There are very few shows that actually move me to the point where I absolutely have to see the next episode as soon as possible. Way back when Gundam SEED Destiny was on, before it disappointed me, I was so sucked into each episode I downloaded the raws ahead of the subs just to watch. I have a lot of patience, but sometimes I just have to know. Symphogear was one such case, and by the end of this show, I couldn’t hold my shit. On the contrary, I never want to get off Mister Genjirou’s Wild Ride.
I really hate to keep invoking the phrase “GAR” because I know it represents the darkest timeline for some, but Tachibana Hibiki’s character throughout both seasons has been nothing short of your standard hot-blooded almost-mech pilot archtype. When you set the songs aside, Symphogear is a show that goes from naught to sixty in a half-second before reverting to zero again, and then exploding through the roof. You’ve heard me compare it to Shinkon Gattai Godannar and GaoGaiGar throughout the season, because while the plot is much like the former, the characters, especially Genjirou, really tap into the latter’s mechanic of shamelessly over-the-top action scenes often as they work to stamp out the bad guys, who in fact end up the good guys in the end, much like Nanoha turned the Yami no Sho knights around in Nanoha A’s. It is a show with endless potential should they continue to produce more seasons, and I honestly think they should, just lets not end up with StrikerS and crash the mess.
As fuckwin awesome as this season was, there were a few things I didn’t particularly care for from the plot and characters, namely Maria Cadenzavna Eve. When Maria, Kirika, and Shirabe were presented to us in the first episode we expected to get a fighter on at minimum, Tsubasa or Chris’ level, since Hibiki was TOO FUCKING POWERFUL as a result of being a fused relic user. Certainly, adding the fact that she also possesses Gungnir, a complete relic at that, would set her up to be not only Tsubasa’s rival, as Hibiki was in the first season, but Hibiki’s rival, as she also possesses a shard of Kaede’s Gungnir. Kirika and Shirabe a this point could do what they wanted as gear users without needing to worry much, they could be shaped at any point in the next few episodes. While they sort of established Maria’s presence, it quickly became Nastassja’s show as the leader of these “terrorists” that would consider using the Noise against humans once again.
I use Knight Rider’s 2008 reboot as an example of how to suck at reviving an iconic television series and ruining it with your idea of “saving the world” today. Knight Rider was a show about a man and his car helping ordinary people. You didn’t know who he was, he stayed in the shadows. The moment Symphogear went from being a show about gear users who fought for the people from the shadows to everyone knowing their name, forced to fight a terrorist organization out in the open, with the weakest resolve since President Obama versus Vladamir Putin, is when it became the very thing no one wanted to care about. Had it not been for that incredible over-the-top action and Hibiki, it would have flopped on itself.
Instead of Maria becoming a force that constantly clashes with our heroes, thwarting Hibiki’s attempts to FRIENDBLAST her or Tsubasa’s attempts to lecture her about becoming a sword, she was goddamn fucking useless throughout most of the show, resorting to crying and obsessing over MAMU, and being sissy about either saving or destroying the world. It was obvious from the moment Ver had the cane that he was the FINAL BOSS in the show, and Maria and Co. knew it the entire time, but they went with his plan because Nastassja was too proud to just off herself and let them all sort it out. Obviously she knew the secrets of the Moon and the Noise, but chose to tell no one, including her star quarterback, further making Maria and Co. useless. If it wasn’t for Ver stepping in and juicing Kirika and Shirabe to fight against
Hibiki Rare Akuma, they too would probably have had no character development. All of the character development in this season pretty much went to Chris, as she warmed up to the idea of being friends with everyone, especially Tsubasa. Tsubasa didn’t really do much, though more than Maria at any rate.
Hibiki of course was the star of the show, bringing us to the edge of our seat numerous times as she stepped close to the brink of death pushing her power OVER NINE THOUSAND every time at great risk. Unfortunately I can’t help but feel that the method in which her condition was “treated” was too easy. We spent a season and a half watching this girl own face with everything that got in her way without Tsubasa’s sword or Chris’ guns. She used her fists of fury and a lot of courage and hot-blood to beat the shit out of everything in her way, and yet in the end, she has all of that wiped out by Mikubeam. Granted she was saving Miku and probably didn’t realize the beam would wipe out her Gungnir, but afterwards, it’s not like she was even sad or anything. I suppose she knew all along that her impossibly high sync rate with Gungnir meant she knew she could just waltz in and strip Maria of hers and fight with it, a gutsy move that paid off in the end, but I almost think it would have been more satisfying for Hibiki to wind up fusing with the monster at the end and being the final boss everyone has to save, including Miku, and the act of doing so saves Hibiki from death and Gungnir’s hold on her body, but keeps it fused with her for new episodes of a new season. It would have made for a much more satisfying ending than just everyone Voltron’ing up and blasting away the big bad.
A third season of Symphogear could go two ways. It could end up being Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and just be about how awesome
Kira Yamato Ogawa Shinji is at apparently everything, or it could be Power Rangers Zenbu with Chris leading the gear users into fights against advanced forms of Noise trying to re-open the other realm. Any way it goes down, I’d love to see more of this show if they kept up more of these amazing battles and character sequences. I only hope they don’t try to Nanoha StrikerS it and feature a team of gear users having to battle Ver’s artifically created gear users that can birth clones of him when he dies, or K-ON! it and be all about the girls in school, though that might not be so bad. I dunno what story they can tell next, but I’m sure they can, and I’m sure we need to see more GARbiki, Zenbu, and SWORDS. Also DESS, Jii, and CRYING.
Title: Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
Sub Group I Watched: Commie
Rating (1-10): 10
Tonight or tomorrow, final reviews for Watamote, Love Lab, and Railgun. Since Gin no Saji will be continuing on, I will omit my review on it until then. That’ll be it for the season, everything begins anew very soon.