Senki Zesshou Symphogear – 12

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Never a dull moment with this show, that’s for sure.

You know there are definitely times when Senshogear lays the cheese on pretty think, even for a fan of the show like me.  That whole business with Yumi prattling on about what would happen if there were an anime, and how pathetic she’d be if she couldn’t even do what an anime character would do and help Bikkie out…  And then the girls getting together and singing the school song over the repaired PA system, which not only restored Hibiki from her berserker state but (as far as I can tell) manages to bring Kurisu and Tsubasa back from the dead?  Sokath, his eyes uncovered!

So basically, what this show strikes me as at the moment is the product of, say, a college anime club – a bunch of hard-core fans get together and put together an anime, and they have to do it on the cheap (and given what we know about the inexperience of most of the staff and the budget at small studio Encourage, that may not be far from the reality).   The writing is totally unsophisticated, as subtle as a sledgehammer, and the story is an obvious pastiche of elements from all the shows the kids in the club loved growing up.  It’s like a garage band doing Pillows and Nirvana covers.  But oddly enough that’s the charm of it, for me anyway – the very reason why I find it so appealing.  Symphogear isn’t trying to do anything original or fool anybody – it’s just trying to be fun and cool and for the most part, succeeding. 

I don’t know why Kurisu and Tsubasa aren’t dead, to be honest.  I also don’t know why Kanade’s spirit was somehow able to power-up Tsubasa enough to destroy Kadignir, and to do it while still surviving her swan song.  And I’m still not completely sure I follow all of Fine’s reasons for doing what she did, and I certainly don’t know why the tides aren’t already going crazy with a giant chunk blown out of the corner of the moon.  How come that isn’t considered destructive enough for Fine to break the curse so she can tell her old flame she loves him?  I suppose it really doesn’t matter, because everyone has new armor (and I don’t know how they got that, either) and they’re set up for a showdown with Fine in the final episode.

There was certainly plenty for everyone to cheer, here – nods to Gundam and Ultraman and the still obvious Madoka vibes I’m picking up, and I’m sure a whole lot more that the true hard-core fans of the genres will pick up that I didn’t.  The action was pretty much as thick as the corn, again bypassing subtlety in favor of GAR that calls to mind (again) TTGL for me (SYMPHOGEEEEEEEEEEEAR!).  It’s almost all enough to make one believe we might be in for a happy ending, but then you flash back to that prologue, and wonder what it all means.  Is it really possible Hibiki is going to be the one to die, after all that’s happened?  I suppose which ending we get will largely depend on which of the many anime Symphogear owed its inspiration to that it decides to pay homage with the ending/

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  1. F

    If the show was even the slightest bit pretentious, it would be completely terrible, but since it so clearly knows that its absolutely ridiculous its just fun.

    I have no idea why what happened at the end happened, but…I also don't care. It made me go FUCK YEAH! and thats the entire point of the show, ultimately.

    And I love Yumi way, way more than I really should.

  2. A

    oh great look like i guess terms anyone who is not named kanade is still ok.

    after seeing chris fall down hibiki going HULK mode going full attack.
    fine using asgard shield (great mix thor terms on it) to block but got sliced then hibiki go after tsubasa.
    oh fine can regenerate herself after getting cut in upper-half.
    tsubasa let hibiki hit her to trap her go all or nothing on fine.
    with quick talk to kanade go nuke whole tower & down goes tsubasa.
    after tower goes down fine going no while hibiki just gone shock-stun NO!!!
    miku, genjuro & rest wonder to do oh little girl that hibiki save ask to cheer for hibiki?
    so need get place power back on so to power room.
    fine talking about "him" hibiki look like pity fine but fine don't want.
    power room door is small one of those 3 girls small person do it cause it's anime doing.
    more anime talks doing form the human pyramid & hit the switch.
    fine looking to finish shock-stun hibiki then choir of songs appear.
    after hearing it hibiki is back & ta-da so is both chris & tsubasa there all ok.
    going now super Symphogear mode.

    finale ep next wonder what might happen give if recall "you know what".

  3. S

    I hadn't watched an episode since 4, but I watched this one on a suggestion. The end was really quite effective. The music worked really well for Hibiki going so GAR as to raise 2 other people from the dead AND power up all 3 of them.

    Does it make the series good? No, it's really bland. (And a small child pretty much suggested the fix for the episode… I leave that point there) But, awesome is as awesome does, and that ending sequence was very awesome.

  4. A

    The BGM is really good.

  5. M

    The OST is really turning into a must buy, and that was the point of the anime anyway.

    About the upgraded armor, I suppose that's how the original "complete" armor looks like unlike the broken relics they had.

    And about the ending, I am getting the feeling of a Guren Lagann ending, in which Hibiki will be alive long enough to tell Miku "I love you" before turning into ash or disappearing. And perphaps the whole trio will go out like that after the final battle ala Tomino, eventhough we haven`t seen a city scale damage battle like we see at the first episode.

    Hahahaha we will have to wait for last episode. But Symphogear is really a rare but nice jewel of anime.

  6. S

    A bunch of hard-core fans putting together an anime with elements from all the shows they loved growing up. That pretty much sums up my thought on Senshogear as well. Episode 12 is probably my favorite since the premiere. Senshogear is at its best when it doesn't take itself too seriously, give us loads of cheese, non-stop action, emotional outburst and you got yourself a happy fan 😉

  7. A

    I know that this show isn't trying to fool anybody that this is original stuff, but I still think it's a very lazy attempt to sell figurines and CDs filled with the insert songs. It's less refined than most shows in that regard, but at least it isn't as hollow as what Black Rock Shooter is doing.

  8. d

    Well i knew this show was not A star. Not even B class anime. But i still stuck around due to boredom. At least this episode was slightly better. How Ryoko does not finish off her enemies is really really strange. And why she does not summon the noise is even stranger.
    I am guessing songs are like prayers. So their prayers revive their fighting spirit? Those light balls song things really reminded me of Clannad After Story. Guess that is where that idea came from.

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