Symphogear G – Review

I mean, did you think I wasn’t gonna keep watching Symphogear? Symphogear is goddamn awesome, of course I’m gonna keep watching it. G is actually even more “focused Symphogear” than the first season, which was really fun to talk about in a review context. The show plays in what might traditionally be considered “so bad it’s good” territory, where I find the drama as presented totally ineffective according to traditional storytelling metrics (I don’t actually care about the emotional problems of the characters, for example), but still brilliantly entertaining as narrative absurdity. And so I basically gave the show’s story a very fond C, where its very issues are what make it great. I could easily see the argument that this means the show’s story is successful, but considering either of these responses amount to “I had fun with it” and my review is overwhelmingly positive anyway, I think that’s a kind of hair-splitting distinction. Symphogear’s great, G was a solid sequel, bring on GX!

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episodic notes below!

Symphogear G

Episode 1/2

The general music has improved this season – far more diverse instrumentation, including pieces that seem like they’re driven by fiddle and flute. A big upgrade over the synth-heavy first season, even if the actual Symphogear songs seem less interesting

The visuals also seem to receive an upgrade. More consistent animation, and some really dynamic direction. The fights are beautifully realized. The freeze frames for the new Symphogears unfortunately seem much less interesting than those of the first seasons’

The show starts off with a bang. Within two episodes, it’s featured a train heist, major idol concert, and battle royale between six symphogears. The show knows what it’s good at, and isn’t letting up

Also some cute scenes with all of the characters. They’ve apparently realized Chris is adorable

More great “GUNGNIR?!?!?!” reactions and whatnot from their master

Episode 3

Them leaning into how absurd the adults are is wonderful. Great self-aware humor

Nice backgrounds, still

Hibiki’s worried she’s “lying to herself”

Some solid animation and direction for this shower scene, as weird as that sounds

These antihero antagonists and their eyepatch leader are pretty endearingly edgy

The Nephilim, some dark mysterious thing they’re trying to control

More lore gobbledigook

It’s apparently some monster they’ve imprisoned

Shirabe and Kirika are the younger symphogear girls

Oh no, Dr. Ver’s DOUBLE EVIL

They’re really upping the Chris moe this season. Pouting, falling over, etc

Jeez, these backgrounds are so lovely. The ornate new school has got a great look, wonderful golden sunset colors

Chris is actually pretty approachable. Her dynamic with the other two is good individually and together

Chris’s transformation scene is great. As are the lyrics of her new song

The character art seems generally improved this season. More on-model, more animation

Oh my god, Ver with the condescending slow-clap

The Staff of Solomon summons Noise from the Treasury of Babylonia!

Tsubasa jumps off a breaching sub to katana-strike an escaping Noise-zeppelin. Yep, this is still Symphogear

Episode 4

This season’s barely wasted any time with non-action stuff so far, which is nice

Maria’s being referred to as the revived Fine

Awesome sequence of Tsubasa striking across the water

Tsubasa and Maria fight on the sub in a sequence with tons of animation

And the fight continues with the other symphogears, still nicely directed and fluidly animated

“What are you trying to do?” “Protect the things that justice cannot protect”


This season has more dynamic direction in general

“If you haven’t connected with her, keep slamming into her until you do!”

Anime girl wearing a ridiculous anime hat

The Nephilim feeds on relic fragments

Apparently each time Maria uses her powers, Fine’s soul awakens more

The colors for the non-battle segments are actually kinda flat compared to the first season. Both the sub scene and this school scene seem mundane relative to the first one

And there’s no architecture designs to match the first season yet, either

Chris does a predictably moe song performance for the class

This doesn’t really work as the conclusion to an arc? Chris fitting in was never really an issue here

Aaand now the other two girls challenge Chris in singing

Episode 5

I like how ragtag this season’s “villains” are. They’re pretty sympathetic for that and other reasons

Maria hesitates to use her power against regular humans

Dr. Ver just straight-up wasting soldiers

“Why do fellow singers have to fight one another?” Tsubasa asking the hard questions

The animation’s getting loose again

Man, there is no tension whatsoever in the scenes between the two younger new girls and the old team. The show can’t even begin to pretend they’re actual bad guys

“We’re a long way from activating Frontier” yeaaah enemy buzzwords

Serena was Maria’s friend from the old base, sacrifice yada yada

Ah, it was her sister. Cue the intro segment

A lot more just random clashing with the bad guys in this season. Less structure

So apparently the moon is going to crash into the earth

Really nice integration of Hibiki’s song with her attacks here. And another well-composed fight with the Nephilim

“What do your fists protect?!?”

Aaaaand the Nephilim bites off her arm. Well, that sure is a cliffhanger

Episode 6

“We’re doing the right thing, aren’t we?” Jeez I dunno guys

Oh dang, the visual effects for Hibiki’s Beast Mode have improved

Beast Hibiki regenerates her arm

And another great, well-animated fight, as Beast Hibiki goes wild

Apparently Hibiki was bullied at school for… surviving a Noise attack?

“Even if I do my best, is hurting people all I can do?” This internal conflict is completely absurd, but at least it’s not taking up much episode time

Hibiki’s fusing with her Symphogear, which might kill her or “will she still even be human”

Tsubasa decides Hibiki shouldn’t fight anymore, and of course relays this to her in the stupidest way possible: “you’re only slowing us down, weakling!” Hurray for bad drama

Episode 7

If this were a show where I cared about the storytelling, I’d probably criticize how the simultaneous introduction of these three new Symphogear users is both drama-destroying (since it’s clear they’re good guys) and cluttered (since the two younger ones don’t really add anything to the narrative). I’d also criticize how the conflicts within the original three seem wholly contrived this time, in comparison to the original series’ naturally integrated arcs. But I don’t

Hibiki now radiates heat

Hibiki’s song this season is better, which is pretty important, since you hear it a lot

Ver powers up the two girls past their limits so they can fight Hibiki

It’s nice that Hibiki’s basically the antagonist here

Hibiki steals their energy to prevent their Climax Song

Miku’s gotta protect Hibiki!

Maria sure is a lot like Tsubasa

“Losing who you are” is the theme of this season, for both Maria and Hibiki

This season is so full of ridiculous momentary cliffhangers

Episode 8

The soundtrack continues to be more diverse – nice flutes and guitars

“A sword has no need for tears” dammit Tsubasa

So much of the dialogue is just direct exposition this season. Either that or angst

Mom meets with the Americans. but they betray her! Tricksy Americans!

Miku in jeopardy! Explosions!

Miku was told to save Hibiki, and now she’s literally holding her off a building. EVERYTHING MUST BE LITERAL

Episode 9

I suddenly realize Maria’s name has both Maria and Eve in it, somehow. Great work, Symphogear

Oh my god, Rocky training montage with the coach singing his own training song. And then Hibiki starts singing along. This show is magical

Maria’s capital-E Evil now

Tsubasa and Chris feeling concern for Hibiki rings true, at least


Episode 10

The fight with Miku is great, and her song is basically a love confession, of course

Just a bunch of super confused and angsty girls getting pushed around by a mad scientist

Welp, looks like Ogawa just has superpowers now. Running on water

Kirika’s ridiculous chuuni lines are great. “DEATH!” “MUST DIE!”

“I’ll return alive, even if it kills me!” HIBIKIII

“You can’t use numbers to describe something you just came up with!” Hibiki is so good

Fighting across exploding ships. More great animation

Hibiki’s shout-chorus songs from this season better match her voice

“She’s entering the danger zone” my god

“I’ll never let you go!”

And Hibiki drags them both into the relic-destroying beam, which will hopefully fix Hibiki too

Episode 11

Frontier rises. And Chris… shoots Tsubasa. Alright Symphogear, these stupid cliffhangers are getting out of hand

Chris back to her old ways with the “bad guys”

Some nice environments here

Yeah, the generator room looks lovely

Aaand Ver puts a giant palm on the moon

Ver commanding an evil death-laser island, just like he always knew he would

“I’ll be the last action hero of this world!” Damnit Ver

“Don’t worry. I’m used to standing on the stage alone.” Even Tsubasa’s boasts are emo as fuck

Sword-bike time!

Apparently Shirabe knew Coach

“I never showed you any movies where the hero talks back!” oh Coach

Chris and Tsubasa must fight! A whole bunch of this season is dedicated to establishing meaningless fights between Symphogear

Scythe girl’s freezeframe aesthetic is pretty great

Shirabe and Kirika battlin’ too

More nice animation

Episode 12

The two younger Symphogears screaming that they love each other as they fight. This Is Symphogear

“The one thing I want you to believe is that songs can become power!”

Chris has got one of those death-collars on, for some reason

Chris calls Tsubasa by her name! FRIENDSHIP

Tsubasa and Chris blow each other up

Crazy fight between the two younger ones

Man, their designs are so stupid

ono, Shirabe’s actually the Fine vessel!

oh my god the scythe hits Shirabe this is the most gloriously contrived bullshit imaginable

Tsubasa being accidentally emo again

Fine sacrifices herself for Shirabe!

Ver sends Mom to the moon and begins his evil villain speech. Then Hibiki arrives!

And Hibiki does some crazy song shit and now she’s got her Symphogear again

Episode 13

Ver runs away again

So now the entire island is basically a monster they’re fighting as they try to get to Frontier’s heart

Maria is visited by her sister as an actual angel from the sky, because of course she is

And their song gets all the phonic gain from all of the world and they get enough spirit energy to fix the moon and Mom is super proud of them

“It’s time for the curtain to rise on the greatest show in the world!”

All Symphogears unite!

Ver throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t get to die a hero. Ver is Ver to the end

And now the island is one giant Nephilim!

Oh god Shirabe’s outfit got even stupider

Chris opens the gate of Babylonia to seal the Nephilim inside

oh my god, their hand-holding power combines to form a giant hand-holding mech to smash Nephilim

Wow, Miku chucks the staff like a thousand miles into the gate. Miku strong

2 thoughts on “Symphogear G – Review

  1. Coach’s training montage song isn’t his own song. It’s actually the theme to one of Jackie Chan’s old Hong Kong movies, Police Story. Also known as Glass Story for the ridiculous quantity of glass that gets broken throughout the finale.

  2. Tsubasa IMMEDIATELY wraps around to camp. I love how, even in a place of emotional stability, she’s spouting the most emo shit about her sword metphor.

    I also like how anime and Jpop’s weird musical stagnation means that we get shows unapologetically rocking metal compositions. (Even in the edm songs. Doesn’t that make them industrial?)
    That final song where they used the Climax Song melody was pretty great.

    There are even more ensemble and counterpoint songs next season. Too bad the writing gets even more unwieldy, bad enough to start harshing on some of the compensating elements. But there are some super delicious villains.

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