It’s time to look at the next season of Wixoss. This one directly continues from the first since there was such a cliffhanger there. The characters are still trying to pick up the pieces as their next adventure starts. Unfortunately some characters have been gravely broken to the point where they are practically written out of the show (Midoriko, Kazuki) and others have been mentally drained and no longer have the same fire that they once did (Ruko, Akira) so have the villains already won? This season is weaker than the first in almost every way but the Yuzuki plot takes a backseat here which is always great. Thanks to the body snatching the scenes with Hanayo and Kazuki also aren’t as bad although since he doesn’t know it doesn’t make him look any better.
The series picks up with Ruko on the rooftop staring in shock as her partner is now Iona instead of Tama. Iona proclaims that her wish was to be teamed with the strongest so now it has come true. Ruko isn’t thrilled about this and vows not to fight in anymore Wixoss battles as she tries to save Tama. The problem is, how can you hope to find and save Tama without battling? It’s a difficult problem that Ruko doesn’t really have a solution for. Her friends are no help as they constantly pressure her not to fight. Additionally the villains are on the move. Urith has decided to manipulate Akira so that she can plunge more people into despair. Ruko’s realistically the only one who can stand up to this menace.
Mainly I had some issues with Ruko here as her character went south very quickly. In the first season she finally steeled her resolve in the climax that she would do whatever it took to save all of the Lrigs. To that effect she lied to Tama and tried to sacrifice herself. Tama saw through this goal and stopped her so Ruko is back to square one. Instead of continuing with that same energy Ruko is back to being way more hesitant to fight. Even when Hitoe is being beaten up in front of her it takes an awful long time to battle. Battling is really the only way you can stand up to the villains. No matter what her friends may think, Ruko’s only recourse here is to fight. If she doesn’t fight then they don’t stand a chance and at the end of the day that’s the big hurdle that they need to get past.
So even by the end I wasn’t a big fan of Ruko here. She does what she has to do very reluctantly all the way through to the final episode where Tama has to ask her to actually fight seriously. As a result of her half hearted determination the ending doesn’t exactly seem to work out for everyone as smoothly as it could have. In contrast Tama was pretty solid here. She makes all of the right moves. Tama is given a chance to escape but doing so would have unlocked her dark side for good so she stayed in. She figures out how to exit a cage on her own and in general just seems to have a good grasp on the situation. Now that her memories are back she’s also able to reason things out rather well regarding Mayu’s goals. She’s still the strongest LRig out there even if her max power form makes her lose control.
Then you have Iona. Now that could be referring to quite a few characters at this point but I’m talking about the one from season 1 who is Ruko’s LRig the whole time. You can’t help but feel bad for her here since she seemingly got her wish but it’s nothing like what she was expecting since Ruko refuses to fight. Now she has effectively trapped herself in a card for no reason. She doesn’t let it get her down though and does a good job of hanging in there throughout. Iona looks good throughout the whole series. I was still half expecting the twist about her being Ruko’s mother since I felt like season 1 foreshadowed that a bit but I guess that’s not the case. Probably for the best since Ruko’s mother didn’t appear to be the nicest person back in the flashbacks.
As you’d expect Yuzuki’s role here is a lot smaller than in season 1. She’s trapped in a card after all so she can talk a lot but there’s no chance for her to act. I can see her fans being a little upset at this since once you’re in a card it just feels like you aren’t as important. The worst part for her is that Hitoe owns her so she can’t expect to get many wins either. In her only big battle I was rooting for the opponent. So Yuzuki’s okay here compared to season 1 but she gives the worst advice all of the time. She’s one of the main reasons why Ruko is so confused.
Naturally this doesn’t reflect well on Hitoe as well. She manages to get kidnapped here and just seems to hold Ruko back. I’d like to see her improve her Wixoss skills a bit and actually become an ally Ruko can rely on. I think that would do a world of good for her character and would be the first step to getting her on the map. It doesn’t seem likely but I suppose there is always a chance in the world of Wixoss. Hanayo also appears a bit of course but not a whole lot. She’s definitely not taking the situation all that well and ends up panicking near the end. She is far gone from her days of being the cold calculating LRig.
It goes without saying that Kazuki is still pretty annoying here. He suspects nothing to the point where the only explanation is that he just doesn’t know Wixoss anymore. Why else would he completely stop contacting Ruko and Hitoe? If he had talked to them at all he probably would have gotten a better sense of what is happening. How did he also not suspect that something was up? Yuzuki is back but no more cards and she never hangs out with her friends anymore? I say, Kazuki’s either extremely dense or extremely gullible if Hanayo just made up some story. Either way it’s not a good look for him.
Chiyori gets a much bigger role in this season and it’s for the better. She quickly rose up to be one of the best characters in the season with ease. She brings a lot of energy to the game and doesn’t get scared the way the others do. She really wants to win and has already accepted the risks. Her final duel is definitely the most emotional since everyone is against her. The “heroes” have decided that her being knocked out of the game would be best and her own LRig is trying to lose. It’s very difficult to win under those circumstances. I definitely felt bad for Chiyori since she easily gets one of the saddest endings out of all the characters in the series. Still, she had a great run though and ended up being one of the best characters either way. She definitely won’t be forgotten.
Fumio appears briefly but doesn’t have much of a role in the season beyond giving the heroes a quick info dump. Doesn’t really do anything beyond that though so you would be forgiven for forgetting that Fumio exists. Urith gets a bigger role here than in season 1 but I wouldn’t say that she looks great. She’s going for more of a manipulative angle for sure as she messes with Akira the whole time but the main problem is just that it shouldn’t work. Akira has never been portrayed as such a gullible character before so why start now? The whole plot was rather weak and it didn’t do wonders for Urith. She is good as a card but not great as a human.
As for Akira, she has taken the biggest fall this season. In season 1 she was hardcore as she went around stomping everyone in her path and just dishing out damage. In this season she is portrayed as extremely needy and gets depressed if Urith isn’t around. What happened to her? Gone are definitely the days when she was a big threat that everyone had to fear. It’s a shame because almost all of Akira’s scenes are just painful now. She will get the occasional good moment but they are very rare. The stab for example was good but the fact that it was not fatal wasn’t. She had quite the character turn but it’s so sudden and so massive that it just doesn’t feel like the same character anymore. I gotta say that this was just a mistake and this is the kind of plot that does hurt a season. Her scenes can be tough to watch.
Finally we have Mayu who is the mastermind behind all of this. She’s fairly spoiled and seems twisted from the start. At first you may figure that she’s a good person who went down the wrong path but that’s not the case at all. She’s portrayed as being clearly twisted right from the start. So much for that idea eh? It’s hard to feel bad for her. Sure, she is trapped in a room for all of eternity but she has magical powers by which she can make an entire game. If she had left it at that she would have been good. Why add the final rule that the lower has to get corrupted and live a life of misery while the winner turns into a card? These are rules that are completely unnecessary and definitely destroy any chance Mayu had at being sympathetic. She just wants to see the other characters suffer which isn’t very heroic of her.
The animation is definitely solid like in the first season. There isn’t a noticeable difference between them which makes sense since the season came out shortly after the first. If anything the first season may still have some of the most dynamic scenes like Yuzuki’s contract still being the most awe inspiring with all of the crimson effects everywhere. All of the contract scenes are always stunning with all of the energy effects being used though. Beyond that the animation is just smooth with the action scenes being very dynamic. Tama landing her hand to hand combo while in dark mode for example was definitely pretty intense. There’s definitely nothing to dislike there. As for the soundtrack the themes are mainly the same as in the first season. We do get a new opening though which is pretty solid. Both openings are very close to each other so it’s hard to say which is better. They both have a solid ominous theme behind them.
Ultimately I would say that the season is a little weaker than the first thanks in part to Akira really being thrown away as a character. She was so cool in season 1 so I don’t know why the show would go in this direction. It was unexpected so I’ll give the writers that but she just doesn’t feel like the same character. Her Akalucky name just doesn’t work now with all of these bad things happening to her. It’s also always hard to quite match the first season for a mysterious anime like this. Now we know the rules of the game and such so the main obstacle is the heroes trying to stop Mayu and get Tama back as opposed to figuring out why they are battling.
We get more origin stories and such which are good for lore but not quite as interesting as the main story itself. I still feel like Fumio doesn’t serve much of a role in the story and Mayu is a pretty weak villain. Her goals and plans aren’t all that good. That’s not a writing thing though, I’m pretty sure you’re meant to think that Mayu has just confused herself over and over with her plans. She could have easily had a happy ending if she had actually tried for it. The season itself has a far more definitive ending than the first season though. This is the kind of ending where you almost wouldn’t even need another season. Of course it’s always good to have more and more since I think all franchises should strive to be as long as possible. There’s always a way to bring more to the story and future plotlines for Ruko are pretty obvious. Her goals are not yet 100% complete so she’ll need to work on that.
The rules of the game are still not really explained but this season tries to show them a bit more. We actually acknowledge trap cards now and we see opponents using counters and strategies against each other. Evidently the elemental nature of the decks is also quite important here to the point where it’s hard for some elements to beat others. I have to say that this seems like a potentially troublesome mechanic since that invites a bit of rock paper scissors into the mix. It’s all the more reason to feel bad for Chiyori since she was trying her best. Not everyone can be a winner of course as there will be a loser in each fight but it would have been nice to see her win more. At the end of the day she is just a kid though and I suppose she hasn’t come into her own in terms of ability quite yet.
Overall, Wixoss continues to be a pretty interesting magical girl show even if the execution isn’t quite there yet. It’s still not able to get the same sense of dread as Madoka or if it’s slowly trying to transition it still doesn’t have the same energy as Angelic Layer. So it’s sort of stuck in the middle where bad things happen happen to the heroes and there is a sense of danger but not at the same level and the heroes are a little too hesitant to do anything about it. In a way it’s tough for the cast because Ruko is the only hero who can really fight well. It’ll be good for her to get some more reliable allies at some point in the future. If you already saw season 1 then you should definitely continue the saga. There’s less Yuzuki and Kazuki which is always good but Akira’s plot is really bad so get ready to shake your head once she appears. How the mighty have fallen!