraft Works with a rating of 7/10, to be found comparatively ranked over at the Ongoing Rankings Page.