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Hello everyone! This week’s episode was pretty savage in many ways, but let’s build up some context first.
Right of the bat, Suzu is reminded by Riru that she’s out of time and can’t keep running from battles. It’s interesting to see how each selector has an LRIG based off their own personality, because Suzu seems not even close to being as courageous as Riru. Suzu begins to look for selectors when she stumbles upon one named Shou who refuses to battle her. He claims that he intends to wait until he has no time left before he engages in combat, although his reasoning remains a mystery. He walks off and Suzu goes to a card shop to test her chances. WIXOSS is getting wildly popular because this card shop is packed.
Riru warns Suzu that the blond guy standing in the corner is a selector; they fight. This guy is actually more than a little odd. He’s down right creepy. His LRIG happens to be a little girl based on his apparent sister complex and he has more than one mental breakdown in battle. Suzu takes advantage of his complex to win the battle by destroying his LRIG, Aya. We find out that the real Aya is his sister who has lost WIXOSS one too many times and has disappeared.
Meanwhile, Mikage Hanna is challenged by a redheaded girl who is out of time and desperate for a battle. It’s not until the two are already engaged in combat that she finds out she’s fighting the famous WIXOSS columnist and game expert, Mikage Hanna. Once she gets pummeled, she begins to beg for Hanna to give her the win so that she doesn’t disappear. But Hanna, being the cold-hearted logic robot that she is, simply said no. The girl loses. But she doesn’t actually disappear as we have been led on to believe. She loses her memories and her personality, not her physical body. The girl simply gets up after the battle and aimlessly wanders away, completely blank.
Now switching back to Suzu and the blond guy, we understand what he means by his sister disappearing. She became a selector and tried to reach out to him when he was busy with college. She was gone before he knew it. Now he is trying to compensate for her loss by battling to understand what she went through. However, he quickly got in way over his head. Not to mention he probably needs psychiatric help. Suzu stays and talks with him for a little while, but overall she’s relieved that she has not yet disappeared herself.
— WIXOSSアニメ公式 (@wixoss_anime) October 20, 2016
Family- Whether it’s Suzu’s lack of actual family or the blond selector’s lost sister, this anime focuses on family. We see selectors who have close familial bonds that they need to reconcile with before they disappear. Then we see selectors who have no family at all and it really wouldn’t matter to anyone if they disappeared. WIXOSS is a cleverly disguised card game that doesn’t discriminate when it comes to tearing lives apart.
Identity- Each selector’s identity is wrapped up in their avatar, which is based off of the selector’s own unique characteristics. The fact that selectors who lose apparently don’t deserve to keep their defining traits is a little frightening. It’s almost as if this card game is reshaping an entire generation by natural selection. As we see with Shou and Suzu, not participating in the game isn’t an option or you will be terminated by default.
Empathy- Many of the selectors refuse to fight or defeat other selectors close to elimination because they are sympathetic. The blond faced a struggle in finishing Suzu because he remembered that’s how his sister disappeared. However, some selectors lack empathy because they’re sociopaths like Mikage and will ruthlessly end their opponents. It looks like most of this anime is in fact going to play on the viewer’s empathy to gauge a reaction.
— WIXOSSアニメ公式 (@wixoss_anime) October 21, 2016
A lot seems to be going on with this episode emotionally. We see that other selectors are on a time crunch like Suzu and are desperate for a battle. Then there are others who are just winning for the hell of it because they’re just that good. Mikage is a formidable opponent and I’m curious to see if it will be Suzu or Chinatsu that battles her first. My money is on Chinatsu, because so far it seems like Suzu is just getting really lucky instead of possessing actual skill.
The series is progressing well, but I really want Suzu to take WIXOSS as seriously as Chinatsu is. If she doesn’t get it together soon, she is going to meet some real tough opponents and lose her identity. What do yout think? Let us know in the comments below!