Selector Spread Wixoss Episodes 4+5

I’m going to be covering episode 5 more than 4, because 4 was mostly just spinning its wheels. 5, however, was probably the best episode of both seasons (read: Only good episode of Wixoss ever aired) and even then, 5 was still regular old Wixoss brand atrocious for the first half.

This show could be over so quickly...

So lets get the bad out of the way first, just so that we can end things on a positive note for once. I hate Chiyori. These past two episodes I’ve just wanted to punch her. She’s not bad in theory- she’s basically the only character in the entire series displaying any amount of levity, with the possible exception of Ruko’s family who are basically non-existent at this point. In practice, however, she’s just a character who’s only real purpose is to plead with the audience to accept the shitty or ‘cliche’ writing.

Screw you

I hate it when shows do this, even stuff I like does this and it pisses me off. If you know that what you’re writing is stupid, don’t write it. It’s not funny to punch someone in the face wearing a spiked gauntlet and tell them that you knew it would hurt them, punched them anyway, and yet still expect to be forgiven. If you need to write this, burn the script, and get writing on a second draft. She just tags along to see this Fumio character despite virtually being a stranger to Ruka and co, and generally just hangs around being insufferable and offering nothing else of comedic, intelligent, or dramatic worth. Easily the worst character in an insufferable cast. And of course, they decided to include Chiyori in a show that has to make literally everything dark and brooding.

srsly?

In the fifth episode we meet Futase Fumio who was the author of a story that appeared to be incredibly similar to how Wixoss works, so the gang decide to meet her because she might know about the Mayu character who is masterminding Wixoss. Unfortunately, given the flashback, it appears that the Selector system seemed to have been around for a while before Fumio actually wrote the stories, so either it’s a complete coincidence that they just happened to be the same, or, more likely, Fumio is just a hack who decided to novelize supernatural elements that had just entered her real life. Maybe it’s a reflection of how the actual show was written? Like, Okada was taking heavy drugs which caused her to see all the real life Wixoss cards as being actual people who talked and stuff, like how people talk to walls while on mushrooms, and then decided to write the show based on those experiences. Actually, the show is much too boring for the origin story to be that elaborate. Hack.

That important plot element...!

And then Futase sees Iona and is like ‘Foreshadow!’ This is another thing that a ton of anime and games do, again, stuff I like, that I absolutely hate. ‘Wow, important plot element that I recognise and know about! Maybe I should let people know! Wait, actually, it’s probably just my imagination. I should probably just verbalise my incredible surprise in vague, barely audible sentences and forget this ever happened, at least until it becomes relevant for the viewer to be made aware of this information-‘ I hate it when this stuff is written! Anyway Ruka decides to fight Futase for the first time since the first season, and she’s loosing because she doesn’t have Tama, but for some reason Iona seems to give a shit and gives Ruka a pep talk about all the things Iona had been saying since the beginning of the series. Ruka wont achieve anything or save the LRIGs and Tama if she doesn’t, like, actually do something. Of course, this wont matter if Futase is still somehow better than Ruka, right?

Correct

But no, this heartbreaking speech that will forever be etched into the grand history of literature alongside the beautiful prose and wonderful wonderfulness of Shakespeare and Dickens finally lets Ruka turn on her god mode.

I wont learn to write...!

So she just decides to win and grows Iona even though she’s being hit with an attack, this supposedly strategic card game makes no sense despite there being an established rule set in reality, and everyone is really shocked and are like: ‘her power level is over 9000!’ and Chiyori is really happy because this bullshit is a cliche and she loves cliches feel emotions audience! Please! We beg you!

I'm loosing my mind.

But yeah, Ruka farts out a victory and then we finally get to the good part. Well, the last minute are two are a return to Mayu’s obtuse pointlessness, but whatever.

So when they win Futase gives us a flashback detaling her past. Turns out Futase was an LRIG, so we get to see the story of how she and her Selector Fumio (whose body she now inhabits, as per usual) lived. So Fumio was a teenager wanting to be a novelist and Futase was an LRIG with no memory, for some reason. So in the first image above the jump we see that, despite being Selector, Fumio is the only character with brains and self-respect in this entire story. She doesn’t know that the only way to win at being a Selector is to not play, but she does know that letting some magical cards achieve your dream for you doesn’t really make the wish worthwhile. As such, the two lived together while Fumio completed the book for publication. However, her novel is rejected for publication (likely because it was bad, I mean, she did write a story similar to Wixoss) and her home life continued to deteriorate. Looks like both of her parents were cheating at the same time. So in a period of weakness, she decides to fight. She becomes an eternal girl and her dream is immediately taken over by Futase, she didn’t achieve her dream with her own hands.

Noooo...

So it took Wixoss nearly two and a half seasons, but it finally wrote a character who the audience can actually sympathise with. Sure, Fumio is gone now, but Futase still carries both their baggage at this point, hence why her full name is ‘Futase Fumio’ now. The show clearly establishes a sympathetic motivation that makes sense, a basic rule of storytelling that the show has failed to do with literally every character up until now. We see the limits of her will and the steps she’s going to take to carry out her motivation, we know that she isn’t going to take any shortcuts and that being a Selector isn’t a good idea, even if you’re ignorant to all the secrets the game hides. We then see her fall from grace, and finally get a legitimate emotional reason for why someone might want to resort to using something like Wixoss to achieve their dreams. The stress and the constant failures eventually become too much for her. In just a few short minutes I give more of a damn about Futase Fumio than any of the characters I’ve spent episode upon episode with, hours upon hours with, throughout the entirety of Wixoss’ run. See, is writing something to entertain with even basic structure and emotional truth really that hard to do? Next time, before shoving a good character into the last quarter of your story, redraft the script so that all the characters can at least be as good as her from the very beginning. I mean, in most other shows she wouldn’t be hugely noteworthy I guess, I mean, basic writing 101 should be a given for most professional writers, but in this series, Fumio is a breath of fresh air, so I’m willing to give Wixoss a reward for finally deciding that stabbing itself was probably hurting itself a bit too much, and was staining my rug crimson. So, here’s a cookie. Be sure to eat it quickly before I snatch it away from you next week.

Gold Star. I'll stick this scene up on the fridge.

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