Symphogear G

Symphogear G

imagePeace had seemed to return to the world when Hibiki, Tsubasa, and Chris saved the planet from the Lunar Attack with their song. However, three months later at a joint concert between Tsubasa Kazanari and foreign superstar Maria Cadenzavna Eve, the Symphogear team is faced with Maria’s sudden and dangerous declaration of war against the world. Maria, who is rumoured to be the reincarnation of Fine, and her allies, Kirika and Shirabe, have a fearful power backing them: The power of a dark Symphogear. They are a group called FIS, composed of three symphogear users and Dr. Ver, who possesses the Staff of Solomon, the device that can control the monsters into doing your bidding.

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Even though I ended up watching the third season first, I’ve always enjoyed Symphogear for its interesting ideas. It has a quirky originality where magical girls were now using the power of song to fuel their own mecha armour. Now we have Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris squaring off against three more Symphogear users, showing that this series can manage the subplots and character development of its ever-expanding cast whilst not having to compromise on the amount of action it is known for. The new Symphogear users, upon seeing the actions of the others, begin to question their goals and start to lose faith in their plans. Since we are privy to the thoughts of those on both sides of the battle, we get to see their intentions through the various confrontations and battles that they are also enduring mentally. It gives the antagonists a very human appearance from an early stage and I think it adds weight to the proceedings, especially when loyalties and lives are questioned.

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We are also treated a bit more to Hibiki and the fact that she’s not your average Symphogear user. After the events of the first season about how she inherited her powers, she finds that Gungnir is trying to take over her body and gains more ground every time she transforms. For a girl that sworn to protect people in any way possible, Hibiki finds this difficult news. Can she ignore the impending danger FIS brings? Is she willing to be with her normal school friends and live a peaceful life? Helping people is part of who she is, so is she willing to risk her life in light of the new threat of the FIS?

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We also have quite a lot of the plot that still resides with the destruction of the moon, since the original Fine failed to destroy it first time around. I’m not completely sure what the huge interest is with this natural satellite any more (and I didn’t completely comprehend it in the first season, either), but it does serve to tie up any loose ends about Fine and her lasting intentions with it in time for the third season, which starts afresh with no real lunar focus whatsoever.

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I continue to enjoy the style of character design, which is playful yet detailed. The hair and eyes of each main character really steal the show, and I always appreciate it when they each have their own fashion style and their outfits change as regularly as you would expect any real teenage girl to change them. They also manage to noticeably change against whilst transforming and their mecha continue to be uniquely detailed to coordinate with their corresponding characters. The only thing I wasn’t sure on was they fact that the girls tend to have their own ‘colour scheme’ both out of uniform and in it, as if you couldn’t tell them apart without Hibiki generally dressing yellow, Tsubasa dressing in blue and Chris in red. It seems a bit Power Rangers for my liking.

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The animation has the tendency to get a little inconsistent. The fighting scenes are pretty breathtaking with all the great special moves and devastating damage, camera angles and choreography. However, the impressiveness of the battle scenes just goes to show the lack of effort made in the slower, more dialogue-heavy scenes. When characters are talking or walking somewhere, the animation quality noticeably drops, with faces and legs becoming a little elongated and losing their usual level of detail, which is distracting and means a certain element of fluidity is lost.
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Symphogear G has a simple setup, but one that is enjoyable. There’s a lot of emotion behind the characters, which is evident when they are both singing and fighting. It makes for some very emotive scenes, which I appreciate. Despite its faults, it still has that special magic and great characters. The first Symphogear series developed the main three Symphogear users very well, and I’m pleased that they haven’t wasted any time in doubling the team whilst building the new characters and integrating them into the franchise.