So I just watched Selector Infected Wixoss 8 and I think I now need professional help. 10 years from now you might find me in some creepy, out-of-the-way mental asylum for the irredeemably damaged screaming “NO YUZUKI. STOP, JUST STOP!!”. But I’ll at least finish this blog post before I admit myself.
I mentioned last week that watching Wixoss was like being a morbidly curious onlooker of a train crash about to happen. Well now the train crashed actually happened and I’ve gone from perverse curiosity to abject horror as I’m lift staring at the twisted, smoldering remains. And let’s not be coy about this, those remains are Yuzuki. Poor Yuzuki! After taking a backseat last week to the fall of Aki-out-of-lucky, she is thrust back to center stage from the very start of the episode. The first half of the episode was unsettling with its foreboding tone as Yuzuki ran around raising bad-outcome flags left right and center (see above screencap), and the latter half of the episode bought her storyline to a head, pitting her in a make or break selector battoru. At this point in the episode I was seriously panicking. I expected to suffer alongside Yuzuki for a good few more episodes as she slowly grappled with her soul-crushing tainted love, and yet all of a sudden there we were, on the brink of her wish coming true! Wixoss is proving to be full of surprises, and the breakneck pace at which it throws its characters into turmoil is truly amazing.
I’ve gotta say, I’m not usually the biggest fan of Mari Okada’s scripts, but she has really nailed it here. I think Wixoss is suited to her writing style because it’s under no pretense of being a nuanced, realistic drama, so she doesn’t have to pull any punches in packing in as much emotion as possible. But I really enjoyed the sense of doubt hanging over Yuzuki as she pursued her goal. At face value she had pulled herself together, taken command of her own destiny and was working confidently towards achieving her dream, but there was the nagging sense that she was making a mistake. We the audience had no reason to believe that her wish would not come true, but the episode still made us feel that something was off. It was a great way to maintain suspense.
And then there’s the outcome – goddamn! It all makes so much sense now! Why they’re called ‘Eternal’ Girls, why Yuzuki’s LRIG was trying to stop her, and more. It’s actually an obvious development when you think about it, but It caught me off guard. So Yuzuki is now no longer herself – she’s split between being an LRIG and being a placeholder wish-fulfillment Yuzuki who will dubiously enact her fantasies with her brother. It’s clear that she won’t ever get to experience her wish, and, in the ‘be-careful-what-you-wish-for’ spirit, she has also dragged her brother into a toxic relationship. Seriously, it’s like these girls haven’t seen Madoka. Losing is probably better than winning in the never-ending selector war.
I think this show is going to take the direction of Ruuko taking up the cause of ending the whole selector infected thing. Her lack of a wish might mean she’s the only one who can ever truly ‘win’. It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out, and I really hope Yuzuki’s storyline is continued somehow!