"Selector Infected Wixoss: Peeping Analyze" tells the backstory of Akira's LRIG, Piruluk, from the time she was a Selector and her subsequent fortune as a LRIG. Sounds familiar? Well, if you've watched the latest installment of the anime, it should, since it partially adapts bits and pieces of this manga. Personally though, I am not the biggest fan of how this was adapted. And since this is my favorite installment in the franchise, a story I believe should be experienced in its complete form, I've decided to try my hand at writing a review.
Even though I talked about adaptations, "Wixoss" is a multimedia franchise and
its various manga and anime, although interconnected, tell different stories. That said, "Infected" and "Spread" are a must before reading this. And in similar fashion to these aforementioned shows, "Peeping Analyze" follows the same tried and tested dark mahou shoujo archetype.
To be perfectly honest, the general story of "Wixoss" is nothing original. I mean, it's good, but it's pretty much Okada's take on Madoka. You know the premise by now.
"Girls obtain magical powers and get to participate in fights to have their wishes granted, but not everything is what it seems like. Underneath the surface lies a dark secret, filled with despair and suffering. The Girls will have to defy fate to save the world"
Something among those lines. But this isn't exactly the case here. The story is still set against the backdrop of the gritty Selector Battles, but manages to set itself apart with a slight alteration in focus. Specifically, it's not about solving the grand scale issue, saving the world so to say. Rather, it's a very personal and ugly story revolving around Piruluk as she goes through many cycles of Selector Battles on her way to salvation, and then redemption. Unfortunately, her journey has a pretty weak, albeit clever, resolution.
By making use of already pre-existing plot elements, the story instantly manages to become more endearing as it is centered around the interpersonal relationships of a small but strong cast of characters, which brings me to the next part...
This is where the manga shines. Piruluk starts as the typical Okada main character, the antisocial overly-self conscious girl that goes through a lot of suffering. It's how she changes and adapts to everything that befalls her that is so intriguing. She works like a charm here. And Mayu, who is pretty much the same as before, benefits from her increased presence, since (to my surprise) they have great chemistry.
Other than that, some cool cameos are scattered here and there. 3 new characters also appear in this story. Nobody lacks purpose, and everyone is likeable. And unlikeable if they are meant to be...
The artstyle is nothing special, but I have to mention there was extreme attention to detail on facial expressions, some panels were just perfect at conveying emotions.
ENJOYMENT & OVERALL
If you've watched the "Wixoss" anime and enjoyed it, you pretty much need to read this. It's everything good about the franchise jam-packed in 11 chapters, only more character-driven.