Selector Infected WIXOSS – A mash-up of dark fantasy and card games
April 6, 2014 2 Comments
This series got off to a relatively interesting start, introducing us to a world where a card game can bring your desires and dreams to life, providing you win of course. As premises go this one reminded me Yu Gi Oh, along with elements of Rozen Maiden, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, Black Rock Shooter, along with aspects of Angelic Layer. It seems a mash-up of these different series and their premises, with a world where darkness appears to be lurking just out of sight.
I must confess that I am not the biggest fan of these sorts of card-game anime, Yu Gi Oh, while entertaining for a while, quickly got boring with repetitive battle sequences, and the same sorts of situations cropping up time and time again. Then again, in the case of Yu Gi Oh, that is more my general disinterest in the shounen genre and the sorts of stories that it tends to incorporate. It will be interesting to see how WIXOSS approaches its core premise, especially with regards to the darker elements that are hinted at in places, or thrown at the screen in others. The nightmare and battle sequences in particular point to more dangerous, chaotic, and even psychotic elements of the game and the girls who are chosen as ‘Selectors’. Furthermore, the existence of Tama and her unnatural lust for battle, and destruction (judging by her facial expressions) suggests that as with Yu Gi Oh and C, there is more to this card game, and the various living avatars than meets the eye. The series’ concept certainly gives the impression of something that is too good to be true – a game with the ability to grant peoples deepest desires and wishes simply by playing. Such a system is arguably too good to be true, and we are likely going to see numerous unintended consequences, and perhaps even madness in some of the characters as they are drawn into something that they may not fully understand.
As a final note, I didn’t really see the similarities with Madoka, and Urobuchi’s writing that many have noticed. Yes Madoka is about a group of cute girls being put through hell by a demonic, if cute and cuddly fluffy thing, and Urobuchi is known for his dark stories and worlds. But I saw far more in common with the series already mentioned than Madoka and anything by Urobuchi. Anime fans have a habit of only linking anime to well-known series in the past few years, in this case Madoka, and forgetting about other, earlier anime that deal with similar issues. After all, WIXOSS, a series about a card game that hints at darker, more chaotic incidents cannot happen in a vacuum, and the writers must be aware of previous anime that dealt with similar issues in the last 20 years. I do like the idea of a mystical items granting ones desire, and the feeling of dread and danger that surrounds an apparently simple, and innocent card game (even when I’ve already said that I’m not the biggest fan of Yu Gi Oh, a series with a similar premise), which reminded me of The Monkey’s Paw (with a little help from Animecommentary). Having said all of this, WIXOSS didn’t really grab me or stand-out from the crowd – it had its moments, but it wasn’t the most interesting of opening episodes so far this season. Still, one to keep watching to see where it goes and if I remain interested in the premise once the darker elements show themselves more frequently.