Get ready for the thrilling second season of the WIXOSS series! Immerse yourself in a game where special cards called LRIGs—cards that possess personalities and wills of their own—can change your life forever. Teenager Ruko holds one of these rare cards, and if she wins, her wish will be granted. But what happens if she loses?
The thing with the entire Wixoss series is that it really isn't the most amazing thing ever. While I do find it EXTREMELY underrated, I really can understand why people feel the way they do about this series.
For starters, people like to compare this series to Madoka Magica. Usually, claiming that it is like a carbon copy of it, and that it stole most ideas from it. In every piece of honesty, and thinking of 100% completely objective facts, Wixoss is barely anything like Madoka Magica.
I mean sure, they are both "deconstruction" anime. However, I don't really think of Madoka as a true deconstruction of
the mahou shoujo sub-genre, only a deconstruction of SOME of the tropes within the sub-genre. The other tropes that make the mahou shoujo (magical girl) genre are still present 100%, which is exactly why it's not a full-on deconstruction.
Wixoss, however, is a full, 100% deconstruction of the card game sub-genre. It takes EVERY single trope present within a "generic" card game anime, and completely rebuilds it from scratch. Thus, the tropes remain intact but are just used in completely and utterly different ways. There is absolutely NO trope that exists within the card game sub-genre that isn't deconstructed in some way or another. Thus, it is a complete deconstruction, unlike Madoka Magica.
Yes, that is one plus to the series that puts it above Madoka. But that doesn't mean that it's the only one. And there are also tons more differences between Wixoss and Madoka that I'll explain throughout this review. However, the entire review will NOT be a comparison between Madoka and Wixoss, so if you're expecting that, prepare to be disappointed.
Before starting, let me begin by saying that this is going to be a review of ONLY the second season. That means that I expect that you've seen the first season and are wondering if you should watch the second, or have seen the second and want to compare my opinions to yours. Either way, by reading this review, I assume you've seen the first season because there's a high chance that there might be major spoilers of it throughout this review. Either that, or you just don't mind being spoiled. Which ever works for you.
There won't be any specific review of the first season present within this review, but I will make quite a few references to it as the review continues on.
Now, let's begin the review.
Starting out with the story:
The first season of the Wixoss series was one that was really easy to follow in almost every aspect. It played off as a simple series that deconstructed elements of the card game sub-genre, much like Madoka Magica. The second season here is far different.
One of the most significant differences is how the entire series sacrificed world-building, which they did despite MANY chances to create very intricate, well-defined world-building. Wanna know why they did this? For the sole purpose of character development.
That was one of my initial problems with the first season. The characters were definitely well-defined, but characterization is only a miniscule part of a successful series. And hell, even in situations like Tokyo Ghoul where the characters define the entire series, there's still a major lack of true flavor/spice when a series is structured on something like that. That pretty much all changed during the second season here, as basically every primary character received a copious amount of much-needed development.
However, this section of the review is reserved for the story of the series, so enough talking about the characters. We'll get to that later.
The story of Selector Spread Wixoss specifically is a bit convoluted at times, but if you're willing to put some brain power into figuring out what's going on, you'll be able to tell that everything within the series makes great sense, might I even say perfect sense.
No bragging is intended here, but when it comes to me and anime, I'm almost 100% of the time able to follow exactly what's happening without requiring a rewatch or even a rewind of the series. I've always been that way as well, being able to follow series' that a lot of anime connoisseurs consider "some of the hardest anime to follow." Neon Genesis Evangelion and Serial Experiments Lain are some examples that come to mind, but there really are a lot more.
And yes, I am saying exactly what you think I am: Selector Spread Wixoss was harder to follow at times than both NGE and SEL. Sounds kind of crazy to people who haven't seen the second season, or maybe even the first if you're reading this without caring about being spoiled, doesn't it? It's definitely true, though.
The convolution present within Selector Spread Wixoss is almost 100% within the story. As I said, everything can be pieced together, but it's quite hard to do so without rewatching. For me, it even got to the point where I had to take out a piece of paper and write out every plot point and how it fits in to the whole structure of the plot, which actually did take some time to accomplish. So, for those reasons exactly, I can see why people would want to drop this second season here, even if they finished or even ENJOYED the first season.
One of the best things to do in a situation like this is give it your full attention, and possibly even rewatch it upon first completion. And also, the second season is set to come out on DVD/Blu-ray sometime in July I believe, and given that it's licensed by Funimation, there will definitely be a dub alongside that. That will, likely, make the series far easier to follow.
Let me just tell you this: if you are able to understand the story eventually, under any circumstances, you will end up enjoying Selector Spread, as well as the entire Wixoss franchise, in some way/shape/form.
The second season here picks up exactly where the first left off. For the sake of trying not to spoil the first season TOO much, as I'm sure at least one person who hasn't seen the first season will end up reading this review, I won't explain exactly what has happened within the first season.
Aoi Akira is still out for bloodlust, despite what's happened to her. The specific development behind Yuzuki and her character remains in-tact, and is even capitalized upon more as the story continues along within the second season here.
As I said earlier, one of the major differences was sacrificing world-building for further character development, which was a sacrifice that worked HUGELY to its advantage given that Wixoss focuses on its characters more than anything.
The way that they do this is introducing a new extension to the universe that this series takes place in, but without explaining it too much. It's played off as some sort of "void," and that's even how its referred to by some of the other characters. The fact that it wasn't explained exactly how it works, with only some slight hints being given (which is one of the major situations behind why you'll need to think hard to completely understand what's going on), is what I mean by the series sacrificing world-building. And as I said, it was completely okay because the series was able to focus more time on developing the characters which, in the end, gave them TONS more flavor than the first season did. And also, as I said above, as long as you're able to piece together all of the information you're given, everything will make sense even without it being explained very thoroughly.
Another thing that makes this second season so great, even better than the first, is how the psychological aspect of it is kicked up about 300% from the first season. Within the first season, only aspects of what was going on within the Wixoss game were explained. Here in the second, there's a true psychological battle that becomes obvious around episode 3-4, depending on how quick you were able to catch on.
The entire point behind the deconstruction aspects of this series was to bring a psychological battle of wits within a sub-genre that's always been so solid on its tropes, which have always proved to be quite childish in the long run. Wixoss, especially the second season, does an INCREDIBLE job at doing just that. While the first season could be seen as something that casual anime fans could enjoy, but the second season here is very far from that. And despite the fact that the first season still isn't something for kids, unlike most anime that fall under the card game sub-genre, the second season is on a COMPLETELY different level.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, the first season is similar to the structure of Madoka Magica in that it only deconstructs ASPECTS of the card game sub-genre. The second season deconstructs every other aspect, leading to an absolute and almighty deconstruction that doesn't fail to be so in any way, shape, or form.
I truly believe that I've explained every point behind the story of the second season of Wixoss, so I don't really think there's much more to say here. Hopefully it was enough, because in the end, there's really not a whole lot to say.
Onto the characters:
The characters are definitely what drive this season to being as good as it is, and it really is good.
As I pointed out a couple times during the story part of my review, the second season of Wixoss sacrifices world-build in place of character development, and it does so to its advantage.
The characters present within the first season of Wixoss seemed almost like self-inserts for a while, with only Ruuko and Yuzuki receiving any character traits that set them aside from other characters. However, as we were introduced to Iona and Akira, things began to change, which affected both the story and the characters of the entire series.
The characters that receive the most development within the second season are easily Ruuko, Tama, and Akira. However, Iona also receives much development as well, but for completely different reasons that I'd rather not explain due to spoiling the entire first season. Yuzuki eventually receives the exact same treatment as Iona, which causes her to receive some much-needed development as well, though as I said, in a completely different way.
Until later on, within the final 1/4 of this season, we're not really introduced to any new characters. The trend within this season that dominated the entire structure behind this character-focused series was development. The development went far, and I mean FAR, beyond around 99% of the anime that I've ever seen in my entire life (though not the very best; that'd probably go to NHK or HxH). Every single character is given some sort of a personality, and the entire season by the very end completely and utterly lacks ANY type of character that could be seen as a "self-insert." I mean hell, even Hitoe becomes a well-defined character, and I'm sure anyone who's seen the first season is aware of how she was the dictionary definition of a self-insert.
Tama, despite her becoming a character that it seems people among the internet seem to hardly give a crap about after this second season, did become far more developed than she did in the first season. Within the first season, she was extremely naive, and only ever wanted to battle. She finally learned the entire truth behind the Wixoss game and how the entire system functions, and became a completely different character after that. Even to the point where she sacrificed herself to save Ruuko from having to give up her entire life.
And I suppose that this is the best time to point out that Tama was, without a doubt, my very favorite character within this entire series... within both the first and second seasons.
Ruuko received an extreme amount of character development as well, but it was mostly driven by the plot, which I've mentioned a few times that I won't go into detail with that.
The details I can go into is that Ruuko learns a lot about the world of Wixoss, which causes her to understand more of what goes on and exactly what she should and shouldn't do. It was actually quite a good way to develop her if I may say so for myself, because for the longest time, she also felt like a self-insert protagonist. Given that kind of status, I really can't imagine her being developed in any other way besides the plot basically doing it for her.
Onto Akira. The changes she faced within the first season play a HUGE role into the character she becomes within the second season, but not in a way you'd expect. Instead of being completely against Iona, like she was within the first season, she ends up siding with her because of specific reasons (that would spoil both the first and second seasons). Iona, which I can just go ahead and describe here because she doesn't receive a whole lot of development overall during the second season, is used in a completely different way. It's the same for Yuzuki, just in a way that allowed Iona to seduce Akira a lot easier. Yuzuki's situation was a lot different, as the other "Yuzuki" (no spoilers) didn't really ever do anything to change the plot a whole lot, she was just kind of there to fulfill a certain wish of a certain character.
Unlike Iona, however, Yuzuki received a hell of a lot of development, which again I won't explain 'cus spoilers.
It really is hard to explain the full effects behind the character development present within the second season of Wixoss, simply because a lot of it would spoil the entire series, both first season and second. I just heavily recommend you go and watch it. Even if you haven't seen ANY of the Wixoss series, and have had the entire first season spoiled for you because of this review, I still give everyone reading this my 100% full-fledged recommendation to go and watch the series because the character development present within the second season really is like no other. It's among some of the best I've ever seen before, only really being outmatched by series' that I consider to be within my top 5 of all time.
And yes, as I've mentioned before, this is a character-driven series, so the character aspect is without a doubt better than any other aspect present within Selector Spread Wixoss.
With the important stuff out of the way, let's get onto the presentation aspect of the series: animation and sound:
The art itself really wasn't anything special, but it did its job. This isn't a series that requires very good art, so it being crisp and clean is definitely enough. And it certainly was just that.
The animation, however, was quite a bit better. It wasn't amazing, nor anything close to it. But, there were some major spikes in quality, as some of the fight scenes looked absolutely gorgeous. I've sent a video of the opening to probably 10 people before, just because of the animation scene after "We...Cry...Opennnn" is sung within it. Absolutely beautiful, and for that scene only, I watched the opening every single time. There were even times that I wanted to replay it right after it ended, just because of that small piece of eye candy. And also because the song itself was quite good as well.
The sound is something special. Selector Spread Wixoss is one of the few anime that features a soundtrack that's actually memorable beyond a few small beats/rhythms. I've listened to the entire soundtrack on its own accord probably about 3, maybe 4, times so far. And I love it so much. Like seriously. I'd probably say it's my 2nd favorite anime soundtrack of all time, behind only the incredible Mashiro Iro Symphony one... which was just simply epic.
The voice acting. The FREAKING VOICE ACTING. Like holy CRAP, don't even get me started on how freaking amazing the voice acting was. Most Japanese dubs are good just because they feel the most natural to the medium that they're presented in, and aren't thought about a whole lot simply because they all sound quite good. But this isn't the case within the Wixoss series, and it's the same deal with the first season. Just the sheer quality behind every character's voice actor/actress is nothing less than pure perfection. And my lord, I just have to give a few words of praise for Chinatsu Akasaki for her STELLAR performance as Akira Aoi. Seriously, that was literally the greatest performance that I've ever heard in ANY Japanese dub in anime. I'm not even joking, it was that good.
In short, the soundtrack and voice acting within the second season of Wixoss were nothing short from absolutely incredible, and there's nothing I'd change about them, even if I were given the chance to. Simply amazing, and I applaud everyone who was a part of the voice casting/soundtrack composition.
The second season of Wixoss, Selector Spread Wixoss, is without a doubt better than the first season. I've seen many people praise the first season more simply because it was easier to follow/it made more sense, but really, as I've said before, the series is just composed and structure tons better when you are able to make sense of it. And believe me, anybody can, it just takes a bit of brain power is all.
I love the Wixoss series as a whole. But does that mean I think it's the best thing ever? Not necessarily, but I will say that the second season comes somewhat close to being just that. I absolutely love the Wixoss series as a whole, but the second season is just on a whole other level, despite the first being great as well. There is a reason why this season in specific places at #9 on my favorite series' here on MAL.
I only hope that you guys can enjoy this season, and even the whole series, a fraction as much as I have. Now, I sit here and wait for Selector Destructed Wixoss to get released in Japan and subbed in English!! xD
And now, for the scoring.
Just in-case you don't know of my scoring method, here's a nice copypaste of exactly how it works:
Total for the above 4: equates to 90% of total rating
Enjoyment: equates to 10% of total rating
Each section will be broken down as I get to it.
Premise: 100% (starts off amazingly as a solid deconstruction series)
Execution: 80% (a bit hard to follow at times but overall very good)
Convolution (lack of): 80% (a bit convoluted but everything can be pieced together)
Pacing: 80% (gets a bit slow near the end but still nicely done)
Conclusion: 70% (unfinished ending but done well for what they had to work with)
Story overall: 8.2/10
Introductions: 100% (introduces perfectly and in correlation to first season)
Screen time: 100% (wish Akira and Tama got just a slight bit more but otherwise perfect)
Personality: 100% (every character had a good personality in the end)
Development: 100% (absolutely perfect, not a single complaint)
Backdrop: 80% (kind of generic but when it's there it's used quite well)
Characters overall: 9.6/10
Character designs: 60% (EXTREMELY generic but I have to give them credit for not sexualizing any of the girls at all)
General art: 90% (looked great for what it tried to accomplish)
Animation: 80% (it's good when it needs to be but average when it doesn't need to be)
Visuals/sakuga: 60% (it's great when it's there but usually isn't there)
Art overall: 7.25/10
Music: 100% (incredible soundtrack, one of the very best)
Sound effects: 90% (done extremely well, but not always there)
Voice acting (sub): 100% (literally the best Japanese dub I've ever heard)
Voice acting (dub): not yet released
Watched with sub (obviously), so dub score omitted (even though there isn't one yet)
Sound overall: 9.66/10
Story: 90% (loved it from start to finish, but not the best I've ever seen)
Characters: 100% (literally perfect)
Presentation: 100% (very few complaints from the art beside the fact that it's generic, but the soundtrack and voice acting completely made up for it)
Enjoyment overall: 9.66/10
Would I recommend this series? Hell yes I would. Of course, the second season will take time to really soak in, and would definitely require a bit of brain power. However, if you can get past that, and piece everything together well, it's certainly a series that you will enjoy the hell out of. Like I said above, I can only hope that you guys enjoy it even a fraction as much as I did.
As for the first season, I can see a more casual audience, or an audience that doesn't want to think very hard about the anime they watch, enjoying it quite a bit. The second season is a lot different in quite a few ways, and requires more thought, which I've pointed out many times. So I guess I'd recommend the first season to just about anyone, then if you like it, and are okay with putting a bit of brain power into what you watch, then I'd recommend they continue onto the second season.
And yes, the second season is better than the first. Get over it.
Ok, its my first time writing a review so...
Please take care of me?
Unto the review. Since I haven't watched Madoka Magica(have only read reviews)which everyone says the Selector series more of less copied I'm not going to go too in-depth into my opinions about the story/plot.
Plot was interesting and captivating but hard to understand at times. Hence I believe to fully enjoy this anime, one has to not worry too much about how some of the finer details are blurred over, remember if the anime doesn't give a good explanation just leave the reasoning behind it to magic. This anime basically
uses the same story structure as its prequel and follows the lives of the three main characters, however it delves deeper into the history of WIXOSS such as how selector battles came about, etc. However it still maintains the dark psychological theme that was present in the prequel. Overall a 7 because it was interesting and enjoyable but not really that unique.
Animation was done smoothly with great art and visuals that match whatever scenario the anime is in, nothing too much else to say about that. However I rate this 8 as probably around the 8.8-8.9 mark.
Great opening and ending that suits the anime, the sounds used in battle are also quite fitting, except the dub step could have been toned down a bit at times. Opening and ending carry most of the marks.
All characters are linked together with the plot and each have connections with each other. No characters are simply introduced, expanded on and discarded for ever. Of course there are side characters that are meant to be defeated and forgotten but each of the main characters are all linked to each. In addition the personalities of each character are all realistic and different from each other. For example Hitoe acts exactly like how a shy, lonely girl would act at the start of this series and her character expansion is realistic due to her obtaining friends and self-confidence.
Other: Slight incest themes might make viewers uncomfortable so I don't recommend watching this anime if you are not fine with incestuous feelings.
I legitimately enjoyed watching this anime even though it might not have the most original story, best artwork and visuals, etc.
I rate this anime the same as its prequel, its a solid anime that nice to watch for enjoyment, don't expect anything too original though.
That concludes my first review, I hope I've done ok.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in the case of WIXOSS that may very well be the case. As I mentioned in my review of the first half of the series, WIXOSS takes a lot of cues from a certain magical girl anime called Madoka Magica, from the dirty secrets behind their world's setup to the hopes and aspirations of their main characters. While transmuting someone else's story to fit a new context is certainly appropriate, WIXOSS still ended up leaning a bit too hard on the fence and ended up flat out copying certain ideas and motifs from Madoka
rather than repurposing them. So, now that they've used up all of the Madoka storyline that they could, how has WIXOSS been faring since then?
Much like the first season, Selector Spread WIXOSS really shines during its darker moments, and they don't even wait til the end of the second episode to really start laying in on thick. From the psychotically nasty to the horrifyingly sensual, WIXOSS certainly hasn't lost its darker edge that subverted its cutesy-moe look and gave it the edge that it had back in the Spring season earlier this year. As for departing from its Madoka base, the story shapes up pretty well during its first two thirds as the tension builds around what actually caused WIXOSS to be created in the first place. Unfortunately, I found the ultimate revelation to be a little bit underwhelming, though this may be more due to it feeling a bit rushed and poorly explained. In the end, I suppose I was sort of able to believe what happened, but it still felt very fuzzy on a lot of the details. I will say that the final episode was very solid, though certainly nothing we haven't seen before.
Strangely enough, the character development for this season actually seemed to flip-flop a bit. While Yuzuki and Hitoe were the big stars of last season, Spread now focuses on Iona, Akira, and a new fangirl character named Chiyori. While I wouldn't say that Chiyori's character was poorly developed, I will say that she was exceedingly annoying in many parts, though this may just be because she is a WIXOSS fangirl, and fangirls are annoying by nature. Iona and Akira, however, actually present a rather interesting contrast in development, with Iona apparently being influenced by Ruko's kindness and purity, while Akira is driven to madness over her obsession with Ulith, who now inhabits Iona's body. However, I do have to admit that our lead antagonist, Mayu, turned out to be fairly weak as far as antagonists go, and while the final revelation with her character was fairly solid, she felt very basic and unplanned when compared to other antagonists within similar genres.
Much like last season, the animation was done by J.C. Staff, and their hyper-moe style blended with unique color palettes certainly brings this anime to live once again. I was a little bit disappointed that there wasn't as much of the horrifying imagery that we had in the first season though. I should also give props to the final episode for some particularly interesting and well-animated environment breakdowns.
As of yet, there has still not been a dub announcement for this series, though if FUNimation were to announce it, I would imagine that it would be very well-acted and well-scripted.
The music is still composed by Maiko Iuchi, and her eerie ambiance style is still very present during the tenser moments. However, I've started to dislike some of the more dubstep-influenced moments of the soundtrack, as they don't seem to fit well with the creepy nature of this series. The opening theme "world's end, girl's rondo" by Kanon Wakeshima gives us an upbeat and eclectic blend of string, piano, and drum set to play us in, while the ending theme "Undo: Ashita e no Kioku" by Cyua gives us a heart thumping outro with parallel octave harmonies in its chorus to send a bit of a chill down your spine.
Overall, Selector Spread WIXOSS is just as solid as the first season of WIXOSS, but doesn't do much to move beyond that.
Selector Spread Wixoss follows 90% of Infected Wixoss plot. So the battles by the dreams of Ruuko, Hitoe,Yuzuki, Iona continues and that is awesome. But now, the plot have more focuses on the "cosmological world of wissox" trying to make you now the whys and the logical behind the cards battle and the girls on the cards.
But don't think that the dramas of the girl will be set aside, no only the world wissox will be revealed but the world inside every girl too. The logical sequence of the theme of Infect Wixoss will not be broken, and that is very importante to appreciate
the anime, rarely, storm of information will rain (without lose the complexity) on you and that makes the anime easy to understand but doesn't destroy the mystery.
I just can't give 10 for the plot, because the similarity with Madoka Magica is very outstanding.
Ruuko: Like every main, she have to suffer (more hihih). Ruko does not changed a lot from the Infected season. But i can not deny that she still pass want she have to pass. The spirit of war inside her, she want to battle, she knows that battle is bad, she have to save her friends for the Wixoss "cicle", she want to live with Tama. Everything happens on her mind. The growth (as a character) is very expected, this accumulation will be directed to where? Savior, friend, warrior, everyone wants to know who is the real Ruko.
Yuzuki: Frustration, this word summarizes Yuzuki. Deceived, another word. Energy, another word. Truly, my favorite character. She dream is just terrible (and against everything that I belive), but i consider a pure dream. Unlike Infected season, Yuzuki shows more coolness, more rationality, she follows want Kazuki told to her: "don't be so straight". And that is important, shows an evolution on how she deals with her situation. She still is the "fire" of the trinity, but she assumes the prudent part of the group (due to their painful experiences). She is just essential.
Hitoe: I have to admit, for me, she was useful only to show the effect of three defeats, but i have to consider the she was importante to bring the difficulties of start a relation when you are a teen. And more than this, she grows as character (and this is importante for a teen serie), Hitoe now shows that evolved, she does not fall apart on tears like on Infected series and now she is truly part of the trinity (Ruko, Yuzuki, and now Hitoe). For me, she still be the "weakness" of the group, but she has her "job" on the moral lessons of the anime.
Akira: The bitch, only this. She is terrible, an unstable and manipulable girl. Envy, work pressure, crazy love, obsession, everything placed on a teen with cards with power to destroy dreams. I don't know if Akira evolved (as a character), for me the change of jealous and angry bitch for a lacking and submissive girl isn't a evolution. But Akira is importante to show the pressure on childhood, she is importante for the context, but i still hate her.
Iona: This girl is the power himself, why i say this ? Simple, she is OP. The cold character (that Yuzuki can't be) with the power that Ruuko always denies. She is the key of this season, and will be the trigger for shows who is the true Ruuko, the true Tama, the true Mayu, the true Ullith. I can't see much development on Iona, she will be the op key that will show more of the feeling (and powers) of the other characters. I see this potential on Iona.
Art and Sound:
Good traces, traits that pass the feelings of the characters and that makes the art of Spread very light and intelligent. With respect to the sound, the opening and ending are according with the theme. The sounds during the anime are very unique, sometimes I feel like a dubstep dj that made the ost. I love this atmosphere. The voices are very good (I love Chiyori and Eldora voices, they fit perfectly).
If you don't have problems with Madoka Magica you will enjoy Wixoss, but don't expect one anime better than Madoka Magica. If you didn't saw Madoka, Wissox will be one good anime for you to undestand the world of teen girls and a little about magical card games.
In real life, WIXOSS is a popular card game among teenagers. In the Selector Infected WIXOSS anime series, it can also be a fun game, but for a "selected" few, it's a thrilling battle filled with action, friendship, drama, and mystery. Let’s dive into the world of Selectors and their LRIG Cards.
Today's topic is the area inside Shibuya that made it big in the 90's with Gwen Stefani's hit song "Harajuku Girls". Harajuku has gained a reputation for being the center of alternative fashion such as decorer, gothic lolita, and punk. But in reality, it's much less strange than you'd think!