Anime Series Review No.16
Plot: 8 (Very Good)
Characters: 8 (Likable and Memorable)
Music: 8 ( Worth Listening Too)
Art style: 8 (Very good)
Personal Enjoyment (9/10)
Overall: (8/10) (Very Good) ( my enjoyment don’t add with my actual score)
This Review will only focus on the 1st season alone any events of the 2nd season won’t affect this review. The rating is solely for first season alone.
In more than a decade I have seen many card game base titles that focuses mostly in promoting the product than making an actual plot or real characters to care about and sadly mostly those titles target demographics are little boys that are meant to be mind control for them to beg for their parents money or ask them to buy this cards. One anime did that tactic very well and that is Yu Gi Oh Duel Monster for perfectly appealing its target audience to buy the cards for childish logic it’s cool and awesome. But is that a basis of a good card game show? Does card game show need to sale big to be credited as a good title? For me, it’s not good if you are watching the show not because of its character and actual story, then you are just watching as T.V commercial than an actual show. And let’s be honest we just watch Yu Gi Oh to see what’s card Yugi will use and you will find that card and buy it and eventually use it to feel like you are that character. This is prime example of good marketing strategy not a good story presentation. I won’t expand this further since this is not the anime I will focus reviewing on.
Now it’s time focus on my main review on “Selector Infected Wixoss”. How is Yu Gi Oh short preview relevant to this Selector review? Simply because Selector Wixoss is the very first serious card game anime title that has ever been release. Yu Gi Oh also made the card game genre look serious but in a mature perspective it’s ridiculous. Saving the world with a bunch of card is a child fantasy that adults or mature minds like me won’t buy as a serious story. Selector in the other hand is very different. The anime focuses on the internal conflict of its character that blends very well in the story progression. The card game Wixoss is only a decoration and a plot device to create a trigger for the story to move forward breaking the boundaries of expectation on most people who have already encounter the card game formula stories.You don’t even need to know the rules of the game to understand the main story.
If you asked me personally Selector Wixoss caught me off guard. I thought it was just a card game show that’s promotes the game but I was wrong. After watching the initial episode and reach the middle I concur that this anime is indeed special. I never expected J.C stuff to be serious in making an actual story about this franchise and it earns my highest respect. Take account J.C staff made tons of forgettable adaptations so I rarely expect them to make any special anime especially it’s a card game base adaptation so there is no source material that the show can base its Plot and actual characters. This is now a matter of talent and good directing.
For the Entire Overview I segregated the Elements of the series in 4 categories, Plot, Characters, Music and Art. This element will affect my overall score of the show. My enjoyment is a personal rate so even if I liked in the bottom of my heart, it won’t affect my actual score and so my score is base on the actual quality and substance the anime have.
The story of Wixoss as I stated in my introduction is original. It doesn’t have any source material to base from unlike adaptation of mangas, video games, visual novels and light novels the studio and the creator have the right to follow the original story to be adapted or not follow the source and create a different story which make it an original. But Selector is a special case since it source material don’t have any actual story in it because it’s just a card game. They can use the existing cards to create the avatars but the core characters and main story is something that is very hard to establish. Good directing and talent is needed to create a successful original story. I will inform you guys as an extra knowledge, not all anime originals ends up to be good story usually anime originals have the biggest chances to fail since unlike adaptations that have plot source on it, source materials plot have more time to be created than anime originals. An author or video game developer have a huge amount of time to construct a story and characters and will just worries the additional continuation that will be added eventually when the author would like to extend the story more and the preparation can be planned from start to end without any deadlines. But when an anime original project starts a short amount of time will be given to plan the story from start to end with the deadlines pressuring the production. This is why I am very impress on how Selector Wixoss turn out.
Going deeper in the topic, let’s tackle more about the actual plot of selector. The story revolves around Kominato, Ruko an introvert girl which has no friends and lives with her grandmother and big brother. One day her grandmother gave her a deck of cards to help her earn friends by playing with the other girls and befriends them. Wixoss was once a popular game for boys but as the passing of time it became very popular to the girls, But unexpectedly a girl suddenly awakens from the inside of the cards her grandmother gave her and immediately the card started to talk, this card are called LRIG’s”, and this started Ruko’s path as a special player called a “Selector”.
In the long run ruko met other girls that have similar LRIGS that revealed that the simple card game that is primary purpose is to make wishes come true have darker truths. The simple and innocent card game became something darker and psychological. It’s not a simple card game to fight for your wishes anymore but a battle that determines your ideals and desperation to counter fate. In a few episodes the psychological parts of the anime greatly immerse with the plot and as the more details have been uncovered about the card battles.
The stake got higher in a considerate way that will keep you intrigued in the outcome of the conflict. Selector Wixoss are one of those rare types of stories you won’t get very much in every season in modern anime. The story is the first is left incomplete and a cliff-hanger is expected but the enjoyment of the quality of the plot just sums up the enjoyment and make it worth waiting for.
All the main cast of the series are likable for the reason even there is a cute girl pandering on their looks but it didn’t dominate their actual personality as a normal teenage girls undergoing puberty and social conflicts with society. I don’t see them as 1 or 2 dimensional archetypes that stay like what they are from the first and last episode. The characters are not dynamic but just alright to add the tension of the show. There is nothing much to explain about them to prevent further. (I won’t break down the characters yet since there is an S2 that cop with the whole character development and fleshing out).
Killy Killy Killy Joker by is clearly an awesome opening for Wixoss because it represents the excitement and thrills the show has to offer. And I see it as a fine job in making viewers hooks on the events of the show. I really love classical music and this opening is the best for bringing out classic music with modern pop style. Every time I hear it in my earphones it really reminded me the excitement wixoss has provided me with.
BGM is properly executed. At times of serious battle we get this funky retro music that spices up the battles and at times the BGM shift to a more serious tone when the psychological mentally is taking place. The BGM is not that unique to any card fights and psychological theme anime but when it is done right I can denied to rate it very good.
“Realize” by Yume no Matsu Basho is something that is extraordinary for an ending in nature. Unlike the opening and BGM, the ending didn’t give me the excitement or tension instead it intrigued me to understand the mystery of the setting. The song “realize” is giving some kind of message on the mystery aspect. But in reality some are just design background of the city no need to over think here.
The last image of the ending video shows a central building and a little girl it has a meaning but I won’t spoil you guys to know the message beforehand. The message is easy to depict as you just need to go on with the series so chill with it.
Art style (8/10)
The cute girl pandering I mentioned before is something that seems out of place in this type of genres. The girls here are pretty cute and moeish in visuals but it didn’t damage the show overall because the grayish dark colors of the background gave the thrilling psychological atmosphere. And in default the girls are not acting cute. So my conclusion the girls are not what they seem to be.
Another commentary I can give is on the battlefields where the actual card game battle took place. The area is just Ok even its visual is very similar to other magical girl theme series which uses grayish and metallic gears as background to depict tension.
Lastly the movement of the characters here are not “Exaggerated”. You won’t see any physic defying movements here, only in the actual battlefields where LRIG’s are fighting each other. Does this make the show boring? It made the show even mature and serious. This is why I like it so much.
Let this score be my personal enjoyment of the show. I really love a properly executed story with plain but extremely relatable characters. The characters are not cool but they surely are respectable girls. The studio didn’t make an obnoxious fan service out of their panties or a yuri to add some flavor.
Subtle emotion shift is properly made because it doesn’t shift tone from serious to normal very fast which most anime do for comic relief. And lastly this is the very first serious card game theme I ever known of that is suitable for mature audience. It’s fresh during the time it is made which made me appreciate it more.
I think J.C Staff should be making more of this kind of titles. I don’t mind the “MOE” art style as long as the story and characters are properly executed to the point even the people who dislike this type of anime themes will appreciate it.
Selector proves that a good show doesn’t need a lot of fan service to keep the audience watching. A good script writing and directing is the key to hook the audience.
My idea is a minority outside the Japanese target audience so my opinion is not the majority of what the japenese audience like. I like fan service too but not too much but the thing that hook me from anime are decent shows with incredible story and respectable characters. If the fan service is too overblown to the point the only thing I can remember are bloodshed, the boobs or the underwear the female’s are wearing this mean I only see the anime for guilty pleasure not its actual content. Take this as an advice. I am not against in people liking fan service oriented shows but as I grow mature I see decent shows more worth remembering than any other.
I wish we get more shows like Selector Wixoss coming up every season. Decent and respectable characters are the best.