So to kick off the first dedicated GX post I wanted to summarize my thoughts of the first four episodes before engaging in SPECULAH of the remainder of the cour. So far, the new season has exceeded my expectations in pure unaltered action. Bikki and the Jets kicked off the season in top form, saving a shuttle, its pilots, and the remains of MAMU from exploding. That kind of opening just reinforces how badass they are, and especially how tenacious Hibiki really is under pressure. But in order to really set the stage for another season of struggle and challenge, you have to introduce an enemy that doesn’t play by the traditional Symphogear rules like Fine or Mamu and Co. did. Enter Carol the Alchemist.
The set-up here is pretty obvious. Carol is a character who wrecks havoc born out of strife and sorrow. Her backstory details being hidden away after her father is burned at the stake, presumably around the Salem Witch Trials or a similar era. So naturally Hibiki’s Nanoha-like nature wants to “save” her like she wanted to save Maria, Kirika, and Shirabe from Fine’s control. If you recall the sort of disgust Shirabe used to give Hibiki and snub-nosed her resolve, it ended up being flipped around when Hibiki was the one to pretty much save them when Ver tried to overdose them on Linker and again when Maria tried to save Nastassja. Hibiki prides herself on being a character whose power is used for helping people, so naturally when confronted with Carol, she wants to help, but Carol has heard that before and will have none of it.
But Carol is not alone, predictably. She uses her powers to field four mechanical marionettes capable of tremendous power and lends her powers to them to assist in their defeating the gear users, and employing a new type of Noise that can cut down gear users’ relics. I admit, they give me a very Touhou vibe to them
So like most superpower shows, the protagonists face another roadblock where their existing abilities aren’t going to cut the mustard with combating this season’s baddies. The simple and obvious answer, is to POWER THE FUCK UP, obviously. Enter Project Ignite, which I expect combines the power of the gears with basic alchemy to allow them to combat The Brady Bunch on their playing field. The rest is probably going to fall the way the last two seasons did, with Hibiki overcoming whatever trial she started out with to kick ass and take names in the end.
Honestly, I am okay with this. I know it sounds like I might want something more complex, more granular than the usual dine-and-dash anime formats, but a show like this, which was originally just the AoixNanaxAyahi Power Hour meant to move CDs and BDs, started to take on a life of its own when they bothered to develop the characters and setting further. The threat of Hibiki’s life being in danger from relic fragments in the first two seasons is not an often-used character device. It’s sort of like the entire character of Deadpool, in that facing down a terminal situation, instead of laying down to die, you keep on fighting, and Hibiki’s determination and way-of-the-fist inspired the characters around her. To be freed from that prison by Miku in the last season was something I thoroughly enjoyed because it opens the door for her to expand her justice, to what we see now. She wants to be Subaru Nakajima, and I absolutely support that shit. This show might as well be the spiritual successor to both GaoGaiGar, and Nanoha. Which is probably why I love it so much.
As for the remaining episodes this season, well, I am not really sure what will really happen, but here is an unordered list of things I’d like to see happen:
- John Wayne “Dr. Ver” Vercingetorix – Please for the love of god, this man needs to return in some capacity, either to repair the gears, or just give us more VER FACES. He is and will always be the best girl of the show.
- Maria and Serena – A lot of speculation has been forwarded that Maria could return if they somehow were able to reassemble her “ashes” from when she swan song’d. I think she is gone-gone and probably not coming back, because three Gungnir users would be confusing, but Serena, that’s another story. I keep holding out for her being the secret final boss.
- Shinji Ogawa – Can we finally just reveal he is in fact Kira Yamato (same VA) and use that to explain his crazy fucking bullshit?
- Yukine Chris – TSUBASA-SENPAI~
- Carol’s Touhou Enterprise – Since this is the first antagonist group in Symphogear that isn’t another gear user facing off against the heroes, I genuinely expect them to use some better out-of-the-box tactics to make fights more interesting than previous seasons. Dissolving their gears was a good show of strength, but I have to imagine they’re aware they let the unisex doll with knowledge on how to enhance the gears go and will be prepared to up the ante as soon as they show back up with BOOSTED gears. However, I am greatly looking forward to Carol’s dumbstruck and wide-eyed face when Hibiki punches her in the box for ruining Christmas.
Until our next talk.