Day 4: Appreciating Kiyoi Mizushima from the WIXOSS franchise

On the fourth day to Christmas my true love gave to me…nothing at the moment. She’s still traveling from Existiert Nicht located all the way in Tucson, Canada. Traveling customs there are a pain from what she told me. Anyway, today I’m going to briefly (for real this time!) write about Kiyoi Mizushima. A supporting character from WIXOSS season 1 who went from being a one dimensional baddie into a dynamic protagonist by season 4.

Beginning at the end of Selector Spread WIXOSS (Season 2) my first thought was I enjoyed it. Other than the opening, and closing themes there wasn’t anything I felt that would stick with me after finishing it. Sure I liked the characters, but when my first thought is “Ruu Ruu is adorable” I ain’t got much to build on what makes them good characters.

When it comes to Kiyoi herself she was simply known as Piruluk in Selector Infected WIXOSS (season 1). She was an LRIG, a living being inside a card basically, who fought alongside Akira Aoi to help her become an eternal girl. By becoming an eternal girl, the selector (card player) can make their wish come true. At this point in the series, Kiyoi is simply a emotionless LRIG who wants to gain a body regardless the methods used. Being unsympathetic to her opponents when Akira mocks them.

Midway into season 1 it’s the end of Kiyoi, and she disappears until the end of season 2 in a epilogue for a brief appearance. It should also be noted that around the time season 1 was airing there a manga called Selector Infected WIXOSS: Peeping Analyse being published around the same time. This manga would later be adapted into an episode of Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS. All it did was show how Kiyoi went being a human into an LRIG. However, since I didn’t know there was even manga based around this series I didn’t read it.

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This line, I didn’t reading incorrectly hehehe

Amidst seeing season 3, Lostorage Incited WIXOSS, Kiyoi makes her first appearance in the anime. During the opening animation for a few seconds showing a split downward image of her human self, and the other half being her LRIG self. Even having watched the recap movie beforehand I wasn’t much into her character. Obviously that changed as her part grew in season 3. Kiyoi motivation was given, and so was bits of her past in the second half. By doing this not only did it set the groundwork to create a dynamic character later on, but also served as a bridge to naturally connect all the seasons of WIXOSS.

Kiyoi was my favorite part of the less than stellar season 3 of WIXOSS. Sure part of it was because I might have a thing for stoic characters. There was also the strength that she wasn’t regressing like everything else in the series. Whereas season 1 & 2 tried to have some kind of grey morality for characters action. Season 3 does away with that by making it a simple good vs evil story. Nothing inherently wrong with that, but season 3 has half of the time to duplicate what made the previous seasons good turning out disappointing.

Kiyoi Mizushima came out unscathed from the downgrade. Her past wasn’t shrugged off, or blamed on her being in a dark place during that time. Nope, the series instead decided to make her go through a redemption. Living with the fact she torture so many Selectors as an LRIG, crushed many girls dreams, and now doing what she can to amend for what she did. Her motivation naturally came off more personal grasping the bigger picture of her situation. This came out of nowhere for me that I wished she was the protagonist of season 3 instead of Suzuko Homura who I didn’t care for!

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Like a boss, gets in a zinger before defeating her foes.

Finally, in Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS (season 4, and currently the last season of WIXOSS) she got her chance to shine. Upgrading from a supporting role into a leading one the series made further good use of her. Delving even more into her past before she ever started playing WIXOSS. Showcasing the struggles she dealt with as a loner, and how the cruel game of WIXOSS warped into a bad person. Now in season 4, she’s actively trying to do the right thing to put the miserable cycle that WIXOSS causes. Everything surrounding Kiyoi remains static, but she just keeps growing as a character turning out a lot better than I expected her to be.

Seeing Kiyoi developed as much as she did makes me think J.C. Staff knew they had a good character whose potential was untapped, and they need to do her justice. They might be have been a slight a bit of retconning, but we’ll gloss over that. Without a doubt for me, whenever Kiyoi was given the spotlight is when WIXOSS was at it best during season 3 & 4. I cared about her ordeal, and seeing it through to the end. Seeing Kiyoi tackle everything head on every step of the way made me yearn for her to get a happy ending with everything she went through. I enjoyed seeing Kiyoi Mizushima grow so much that she alone made me want to follow Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS weekly. Thanks to her, Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS ended up being the only anime I actually finished while it was airing this year. While I wish the series around her was just as good. I am happy that Kiyoi Mizushima got her chance in the spotlight, and it wasn’t wasted.

I started off mentioning after finishing the first two seasons that there wasn’t anything outside of the opening, and ending themes that would stick with me. After finishing up Lostorage Incited WIXOSS, and Lostorage Conflated WIXOSS that certainly has changed. Kiyoi Mizushima is a character that I unexpectedly ending up liking a lot this year. Surpassing the series itself I feel in terms of quality. Without her, I do feel like season 3, and 4 of WIXOSS would have suffer greatly. Getting the opportunity to shine that many side characters don’t get, and for that I’m very grateful for.

So that concludes day 4 in my 12 Days of Anime questing. I’m leveling up my skill points, and have the drive to see this through to the end. See ya around tomorrow with hopefully some kind of complete post. Haven’t started that one though (panicking off screen). Sayonara folks!

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