Let us get this out of the way from the get go. This installment of WIXOSS is overall not a dark/moepocalypse show like its two predecessors (Selector and Lostorage) and tells its own story, meaning it has nothing to do with the prior installments. Instead it remembers the show is about a card game and treats it as such rather than a dark story which so happens to revolve around a card game. Question is whether the change in tone for this (pretty much) spinoff worked or not. Let us find out as we take a look at WIXOSS Diva(A)Live.
Theme: Card Game
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: The anime’s story moves the “Wixoss” card game to the online virtual space of “Wixossland” as it continues to grow more popular. The game allows players to become the LRIG avatars themselves. The most popular format in the game is “Diva Battle,” which allows three players to team up to compete against other units for the most “Selector” fans. The main girl is Hirana, who teams up with Akino and Rei on their journey to victory with the main goal to become as renowned as the legendary team, Eternal Girl.
The simplest way to describe the anime is “Idol X Card Game” anime hybrid. Think of an idol anime starring a small group and combine it with something like Yu-Gi-Oh, wherein battles are fought using cards, some details are given on the card effects as the Divas equip gear and power up before clashing in spectacular fashion with their opponents. However, there is one thing Diva(A)Live shares with its predecessors: Do not expect to learn how to play WIXOSS after watching the anime. Say what you like about card game anime but at least viewers have a good idea of how to play the game afterward. Three series in and I still have no idea how to play this card game. This may sound as a critique but it is not. Just something I felt like mentioning.
Basically we have a show about teams of 3 cute and sexy girls dueling each other using cards in a virtual world in front of an online audience. Based on performance, regardless of whether they win or lose they may gain or lose fans which, in theory, affects their performance in the next battle. The girls all have their own inter and intrapersonal struggles to face and overcome. Some are related to friendship, love, clashing egos/beliefs and even passion.
Watching this anime reminded me of Wakaba Girl in terms of Girls Club shows. It followed the basics of what makes idol and card game shows fun to watch for people interested in them but did not do enough to stand out beyond its premise. While it is about cute/sexy girls performing in front of audiences to gain support/more fans there are very few actual musical performances on the show. Each team have their own ED song ala Akuma no Riddle but like Uma Musume -Pretty Derby- the singing scenes only exist to remind viewers this is part idol show. Again Diva(A)Live does nothing particularly wrong but did little to really stand out beyond its premise.
The presentation is solid and colorful. The aforementioned attacks are flashy and the girls look nice. The insert songs and EDs are pretty good to the point some teams would fit well in a crossover with other musical anime. Hint: DJs.
Overall WIXOSS Diva(A)Live is a solid idol anime and card game anime that told a solid story with solid character interactions, development and drama. The cast are cute, sexy and (mostly) fun with a few exceptions. The presentation is solid and the yuri is mostly shipping material with some exceptions. Worth checking out if curious. While a 2nd season would be nice I doubt we will get one nor is the demand for one high. Cool if it happens but not in dire need of it.
PS: I did say this show is not dark like its predecessors. Well, there are some episodes and moments around the 2nd half that are small reminders of this anime series’ roots. Yes indeed.
PPS: Sexy Chocolate Ojou-Sama FTW!