Apparently, Japanese fashion models are the most intimidating creatures in the world.
• Yuzuki no longer wants to battle Ruko now that they’ve become friends: “Yeah, I figured we can both be Eternal Girls so that we both can have our wishes come true.” After a slight pause, Ruko suddenly comes to the realization that she doesn’t “have any wishes or dreams.” That’s a bit odd. Who doesn’t have wishes or dreams? Either she isn’t being honest with herself or she needs to do some serious soul-searching.
• According to Hanayo, Yuzuki’s LRIG, selectors are rare. At Yuzuki’s school, Ruko’s the only other selector, and since the two of them are friends now, that’s pretty much a dead end. Nevertheless, Hanayo manages to spot two more selectors; they just happen to be celebrities. There seems to be a bizarre implication here that successful girls are only successful because they’ve managed to become Eternal Girls.
• Our trio, which includes the third-wheel Kazuki, pays Akira a visit at a nearby school. Out of nowhere, a shy, bespectacled girl challenges Akira to a duel. In the resulting scenes, Hanayo serves as Miss Unnecessary Exposition. Why does the anime feel the need to tell me that “any Eternal Girl candidates nearby are drawn into the [other] world” when this is exactly what we see?
• These LRIG designs are rather… bleh. Midoriko is rather trashy-looking, and Piruluk is just your standard blue-haired girl with a monotone personality. Y’know, she’s a clone of She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
• It’s a little fucking weird to see the characters overreact to the simplest moves from Akira’s control deck. Oh no, Akira removed a single card from Hitoe’s hand! Gaaaassssp.
• And in an instant, Hitoe only has two cards remaining. This is the shortest card battle I’ve ever seen. I realize the game has to be simplified to a certain extent for the sake of story’s episodic format, but this is a little ridiculous.
• Unintentionally funny: “Peeping Analyze” >> O _ O
• But not only will “Peeping Analyze” allow you to remove even more cards from your opponent’s deck, you can use it to uncover her deeply-held wishes and dreams! And it turns out Hitoe’s a loner who only wishes to become an Eternal Girl so that she can make friends. Or, y’know, just go out and make friends… Maybe you don’t have friends because you’d rather get them through winning a card game.
• At the moment, this is not a compelling battle. Whether or not selector infected WIXOSS succeeds in explaining the rules of the game, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is what has always held true in every story in which individuals go to battle: ideally, a battle is an externalization of the conflict between the characters. I may never understand how WIXOSS works as a card game, but at the end of the day, who really cares about that? As long as the conflict between the characters is compelling, I can become emotionally invested in the battle regardless of whether or not I understand how the card game works.
That’s what this anime is lacking at the moment. Hitoe’s just an awkward loner and Akira comes across like a real bitch. That does not make for a compelling fight. We’re just watching a schoolyard bully picking on a nerd. Now, you can give a pass to the first battle between Ruko and Yuzuki, because we were still being introduced to the story. But I don’t think it’s necessary to see yet another exhibition match between two girls with nothing truly at stake. Challenging some girl in the hopes that you can make friends is not a conflict with much substance.
• What does it mean for an LRIG to be knocked out in a battle? Yes, Hitoe’s LRIG is in pain, but what does this really mean? Do you have to tend to the card? Do you have put it in a cool and dry place as it recovers? Can the LRIG die? Do you have to apply WIXOSS-approved bandages to the card or what? It’s hard to sympathize with the crying Hitoe because I have no clue whether or not this is a live-or-die situation.
• Hey look, a potential friend is asking Hitoe if she’s okay. But hey, since she lost some card game, obviously she can’t be friends with anyone uguu.
• So Akira won’t allow our trio to leave unless she gets their email addresses. She even bars their exit with her tiny, little leg. Yeah, well, you and what army? There’s three of us and one of you. Let’s go guys… g-guys?
• Yep, after the break, we find out that Yuzuki had given her email address away: “What choice did I have?! There’s no way we could’ve got away.” Gotten away from what? Was Akira going to beat them up? Yep, some girl and her leg was just so intimidating, Yuzuki had no choice!
• Yuzuki tells us after the fact that Hitoe was actually strong at the game. She just got stomped by Akira because the mean girl is just that much stronger by comparison. But y’see, this wasn’t conveyed through their battle whatsoever. I didn’t get any sense from the match that Akira was really good at the game. Instead, it just looked as if Hitoe was really incompetent.
• Kazuki suggests that his twin sister update her deck in preparation for the potential battle between her and Akira. THat’s why card games have never really appealed to me. It’s too pay-2-win for my blood. True, loading up your deck with the rarest cards possible will hardly make you unbeatable. In fact, a deck full of legendaries sucks. But you still need a rather hefty base of cards in order to really compete, and that means forking over the cash. You then have to hope you have some good luck whenever you open up a new pack. If your luck sucks, it means forking over even more money until you get the cards that you need. Yeah, no thanks.
• Sweet, the card shop is attended by a cute girl! And the card shop is full of cute girls too!
• Oh man, a loli Yuzuki had to color over a picture of her and her brother getting married because her classmates made fun of their incestuous love. Wow, I feel so sorry for her.
• At least Ruko has a wish that makes sense: she wants her grandma to live as long as possible. Y’know, it’s the sort of thing where you would actually need magic (or expensive healthcare) to accomplish.
• The following day, Akira begins to spam Yuzuki’s inbox with emails regarding their upcoming battle. Yuzuki tries to hide out in a karaoke bar with Ruko much to the latter’s utter reluctance (karaoke is so hazukashii~). Man, maybe I’m just missing something, but if you don’t want to battle, just fucking say no. Yuzuki’s LRIG even tells her that she doesn’t have to agree to the challenge. What’s wrong with saying no? I do it all the time. “Hey, you wanna do something you won’t like–” “No.” Easy peasy.
• But whoops, Yuzuki and Ruko spot Kazuki hanging out with the girl from the card shop. I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding, but… how scandalous! Don’t you know your twin sister is in love with you?! How can you be so insensitive, oniichan?!
• Yuzuki: “You saw Hitoe hurt, but you were looking at it as if nothing happened…” Uh, the girl did ask Hitoe if she was okay.
This is so ridiculous. If you want friends, go and make friends. Forcing people to like you by becoming an Eternal Girl won’t solve the root of the problem. Likewise, forcing your twin brother to love you through a wish is just as bad if he doesn’t feel the same way about you. But whateeeeever, sad girls are sad.
• So instead of just going home, Yuzuki spends the rest of her day at some playground. Somehow, Akira manages to track her down anyway.
• No new horror elements this week. Just some quick cuts of what we’ve already seen. How disappointing.