Lostorage incited WIXOSS

Lostorage incited WIXOSS


High school student Homura Suzuko has returned to Ikebukuro, the town where she grew up. But when she gets to school, she finds she has trouble fitting in with the rest of the class. One day, she decides that if she learns to play the card game Wixoss, she might be able to make some friends. She buys a deck set, and when she opens it, the girl on one of the cards begins to move and speaks “Welcome, Selector.” Selectors must battle for control of the five coins that hold all their memories. If they can retake all the coins, they win, and can leave the game with a prize. But if they lose, the penalty is a big one.

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I’m not usually drawn to anime based around card games. I’ve merely dabbled in the genre giants like Yu-Gi-Oh and Cardfight!! But not really found anything that has made me want to commit to watching what are quite expansive and epicly-long story franchises. I was aware that WIXOSS is yet another card franchise which has featured previous stories, but here I am coming in completely blind a few stories in and I found myself intrigued by the rather simple concept – people known as ‘selectors’ are thrown into a battle without any warning. They effectively use their memories as ‘lives’, which increase and decrease as they win or lose against other selectors. They play for the opportunity to be able to change one of their memories, but losing means watching your cherished memories disappear… before effectively disappearing yourself.

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The opening theme particularly sticks in my mind and really drew me into the concept the first time I saw it. Yuka Iguchi’s voice goes well with the upbeat, synth-y music and she also voices Chinatsu Morikawa to boot. To end the episodes, Cyua’s ‘Undeletable’ plays a more down-tempo, nostalgic feel.

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Through both Chinatsu and Suzuku, we see a real breadth of selectors that are made to play this game. There are the extremely young a keen, those that thrive on the high stakes and big losses, those that aren’t really sure what they’re doing and those that just plain refuse to battle, such as Shouhei, who says “I’m just going to keep running until the end.” When the two friends finally reunite through the suspicious bookmaker, who arranges battles between Selectors for mysterious reasons, Suzuko realises that Chinatsu is no longer the girl she aspired to be when she was younger and circumstances have changed her into someone colder, more distant. She feels that her memories of Suzuko, and trying to always be the girl that her friend admired, has been holding her back all these years. Now she wants the wish that WIXOSS will grant her to set herself free of these memories. From this point on, we begin to see snippets of the stories surrounding each Selector and begin to understand what motivates them to win this twisted game, to watch their opponents lose their memories and become someone different altogether in order to forward their own goals.

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Thankfully, it would seem that you don’t require a encyclopaedic knowledge of the ins-and-outs of this card game strategy in order to enjoy it, which is a relief. There’s plenty of action and it’s enjoyable that the protagonists don’t really know much about the game either, and so they are researching and learning about the game in their spare time in order to collect more wins. But game strategy is not the only thing they’re learning – they are coming to realise that the stakes are even higher than they first anticipated. There’s less focus on the mechanics of the game – it’s not like Yu-Gi-Oh where a player will take time to explain to their opponent what they’re doing, how it will affect them and how they managed to keep it a secret – to an extent, Lostorage incited WIXOSS just expects you to go along with what the Selectors are doing. It certainly makes for quicker, action-packed battles but this approach may be hard to swallow for die-hard card-anime fans.

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For those of you, like me, who up until now have found it hard to get into a card anime series, I would recommend the WIXOSS franchise. To me, it’s like a gateway into card anime for those that don’t have the time to play catch-up with the older, more detailed series. There’s plenty of action between the LRIGs (meant to be ‘girl’ spelled backwards – I see what they did there) and the selectors and their lives bring an element of dark drama and the two parts of the story work really well together.