Virtually nothing happened this week. Get on with the plot!
So yes, Tama did actually get some screentime this episode, but other than that, the characters really did do nothing but constantly go over their positions. Nothing changed this episode, and no new information of any real worth was revealed to us either. We know that Iona made a horrible decision choosing someone as timid as Ruko to be her selector, we know that Ruko just wants to get Tama back, and so on and so forth. And it’s all done with absolutely no sense or levity. Take this scene where Ruko runs into the not-Uzuki.
Why are they standing back to back? Just talk normally, even if you are awkward around each other. I’ll tell you why they’re standing back to back. It looks cool. It looks dramatic. Ugh.
There’s also a particuarly awful, somewhat hilarious scene where Iona bombards Ruko with questions. Of course, these questions pretty much phrase every damn reason why Iona made a horrible decision to choose Ruko as her selector. I’d almost feel sorry for her if it wasn’t entirely her fault. Of course, she’s also arrogant as hell too. She is a former villain after all.
How does she know that? She hasn’t battled as an LRIG yet, besides that draw with Akira where nothing happened. For all we know, she could suck. Just because she was a good Selector she thinks she’ll be a good LRIG? What determines an LRIG’s strength, anyway? It’s as vague as all the other rules of this universe I guess.
There was something potentially interesting in this episode, the mastermind character named Mayu seemed intent on keeping Tama in her world for some reason. In her words, Ruko is a liar because she failed to get Tama out of the card. More specifically, they didn’t go shopping for those damned scrunchies. That doesn’t really make Ruko a liar, she just wasn’t able to save her. Tama realises this as well, after all this was her conflict in the last season too, except she got over it towards the end. So why continue this conflict now? Not that it was an especially deep conflict. There’s only really one sensible answer here, yet they’re still going to drag it out. Mayu is the mastermind of the Wixoss game too. So I’m guessing she’ll be the main villain? What a joke. A four year old has more sensible logic than her. I mean, you’re making Tama look smart for Christ sake, and she can’t even form complete sentences.
We cut to Akira and Ulith, but they aren’t doing anything new. Although I did realise while watching this scene that the relationship doesn’t really make any sense, at least not from Akira’s perspective. I’m confused as to how someone as selfish as Akira became dependent on Ulith, and not the actual make-up. Akira even pleads at the end of the scene to make her more Aki-Lovely, but she’s happy because of the make-up hiding her scar right? So why does she give a shit about Ulith? Her career is becoming more successful than ever, surely she could just buy the make-up and tell Ulith to go away? It feels out of character for someone who previously had absolutely no sympathy for others suddenly have her heart melt in someone else’s presence. This attempt at making Akira seem more tragic and multi-layered isn’t handled well in the slightest. Akira was someone who was characterised by someone who was sweet, innocent, and bubbly on the outside, but a monster on the inside. Since we see very little of Akira around friends (mostly because we no longer need to keep up pretenses to the audience) we only ever see her act evil around everyone except Ulith. When in private with Ulith, she’s sweet and bubbly. Her character has completely reversed for no good reason. It doesn’t really matter if that makes her a better or worse character now than she was in season one. She sucked then and she sucks now.
Lastly, one extended scene at the end bugged me as well. It seems to completely encapsulate the show’s philosophy. The subject turns to how Ruko was willing to sacrifice herself to save her friends. But Hitoe and Yuzuki make themselves quite clear…
See, they don’t like the idea of their friend sacrificing herself. And fair enough I guess, they are friends after all. I’d be sad either way. In the context of Wixoss however, I find this attitude to be pretty disgusting. Wixoss has never been a show about altruism. These girls play this game, screwing over other random people in the process, for their own selfish gain. There’s absolutely nothing noble about playing Wixoss, at least, not in the way these girls are playing it. Ruko didn’t have a wish for most of the first season, but when she decided to do something altruistic, her desires were stamped upon, and as a result we have this second season. I’ve probably said this before and I’ll say it as many times as necessary- in Madoka, we sympathised with the characters because they used their wishes and their powers do do something for the good of humanity. Selfishness was only ever a factor when it came down to their motives. Did Sayaka want her crush to fall in love with her, or did she genuinely want to see him get better? Wixoss has no meaning.
They can’t do anything that they couldn’t do by their own power. They can’t play Wixoss without hurting others. Ruko’s conflict has always been about why she plays. Does she actually care for her friends, or is she simply having too much fun that she can’t help herself, even when she knows the consequences of her actions? Iona certainly seems to think that Ruko loves the thrill of battle. I can’t help but feel as though the show sides with Iona. It sides with Hitoe and Yuzuki in this scene, at least. Ruko shouldn’t fight for the sake of others, at least not if it will cause herself to disappear. But altruism doesn’t work like that. You can’t give something to someone without losing something of your own, even if it’s something as seemingly mundane as time. Wixoss, the game, has no meaning because it doesn’t want to admit that it can’t have it both ways. This situation can’t be fixed if Ruko or anyone else doesn’t choose to take the fall. Yet, I’m sure the show will end up having it both ways, somehow. Because Wixoss is only played to satisfy their own greed, Hitoe can’t accept that she can’t be friends with everyone, but there’ll be no sympathy from me here. These girls only care for themselves, and they only care about others if they have something to offer to them.