April 10th, 2014.
Evil Socialization; TCGs are like Wishes – Never Content.
Full length episodic notes. Most shows aren’t going to get them from me any longer. Takes too much time. Ah, butthis show is one of the few chosen to receive them. I’m sort of undecided about this show. It has an interesting premise, where a lot is lifted from Madoka Magica. It has an interesting premise, where we deal with relationships, and wishes, and changing the world and yourself. The world is dark and pastel-coloured.
Thing is, last episode never went the full way. Yuzuki ended up not fighting or using Ruko, and the game was interrupted just so we won’t. If you truly want dark, you need to go all the way. Well, show us what you’ve got, Mari Okada.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Psychological Fight:
1) Hm, it just hit me. There’s one way in which this show is very different from Accel World. In here, it’s free losses, and you’re out. In Accel World, the more you win, the more you can afford to lose. The more you lose, the more wins you need to undo it. This game seems… rigged. Three losses and you’re out, but we have no idea how many victories are required. And if it’s until you’re the last one standing, then at what point will they stop creating new girls?
Honestly, it almost seems like a pyramid scheme, one where the goal is to rob everyone of their dreams and the hope of ever achieving them, for after their Selector status is stripped, they’ll think it’s all lost.
2) Decks have colours. How very Magic: the Gathering (and then so many other TCGs, including Poke’Mon) like.
“Control blue”, the anti-fun deck, hue.
3) “PopularGirl999 uses mocking laughter on LonelyGirl101, it’s Super-Effective!” – Yeah, get into your opponent’s mind and play their cards for them, and victory is assured. A very “Blue deck” mentality with black discard. Ruko has no friends either, but the difference is that unlike Hitoe it’s not a weakness for her.
4) “There’s a huge penalty if the battle is stopped on purpose,” this is sort of pulled out of nowhere, just like that the battle can be stopped midway last episode. But I’m fine with it, we’re at episode 2, and both of our girls here are still new to WIXOSS, so of course they don’t know all the rules, and things are explained to us as they are explained to them. First you need to know the rules, then, you can break them.
5) Yeah, Akira? She’s exactly the same as Yuzuki had been last episode. The equivalent isn’t “game pros” who want to beat and then lord it over the newbies, but the “Game pros” who flock around new players and trade shit rares for a rare worth $20 or so. She can’t restrain herself. She is consumerism personified, the desire to turn the other person into a commodity and use them up, to own everything without caring for the others actually being, y’know, people.
2) TCGs are Evil:
2) Oh yes, this is so TCG! You have to update your deck, and you have to keep buying new sets. You needone card, so you’d unwrap dozens of decks, for hundreds of dollars, to get it. Thankfully, we have sites which open many thousands of decks and then buy the cards online, these days.
3) “It’s just a hunch, but I think I can use this card to search for uncoloured SIGNi!” – “Wow, I’m surprised you knew that! You’re pretty good!” – I think my brain just died. The rules are *known, even if something is a bit complex, you can search online for tricks. And no, when you realize something is a combo, it’s because the rules add up, it’s not “just a hunch”, WTF! WTF?! My competitively-playing-TCGs brain just melted.
4) Go Kazuki! “Just playing” you can quickly plateau out, you need to actively think to get better, or have someone else provide you alternate ways of handling things.
3) Socialization and Unhappiness – The Eternal Chase:
1) Little kids are cute. This is how socialization happens. We repeat what we hear, and thus the same order is repeated onward.
2) Erasing your own brother. Marrying nihilism? We could go wild for ages on this, but in the end, it’s a symbol of socialization, of a wish hidden in the closets of one’s psyche. She supposedly erased Kazuki, but she truly erased her own Self.
3) I wonder. If you set something as your wish and lose, is this like a bet you can then no longer achieve? So if you don’t wish for something, you could still achieve it if you lose, but not if you had wished for it? Ruko’s lack of wish could be seen as “lack of objectives”, but just the same as with not having friends, it’s also a sign of her being content of her place in the world.
Akira? She’s popular, she’s famous, she’s pretty… but she’s not content with her place in the world, which is why she keeps trying to find more girls to fight, whose dreams she could gobble up, in hopes of achieving her wishes. But that’s the things about desires, they’re never truly sated.
There’s always the next desire, the next objective. There’s always the next card you need to make your deck stronger, always the next set.
Shorter Notes / Asides:
- Yup, grandma is a game designer. She likes playing games!
- Just throwing it out there, but how we focused on the traffic light, and again? That gave me almost violent Shaft reactions. Being similar to Madoka, trying to be similar to Madoka, it’s value-neutral. It all depends where they go with it, but they’re definitely trying quite hard.
- Hm, mother left, so she’s trying to protect this city, this landscape where she lives with grandma? Hm.
Post Episode Thoughts:
So, “That Poisonous Meeting,” the one that’ll send them spiraling out of control, with Yuzuki fighting in rage, or is it the meeting in the card store, the one that set her heart aflutter?
“Nonsensical Peace” makes perfect sense. How can they be friends, how can they be allies? This is a zero-sum game. “I shouldn’t win”, says Ruko, but to play without desire to win, and gift victory to the other side is to betray the nature of the game, and the nature of the wish. Tama likes battles, and she will probably not stand for losing on purpose.
This episode had been very much one of setting the scene, of letting us understand Yuzuki better, of learning the rules of the game, and what sort of people play it. This was an episode to set up the atmosphere and what is to follow. Not a lot to say here, but I think in the next couple of episodes, we may refer back to what happened here.
The series is still interesting, but this episode shed less light on the world, and the game, and had been more interested in doing what really matters – building the characters.