Lostorage incited WIXOSS
Episode 10

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Lostorage incited WIXOSS ?

This back third of WIXOSS has embodied a weird kind of paradox, where too much is happening and not enough is happening all at once. We've been getting character revelations and deaths and other sorts of milestones that tell us we're approaching climactic territory, but very few of those milestones have felt earned. Hanna's breakdown last week worked okay because the show had been building up to it sporadically, but stuff goes down in this episode that feels like it should have come after twenty episodes instead of ten.

Take Shouhei for example. His loss and replacement by Donor should have been one of the biggest emotional beats of the series, seeing as it's the first real protagonist death we've had so far. Unfortunately, the character was so one note that I honestly couldn't be bothered to feel much when he vanished. For all the time we've known him, we got to know very little about him. He's nice, and he likes Chinatsu, and he doesn't want to hurt others in battle. That's pretty much it. His willingness to sacrifice himself so as not to essentially murder a small child was certainly noble, but his decision lacked any sort of momentum or emotional weight behind it. He was a decent guy who did a selfless thing, which made him likable enough, but not quite compelling enough for his sacrifice to make the impact it was going for.

On the other side of things, we have Kiyoi, who probably has the most “stage presence” of any of the characters so far, despite us knowing virtually nothing about her until last week. Her big showdown with Satomi was fun, but it also lacked much heft. Unless you've read the manga side-story she stars in, Kiyoi's sudden impact and importance to the story feels really out of left field. It would be different if she had been a key player from the start, but only in the last few episodes has she had anything to do at all. I'm interested to know more about her, but it feels awfully late in the game to give her so much of an episode's real estate. It wasn't a bad scene; it just felt imbalanced.

”Imbalance” is probably the key criticism I have for this season of the show; it spent two-thirds of its run moving at too leisurely a pace, and now it's scrambling to toss in drama and conflict and emotional payoffs left and right. For every scene that falls a little flat though, there are some payoffs. Hanna's arc this week was genuinely touching, offering a simple and manageable amount of emotional catharsis that feels mostly organic. Chinatsu's growing regret is also mostly working, giving her a roundness that Suzuko and the others largely lack. I feel they may have played up her maliciousness too much to suddenly renege on it now, but I like the new direction regardless.

The simplicity of Chinatsu and Hanna's stories might be predictable, but I think that's a good thing. This show has worked best when it's offering a simpler, more immediate take on the WIXOSS formula. These last minute twists and turns into heavy drama are scattershot at best, and while I'm still interested to see where things end up, I'm hoping the show can pump the brakes more in these last few episodes. There isn't much time left in the season, and every minute counts when it comes to building up an effective finale. We'll just have to wait and see whether or not WIXOSS will be able to stick the landing.

Rating: C+

Lostorage incited WIXOSS is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

James is an English teacher who has loved anime his entire life, and he spends way too much time on Twitter and his blog.

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