Lostorage incited WIXOSS
by James Beckett,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Lostorage incited WIXOSS ?
It had to happen eventually. Poor Hanna.
Despite lostorage incited WIXOSS' more measured storytelling, it's turn towards grimdarkness was pretty much guaranteed, and I think the emotional twists could have stood to arrive an episode or two earlier than they did. The last few weeks have felt a little too reserved for my liking, doling out character development and plot details in the tiniest of morsels, or at least that's how it felt. This week though, we get a number of big reveals, and though they're all a mite predictable, they've injected some much needed urgency into WIXOSS's proceedings.
What really helps is how differently this iteration of WIXOSS plays the drama out compared to its predecessor. The original Selector Infected WIXOSS played the inherent tragedy of the Selector battles too close to its chest for too long, delaying an obvious twist for no good reason other than to pretend that “Selector Battles Are Bad” was some kind of shocking twist. While Lostorage incited WXIOSS has also taken its sweet time to get to the blood and tears, I appreciate that it has never pretended these girls are in anything but a bad situation. Instead of playing up false suspense, it's been teasing out the inevitable tragedy. It's a subtle distinction, but an important one; it means that Hanna's breakdown at the end of the episode feels just a little more organic. It's still predictable, but not gratingly so.
I'm getting a little ahead of myself, though. I should probably mention the other reveal of the week, where Kiyoi reveals to Chinatsu just how doomed this whole Selector game really is. I noticed Kiyoi's presence earlier in the season, but I didn't know if her appearance was any more than a cameo for WIXOSS fans. It turns out she's actually a messenger, a firsthand witness of all the pain this game has brought the girls before her. Of course, Chinatsu proves too stubborn to listen, but she seems a bit more convinced when a despondent LRIG-Turned-Human commits violent suicide in front of her. We saw a little of Chinatsu's hesitance last week, and maybe this event will be enough to convince her that she's following a dangerous path. I would be lying if I said I didn't appreciate the gory scene, if only because it finally introduced a sense of palpable danger to a game that has relied mostly on the abstract stakes of memory loss. Anyone who has seen the previous seasons will already have an inkling of what Chinatsu is just now figuring out, but this season was feeling a little toothless. Not anymore.
This brings us back to Hanna, who is left a blubbering, incoherent wreck after regaining her memories of her brother's death. Again, none of what she learned was in any way surprising, but seeing Hanna's stoicism crumble in the face of her own involvement in her brother's fatal fall was still decently affecting. What I found more interesting was the malevolence with which her LRIG taunted her; vengeance seems to be running through this game as a general sort of through-line, from Kiyoi to Kou and now to Anonymous. While the overall shape of this current incarnation of the Selector game is still a little muddy, things are coming into sharper focus. After the last few weeks, I'm genuinely glad to see WXIOSS draw some blood. It bodes well for the audience, even if it means absolutely nothing good for Suzuko and company.
Lostorage incited WIXOSS is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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