Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ

February 17, 2018

Wow. There’s still more? So much more because not only Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ is the series’ fourth season, they also announced the fifth season at the same time! What a way to really douse speculations if there would be more seasons. But I’ll cross the bridge once I get there. For now, this fourth season… Ah shucks. I can’t remember much of the storyline anymore. I was mainly confused in past editions so I now I’m going to be even more. I know I mustn’t give up like Hibiki. Maybe at the end of it all there will be hope for me to understand everything. Or not.

Episode 1
Hibiki still slacks in doing her homework. But is this considered saved by the bell because she is being whisked away for a mission? She heads over to a South American nation to join Tsubasa and Chris to take out a dictator’s military arsenal. No matter what you’re shooting at the girls, you’ll never best their singing and firepower. Not even this giant ship he is piloting in the sky. Nothing like a load of extreme firepower to take it down and not incur a single casualty! Although this mission is a success, another one awaits them. After noticing the UN quickly treating to wounded locals of a nearby village, they join up with Maria, Kirika and Shirabe to destroy the weapon’s factory of the dictator, Val Verde. Hibiki remembers being told about the Pavarian Illuminati. Apparently all the events that have happened since the first season, this group is the one who has been pulling the strings behind the shadows. From FIS to Frontier, they have a hand in all of them. Now they have at least some evidence to prove their existence and that is why they are in Latin America as signs of Alca-Noise have popped up. But this place doesn’t hold too many fond memories for Chris. It looks like her parents died here and Sonya prevented her from following suit. Time for more action with the Symphogear ladies engaging the military as well as the Alca-Noise they can produce. Of course things go berserk as the Alca-Noise also starts killing some of the soldiers. Hey, at least they aren’t discriminating. Hibiki befriends a local boy, Stefan who helps guide them around. He tells them the military has been forcing the locals to work in the factory. Eventually the factory is taken down and Val Verde and his top aides are about to flee. But 3 cuties from Pavarian Illuminati pop up and will put him to good use. I don’t know what happened to them but I believe they’re dead and their life force contributed to whatever Saint-Germain is planning. Along with Cagliostro and Prelati, they head to the basement to recover some doll. The guys from SONG are spying on them when the damn laptop of Sakuya Fujitaka had to beep (finished scanning some data? Could he have put it on silent mode?). Run! Saint-Germain decides to experiment and unleashes some giant dragon spirit, Yohualtepoztli. Lots of men died while trying to protect the data extracted. Before it is Fujitaka and Aoi Tomosato’s turn, here comes Maria’s team! Just in time.

Episode 2
It seems Yohualtepoztli can regenerate no matter how much damage it takes. Saint-Germain views this experiment as a success because it is a step closer to attaining divine power. With that, she stops this experiment and return to base. So they’re letting them go? Saint-Germain says their priority is to retrieve the doll, Tiki. Meanwhile Stefan leads Hibiki’s team to where his villagers are being held hostage by the factor’s director. As they fight the Alca-Noise, Stefan is in danger of being killed by one. But Chris had to do what she had to do. She shot off Stefan’s leg before the infection could spread. Because of that Sonya is blaming her? Hey, he still got his life. Naturally it strained their relationship and this isn’t the kind of reunion they were hoping for after all these years. Flashback 400 years ago when the Pavarian Illuminati was founded on alchemy by gathering pieces of technology left behind by Phine, this led them to clash with Phine herself who sought to monopolize such technology. Adam Weishaupt who was the founder wanted to attain divine power and give it form. But Tiki was lost and their plans put on hold and the organization banished into the shadows. Now that Phine is no more, their revival is imminent. All they have to do is bring back Tiki. Cagliostro and Prelati decide to take lure out the Symphogear girls by attacking the airport. Maria and co respond to the call to fight the duo, dispose of the Alca-Noise and give the airplane the necessary lift off. However they ran out of power and can no longer fight effectively. Think of summoning Yohualtepoztli to finish them? Think again because here comes Hibiki punching right through it! You defy logic by punching through everything! So much about that immortality thingy.

Episode 3
Saint-Germain pops up to bring her comrades away. Back at the base, Saint-Germain revives Tiki who is supposed to be an Autoscorer created to precisely record the movements of the planets on a star map. Tiki is such an energetic bubbly girl? She is more concerned about Adam who she cannot function without. Conveniently speaking, he comes a calling. Too bad business comes first. Saint-Germain wants to investigate how Hibiki tore through the mechanisms of Yohualtepoztli but Adam tells her all that is unimportant. Just destroy the Symphogear girls. Say no more because Cagliostro and Prelati have already launched a pre-emptive strike on Maria and Tsubasa’s plane. Not only they survive, the all-important data is intact too. Returning to SONG’s base, Genjurou explains more about Tiki. During the war, Germany wanted to seek an alternate energy for fossil fuel and Japan as their ally helped in the research and hence some of the Relics like Gungnir ended up in Japan. Everyone can tell Chris has been down ever since Stefan’s incident although she brushes it off. Before they could do anything to cheer her up, it’s those damn Alca-Noise again. Saint-Germain tests another prototype and sends the Symphogear girls to another alternate space. Are they fighting on some alien planet? Actually it is a subspace pocket of Alca-Noise and all their attacks have no effect. The girls have no choice but to up the ante by using Dainsleif but I figure at this point they are a pro at using it. More extreme action to see how they break through everything and return to normal space. Saint-Germain is satisfied of the data they got from this experiment despite the failure. However Tiki has other ideas. She thinks this is the best spot to pick a fight with God.

Episode 4
There is a flashback of Saint-Germain who was being treated as a child slave and led a tragic life. Genjurou explains to the Symphogear girls about this base, Matsushiro where the military HQ was relocated after WW2. It also houses the secret Kazanari Institute. Currently the data is being deciphered but it will take time. The girls wonder why trouble the locals for evacuating them for this mission as ordered by the top boss, Kamakura. Genjurou replies the harsh reality that their mission is to protect the country and not the people. Can there be a country without its people? Maria’s team go down on the ground to find others who have not evacuated. Yup, an old lady plucking tomatoes. Look who decided to show up? Cagliostro is disappointed to see Maria’s side but nevertheless unleashes her Alca-Noise to deal with them. Luckily Chris was nearby to handle her to allow them to escape with granny. When Hibiki and Tsubasa arrive, Cagliostro has orders to retreat. Granny gives Maria a tomato as reward. And something about people’s life and tomatoes’ are similar during hardship? The decryption isn’t going well so Genjurou gets a direct call from Kamakura about his recent failures as he allowed him to use the facilities to make UN be indebted to them. More Alca-Noise are detected. Hibiki’s team take them on with their Dainsleif. Looks like the Pavarian Illuminati trio decide to show up too. This time they have something similar to Dainsleif, Faust Robes. It repels and nullifies their Dainsleif. It’s overpowered too that our Symphogear girls are left defeated. Saint-Germain explains the creation of Faust Robes by uniting the philosopher’s stone with the human body for the ultimate alchemy. It’s all thanks to the data they got from Chateau de Tiffauges. Their goal is to free mankind from oppression. Before they could finish them, here comes Adam. He uses his alchemy to trigger nuclear fusion and turns his fireball into some destructive power worth 10 megatons! Better escape if you know what’s good for you. There’s a giant simmering crater in the aftermath. But the most eyebrow raising thing is that, does he have to do all that naked?!

Episode 5
Don’t worry, all our favourite characters are still alive. As they regroup, Genjurou admits it was their total lost. The base is destroyed as well as all its secret documents. They discuss the fearsome alchemy the enemy possesses that it was able to force out their Dainsleif. Kirika and Shirabe despite injured, continue to train but their injury gets the better of them. They believe doing so can increase their sync rates and they won’t need Linker anymore. Until Elfnein mentions she is close to decipher the last piece of the puzzle from Ver’s recipe. Long story short, she needs to find some part of the brain that is connected to the Symphogear to minimize the stress. There is this VR system Ver left behind. In short, Elfnein can use it to peek into one’s mind but the risk is high since both their minds can merge and can turn into vegetable state. With no time to lose, Maria offers to be the test subject. As the rest waits, they see on the news that Stefan is in Japan to receive to undergo surgery for a prosthetic leg so he could continue his dream to play football. Meanwhile Genjurou is being called by Kamakura for his failure. There is no use chewing him out. He has a job to do. Do it. Elfnein enters Maria’s mind and relives her life. Whatever pain Maria feels, Elfnein could also feel. Too bad most of the memories are painful ones during her time at the facility under Nastassja. Then we have this episode’s obligatory Alca-Noise action so we have Maria who is self-conscious fighting waves of it and emerges victorious. After all, she can dream all she wants in her mind, right? But then they enter the subconscious area and this is where things get unstable and putting their physical bodies in danger. But look who decides to pop up now? The Pavarian Illuminati trio once again unleash a Hydra-like Alca-Noise. While the other Symphogear girls head into action, look who pops up in Maria’s subconscious? Ver! Even dead bad guys like him continue to haunt her in her mind. Yeah, the nightmare is about to begin.

Episode 6
Don’t really get this part but from what I understand, this vision of Ver is trying to lead Maria to the part of her brain connected to Symphogear since he was very intimate with the research. Meanwhile the other Symphogear girls are fighting the Hydra. But when they cut its heads off, it revives and splits into independent creatures. It could be a ploy to split them up and fight them separately but they’ll take the challenge. Maria and Elfnein are in the subconscious part whereby Maria still reels from her fears and insecurities. Then they get absorbed as Maria discovers she is now back in time during her harsh training at the facility. Despite remembering Nastassja being harsh, she remembers closely that each time she did so, she would always have a sad look on her face. She always hid her pain when seeing them suffer. She remembers she also protected all the other children who have gone on to have a brighter future. Nastassja’s harshness was their strength. With that, Elfnein knows that brain part that connects to the Symphogear and wakes up. Time to get to work. The Symphogear girls are being tested on their endurance as the Hydra keeps replicating. To Hibiki’s fear, one of them is heading towards her school. She is about to hit the panic button when Kirika and Shirabe drop in to help take out the Alca-Noise. This time they show no strains on their body and is able to perform at tip top condition. And that Hydra heading towards the school? Easily taken out by Maria. So it seems the all important ingredient in the brain to connect to the Symphogear is… Love! You mean it was this simple and cliché?! With the Symphogear girls emerging victorious and cornering the Pavarian Illuminati trio, time to spit out their intentions. Despite claiming wanting to save mankind, they don’t intend to work together. Because they have the power of God to tear down the curse of Balal. This is sounding to get more ridiculous…

Episode 7
There’s a brief explanation of that but I’m totally lost. Basically, it justifies their reason to sacrifice others. But screw all that, it’s the fights we’re here to see. Kirika and Shirabe thought they could use Dainsleif but their power up is only short-lived. Cagliostro deflects Chris bullets and they almost hit Saint-Germain. Because of that she decides to call for a retreat. Adam isn’t so pleased the trio failed to take care of the Symphogear girls. But with Tiki drawing the horoscope clearer, it’s time to prepare the altar. The trio don’t like how cocky Adam is but Cagliostro and Prelati note their loyalty isn’t to him or the organization but to Saint-Germain. She was the one who gave them perfect bodies and goals when they were originally fakes. So as Saint-Germain prepare the altar, the duo will rid of the Symphogear girls. Elfnein works hard without any break that she might be breaking herself at this rate. It would be sad if she hasn’t found anything after putting in such effort and for plot convenience, here it is. She notices a waste of lump matter that was transmuted from Hibiki when she merged with Gungnir. Since it has the opposite effect of the philosopher’s stone, she proposes using this fool’s stone (that’s what they’re calling it) to be upgraded into the Symphogear. But since it is stored at the underwater Neptune Palace, good luck finding a needle in a haystack. During this time, Cagliostro and Prelati show up to destroy the Symphogear for good. Kirika, Shirabe and Chris are the only ones who can go into action since the rest are underwater looking for the fool’s stone. They can’t let the enemy know about this or they’ll try to stop them. So how can Kirika and Shirabe fight without their Dainsleif? Unison. All they have to do is work together and be in sync. And you see how it work wonders as they kick Prelati’s ass. Because of that, another retreat. Saint-Germain reports the altar is ready but it lacks enough life energy to power its central plinth. Adam suggests sacrificing one of the duo as their perfect body will provide all the life energy needed. Not so keen on sacrificing now, eh? Well, she’s got to choose. Her cause or her comrades.

Episode 8
For the sake of progression, the fool’s stone is found. Elfnein works hard to make a new Ignite module for them. Then Genjurou trains them and despite their firepower and numbers, they cannot beat him! And this is just warm up! WTF?! They should just send this guy to do their battles! Saint-Germain begins the ritual as Adam reminds her it is time to choose. With those pesky Symphogear girls still on the loose, Cagliostro offers to destroy them for good since Prelati is injured and out of action. Before Stefan and Sonya return to their country, they see Chris and Tsubasa. There is still some animosity between Chris and Sonya. As usual, Alca-Noise drop in to attack. Cagliostro is running wild with her powers. When other Symphogear girls arrive, Cagliostro sends Hibiki, Tsubasa, Kirika and Shirabe into separate subspace pocket. Chris and Maria are left to fight her. Chris discovers Stefan and Sonya still haven’t evacuate the building. Wheelchair got stuck. WTF?! Before Cagliostro could kill Chris, Stefan stands up and his football kick saves the day! WTF?! He can perfectly get up and walk so why was he even ‘stuck’?! Anyway Stefan argues how petty the ladies are still bitter about the past unlike him who is so the future. Yeah… It motivates Chris to fight back. This time they use the fool’s stone to negate Cagliostro’s attacks. Their unison and bond are also high enough that their combo forms a twin-seater jet to destroy Cagliostro once and for all! With Cagliostro now dead, Adam sarcastically points out to Saint-Germain this saves her the trouble of choosing. They will sacrifice Prelati who is not in tip top condition. You mad, girl? Oh right. Adam has no humanity, blah, blah, blah. We know. He knows. Big deal.

Episode 9
Tsubasa and Shirabe try out their unison but it’s not working well. It seems only Shirabe is the one who doesn’t register any sort of phonic gain increment with all the unison combo. Naturally, depression sets in. A message from Yatsuhiro comes in regarding the Divine Gate, a power that the Pavarian Illuminati is looking for. For a change of pace, Genjurou sends the Symphogear girls to a shrine to investigate. The priest shows a map that shows the markings of the 7 Hikawa shrines that is like a mirrored version of the Orion constellation. Traditionally known as the Drummer’s Gate to Heaven, it is a gate where gods were known to descend. And possibly what the Pavarian Illuminati is looking for. Since Shirabe is still ‘lost’, the priest talks to her about walls. Walls aren’t just for rejection. Meanwhile Tiki wants Adam to turn her into a real human girl after he gets the divine power so he can be his real wife. They are confronted by Prelati who wants to know his true goal. He reminds them that they should have known their lives are part of his plan for his divine power. However this is the first time Prelati hears this and attacks them. But she soon leaves to go warn Saint-Germain as it is Adam’s to sacrifice all of them all along. Adam won’t go after her and let the Symphogear girls do the job. Shirabe and Tsubasa with the highest mobility go into action first. Prelati desperately tries to shake them off and is not open to listening. Time to use that unison thing. Shirabe still not confident. And yeah, the theme is kindness so something about ii that allows them to power up and combine into some weird drag car? Anyway Prelati gets killed. Tiki calls Saint-Germain to taunt her that Prelati has become road kill and because of that, they cannot use her as a sacrifice. Adam orders her return before the Symphogear girls disrupts the ritual.

Episode 10
Genjurou and co discuss the use of the leylines for a greater ritual and thus started to evacuate the people. Although there are methods to counter it, Adam destroyed all that was stored in Kazanari Institute. That’s what happens when you keep all your eggs in 1 basket. Saint-Germain starts the ritual by sacrificing her life to open the Divine Gate via Earth’s leylines. But Genjurou’s side has done some preparations. The priests of the shrines simultaneously cut the seals to sever the power lines. This disrupts the ritual and cause Tiki to be lifeless. Cue for Saint-Germain to fight Hibiki and Kirika (the rest cannot go into action as their modules are being repaired by Elfnein). Not sure what combo the duo pull off but it doesn’t look like some weird vehicle. Saint-Germain is defeated but even if her will to overthrow oppression is great, she lacks energy. This is where Hibiki comes in and uses the power of persuasion for her to use it in a better way. Just when you thought Saint-Germain is going to cave in, here comes Adam to restart the ritual. Even better, he uses the leylines from the stars in the sky!!! After all, there is that Orion’s Belt in the constellations, right? Saint-Germain tries to ascertain if he is going to use this godly power to overthrow oppression. Nope. Yup, you’ve been duped. He uses Tiki to fire a super blast. Everything could have been vaporized had not Kirika use her swan song to protect it. Although she suppresses its recoil by overdosing on the Linker, it will still be harmful to her body. With Kirika out of action, looks like Saint-Germain is going to defeat the oppressor. Make that 2 of them because Hibiki joins forces with her.

Episode 11
Saint-Germain tells Hibiki to destroy Tiki as she is acting as a vessel and focal point for the power transfer and hence preventing the divine power’s manifestation. Adam gets in their way and as they both fight, Saint-Germain realizes something. Adam could have easily destroyed them with his nuclear power thingy but yet he didn’t. He is waiting for the power from the heavens so this is their chance to take him down. When he is slightly wounded, they are shocked to realize Adam is a puppet. That mere word makes Adam mad. In turn it makes Tiki mad as she transforms into some alien monster. This is supposedly the divine weapon? Too bad it regenerates whenever Saint-Germain damages it. Adam reveals he was created by them as the group’s representative. However he was even perfect as a prototype and tossed away. Because of that, Adam cannot accept the perfect losing to the imperfect. So to answer Saint-Germain’s question if he has humanity left in him, heck he isn’t human to begin with! Tiki unleashes a powerful blast. Though it missed the girls, it seems it hit some American military satellite. Shortly, Genjurou is contacted by Kamakura about this farce. This has already become an internationally known incident and outsiders will deploy their ‘peacekeeping forces’ under UN’s name to invade Japan. Kamakura feels he has to intervene in the battle eventually. An unknown source contacts Genjurou and reveals they have decrypted all of Val Verde documents. One of them included some spear believed to be the one that kill gods. However it doesn’t possess such attributes but contains the same powers as Gungnir. In short, Gungnir is the weapon that could destroy the divine power and it is cue for Hibiki get back up and finish the job. Saint-Germain connects the dots that Adam’s weapon was not intended to destroy the Symphogear but to destroy information that would thwart his plans. Tiki cannot regenerate after being punched by Hibiki. Before she destroys the monster completely, Adam has Tiki eject from it. Though still partially destroyed, he still needs something to harbour the divine power. A puppet. Yeah, his left arm that he just ripped out. Unfortunately all that power didn’t go to him but being absorbed into Hibiki who turns into an eerie cocoon.

Episode 12
It has been 48 hours since Hibiki is in that state. Adam will not give up on that power still so I guess he has gone back to the drawing board. Genjurou is in a pinch since the Americans via UN are threatening to engage armed intervention and Yatsuhiro is trying his best to delay it so his side must produce the results in a very limited time. Thanks to information from Saint-Germain, Elfnein has gotten lots of clues to create an Anti-Linker. Because Yohualtepoztli and the divine weapon need a vessel to manifest stably its immense power, this is also how the Symphogear works. They can assume that same power is engulfing Hibiki. Time is certainly running out as Kamakura has already mobilize the unlimited national defence to prevent this disaster. Of course you know, the girls protest this is called a disaster. This is their friend. Old impatient fart won’t stand for it. The army tanks fire but it only serves to break a giant angry monster out. Yeah, see how powerful her blasts are. The Symphogear girls go into action but their normal methods couldn’t stop her. Once the Anti-Linker pods hit the monster and the effects are taking place, this is where Miku comes in. She screams Hibiki’s name? Apparently using her voice as some electromagnetic signal to get through Hibiki inside. You know, how to voice of your friend tends to wake you up. At least for Hibiki. With that, she breaks out from the monster and into safe hands. Also, with this result, the UN agrees to step down. Happy ending, right? But no. The damn US president (I want to say he looks like Donald Trump but he doesn’t) while on his vacation doesn’t want to take any risk and initiates a missile targeted at Japan! F*ck you America! With the missile homing in, there is not enough time. Even if they manage to cut it, the shockwave will still contaminate the area. This is where Saint-Germain gets to play the tragic hero. She starts singing but is surprised when Cagliostro and Prelati sing by her side. Their ghost? Nope. The real deal. Apparently Cagliostro faked her death to hide from Adam and then saved Prelati before she died. They have been preparing a special transmutation since. Saint-Germain fires this bullet to contain its explosion but it is still not enough. So they use their lives to diffuse it once and for all. All over, right? Nope. Adam returns and he has absorbed all the divine power into his hand. Literally, the power is in his hand. He won’t let them interrupt again but love maniac Tiki grabs on to him. This is what happens if you don’t give your doll enough hugs. This allows Hibiki to smash the divine weapon.

Episode 13
Despite the victory, Hibiki is still sad she couldn’t save Saint-Germain. Save that for later. They’ve still got Adam to deal with. Some Alca-Noise to deal with so as not to ‘forget’ them. When Adam’s body cannot maintain his perfect form anymore, he reverts to his true monstrous form. The people who designed him must be messed up… Guess what? His true form is faster and more powerful! WTF?! So the price of perfection is less speed and power? That isn’t perfect! Eventually all the girls risk their lives by joining their powers to sing their swan song. Leave it to Elfnein and SONG to try and divert the strain to Dainsleif. More beating up until Hibiki’s gear gave out too soon. Luckily the other girls send some of their power before her doom. Hibiki evolves as she now can do all their special moves! Finally, she has the support of Saint-Germain and co as she transcends into a shiny gold armour to give Adam a heap of punches! So explosive that Adam explodes like a nuclear bomb?! More good news as the Pavarian Illuminati members worldwide are arrested. But with the organization gone, the remnants will be the hard ones to track. Yatsuhiro talks to Kamakura about the world condemning America for trying to use such measure. But Kamakura throws him a thought. They have seen a power that rivals God. What if Japan has that power. They wouldn’t need to worry about being attacked and invaded anymore. Tempting… On the lighter side, everyone celebrates Hibiki’s 17th birthday. Just in time. Man, it was one heck of a build up to her birthday. But I suppose the best birthday gift is their victory. As usual, Hibiki is still having worries over her fist-only solution. As usual, Miku is up to remind her no matter what, she will always hold her hand. There. Friendship level increased. Elfnein tells Genjurou her theory why Hibiki was able to serve as a vessel for the divine power. Hibiki was hit with Shenshou Jing and that purified her curse, hence cleansing of her sin. However Genjurou remembers there is another person who was hit by that: Miku.

Star Doors: The Illuminati Strikes Back! Even so, It’s All In The Punching
What else can I say about this season? Everything is left hanging because we already know from the start there will be another season. Things are not done yet. Things have to be done. Basically what I understand this season is that the big final boss of everything has finally shown up and with all the Illuminati conspiracy and memes going around, I suppose they’re going to make use of them here as the main antagonist. After all, Phine is already gone so who else left is there to pull the strings? Blame it all on the Illuminati! Illuminati confirmed! Who’d knew that this sci-fi action series would eventually tread down this path of using the Illuminati as their antagonist. Maybe we will get more of such memes in the future…

This season I am still lost with all the technical terms and jargons like Linkers because I think I could barely remember them. What the heck is that Balal curse again? Therefore when they start getting technical using such terminologies, my brain automatically gets shut off. Yeah. Uhm. Whatever they said. As for the recurring characters especially our Symphogear girls, there isn’t much drama to be played out on them since with have seen them being fleshed out in previous seasons especially last season about Hibiki and her dad. So this time round we have Chris and her connections with some South American acquaintance but that itself isn’t much. Then there is also Kirika and Shirabe and snippets of their past but that too isn’t enough. Tsubasa and Maria are like treading in the background like Hibiki. When Hibiki temporarily turned into a monster, I guess it feels like déjà vu because in the previous seasons I think I remember she too turned into some berserk monster form. Although Miku is sorely missing in action (because in a previous season she did turn into a fighting machine), looks like her eternal role is to always cheer Hibiki up whenever she feels down. Yeah, the cheapest tonic to cure her depression: Friendship! But in the final scenes it is hinted she is more than a bunch of smiles so by the next season she could play an even more significant role.

The new characters for this season are the antagonists. Adam feels like a two dimensional villain because as usual, a powerful head of an organization who wants to wield absolute power. And before you can claim that he is so cliché that he has no humanity in him because of how cruel he is, they think they can pull a quick one over us because of the revelation he isn’t human to begin with! Oh, the irony. A puppet trying to destroy humanity. Turns out he looks more like a demon than your typical puppet. Am I paranoid to think this is what would happen if AI gets more intelligent than mankind in the future? I fear so… The biggest irony that a puppet is the one thinking he has the right to decide on the fate of humanity when we humans don’t even give a sh*t about each other.

As for Saint-Germain, Cagliostro and Prelati, I already predicted that they would be misguided and then somewhat become allies with the Symphogear girls in the end although it is just for a short while. Though Saint-Germain will not consider them fighting alongside each other as an ally, but if you’re fighting the same enemy together, that is good enough for me to consider that temporary team up as allies. Too bad they didn’t live in the end and hence breaking the combo of when the next season comes by, the Symphogear girls would have a new face joining their ranks (maybe they could as ghosts). Because that is what Elfnein is literally. She is now like the mad scientist of the group, only with a lot of anxiety and guilt because of the need to make better Symphogear technology for the girls to fight better, blah, blah, blah. One of the biggest ironies is how Saint-Germain was so confident and did not bat an eyelid in taking lives of others for her misguided cause only to start sweating when Adam the jerk decided to use hers and her aides. It’s like saying she can do unto others but others cannot do unto her. Like having 2 different set of rules applied. In the end, I guess all that matters is that she is satisfied to finally put her life for good use. Hey, you can’t make great progress if you don’t put your own life on the line, can you?

I suppose if there is something that I need to ‘praise’ and something that I have ‘enjoyed’ this season is the ridiculous action. Yes, this season like the previous maintains its over the top exaggerated action. It has all the flashy and explosive effects that would make your jaw drop in disbelief. You could almost feel the power packed in all those explosions. Bang for your buck? It is nonsensical but it’s fun. I wouldn’t go as far as to put the action on the same level as Hollywood’s Mad Max: Fury Road. But I’ll say it is more along the lines of that kind of mindless action. After all, when you are fighting hordes of colourful and ‘cute’ Alca-Noise, you need to destroy them in bulk as it would definitely be inefficient to destroy them one by one. This season also introduces combo team ups from the Symphogear girls as they form some sort of weird getup to destroy the enemy. Nice gimmick. So I guess we can look forward to the other strange versions they will turn into via different combinations in the future.

But nothing beats Hibiki’s punching. It’s like saying there is nothing that cannot be defeated with a good punch. Her Gungnir is like the answer to almost everything. Ironically she wants to win battles without sacrifices but always ends up using her fists. I guess that shows her persuasion skills aren’t as good as her punches. Oh well. You know what they say about action speaks louder than words. Also, it would be just plain boring and unrealistic to see Hibiki just winning over the enemy with words. That’s not why we watch this series, right? And now that she has the ability to do special attacks of her comrades… How further more will she evolve? Sometimes it feels funny that the Pavarian Illuminati girls decide to go destroy the Symphogear girls, only to always get defeated, it feels like some sort of joke because it’s like rinse and repeat every time. They feel confident in taking them down and when they clash, they lose. Retreat. Rest for a while to get back that confidence. Have a go again. I suppose this is only how we’ll get our Symphogear action.

I also want to mention the character designs of the antagonists. When Adam first made his appearance, instantly I thought what the heck is Sinbad from Magi doing here?! Has that king of Sindria finally gone rogue?! Plus, with his white suit, at certain angles he reminds me of Michael Jackson! Aaow! Heehee! Smooth Criminal! Okay, his white suit doesn’t resemble like Michael Jackson’s iconic one in Smooth Criminal but I just can’t help remember that King of Pop when looking at him. His true form she got me thinking of what is deemed as perfect. At least in the visual and physical department. Because if Adam deems his own looks as perfect, is this what humans who created him model after? Then why the heck was his true form hideous? Don’t really get it. Then there is the battle suit of Prelati. She is the oddest of the lot as it makes her look like some mini monster. Worse, it could be one of those animal pyjamas that kids go to sleep with. Serious. Then there is those Alca-Noise do come in all colours, shapes and sizes. However I tend to notice a few that really looks ridiculous. I believe I saw a few as bananas… WTF?!

I don’t know if a few political punching bags were made because the first adventure of this series that has them head to South America, one of the dictators reminded me of Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro! Maybe it was just me but then again, many dictators are stereotyped as fat bad moustachioed guys. And then there is the one of the US president. Doesn’t look like Donald Trump as I have said earlier but why do I get this feeling that it is supposed to be referring to him? And why does the pre-emptive missile strike feels like the one about North Korea?! Hopefully it is just me and crazy reality. Then there is that instant back down of the UN once SONG managed to diffuse the situation. It’s a good thing they are trying to tell us negotiations are the way instead of WMDs as proof that humans can get along. But from this reality which I came from… It sounded like BS crap. Honestly.

New casts joining this series’ line-up are Miki Shinichiro as Adam (Urahara in Bleach), Minako Kotobuki as Saint-Germain (Asuka in Hibike! Euphonium), Rina Hidaka as Prelati (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Hina Kino as Tiki (Sylvia in Masou Gakuen HxH), Natsumi Fujiwara as Sonya (Chihiro in Shonen Maid) and Asuna Tomari as Stefan. The surprising one is Shouta Aoi as Cagliostro. Very rare that a man voices a female’s role. He certainly has a very feminine voice that would fool many into thinking that he is a woman. After all, many of his anime roles are effeminate guys like Ai in Uta No Prince-sama series, Licht in Oushitsu Koushi Haine and Renren in Hatsukoi Monster. The only other female role he voiced is Michael in Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis. Like in previous seasons, Nana Mizuki takes on the opener, Testament while Ayahi Takagaki does the ending theme, Futurism. The techno rock style of these music isn’t my cup of tea and so are the many songs they sing during battle.

Overall, I believe only true Symphogear fans would enjoy and appreciate what is going on up till this point. If not for the mindless power action, I would have been even bored to death with all the confusing terms and plot (although it is as simple as girls in revealing sci-fi suits fighting the baddies who want to destroy or rule the world). So I am deducing that the next season would be the big finale that would end the series because after working so hard to come this far, all the battles they have fought, the lives they have saved and the friendships created, it would be a major insult to suddenly have a new hidden antagonist popping up and who is the actual big bad boss behind everything so far. Please don’t turn it into such cliché because we really want to see off the girls gracefully in their most beautiful swan song when the time comes. A song that would become an evergreen classic.

And so it is here. The third season of girls in high tech combat gear, singing their songs while in the midst of kicking ass cute and colourful but dangerous creatures that would turn you into carbon at the mere touch. Yes, people. Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX finally made the airwaves after 2 years since the second season ended. Oh God. That feels like an awful long time. And you know what this means for me. Forgetting a big chunk of what happened in the predecessors. Well, at least the fine details but overall I’m still okay. So what is new in this season? Well, if you consider a new enemy but with the same ol’ goal of destruction and the same ol’ singing technology to defeat them. Yeah, let the music save the world again.

Episode 1
Remember the pod that Nastassja ride up to space to sacrifice herself to save the world in last season? Well, due to orders from UN, they are to retrieve whatever technological remains and her corpse. The shuttle that retrieved it is experiencing malfunctions and is free falling from the atmosphere. It is projected to crash through the Mount Everest area. That is where our Symphogear ladies come in. In this exhilarating high speed action to stop the speeding shuttle, they had to cut a mountain in half! OMG! It is no longer one of the tallest mountains in the world! WTF?! And though it rips through a town, major damage is prevented when they successfully put a stop dead in its tracks. Phew. Thank goodness. As narrated, Genjurou and his team now head a paranormal disaster relief force called SONG under the UN. Hibiki and her friends continue their daily school lives. Kirika and Shirabe are also joining them as they are on probation. Everyone converges to watch Tsubasa and Maria’s concert live in London. Maria isn’t as free as you think she is. Thanks to her part in last season’s crime, she is also under some probation and forced to be a heroic idol putting on charitable concerts for a righteous cause so some parties could save face. After the concert, a series of deadly attacks occur. Genjurou quickly sorties the Symphogear girls. Maria is ambushed by Phara Suyuf who is an Autoscorer. Tsubasa comes to her aid. Hibiki is tasked to save the trapped people in the building that is caught on fire. After that, she is confronted with this witch loli, Carol Malus Dienheim. At first she thought she was a lost child but she then displays her alchemy powers and claims it will shatter the world and slaughter miracles. And there’s this tragic flashback about Carol’s dad being burnt at the stake under suspicions for practising witchcraft. His last words were for her to live on and experience more of the world. I hope she didn’t take dad’s words the wrong way.

Episode 2
Hibiki refuses to change because she believes her Symphogear is to help others and not fight. This only makes Carol mad. Chris faces off with another Autoscorer, Leiur Darahim. After Chris almost gets dropped by several yachts, Elfnein approaches her. She has been looking for the Symphogear girls to help her in her quest to protect the girl from Carol’s alchemy. Meanwhile Garie Tuman might look like a cute goth loli walking around. But be careful. She is sucking the life force out of others! Kirika and Shirabe who were told to hold the fort and not come into battle because they do not have suitable Gears and Linkers to fight, can’t just stand by and watch their friends fight alone. Hibiki continues to provoke Carol by not engaging in battle. She wants to know why Carol wants to fight. There’s something unclear about her being spied on an invasion of privacy but ultimately she says it is a task left behind by her father. Yeah, I think she really did get the wrong idea. Since Garie has collected enough memories, time to withdraw. Hibiki collapses shortly. Tsubasa and Maria escape but no matter where they go, Phara is always ahead. She can summon Noise to fight them. To everyone’s shock, upon contact, Tsubasa’ Gear starts to disintegrate. Similarly, the same thing is happening to Chris.

Episode 3
As Elfnein explains, those were Alca-Noise created to dissect the world. Kirika and Shirabe transform to retrieve Chris and Elfnein. Carol orders the other Autoscorers in the battlefield to withdraw so our heroines can thank their lucky stars they are safe for now. Maria is about to be taken into custody by the agents. She contacts Genjurou and wants to formally transfer to SONG. Although she doesn’t have her own Gear, she cannot remain a false idol in this crisis. Tsubasa also retires from her music business temporary to return to SONG. There is some explanation about their Relics but all I understand it cannot be fixed. With Ryouko gone, nobody knows how to fix them. The only Gear left is Hibiki’s. Kirika and Shirabe’s are not official as it put a lot o f strain on their bodies without a proper Linker and sync rates. Garie kisses Micha Jawkan to transfer all the collected memories into her and activates her to life. Carol believes Micha is their strongest fighter. Elfnein explains what she knows. Under Carol’s orders, she constructed some giant apparatus. One day she discovered it was supposed to destroy the world and fled to try and end her plan. Alca-Noise is originally based on a recipe for creating Noise and it can destroy anything including Symphogear. Thus, Carol’s next step is to construct a giant apparatus designed to turn that power on the world. Unfortunately, Elfnein was created as her homunculus and only ‘installed’ the necessary power and knowledge for the construction. She doesn’t have the specifics but she does know Chateau de Tiffauges is close to completion. That is why she has brought this Relic, Dwerg Dain that is capable of thwarting Alca-Noise and Carol’s alchemy power. Later Maria and Hibiki got into an argument. Maria views her as arrogant despite having the power to call forth Symphogear and yet she won’t use it. Garie appears before Hibiki and her friends. She is going to force her to fight by summoning Noise. But the most shocking thing is when Hibiki cannot sing! Gungnir won’t respond to her and this means she cannot transform. Yeah, even the enemy is freaking shocked-cum-disappointed with this development.

Episode 4
Garie is going to target Hibiki’s friends but one of them mentions not to drag them into this and that they aren’t her friends. It’s just a ploy so when Garie lets them go, they make a run for it. Garie sets her Noise upon them. Before Hibiki can be toasted, here comes Maria flying into the scene (thanks to Ogawa’s awesome driving). She grabs Hibiki’s Gear and transforms to fight and defeat all the Noise. When she is about to face Garie, she is at her limit and reverts back to normal. Garie is so disappointed that she just retreats. Although Marie is bleeding from overstraining, Hibiki snatches back her Gear and screams it isn’t supposed to be used that way. This is her Gungnir and she is the one who is supposed to use it. Wow. Did she wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, maybe. She can’t sleep that night since she is in a dilemma about her songs her people so Miku has to assure her that her songs don’t. Her friends even think if Hibiki remembers the reason why she couldn’t sing, maybe she’ll sing again. Maria, Kirika and Shirabe visit Nastassja’s grave and they want to be stronger. Elfnein tells Genjurou and the girls about her Project Ignite. Theoretically putting some alchemy into their Gear to have a fighting chance. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Alca-Noise is detected. Micha leads the Noise chasing after Hibiki and Miku. When Miku is cornered at an abandoned building, she makes a last plea to Hibiki how her songs saved people and that she loves them. Miku is about to die and this causes Hibiki to become desperate. She starts singing and this allows her to transform. She realizes she was trying to run away from her responsibility. Now she will not. After saving Miku, she kicks some Noise ass and even gives Micha a run for her money. Just when Hibiki strikes the most devastating blow, Micha turns out to be a water illusion. The real Micha fires a powerful shot that blasts Hibiki into the sky and shatters her Gear. Hibiki dead?!

Episode 5
Hibiki is wheeled into ICU. The rest hope and believe this won’t kill her because we always know she’ll bounce back, right? Right?! Well, it’s been a week and Hibiki is still under coma. Time to panic? Thanks to Genjurou’s brother who is also Tsubasa’s father, Yatsuhiro manages to pull some strings as a high government official to get external power sources to maintain their operation as currently there is a concurrent worldwide energy maintenance. Elfnein is making significant progress with her Project Ignite. She dreams of Carol’s memories of her times with her father. His last dying words is the reason Elfnein will protect the world from Carol as she wants to find out what the answer was. With Alca-Noise detected destroying energy generators worldwide, Kirika and Shirabe sneak into some medical room to get prototype Linkers so they can fight them. These prototypes left behind by Kanade help reduce the recoil of their Gear and go easy on their body. As a team, their attacks are more devastating and effective. Despite the good news that Hibiki is now awake (after another round of her own tragic family past) and grateful to Miku for all that she has done, Micha enters the fray and gives them a run for their money. Kirika becomes her first victim when her Gear is destroyed. With their power drastically reduced, Micha summons Alca-Noise to toy with Shirabe till she is cornered and once her Gear is destroyed too, all that is left for her is to succumb to fate while Kirika is reduced to screaming for anybody to help. You don’t say because here comes Tsubasa and Chris with their brand new Gear. Looks like Elfnein finished in time. Another reason to thank your lucky stars.

Episode 6
Thanks to Project Ignite, not only the damaged Gears are repaired, it also boosts its output power. They are able to fight on par with Micha till Carol enters the fray. She tells Micha to retreat because the plan’s progression is utmost important and she will take care of this. Carol summons her harp weapon that summons some Relic and transforms her into an adult version to fight. She is very powerful thanks to the memories she absorbed as fuel and since she has been living for a long time, yes, she is that freaking powerful. Tsubasa and Chris are down so they initiate an Ignite module, Dainsleif. It stabs their hearts. The pain is very immense and they are in risk of going berserks like how Hibiki did last season. But that is the essential of this module. To bring out that berserk power but the risk is suicidal if they cannot handle it. They are forced to face their past nightmares and regrets. Although they pull each other out from the abyss, the synchronization failed. Carol then unleashes Alca-Noise to destroy the city if they can’t get back up and fight. Now Hibiki enters the fray. Elfnein has given back her repaired Gungnir and she is all set to go. Once again, the trio activates Dainsleif. The reward for surpassing that painful madness? A cooler and darker outfit! To prove how powerful they are, Carol unleashes 3,000 Alca-Noise so that they could just wipe them out with their freaking awesome firepower. Then Carol also tries to show off her awesome power and kills some of her Alca-Noise in the way. The combined effort of the trio finally bring down Carol. Hibiki asks her reason to destroy the world. Can’t remember. So long ago that now it has become her reason to fight. Carol won’t leave Hibiki in peace and reminds her that her song cannot save anyone before burning herself. Hibiki may be left traumatized but she stays strong and prove her wrong.

Episode 7
Elfnein gives Maria and co their upgraded Gear. I suppose the girls are supposed to train but when the beach is so tempting, they can’t help have fun. And call it part of their training. That’s why I can’t blame Elfnein for asking Hibiki to properly train because despite their new Gear has extra protective layers, it is still dangerous. Then Garie pops up to attack. What better way to train via the real deal. Garie throws Alca-Noise to separate the rest so she could target Maria. She thought wrong if she doesn’t have her Gear. Maria uses it to transform and fight back. She thought of using Dainsleif to finish the fight but she failed to overcome her darkness and now becomes a wild beast. Garie defeats her and feels so disappointed that she just retreats. While everyone else discusses the Autoscorers retreating instead of finishing them off each time and the mystery they can still move about with Carol’s orders, Maria is alone thinking about her weak self. Elfnein tries to encourage her when Garie returns for another rematch. Although still weak, Maria remembers what she thought to Elfnein. Despite Elfnein had no fighting abilities, she still acted bravely in the face of danger. True strength is being yourself. Activating Dainsleif this time, Maria overcomes her weakness and powers up into a cool suit to beat up Garie and finishing her off for good. During this fight, Phara has snuck into the base and stole some chip. The girls continue playing their sparklers. Hibiki is made to go buy snacks. Miku accompanies her. But at the convenience store, they are shocked to see Hibiki’s dad. Her first reaction? Run away!

Episode 8
When Hibiki calms down, she meets her father. Looks like he wants to start all over again after realizing that she has been in the media as a hero saving the world. However she still blames him for leaving the family when they needed him most and leaves. This guy couldn’t get more despicable than he is. He asks Hibiki to pay his bill! Phara returns with the stolen data of some Photosphere. It contains data of the world’s ley lines that Nastassja used to focus Phonic gain for Frontier. Hibiki is still angry as she joins Shirabe and Kirika to fight Alca-Noise. She takes out her frustrations by doing a lot of damage but when she realizes that she might also be responsible for the family’s breakup, Micha owns her. The others come to her rescue and could have lost had not Micha had orders to retreat. The girls are thankfully alright but Kirika and Shirabe are fighting that they think the other is being a burden. Hibiki apologizes for letting them get involved in her personal matter. Oh, now Miku feels responsible too. So it’s everybody’s fault and yet nobody’s? Genjurou discovers a plot by the Autoscorers to map their power routes. After the destruction of power supplies, they have been sending additional energy to government facilities as compensation. Micha returns to fight Kirika and Shirabe. Again they think they’re getting in each other’s way. But then they realize all that thought was because they care about each other. Other people got mad at them because they care about them. Yeah. Okay. Whatever. This gives them the motivation to use Dainsleif as they power up and combine their powers to destroy Micha. Later the duo are reprimanded by Genjurou and Chris for being too reckless. Surprisingly they feel remorseful so they let them off the hook. Carol has revived back in the base. After learning Garie and Micha has died glorious deaths, it is time to hasten Apocalypse and slaughter every last miracle.

Episode 9
Genjurou has deduced there might be 2 spots the enemy might attack. Neptune’s Palace, the secret of the most secret of all bases hidden underwater that houses all dangerous and unknown and unanalyzed materials. As keystones of shrines around the country are being destroyed to disrupt the ley lines, the other location is no other than Tsubasa’s childhood home. I guess it’s like going home to see papa, eh? Tsubasa and Maria are tasked for this one. Let’s say Tsubasa and Yatsuhiro’s relationship aren’t the warmest. Don’t expect to see any father-daughter hugs and kisses. More of the kind that says, “You’re still able? Do your job then”. Even Maria got upset on Tsubasa’s behalf on this. Phara then attacks. Although Tsubasa fights her, her sword breaks because Phara’s ability is that no sword can destroy her. Once she destroys the keystone, she retreats. Genjurou saw this coming that the enemy is also attacking Neptune’s Palace simultaneously. He sends Chris, Kirika and Shirabe to face off with Leiur and Carol. Elfnein believes Carol is after Yantra Sarvasva which has awesome controlling mechanism and properties. It is essential in her world destruction plan. Once Tsubasa has recovered, Yatsuhiro shows them lots of research works some German company who created their Symphogear suit, analysis of the Alca-Noise and alchemy. Whatever. Sounds too technical. Since Tsubasa is fine, he wants her to take it elsewhere to analyse further. Time for Maria to get upset again…

Tsubasa brings Maria to her old room. It’s a big mess! And it was from 10 years ago! Hey… Not dusty? Tsubasa explains her thorny relationship with her dad. It all began when grandpa couldn’t decide an heir to the family. Neither Yatsuhiro nor Genjurou were chosen and instead he chose Tsubasa right after she was born. She didn’t understand but later found out she wasn’t her father’s daughter. To keep the family’s blood pure, grandpa forced her mom to bear his child. That’s Tsubasa. So grandpa is her real dad?! Tsubasa kept fighting in hopes Yatsuhiro would accept her. But if this is all she has to show, it must be disappointing. Phara returns to attack Tsubasa particularly. Again, she loses. Tsubasa feels useless till Yatsuhiro surprisingly tells her to sing and not be afraid to hold her dreams. Since Tsubasa hasn’t guessed it yet, Maria tells her Yatsuhiro hasn’t abandoned her. That speckles room? He cleaned it for the last 10 years! He held on his memories for her by holding on to her room! He also distanced her from the family so she could achieve her dream. Complicated … Tsubasa revives and uses Dainsleif to power up and sing again. But can she defeat Phara with a sword? That is not a sword. Those are her wings which carry her dreams! Oh gosh! She just defeated Phara’s concept just like that? And with that too, she cuts Phara in half. Carol has got her hands on Yantra Sarvasva. Chris and co attack relentlessly. When a missile is going to hit Carol, guess who stopped it with only a bare hand? IT’S DR VER!!! OMG! THIS BASTARD IS STILL ALIVE??????!!!!!!! If you’re wondering where Hibiki is, she is resting. Could have been nothing if not her father kept calling her! Look at the miscalls in her log!!! OMG! Stalker material! She shuts off her phone. Ah, true peace…

Episode 10
Kirika and Shirabe stop Chris from going all out because they fear killing Ver would mean no more Linkers as he is the only one who knows how to make them. But still, she doesn’t care and had to be stopped for her recklessness. This allowed the villains to get away. This has Chris very mad as she views she doesn’t need her juniors help and can solve this herself. Elfnein wonders why Carol is still moving forward with her plan since Yantra Sarvasva has been destroyed. She remembers confronting Carol about destroying the world which isn’t part of the deal. So she thinks. She told her that father wouldn’t want the end of the world but Carol snapped back at the clone for calling herself his daughter. Ver tells us why he is still alive. Because his left hand is now Nephilim, he is treated as an object after being recovered and imprisoned at Neptune’s Palace. As Genjurou leads Chris and co to catch up on the villains, it dawned to him it is like they know the area well. Like as though somebody hacked HQ. Could it be there is a mole among them? Turns out to be Elfnein! OMG! However Elfnein is unsure herself. Carol’s projection reveals because she is a clone, she can hack her senses so unwittingly Elfnein has been projecting information back to her. The reason the Autoscorers continue to attack the Symphogear ladies is because their cursed melody is essential to the destruction of the world. Yes, Ignite module has been part of their plan. Whenever they use it, the Autoscorers will record them and send it to Carol. Therefore they don’t need the Gear users in the end. Although Phara is disabled, she had enough time to explain all that to Maria and Tsubasa before self destructing. Elfnein feels so guilty, she wants to be killed off. But kind Genjurou reminds her about her mission to thwart Carol’s plan. Leiur fights Chris and co so Carol and Ver could escape. When Kirika and Shirabe got knocked out, this leaves Chris an emotional wreck. She is afraid of being alone again in this cruel world, blah, blah, blah. But the juniors manage to tell her about relying on her and learning new things. This gives Chris the motivation to use Dainsleif and blow the crap out of Leiur. Thanks to Kirika and Shirabe’s cooperation, they manage to seal off the section instead of being blown up together. But now the place is crumbling so they rush and return to the main ship. As they race to surface, a giant humanoid monster is chasing them. Once on the surface, the monster chops the ship in half!

Episode 11
Chris destroys the monster. That was easy. Though, Elfnein was slightly injured. Meanwhile Hibiki sums up her courage to meet daddy again. He wants their family to get back again but he is afraid of seeing mom?! WTF?! Has he got no balls?! And Hibiki was ready to give him a second chance… The sky cracks. Here comes Chateau activated by Ver. You know, Hibiki’s dad is a real dick. He is recording this Armageddon tool and thinking how much he can sell on social media! If the world is still around… Because Ver considers Carol’s goal of destroying the world pathetic, he will take over her reigns as hero. Before he can start his hero ranting crap, Carol stabs him. You tell it to him, sister. Side characters can never be heroes! Carol goes down to Hibiki to bring her more despair. Although her dad might did a surprise move by pushing his daughter to safety, that’s all to it. He now runs away like a coward as Carol targets him. How shameful. Not even Hibiki has words to answer that. But wait. Daddy isn’t just running around for fun. He is using this as diversion so Hibiki could escape. The line that seals it when he says if he wants the family to work, she has to be part of it. This makes Hibiki that his words were always what kept her going when it was tough. He has always been looking out for her. Wow. All the faith restored in just a split second. Hibiki revives and transforms to fight Carol. Carol will kill her father then but thankfully Hibiki’s pals have arrived to help. After daddy is ushered to safety (he is brought back on Genjurou’s ship where he continues to watch his daughter because like he literally said, he won’t take his eyes off her), Carol transforms into her adult version and starts her destructive damage. She can continue singing her swan song without straining her body. Chateau resonates like a tuning fork, amplifying her song and causing one hell of a big energy blast! While Hibiki’s team fights the powerful Carol, Maria’s team heads up to Chateau to try and stop it. But looks like they’ve got lots of Alca-Noise to deal with. To their surprise, they see Nastassja before them. What the heck is this series bringing back dead people?

Episode 12
Nastassja tells Maria her hands are tainted and cannot be saved. Doing so means only finding salvation for herself. Kirika and Shirabe don’t want her to be duped by this fake and take her and run. Carol explains about some history between songs and alchemy. So songs destroy the world? I don’t get it. Maria’s team stumble upon Ver. I knew he wasn’t dead. He has lost a lot of blood and can’t control Chateau. So he is going to work with them to destroy Chateau. Yes, this means taking all of them onboard as well. When Nastassja confronts Maria again, Maria denies her and she turns into Fine, a dark culmination of Maria’s mistakes. Elfnein contacts Ver to give him the blueprint of the Photosphere. You know characters are going to sacrifice themselves when they start saying goodbye. That’s what Maria’s team say to Hibiki’s team. Before you know it, Chateau explodes. Carol is left in despair that her world destruction plan is in tatters. Elfnein tries to convince Carol that this is not what father wants. Carol still believes in her revenge to overcome her grief. After all, he left them questions without answers. Elfnein further explains about alchemy. Its goal of understanding and harmony. Therefore father’s solution is forgiveness even if the world rejected him. This is what he wanted to tell them. You think Carol would learn her lesson. But no. She is going to use all her power to destroy the present even if it means risking all her memories. Hibiki and co have no choice but to use Ignite to fight her. Even unlocking their safety they still cannot do much damage as they get blown away. Carol’s Phonic gain alone has 7 billion swan songs!!! And then… They hear Maria and co singing! I knew it was too good to kill them off. Apparently Ver saved them so they could tell his tale of how great a hero is for saving the world. Sure, she’ll tell the world about him being the worst hero. There you go… Bye Ver. The Symphogear girls start singing and there’s lot of power blasting whatever. Seems they are using Carol’s Phonic gain against her. With Elfnein giving her final miracle, it has the Symphogear girls in new sparkling bright outfits! Hey wait. I thought I’ve seen these outfits before at the end of last season?

Episode 13
More numbers. More power. Even armed with a miracle. You think that’s enough to beat Carol? Carol tells her dad’s story whereby he created medicine for a plagued village. But they show their thanks by burning him because he isn’t a guy who is supposed to bring miracles. That’s why every miracle is a curse to her and she’ll destroy every last one of them. She sends out more Alca-Noise or the Symphogear girls to fight but that is just for their warm up and distraction so that Carol has more time to power up and summon a mecha dragon. Zoids? More power lights exchanged by both sides. Carol starts to falter when memories of her dad resurface. Thinking it is trying to stop her, she’ll even burn them to burn everything. The Symphogear girls focus all their power to Hibiki so she could save Carol. Even when Carol is defeated, she remains adamant her songs cannot save anybody. She refuses to be saved. Hibiki desperately reaches out her hand. Carol sees Elfnein reaching out to her but it turned into her dad. I guess his words were enough to save her (in reality, it is Hibiki taking her hand). But the dragon exploded and everything within the 12km radius is decimated! Wasteland from Fallout 4? In the aftermath, miraculously no civilians died (at least it was not stated). Our Symphogear girls are alive but Carol is nowhere to be found. They casually chat with Elfnein like as though they are best friends in the world. But after everyone leaves, Hibiki cries alone in the toilet and Miku provides a shoulder to cry on. That night, Carol visits Elfnein. She doesn’t remember who she is. Wait. She can’t recall her name but she could find this room? Despite losing her memories, all Carol could see was Elfnein’s face so she thought she might get answers if she sees her. Elfnein talks about their dad but it seems Elfnein’s body cannot last any much longer. She thought she would gladly die for the world but now she feels she wants to live. We get our yuri moment when they kiss. It’s such a heart stopping move that Elfnein’s heart literally stops. The other girls rush in. Elfnein is gone. Carol is standing there. But wait. It’s not Carol. It’s Elfnein in Carol’s body! So happy they can’t resist a group hug. So… Carol + Elfnein = Ca-nein-> Canine? Just kidding… End scenes show Hibiki getting along well with her dad. Chris exerting her senior muscles while supervising Kirika and Shirabe over summer homework. Maria and Tsubasa fly to England together. Elfnein is now working at SONG. Finally, Hibiki’s dad sums up his courage to make up with mom. Since both adults are hesitating, Hibiki takes the initiative to join their hands. She’s never letting go. I mean, not in the literal sense.

Symphogear GX Zesshoushinai

Just like last season, these are short skits lasting around 8 minutes each that you get when you buy the DVDs. If you can’t get enough of the girls, the fun continues in bite size and in chibi form.

OVA 1
Taking place mostly after the Frontier incident, Hibiki complains about studying for the test but then she realizes this is something normal and thus is happy to conclude she has returned to her everyday life. Genjurou receives report about the sunken pieces of Frontier. While majority of its parts are useless or destroyed, they find a torn letter with some sort of mysterious poem on it. They have formed a special team to decipher it. Maria, Kirika and Shirabe are in prison. Shirabe seems to be greatly anticipating when the clock strikes 12. Because this is when the food is served. And boy, do prison food tastes good? Must be the kind of prison they’re in. Heck, they’ve been treated to very good meals that Maria can’t help curse her luck during their time at FIS because they only had meals they could only dream of. Therefore she is in a dilemma to continue being stubborn so they can be locked in prison and get served good food. Hibiki, Miku and Chris watch Tsubasa perform on TV as well as her blunders on variety show. When Hibiki and co visit Maria and co, Tsubasa notes how they have become well rounded in terms of thinking. But they misinterpret it as becoming fat due to the inactivity of lying around in prison! Tsubasa’s graduation day looms and she will fly off to London after that to fulfil her dream of singing on stage there. Tsubasa teases being worried for Chris because she will tend to hide her tears. Chris embarrassingly protests that and counters back that Tsubasa is the one who will cry at the graduation ceremony. Tsubasa in turn refutes that because a sword doesn’t cry. Then at the ceremony she couldn’t stop crying. Chris can’t make fun of her after hearing her tears were because she can’t stand the thought of being separated from everyone. This too infects Chris as she starts crying. But save the crying for later because they get a message about a space shuttle re-entry having difficulties. Time to go on a mission one last time together.

OVA 2
After Maria graduates and leaves to become a UN agent, she seeks a favour from Chris to look after Kirika and Shirabe because she figured she is the best person to guide them around and to make them feel at home. Chris is not amused that she has got such a reputation and when she finds out Hibiki was responsible in giving Maria that impression, she punches her! Call it memory rage! Chris tries to dictate how Hibiki and Miku should address her but since it got so confusing and nobody is listening, she just lets them call her however they please. Chris and co take Kirika and Shirabe to tour the school. However they already know the layout of the school so well when they learnt it during the infiltration that they feel bad of spoiling it. Just go with the flow. As they explain the several facilities, the duo cannot help think this is some sort of elaborated Symphogear training ground. You think too much… Tsubasa has arrived in England and awaiting her new challenge. Then Ogawa hands her a list of variety shows she will participate in. Not the kind of challenge she is looking for? Maria reads her contract as an undercover singer and feels like a hero. She feels proud but when the thought of Tsubasa crosses her mind, she feels she can’t compare to her. Tsubasa and Maria call each other. Each feeling awkward in their conversation. Tsubasa tells her about receiving so many variety jobs that she has trouble deciding which ones to reject. Eventually they decide to work with each other and sing on stage together. They heave a sigh of relief to have a friend saviour. Chris is cleaning her place and complaining while she is at it because her friends will be coming over. But she seems happy with the thought of having them over.

OVA 3
Finally an episode for Carol and her Autoscorers. Taking place before the start of this season, Carol is not pleased that despite using her own thought patterns to create her Autoscorers’ AI, she feels ashamed to see them pose like that. Garie reasons how people want to see cool final bosses-like pose but it just pisses Carol off to think just that. Yuri moment! Garie kisses Phara and Leiur to bring them alive. Carol watches this and is embarrassed and reminds to mind where they do it. But Garie argues they are based off her AI so she herself might actually like public display of affection. Carol’s plan begins by setting loose Elfnein. But she is so busy doing last minute checks that Carol just tells her off to just escape, damn it! And since she is being such a klutz even in escaping, Carol orders Leiur to chase her out in pretence of attacking her but without giving away their intentions. Leiur feels clashed because Elfnein looks like Carol and her conscience might stop her from doing so. Since when did Carol program conscience into her? Phara and Leiur discuss about random and fair use of rock-scissors-paper and lottery ladder. This is just to show off their statistic knowledge. The Autoscorers comment on Micha’s weird pose. Micha thinks it is cool despite not knowing its meaning so the rest think it could only mean Carol came up with it. Garie is not too happy Micha continues to bug her. This time her ribbon came undone and because of those monstrous hands, she can’t tie them back. Ironic for an ultimate Autoscorer she can’t do the simplest things. But I suppose Garie had a change of heart when Micha claims she’ll be pretty much useless without her around and fixes her ribbon so she can stop saying ‘stupid’ things.

OVA 4
Maria and Tsubasa are on a plane back to Japan. Maria thinks the rest will start teasing her when she returns and fears facing them. But luckily she manages to give off that asserting feel thanks to the in-flight food. Miku and Hibiki are cooking and eating beef stroganoff. I think Hibiki’s cooking is horrible but she is forcing herself to eat it so as to remember the taste and not make the same mistake in the future. During the time when Maria chides Hibiki for running away from using Gungnir, the reason Hibiki can’t look her in the eye is because her face is covered in blood! Chris imagines using Hibiki’s Gungnir but couldn’t stand the fact it is yellow. However she sniggers like a maniac dreaming about using Kirika and Shirabe’s Gears. Tsubasa too seems to be ‘depressed’ because she also knows what Chris is thinking and had those same thoughts as well. A time when Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris unleash Dainsleif to fight against Carol, the process was so painful to watch that Kirika and Shirabe wonder if the trio have become the sheath instead of unsheathing the weapon. Kirika didn’t realize she was thinking aloud and embarrassed everybody when she thought of how much she loves Shirabe. The girls are in special training so Miku starts snapping photos of Hibiki like a mad paparazzi. For documentation purposes? You mean for her own collection, that is. Kirika and Shirabe and treading slowly and carefully in the water. They wonder how Ogawa does it by running on the water while carrying them. Simple. That f*cking guy is Jesus Christ! Just kidding!

Elegy Of Alchemy, Requiem Of Delirium
So let me guess. If they ever going to make another season, we now have Elfnein as part of the team? Yeah, the team is expanding and getting bigger and bigger the more seasons it gets. And I suppose if that happens, they’ll resurrect her Autoscorers and reform them into good guys too? Yeah well, we’ll leave that for another time. As far as this season goes, I guess it would be what Symphogear fans would expect. The songs, the action, the girls in tight fitting combat gear. Despite the ending is a happy one without much of a cliff-hanger (I believe it is time for our heroines to have a relaxing time that they deserved and earned from all the suffering they’ve been through this season even if it is just shown for 5 seconds at the end), there is of course still that little threat seeing Genjurou and Yatsuhiro were discussing about the emerging threat from Europe considering the great ol’ America has fallen.

I suppose they try to shake things up a little by introducing enemies that somewhat do not use the Symphogear technology but ancient alchemy. Because something feels a bit wrong when you see the enemies always getting the better of the girls but yet they do not finish them off but come back to fight them another day. I suppose it is to show that they are not perfect and instead of always expecting the Symphogear girls to come out tops each time, they finally meet their match in a stronger enemy. Sometimes it feels like a big training stint to power up the girls because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Heck, I thought they might pull off this shocking revelation that Carol and the Autoscorers are actually the good guys on their side, just playing the villains so that our Symphogear girls, the last saviours of mankind could power up greatly and defeat and even bigger villain. Too bad it wasn’t as complicated as that.

I’m sure they are trying to add some drama effect this season too. Because last season we had Miku almost turning into a baddie and for this season, we had Hibiki’s father returning to ruin her life again. At first looks he passes off as no more than a parasitic selfish jerk whom viewers would instantly love to hate. Heh. At least Ver was a bad guy but what is worse than that is a father who dared to come back into her daughter’s life without any sort of repentance. But since we cannot have jerks like him in this show especially if he is to live and be reunited with Hibiki in the end, suddenly he redeems himself by having a change in character. And before you know it, he is the best dad in the world at least from Hibiki’s renewed point of view. Yeah, with all those cool fatherly lines at the end, it is hard to cast him as a douchebag anymore from the way he shows his remorse and worries while watching over Hibiki’s final fight. To sum it up, he isn’t the perfect or the best father role model ever but he is still Hibiki’s dad no matter what. Aww… Time for a big warm hug?

Then there is Tsubasa’s case too about her estranged father and such but that felt a little rushed seeing her case wasn’t as bad as Hibiki. I’m sure they would have done something for Chris too if her parents weren’t dead. Either ways, our girls reconciling with their father seems to be the turning point and motivation that encourages them to fight better. So I’m guessing this season’s theme is all about the father, eh? Yeah well, Genjurou as the father figure didn’t do pretty much just like last season except commanding in his ship and watching over the girls. But still, a father figure nevertheless. Maybe a mother figure for Maria, Kirika and Shirabe. And when we have Hibiki’s family back on track again, they decide to add the theme of family in addition to all that. Fathers, friends, family… F*cking fabulous!

I can’t say much about the villainesses for this season because Carol’s excuse to destroy the world just because they burnt her fire doesn’t seem like a good justification for Armageddon. Of course, from Carol’s point of view, her father is the world and everything and natural if your dad is killed by dickheads, you’d definitely want to watch the world burn too. And her Autoscorers I thought they were just fancy posing mannequins in fancy dresses that would make them look like models for a photo shoot. They lack any deep personality except maybe for Micha who is probable to most psycho of the lot. But that itself pales in comparison to the madness of Ver.

I had this thought that the series was going to bring back dead characters because when they did it for Carol (seriously, how can the big little boss die so early and before her Autoscorers did), I didn’t expect they would bring Ver and Nastassja back although the latter is just some sort of clone. Hey, Hibiki nearly died and she came back. I know, she’s the heroine. Heck, I thought at this rate they might even bring back Ryouko (at least yet another Fine’s reincarnation) and even Kanade and Serena! Thank God they didn’t. But I find it pretty annoying that characters who are supposed to be dead should stay dead no matter how popular or favourite that character is in my books. Because doing so just makes it feel cheap. That kind of twist and revelation doesn’t work these days in today’s stories. So I guess they had the ‘decency’ to kill off Ver (again) and even if Carol’s gone, at least she lives on in Elfnein. Like I said earlier, if they really tried bringing back dead characters, maybe next season we would have Autoscorers joining their ranks.

In every episode there is guaranteed to be some sort of action from the Symphogear girls. I can’t recall how exaggerated the actions were in the previous seasons but with the third season, they get more power ups and the more powerful they get, the more colourful their songs and beams are. As seen in the big final epic battle. Yeah, sometimes I think it is one heck of a big magic light show and the only difference is that you can’t stay too close and be in awe of those magnificent lights because they will kill you. Otherwise, the unique display of each of the Symphogear girls’ skill sets are still an amusing watch as each comes in their own typesetting font style and move names. With the threat of Carol and Autoscorers, Noise (or Alca-Noise as they are now termed this season) seems to be a very distant threat now. It is like they have become enemies our girls to warm up and the obligatory little minions they must fight before battling the stage boss.

Many of the casts from the previous seasons are retained. New ones joining the line up are Inori Minase as Carol (Nagisa in Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa), Misaki Kuno as Elfnein (Hawk in Nanatsu No Taizai), Shizuka Ishigami as Leiur (Stella in Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry), Masumi Tazawa as Phara (Saionji in Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches), Shiori Izawa as Micha (Tanpopo in Witch Craft Works), Michiyo Murase as Garie (Slywia in Schwarzesmarken), Kazuhiro Yamaji as Yatsuhiro (Senor Pink in One Piece) and Toshihiko Seki as Hibiki’s dad (Senketsu in Kill La Kill).

Just like in previous seasons, the ever great Nana Mizuki as usual sings the opening theme. Exterminate doesn’t sound that all different from its predecessors. Displaying her powerful vocals as well as the fast paced techno rock music that permeates throughout the entire series. The main ending theme, Rebirth-day by Ayahi Takagaki also follows this same pattern. But breaking that pattern is Bayonet Charge, a duet by both of them. This special ending theme is more of hard rock. Then there is Glorious Break by Nana Mizuki which is more dramatic sounding with all the choir voices and orchestra music in the background. Like in previous seasons too, the insert songs of the girls singing are aplenty. I believe there is as much if not more insert songs than last season although from what I can see from the list is that most of them are remix variations from the main ones. Well, not that I noticed which ones stand out since I can’t be focusing my senses to both that battle and the songs. And since I can’t really hear what they are singing, I guess I’ll be concentrating on the power fights instead.

Overall, if you are a fan of the series or a big fan of any one or more of the famous seiyuus-cum-singers, then you’ll probably enjoy and feel nostalgic for the sequel that mostly many might have forgotten over the years. It would just be another ordinary show of girls in tight sci-fi outfits fighting villains via singing for casual viewers who has at least watched the previous 2 seasons. Newcomers jumping in might be confused with what they’re seeing without all that back story. This series is still worth a shot if it gets another season. But of course it cannot go on forever and like everything else, has to come to an end one day. Even the once popular American Idol is now over, right? So when it does happen for this series, let us hope they will bow out with grace with their swan song.

Remember those girls in high tech combat gear who sing in the midst of kicking ass? Yeah. Looks like it wasn’t really over yet and thus the sequel, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G. Except for my opening statement, I don’t really remember much about the first season albeit it was released around 2 years ago and how it ended. Big bad villainous girl was defeated and 3/4 of the moon was destroyed just to ensure that. Uhm. Yeah. Something like that. Then you have those funny and colourful creatures called Noise. Despite their odd looking shapes, they are deadly to the touch and if you get into contact with one of them, you instantly turn into carbon. What a way to die. Don’t worry. There will always be the Symphogear girls to save the day. In this sequel, there are new characters, new villains, new twists and new threats to mankind. But the same ol’ girls in the same ol’ high tech combat gear kicking ass. And oh, still singing while they’re at it.

Episode 1
Chris is part of our heroine team now. Along with Hibiki, they are protecting a carriage from a barrage of attacks from Noise. On board the train is Dr John Wayne Vercingetorix or Ver for short (no, not related to that famous cowboy actor) and a precious Relic called Solomon’s Cane. But there is something odd about the Noise. It’s like as though they are being controlled by someone and the timely attack proves they are after Solomon’s Cane. Hibiki’s innovation to destroy the pack of Noise via using a dimensional pocket to slow down the enemy’s movement and then hit them with everything she has from the other side of the wall proves to be highly effective. After Ver has been successfully handed over to the American military, suddenly another Noise attack on the base. Looks like their return to Japan will be delayed. Although the attack is contained, Ver goes missing along with Solomon’s Cane. Back in Japan, the very much anticipated concert duet between Tsubasa and rising newcomer Maria Cadenzavna Eve begins. They put up a worthy show that is being broadcasted live throughout the world. Yeah. I think some of them are crying to see their ‘angels’ perform. After they give their heartfelt speech about their music, there is more from Maria. She summons Noise and takes all the audience as hostage! Tsubasa cannot transform to her Symphogear form or else her identity will be revealed and she could kiss goodbye to her singing career. Maria then announces their organization, Fine has control over Noise and thus claim their rule over the world. In short, world domination. She starts singing and transforms into her Symphogear form. Those who analyzed her wave patterns are surprised to see she has Gungnir. Something similar to Hibiki’s but a black Gungnir?

Episode 2
Maria demands all the world’s countries cede themselves to Fine or get attacked by Noise. Well, that’s not going to be easy, right? Not at least with blockhead politicians at the top. Genjurou receives another update from another incident at a bio research facility in America. All the data were lost in the attack. Tsubasa is not afraid to draw her sword and lose her secret but Ogawa suggests singing some of her healing songs instead of battle songs. Maria releases the concert audience because taking hostage is not her style. Her motherly figure, Nastassja Sergeyevna Tolstaya doesn’t approve of this though Maria assures they haven’t lost any advantage. She will send Shirabe Tsukuyomi and Kirika Akatsuki just in case. Maria attacks Tsubasa and the latter cannot transform as long as the live broadcast is still on. Maria won’t let her leave the stage to transform. Just when she has accepted the faith to lose her secret, suddenly the broadcast is cut off. Thanks to Ogawa doing so at the control room. Now she can transform and strike back. Tsubasa can’t land the final blow as Shirabe and Kirika are here to outnumber her. The odds are even because here comes Hibiki and Chris too. Hibiki doesn’t want to fight and is confident they can resolve things via talking. Shirabe calls her a hypocrite because she doesn’t know the true meaning of suffering. This causes Hibiki to be unable to concentrate in her fight. Because time is not on Maria’s side, Nastassja suggests her girls to get out and unleash their last resort. A huge blob appears and Maria uses her Armed Gear to cut it into many smaller blobs. Because of its insane replication rate, at this rate it will swallow everything. They need to destroy it faster than its replication rate in one shot. Hibiki suggests combining their Swan Song. Battle Harmonics has Hibiki melding all their Swan Songs together into a single melody but it causes her to shoulder the immense burden. The blob is destroyed and Hibiki is crying not because of the after effects. It’s the pain of the heart of Shirabe calling her a hypocrite. Is she?

Episode 3
Nastassja analyzes their harmonic Swan Song that not only magnifies its destructive power but alleviate any stress from imperfect synchronization between body and Relic. It is a reason why they could use this method to destroy falling pieces of the moon and return safely. Those pieces she has used to awaken a beast called Nephilim. A week has passed since the incident and no word or action has come from Fine after that. Ogawa has done lots of tracing and found some unusual large scale medical supplies purchase to fictional sources. He will investigate further. Shirabe is still angry at Hibiki’s remarks. She can’t accept her as the heroine who saved mankind as she carries no burden of her own. Ah well, people like them have their own views and ideals they’re fighting for. It seems Ver is safe and is working for Nastassja. They are discussing their next phase of the plan. Nastassja leaves it to Ver for the next step and the question is will their prey take the bait. Hibiki and co are called in to launch an ambush at an abandoned hospital where the medical supplies were traced. It is believed where the Fine ladies are hiding out. The trio head in and realized this is a trap because the welcoming party is there to greet them. Heavy red mist and an army of Noise. After disposing the small fries, they manage to deflect an attack from Nephilim. Ver is amazed they can react this fast as he puts Nephilim back in its cage. They are surprised to see him defected. Obviously that attack was orchestrated so he could steal Solomon’s Cane and pretend to go missing. Ver explains Solomon’s Cane’s ability is to summon and control Noise and feels he is the one most suited to use it. Chris attacks but due to some lowered sync ratios, the Gears are placing great stress when used. The recoil of heavier attacks could kill them outright. A noise takes Nephilim to cross the sea. Tsubasa chases after it and cuts down the Noise. However it is Maria who retrieves Nephilim. Ver is arrested but he is not afraid. He explains Maria is the newly awakened and reborn Fine.

Episode 4
Our heroines are surprised that the villain of the previous season has returned and reincarnated. But what happens to the real Maria? Nobody knows. Tsubasa continues her fight with her and are equally matched. Chris thinks of doing some backup but Maria too has her backup. Kirika and Shirabe are here to secure Ver. Nastassja wants her girls to evacuate since they have recovered Nephilim. And their ship just pop out from thin air. I wonder what kind of technology they used. Tsubasa is worried Maria might be using some Linker drug like Kanade. Before Chris can fire a shot, the ship vanishes again. Cloaking ability? I thought it would be better if it was teleportation. Otherwise, shouldn’t you feel the wind disturbance if it was just being invisible? Kirika beats up Ver for his reckless act since it could have jeopardized their position. Well, he wanted to have some fun too. Now they have lost that base, it also means they have ran out of food source for Nephilim. It is quiet now since it is full but who knows when it will start going wild again. Genjurou learns Fine is made up of former members of the American military’s scientists, Federal Institute of Symphogear (FIS). Ver was also a member in FIS before Japan made their research public. This facility was also founded by Fine herself when she conspired with the Americans. It’s like she planned out everything from the start. Hibiki and Miku are attending a play of their friends at the cultural festival. Kirika and Shirabe are also there. But it’s not to have fun. Are they? They are to investigate the food source for Nephilim which are Relic fragments. Of course the girls can’t use their pendants since they are an important force. Maria will go take Tsubasa and co’s pendants but Shirabe disagrees. Because the more she uses her power, the stronger Fine’s soul grows and at this rate her real self will fade away. In exchange, they decide to do it on her behalf. And so they are here but can they steal Tsubasa’s pendant without her noticing? By force? Hibiki is surprised to see Chris on stage. Seems her friends put her up to a singing competition. At first she is scared but as she starts singing, the confidence grows. She remembers being transferred here and didn’t fit in but her friends never gave up. Now she is glad to call this place her home. Chris is announced as the winner unless there is somebody from the audience who would like to challenge her. There is. Kirika and Shirabe.

Episode 5
Kirika and Shirabe sing a song from Zwei Wing and that the loser of this competition must do one thing for the winner. Meanwhile special forces have found out Fine’s secret base. Maria is told to handle them but she doesn’t want to kill those normal humans. However it is Ver who goes on a rampage using Solomon’s Cane to kill the troops. When Ver kills a bunch of innocent kids passing by, Maria goes crazy. Right after Kirika and Shirabe finish their song, Nastassja contacts them about being discovered and to rendezvous at a certain location. Tsubasa and co go confront them before they leave school. They can’t fight and risk innocent people getting injured to they promised a duel to settle it in the future. When the Symphogear girls return to base, it is reported that Maria’s black Gungnir is an exact duplicate of Hibiki’s. Ryouko must have stolen it and gave the American government. The mind boggling part is why FIS would go so to make enemies of their home country. Nastassja reminds Maria she has no time to doubt herself. Flashback reveals Maria and her younger sister, Serena were part of an experiment to awaken Nephilim. Without a song, it is hard to control a forcibly awakened Relic. Serena offers to sing her song and believes she has the support of everyone even though Maria was against it. However it resulted in a lab explosion and the scientists were more concerned that an expensive test subject was destroyed instead of saving Serena. In the end, the building collapsed on her while Nastassja saved Maria. Kirika and Shirabe meet up with the rest but were slapped by Nastassja after they mention about the promise fight. She doesn’t want them to think this as a game. Ver thinks they can still turn things around to their favour and make that arranged promised duel. The place is the former site of Kadingir but the Symphogear girls are confronted with Ver instead. Shirabe and Kirika are locked up. The girls put up with Ver’s Noise. He reveals Fine’s plan to save humanity when the moon falls onto Earth. Of course those researching won’t announce it as not to spread panic. Also this means those who know about it are secretly devising a way to save themselves. They are going to use Nephilim to unite the people of the world and form one country and government. Ver makes Hibiki reflect on Shirabe’s hypocrite statement, that her fists may have protected a few but have also taken a lot of lives. In that hesitation, Nephilim bites off Hibiki’s left arm!!

Episode 6
Maria and the girls feel uneasy watching this. Is this what they should be doing? While Nephilim is powering up, Hibiki goes berserk from the shock. She transforms into a dark shadow. So awesome that her left arm materializes. Good as new? She even goes wild and beats up Nephilim, much to Ver’s dismay. The panicky doctor summons his Noise to attack buy crazy Hibiki destroys them all. She continues beating up Nephilim and tears out its heart! She would have gone after Ver too but it took a lot of restraining power for Tsubasa and Chris to hold her back. They notice her left arm very much intact. Nastassja’s condition worsens. Maria does first aid while Kirika and Shirabe reluctantly look for Ver as he is the only one capable of saving her. As Hibiki gets treated, she dreams of being shunned by others. People badmouthed her because she gets paid to fight Noise while others die. She was even called a murderer. Even her home and family got harassed. When Hibiki is discharged, she acts like her usual perky self but Tsubasa is not amused. Genjurou showed her hardened body tissues in Hibiki’s medical check-up. The fragments of Gungnir have spread through her body with continued usage. This Relic fusion will kill her soon. They are in a dilemma because Hibiki is a great asset in keeping FIS at bay and taking out Noises but they can’t let her fight anymore. Therefore Tsubasa acts as meanie telling Hibiki never to fight again because she has become a burden. They can fight without her. Ver like a hermit has finally found Nephilim’s heart. He takes it away like precious gold and with this, he can be hero once again. As Hibiki and friends walk home, they see several cars driven by special agents zooming past the corner. Then they crash. It is Ver and he won’t hand the heart over to everyone. Seeing Hibiki again, he panics and sets forth his Noise. Hibiki protects her friends and to Ver’s astonishment, she can touch the Noise without transforming.

Episode 7
Hibiki feels the power bursting through her body. The more Ver releases his Noise, the more Hibiki destroys them. Before she can do him in, here comes Shirabe and Kirika to his rescue. Hibiki starts feeling pain in her heart. Ver forcefully injects Linker drug into Shirabe and Kirika so they can sing their Swan Song and defeat Hibiki. There is the overdose side effect but Ver threatens that they must do as he says if they want Nastassja saved. Hibiki then sings her Battle Harmonics to leech away the duo’s. This leaves her in a vulnerable state. Kirika and Shirabe would like to finish her off but reinforcements are coming so they must not waste time in completing their objective of bringing Ver back. Hibiki is on the verge of overheating. Tsubasa slices the water tower to cool her down. Hibiki collapses and Tsubasa wonders if she has failed to save her. Ver fixes Nastassja back up to good. Now she has regrets thinking what she was making those good girls do. Ver shows them Nephilim’s heart he has retrieved and has fed it with enough Relics to bring its power back to normal. As this heart is needed to activate Frontier, they have determined the location of Shenshou Jing, something that is needed to release the seal on Frontier. Genjurou tells Miku what is happening with Hibiki’s body. The logic is that Gungnir will stop fusing the less Hibiki fights. But Genjurou says she is Hibiki’s best friend and the strongest link she has to for an ordinary life. Therefore he suspects spending time with her is the only thing that can hold Gungnir back. Nastassja tells Maria she doesn’t have to play Fine anymore as she doesn’t harbour the slightest trace of Fine’s soul in her. It also failed to reincarnate in any of the potential vessels. Shirabe and Kirika are hanging out together at a construction site when the metal beams start to fall on them. Kirika unknowingly unleashes some powerful barrier as protection.

Episode 8
Maria remembers Nastassja told her she was needed to play Fine in order to convince Ver to their side. Now she feels odd that she doesn’t need to do so anymore when they have Nephilim’s heart and Shenshou Jing. Kirika ponders who she saved Shirabe. Did she really do that? She also saw a mysterious woman before her eyes. Could that be who she thinks she is? Nastassja explains Shenshou Jing’s power to camouflage (based on bending light) and exorcise evil. Ver eagerly awaits Nastassja’s result to unseal Frontier. However it turns to disappointment when it doesn’t work. Even more disappointing when she hints she knew it wouldn’t work and it’s like she brought them here just to demonstrate how far they are from unsealing Frontier. That’s why they need to have an important discussion. Ver looking crazily mad… Genjurou’s team detect subtle differences in the official report of the moon’s trajectory. Seems it will fall sooner than later, the reason why FIS is acting now. Hibiki ponders about Tsubasa’s harsh words, especially how she wanted to ban Hibiki from fighting ever again. But she can’t waste her precious time brooding because she’s supposed to be out with Miku. Nastassja and Maria go see US government agents to strike the deal. But soon as they reach the agreement, the agents decide to dispose of them. So much about this thing called negotiation, huh? Suddenly a horde of Noise attack and take out those double crossing agents. Good riddance. However the surrounding area is attacked too. Maria transforms and fights off the US army. They seem to not hesitate to shoot innocent fleeing civilians! This works up Maria as she slaughters them. She blames herself this happened because she couldn’t be Fine’s vessel. Hibiki wants to help a lost boy looking for his mom. Against Miku’s wishes, she compromises that she will not use her power. After doing so, the building starts to collapse. Miku can’t hold onto Hibiki’s hand for long. Miku laments she can’t save her but Hibiki hopes she can let her do her part today and one day when she is really in trouble, she can save her then. Yeah, when will that be? Miku lets go as Hibiki transforms and lands safely below (imagine how hard the impact from the crater she created). When she is about to go rescue Miku, the tower explodes. Shouldn’t both the girls drop together and when Hibiki transforms, she can save her and then land, right? She’s fast enough to do that, no?

Episode 9
Hibiki is depressed so Chris and Tsubasa had to do the cleanup work. Kirika and Shirabe want to know what is going on but Nastassja remains quiet. Ver happily explains about the failed negotiations with the Americans and that Maria isn’t a vessel for Fine. Maria continues that they had second thoughts about saving mankind from the moon’s fall in a decade. Nastassja wanted to get the Americans help by sharing what they knew about Frontier but it backfired. If the negotiations succeeded, they would have lost the upper hand so Ver unleashed Noise and wreck havoc. Maria sides with Ver and believes in his way and brute force can change the world and maintain justice. Miku is alive and imprisoned by them. She was saved by Maria because her situation reminded her of Serena. However Ver ordered Miku to be brought back to base as he has some use for her. Genjurou shows Hibiki a transmitter from Miku. It showed that she got away from a tower and is alive. This brings back Hibiki’s drive and everyone goes on a training stint. Really. Genjurou is singing?! WTF?! Hibiki is passionately excited like her usual self. Tsubasa is calm and Chris is struggling. It’s like she has this I-wish-I-wasn’t-doing-this face. Kirika thinks Fine resides inside her if it’s not Maria. Shirabe says she wants to help Maria and not Fine so Kirika wonders if she is scared because if Maria is not the vessel, one of them might be it. As part of Ver’s plan to get world attention, he lets Noise attack an American warship. Tsubasa and Chris prepare to head out and warn Hibiki to stay back in the base. Shirabe can’t stand the sight of the weak being slaughtered so she goes down to fight the Noise, much to Kirika’s dismay. Then she goes to help her but it’s just a ruse to inject Anti-Linker into her. Ver using Kirika’s feelings of wanting to bring back Shirabe, makes her use the drug that forcibly lower’s her sync ration as it takes effect immediately. Kirika hints that she may cease to be herself any time. She wants to leave something behind and hopes Shirabe won’t forget her. Even if she disappears and the world remains, the memories they have will always be there. That’s why she’ll protect the world as Ver’s wishes. Tsubasa and Chris arrive on scene and have the advantage since Kirika is only fighting. Ver knows a way to tilt the scales back to their favour. He sends Miku in Symphogear into action!

Episode 10
Seems Ver has used Miku to use Shenshou Jing to form a Gear. He manages to persuade her that she can get what her heart desires and he didn’t even use a Linker for it. He used the persuasion of love! What’s love got to do with it?! Chris takes on Miku and although she wins the first round, Miku revives and counter attacks with a super blast. Chris uses her barrier to protect but how long can she last? Before it erases her, Tsubasa grabs everyone and rides upwards away from the beam that disintegrates everything in its path. Ver then unleashes tons of Noise and attack the other battleships. Chris is forced to take care of this menace as Genjurou orders the evacuation of the rest. Kirika seems to be desperate to kill Tsubasa and leave something for Shirabe to remember. This Ogawa must be an amazing guy because he rescues Shirabe and runs on water!!! No kidding! Meanwhile they detect Miku’s Symphogear to disperse all sorts of energy. Meaning, they can’t use Symphogear against her. You can’t fight fire with fire. Hibiki has a plan. Ver too has a plan. Due to Miku’s powerful beam, they can use to break Frontier’s seal. Hibiki confronts Miku and tries to convince her to come home. She won’t till she creates a new world where Hibiki doesn’t have to fight. Hibiki doesn’t want that kind a world. She wants the kind of world where she is enveloped by a warmth of light when she’s by her side. She will fight her to not let that happen. And so they fight. But Hibiki must be quick as she has her limit before she breaks apart. This is part of Hibiki’s plan to use that beam to free Miku. Genjurou forbids her since it is suicide. He forbids her to die. Her reply: She’ll come back alive even if it kills her! Oh, now I’ve heard it all. As Hibiki is starting to show signs of meltdown, Miku realizes this is not what she wants but she can’t control herself. Maria has prepared all the necessary reflectors to beam it down to Frontier. The moment it fires, Hibiki pushes and holds on tightly to Miku. They both get in the path of the beam. The giant Frontier surfaces from the sea. But there is another surprise: Chris shoots Tsubasa!

Episode 11
Shirabe is taken into custody. Frontier is actually bigger than it is and what they’ve seen is just the tip of the iceberg. Miku is doing fine and thanks to that beam, she is cured. Before she can blame herself for hurting Hibiki, Hibiki thanks her that she is the one who saved her and the good news is that the beam also cured Hibiki. Although she cannot summon her Gear anymore, at least she won’t die. In short, she is a normal girl now. As for Chris, she has defected to Ver’s side. She believes that gaining more power will stop fighting in this world. Somehow she did not kill Tsubasa. Did she miss on purpose? Inside Frontier, Ver uses Nephilim’s heart to start it up. Then he injects Linker into his arm and turns it into a monstrous one just to take command of Frontier. Then it’s like some magic hand doing a slam dunk using the moon! WTF?! The Americans think they can take out Frontier with their puny cannons. Well, look at this. Ver controls gravity and floats all the ships before crushing them like tin can. Easy peasy. Maria doubts if this power will save mankind because Ver is excited in playing the last action hero. Worse, his slam dunk move made the moon closer to Earth and escalated its fall. At this rate mankind will be wiped out. Ver disagrees because he will still be alive. Technically, mankind is still saved if there is still one guy, right? And technically too, Ver isn’t human anymore, right? And he has plans for repopulation after that… Maria falls into despair. Since Tsubasa can’t be fighting herself, Hibiki suggests they have another Gear user to fight. They free Shirabe from her cuffs and hopes she will fight alongside them. She still brands Hibiki a hypocrite but even so, Hibiki won’t lie to herself. She wants Shirabe to do whatever wants. They’ll help her save her friends too. Genjurou didn’t see it coming that Hibiki took a ride on Shirabe into a battlefield. He clearly warned and forbade her to fight. She isn’t going to fight. She’s going to help people. Well, well. She knows her way with words now. Tsubasa confronts Chris and they fight. Shirabe meets Kirika and they fight. Hibiki is left to soldier on alone. Shirabe believes in the song in her heart. Ex-comrades and ex-friends fighting, Maris sinks into further despair and blames herself. Nastassja contacts her and informs she has found an ancient heretic way on Frontier that will prevent the moon from falling. But for this final ray of hope, she needs Maria’s song to set it free.

Episode 12
Kirika reveals she is the vessel for Fine. This is all the more reason for Shirabe to stop her. Because they love each other so much that they’re willing to kill each other. Maria broadcasts to the entire world and reveals about her fake portrayal of Fine to everything. She then sings so that she can return the moon back to its normal orbit (some mumbo jumbo from Nastassja that I couldn’t understand). Tsubasa notices a collar on Chris’ neck. She thinks she has been taken hostage. It seems Ver wants Chris to end the match quickly or he won’t hand her Solomon’s Cane and that bomb in her neck will blow up. Chris wants to end this in a single round so both ladies use their ultimate technique on each other. Kirika and Shirabe power up their Gear to the next level in their fight. Shirabe tries to make her understand that a world without her is not what she wants. Kirika is about to strike Shirabe when the latter puts up a strong barrier. Kirika realizes it was Shirabe who had been Fine’s vessel all along. She feels so guilty that she wants to kill herself. Unfortunately Shirabe uses her own body to protect her. See? You’ve killed your own friend. Ver sees Chris next to defeated Tsubasa. However true to his villainous self he won’t hold up the end of his bargain. He tries to activate the bomb but it’s not working. Because it’s broken. During their fight, Tsubasa slashed it. Ver summons Noise and uses Anti-Linker to render Chris unable to use her Gear. I don’t know what she did because she just burst out from her suit and the splinters kill the Noise. Now she’s naked. Oh, the cowardly doctor dropped Solomon’s Cane somewhere and they’re going to die.

Before that happens, Tsubasa revives and disposes the Noise. I don’t understand about the Anti-Linker reducing her stress or something. Ver escapes. Chris apologizes for going off herself but Tsubasa forgives her. She got to see her heroic side. Chris couldn’t understand why she can still trust her just based on her words but because of so, she’ll always be on their side. It’s where she belongs and can call home. Meanwhile Shirabe meets Fine deep in her unconscious mind. It seems Fine has taken the blow for her. As I understand, in this way she could lay low in taking over anyone’s soul. It’s odd that after playing the villain for millennia, she wants to be the hero? That’s why she’s letting Shirabe and the rest do the job and handle this. And so Shirabe comes back alive much to Kirika’s relief. Meanwhile Maria is sinking into despair and feels her song cannot save anyone. Till the doctor knocks her out. Nastassja tries to convince Ver that they can still return the moon to normal but he’s not interested at all. If she really wants to do it so bad, she can fly there herself. He ejects her and sends her flying to the moon! Maria is going to kill him and couldn’t care less if it means killing off humanity. She has no more reason to live. That scared you, Ver? However Hibiki stops her and gives her a pep talk not to give up living. Maria doesn’t listen and strikes but Hibiki catches her blade with her hand. Then when she sings, it’s like she neutralizes Maria’s Gear and she dons Gungnir back again. Maria can’t believe the kind of song Hibiki has. Is it the song from her heart?

Episode 13
Ver as usual becomes a coward and retreats to some operation room. As long as his left hand is a monster, he controls Frontier. Genjurou and Ogawa will find Ver so she leaves it to Hibiki to stop Nephilim’s heart. She meets up with her pals but Ver unleashes Nephilim to kick them out of his ‘garden’. Maria is reeling in depression that she’s useless. Probably she is so depressed that she is seeing visions of Serena. Or maybe she descended from heaven just to give her some encouragement. As they sing together, the world also sings with them. Nastassja (looking very odd that her body is now semi-robot) realizes that with this much Phonic gain, it is possible to put the moon back into orbit. So she contacts Maria to tell her to sing and activate something. Nastassja will sacrifice herself to prevent the moon from falling. Kirika and Shirabe join Hibiki and co in fighting Nephilim. Soon, Maria too. Everyone hold hands and start singing their Swan Song. Can 6 Swan Songs be enough to defeat it? Not just them singing but the entire population of Earth! Ver doesn’t want to be defeated yet so he releases Nephilim’s heart that will go on a rampage and feed on everything. Genjurou knows they can’t do anything about this so he leaves it to the Symphogear girls. He arrests Ver and takes him back to the ship where everyone escapes Frontier-turning-into-Nephilim. Ver wants Genjurou to kill him now and save lots of trouble. However that won’t do because he won’t allow Ver to die a villain who destroyed Earth or a hero who sacrificed himself for his ideals. He will be judged by the law like every other human. You mad, Ver?

With Nephilim an even hideous monster, the Symphogear girls transform and power up into their more powerful form to fight it. However Nephilim is eating their power too. Chris uses Solomon’s Cane to open a portal to the other world. Their plan is to trap it there. However it grabs Maria. She plans to sacrifice herself and be the hero by closing the gate and trapping Nephilim together. Of course the rest won’t let her hog the spotlight and everyone enters the portal together. Now they have infinite Noise to fight. Of course since they have Solomon’s Cane, it is possible to reopen the portal from this side but Maria must keep her focus. She is successful but Nephilim blocks their way. Couldn’t she have opened the portal closer? Then everybody hold hands, unleash some super final ultimate weapon in the form of giant gauntlets and smash through Nephilim and through the portal. Although back on Earth, it’s not over yet because they must close the portal because Nephilim’s explosion comes over and wipes out Earth. But the girls are too tired to move. Who can they rely on? They’ve one more comrade: Miku. She comes running, picks up Solomon’s Cane and throws it back into the portal in the nick of time. Nephilim’s explosion perhaps destroyed all the Noise over there. And once again the day is saved. In the aftermath, it is reported that the moon has gone back to its original trajectory but no contact could be made with Nastassja. Hibiki gives Gungnir Relic back to Maria but the latter views she is a suitable holder for it. Maria and Hibiki say their final goodbyes. The former is glad to have met her. I guess they’re going away to do time for their initial crime too. Ver has already gone cuckoo. Although things are back to normal, some mumbo jumbo they said that the events have prevented humans from understanding one another and in fact it pushes them even further from that. But Hibiki is not worried because as long as there are songs.

OVA 1
This is the first of 2 short OVAs that lasts approximately 13 minutes each and drawn in typical cute chibi fashion. Divided into several short skits and parts over both the seasons, the first OVA starts off with events roughly 2 weeks after at the end of the first season in which the moon was partly destroyed: Tsubasa and Hibiki confined and the latter Hibiki just can’t sit still and can’t help worry about things; Likewise Chris finds Hibiki’s scatterbrain a tad annoying (all she wants is just peace and quiet); Chris reflecting on her actions but feels scared when Tsubasa just stares into her like a creepy stalker; Chris being officially admitted into the team and given a place to live in which Tsubasa and Hibiki got a duplicate key too (privacy not guaranteed!); Chris flustering when Hibiki wants to hold her hand during the announcement of a Noise emergency; When Hibiki finally gets to see Miku, the latter starts hitting her and doesn’t stop. The pain…; Right before the start of the second season, Hibiki explains how Symphogear works (something like a karaoke machine?); Hibiki and Miku relocating to a bigger room in the dorm (Miku having trouble sleeping with Hibiki because she is like her sunshine that shines so bright. Geddit?); Chris getting her allowance but since she doesn’t know what to spend on or squander it like her comrades, she forces Genjurou to tag along. But to buy a Buddhist altar? Maybe she needs somebody to carry it home; Tsubasa pondering on her role in the battlefield while waiting backstage for her show while Ogawa quizzes her on several stuffs to promote her single; Chris using the altar as prayers to her deceased parents.

OVA 2
The second of the OVAs has the skits take place during the second season. This includes Hibiki saying goodbye to Miku for she is assigned with Chris to that escort-cum-protect mission in USA (Miku hints she is afraid she will cheat on her!); Maria taking relishing taking the foods at the table; Maria puts up a snobbish greeting with Tsubasa in the backstage but later feels relieved as she sensed the tenseness and feels she can’t compete against a force like that; On the other hand, Tsubasa thinks she is the cute type; A few days after the terrorist organization began to move, there is another emergency: Tsubasa has received a flood of offers after the broadcast of that quiz show. Ogawa takes the initiative to have her enter more of such variety shows to increase her presence overseas. More burden and work for her; After Maria and co’s abandonment of the abandoned hospital, Kirika and Shirabe end up with cooking duties but can’t help argue putting in the right seasoning. The stubbornness ends when they accidentally finish taste testing the stew; The duo go shopping and lookout for bargain prices but Kirika gets the wrong idea about the mackerel; While sleeping at night, Shirabe is rudely awakened when she notices Kirika giving a deathly stare at her. So she just wants to sleep together? So they end up sleeping with Maria but cause lots of trouble with their cold hands and feet. She’s so warm…; Shirabe worries when Kirika sits with her knees, sometimes her panties are visible; After Chris is bummed out over that training with Genjurou, she wonders this package reward he gave. It’s not candy she hoped for but a DVD of something shocking. She calls Genjurou to give her thanks now she knows it is possible to use firearms at close range; During the time when Frontier rises from the ocean, Miku remembers what Hibiki told her about the workings of Symphogear. Like a karaoke, right? Straight from the user’s heart and mind, right? She took it too literally and screams in fear; After the Frontier incident is resolved, Hibiki becomes a blabbermouth of wanting to be friends with Maria and co. Hmm… Ever notice that Chris is always full of angst most of the time? And lastly, Shirabe hands Kirika a mysterious letter that sends her panicking… Next season?

Sing Your Heart Out!
I didn’t really get all that saving the world crap thingy and even if it was just as simple as the moon falling out of orbit and crashing into Earth, everything else seems to have made it complicated. You know, Noise, Gear, Relic, FIS, America, Japan and anything else in the mix. I guess this is not really the end of it yet because a third season has been announced. Can’t get enough of babes in hard battle suits singing? I suppose there is some sort of allure to them. Maybe that’s why I stick around to watch the second season. Still, it feels odd that the girls really do sing when they’re fighting. It still boggles my mind how they can talk and sing at the same time. Unless there is some sort of tape recorder that plays while they’re in action. But that defeats the purpose of it all since you’re supposed to sing from your heart, right? That’s what they’re trying to focus on here. The song of the heart.

So characters from last season are still as they are with a little development. Hibiki the sunshiny cheerful girl and the one doing most of the battles in the front line. They try to put some drama about her arm bitten off and the fact Gungnir is going to kill her when it spreads throughout her body. In the end, everything was nothing to worry for and Hibiki will be as good as new like before, as though all those bad stuffs never happened to her. Tsubasa now has an even more caring side. She values her teammates preciously. Chris may be a little rough around the edge but it’s good to know that she knows where she belongs and thank goodness it is on the good side. After that hell she went through in the first season, you think she wants a repeat of that? Genjurou plays a lesser role in this season as he is mostly seen commanding his crew from the ship than playing master-cum-trainer role to the girls. However he still keeps an eye out for the girls. I don’t know if Genjurou is supposed to be the manliest of men since he’s got the strength and physical looks for it. Miku has certainly more role to play this season. Already worried about her best friend, she gets to experience what it’s like to be a Symphogear user and even play a part in helping her friends in certain crucial events. You don’t need to have Relics to be a super hero.

As for the new characters, the most ‘amazing’ one goes to the vile and despicable Ver. One word: Crazy. He is everything you would love to hate for in a villain. From being a psychopath who wants to play hero and God by destroying Earth for his own ideal world to a cowardly asshole who runs away when the situation changes the slightest against his favour. The more time passes, the crazier he becomes to a point I think he could end up senile and in a mental institution. Oh wait. He may be already there. So Ver has to be the main baddie since it would be an atrocity and a crime to put a beautiful lady and a couple of lolis as villains. They may have different ideals but eventually they did come together as one. What’s the use of this show if you can’t have all the Symphogear users uniting as one and combating evil? These girls are imperfect too as they have their own insecurities. In a way, it feels a little meh. Maria put up a strong and unyielding performance when she started out as a Fine hostage but then soon falters and caved in to her emotional side after seeing so many mindless deaths. I guess this proves she is human. Kirika and Shirabe have their own torment to deal with too but as it goes to show that as long as you have your friends around to support and believe in you, you’ll do just fine. I’m not sure to rule Nastassja out or not because nobody heard from her again and that she’s coughing so much blood out, by the time she reaches the moon, that will be her final resting place. Then again, that robot suit may be prolonging her life. Still looks funny, though.

The action is still okay though I won’t say it is disappointing or totally awesome. For a casual viewer like me, it was just enough to be passed as entertainment. The Symphogear outfit that they wear sometimes remind me that they are the sci-fi and more violent version of magical girls. Besides, who else can Symphogear girls fight besides Noise and big bad monsters like Nephilim? The American military? Woah. Let us not go there. It’s bad enough that they have been painted like double crossing agents and ‘food sacrifice’ for the Noise. Speaking of Noise, I still find it really funny that their colourful exterior and strange designs. But not as funny as when they touch humans and turn them into carbon. I know it’s not a matter to laugh when people die but it’s the way it was shown. It’s when they rush into the scene and touch the person and they instantly turn black. It’s like they are rushing in to give a big hug and say “Come here ya’ all. Give this Noise a nice big hug”. And upon contact, whoosh! Black carbon. It happens so fast that it looks comical. Maybe they don’t want to bore us with the details of showing us the ‘slower’ deaths and speed things up.

Still one of the amusing things from last season is the way the Symphogear girls unleash their special attacks. When they do so, the name of that attack is displayed on the screen in a flashy style and font. Every one of them seems to have their own design and theme like Tsubasa’s Japanese scroll type, Chris’ metallic Megadeth style, Miku’s very yellowish and flowery light and Kirika’s Halloween feel. Speaking of Kirika, her moves are a mix of alpha-numeric which may sometimes be hard to pronounce such as Kill Juliet which is written as Kill Jul13t and The Slasher Jabberwock which is displayed as Th3 Sl4sh3r J4bb3rwock. The plainest design of them all I think is Shirabe. It’s like just big plain white kanji writing in boring fonts over a plain black boring background. Some are in boring red and they are meant to highlight the Greek letters like alpha, sigma or omega. Boring…

Joining the casts this season include Youko Hikasa as Maria who sounds very much like other similar characters she voiced like Erica in Campione and Rias in High School DxD. Then there is Tomokazu Sugita as Ver and he sounds like having a blast being a crazy doctor. Just imagine an evil version of Gintama’s Gintoki. On second thought, don’t. Then there is Kikuko Inoue who yet once again manages to surprise me with her non-dreamy voice. She must be moving away from that because as Nastassja here, it reminded me of a recent anime I just watched, Ariel in Gen’ei Wo Kakeru Taiyou. Or maybe she’s getting older and no longer eternally 17 years old… Whoops! The rest of the line-up includes Yoshino Nanjou as Shirabe (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Ai Kayano as Kirika (Inori in Guilty Crown) and Yui Horie making her cameo as Serena (titular character in Miss Monochrome).

Just like last season, this season is not short of songs especially the insert songs. If I’m not mistaken, this season has more of them compared to last season since there are a bunch of new Symphogear girls in the fray. All of them I noticed have this techno rock feel which in a way is suitable since you need to get pumping and the adrenaline running if you’re going to sing and fight your way through all those Noise. Personally, the most amusing one of them all I find is Chris (the punk rock of Bye-Bye Lullaby) because of the lyrics. Because it’s like she’s rebuking in her song with lines such as “Go to hell” (the most prominent one), “Piss off” and “You’re trash so let death do the talking”. Telling your enemy that they’re useless and she is the superior one so forget about praying for God’s help because the devil’s here. And she doesn’t care. Yeah. It was really funny from my perspective and yet so fitting. I suppose this is what you need when you beat up your enemies. The words may even be enough to take away your fighting spirit. Or make you laugh. Of course this season’s opening theme is still handled by Nana Mizuki, the rock techno piece of Vitalization still has that vibrant energy but somehow I feel it is not as vibrant as the first season. Ayahi Takagi handles the main ending theme, a typical anime rock, Next Destination. However this time the ending credits animation isn’t some horror fest and feels more like some friendship thingy. Probably it’s because Chris has turned over to the good side. Youko Hikasa is a good singer herself so also has an ending theme albeit it is just the first episode, the dramatic piece mixed with some orchestra effects, Ressou Yari – Gungnir.

Well, I don’t know what else to say. Seems complicated when you put in all the terms and jargon and all the items or stuffs involved just to activate this so that it would lead to that and ultimately causing that effect. Uh huh. Destroying the world is just as tough as saving it. So I am not sure what else is there more for the girls to save when the third season comes. I can speculate about lots of things like the return of Ryouko (maybe she had a change of heart this time and decided to go back to her evil roots), or while they have saved the moon they somehow made the sun come closer and it’s speeding up global warming and heating things up (I know it’s crap, but that is what mainly this show is, right?), or even another dimension where a new breed of intelligent Noise is bent on taking over the world and give the Symphogear girls a run for their money. More characters, new Symphogear girls and more songs to sing. You can’t go wrong when you have cute girls in battle gears singing, right?

Senki Zesshou Symphogear

October 12, 2012

Wait a minute. Music saves the world? The last time they used this theme for an anime was Kachou Ouji and that was way back in 1999. Even so, I don’t remember much about it because I didn’t really see every episode. So when I heard that Senki Zesshou Symphogear is about girls in futuristic outfits battling menacing aliens, I thought it was just another run-of-the-mill, girls-versus-aliens-and-save-the-world theme. Till I also learnt that they do so by singing. So in addition to swinging their cool weapons to slice up the enemy, they also sing their way while battling it out? Wow. You’ve already got a handful to deal with, now you’ve got a mouthful too. Fighting and singing… What a weird combination.

The basic premise is about this girl, Hibiki Tachibana who has been dragged into this alien fighting world because on the day she is attending the concert of the famous idol duo of Zwei Wing (made up of Kanade Amou and Tsubasa Kazanari), the menacing aliens known as Noise attack the concert and left behind lots of casualties. Hibiki should have been one of them if not for Kanade sacrificing herself to save her life. Due to that, Hibiki finds herself inheriting Kanade’s power and fighting aside Tsubasa against the menace. But Tsubasa who has lost her partner is bitter and won’t accept Hibiki immediately as her new partner. So with lots of drama, sci-fi action, friendship lessons and music to go with, can the girls get along to fight the common enemy? I bet you know the answer in the end.

Now the funny thing that hit me when I first saw the aliens known as Noise, was that they were looking quite cute and comical. I mean, it’s the kind of shapes that you would probably see in children’s TV programme. Harmless, cute and colourful beings that comes in all shapes and sizes. Yes, the kind that you would love to cuddle and go “So cuuuuuuuuuute”. However as far as this anime is concerned, don’t ever come into contact with any of them because they’ll instantly turn you into black carbon dust! What a sad way to die! How eerie. I guess that is what makes those cute creatures deadly. Thankfully, there aren’t any that looked like Barney…

Episode 1
What a way to start the series when the main heroine is already dead. And her best friend, Miku Kohinata is paying a visit to her grave, inconsolable that she had to die. It gives you an idea what is going to happen, eh? So this was what happened 2 years ago. Hibiki is waiting to enter the concert of Zwei Wing. The idol duo have personalities that are stark contrast. Kanade is dying to go wild on stage but Tsubasa is just shy and lacking confidence. Their commander, Genjurou Kazanari reminds them that tonight’s concert will decide the future of mankind. Kanade clams Tsubasa’s nerves before going on stage to strut their stuff much to the delight of their screaming fans. However something goes wrong doing the concert. Something about some helmet called Nehushtan. The suppression can’t handle the rising internal pressure and it is in risk of awakening the creature and go berserk. Noise appears and kills any concert attendees they can get their hands on. Zwei Wing summon their battle gear called Symphogear and go into action. Kanade’s suit is running out of power but she sees Hibiki injured and unable to run. Hibiki got slashed while Kanade desperately tries protecting her. She tells the kid not to accept death so in her final attempt, she unleashes her Swan Song. This is bad because it uses the full power of Symphogear to unleash a massive attack but at the cost of the owner’s life. Call it kamikaze on a big scale. Noise gone, Kanade also gone. Tsubasa could do nothing as Kanade fades into carbon dust in her arms. Hibiki is hanging in the balance of life but the surgery in the aftermath saved her. Back in present time, Hibiki is a student of Lydian Private Music School and has this habit of not paying attention in class (not because she’s a delinquent mind you) so much so she’s the girl that every teacher should watch out for. Miku is her classmate-cum-roommate and notes Hibiki’s fascination for her idol Tsubasa, the reason she enrolled here to follow in her footsteps. Hibiki is still grateful for Zwei Wing on that day and without them, she wouldn’t have been here today. She thought if she had met Tsubasa then, she might understand what happened but ever since that incident that took Kanade’s life, Tsubasa became withdrawn from public eye.

Elsewhere Noise continues to bring chaos and it’s about time the army realize that their normal artillery won’t do them any harm. So stop wasting those firepower! So Tsubasa still with all that rage singlehandedly slashes them all with her sword. Cool! Next day, Hibiki thought she got her dream come true because Tsubasa is seen walking pass her in school. Hibiki fumbles and is loss for words. Tsubasa just points to the rice stuck on her face. How embarrassing. Today is the day Tsubasa is to release her single after a long time so Hibiki rushes to go buy them. However the street is too quiet. Eerie quiet. What do you expect when you see carbon dusk everywhere! Oh no. With Noise surrounding her, Hibiki would have run for her life but she didn’t. Instead she sees a little girl about to be Noise victim and takes her and run. It feels like the group of Noise is teasing them. I mean, Hibiki and the girl run and run and run and run, even falling into the drain water. No matter how far, each time she looks back, the Noise is still on her tail. Hibiki climbs up a building while thinking back how Kanade saved her with her powerful yet gentle song. Remembering her words not to accept death, Hibiki starts singing and something inside her body starts activating and transforming. Genjurou and his staff detect a powerful signal coming from Hibiki which turns out to be Gungnir, the Symphogear outfit that Hibiki is now donning.

Episode 2
Tsubasa is in total shock because Gungnir is supposed to be Kanade’s Symphogear. Hibiki may look like a cool superhero now and not sure what’s going on but her priority is to get this girl to safety. She runs along and activates powers that she herself didn’t know how she pulled it off. Tsubasa arrives as backup and demonstrates how the veteran cleans things up. In the aftermath as the army is cleaning up, the little girl is reunited with her mommy but she is made to sign an agreement that limits her freedom of speech and expression on what just happened since this is highly classified. Or else she will be found guilty and persecuted. Man, being a survivor is also tough. As for Hibiki, she is being taken into custody by Tsubasa and the other MIBs to the 2nd branch of Disaster Relief Squad. Is she being arrested? Eh?! Hibiki is surprised the base is right beneath her school albeit it is located deep down underground (what colourful patterns the walls of this elevator shaft has). Once she enters the room, everyone surprises her with a welcome surprise. So this is their way of welcoming her? Ryouko Sakurai totally digs Hibiki and takes a photo of them to commemorate their first day of friendship. So with her cuffs off, Hibiki is introduced to the staffs like Genjurou the boss, etc. They have invited her here because they want her to work with them. Confused Hibiki wants to know what just happened today so Ryouko needs 2 favours from her: 1) Don’t tell anybody what happened today; 2) Start stripping. Eh… What? Hibiki returns to her room and Miku is obviously worried because the recent Noise attacks happened close to their area. Also on the news, Tsubasa has a shocking announcement that she plans to go to foreign markets for her single. Hibiki knows she cannot tell Miku what happened but Miku understands and doesn’t press further. Meanwhile Tsubasa is somewhat upset that Hibiki is wearing Gungnir.

Hibiki had to decline offers from her friends to go out with them citing she is busy. Tsubasa picks her up down to the base for the results of Ryouko’s medical examination (that stripping part I guess). Okay. Now this is where they get heavy on the explanation. Relics = Crystals documented in legends all over the world created in ancient times that are impossible to replicate in modern times (despite having such high end technology). Tsubasa holds Relic #1: Ame No Habakiri, which is the fragment of a blade, merely a fifth of the whole. Certain waves and specific amplitude can amplify the powers in these fragments. So basically they are songs. Therefore Relics are activated by songs. Breaking down of that power into raw energy and reconstruct it to become Symphogear. But since Relics don’t just activate with a mere humming from an ordinary human (which was what Hibiki did at first), there are a few people who can activate them and sing the songs to construct Symphogear Matches. So far are you getting all this? Don’t worry Hibiki, I’m as lost as you are. So the reason why Hibiki could activate Symphogear is because she has Relic #3 Gungnir embedded inside her heart. When Kanade sacrificed her life, the surgery was unable to remove other fragments close to her heart and thus Kanade’s farewell present to her to save her life. Tsubasa feels sick after hearing this. She can’t accept her best friend is inside this kid. Hibiki cannot reveal any of this to others as it will put them in danger because it’s lives that they’re trying to protect, not secrets. Oh, and here comes that line: “With great power comes great responsibilities”. Hibiki would gladly use her power to save people. She tries to make friends with Tsubasa but she’s not amused. Noise is detected around the school’s perimeter. Tsubasa rushes into action but they won’t let Hibiki who has no combat training go in yet. However she is adamant as she wants to use her power to help people. Tsubasa fights off Noise and Hibiki soon comes helping. Hibiki is confident she can handle her powers better and hopes she could fight with her. However Tsubasa says that they should fight each other. Eh?

Episode 3
After a month, Genjurou notes how they both can’t work together. It feels Hibiki is like a clown… Even in real life, Hibiki is so tired that she dozes off unable to complete her school assignments. She dreams back to that challenge Tsubasa threw at her. She wanted to see if she had the right to claim Gungnir as her own. Hibiki is reluctant as she doesn’t understand what’s going on. Tsubasa strikes first but is stopped dead in her tracks by Genjurou’s fist! So great the impact that the road all around became a large crater! And the only other thing destroyed is his shoes? Tsubasa is still bitter as she considers herself a weapon. She slaps Hibiki when she says she’ll work hard to be Kanade’s replacement. Maybe she didn’t realize that was uncalled for. She notes Tsubasa has been crying. Tsubasa remembers Kanade’s last words and blames her weakness for letting that happen. Hibiki is summoned to the branch so she has to make up an excuse to ditch Miku. She understands and will cover up for her but in exchange she will have to go watch the meteor shower with her. Hibiki and the other staff discuss about Noise. Their appearance 13 years ago and UN has been unable to do anything. They think they are demons that appear in ancient legend and fables. They also note how the school has been lying between all the recent outbreaks and perhaps something or someone is targeting an almost completed collection of Relics named Durandal that is kept a level below them called Abyss. Durandal has been given by the Japanese government to them for research. It is indicated that undamaged Relics once materialized can maintain 100% effectiveness and make others wield them and not just the singer. But using Durandal has becoming more political since it is grounded by some treaty and that USA is demanding Durandal to be handed to them. They also fear that someone is intentionally stirring up Noise to attack them. Ryouko assures Hibiki this place quite a stronghold so any invasion won’t be that easy (because the genius herself claims she designed it).

Shinji Ogawa who is also a staff of the Disaster Relief Squad doubles as Tsubasa’s manager in her singing career. He reads her next schedule about an offer from an English recording company but she reminds him she only sings to fight as she is a weapon. And weapons have no emotions. Erm, so does being angry and upset constitute to emotions too? And how can you sing without emotions? Hibiki wonders why everyone can’t just stop fighting. Not that they have Noise to fend off but themselves too. Ryouko makes a sexual pass at her and says it’s like virginity. She wants to take it away from her before somebody else does. Hibiki continues to be seriously lagging at school and Miku is very worried. She has this essay to hand up before the deadline or else. Eventually with Miku’s support, she barely gets by. Then on the night they’re supposed to go watch the meteor showers, once again Hibiki has to pull a Houdini. Poor Miku has to watch by herself. Only if she had known Hibiki is busy fighting those Noise aliens. She is taking out her frustrations on them because of them, she had to break her promise with Miku. Erm, she’s turning more violent and her face is absolutely black! No mercy! She then chases a Noise out to the park and glimpses a shooting star. That Noise is destroyed by Tsubasa who had just arrived on scene. Still putting up a pensive mood, Hibiki says she too has something to protect. Tsubasa is taken aback when she sees a girl in the Nehushtan armour approaching.

Episode 4
Flashback 5 years ago. When Kanade was roped in, she was a wild crazy girl who wants to kill because her family had been slaughtered by Noise and she’s the only survivor. Even if it plunges her to the depths of hell, she was willing to undergo endless training and medication to see if Gungnir was compatible with her. Though initial results showed no match, Kanade upped the dosage and enabled her Symphogear but at the cost of coughing out lots of blood. She and Tsubasa went on a Noise killing spree but one day she changed. A couple of survivors heard her singing and got the will never to give up. She then thought of wanting to sing for others and thus the pair formed Zwei Wing. In reality, Tsubasa prepares to face off with this mysterious girl, Chris Yukine. However Hibiki doesn’t want her to fight because that girl is also human. They don’t listen and clash. To keep Hibiki busy, Chris summons several Noise. Chris has the upper hand against Tsubasa and mocks her about her determination. Tsubasa is beaten up but she gets back on her feet and is going to show her true determination. Is she going to sing her Swan Song? She is. Chris didn’t expect she would put her life on the line and gets heavy damage before fleeing. Tsubasa is massively bleeding and close to death. She feels she has failed to protect mankind as a weapon. Tsubasa is rushed to the emergency room where her condition is soon stabilized albeit not out of danger yet. Genjurou orders his men to search for the armour. Ogawa talks to Hibiki to calm her down while explaining about Swan Song, its effect and how Zwei Wing broke up after Kanade’s death and Tsubasa was left alone. She has since became a mindless sword just to sweep away to gloom in her heart. Hibiki realizes it must have hurt her when she said she wanted to fight alongside her. Ogawa hopes she won’t hate Tsubasa and let her feel that there are others in this world. Tsubasa dreams of Kanade and she’s desperate to fly with her and smile but couldn’t catch up. Genjurou discusses with his men that Chris seems to be targeting Hibiki. If so, then she must also know about this base. It’s not Hibiki’s turn to sink into depression because she blames her own weakness that Tsubasa is now in ICU. Miku can guess something is bothering her best friend. Even she wants time to be alone, she hopes Hibiki can stay true to herself whatever she decides to do next. All she needs to do is be herself because there is only one Hibiki in this world. Hibiki is cheered up and sees the meteor shower Miku recorded. Well, it’s all pitch black. They promise to see the next one together. Hibiki gets her determination to protect those she loves and stay true to herself. She goes seek Genjurou to be stronger so he trains her martial arts. Watching Bruce Lee shows? Well, what better way to get some motivation. So day and night, Hibiki trains hard, fights hard, eats hard, sings hard, more hard training. You get the point. Miku mentions that she doesn’t want to hide anything from her but it is obvious that Hibiki had to lie through her teeth putting up a big smile that she too wouldn’t hide anything from her.

Episode 5
Hibiki may not understand a word Genjurou is trying to say but she’s making great progress with her punches. Elsewhere, some lady named Phine is talking in an awkward accent to some foreigner about some deal. Doesn’t seem to be working out. She is also punishing Chris for her hesitation which led to her failure of baiting Hibiki here. She assures Chris if she obeys her, her wish will be granted. But for now it’s more electric shock punishment. I wonder how long Miku can come up with excuses to cover for Hibiki’s absenteeism. Hibiki wonders if there is any other way to fight Noise but since anything to do with Symphogear is classified, there isn’t. So it’s ironic the government dislike them even though they were made to swore to secrecy because they wanted to use Symphogear as a diplomatic ace up their sleeves. Ryouko is away summoned by them since it’s her duty to report to the minister in charge. Hibiki couldn’t comprehend all this complicity so Genjurou says that the people who never want to take responsibility are the ones who make the rules complicated. Tsubasa dreams of Kanade who tells the former there is more to life than fighting. She needs to find that out herself and that it’s up to her to decide if she wants to be close to her or not. She wakes up from her coma. Defence Minister Hiroki who is probably the only one who truly believes in the Disaster Relief Squad, his entourage gets ambushed and he himself got assassinated. Genjurou and Hibiki are worried Ryouko was dead because they couldn’t contact her. It seems her handphone was just out. She has returned with classified orders from the government. Having a meeting with the staffs, Ryouko explains that the government has concluded that Durandal has been targeted. It was given by EU to Japan as safekeeping on a condition Japan wrote of their debts should their economy collapse. Thus they are to transport Durandal to a special Relics vault deep underneath the Parliament called Memory of Ruins. With a name like that, I can see something is to go wrong.

Miku is fed up with Hibiki’s vanishing act as she too has run out of decent excuses. But looks like she has to run again. Hibiki is having her worries again so Ogawa comes to calm her down and let her get some good rest. He hopes if only Tsubasa can be as honest as her. Next day, Hibiki accompanies Ryouko to deliver Durandal. However their entourage is being attacked by Noise and clearly under sentient control since Ryouko’s car is not being targeted. Ryouko is a ‘good’ driver so don’t worry. Can she? Genjurou thinks if their target is Durandal, it’s best they get to some dangerous place and settle it. Speaking of which, a chemical factory is up ahead. At the factory, Hibiki notes how heavy Durandal is but is blown away by the impact of the blast from Noise. She sees Ryouko unleashing her power to create a barrier and protect her. Hibiki transforms into her Symphogear and fights the Noise. Chris is watching her and is surprised her moves are well polished. Durandal reacts to Hibiki but as Chris tries to grab it, Hibiki beats her to it. She suddenly powers up and Chris thought she is showing off her power. In a single swing, Hibiki creates a devastating chain of effects. Is that the power of Durandal? Chris gets blown away by the blast while Ryouko shelters unconscious Hibiki with her barrier. Hibiki wakes up to see the place totally annihilated. Ryouko doesn’t find it bothersome since they’re both alright. She calls off the transport operations, prepares to return to base and that Durandal is undamaged.

Episode 6
Chris is unhappy that Hibiki easily handled that amount of power instantly when she spent half a year for hers. She promises to Phine that she’ll get better and crush everyone with her hands. Hibiki is worried about Durandal. It’s not the fact she can’t control its wild power, but she swung it without hesitation. Genjurou returns from Hiroki’s funeral and looks like his successor is pro-American and an advocate of international cooperation. So whether if the Americans had a hand in Hiroki’s assassination or if they have bigger plans for Japan are still speculation. Hibiki once more and her lies. Ditching Miku for her secret job. Because Ogawa is in a mission right now, looks like Hibiki can go look after Tsubasa. Well, her room is in a mess. It’s like as though she got kidnapped. Hibiki cleans up her room and the girls talk. Miku is in the library when she spots something shocking opposite the window. She sees Hibiki talking happily with Tsubasa! Tsubasa wants to know her reason to fight. She isn’t sure but did say helping others is her hobby. Plus, it’s not like it’s a competition when it comes to helping people and that she doesn’t have other talents that stand out. She is grateful for what happened 2 years ago but Tsubasa thinks her optimism might become suicide because she’ll sacrifice herself for someone else to be free from the pain of this world. About controlling her powers better, is she determined to distance herself from life? For Hibiki, she just wants to help out if Noise attacks. And if it’s a human, she wants to make them understand the doubt in her heart whether they have to fight or not. Miku is alone at Flowers, the pancake shop she’s supposed to meet up with Hibiki. Hibiki also had the idea of heading there to get some pancakes for Tsubasa and perhaps she could think better if her stomach is filled. Miku and Hibiki stumble each other halfway and who would’ve thought Chris would come into the picture too. Chris’ attack slightly injures Miku so this is no time to hide any secrets anymore. Hibiki transforms into her Symphogear to lure Chris away. Chris wants to beat up this dumb b*tch so Hibiki asserts she has a name. She even spills out all her details from height to blood type. Her weight only if they become best friends. She can even quip in tensed times like these? Hibiki tells her that they are humans so they can talk and wants to avoid fighting. Chris won’t listen since she is here to kidnap her. But before that she’ll beat the sh*t out of her. Hibiki still stands after that attack and realizing she can’t materialize energy like Tsubasa, she’s going to put all her energy into that single punch of hers. Hope Chris has heard her feelings and scream of her heart. That punch was powerful enough to crack Nehushtan.

Episode 7
Unfortunately Chris continues to get pissed by Hibiki, calling her a naive person. She’s still not up for talks so she unleashes Ichii-Bal, Relic #2. She is upset Hibiki made her sing because she hates singing. Ichii-Ball is so cool because Chris is unleashing all the firepower and missiles only to be stopped by Tsubasa’s sword. Tsubasa is back and has recovered (albeit not fully). She vows never to lose anything again. Tsubasa and Hibiki team up to take Chris down. Chris continues to feel upset that she’s being treated like a human failure. Then she hears the voice of Phine. Since Chris has failed to live up to her expectations, she wants to have nothing more to do with her. Chris goes after her and thus the fight ends. Genjurou has some data on Chris now and she was a prospective Symphogear user who went missing 2 years ago. Back at the base, Genjurou thought Tsubasa pulled off a crazy move but she couldn’t just sit around seeing her comrade in danger. So she has accepted Hibiki? Tsubasa she has what it takes to be one but her approach doesn’t realize it so she can be of use by supporting her. When Hibiki returns to her room, Miku is obviously not in a good mood. She calls her friend a liar seeing that had promised not to keep secrets from each other. Elsewhere Chris is bumming around alone and laments her goal to crush every human with her power. She bumps into a couple of lost kids. She is confused they still protect each other despite one seemingly ‘bullying’ the other. To show that she’s not a cold hearted b*tch, she agrees to help find their parents. Eventually they’re reunited with their dad so Chris wants to know the secret how they get along so well. They fight a lot and then make up. Don’t hurt yourself by thinking too much…

Hibiki tries to explain but Miku doesn’t want to listen to anything she has to say. It would probably be lies. She ignores her like as though she never exists. Meanwhile Ryouko narrates about the Symphogear. While its properties enhance the abilities of the user and its coating that prevents disintegration when touched by Noise, it affects the user’s health. As long as there is any dissonance between human and the Relic generating the Symphogear, the burden on the user will not diminish. However the only one capable of overcoming that is Hibiki. That is because she is the first human who has fusion with a Relic. Man, she has lots of photos of her in her room! Stalker! Other than that, I don’t understand what Ryouko is trying to say about humans unleashing their full potential by singing without the negative Swan Song effects, some curse and be masters of their own fate. While Hibiki’s attention in class has been deteriorating, she is more worried that Miku continues to ignore her. She’s not even talking. That bad, huh? Sorry isn’t even going to cut it. Was this saving mankind from Noise all worth it? Phine is once again in some argument with the foreigner over the phone. She hangs up the phone when Chris comes barging in, complaining she’s using her like a tool. I guess Phine has had it too since nobody is doing what she tells them to. She summons several Noise and is going to end this right now. Phine materializes her Symphogear, Kadingir.

Episode 8
Chris barely escaped from Phine. Genjurou and his men are investigating an area whereby they detected presence of Ichii-Bal but there were no human casualties. It’s like as though she was fighting Noise and had no home to return to. Miku is absent from school today because she is seen nursing Chris (she saw her collapsed in the alley) at Flowers. Hibiki talks to Tsubasa about her dilemma. She advises that she should use that flaw of hers and turn it into her strength. She doesn’t need to become somebody else to protect things. She cautions her about the destructive effects of Swan Songs but Hibiki disagrees that her songs are not for destruction. They lift and cheer people up and hope she could continue singing. Miku listens to Chris on how she has been a lonely person. She was taken away from her parents when young and the only person she trusted used her. That’s why she hates adults. Even if Miku would very much like to be her friend, Chris has her doubts. Noise start appearing all over the city. People are being evacuated. Chris continues to be in a dilemma so Genjurou uses her strength to protect Chris from the Noise. Chris transforms into her Symphogear to show Genjurou that he can take care of herself. He notes he has failed to save her this time. Hibiki goes look for Miku and finds her in a demolished building. Miku can’t make a sound since a Noise seems to be reacting to sound. They communicate via handphone text and to make matters worse, the owner of Flowers is unconscious. Miku felt bad for doing something horrible to Hibiki so she wants to be the decoy while she uses transforms into her Symphogear. The Noise did a good job in chasing Miku but that’s about it. Miku isn’t even an athletic person. Hibiki jumps and dashes to save Miku. She finally realizes Kanade’s words to her that day. It’s not because she was saved that she wants to save others. It’s because she’s been carrying on in her place ever since. Hibiki destroys the Noise and saves Miku from falling into the river. Then both friends reconcile and take a picture of themselves messed up. Hibiki explains to Genjurou that Miku has saw quite a bit but he calls it unexpected help and can’t blame her for helping to save lives. Miku says she was separated from her friend Chris during the commotion. Genjurou is certain that they will meet again.

Episode 9
Hibiki brings Miku down to the base since Genjurou has pulled some strings and now she is registered as an external collaborator with the second branch. At least they don’t have to keep secrets anymore. So she meets some of the staff like Ogawa, Tsubasa and even Ryouko who thinks of telling them her epic love story. The kind that will have you sleepless nights. Sounds like a horror story. But she excuses herself and returns to work without revealing anything. Genjurou finds Chris all by herself in an abandoned building. He has brought her food but she still remains wary. He recounts her father a famous violinist and mother a singer were helping refugees when they were caught in a battle and died 8 years ago. Their only daughter went missing and UN saved her from the claws of a local group. She was transported to Japan and that time they were looking for Matches so Genjurou volunteered to take care of her. However she went missing the moment she arrived in Japan and though a search was initiated, too many people involved died and the case was closed. Genjurou wants to help her since it’s his duty to finish what he started. She doesn’t buy his crap and escapes. Hibiki and Miku meet up with Tsubasa on an outing. So for the first time after a long time they’re going out and doing things what normal girls would be doing. Shopping, watching a movie, avoiding ardent Tsubasa fans, going karaoke (Tsubasa doing her rendition of enka) and even playing the crane game (Hibiki thinks it’s rigged and wants to use her Symphogear to bust it!). It’s like a whole new world they never knew, eh? At the end of the day, Tsubasa gives them free tickets to her live concert. It’s the concert where Zwei Wing once performed. It brings back horrible memories but she wants to overcome the past. During rehearsal, Tony Glazer, the producer of Metro Music, who offered Tsubasa to go onto the international stage, approaches her. Since her higher ups have turned him down, he had come to negotiate with her directly. She is willing to consider so he hopes to hear a favourable answer. Hibiki has this habit of running late so of course she’s trying to rush to Tsubasa’s concert. However Noise shows up and not wanting to ruin her concert and let her sing till the end, Hibiki assures Genjurou she can handle this on her own. Chris is also there handling some of the Noise. They both help each other out and even the score. At the end of Tsubasa’s concert, she thanks everyone for their support and remembers how much she loved to sing. She announces she wants to go overseas so that her songs could reach as many people as possible and wants to sing for the world. She hopes her fans will allow her when she hears Kanade voice saying they will let her. Soon the crowd cheers her on and supports her decision. Tsubasa is moved to tears by their support. At the backstage, Ogawa leaves Tsubasa’s care in the hands of Glazer. Chris on the other hand is not too happy that she helped Hibiki out because she still thinks she is the enemy.

Episode 10
A group of military men (is that Arnold?!) ambush a mansion and attack Ryouko. With her bad accent of English, she knows they are out to silence her and leave no trace of evidence behind. When Chris returns, she is shocked to find bodies of the military lying around. Then Genjurou and his men enter. He assures her that they didn’t suspect her for the killings because he knows it was done by someone who was with her and them from the beginning. There is a note on a body and one of the guys carelessly picks it up and sets off a bomb. Boom! Luckily nobody died thanks to Genjurou’s strength of using a slab to shield them. Chris continues to be the ungrateful b*tch who scorns all adults and their ideals so Genjurou had to tell her that it’s the contrary. It’s because they are adults that they get the chance to make their ideals come true. Her parents didn’t go to war out of wishful thinking nor threw themselves into hell to realize their dream of changing the world. They wanted to show her the unyielding truth that dreams can be fulfilled. She may hate them but they love her more than anything in the world. Genjurou hugs her but she still refuses to come with them seeing she just can’t easily trust them like that. He gives her a communicator that allows her to buy things and get rides up to a certain limit. Before he goes, Chris tells him about Kadingir. She doesn’t know what it is but Phine mentions it’s completed. Genjurou contacts Tsubasa and Hibiki but Ryouko hasn’t reported in yet. Hibiki is confident if anything happens, Ryouko can pull off her cool moves just like then but Tsubasa notes that Ryouko has no combat training. They receive sound communication from Ryouko (she is seeking shelter somewhere and partly injured). Genjurou asks her about Kadingir so she explains it’s an ancient Sumerian word that refers to divine existence. In short, it’s a tower that reaches the heavens. Genjurou is puzzled because they should have notice something like that if the enemy is building one. As everyone starts searching for any clue on Kadingir, several aerial Noise appears. But they don’t seem to be attacking people and are hovering over Tokyo Sky Tower. Maybe this is the tower.

Hibiki gets orders to scramble there so this time she is glad she doesn’t have to lie to Miku anymore for her job. Hibiki drops in via helicopter and destroys one. But that helicopter is soon destroyed and they can’t destroy those aerial Noise aliens this way anymore. They have to hurry because they are dropping other Noise aliens onto the city. Tsubasa and Hibiki have their handful with the ground ones when Chris shows up. It’s not that she wanted to help. That communicator was bugging her so she thought it might shut it if she turns up. Hibiki couldn’t care less about her reason because all she understands is that she’s on their side. Chris’ weapon is suitable for taking out long range and aerial Noise. Since she still wishes to fight alone, it’s time for the duo to inculcate some friendship between them. Since when did they become best friends? Maybe Chris should just give up and go with the flow no matter how silly Hibiki’s positivism is. They need to take the big aerial ones out or else this will never end. Chris has an idea to blow them all apart and she’s not resorting to her Swan Song. As far as I understand, she’s going to overload her energy and release it all at once. But this will leave her completely defenceless. Ah, this is where Tsubasa and Hibiki come in to protect her. The beauty of friendship, right? Chris powers up and unleashes the most powerful power of power in her arsenal. Missiles in missiles? One heck of firepower!!! Awesome! It destroys the remaining aerial Noise and its small fries. Hibiki is happy that they did it together but not so fast. Chris doesn’t acknowledge they are comrades yet since she’s just wants to fulfil her dream. Something she realized after parting ways with Phine. But Hibiki’s happiness is cut short when she gets a call from Miku. The school is under attack by Noise.

Episode 11
Going back a little while in time, why is the army still using normal weapons against Noise despite knowing it will not work? I guess it’s better than standing around doing nothing. Miku is leading the students to safety. One of her friends, Yumi Itaba sees a soldier turn into carbon before her eyes and she’s freaking out like never before. Miku could’ve bite the dust too if not for Ogawa’s swift action. They head down the elevator shaft. He calls Genjurou and seems he has identified what Kadingir is. However he is cut off when Phine (now donning the Nehushtan armour) attacks him. Seems Ogawa has realized in order for one to build a tower without orders realizing, the only way to build it underground and this giant elevator shaft is the tower. Ogawa fires some shots into her but it has no effect. I’m not going so far to say her boobs are made of steel because it didn’t penetrate them. Phine takes care of him and tries to sow doubts in Miku’s mind that the people who are trying to protect her are just using her. Ever wondered why the facility is under Lydian? It’s so they could gather information on the Relics and songs from them all. Miku still has her faith in her friends and this upsets Phine. But she has no time to play with her and is going to get Durandal. Then bursting into the scene is mighty Genjurou. As he faces off with Phine, he reveals he has known about her secret operation for a long time thanks to the Americans’ assistance but to bring the last few details out into the open, he decided to play along with her plan to gather all Symphogear users. So it’s a plan to counter a plan? Even without any power from Relics, Genjurou is super strong and doesn’t hold back in beating Phine up but the scheming women put on a distress Ryouko expression to make his guard down. This is when Phine strikes through his body. She won’t kill him yet and will let him live to see the despair. Ogawa and Miku bring Genjurou down to the base and he is in need of medical attention. Phine hacks the system and everything goes offline. That means when Miku called Hibiki, that’s when they got cut off.

Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris see Ryouko on top the building. Why did she change back to her nerdy scientist look? I guess it’s to show the girls her awesome transformation to Phine with Nehushtan. So this also officially confirms Ryouko-cum-Phine was the one who pulled all the strings behind the scenes from Hiroki’s assassination to the building of the tower. Hibiki couldn’t believe it since Ryouko did protect her at that time. She makes it clear she wasn’t protecting her. It was Durandal. So if she’s Phine, what happened to Ryouko? More precisely, her body was consumed 12 years ago and Phine is a priestess from ancient times. From what I understand, this personality of hers lay dormant throughout the generations till some trigger happens and this will resurface all her memories and abilities in that body. So when Tsubasa first awakened Ame No Habakiri, that was when Phine’s consciousness took over Ryouko. Phine is going to bring a new age to mankind and that the Symphogear system is just an imperfect system to secure funding from authorities. This means she was the one behind the charade that caused Kanade’s death, the one who found Chris and used her to work with the Americans. Kadingir surfaces from beneath and it is some ion cannon that can reach beyond the sky by piercing the moon. From what I understand in Phine’s next explanation, seems she was in love with God and built a tower that stretches to the Heavens. But God wasn’t amused and if you know your Towel of Babel story, God struck down the tower and made humans speak different tongues. Phine thinks it’s punishment without measure and the curse of Balal. Since the moon has been a symbol of fear during ancient times, destroying it would mean freeing her from this curse and in return free mankind. Oh God, sounds like a twisted story to me. Yeah, it sounds like she wants to rule the world. Since it’s no use talking, the heroines transform into their Symphogear to kick some serious ass and prevent Kadingir from firing. Ogawa and the rest of the team manage to find a little operating terminal that allows them to view Hibiki and co fighting outside. Miku’s friends are surprised to see Hibiki fighting and realize the reason why the duo were fighting earlier on. Chris distracts Phine with a freaking huge heat seeking missile. But it seems she is riding on the other one. Wait. Why is she riding up into the sky? Can something so little block Kadingir’s shot to the moon? Holy sh*t! She starts singing her Swan Song!!! Kadingir fires and just when it seems Chris has the power to push the blast back, she ran out of juice. Chris realizes she loves her parents after all and the reason why she wanted to continue their dream of bringing peace to the world with her song. Eventually she got zapped and though 1/4 of the moon broke apart (I’ll be damned!), she prevented to moon from being totally annihilated by deflecting the blast. Her friends could only watch in horror as Chris crashes down.

Episode 12
Hibiki has become so enraged that she turned into a black killing machine! Totally black! It’s like she became a shadow with red eyes and… Erm, white teeth? Because Phine continues to mock Chris’ futile sacrifice, Hibiki attacks her. She has lost control of herself to the power she can’t control. Now she is rage incarnated and though packed with more punch, Phine isn’t going to sweat in her pants yet. Phine is like Hibiki now. They’re both not human. Hibiki unleashes a devastating blow that would’ve ripped Phine in half but she just regenerates. Hibiki’s rage seems to be accelerating her fusion so much so she’s just attacking anybody. This includes Tsubasa. Yumi breaks down and thinks everyone is done for since Hibiki has turned into a berserk monster. Miku continues to believe in her friend. Yumi isn’t convinced and breaks down further. She’s so scared doesn’t want to die. Tsubasa realizes Kadingir is going to fire again and Phine explains it is an ultimate weapon so it can’t merely exhaust itself after 1 shot. Besides she can fire as many times she wants because Durandal is providing it with unlimited energy source. Tsubasa thinks if she strikes her down, then Kadingir will not be functional anymore. Hibiki attacks Tsubasa again but this time she doesn’t resist. She lets her strike through her body and in a surprise move, Tsubasa hugs her. She uses her blade to pin down her shadow and prevent her from moving. Then she whispers into her ear that her power is meant to bring people together. I guess it reached the depths of her heart. Otherwise why would this black shadow start crying? Tsubasa is going to show that she can sing anywhere other than the battlefield. She starts her attack on Phine but it’s just a distraction to target Kadingir. However she couldn’t reach it in time as Phine pierces through her. Tsubasa sees a vision of Kanade who encourages her that they can fly together to the ends of the Earth because they are Zwei Wing. Tsubasa sacrifices herself to destroy Kadingir. Hibiki is released from her spell and beast mode but sinks into depression so much so she becomes a zombie. Yumi continues to throw her tantrum. She couldn’t understand why everybody is fighting. Do they want to die?

Phine is upset she has been denied her goal again. If it had been a success, people from all over the world would panic, come to her for protection since she possesses an unrivalled Relic power and that pain is the only bond that can connect people. She takes out her frustrations on Hibiki but I guess that girl is so dead that she couldn’t feel the physical pain. The pain in the heart is worse. Phine notes Hibiki as the first organism to be fused with a Relic and that’s why she got the idea of fusing with Nehushtan. She goes on lamenting about her love for Him whom she has served since ancient times. Her feelings couldn’t reach him and it got worse with the curse as it stole away the very words she wished to speak with. The common tongue that allows humankind to communicate with Him. She worked hard for millennia to release that curse so that she could one day tell her feelings with that common tongue to Him. The girl whom Hibiki saved in the first episode sees the video and recognizes Hibiki. She thinks they need to do something to help her and suggests that they could talk to her and cheer for her. The rest think it is possible to send their voice all over the network but they need to get the school’s computer system working again. Ogawa is too small to squeeze through the tiny gap to reach a switchboard that will reboot the school’s network. Yumi has dropped her useless b*tch attitude and decides to help her other friends otherwise she would be ashamed to call herself Hibiki’s friend. Phine continues about the damage of Swan Song on the users and was interested to find out how much a fused person could take the damage. Now that she is also one, she intends to get rid of Hibiki as the world doesn’t need another demigod ruler. Suddenly sounds of Lydian’s school anthem permeate the air. I know it sounds horrible (partly blame the damaged sound system too), but it’s still a song. Miku and her friends are singing with hope and believe it will reach Hibiki. True enough, Hibiki revives and realizes her friends have always been by her side, singing for her.  The much needed revival not only sees Hibiki in a new armour (I thought it looked cheap) but it also revives Chris and Tsubasa back from the dead! All hail the Symphogear!

Episode 13
Well, Hibiki explains about the songs giving them the strength to stand. Yeah, their abilities just went up a notch. Now they have telepathy! Phine lets loose more Noise and reveals she was the one who released them. She says Noise are independent weapons created so mankind who had lost their common tongue would kill each other. It is also her source of energy. Phine summons all the Noise she can. Well, it’s a very crowded Noise street. No big deal. Our heroines just bust their ass like how they always do. Only difference is it’s now on a bigger scale on more explosive. Phine then stabs herself and absorbs all the Noise and Durandal. She transforms into a huge never-seen-before Noise. Phine + Noise + Durandal = One freaking awesome power! She is confident they will never beat her as their Relics are mere fragments as compared to hers which is complete. The ladies have a hard time dealing with Phine because every damage she takes, she heals back. Plus, she is hiding inside the Noise so their weapons can’t reach her. Tsubasa and Chris hatch a plan. Tsubasa swings her mighty sword to cut open a hole. Before it closes, Chris dives inside to blast all her missiles. This means Phine has to ‘open up’ if she doesn’t want to get fried. In that instant, Durandal is taken from her and thrown to Hibiki. She grabs the sword but is on the verge of turning into her dark self. Miku and the rest rise up to the surface to encourage Hibiki with their words. Hibiki controls her darkness and with the combined strength of everyone, they fire the ultimate power of the Symphogear called Synchrogazer towards Phine. Awesome firepower! Phine is going to do an Arnold and promises she will be back next time since she is eternal and that this body is of no importance. Bye bye. But in the aftermath, we see Hibiki picking Phine up. Did she miss? On purpose? Hibiki hopes they can end here as Phine further explains about Noise being created by mankind in ancient times. When they lost their common tongue, rather than uniting, they were raised for war. She doesn’t know how to make mankind understand. Hibiki remains positive and believes that man can unite with more than just words.

Phine isn’t accepting defeat yet so she attacks Hibiki. Actually, she’s aiming for the moon. Wow! Her chain stretched 384,000 kilometres?! And her chains must be going at the speed of light. Phine intends to use the broken part of the moon and slam it onto Earth. I can’t believe she could actually drag it! What superhuman strength?! In that case, shouldn’t she use it to just smash the core of the Earth? Yeah, it’s making her crack up. Literally. Phine still brags about being eternal and will be here again in the future to continue her quest. Hibiki agrees because wherever she is in her next life, she hopes to pass this message on for her. You don’t need strength to unite the world. We can become one beyond words. We can unite and join hands in the future. Hibiki won’t be around to say it that’s why she’s counting on her and entrusts the future to her. But to do that, she’ll have to take care of the present. Oh my. Is she going to do what I think she’s going to do? Before Phine crumbles into dust, she gives her Ryouko smile and wants Hibiki to believe in the song of her heart. Now they’ve got to do something about the moon piece. Well, you could see this coming. Hibiki flies off. Miku starts crying. Hibiki sings her Swan Song. Not wanting Hibiki to become a hero herself, Tsubasa and Chris also join her. I guess when you’re close to death, you get to spew out philosophical words. In their case about dreams, future and the voice of the heart. Tsubasa now has one helluva big sword. Chris has rows of freaking awesome missile lined up. And Hibiki… Maybe it’s a way of showing her punch is powering up. Then together they destroy the piece with their Swan Song and what do you know? We have a meteor shower… So back where we started. Three weeks later, the search for the trio’s body has been called off. Miku visits Hibiki’s grave but the odd thing is there is no body in it since she was never found. Everything about her is classified. Even so, she wants to see her friend so bad. She hears a nearby woman scream as she is being attacked by Noise. Miku helps her to run but gets cornered. Miku prepares to protect her with her life when the Noise got decimated. Hey! It’s Hibiki and her friends! They’re back?! So she wasn’t dead and was made to believe so since well, everything had to be classified and be kept under wraps. What a major relief! Feels so good to be back, eh? As Hibiki narrates, Noise continue to appear and attack, people continue to fight them, the threat is still there, people continue to suffer. But they won’t give up because this world has songs. And finally Hibiki and Miku get to watch the meteor shower together.

It’s Not Over Till The Symphogear Lady Sings!
Oh well, I was bracing myself for a tragic end despite Hibiki’s positivism and cheerfulness throughout the series which made me forget that she would ended up six feet under like at the beginning of the series. If that really happened, I guess I’ll fall into depression just like her friends and the world. And now that she’s back, look how happy everyone is. Okay, at least those who know her. But more importantly, look how happy I am. It just proves that Hibiki’s presence is indeed important to make us all happy, eh? Heroines playing hero to sacrifice themselves isn’t my kind of ideal anime ending so might as well have my escapism and watch my animes with a happy ending. Of course, the ending mustn’t be too abrupt, mustn’t raise more questions than answers, mustn’t leave me hanging on my seat, mustn’t be too cheesy. Oh, almost lost myself there about anime endings. So as far as this anime is concerned, it may not be the best ending but at least it is satisfying. Satisfying enough for me not to complain and have a good night’s sleep :).

So yeah, I guess the characters were pretty okay and they mostly revolve around Hibiki. I mean, if Hibiki had not come into the picture that fateful day, many of them would never have changed. The biggest change would be Tsubasa. She has turned from a cold loner and withdrawn into someone who willingly opens up her heart. Chris may have learnt the hard way about life and could’ve continued to be bitter and untrusting towards adults (point to ponder: If she grows up into one, will she hate and distrust herself?), and after putting up with Hibiki’s ‘patience’, I guess she’s not a bad girl after all. Kanade’s death could have been fate and harbinger that would take Hibiki to face her destiny. Hibiki is a nice girl. Her optimism is something we all should learn from. She wants to help out whenever she can. However due to the rules of society, take for this case the secrecy of the Symphogear that she needs to keep, she is caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m sure she knows Miku will understand her even if she confides in her but you know, I don’t think Hibiki wants to break any promise. Besides, weighing in the pros and cons, it might have been better to keep Miku and her other friends out of danger had they not know anything. Like they say, ignorance is bliss. There’s always this danger that your character may change once you find out the truth. I know Hibiki trusts Miku and she won’t turn out like that. But there’s always a chance. Get what I’m saying? And now that Miku and more of her friends know the line that she is working in, it doesn’t change anything, right? In fact, they support her even more. So my guess is that if the people of the world want to unite and fight Noise, these kind of stuffs you shouldn’t be keeping a secret because it’s your only line of defence that separates the very thing line between life and death. Politics? Diplomacy? Screw that! People’s lives are at stake here!

Genjurou is an admirable and responsible man but his super strength does bug me from time to time. You see, he has no weapons or possess any shred of the Relics, so how can he be this strong? He should be fighting with the ladies outside! Well, as Genjurou quipped on his amazing strength, he eats, sleeps and watches action movies. That’s what a real man only needs to do! Haha! Whether he is kidding or not, I guess it’s his way of saying he lives his life to the fullest and enjoys what he loves best. When he is not fighting Noise, of course. I knew there was something odd about Ryouko. I know mad scientists are quirky in their own ways but she’s just different. The dead giveaway was when Phine made her first appearance. It might not be obvious to others but I realize they were voiced by the same seiyuu. Unless it’s just coincidence, I thought what are the chances that Ryouko is Phine? Then when she used her super powers to protect Hibiki and Durandal, that just seals it. She has got to be that shady person speaking with some terrible accent in English to some American over the phone. Phine is so obsessed about telling God her feelings to the point she wants to destroy mankind, perhaps she didn’t realize it wasn’t words that she needs to tell God about her feelings. She should have used her heart. Maybe it got lost in translation somewhere along the way, eh? The other amusing character is Yumi. This girl, she likes to compare things in life to anime. If things happen like that, then she thinks it’s just like in anime or an anime character. It’s like they’re trying to break the fourth wall here. So when Noise really came crashing and causing chaos, did it really seem like anime? Heck, yeah. From my point of view it does seemed very much like a typical anime. Haha! Too much anime that she couldn’t cope with reality and turned into paranoid b*tch. That point I just wanted her to shut the f*ck up but I had to remind myself the things Hibiki had thought me. Calm down, be patient. No use getting mad over something petty like that, right?

The action seems pretty okay but it was somewhat getting boring to see the Symphogear ladies just slicing and hacking their way through the bunch of Noise. It becomes mundane and repetitive. Noise appears. Symphogear girls move in. Use their weapons to turn them into carbon dust. Day is saved for now. See the pattern? Many of the low level Noise don’t put up much resistance and felt as though their numbers are there so as just to get destroyed by the heroines’ awesome power. So when the final fight against Phine began, I guess that was a little different and it was interesting and exciting. The designs of the weapons are pretty cool but as for the outfits the Symphogear ladies don, well, seems futuristic but nothing unique. Of all the weapons of the Relics that we have seen, my favourite one is still Chris’ Ichii-Bal. I love the way she can pull off all the cool arsenal of missiles. It may seem impossible but it’s fun to see her fire all her bullets, projectiles and rockets into a trail of explosive destruction. Every shoot ’em up game should have this cool weaponry. It clears the entire room in no time. At first it bugged me when Tsubasa’s final transformation of her sword into a humongous blade, it made me thought how the hell is she going to swing it. Does she have the strength to do so? Then it occurred to me that she is in space! There is no gravity! I guess that answers everything. Another interesting aspect when the Symphogear ladies pull off their trademark moves, a scroll bearing the name of the move will be shown each time they unleash it. I didn’t keep count but I know Tsubasa loves using her Blue Flash slash.

The many terminologies of this series are my major grouse. I’m not the kind of guy who really remembers complicated names. So for a series like this to have lots of it, you could say it was something challenging. Plus, the explanation about how Symphogear works especially the way Ryouko puts it in her scientist tongue instead of lay man terms, no wonder ordinary girl Hibiki don’t understand a word she says? What more an idiot like me? But I guess Hibiki doesn’t need to understand the theories. She just uses her guts and goes with the flow. In addition to being a rocket scientist, I guess the other ‘ugly’ part is the politics. Not that I really care about what’s going on with the world (in this anime, of course) but as Phine puts it, she may be right about humans not wanting to reunite since the world is filled with so much strife and conflict. I mean, can’t they put aside their differences and work for the better good? If they can’t even handle Noise, what more if some sophisticated alien race decides to put humans on the list of extinct species. But let’s not get that far ahead. But then they put in ancient faith and curse and I thought, this may be going too far. Mixing sci-fi with old mythology? Man, this must be getting complicating. Speaking of Noise, I still find them funny. They don’t look threatening at all till they start turning you into carbon dust. Subsequently as the episode progresses, I think the designs of Noise gets more and more ridiculous. I think there was one big Noise that looked like a water tank. Was it? But it’s still a mystery where and how Noise came about. If they’re created by humans, then who actually unleashes them here? And if Phine said they were used for war instead of reuniting, couldn’t humans reverse that order? Stop all the fighting and use them for peace? Well, you know humans… And now that the moon is only 3/4 of its original self, how will that affect the tides and everything else?! Don’t tell me they find rocks from other moons to fix it.

Aoi Yuuki as Hibiki has definitely matured from her early days as a young seiyuu voicing authentic little girls’ role like Murasaki from Kurenai and Budoko in Akikan. She voices a variety of other characters along the way. Lively ones (Ichigo of Yumeiro Patissiere) to monotonous ones (Shiraume of Ben-To, Tooru in A Channel) and arrogant/tsundere ones (Mio of The World God Only Knows). As Hibiki here, one more she displays a myriad of emotions as a happy friend to one that has been dragged into the battlefield and seen too many bloodshed. Ayahi Takagaki as Chris also has come a long way and has voiced a variety of characters that include Noe from True Tears, Mitsuba of Mitsudomoe, Mikako of Sora No Otoshimono and Lucia from Venus Versus Virus. Nana Mizuki as Tsubasa is still recognizable and she hasn’t lost her touch though this is one of the few series whereby she does a lower and serious voice in contrast to her sweet-and-cute-girl voice like Hinata in Naruto, Kotoko in Itazura Na Kiss and Tsugumi in Jigoku Shoujo. By now I also would have recognized Yuka Iguchi’s voice as Miku even if she doesn’t pull off her trademark ticked off and squealing voice. So no To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Index here or Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’s Maria or Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko’s Yashiro. And obviously the voice Miyuki Sawashiro was the main reason why I could guessed Ryouko and Phine were the same person. If you know how she sounded like as Ultear in Fairy Tail, Kanbaru in Bakemonogatari or Celty in Durarara!!, then you’ll have an idea how she sounds here in her role. If Genjurou’s voice sounds somewhat familiar, then it’s because he was the voice of Ukitake in Bleach. Minami Takayama is the voice behind Kanade (Conan from Detective Conan, Nabiki in Ranma 1/2) while Souichirou Hoshi voices Ogawa (Tomoki in Sora No Otoshimono).

As we know Nana Mizuki as a veteran seiyuu and a popular singer with her own huge following of her, I can’t help but to always feel that the music of this series was just for her to strut her powerful vocals. Reminds me of something like White Album but this time she isn’t really ‘facing off’ with another singing rival (as far as I remember, I think that statement was rather inaccurate too). It’s not that she sings every song that you hear but she has her fair share as part of the main character of this series. I find that many of the songs are to the techno beat so if you like those fast paced songs with all those synthesizers, then you’ll be in for a treat while watching this series. In every episode, there will be songs sung simply because, well, you have to sing while you are fighting, right? I don’t want to stretch it to say that it is cacophony but those adrenaline pumped techno music isn’t my cup of tea. I couldn’t say it was really music to my ears. Besides, how can you sing and talk at the same time? Maybe it’s just thoughts in their mind or they have some tape recorder playing it out while they’re fighting. Haha! I think I’ll stick with the former reason. Nana Mizuki won’t be just dominating the episodes with her insert songs as Aoi Yuuki and Ayahi Takagaki will have their moments too belting out those pieces that would also be suitable to be played at clubs and discotheque. So I suppose to get a taste of the kind of music you’ll often hear, the main opening theme song, the fast paced Synchrogazer by Nana Mizuki should give you a good idea. The ending theme also follows this pattern and it is Meteor Light by Ayahi Takagaki. But the ending credits animation feels somewhat creepy. We see ruined mannequins and it is as though their disfigured body parts are being put on display like a museum gallery. It’s like a horror fest with innards dangling, cut up body parts and even naked tops being shown. Not for the faint-hearted. Perhaps this ending animation is to reflect Chris’ heart since that’s what the song feels like.

I suppose this show is trying to tell us that music is the universal language. Whether it is love or uniting people, songs and music give out those emotions that move us physically or emotionally. When you hear a good tune, you feel like you want to hum it, dance to its beat and move to its rhythm, right? Even if you don’t know the words or its meaning, when you hear a tune you like, you definitely want to hear more of it. I know because I had my experience with anime songs. My Japanese vocabulary is still limited and even though many words can’t seem to stick in my head, I still continue to enjoy singing them. Or maybe it’s just anime songs. I never gave Latin songs a try… So if you’re ever feeling hot headed or upset with someone, maybe we should all sit down and listen to some calming music. Then we can talk or sing out our problems. Be careful though. It also depends on what kind of music you are playing. Some may have detrimental effects like a death march or the kind you play at the funeral. Whatever your taste in music, I’m sure you do enjoy them.

Human unity is so fragile but do not lose hope because there is more than one ways to help come together. Music is just one of them and as Hibiki did echo, words alone aren’t the only tool needed to bond and be as one. Football perhaps? But really, if aliens do attack us, can mere music do the trick? You don’t need big sophisticated spaceships or high-tech laser beams to drive them away. Just open your mouth and sing! Maybe the cacophony will scare them away. Haha! Behold the power of music! So it’s just More Than Words. But for a person like me who isn’t so good in communication, Every Time I Try To Tell Something The Words Just Came Out Wrong. So Can I Say It In A Song?