So, as some people may know, my birthday is coming up on the 26th of this month. I’ve been thinking I want to do something special to lead into my birthday, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to commemorate the occasion this year. Come this time last year, I didn’t have a blog and hadn’t stepped into the area of reviewing and talking more about anime in a structured format like this (if those anime weren’t named Love Live or Yuuki Yuuna), but it’s been an interesting time these past months. So, I thought and thought and finally came up with an idea. So, for the next fifteen days, we’ll be taking a trip through my taste and talking a bit about my Top 15 Favorite Anime. These likely won’t be full-length reviews, but more of me talking a bit about the shows and why I love them so much. With the introduction aside, let’s dive right into the list shall we?
#15: Selector Infected and Selector Spread WIXOSS
(Spoilers ahead, you have been warned)
(Note: Lostorage is not included as I haven’t finished, and I have yet to see Destructed)
Starting us off with a bang, my #15 anime of all time is the two seasons that made up the original anime for the WIXOSS franchise. Apart from the content of the anime itself, it’s a special series for me. Selector Spread WIXOSS was my first time watching an anime as it aired in Japan after getting back into anime during 2014. Since watching, I’ve also gotten a bit into the trading card game the show is centered around, bringing several friends from various different community into the game as well. So, clearly, the franchise itself is clearly one that has infiltrated my life through many different means. However, where the franchise began for me was with the anime itself. Throughout the two 12-episode seasons, the Selector franchise carried me through a gripping story with themes of forbidden love, friendship, and a look at the fragility of the human psyche.
There were a lot of things I loved about the anime. Coming into the show recommended based on my enjoyment of Madoka (which has worked out really well for me), I had my inclinations on the direction the story would take. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the story of WIXOSS dips into the darker end of the spectrum when it comes to its kind of shows. As I aptly put it in my MAL tag for WIXOSS, “Madoka learned MTG” is a good way to describe the WIXOSS anime. The card game theme masks the much darker theme and the serious concepts the show attempts to tackle, with lots of questions being thrown around about the human psyche, how far we can be taken before we snap, and the idea of dependence on one another. The latter is a theme I feel was done particularly well at several different points in the series, with Akira’s hatred towards Iona (and at the same time her severe dependence on Ulith), Mayu’s revealed loneliness within the White Room, and the relationship between Tama and Ruko. It’s a series I find very interesting, especially on rewatches, as there are several subtle details that are hard to pick up on the first time through.
Favorite Episode: Episode 5, “That Oath is Invalid”
With each series, I’m going to take a short moment to talk about my favorite episode from that particular show and why that episode is my favorite. For WIXOSS, my personal favorite would have to be the 5th episode of the first season. As those who have watched will know, this is the point of the show where the dark overtones really start to set in. As Ruko, Yuzuki, and Hitoe excitedly enter and prepare for the WIXOSS Party, Hitoe is found by a Selector when she goes to meet with the girls for the event. Upon losing the battle, Hitoe suffers the penalty of her third loss, a penalty which hadn’t really been touched upon before. The revelation is dropped that instead of just never being able to attain her wish, her wish is reversed through her third loss. In the case of Hitoe, her wish to become friends becomes reversed and it is revealed that she will never be able to make friends again, while losing her memory of her current friends and having pain inflicted upon her when they try to interact with her. It was really hard to pick a favorite for me, as I liked a lot of episodes of WIXOSS for different reasons. In this case, I had to go with the reversal of Hitoe’s wish for how I appreciated its execution and what it did for the stakes of the series. Instead of just losing the chance to have her wish granted, it straight up gets ripped away from her and it can never come true. I really appreciated what this did to raise the stakes of the entire series and I felt the execution of Ruko and Yuzuki trying to interact with Hitoe afterwards really carried the weight of the scene.
All in all, WIXOSS was a great ride for me. The anime was a gripping, thrill-ride with lots of twists and turns throughout the course of the two seasons. It was a new experience for me having never watched anime from week-to-week, especially considering I finished the extremely big cliffhanger of the Infected finale the day before the first episode of Spread aired. The anime got me into a card game that I’ve now played with and introduced to many of my friends. It’s a franchise I hold very close to my heart and a great way to open the list
(Selector infected WIXOSS can be legally streamed from Funimation‘s website, as well as purchased in physical form)