Symphogear GX – Review

And we’re back! After a brief detour to watch every friggin’ episode of K-On!, I’ve returned to finally catch up on the summer’s most symphogear of attractions. I had fun with this one, but honestly didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the last two, and for pretty predictable reasons. The most structurally understandable reason is that this season went for something Symphogear has historically not been terribly good at – more investment in its actual narrative and character journeys. But even that would have worked well enough if the show had stuck the landing, and personally I felt the last few episodes of this season were some of the weakest of the show so far. It particularly hurt that the show knocked off all the Autoscorers before the finale – they were always more fun to battle with than Carol herself, who basically just battled with DBZ beams. But still, Symphogear is Symphogear. I enjoyed this season well enough, and I’ll probably enjoy the next one too.

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

Symphogear GX

Episode 1

This season opens with the three girls being shot in a missile into space, exploding out of the missile, and then Hibike and Tsubasa getting on two more missiles fired by Chris to surf at a crashing space ship. Yep, this is Symphogear

“Human dignity must be given the same weight as human life” such a Tsubasa line

“We can hear a song in a burning sky. Don’t give up!” the pilots are getting into it

And Chris, uh, blows up the mountain. And then Hibiki punches it away

“Adjusting K2 to the rank of world’s third-highest mountain” oh my god this show

They’re just exploding the shit out of this entire mountain range

These crazy motherfuckers

So now they work for the U.N.

Lots of lolworthy exposition

The girls bragging about their girlfriends at school

The visuals look pretty solid this season, though there aren’t any fights to rival the second season yet. Things just look crisp

Pratfally gags, as mediocre as ever. The best humor is always the absurdity in the fight scenes

Tsubasa and Maria have a performance in London

Oh wow, this performance is gorgeous. Great animation, great colors

So over the top. That is one absurd performance

These bad guys are way more interesting visually than the second season’s

And these fights also have solid animation

The bad guys are also creepy – dolls of some kind

Hibiki’s singing has gotten better

“Don’t be a hero, just be loud!” good lyrics

And once again, they make the chorus a shout-along piece to play around her bad range

A really pretty animation and still-frame sequence for Tsubasa

Looks like the villain Carol’s father was burned at the stake

Carol Malus Deinheim, of course

“I am going to slay a miracle” ah Symphogear

Episode 2

“Hibiki’s hobby is saving people, I’m sure she’ll be fine. I’m more worried she’ll come home hungry.” Hibiki’s waifu

The orange-haired doll flicks coins super fast

It’s nice to see weapons that aren’t Symphogears, but can actually fight them. A good compromise between the first and second seasons

Dang, Chris’s new transformation scene sure is… bouncy

Seems like they’re not translating her lyrics this time

Some nice rich colors in these fight scenes

Pretty dynamic direction too, lots of shots of the characters bounding into or out of the camera

Elfnein is the one running away from Carol

I love these absurd exposition spiels. “Does she mean the special type of magic that existed…”

Carol’s philosophy already seems like nonsense

Hibiki doesn’t want to fight!

“Why do you want to destroy the world?” “It’s the challenge my father left me.”


“My father never gave me anything…” uh oh Hibiki

“So I must return to being a false idol?” Maria is TIRED OF ALL THE LIES

Oh my god, this shot of Maria’s swaying beneath the sword. They’ve really upped the fanservice this season, I think. Unless I’m remembering the show more charitably than I should

“My sword is a sword-breaker” oh fuckin’ great

“I thought the treasury of Babylon was destroyed in the trillion-degree heat?!?” SYMPHOGEAAAARRRR

Maria and Tsubasa keep blushing at each other, lol

ono, their gears are dissolving!

Episode 3

Oh dang, the design of Carol’s base is awesome

“Twilight of the Wielders” god these episode titles

The dolls’ movements are very nicely unnatural

The Alca-Noise dissolve their weapons

“Death death death!”

And the enemy disappears!

I like that the two younger girls are actually crap at using Symphogears. Makes them more interesting

“If you go as far as you can without a goal, there’s no guarantee you’ll find that goal at the end.” Actually a pretty solid line

A beef stroganoff song. Okay. Sure. Yep.

Aaand then they just continue as if nothing happened. OKAY SYMPHOGEAR

“Russian cooking is so deep”

“It isn’t good to hurt yourself with a kitchen utensil, is it?” SYMBOLISM. A TOOL MEANT TO FEED… USED TO HARM

Tsubasa and Maria are the silliest couple. Great job choosing their hair, character designers

Nice little guitar track here. The music otherwise has been pretty nondescript so far

The younger girls have their own independent conflicts that make coherent sense. Storytelling!

Micha’s the red-haired doll, Garie’s the blue-haired one

They’re called Autoscorers

Carol’s creating a device to dissect the world into tiny pieces, as you do

A fragment of the magic sword Dainslef!

Oh man, creepy doll head-tilt from Garie

o no, Hibiki can’t sing! CLIFFHANGERSSS

Episode 4

“You will be forced to carry lies into battle with you.” Yep, and there’s Maria’s arc again. This season is much more interested in actually giving its characters coherent motivations

The various styles of dancing for each of the Autoscorers also gives them a great visual personality

And Maria arrives. Time for black Gungnir

Nice fight here, even against Noise

Yeah, the Autoscorers feel legitimately unknowable and intimidating

Getting into Hibiki drama pretty early, but it’s reasonable enough

Leiur is the coin-shooting one, Phara is the fencer

The sound effects for the Autoscorers are great

And Hibiki defeated. CLIFFHANGERS AGAIN

Episode 5

“Edge works” yes why not title your episode that

Aw dang, a project to create advanced symphogears?!?

Tsubasa’s father is apparently an important dude who pulls strings for S.O.N.G. goddamnit I can’t believe I’m typing that acronym

Elfnein has Carol’s memories

“What are you going to do with your beautiful spy glasses?” these goddamn dorks

Hibiki’s dad left after the disaster

Some nice choral songs for the dramatic moments here

Episode 6

“Drawn blade”, of course

These Carol scenes are actually pretty solid backstory. Her narrative is way more interesting than the Ver stuff

Carol fights with a mega-harp


And she becomes big

Carol and the Autoscorers burn up memories to fight

Pretty great “it’s time to use THAT” moment. IGNITE MODULE

And their Gears stab them. Again, this season’s returning to some of the horror stuff of the first season

Oh man, controlling the rampage mode. What a great idea

Tsubasa’s got daddy issues too. Though this audience of Noise is another nice horror idea

“If I’m a blade, I cannot hold anyone.” THESE HANDS CAN ONLY DESTROYYY

Chris also fighting her fears, and the feeling she doesn’t deserve a place to be happy

Tsubasa and Chris lift each other up out of it

Man, this is just the shittiest city to live in


The fights against Noise still aren’t that interesting

“But Hibiki is still hiding and crying from the pain of hurting and being hurt.” “HIT HER WITH THE LIGHTNING”

Carol burning her memories of why she wanted to fight order to fight is a pretty tidy little message

And having Carol “die” halfway through is also a legitimate cliffhanger, not a fake one

Episode 7

oh god it’s a beach episode

The boss monologuing about training while we see silly beach montages

“Just what is the photosphere?”

More jiggly boobs. It wasn’t this fanservicey before, was it?

Also they’re playing volleyball now of course

Oh my god, they play rocks-paper-scissors and of course both of the younger girls use scissors because it’s the edgiest choice. AGHHHH

o no Garie

“We’re having a huge sale on bullets… huge discounts on ass-kicking…” Chris you’re gonna have to step these lyrics up

Dang, I really like Maria’s visual style

“I need to kill my weak self” it’s no wonder she and Tsubasa get along so well

The beyblade girl raises the excellent point that the dolls keep leaving after they win

“You taught me how to be strong!” referencing the volleyball game from ten minutes ago. this is not the most gracefully constructed personal arc

Aw dang, Maria killed Garie

Hibiki’s dad whoaaa

Episode 8

“The Courage to Face It”

So Hibiki’s dad is just a run-of-the-mill shitty dude. Kind of refreshing

“It may be that only simple problems can be solved by your fists.” Say it ain’t so Hibiki

This is pretty relatable! Not wanting to see your parents disappoint you, particularly when you only have an image of them

The younger girls aren’t very good at having fights

Man, the earth-type Autoscorer sure has a boring personality

The younger girls kick fire-Autoscorer’s ass. It feels like this season kind of comes down between the first and second as far as animation and battle choreography go. Not the best

And Carol’s back

Episode 9

Man, this is just Symphogear: Daddy Issues Edition, huh

Tsubasa’s dad is a dick, but her girlfriend defends her

“My sword break is a philosophical weapon that can destroy anything defined as a sword” no no no no nooooo

aw dang, Tsubasa’s backstory is legitimately messed up

“Do not be afraid of continuing to dream!” dad is back!

And then fucking Doctor Ver shows up lol

Episode 10

Ah, they can’t kill Ver because he’s the only one who can make LiNKER

Chris is having senpai problems

Nice conversation between Hibiki and Miku

Elfnein was being used as an unknowing spy

The animation of the coin Autoscorer’s movements is great

And Chris is noticed by her kohais, and thus powers up

Episode 11

“It’s All Right, Everything is Just Fine”

Elfnein takes a hit

The symbolism balloon pays a visit to Hibiki and her dad AND THEN THE SKY EXPLODES

Carol’s driven by her father’s desires, but has no dreams of her own. Ties in with Tsubasa and Hibiki, of course

Hibiki’s dad is just a garbage dude, and that’s pretty great. It’s nice that the show has someone who’s just a cowardly jerk with no excuse for it

“If I want to fix our family, I need you there!” jeez

So what he left her was her catchphrase, or general attitude

aw dang, they are redeeming him. that’s pretty lame

I guess it works that she got something valuable out of their relationship even though he was a shitty dad. That’s definitely one way you come to terms with these things. Still feels like this season is pretty soft on shitty dads, though

It’s also nice that Hibiki’s memories give her strength, while Carol burns hers for power

Carol gets a song. They don’t translate it, though

Episode 12

Oh no, it’s Mom! Wait, it’s an illusion

blah blah exposition from Carol

Actually tying this into the first season, sort of

Oh no, it’s songs that are destroying the world

Ver’s helping them destroy the big organ

and Maria’s fighting her… shadow self? for some reason?

The group song for the three new girls is pretty good. A shame it isn’t translated

“He just gave us the problem and never told us the answer.” daaaads

“Forgiveness is the problem’s answer.” and it’s the same with the dads, I guess


Dr. Ver gives an inspiring death speech

“Miracles have nothing to do with Symphogear compatibility” he’s got that right

Now they have angel forms I guess

Episode 13

More of these kind of dull Noise fights. I think I’m suffering some symphatigue

This last third in general has kind of just been a bunch of busy fights with no weight to them

Carol transforms into a giant Zoid

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