Lostorage Incited Wixoss
Chinatsu and Suzuko became friends at a young age, but due to circumstances Chinatsu's family had to move away. It's been years since they last saw each other, but Chinatsu still cherishes that friendship and her memory in her heart. After moving back to town, Chinatsu finds she doesn't fit in with classmates, and picks up a card game to pass the time. She's then chosen as a "selector", a person who participates in the game, but with very real consequences against other selectors. She has three coins which can be obtained or lost by winning / losing a game. If she obtains 5, she can alter her memory any way she chooses. If she loses them all, she loses all memories and her personality.
Chinatsu has no choice but to participate, only to discover that her former friend is also now a Selector. Suzuko however is determined to win so she can wipe her memories of Chinatsu. Even if Chinatsu can protect her memories, what will become of her friendship?
Half way into the first episode I knew I wouldn't be able to recommend Wixoss (pronounced Whee-cross) due to the setup. So why bother watching it? I was curious to see where it would go, and maybe something good would come out of it. It could have been far worse, but still (probably) not worth picking up. As a sequel to another Wixoss series, I wonder how the franchise got this far considering how Lostorage Incited Wixoss went.
The card game Wixoss is the main focus, which expectedly gimps everything from the get go. Card battles are a big drag on the show, of which there is at least one or two per episode. Selectors (people with cards) have avatars battling it out, but it's hard to make sense of anything. Does Wixoss have actual rules or is it just making shit up? I'm assuming the latter because it all seemed fairly random, turning card battles into "stuff happening" and a chore to watch. The anime is intended to sell the card game, so not much can be done about that. However aside from the card game, the show isn't as half-assed as this kind of anime typically is.
Aside from the two primary characters, everyone else is weak. Chinatsu is the protagonist who unfortunately embodies the whiny "Wah! I don't want to fight" stuff I HATE - for over half the show. When she gets over that, she becomes a good counter point to her "friend".
What I loved about Wixoss was Suzuko: a diligent girl struggling to do her best despite her less than ideal situation in life. As things go bad, and she endures a lot of crap heaped upon her. Suzuko decides she's through being a good little girl and she'll live life on HER terms. I really empathized with her, and most of her decisions.
I'm didn't so much buy into her wish to wipe childhood memories, but thought it was a cool idea where she's pitted against her former friend trying to obtain the opposite result. Suzuko is taunted by the way Wixoss avatars resemble someone important to you, and in her case it's Chinatsu; the very girl she's trying to forget. Not to mention Chinatsu using an avatar styled after Suzuko. Suzuko is aware she's being used by a bookie who only wants to make her miserable, something which annoys her even more. There are many cool things surrounding Suzuko, making her captivating in a way and could have made this a darn good show.
It doesn't quite go that way however. Wixoss meanders with boring card battles, and mostly lame side stories. The bigger plot revealing the true nature of the cards isn't that bad, however gimped by the crap antagonist bookie. He's clearly a slime-ball, but devolves into the typical obnoxious anime bad guy. Making him more sinister and subdued would have improved things immensely. I won't go into details, but I liked the way Wixoss ends with a not so tidy/happy resolution for everyone.
This anime has it's share of plot holes, which can be annoying. I'd assumed card games were restricted to one battle per opponent, but that's disproved later on. Why don't people who don't want to participate just win-trade coins? That's another problem I have with this show; the unwilling participants who can't exit the contest. This shifts them into less compelling victims, instead of more interesting motivations and falling prey to their own greed/desires. And the prize is... a Hawaiian vacation? All you can eat sushi? An attack helicopter? Nope, changing some memories. No wonder they have to force people to participate. Give me a helicopter!
Lostorage Incited Wixoss is mostly marketing a card game not readily available in America, so probably not worth picking up. Honestly despite the many pitfalls and problems with Wixoss, it ALMOST has something very good. That's commendable for a show which you'd expect to only go through the motions. I wish it came together better, isn't as bad as it could be, but still doesn't quite make the cut.
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