US Distributor: Funimation
Production Studio: J.C. Staff
Was this provided by the publisher? Yes
More Info: Anime News Network

selector-infected-wixoss-boxart-001-20161003Have you heard of WIXOSS? It’s the hot new collectible card game that’s taking the world by storm! It’s garnered ardent fans of all ages, and even attracted numerous celebrity players. Below the surface, though, lurks something darkly ominous.

Enter Ruko Kominato, Yuzuki Kurebayashi and Hitoe Uemura. Three friends destined to battle it out through WIXOSS, in order to gain the mysterious title of “The Eternal Girl.” Eternal Girls are special young ladies, who are granted a single wish for anything their hearts desire.

Of course, those who do battle for the title of Eternal Girl don’t use the same cards sold at 7-Eleven. Their special decks contain a living avatar called an LRIG, who fights on their master’s behalf. Will tactics and skill be enough to gain victory? More importantly, will that one special wish be worth the sacrifices made to get it?

Selector Infected WIXOSS revolves around the trials and tribulations of three friends, bound by fate as they battle for the title of Eternal Girl. Each girl is driven to win, with the hope that they can use their wish to fix something they deem irreparable by normal means.

selector-infected-wixoss-003-20161003Ruko Kominato is a quiet girl, who started playing to WIXOSS to make a few friends and hopefully put her grandmother’s feelings at ease.Ruko enjoys WIXOSS. But, unlike the rest of the contenders, she doesn’t join the battle with a specific wish in mind. Since she doesn’t want anything, many have begun to assume that she lacks any personal drive or ambitions beyond making it through the day. As she learns more about the game, though, Ruko develops an addiction the thrill of combat. She finds that she can’t give WIXOSS up, as it’s the one thing offering the semblance of meaning to her life.

Yuzuki Kurebayashi wants to get closer to her twin brother Kazuki.. In a much more intimate manner. She desires to become her brother’s girlfriend, and believes that WIXOSS is the only way to make her dreams a reality. While incest can be tropey, the series does an excellent job of conveying that society is not okay with her appetites. With her fiery passion, though, Yuzuki hopes to make her dream of come to fruition, societal norms and potential birth defects be damned.

selector-infected-wixoss-010-20161003Hitoe Uemura, on the other hand, just wants to make friends. She honestly believes that the game is her only salvation from being forever alone. She’s also the game’s first victim. Hitoe’s dreams quickly sour, to the point that even casual encounters with people only bring her pain. Her situation becomes a major driving point in the show’s latter half, as the battle begins to hit closer to home for Ruko and Yuko.

Overall, the cast proved to be charming and likeable, with one big exception. That anomaly is Chiyori, a young lady who was introduced at the end of the season. Though she only had one scene, it proved to be far more than enough. Chiyori is so unnecessary and serves little purpose other than to pander toward a certain audience with specific tastes. I know that she’s supposed to be a character that represents innocence, but she brings nothing new to the table, outside of her uncanny ability to be downright annoying.

selector-infected-wixoss-009-20161003What really makes Selected Infected WIXOSS fascinating, though, is the way in which it explores the darker side of wish granting. Battling for a chance to make their dreams come true, coupled with the sad truth is they could achieve these same wishes through hard work. The themes presented in WIXOSS are sure to tickle the fancies of Madoka Magica fans. Plus, fans of trading card games like Magic: The Gathering will undoubtedly notice a lot of similarities to their favorite game in WIXOSS, especially once concepts like deck colors and card flow start to come into play. Even the LRIGs are eerily similar to Magic’s Planeswalkers as prime examples of the decks they run with. Well, that’s if the Planeswalkers were alive and had sinister hidden agendas.

WIXOSS is the complete package: friendship, trust, and loyalty are tempered by the ever-present pain and misery. It’s a nice dark ride downhill in the rain, as a simple card game is stripped away to become something far more sinister. My only real regret with Selector Infected WIXOSS is not seeing the second season after the big finale twist. So if you have some time, why not shuffle your deck? Pull up a seat at the table and enjoy a few rounds of WIXOSS.