Selector Infected/Spread WIXOSS: When cute girls, play a children’s card game.

I love card battle animes and when it is presented in a cutesie Moe Moe way as an all girl cast series, I simply could not resist. When I started watching this show for the first time in early 2015 (a little after the second season concluded)  I was expecting a Kawaii Yu-Gi-Oh series with a hint of maybe Digimon due to the talking cards. One episode in I felt I was right about that assumption. Back than I had never watched a certain magical girl anime yet so I could not tell the signs yet, but Selector WIXOSS would completely bamboozle me. I was actually shocked at the story this anime really tells.  This review of (mostly) spoiler free, save for the basic premiss.

A girl and her LRIG

Ruuko Kominato is the protagonist of the first two seasons of Selector Wixoss,  Season one is titled Infected and Season 2 is called Spread, a fourteen year old girl, living in the big city alongside her grandma and brother. She is a simple girl who doesn’t have any deep desires for love, acknowledgment , good grades, beauty or whatever like most of her peers. She comes of a bit as a loner, but isn’t exactly unhappy about it. Her brother however also noticed and gift her a card deck for a game called WIXOSS, the popular card game  all the girls play, at her school. Not having any idea how to play Ruuko isn’t really sure about what to do with it at first, but one night when she actually looks at her desk she finds a very special card that looks like it holds a living girl. This girl can speak to her, albeit somewhat brokenly, and tells Ruuko she has amnesia,, or at the very least her head is very foggy. She has no name so Ruuko decides to name her Tama.

Tama is an LRIG a living card that can be used in WIXOSS battles against other card users who have been granted a living card.  Ruuko has become a selector she finds out, and winning three battles will grant her her deepest wish. There is one problem however. Ruuko doesn’t have one. When the series starts we see Ruuko befriend Tama..almost like a TAMAgotchi, she shows her stuff in the real world, they talk, go to sleep as if having sleepovers and so on. Yet Ruuko notices Tama is missing something, so she dips her feet in the world of WIXOSS which leads to her making new friends and growing into a stronger person. If you have seen any card battle anime, or even anime before.. you pretty much know how it goes.. except you don’t .

Dark , Darker, WiXOSS

This series is a bit of a slow burner, while season one carefully builds a world and gives our main character plenty of growth we as the viewer could at times feel this series isn’t doing anything special and you would be very wrong. Competitive events that grant your wish are nothing new, we have seen it in Dragon Ball, Yu-Gi-Oh heck even Oban Star Racer has it.  On first glance this looks like another generic series following that trope. Yet this series takes a LOT of inspiration from Madoka and assuming you’ve all seen or at least heard about Puella Magi Madoka Magica, you all know that isn’t a very happy show. That show is pretty dark. WIXOSS even goes a step beyond in terms of narrative darkness. While not as threatening or vicious as Madoka, this anime very much knows what it is and thinks very much about the penalties and the rewards of the “wish” system and uses it to create the darkest and most claustrophobic situation players can be in I’ve ever seen in the genre. If you think a Duel Monsters shadow game , where you risk your life …or risk going to the shadow realm if you prefer the dub, is badass, Selector will show you an entire new level of badass. The penalty for losing three times in a row I’d say might be even worse than dying like legitimately , I’d see the “shadow realm” as a vacation after losing after what awaits these girls.

As the show closer towards the second season, we find out this show goes even further than that.  Winning three times in a row..arguably is EVEN worse than losing. Which already is worse than death. I am pretty sure the writers of this series will go to hell after they die, not because they were bad people in real life, because Satan wants to hire people who can think up more evil stuff than himself. Several times throughout the series I have actually felt anxious and queasy by realising what was going on. I watched Madoka shortly after this and when I found out how evil Kyuubi was I kinda asked to myself.. is this it? Not as evil as WiXOSS. So this is a legitimate warning, if you do not like dark stories..this one certainly isn’t for you.

Pretty Dark

While despair and darkness certainly are themes in this show, it is certainly brought to you in a colourful way. The character designs look good, the LRIGS are mostly cute and colourful and their worlds look super pretty. I think the show keeps a very good balance in keeping the visuals humble, as well as their designs yet still succeed into making  those elements that need to be special, actually feel special. Tama for example , who turns out to be a bit of an odd LRIG also feels that way in design and voice and those kind of things. While she wears a very simple white dress and there are no traces of over design you instinctively know she is unique. Card Battle anime tend to be overly designed, Just look at the later seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh or Cardfight Vanguard for example, Monsters appearing on stream are so extremely detailed, with almost World-of-Warcraft-Like armor on them it is almost distracting. Wixoss uses a much more minimal approach which I really liked.

While there is magic and solid combat, never does it detract from the characters. They still feel real. This low key battling style allows you to relate to Tama more, you feel her pain more easily as it’s more “real”  When Yu-gi characters take real damage, they still only take scratches from screen filling beams, cards shatter and duelists get their hair messed up by the wind that’s it. This show relies more on tiny projectiles and actual punches with a much more correlating effect. We see them scream and cry out in pain, which feeds that anxious feeling but also makes battles more investing as their is a much more direct correlation between what is actually happening and what we see. While some can perceive it as dull compared to it’s bigger brothers and sisters I’d say for what this show is, their looks and style is chosen flawlessly. It’s never really mind blowing , but the series doesn’t want you to lose your mind over their style.. it wants you to explode your brain with their story.

Active Anime

In this day and age, anime tends to be very heavy on exposure, characters will figure out stuff for you , and loudly state their thoughts even if there is no one around but the viewer to hear it. It makes it so that most anime are easy to watch lying down on the couch with a glass of wine or tea of whatever you prefer.  Wixoss is NOT that type of anime. If you take it as is, the plot can feel quite convoluted, especially in the second season. While we do get answers to what is going on, rarely ever does Ruuko do that finger snap and go like “ooh so this is why that is happening!?’ In fact stuff that is discovered by Ruuko’s friends might not be magically transferred to Ruuko. Investigation into the story happens on seperate level, for example on the LRIG level and the reality level. Characters making discoveries on the reality level might not have the answers of the LRIG level, so never does one character really have all the answers. Only the viewer does have all the information and even then at times we are asked to fill in some blanks ourselves.  This series doesn’t hold your hand, you HAVE to get invested in it to properly enjoy it.You are going to have to put your brain to work to make some links yourself or the story doesn’t make sense. When you do get it though, everything can click, you’ll be the one that goes like ‘ooooh, now I get it’. In a way the show isn’t the full story itself. The show is the crutch that allows you to see the whole story.

While I do really like this concept I would actually say this is a weakness to the show as it seriously hinders when you can watch this show. Normally watching with friends makes any anime show better. This one I recommend strongly to watch alone. With friends you pay less attention making the story harder..though figuring it out together could still be fun. Yet with friends I’d say you’d feel less of the anxiety and the despair these girls feel, because strangely enough there is to much love in the room. This show is enjoyed best if you can relate to negative emotions. Like if you could wonder how it would be to be absolutely lonely, or how it would feel to see what these characters see. Weirdly enough this is best endured alone. So in a way this show banks on you relating to negative emotions to be as powerful as it can be. You best enjoy it when watching it alone, when you are a bit vulnerable, but positive enough to bounce back and enjoy it. Great but there is a certain amount of RNG involved in how much you will enjoy it depending on your viewing situation. So how do we flavor this?

Selector Flavor

Selector Wixoss is one of the most underestimated anime I ever watched. It left a lasting impression on me which I am sure will also remain there. Some people can not see it other than a Madoka clone, while others swear by it and praise  what it does with it’s own tropes. If you look at it like a Madoka clone, that is exactly what you will get and what you will see. If you see it as a dark Yu-gi-oh and Madoka hybrid you will get way more out of it as it completely does it’s own thing with the card battle genre while still managing to hit the right tropes to feel as a part of it.

The story is compelling and invites you to play an active role in it and investigate alongside the characters. Which works wonderfully well with the flavor of a card battle show. You do try to strategise along, you do try to find out what that face down card could be.I loved how dark this show got and how it made me feel even if that was negative at times. I’d compare it to visiting a scary haunted house where we are going in to feel a negative emotion in a controlled environment where you can feel them without actually getting harmed and still get the positive side effect. This show is a bit like that, the negative being the anxiety and the despair the main characters feel, and the positive of working it out alongside with them and finding hope and strength within it. Like with the main cast, this will not end well for everyone.. so just for this time. I will make you the Selectors! and it’s up to you to select your own flavor. As this show’s rating really needs you as a part of the equasion. The show has more seasons, but to me these two stand strong enough as their own.

(You Decide)
(I Personally would give it Berry Good Flavor)

A Sunny Sunday: The Sunshine Blogger Award

It’s finally time! About a week ago we we nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award. With lots of social stuff I had to attend as some really sore muscles throughout the entire week it took me seven whole days to get to this.  Once more I would like to thank A Girl and her Anime for the nomination. I have handed the questions to reporter Pinkie Cherryblossom who will hold a short interview.

Thank you Pinkie! Amelia  from A Girl And Her Anime came up with these questions so mad props to her! Would you kindly visit her blog? Since I said “Would you Kindly?”  it means you all are going to have to do it! She writes some pretty insightful stuff as well as some fun reviews. She seems like an amazing person that deserves more followers. Then again she might be an alien mastermind coming to earth trying to charm way to an otaku army, you never know. Yet what are the chances that two of those happen to have the exact same idea and even follow each others blog. So nevermind that I am sure she is awesome! Moving on!

The Sunshine Blogger award has some rules which I will post near the end. I’d say most of you by now have seen these post before now anyway so I am sure you know. Let’s get down to these questions Pinkie if you please take a seat I will ask us the questions Amelia came up with. Even though she tagged 11 bloggers the first question she came up with seems to be made JUST for us! So thank you for that one!
Question number one is…..!

If you were a Pokémon, what sort of Pokémon would you be?

I wish I could say I was a Sylveon..It’s all about love and that is really big for me, and with a lot of pink and cute ribbons it is totally my style. It’s a bit of my spirit animal. However my friends always call me Pancham, because it’s a Panda. It has become a meme on how pure my mind is, I never understand sex jokes, I never get inuendo and I am honestly not all that interested in the physical stuff to a point of not at all. To my friends amusement I always seem to miss any lewd moments as well. If we are watching an anime, the moment I get up there will be a risque scene, when I get back the scene is over.  When two friends are making out.. I get distracted by a butterfly passing outside and completely miss it. One night a friend was joking and asking ‘What if Pinkie does see something lewd? Will the universe explode?’ He wanted to put something on his tv but at that exact moment the batteries of his remote control were drained. That’s when I became the ultimate Panda. So my Pokémon would have to reflect that as well. I really do feel like I would be a fairy-type though so lets say I am a regional form Pancham that is a Fairy-Psychic type (A nice counter part to the dark-fightingy type, pangoro grows into)  also to reflect I really like Kawaii stuff but also to play mind games with people.I would have pixilate as an ability.. because I’d love to make normal stuff cute and I could still show my love throughout the move Return that way!
That is a move that deals more damage if the Pokémon loves it’s trainer a lot. If I like you well enough I will fight super hard for you, so it seems like a great fit.

Do  you play video games? If so what have you been playing recently?

Well will not cheese this one and say I have been playing Pokémon Let’s Go, Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Ultra Sun… I do but those are all like stuff I normally talk in this blog about. What I have been playing most recently is Ducktales Remastered. Ducks are some of my favorite animals. When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what will I be? She sighed and just put on Disney. Ducktales was one of the first TV shows I ever loved. To this day I have fuzzy memories and I ADORE the 2017 remake. Because I was a total dojikko (a clumsy girl)   when I was young, because it would turn out there was something wrong with, I never really liked playing outside. It would always end up with me falling from or into something. If that didn’t happen I would get stuck somewhere. It was stressful. So my parents decided to buy me a NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) with Super Mario Bros 3 and Ducktales as starting games. Mario 3 was nice, but I was in love with Ducktales. It was Shovel Knight, 25 years before Shovel Knight and it was the game that turned me into a gamer. Like a lot of games it has gotten a remake that I played with a friend once (at their place) but now it is being pulled of the market and going away for ever. So shout out to Kurtis for gifting me this one!

What is your favorite colour: Any particular reason why it’s your favorite?

Pinkie’s favorite colour is pink! I bet you didn’t see that one coming if you have ever been to my blog. Pink has a deeper meaning to me though then just being cute. I never grew up very girly, due to my faulty build the other girls and I grew apart, as my lack of grace resulted in me not really liking the stuff they liked and feeling happier with a controller in my hand. I could exert an amount of control over my actions in games I lacked in real life.  So I became a bit of a tomboy/loner/geek with teenage mutant ninja turtle shirts and the likes in an attempt to at least belong somewhere.. like being that girl that is one of the guys but who was never accepted as one either and a lot of bullying ensued .. mostly because I moved so weirdly . Itt took me many years to find that out and just around the time I was finally becoming me around when I was 22. I started to experiment with pink clothes. Around that same time I got very sick, my muscle issues seemed to tax my heart now as well. We didn’t exactly know what was wrong so I had to visit a lot of hospitals At the time I had a pink pyjama and pink bathrobes . In the hospital it’s not that hard for you to feel like just a number or patient X. I wasn’t at one ward each time I was at different places so it even felt more like that. It very much looked like there wasn’t going to be a future for me at all at that time which resulted in a bit of an existential crisis that I would die and no one would remember, that I would be a person that is truly gone straight away. Yet I got a bit better, a medicine was found that helped me greatly.  Doctors a lot more positive began to refer to me by my super pink look, calling me Pinkie. I developed a persona alongside it as a coping mechanism which turned out to be much closer to my actual core self.. but not as afraid and held back by the bullying i received in the past. It represented my repressed self, my true self and ever since that time I connect pink to the strength to be me the freedom to be me.

What is your favorite thing to do during summer?

Sorry about the long answers before this one! Amelia sure picked her questions neatly! There was a lot of stuff to tell.  My favorite thing to do during summer is stroll around on a boulevard on the late evening, the sun warming my muscles, the feeling of a vaction you can have while strolling through a place where everything seems to move just a tiny bit slower than it normally would, seeing that bit of heat distortion way ahead towards your destination. Just by the look of the sky being able to tell that tomorrow is going to be another great day The freedom and the level of comfort are great. Shall I go out with some friends for a drink? Shall I buy that cute purse in the window tomorrow. I love all those things , but that toasty summer stroll where everything is still possible is my favorite moment.

Ghibli is obviously very popular , but what movie do you think is the most overrated?

Honestly? I think all of them are at least a bit overrated. I do like them quite a lot but I do find some of them a bit overly artsy as well. They might impress me more than your average film, they might have the stronger messages behind them but I for one prefer to be entertained .
The Wind rises i saw in a premiere for example. With messages what we should not let technology pass us by and creative choices like having all engines be made by voice effects to make them sound more warm and personal is great. I sit there and nod my head going! Good Show that is impressive. When I watch the second Gurren Laggan movie I am not thinking , wow that’s impressive or  that is such a clever allegory. No when I watch that movie I am shouting at my screen. “WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE” , extending my hand to help Giga drill break and in their first movie, when Simon and Kamina Gatai for the first time I am like kicking the floor in a giddy excitement. Ghibli can make me laugh, and it can make me cry but it can never take me on a real roller coaster of emotions. They feel like the Louvre museum of anime. Mad respect to the Louvre.. but when I am in Paris I much rather go to Disneyland

If you could travel back in time, when you travel and why?

Tokyo 1991. The Gameboy has just come out and Satoshi Tajiri will soon talk to Miyamoto about developing the link cable, during which they would talk about transferring insects. A concept that would  lead to development of Pokémon. I plan to go there and steal their pitch! So I can own the Pokémon IP, of course I would still entrust Game Freak with the idea after, but think of all the money I would have and I would be the princess or queen even of Pokémon. Sure I could help the world by altering a historic event but that’s boring!  I am going to be honest, I’d rather be rich than a hero, I deserve some good times as well.

As a the new leader of a country, what is the first law you introduce?

This is a hard one, I could spout some idealistic nonsense that is never going to happen anyway like ‘everyone’ is forced to love each other but this is not enforceable and it would  kill individuality if it works. No I would instead create the ‘my opinion’ law . It’s a harsh one as it would forbid any form of social influencing media from phrasing their opinions as facts.
‘People who can’t play Tracer should be shot … would be an illegal titel for your post. ‘I think people who can’t play Tracer should be shot’  would be fine. A lot of negativity in this world comes from big youtubers saying something is bad, convincing people their is only one correct opinion, if creates conflict and division. When we forbid people to claim their opinions as factual and make them say that this is only their opinion, it is much harsher to cause harm to anyone.  Don’t believe in a non-binary gender system? Saying “there is only males and females is hurtful’ hearing ‘In my opinion gender IS binary’ might be disappointing but is never hurtful. Both offender and offensee can realise there are two sides to this coin. We can learn to respect each others opinions because they are forced to be spoken out as such. A single opinion never has the power to change you, you can however choose to heed the opinion. So gone with the Count Dankula’s in this world and goodbye to “you are stupid and should die”  In my nation you’ll read “I think you are stupid and should die instead’ It already stings less, and over time maybe we can fix this weird ass Political Correct purgatory we are creating for ourselves.  and actually start being ourselves rather than our newly invented emblem or classical stereotype. If we know our enemies are just giving their opinon, we can hug them better.

Have you been reading anything lately?

I’ve been reading the Pokémon Adventures Manga as well as a bit of Is This A Zombie?It’s been a while since I read an actual good book. I’ve been trying to read Dan Brown’s origin but I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about that one. I’ve also been reading the D&D 5th GM manual and player handbook a lot! Those are technically books.  Finally I have been reading all of your blogs, they are all amazing, yours is even a little better than that of my others readers but that is a secret between us two okay?

Tell us about your favourite film

I actually have two. My regular answer to what my favorite movie is would be.  Catch me if you can.   I love the story of the young con-artist pretending to be a pilot, lawyer and doctor. Dicaprio portrays Frank Abagnale perfectly.  Tom Hanks playing the FBI agent who is after him is done exceptionally well, I root for both sides I watch the movie. It’s such a compelling story with a great soundtrack, stellar acting and basically anything a girl can wish for in a good movie. It’s definitely my favorite good movie and if you haven’t seen it yet you should definitely check it out.

My REAL favourite movie however would have to be Tommy Wisseau’s the room. The BEST worst movie ever. It is such a cringeworthy watch each time, yet it has become so much more than just a film to me.  I crossplayed Wiseau, I met people because of the movie, I went to special theaters, I carry plastic spoons when I see it. Whenever I see a small dog I go “hi doggie” even if I actually speak dutch. It gave us jokes inside our group of friends. We are even considering organising “tommy con’ It will not be an actual convention, it will just be fans of the movie gathering in a park.. dressed in a suit, tossing american footballs around. For those who don’t know what the Room is? The Room tells the story about Johny, and all American man (with a bit of an accent) who gets cheated on by his wife when his promotion falls trough. There are some other plothooks like a mother in law with cancer, which is never addressed, a  young boys issues with drugs, which isn’t really addressed or rounded out, characters appearing and vanishing from thin air… and random people who don’t live there having sex on the couch. There is a lot of spoons hidden in the movie as well as well as tossing the football. it is atrociously bad and almost unwatchable and I love every minute of my own.. and the friends I watch it with suffering.  James Franco made a movie about how bad this movie is called the disaster artist and that one was just as great.  All the stories surrounding The Room, make it something greater.

Put your music on shuffle. What are the first three songs to play?

My father was a musician and he always tried to force his music onto me, I never rebelled much as a teen, but I kinda rebelled to music in general,. Now I mostly listen weeaboo music or geek music. I never play any pop music or anything.  So I will just share the last tracks I listened trough videos.   

And one bonus song! Because it started playing right after and I felt bad in leaving this one off!

If you were to suggest an anime I had to watch, what would you recommend?

Way too known to be a proper suggestion would be Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, it’s my favorite anime ever by a landslide. A giga drill breaker caused landslide, that one is just so friggin amazing I have to actively try not to soil myself in excitement. However because it’s that amazing I think everyone in the world already knows about it and follow the Gospel of Kamina and Simon so the thing I am gonna recommend is…..
Selector Infected Wixoss.

A slightly more obscure 2014 anime about cute girls battling with cards to get their wish granted.  If you win 3 card battles you get your wish granted, if you lose 3 you’ll lose your wish forever as well as the little buddy that dwells inside your main card.Yet no one knows the true and dark secrets about this card battle game. The anime starts out incredibly slow but once the story starts rolling you have an extremely dark story that brings Madoka and Yu-gi-oh together  in a grim tale. Do not expect a happily ever after when you start this one because this goes in the shadows, this isn’t cute girls playing a children’s card game… this is some serious doodoo. The characters are nice and though nothing to special they work and you pelted with a million of them . If you like Madoka, and if you like to a slower moving story filled with intrigue and mystery, with the pay off mostly in the later half of the series, then this is a series  you should watch.

The Nominees!

Now I have to nominated 11 others bloggers to answer my questions and hand them this award. Honestly tracking down he wants a nomination or who has been nominated has become way to much work so I just picked those who I really want to ask these questions  too and those who deserve a little sunshine. And the Nominees are!

I know this is 12 but I am pretty sure Mallow or someone on this list went on a hiatus. so it should be fine! Congrats guys! You have been nice for me, provided me some neat content, impressed me or all! of the above!

The Rules

Now there are 5 rules , with me completely ignoring one because I do promoting my stuff on others blogs.
Rule number 1 Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their site so people can visit their website.
(Feel free however to ignore my entire nomination if you don’t want to to the award thing. I mainly picked some blogs I liked and which I felt would answers my questions in a funny way, could use some love or I have really seen working hard on their blog in the past few weeks, you wont have seven years of bad luck or something for not doing it)
Rule Number 2:  Answer the 11 questions your nominator, that would be me, asked in your post.
Rule Number 3 : Nominate 11 others bloggers and write up 11 new questions for them to answer.
Rule Number 4: Notify the nominee by commenting about the nomination on one of their posts.  (I linked recent posts of everyone so you get a notification rather than me going of topic in your comment box)
Rule Number 5: Display the Sunshine Blogger logo and list the rules!
Now for my questions, I made them a bit harder than your regular “what is your favorite” anime.  Just to see what kind of folks you actually are . Have fun!

The Questions

1. Is your blogging personality true to yourself or have you made some changes in the way you present yourself?
2. If you HAD to choose between the following which option would you pick? -Grant everyone in the world one year of perfect happiness.  -Grant your best friend in the whole wide world a lifetime full of happiness? Motivate your answer.
3. Do you still have a childhood toy you kept? If not which one do you regret giving up?
4.What do you like LEAST about our lovely blogging community?
5. You have to swap two main characters from (anime) series around.. for example Naruto and Goku… who would you choose and which of the series would you want to watch more.
6. If I gave you 50 dollars , (US)  what would you buy from it? You HAVE to spend it.
7. You have to direct a tv commercial for yourself, how would it go?
8. You had some time and money to spare to make a commercial for ME, how would that go?
9. Ranger, Bard, Paladin, Fighter, Rogue  Wizard, Druid or Cleric! What would be your class, (not your favored D&D class) define yourself as one of these classes. 
10. If you are a trading game card, which trading card game would you be in and what would be your effect?.
11. If you could run any other blog site for a week? Which blog would you choose and why?

This finishes my biggest post so far!  Remember participation is by choice , no need to actually do this if you do not want!  Don’t want to participate in the sunshiny goodness, or did you not make my list? Let me get to know you and answer up to two of these in the comments .
Remember little monsters
I am not weird just very pink!
Until we read again.