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Symphogear – The Tsundere Is Back

Mar 24, 2012 @ 21:23 CDT

Symphogear’s second to last spectacle has come, essentially shuffling through a full circle of emotion before returning where it started – every heroine drops like a fly and springs back to life just as insect-like.

A laser, a weapon which has been recently trending in many a recent series (Black Rock Shooter and Nisemonogatari), was to obliterate the moon internet-style. Yet although lasers were indeed successfully fired, they did not properly strike their target. The cute tsundere Chris found what she so wished for, turning valiant and sacrificing herself for the sake of humanity by using her so-called “Swan Song” which seems to leave all who sing it a little bloody from the mouth – all except for Tsubasa, whose head seemed to have imploded when she used it long ago.

Yet in any case, as the tsundere is now believed dead, our heroine has a seizure – everyone else watching from the command center is also torn up. The Nehushtan megane woman however is cruel and merely ridicules the death of her former sex slave. Hibiki is infuriated that her friend who gave her life for others is being mocked – and thus, she subsequently transforms into a black monstrous creature with glowing red eyes.

Subsequently, the demented beast which is now our heroine begins charging at the Nehushtan megane woman like a bear – meanwhile, the guys watching the fate of the world as if it were a movie break into bickering, specifically, the loli who the series has, for some reason, been emphasizing since last episode. This loli has an outbreak of tears and wailing over whether or not she will survive – one can’t exactly blame her, and no one really does. Instead, Miku asserts that she’s confident in her friend Hibiki before going into a lengthy dialogue about fighting for others.

As the loli calms down, Hibiki only becomes even more crazed – seemingly falling to the control of the Nehushtan megane woman and now attacking her friend Tsubasa. Tsubasa doesn’t allow this to carry on for long however and she quickly takes a somewhat expected course of action commonly seen in several other series – an individual goes insane, thus another gives them hug, and Tsubasa does just that. By doing so, she takes a hit from Hibiki who stabs her whilst still blinded by madness – yet Tsubasa does enough to stop Hibiki, and then goes after the antagonist’s weapon.

While it fired once, that certainly didn’t mean it can’t fire again – and as the laser is about to unleash another attempt to shatter the moon for a reason silly, Tsubasa in a manner actually quite unforeseen and spectacular destroys the laser itself. The expense however is apparently her own life as she’s now the second to pass in this fighting – meaning that now, only Hibiki remains. Hibiki returns to her senses and falls into even deeper grief – and likewise, the crew watching begins to exclaim their terror once more at the perceived death of Tsubasa.

Hibiki merely remains strewn on the ground like litter as she now assumes all her friends are dead – she mumbles about having nothing more to live for. Yet in quite convenient a manner, some more survivors are taken to the command center, and one of them incidentally happens to be the toddler who Hibiki saved within episode one. This kid comes up with a fairly simple plan – send Hibiki some words of encouragement. Only issue with that however, while a great idea, is that there’s no power – meaning they can’t transmit any communication.

And thus, a mini-adventure begins to find a backup power switch – which doesn’t take long, at least not if excluding the many intercessions of Hibiki getting tossed around and the Nehushtan megane woman whining about her failed love life. However as the switch is finally found, apparently it’s within a room accessible only by a loli – and thus, the loli of the crew bravely steps forward, because who knows what horrible things will be inside of an empty compressed space with nothing but a power switch.

“Just like a character from an anime”, she makes some generic speech about friendship and how she’s like an anime character before crawling through the gap in the wall and heroically flipping the switch. Now as power is restored, the command center crew begins singing in a manner akin to a choir – their song being sent through whatever is left of the academy’s speakers. Hibiki hears this and quickly becomes revitalized as if the anthem she heard was some sort of steroid.

Our heroine rises with immense power, as all the spontaneous orange globes are apparently intended to represent – and megane woman is both baffled and frightened by this.

Although Symphogear has certainly boasted some spectacular music up till now, perhaps the single greatest single theme of the series erupts at this very moment – injecting the scene with all manner of adrenaline and hype which goes well answered. Not only does Hibiki arise, however all three of the Symphogear girls literally burst back to life with a stream of color that extends beyond the atmosphere. And while still equipped with Symphogear armor, this is not the same Symphogear they usually sport – it’s as if the armor underwent a divine redesign.

With some raging vigor, the heroine hovers to the sky, wings manifesting from thin air, and intensity now at the very pinnacle which can be reached.

Amusing a sight was the loli otaku girl, and while a few aspects seem plain ridiculous, like the sheer chance a toddler Hibiki saves walks in, and with such an obvious idea at that, the episode still has so much unforeseen. Tsubasa’s initial fall to the ground was unanticipated – however the girls’ revival went entirely over the realm of expectation, especially in how it was presented.

For the very first time in Symphogear, Hibiki’s death is not our priority – we want to see how this flaming team of female warriors will fare first, and how that subsequently leads to Hibiki’s end. Symphogear always felt as if it had a chasm in the tale as Hibiki’s death was hard to fit in with the rest – yet now, the series truly feels quite streamlined, and anxious we are to see how it plays out.


  • skylion says:

    I still have dreams made of this.

    Yeah, a hug saves everyone. I mean really , don’t you feel like you need a hug? Right now?

    This show took a wrong turn somewhere. It started off pretty heavy in the big brass balls narrative department. To review. Revealing right of the bat that Hibiki is dead, then do the rest of the story as a flashback. Add to this. The much more confident and capable heroine of the Big Duo sings the Swan Song and sacrifices herself to save everyone. And doesn’t come back all magic like by the next episode.

    The wrong turn. Tsubasa came back. That broke the rules. Which is fine, and they even spent some time putting her back together. Again, fine and dandy. But every time afterwards, when the Swan Song is mentioned, it’s impact is made so much less. So much that when Criss initiated hers, I thought, No Big, she’ll be back.

    Oh noes, one of your supporting heroes is actually the big bad, and look out, they’ve been using you all along to build a weapon only they can use.

    A weapon that would destroy the moon, so she could…make God listen to her. Man, that gun packs a dud.

    • Seven says:

      Honestly, I like the emotion of the moment – more specifically meaning something like how the girls burst back to life, basically the aesthetics. Yet aside from that, the story is terribly flawed – the hug is stupid, destroying the moon makes no sense, it’s ridiculous how the laser was blocked, let alone built, everyone who died should stay dead, and I hate how they’ve been emphasizing that otaku loli.

      The pacing is horrendous and I don’t understand how it reached this point to begin with. Yet I was hoping to say all of that in my final review of this series – the transition from episode to episode being awful as it is, there essentially is no transition, it’s like bricks of animation have just been slapped in stack on top of one another without any cement or care. As result of all of this, it’s easy to appreciate individual elements such as the tsundere character – not because I care much about her background at all, but because she’s attractive. This series as a whole, when considering all the episodes and everything together, is no good – yet otherwise, one can enjoy it.

      I personally think starting from a flashback was already a massive mistake as while it did seem interesting at the time, with each episode that passed I realized how horribly a world apart it was from the rest of the series.

      • skylion says:

        Well to restate. Starting with the flashback was a calculated risk on the part of the storytellers. The rest of the program shows how they miscalculated handling it. Surely it could have been done better. And if it were built from a better thematic structure, than the bricks you mention would not be so obvious.

  • avatar elijahhu says:

    the reason of whole story of senhime zesshou symphogear is flavorless is that the female character is tsunderes, Tsubasa Kazanari is Tsundere, Chris Yukine is Tsundere, Kanade is Tsundere, Hibiki Tachibana is tsundere and even Class mate of Hibiki Tachibana and her friend is Tsundere.

  • avatar elijahhu says:

    Post Script:
    And that ryoko is also a tsundere.

  • avatar elijahhu says:

    if the story want to be exciting and has flavors, the story of senhime should have a yandere, dandere or kuudere character.

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