Lostorage incited WIXOSS
Episode 3

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 3 of
Lostorage incited WIXOSS ?

What does it mean to “disappear?” Is it a question of ceasing to exist physically, or is it more a mental state? If you've been watching this incarnation of Wixoss with the former in mind, this episode confirms that it's actually the latter: a Selector who loses all of her coins will cease to exist as a personality, but apparently her body will keep right on living. Will she develop a new personality, accumulate new memories? Or will she remain a shuffling husk, going through the motions? This would make a pretty good central question for a zombie story, but it doesn't look like the show will go there. Instead the focus looks like it will be on the emotional toll being a Selector takes on each person with a sentient LRIG, although I'm honestly starting to think that some of these kids would be better off just losing.

The unfortunate part of this show is that it thus far is ignoring its potential to say something about memories and experiences shaping our personalities and instead zeroing in on the fear Suzuko is feeling as she walks through town. She's terrified to engage in another battle, even though apparently her coins will expire all on their own if she fails to fight within a specific (but as yet unknown) time limit. The most interesting part of the episode is when she meets another Selector, a middle or high school boy, who refuses to fight as well. Over the chirping of his LRIG, who is not happy about the situation, he tells Suzu that he's just waiting to expire and has been actively ignoring all speech from his card. This is what Suzuko wants to do, but can't bring herself to – she's so lonely that Riru has become her only real friend, as shown when her father blows off dinner again and she tries to hold dinnertime conversation with the card. What's not clear is if the boy's response to his unwilling fate as a Selector is the result of his own miserable life (and therefore he's fine being erased) or if he's just not in need of human interaction. Either option suggests something that most people wouldn't call “normal,” and again, both could be developed into an interesting plotline all their own. But as with the empty people we now know are walking around, there doesn't seem to be much interest in going there.

It is, of course, possible that I am not giving this enough time to figure out where it is heading, but I do feel that by episode three we should have a clearer idea of where the story is going besides “it will be dark.” I'm also feeling very cautious about high school game journalist Hanna, who is reading a bit like an easy stereotype of someone on the spectrum. Given that there may be a metaphor for clinical depression and anxiety lurking undeveloped in this show, that feels possible, which could prove a bit of a problem. Regardless, the closest we've come to a likable character here is the college student Suzuko eventually, and inexplicably, decides to fight: he's the first person we've seen have clear reasons behind what he's doing and a backstory that incorporates the game at all. In other words, he's really our only informed character, and therefore his actions will bear keeping an eye on. Given that he's in the opening theme, he'll probably reappear for us to do just that.

It's only been three episodes, but I feel like I've been watching this show much longer. That could be due to the high volume of characters whose lives we've flitted through; it could also be because apart from invoking fear and loneliness, we don't have a good grasp of Suzu as a character, and her sudden decision to fight this week felt like an abrupt turn around. Also, why is she not looking up ways to get out of this online? We've seen other characters go on the internet and she's got a smartphone, so wouldn't it make sense in this day and age for her to be scouring forums for a way to end the torment of being a Selector? Or for a Facebook page for Chinatsu? There are some definite leaps in logic here, and I'm hoping that we'll get answers at a slightly faster pace in the next couple of episodes, because right now, this is really feeling dark for darkness' sake.

Rating: C

Lostorage incited WIXOSS is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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