We’re up to the week before the final episode of the season, and it’s been quite the ride. This week’s episode actually released a little later than normal, so most of the conversation on the usual channels is a little fresher this evening.
Courtesy of the latest thread, here is a brief recap of the season:
It mimics similar collages made in previous seasons using the Reaction Guys/Gaijin 4koma meme illustrating just how great this show gets with action and twists in each episode. But, this episode felt rather off to me, and later in the thread exemplifies why:
Sure enough, there were many posts about the animation QUALITY, the rushed feel of the battle, Ver’s death, and other elements that just felt like the studio thought they were doing twelve episodes, found out it was thirteen, and sort of invented a filler piece to cover for it.
Even the dialogue for a lot of this episode was muddled, between Carol’s nonsensical rants about her plan to destroy the world, Elfnein’s appeal to emotion, and Hibiki and Co.’s sudden realization that songs actually destroy stuff. It genuinely felt like this episode was a lousy stand-in for the real fight, and that is a fully-powered Carol versus the six fully-powered Gears, be they Ignited Gears, or the Angelic Gears from last season. Fortunately, the final SPIRAL INTO THE HEAVENS blast from Hibiki’s fists proved the latter form to be chosen for the final episode.
I have to admit, I am not really looking forward to the ending. The primary reason is no more Symphogear for awhile, presuming a fourth season is in the works. The secondary reason is I don’t expect this season to end very well. Much like the endings to the first two seasons, Symphogear seems to do its best in the opening and mid-season episodes. Even last season’s ending, while pretty high-end, felt very weak when you realize that they were going to win with the combined power of the six Angelic Gears. The pacing they do leading up to the finale isn’t even that bad, but it’s the sort of pace that demands this show be given a full twenty-six to really be able to fit some considerable plot arcs and character developments that would make an ending bittersweet.
As for our Last Action Hero, John Wayne, I felt his “death” (because who knows, he might still live) was rather wasted on this episode. I didn’t really understand his motivations even from the previous season. He played along with Hibiki at the start, jumped ship to MomCo, and then sort of started doing his own thing. This season he paraded on about being the hero, like the end of last season, but went from helping Carol, to helping MariaCo. His erratic behavior really made him one of the most interesting characters in the show, but also one of the most frustrating characters in the show. Truth be told, if his death is permanent, I’m sad only because he would have made for more non-battle interesting moments in the end or next season. I’d have seen him joining SONG in some official capacity and maybe even becoming the new relic researcher.
With the final episode left, I expect the six to make easy work of Carol and either Nanoha-style befriend her, or she offs herself in some sort of jealous rage. Elfnein will probably be spared to continue on, and Hibiki’s father might figure out how to fix his family for Hibiki’s sake, else run away like a coward. Could be a twist in there somewhere, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ll have one final post up with the final review for this season next week.
Prepare your (biki)butts.