My first Symphogear post is here if you want to read it.
I’m sorry that I am slow with these Symphogear posts, everyone. I keep getting distracted by things on RetroCrush. I have a couple of one cour series that I want to watch before getting to Symphogear GX, so please be patient with me. Though, I have a major month event planned before the GX review will appear. I will get to them, just when I want to. I am really enjoying my time with this series, but I am attempting to give each season some time to breathe so each one can make their own statements on my mind and this blog. I also really love how this show does Nanoha without making it too obvious. I probably haven’t mentioned this anywhere, but Nanoha is my favorite magical girl show. It has space travel, magical through technology, and girls kicking ass while taking names. This one is getting up there.
Symphogear G starts in a much more explosive way then the first season by expanding out the world that we all knew and continuing a few things. The opening episode came with two parts. Chris and Hibike working together with their Symphogear outfits (I would say cloths, but that is Saint Seiya) about the noise and Tsubasa holding a collaboration concert with international super star Maria. There is a cool bit of action with Chris and Hibike doing ridiculous things that work for them and then some good singing and rowdy crowds too. As you would expect, the two are tied together. Maria transforms into her Symphogear Gungnir, which is the set relic as Hibike, and declares war against world using the noise after Maria lets the crowd outside of the concert hall.
That is only the beginning of the trouble in question for Chris, Hibiki, Tsubasa, and Section Two. There are two other Symphogear Users on the other side named Shirabe and Kirika who work alongside Maria in the mysterious organization called FIS. FIS contains those three orphans adopted by the sick Professor Nastassaja who knows a lot about relics and Symphogear s their mothers. There is also the morally dubious Doctor Ver who is just a vague force of evil. He does what he wants with his Symphogear users unchecked and he’s accepted because he can possibly help Nastassaja out when she isn’t doing well. Of course, there are other things going on like FIS holding the Lance of Soloman and the possibility of one of the FIS Symphogear users have the soul of Fine, the villain of last season, in them so they might change.
That’s not even all that’s going on. Not all. We could discuss all the problems with Section 2 as well. Hibike’s power and problem with her relic is one of them. Every time Hibike powers up, she gets stronger because the relic is slowly killing her and her attachment to the relic becomes less diluted. You know, unlike everyone else who has a Symphogear necklace. It’s very tied together with Shirabe questioning Hibike’s heroism for every time she powers up which makes Hibike question herself. The less harmful one is Chris still not fitting in with Tsubasa and Section 2 so there is some growing pains going on too. Not only on section 2, but FIS trying to find out what it means to be heroes too.
Curse me for wanting to talk about this series on some level. Not because I don’t want to, but each season seems to be a smorgeous board of ideas and plot elements. Season one had a lot going on without a lot of breathing room and it fell apart a bit while G adds some more elements and characters but is somehow much more understandable. Right now, wondering what GX and beyond might add to the experience. The change from this season to the last one, besides the amount of characters, is that all of this narrative stuff and worries works pretty well or adds to other elements going on. The more I think about it, the smarter it is to limit the roles of characters to one or two instead of the four or five that were planted on Hibiki last season. Hibiki is much more dynamic this season because she’s given room to thinking about her resolve and who she wants to be. She becomes a hero because of her state of mind and staying true to who she is. Plus, her relationship with Miku is furthered a little bit which is good and cute.
Chris and Tsubasa maintain their arcs alongside of that. Tsubasa learns that being directly mean to protect one person from doing something that would kill them doesn’t work. All reflected with how she treats Hibike and Chris. Tsubasa still keeps people at an arm’s length apart mentally for a lot of reasons and this season was another step forward for her. All while Chris is the voice of reason and tries to keep the peace even when he doesn’t know how. At this moment, Chris is the best and most relatable Symphogear user because she just wants to be accepted and belong somewhere. She’s still technically an outsider. Her relationship with Hibiki is great, but Tsubasa is still in that stuck up idol level from previous season and it took her a while to fully accept Chris completely. If you had one serious moment somewhere, then another moment will calm you down a little bit.
In this cast, the people who really change the most or have the largest journey are Maria, Shirabe, and Kirika. All of them have the fact that Doctor Vers is doing horrible things which the other two need to understand or get used to. There is always that question of is killing people to achieve the wanted and necessary goals worth it? Maria goes through a crisis of faith to where she eventually chooses the right direction. Shirabe and Kirika are the two dumb kids on the side who keep the tone of G lighter considering all the drama of Maria and others going on. It’s not that they don’t get dramatic too. Remember Shirabe and Hibike’s relationship with Shirabe challenging Hibike. Still, there is always something to laugh about when it comes to them because they are so entertaining. They do fun things like breaking into singing contests or fight each other while declaring their love for each other. They add to the gay, alongside Miku and Hibike and whatever other romantic tension is going on.
The weakest part of Symphogear G, besides how messy the plot and episodes can be, is the fact that Dr. Ver never changes or is anything besides a villain. It’s out there right in front of characters how shady he is and he never proves to be anything else but what he is. It’s not surprising when he kills people, when he sends noise out to do his bidding, when he manipulates his users, or runs away when Hibiki becomes too bad ass in killing the hordes of noise he creates. He has a relic and has access to knowledge which can end the world. That’s all that is interesting about him. Maybe that is supposed to be a statement on how a normal person can be horrifying versus super powered people with the right level of knowledge or something, but the show never does anything unique with Vers like that. If the moral questioning didn’t happen, he could have been defeated.
No matter the case though, Symphogear G is a visual feast compared to the first season. The level of fanservice focusing on butt shots and other shots, plus general nakedness of characters hasn’t changed. There is just less symbolism behind all of it. Not that there is anything wrong with that fact because it never gets to be too much to overtake the importance of scenes. The biggest change, besides making Chris shorter which is a redesign that I agree with, is that the world of Symphogear expanded a bit. Three more Symphogear users fighting with different abilities with great character designs that fit the world. So many new settings and characters to enjoy alongside the others and I really like how everyone fits and such
There are more relics, more areas to fight and get destroyed, more craziness to think about, more characters with relics, and the art and animation in the characters and fights as a part of all of that. There is a lot going on requiring the resources of the show to be handled. Somehow Satelight is able to keep up with the franticness of the show in terms of settings and production while also keeping up with the pacing of the dynamic fights too. There is always some unique set of noise to bring to the table, some interesting ways for things to blow up around them, and all sorts of cool powers on display that feel like they are fully realized from one relic user to another. It’s just all the best fun in the greatest ways.
Symphogear G is a good time. A much better time for me then the first season. Still, it was a bit of a huge mess as well that somehow worked together in the end. So yeah, I’m going to give Symphogear G a good instead of last season’s ok. I feel like I had to ignore a lot of the craziness of the background elements in the show because they were explained in a way that everyone seems to know what is going on and the show just kept building on them. Just took away from the experience a little bit, but I am here for the gay, singing battle girls of mechanical magical girl kick assery and the character drama stuff. Oh yes, definitely. I’m glad that I watched this even if I was a little exhausted from the experience. GX will happen. I’m just tel
Best review of Symphogear G that I’ve read, I love the holding hands to save the world caption. Great job! 👍
After recently watching Macross Frontier, it seems that Satelight excels in crazy, frantic narratives. The only series by them that I can recall in recent memory that didn’t rely on that very much was Guin Saga, which was well-paced but still very enjoyable!
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Oh really? Thanks so much!
Yeah, they certainly are masters in that craziness. I can’t recall anything so normal from them.
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Yes! I really enjoy reading your reviews! 😀
Symphogear is one of those anime where every season is better than the last (except GX, which is just decent but it still has some great moments), so I’m glad you kept going with it 😊 The new Symphogirls are a lot of fun and play off the older characters quite well. Kirika and Shirabe are great comic relief and Maria is a total knockout. I love her chain whip ability she gets later on too.
Call me crazy, but I actually love Dr. Ver in this season. He’s not complex at all, but he’s so campy and over the top that he steals every scene he’s in. What can I say, I’m a sucker for cheesy 80’s/90’s action movies and most of those have ridiculous baddies. Carol is probably my favorite villain in the series overall though.
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Oh no. I have heard some mixed things on GX though. I do really like the newer Symphogirls a lot and looking forward to more of them.
Nah, you aren’t crazy.
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