The Spring 2018 Anime Preview Guide Lostorage conflated WIXOSS
How would you rate episode 1 of
Lostorage conflated WIXOSS ?
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How was the first episode?
I'm probably in the minority for having greatly preferred the first season of Lostorage incited WIXOSS to its more popular predecessors. The show was still inconsistent even at its best, but the friendship between Suzuko and Chinatsu that formed the core of the season created an emotional connection to the card battle shenanigans that Selector infected WIXOSS and its follow-ups never quite achieved for me. That said, it also speaks to Lostorage's uneven quality that I needed to reread my own episode reviews of the first season to remember what the heck happened in it.
Thankfully, this inaugural episode of Lostorage conflated WIXOSS is almost entirely a recap of the first season's events, plus some foreshadowing for things to come. It will make close to zero sense for anyone coming into the franchise fresh, but it certainly was helpful for me. Interestingly, Kiyoi takes center stage this time around, graduating from her extended cameo in last year's season, and now she's out to find Carnival (the antagonist LRIG that emerged at the end of last season) and prevent her from enacting whatever dastardly, card-game related schemes she's been cooking up between seasons.
Unfortunately, this episode's limited ambitions end up hindering it, as outside of getting Suzuko and Hanna back together to act as victims of Kiyoi's exposition dumps, the only noteworthy thing to occur in this episode is the surprise reintroduction of Selector infected's protagonist, Ruko, in the premiere's final seconds. This is certainly a neat development (I can see where the “conflated” part of this season's title is coming from), but there's still no indication of what this season is actually going to be about, so it's hard to get too excited seeing Kiyoi and company wander around town running into side characters from last season. I'm sure that Suzuko won't be able to stay out of the game long, and if anything I am somewhat interested to see how Suzuko, Ruko, and Kiyoi might all play off one another as the season progresses.
Overall, this is still the WIXOSS everyone is familiar with, and while this new season looks to be taking things in some potentially exciting directions for the cast, this premiere is not likely to win over anyone that wasn't already on board with the series. I've always been ambivalent about WIXOSS myself, and my feelings remain more or less the same this time. This is a good looking and decently written fantasy card-battle show that's entertaining enough if you can look past its flaws, so anyone who wants to see where the WIXOSS saga heads next might as well give it a shot.
If you haven't at least seen Selector incited WIXOSS (and preferably all previous WIXOSS titles) then you have no business even trying to understand this one, as it's exclusively aimed at established fans and assumes full familiarity with all established characters and storylines. Even the flashbacks put in to add context won't make much sense if you aren't already intimately familiar with the story.
The series picks up weeks or perhaps even months after the end of incited and once again focuses on Suzuko. This time, it looks like Chinatsu will be relegated to the sidelines (though I'll be surprised if she stays that way), with Kiyoi stepping up to become a core cast member. Hanna is also returning as a major participant, but that's no surprise; even if she didn't seek a rematch with Kiyoi, her inclination to investigate the whole Selector phenomenon would have her excited about Kiyoi's proposal. Also expect a few guest appearances outside of flashbacks, the most starling of which is the resurfacing of Ruko (the protagonist of the first two WIXOSS series). We'll have to wait and see if that encounter will lead to her getting involved again or not, as it ends the episode on a cliffhanger.
Those guest appearances are the main attraction of the first episode, as not much happens otherwise. Characters come together and talk about what happened before, speculate about the bigger picture, talk to an LRIG who took over his Selector's body, and spend some time looking for Carnival after a brief sighting. The musical score lays on a lot of ominous foreshadowing with creepy themes borrowed from earlier series, but there isn't much payoff yet. At least some of Kiyoi's comments are a bit revealing; she did eventually find out about Carnival taking over Satomi's body and describes an experience in a battle against a previous Selector that shows an even darker side to the game than any of them were previously aware. The rest of what she reveals about her backstory came out in the last series, though this is the first time that Suzuko and Hanna are learning about it.
J.C. Staff is back animating this sequel, and the visuals look as sharp and consistent as last season's so far. The problem I can see is that the series is getting off to a much slower start than the previous ones, so it's going to have to pick up its game in future episodes.
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