In spite of heavy opposition originating from Canada, Symphogear Sunday has persevered. Being the resident fanboy of Senki Zesshou Symphogear, I decided to walk in the steps of the great Nekekur and write down my feelings on the fourth season, AXZ.
Now that the season is over (;_;), I can collect my thoughts on it in one place. I didn't really have an audience in mind when I started, but it should be an interesting read for other fans of the show or for you poor sods who have yet to understand why I adore it so much. But if you plan to watch AXZ yourself, don't read this yet. The madness of AXZ is best experienced unspoiled.
My initial words mostly are untouched, save for grammatical or factual errors. If I want to say something extra now, I'll put it in parentheses. I've also changed and added images for flavour.
In honor of Symphogear AXZ, Sundays are henceforth rebranded to #SymphogearSundays. Nana wills it! I'll pick out the hypest parts of the week's episode and put it in the comments. This first episode was insane. It had action and gayness to spare. I LOVE IT!
Ok, so they're fighting the goddamn Illuminati armed with alchemy this season. That opens so many doors for the writers, it's gonna be great! Now, the highlights:
Hibiki getting defeated by Summer homework.
The whole first 10 minutes, immortalized here.
The new songs, duh.
Tsubasa doing some weird fidget spinner impression with her foot blades. (And she split a tank shell with her sword!)
Hibiki slowly walking in beat towards a tank and parrying the shells with her fists! She then punches the shit out of said tank and uses its upper half to beat up another tank. Kenshiro would be proud!
Chris taking whole barrage of bullets to the face and not showing a sign of damage before spitting out a bullet she caught in her mouth.
Ogawa the ninja chaining three stealth takedowns in an open battlefield.
Genjuro using a tank movie (Maybe the Incredible Hulk?) as training for the girls.
The team somehow standing on helicopters and protecting them from falling bombs.
Tsubasa going all RULES OF NATURE in order to traverse some missiles.
Tsubasa summoning a gigantic sword to cleave a flying war ship nearly in two.
Hibiki doing a GIGA DRILL BREAKER punch through said war ship.
Maria totally not being a tsundere towards Tsubasa.
Hibiki caring so much about friendship that she takes Kirika's hands in the shower. (Which summons Shirabe's lethal stare.)
Hibiki's awesome scarf glowing with power for no reason in particular.
The volume of the new villains' hair, goddamn! (Their designs are really something.)
More Wild Arms references I barely understand. Thanks Kaneko Akifumi!
This episode really reminded me why the show grips me so.
That's it, no more. 'Til next week. And remember:
#SymphogearSunday returns in a blaze of glory. The new OP song works great with the intro. It might be my new favorite intro actually. The B-team got their promised spotlight and were better than ever. Maria and her swordwhip especially, hot damn!
The new opening is a bit less abstract than usual and is composed to a great deal of training montages.
Does that mean there won't be a proper montage like in GX? I need more of Genjuro's almighty wisdom in my life dammit! We also see the ”battle forms” of the alchemists, which look rather silly. Unique compared to the gear users yes, but still silly. Their normal designs remain cool though.
I also spotted a Shirabe colored beyblade and Maria with a railgun. Dis gon b good.
The alchemists' dragon (Named Yohualtepoztli. Fuck this show.) seems like a rather broken summon, since it regenerates. That doesn't dissuade Maria from kicking ass though. Her new transformation is very nice, the sound of metal clanking in place is superb.
Ok, the whipsword is cool enough, but she goes all Vergil with it. Nothing like choking a giant beast with A TORNADO OF SWORDS. Good on you Maria, maybe I'll pay attention to your drama this season.
I'd forgotten how awesome it looks to see Shirabe fight with yo-yos and her laser antlers. Anime is the best.
A kid manages to save his friend with futbol and promptly gets his leg torn off. Symphogear is SUFFERING.
Maria pinches Elfnein in the cheeks (And headpats her!)! Symphogear is SUNSHINE.
The kid stuck in ember under the sea reminds me a bit of Dio's coffin in Jojo. Please let him/her have Dio's voice.
It really seems like Chris' and Finé's pasts will be front and center this season. I wonder if we'll get some particularly horrific flashbacks. Seems like something they would pull for extra SUFFERING.
The alchemists seem to fight in a more active way than Carol did. It's good enough, but I'm still waiting for their transformations and weapons. The fact that they have summons helps the Noise spam issue a bit too.
Maria gets in a really great punch on the blue-haired alchemist. Knowing anime, I thought she would no-sell it and monologue. But nope! Maria's punch sends her flying a good bit. The framing as the face disfigures is awesome. (And she flashes blue for some reason later on.)
It may not be a suplex of a space shuttle, but Shirabe and Kirika docking their vehicle forms together in order to slingshot a plane over a building still deserves some mad props. I don't understand how they did it, but does that really matter, truly? (Especially when their group song is so awesome?)
(Holy crap, the girls push themselves to the edge of their LiNKER.)
(Oh hey, Maria's rail gun is used here. I missed it last time.)
And just to leave me longing, the episode ends with Hibiki descending from the sky out of nowhere to fight the invincible dragon the that alchemists resummoned. She hits it in the neck, and its masters get a bit amused. That amusement does not last, as she engages her boosters and DECAPITATES THE FUCKER! It looks like one of the alchemists shat herself in response to this great display. Ain't no punch like a Bikki flavoured punch.
The ED is decent, as they usually are. It focuses on Chris greatly, so she'll definately be of importance this season.
The hype train must go on, but not today. Nana wills it!
It's #SymphogearSunday! Things finally slowed down this episode and I feel like it was mostly setup for later. If my predictions are true, I'm in for a hell of a ride. Still, the final battle was pretty hype!
Miku and Hibiki finally got some more screentime together (Singing the Lydia School song, no less.), but it wasn't enough. It's never enough. (At least the hairbrushing was cute.)
Again, it seems like they pull material from all seasons in order to tie them together better. They might even bring god back, seems like something the Illuminati would be interested in.
The kid turned out to be an ancient Autoscorer of sorts named Tiki. Sadly not voiced by Dio's voice actor. Instead, she's absurdly cute for what I assume is a tool of destruction. Doesn't look like a fighter, so she'll probably act more as a mcguffin. But she could also have a transformation, you never know with Symphogear.
(Lodgemaster Adam can just make phones appear. It's never explained.)
Tsubasa's new transformation wasn't as hype as Maria's or Hibiki's, but the stunts she pulled when they got attacked on the plane was pretty sweet, sword-jetski bridal carry and all. (So is her new song.)
Kirika deployed THREE ”DESS” when Maria came back. Must be some kind of record.
(Germany sent relics to Japan during WW2. Surprisngly nice of Hitler to do so. Miku's screensaver is the picture of Hibiki she took in the GX OVA. Nice. Hibiki can kill an immortal dragon, but her homework still haunts her.)
So, the alchemists can open space portals that buff Alca-NOISE? Ok. I've always wanted more fights in space anyway.
Ignite mode makes a return, recycled animation and all. My hope is that they won't rely on it much and do something cool with it in the finale. But the costumes are still cool, so there's that. (Chris can shot bullets with speakers now. Ok.)
It did bring about the glory that is the TRINITY RESONANCE combo attack. Hibiki boosting from Tsubasa's giant sword while Chris provides thrust to launch said sword into the hole that Hibiki just punched through the giant Alca-NOISE was astonishing, More of this please.
All in all, this episode was pretty much on par. They might be saving some budget for later, which is fine. The last three episodes usually surpass everything that came before. As long as they won't go below this it'll be good. But there better be some proper slice of life scenes soon!
(”This is a great spot to pick a fight with God.” Hell yeah!)
#SymphogearSunday cuatro, baby! This episode was coming, I felt it in me bones. I'm holding out for Maria and the girls, they're gonna have the best moment of the season, I just know it.
It's kind of cheap of Cagliostro to jump them when they can't transform, but Chris thankfully came to the rescue. Her transformation sequences really are the most fun, she always seem to have a blast.
This was of course helped by her fighting whilst riding on a giant missile. Never gets old.
I'll have to give props to Cagliostro. It seems like she can teleport and manages to outmaneuver Chris' Zenbow. To bad Hibiki snuck up behind her and punched her straight in the stomach! I wonder if she'll get punched someplace new every episode. That'd be fun.
Ignite mode goes off again, but the alchemists finally enter their relic forms. And, it's a damn slaughter! I knew that things had been going too well up to this point, so a thrashing was imminent. But this? Damn! They get busted out of Ignite mode in a single hit! So much for the cool thing happening in the finale. This can only mean great things for the actual finale.
If this is a sign of things escalating further, some manner of god better get punched in the face by the end of season 5. It can't end any other way, I refuse to believe it!
In spite of all of this madness, Maria, Kirika and Shirabe fight on, saving the others while their gears barely function. We see more flashes of their synch rates going up and I can barely stand more foreshadowing! If Maria gets a transformation punch as well, I might just have to bump her up the best girl list.
I know that nobody dies, but it sure looks like Adam stole some souls. That's bad. Real bad. (He actually transmuted gold.)
As much of a rollercoaster this was, I prefer it to the last episode. Can't have Symphogear without suffering, as Saint Germain's backstory shows. This is where things will go crazy.
I CAN TAKE ALL THE AWESOME MADNESS YOU CAN MUSTER!
Can't forget this masterpiece. Thanks Carp!
#SymphogearSunday the fifth! This episode was even more budgety setup than episode 3. The story is moving slower than I thought and I would be disappointed if they hadn't done ”that”. Because, holy shit, they did it. Bring on the cursed 6th episode!
I get Tiki loving Adam more than anything, but does she really have to rub her head in his crotch-region?
Prelati's frog is a spy!
As I thought, no one died. But damn if Team Neapolitan (Thanks for the name, AXZ!) weren't hurt the most. I guess I'll have to give the show props for not pulling synch rates out of its ass, but I still kinda want that to happen. Maria deserves it! But the slow and steady route works too. Once the time comes though, I want it to be as awesome as can be. And if Cagliostro can get punched again, that'd be just swell.
Kirika's transformation was sick, nothing more to it. Might be the best one yet, even if the pose at the end wasn't that good. Her trying to slice up the damn banana Noise was also really fun, too bad it was in the holodeck.
But man, how long do I have to endure Kirika and Shirabe drowning in sparks and pain? That's not the good kind of SUFFERING. Just let them kick some ass!
It seems like the secret to LiNKER power is Maria and Elfnein melding their minds and going on a VR adventure.
We finally got some more Hibiki and Miku scenes, and it was decent, at best! Stupid plot having to move forward instead of them getting to have a cute lunch together. At this point I might have to hope that all will be good by the end of AXZ and that S5 will be nothing but slice of life. A few OVAs would suffice too.
The mindmelding did give me something I never knew I wanted. Even tinier Maria and Serena! Coupled with their mom being a complete bitchface. Flashback Mammu is the worst.
Instead of an airship, or a floating castle, the alchemists have a flying hydra. That's cool. I can't wait for Hibiki to punch it down.
But that was not all, oh no. Hidden beyond the credits lay the impossible and the inevitable.
DR. JOHN WAYNE VERCINGETORIX, THE LAST ACTION HERO, HAS GRACED US WITH HIS PRESENCE ONCE MORE!
His body may be gone, but the memory of his greatness never dies! This is exactly the kind of shit I asked for last episode. Something tells me that episode 6 will have an extra dose of SUFFERING, just for me. It shall be one for the history books.
#SymphogearSunday. The budget has returned, Maria did the thing I wanted her to do all season and there is no angst in sight! HELL YEAH! (Episode 7 is gonna suplex my heart into Sadnesstown, isn't it?)
Man, where do I start? Let's start with Dr. Ver and go from there. I'm content with his ”revival”, as he only serves as a charismatic guiding hand for Maria as she ventures even deeper into her own head. He goes full ham in what little screen time he as. And it's painful to see more of Maria's memories, flashback Mammu whipped her!
But even with all that, Maria keeps going. I've really come to like her this season, in spite of all the drama she often brings. But the scene where she realises the missing piece of LiNKER puzzle while a piano version of Ressou Gungnir from G plays is outstanding. I'm kind of sad that she didn't get to have a revelation and transformation mid-battle, but this has a bit more story meat on it. What is the missing part that makes a Symhphogear tick then, you ask?
AI DESU YO!
It seems like the strain of using a gear is tied to the same part of the brain that deals with feelings of love. So now it's official, Symphogears are powered by rock and love! Which means Team Neapolitan is back in business! And if you ever wondered why Hibiki is so strong, now you know.
But that was the feels of the episode, there was also an onslaught of action, curtesy of the hydra. The fight begins with Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris surfing on rockets, which is almost old hat at this point. Almost.
Tsubasa's spin slash has become even better, as she can now use it with rockets in midair!
My prediction on Hibiki punching down the hydra turned out better than expected. The thing splits, so they have to take one third of the heads by themselves. It's such a big fight that they actually get tired, which is rare. I'm not the best judge of animation, but I adore what they did for Hibiki's moves. They're so punchy!
Chris driving a boat with her foot is such an amusing sight. They don't focus on it and it's only there to look cool, but it's still awesome, which I can always appreciate.
As Hibiki beats down the heads, she grabs one and I swear she was this close to suplexing it. But alas, we already got the greatest suplex known to man in GX (as well as this fanart.), so they had to do something different. The Bowser spin into a stomp was a decent substitute.
I know that time was short, but was it really necessary to have Shirabe and Kirika pilot jet planes? You bet it was! But I do wonder what happened to them after they went straight up. Eh, details.
Shirabe's transformation is the last one and it's a bit weird. She almost seems to draw it out extra long by playing with her jo-jos. No matter, her new song is pretty swell. It even had genocide in the lyrics, which brings back good memories.
Their combo attacks are always something to behold and this time was no different. Behold its splendor!
And just to steal the thunder from them, Hibiki drops in to catch Saint Germain's bullet IN HER PALM! Will the wonders of lady Tachibana never cease? (I sure hope not!)
As the episode winds down, all six wielders stand against the alchemists. Normally, this would be at the penultimate episode, but we are only halfway. This makes me think that the plot with Adam, Tiki and God will rev up before long. That will probably bring about the rest of the SUFFERING of the season.
My bet is that Chris and Hibiki will get some focus next. The special ED was rather nice, as it used the activation songs as a base. But I swear the climax song were in there too, which could be bad. But until then, it looks like the next fight is gonna be baller. Thank you for bringing about this miracle Dr. Ver, you truly were a hero, creepy demeanor notwithstanding.
#SymphogearSunday perseveres! There still hasn't been any heartbreak. I don't know if I should be relieved or worried. But energy is still high and I got more Hibiki & Miku scenes, so all is well. For now.
As I should have expected, the teased fight with the alchemists wasn't that long. They ran away again. I have come to like Saint Germain and Cagliostro but Prelati is still lame. Her outfit looks oversized and her mallet-ball thingie sucks. The others get some cool spells, but her? Just smash crap!
Kirika and Shirabe launch into Ignite Mode, even though they should know that it'll be negated within seconds. Must be a contract thing.
Hibiki not only tries to befriend Saint Germain and protect her from an errant explosion, she also punches out a summoned flame wolf thing. Because really, why wouldn't she? If only they could hurry up and become friends. Someone needs a lesson.
It looks so natural to see Miku cook (Beef Stroganoff!?)while Hibiki struggles with homework. They better share a flat in season 5! In a flashback that triggers, we get to see Hibiki being a hero and saving a ballon in a tree. That's probably why Miku likes her so, always a hero. Their flashback sailor uniforms were also cute. The scene ends simply by having them do dishes together. It's so simple and so lovely.
Adam continues to be an arrogant jackass who sits in a bathtub with his hat on. This guy.
Chris' angst flares up a bit, but it's not at full force yet. It's like a boiling pot!
Kirika's transformation happens again, and I still like it. Weird, huh? The finger snap, the socks and even the scythe pole dance. It's almost excessive. Oh, and her hat materialising looks great.
Chris sends Kirika on a Zenbow arrow. I have no idea why, but it looked cool. Kirika then followed it up with the Beyblade spin! Now I only need to see Maria's railgun (Why were you so blind, past me?) and the prophecy of the OP will have been fulfilled.
It's nice that the alchemists share a familial bond. I like characters serving in respect of one another.
Since Kirika and Shirabe's phonic gain has gone up thanks to LOVE, their saw from a while back has been updated into a fidget spinner of doom that slams Prelati into the ocean. It was good.
Whatever the hell the Illuminati is planning, it can't be far off. I'm really curious what they will do with Tiki and if they will actually summon god. Some kind of madness has to arrive, be it SUFFERING or crazy action. We're not at the last three episodes yet, so I'll have to remain patient. But I still wonder just how tied this will be to season 5, seeing as they announced them at the same time. I swear if they end AXZ on a cliff hanger, I...I'll get really mad! Bring me the next episode
Good god, that was a #SymphogearSunday and a half! They did something I didn't know I wanted, gave Chris & Maria a duet and had the most awesome fight yet. More of this please!
Even though she's a tool made for fighting God, Tiki would make a kick-ass diorama.
Ok, so we technically already have a training montage in the OP. But they decided to also give us the bestest thing ever: Genjuro fighting the Symphogear wielders. And boy does he fight!
He kicks the shit out of Maria, blocks Hibiki easily and throws her away, catches Tsubasa's sword with two (!) fingers and tackles her, catches Chris's missiles and shockwaves Kirika and Shirabe to oblivion. IT WAS AWESOME!
If the whole carbonising thing of the Noise wasn't a thing, he could probably have his own show. I'd watch it.
I can't help but feel that it's appropriate that Hibiki lands with her butt in the air. They know.
Chris finally gets some more time to sort out her feelings. It's a bit short, but they do carry on the theme of not giving up on life, which is nice.
But then Cagliostro shows up (again) and shit goes down. She banishes everyone except for Chris and Maria to subspaces. It's kind of weird to see Hibiki together with Kirika. Same with Tsubasa and Shirabe. A pity we don't get to see them fight together. (Yet.)
But we do get a Chris and Maria duet fueled by the reinforced ignite mode. It's pretty rad. Cagliostro goes all out and even manages to dodge the punch Maria had reserved to her. She returns the favor with an almighty gut punch followed by a heart-love-laser-punch. Very Cagliostro and very lovely.
But then things go into overdrive. Maria and Chris somehow combine into a spaceship and DANCE AROUND THE SKY, CRASHING INTO CAGLIOSTRO LIKE 3 TIMES A SECOND!
It's so rough that Cagliostro ”reverts” to a male voice. That's probably why she's voiced by a man, I did wonder about that. She goes out in an explosive blaze of glory. She served the show well, punching and getting punched. Shine on, you crazy diamond.
Adam & gang are doing some sort of ritual that I don't fully understand. But again, they might summon God. Or fly to the moon. Saint Germain seems really close to switching sides as well. Dare I ask where the hell this will go?
Please have Hibiki punch the moon. Again.
It's #SymphogearSunday once more. I feel like this episode was the tamest one yet. It was almost...boring. I mean, crazy shit still occured, only in smaller doses. It was mostly some character interactions we haven't seen before. Which is cool.
So now Chris gives Elfnein a headpat as well. That's three headpats and one cheek pinch so far. If we can get a hug as well, I'm good.
Episode 9 continues where 8 left off a bit and groups up Tsubasa with Shirabe for training. It's cool that they are straying a bit from the DMJii mold and letting Shirabe have some screentime of her own. As it stands, she remains the gear user I care the least about. That's mostly because she is so monotone and fights without ever breaking form. I like my screaming heroines, ok?
But here, she gets to angst a tad and worry about how useful she is on her own. Fitting then that she teams up with Tsubasa. It doesn't work out great, but I appreciate the effort.
Also continuing from the last episode is the male part of the hero team fighting the gear users. This time it's Ogawa showing more of his bullshit ninja powers. Seriously, the men in the series are bonkers, going by Genjuro, Ogawa, Dr. Ver and Adam. And Tsubasa's dad, Jesus fuck.
They also bring to light something that I probably would have bitched about. Shirabe uses buzzsaws, and Ogawa is in just a suit. So when she hits a clone of him, it splits in half. Everyone recoils in horror, thinking he died. They should really have talked about that beforehand.
Just like with Maria, flashback Kirika and Shirabe are totaly adorable. I think Kirika was only in this episode to look cute. Which is a-ok in my book. I mean, just look at that face.
Adam continues his naked streak and fights Prelati in the bath. I'm starting to think he has a jacuzzi fetish.
I can't take Prelati's mallet scooter seriously. At all. Especially when it bounces.
The fight with her where Shirabe and Tsubasa team up is decent, but nothing when compared to last episode. It had a jet plane combination, for chrissakes! Their combined gokart was fun though. But I have to question just how them slamming into Prelati results in her exploding while they remain fine. But hey, that's the magic of Symphogear!
(Thanks to the magic of Kanji, we get to know that temple they stayed at is probably where Shirabe came from. Her probable grandpa was really nice.)
With the death of her friends, the stage is set for Saint Germain to go nuts and lash out at the gear users, as is standard for villains in the series. But I still think a heel turn is in order. Which probably means that she is the final boss and Adam will have to wait for S5. As much as that would suck, it would be extremely satisfying to see Hibiki punch him in the face after so much build-up.
With AXZ taking a break and Symphogear Live 2016 airing instead, I'm spending this week's #SymphogearSunday talking about whichever character songs from the series I can find. Give 'em a listen, they're awesome!
(Thanks to so many of the links dying, I've instead opted to link to fanart that I feel represent the songs. It also keeps the blog from drowning in Youtube videos.)
Synchrogazer means a lot to the show. It's a kickass opening song in S1, first and foremost. I just love the little synth part at the start of it. But it's also used to outstanding effect during the finale and even as the name of the season's final attack.
For as little as we got to see of Zwei Wing, it's impressive just how impactful their one concert is. The duets are always a highlight of the series and Gyakkou no Flugel is no different. You really feel the connection between Tsubasa and Kanade.
Man, choosing a Hibiki song was hard. Aoi Yuki sings in such an upbeat fashion and they're infused with Celtic goodness. But Rainbow Flower has some things over its peers. The bagpipes are awesome, the echo is cool and the quiet part is so cute. So good!
For our lord and saviour Nana Mizuki, I didn't pick one of Tsubasa's battle songs. Instead, I choose Sora E, which is a beautiful little piece.
As much as I love Chris for her Heavy Metal ways adorned with Zenbu, I have to share her concert song from G, Kyoushitsu Monochrome. It's the first time we get to hear her sing without any anger and it's so sweet. And a great parallel to the rest of her repertoire.
The one good thing to come out of XDU is that they produced some songs especially for the game. It's so nice to hear a new song from Kanade. Makes me wonder what the show would be with her at the helm.
Miku and Hibiki singing about food is zenith cuteness. I need to lie down. Too much SUNSHINE will kill you.
Queens of Music was also shortlived, but their teamwork coupled with that beat and that sexy guitar string at the start make for a great song.
Man, Maria's battle songs are so bombastic and epic. She always puts in 105% when possible. The instrumentation really harmonizes with the vocals in this song.
Speaking of harmony, DMJii is full of it! Their duets are always a treat, since their voices are very distinct, but still work together well
Ahh, GENOCIDE. Sung by our favorite loli. This is definitely in my top 3 and is even more amazing live. Such power!
See ya next week!
In defiance of my doctor's wishes, #SymphogearSunday continues unchallenged. It's the only way, hell's home stretch has begun and I am powerless to resist it. To quote the one who inspired me to do this series: Wretched fucking anime!
It's nice to get some more school scenes. They really make me long for more OVAs. The planning for Hibiki's birthday fills me with hope for some cuteness to come. The fact that Chris remembered it after all this time was sweet. And Hibiki defeated her homework!
Further proof of this is the handholding scene between Miku and Hibiki before the final battle begins. So good!
So, is Hibiki's Gungnir a godslayer relic? The possibility of her punching God right back into the Divine Gate seems rather likely. It has to happen! I demand it!
Saint Germain begins the ritual at long last, but the heroes actually manage to dispell it. I did not expect that.
But something I had hoped for did happen. A Hibiki and Kirika team up! Hibiki even got an ignition punch!
And the song, holy shit! It began with the tune of the transformation phrase and kicked into a perfect mix of Hibiki and Kirika music. It ain't no Bayonet Charge, but I like it.
Getting pushed into a corner forced Saint Germain to kick up her game. Her gun transformed in some awesome ways.
The wolf spirit returned and owned Kirika something bad. So Hibiki unleashed her drill punch once more and owned it right back!
After Hibiki gets pinned down, she does what I always adore and engages her boosters. But then, she somehow docks her feet with Kirika and they both boost Saint Germain into submission. That previous sentence was peak Symphogear.
As one would expect of Hibiki, she offers Saint Germain the chance to partake in some handholding. It's been a long time coming, but I think they're ready to become friends.
Good thing too, since Adam shows up and continues the ritual, powering up Tiki. I suppose she'll be the final boss then. But he also dunks Hibiki by doing an Oddjob throw with his hat! It looks so goofy, that thing should have no mass behind it! And it somehow returns to him just so that he can retain his swag. What a douche.
Tiki shoots a gigantic Hyper Beam, that gets blocked by Kirika. Who sings a Swan Song. After having taken a bunch of LiNKER. And then falls down. Crying blood.
Ok, listen. I can take Kanade's death. And Tsubasa bleeding out. And Hibiki losing her arm.
BUT KIRIKA CRYING BLOOD AND MAYBE DYING IS 16 STEPS TOO FAR! I CAN'T TAKE THAT MUCH SUFFERING!
But I know why they did it. They want Hibiki and Saint Germain to team up before everyone else joins the battle. That's fine and dandy, but this could end badly. I want DESS, not DEATH dammit!
Kirika better stay alive and get an awesome X-Drive attack!
Oh god. SUFFERING, outlandish beatdowns, plot twists, lasers, kickass songs, callbacks and that other thing I always wanted. This #SymphogearSunday is what I live for! And I need more!!!
First of all, Kirika lives! All is well.
Thanks to the ritual, Tiki has almost absorbed all of God's power and become little more than a living weapon to be used by Adam. What an asshole.
Thanks to the combined might of Hibiki and Saint Germain, they manage to parry Adam's stupid Fedora this time.
Hibiki's second song is a bit understated, but solid. And thanks to teamwork, they manage to deliver a righteous body blow to Adam. It's an awesome fight. He has remained invincible for far too long and must pay for his wrongdoings.
After Hibiki looks him down with a rocket punch, Saint Germain pulls out a bayonet and almost manages to to slice his arm off! And then it's revealed that he's a robot! So much for that perfect physique. What a poser.
After Tiki absorbs all of the power from the gate, she ascends into what I can only assume is a form of god. It has giant boobs and a hyper beam, so it must be divine.
She goes on a rampage and everything burns! Good thing they managed to evacuate.
But in spite of these ridiculous odds, Hibiki takes her on alone! And what awesomeness results? She punches god in the face! The prophecy has been fulfilled, one season early! I love this show!
But the she shows that she has the same time rewind power as the leviathan from the start, so that majestic punch was for naught.
Except Saint Germain cries out to Hibiki in that specific Symphogear way that usually summons the OP. Except this time, it's the intro music to XD. At long last, a gacha game has done something good for the world. Truly, AXZ is a venue for miracles.
And then it's revealed that Gungnir truly is a god-destroyer, something Adam tried to keep hidden. Thanks for shipping it to Japan Hitler! Ya did good.
Hibiki covers her scarves in a golden sheen and does yet another amazing punch and disintegrates Tiki's arm. She then charges up a golden drill punch and just ends it.
Tiki falls down dead and Adam tries to claim her power for himself, but it recognises Hibiki's divinity and choses her instead. As awesome as it would have been to see her use it to vanquish Adam, it seems that she can't take it and morphs into what looks like a giant Nephilim heart.
If she's the final boss, then the world is doomed! It's gonna take an awful lot of SUNSHINE to fix this. But where there's a Symphogear, there's a way! We gotta believe!
#SymphogearSunday number 12. Love takes many forms and it always saves the day. Suspiciously quick though. Should I be afraid?
No OP at the start, as is standard for episode 12.
At the sight of Hibiki Kamibana, Adam runs away. Have I expressed just how terrible he is yet?
The sight of Saint Germain being held up by 4 guns while she does nothing agressive amuses me. She is basically Bayonetta, so a few guns shouldn't keep her in line.
Can we give some applause to Miku for standing up to Tsubasa's dad so that he won't get Hibiki killed? The girl will stop at nothing to save her precious sunshine.
The military deserves some too for trying to shoot down the cocoon. I mean, she could defeat tanks with ease before she got drenched in god sparks!
But it cracks and Kamibana shows her face. The design isn't that special, being very similar to Tiki's. She even has the hyper beam! Which she uses to blow up the buildings that somehow survived Tiki's previous blasts.
In order to restrain her, Maria summons up some sort of polygon laser sheet. It's kind of an asspull, but I accept that she has some weird Airgetlam weapons (It's her shield applied in a new way.). Where's the railgun though? It has prime real estate in the OP, so it must show up. Right? You can't tease me with a railgun AXZ and not deliver! (We have been through this, past me.)
So, they need to fill her up with anti-LiNKER in order to get through to her. That part I get. But did they really have to shoot giant syringes into her butt? Why yes, yes they did.
I usually don't like the whole ”I know you're still in there!” scream, but it works well here. The whole show is built on people reaching out to eachother, so it fits. Miku's got lungs for days. Still, Kamibana was toppled rather easily. No joint X-Drive attack from the Gears, nor any new attacks from Kamibana. Kinda dissapointing. I guess we spent the hype last episode.
The ED plays at this point and Miku makes use of her track training to run and catch Hibiki as she falls from the fading god form. It was pretty cute.
But then to ruin the mood, a certain someone decides to send a nuke to Japan while sitting in a golf course. UNFORGIVABLE! One does not send a nuke at Hibiki and Miku while they're embraced. It's bad form!
So then, the show goes all Iron Giant on us. It's not as tear inducing, but still. Saint Germain decides to sacrifice herself in order to contain the blast. And as I've seen a few people guess, Cagliostro and Prelati return. They had teleported out during their respective explosions, ready to return to Saint Germain's side. And in order to get enough power, they get to share a song! It's not GENOCIDE levels of good, but then again, it's not a proper villain song, so it gets to be a bit more grounded. Still good though!
With their sacrifice, they have redeemed themselves, as the villains usually do. I liked them all, even if Prelati's speech pattern annoys me a tad.
Adam takes this opportunity to show up (again) and tries to knick whatever divine power is left from the ordeal. But thanks to the power of love, what's left of Tiki hugs him so he can't move, letting Hibiki destroy the arm that he was charging.
And that's how the episode ends, with the OP replacing the ED and Hibiki charging at Adam. Usually, this is the hypest part of a season, but they've really changed things around. I can't see Adam being much of a threat at this point and no one went into X-Drive.
As formulaic as previous seasons are, I can't deny how awesome they are when they do that. This leaves me with a few possibilities for the end of AXZ.
One, Adam goes super and everyone X-Drives and does a super hype attack named Testament together. That's standard, but we didn't get any setup for that, so it seems unlikely.
Two, Hibiki fights Adam alone, get's a new form, beats him quickly, leaving us with loads of time for an epilogue during Hibiki's birthday party. I sort of want that, but it would leave me craving for punchtastic JUSTICE. Symphogear is never anticlimactic, I can't imagine they would start now.
Three, something completely bananas happens, leaving us with the biggest cliffhanger in the series. Season 5 is confirmed and I have a few ideas on plot points that could be explored there. It would suck, but it would also be really interesting if it's something cool enough.
I've been enjoying AXZ so far, but the ending will have to be the deciding factor. What the hell will happen? Will someone die? Answer me!
On this #SymphogearSunday, AXZ concluded. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
As expected, Adam can't do shit without divine power, so he summons a whole bunch of Noise for the girls to cut through while singing a nice group song.
In the fight, Shirabe and Kirika team up in order to form some kind of doom orb. It didn't get much screentime. Not as cool as the crab from GX either.
But Maria got to use her rail gun! To little effect sadly. It did blow up a gigantic Noise, but we didn't see her charge it. That's the best part of a rail gun!
My first guess was right and Adam goes super. Not sure how, but his Behemoth-esque form is pretty cool. Reminds me of the Nephilim, which shouldn't surprise me, since they were both made by custodians. (He also looks like Manus, Father of the Abyss from Dark Souls.)
Thinking he's smart, he picks up Saint Germain's gun and blasts Hibiki with it. But with the power of JUSTICE, anime bullshit, SUFFERING, friendship, the Dainsleif and a Swan Song, they manage to convert it into enough phonic gain to trigger X-Drive! They don't launch into new forms though, they only glow a bit more.
And just to kick things off the proper way, everyone rides on Chris' missiles one last time. Truly, a better mode of transportation has yet to be invented.
Chris does the unthinkable and carries an even bigger missile on the one she's riding and jams it straight into Adam's chest. It then goes boom. ZENBU!
Hibiki follows him, but collapses. In her hour of need, the others beam their powers into her in order to help. And boy does it! My second prediction comes through and she gets a new form! It's a gorgeous white and grey version of her normal suit that glows in all the colours of the rainbow. She's now a bona fide Rainbow Warrior!
She uses the others' powers to great effect, but it's simply not enough. At the behest of Chris, she transforms back and runs across Adam's arm. She then SCREAMS HER TRANSFORMATION SONG WHILE THE SPIRITS OF THE ALCHEMISTS FLOAT BEHIND HER AS SHE GETS ENVELOPED BY ADAM'S FIST AND EXPLODES INTO A GOLDEN SUPER MODE!!!
I've been told that this is some kind of Saint Seiya/Kamen Rider reference, but I don't care. It's just so radiant and awesome!
We get another reference as she starts punching Adam in the gut and goes so fast that she transitions into an extended Ora Ora. We Jojo now boys. (Hell, the way she punches him slowly upwards reminds me of Fist of the North Star. Jojo and Hokuto no Ken brought together by Symphogear, maybe our timeline isn't that bad.)
With the action out of the way so quickly, we get an extended scene at Hibiki's birthday party as they celebrate. It's so damn cute, I can't even.
Shirabe did the cooking (OVA callbacks ho!) and she blushes when it's brought up. She's always so stonefaced, so it's great to see her looking more moe.
I can't help but see Maria feeding Tsubasa a tomato as some sort of symbolism for their relationship. After all, Maria is the bestest tomato there ever was, hardened by parental abuse like she is. They need to go on a date or something in an OVA.
Seeing Tsubasa actually losing her cool over delicious food was great too. You always forget that she can emote. But since she seems adamant over abandoning the Kazanaris, we might get her to act more like this in season 5.
Everyone fawns over the vegetarian food, but Chris just eats meatballs and spaghetti. I'm glad that the writers realised that they created perfection in G.
Afterwards, they play what looks like the bastard child of a Gamecube and an Ouya. And since the game looks like soulless garbage, my money's on an Ouya. Tsubasa should have brought her Famicom. Or better yet, they should have bought Hibiki a Switch and a copy of ARMS. We didn't get to see any gifts either, which was a letdown.
And we get a lovely little scene between Hibiki and Miku to close the season. They reaffirm their relationship with some handholding, but I would've liked at least a hug. Or a kiss. But there's still a chance of that with season 5, right? While I'm asking, can I have a Symphogear Warriors game too?
But as our stinger for next season, Elfnein reveals that Hibiki isn't just naturally able to use divine power. No, when she and Miku were blasted by Shenshoujin, they were cleansed of the original sin. Which means that their love is the purest one on the face of the Earth. This pleases me.
And...that's it. No more AXZ.
I'm glad they stuck the landing and delivered a nice ending. It's amusing that a mix of my three predictions came true. Adam goes super, everyone goes into X-Drive, Hibiki gets a new form, Futurism happens, there's enough time for the birthday party and we get a tiny cliffhanger with Hibiki and Miku's purity.
The continued absence of the custodians and Miku being a possible vessel for divine power fills me with a bit of hype for the next season. And dread. I bet Miku I'll get kidnapped again. Last time that happened, she got straddled with Shenshoujin. And with the series escalating stuff, it could get even worse.
But where there's SUFFERING, SUNSHINE soon follows. And with Symphogear, I have only to continue to be shrouded in its bosom. It's such a good show.
PRAISE BE TO NANA MIZUKI!
Team Rainbow were rather distant in AXZ storywise. I feel like Hibiki and Tsubasa were fully developed as of last season, so they didn't really have anymore character-arcing to do this time. Hibiki struggled with befriending the alchemists and Tsubasa gave her father the metaphorical finger, so they weren't without things to do.
It's great to have fully realised characters that you know, but it's weird that they don't have any proper arcs. But they have gone through a lot and I don't like characters who regress, so this was probably for the best.
Chris still has her awful past to deal with and she got a decent amount of time dedicated to it. I want to say that she's done growing as a character now too. But she could probably practice living a normal life a bit more too.
After GX, I wasn't much of a fan of Team Neapolitan (thanks for the name, Cagliostro!). But after rewatching G and keeping up with AXZ, I've really come to love them more.
Maria has to struggle with pain during most of her battles and it works well to showcase her determination to become stronger. AXZ was no different and she went through a lot before getting rewarded with a source of LiNKER. She also got a bunch of awesome fights this season.
I'm still not sure if I can accept the way Maria feels about her mother. The way she acted during Maria's upbringing is a bit much for me. But that was before she got seconds thoughts in G, so I guess they wanted to reinforce how much she changed before dying. Still, love beats whippings any day, tomato metaphors notwithstanding.
I must have simply forgot just how lovely Kirika is. She's just a big bucket of sunshine ready to bring DESS to the world. She could do with a bit more exploration though.
Shirabe remains my least favorite gear, but AXZ gave her some much needed screentime. She needs some more focus next season before I can find her really enjoyable.
As expected, the music inAXZ is mighty fine. Nothing comes close to the awesomeness of the big hitters in GX, but I think the soundtrack is better overall. Special mentions goes to the OP, Maria's battle song, Tsubasa's battle song, Chris' Singing Hood song, Kirika's battle song and her adorable extra song (”Happy nyappy desu desu de-dess!”), Shirabe's battle song, the group songs and the Kirika & Hibiki duet.
I quite like the alchemist girls as antagonists. They all fight in a very physical and frantic way and manage to keep up with the heroes very well. Prelati is the weak link, but the others make up for her shortcomings. Hell, just Cagliostro's awesome magical fisticuffs do that!
Saint Germain's relationship with Hibiki was one of the best parts of the show. Too bad she had to die. Hopefully they won't be forgotten and have some relevance to S5.
Going by the end of GX, you'd think that Hibiki's family would at least get a scene in AXZ. But it seems like they swept them under the rug. Writing out Topdad feels weak, if that's what they did. Having such a person be connected to Hibiki is a great challenge to her belief that everyone can connect. Whether they failed or not to become a family again, I really want to know.
I mean, we would either see Topdad get punched in the face or act like a decent father, win-win! I hope that season 5 will deliver.
I want more Hibiki & Miku scenes, first of all. With the stinger saying that they both are pure of soul, I can see one of them getting kidnapped and used as a vessel for divine power by either the Custodians or Tsubasa's dad. That'll probably be the main plot and result in some lovely scenes between the two. I so hope we can end on a kiss.
I want some major plot movements that have some big reprecussions for the characters. I might even want a death. Elfnein and Shirabe need some more screentime and I want the crazy action to go somewhere special. Like the moon. So that Hibiki can suplex it and end the curse of Balal.
I don't think I need much more, it's honestly just a simple show that has continued to grant me joy.