After taking almost half of the series, last week finally saw Selector Infected WIXOSS shows its hand - not that its revelation about the fate of those who lose three Selector battles seems to bother Ruko, who has revenge on her mind as a battle against Akira begins.
If Akira thinks that she's going to be able to defeat Ruko as easily as she did Hitoe however, she soon finds herself to be badly mistaken - none of her usual tactics work against her opponent, and what's more the fact that Ruko is playing with no ultimate wish in mind means that she can't be goaded or upset by Akira's mind games. This leaves her vulnerable to Ruko's counter, and before we know it Akira has tasted defeat, while her absence from her modelling job sees her on the brink of being kicked out while her rival Iona - the very girl who Akira's wish is to see fail - goes from strength to strength.
Meanwhile, times are hard for all three of the girls who once considered themselves as friends - Hitoe is inevitably in a mess as a result of her lost status as a Selector, much to the consternation of her mother; Yuzuki is further teased about being too close to her brother by girls who are interested in him, leaving her torn between knowing the terrible truth of Selector battles and using that exact process as a way of having her wish granted; and Ruko also finds herself on uncertain ground, torn between (and worried by) her love of Selector battles set against the horrors defeating an opponent can unleash upon them. Things certainly don't look as if they're going to get brighter any time soon either, so what are these girls to do?
Now that the curtain has been pulled back on the true nature of WIXOSS' Selector battles, we can finally get into the real meat of this series, and it's certainly tastier than anything it had served up prior to this point. Above all else I'm still enjoying the show's relentlessly dark atmosphere, it knows how to make the most of its sound design, locations and colour (or absence of it) to paint a gloomy world around its main characters as they all fall apart in some shape or form. Beyond this, it's also actually building some interesting character-driven stories to boot - I assumed Hitoe would be kicked to the curb by the show but it continues to follow her after the disaster which has befallen her (even keeping her parents involved, which is relatively unique for this kind of show), Ruko continues to be a blank slate but one who has now been interestingly positioned, and Yuzuki's incest story beat is being handled smartly and sensitively to provide perhaps the most compelling tale of the bunch. If it continues in this manner, then the second half of Selector Infected WIXOSS could be fascinating indeed.