12 September 2017 | hatsunemiku-27340
An Entertaining Schlockfest
The first season of Symphogear was a hodge podge of ideas and tones but came across as well-intentioned with a fun cast of heroes and some good action sequences. Symphogear G seems to fix a lot of the issues the first season had, providing a more consistent tone and a more focused story while also providing more entertaining characters and great action scenes.
This season finds heroes Hibiki, Chris, and Tsubasa facing off against an organization who have named themself "Fine", the name of the deity they battled in the first season. The goal of the organization is to bring about world peace, but the way they are going about it isn't real friendly. It doesn't help that organization has a walking mad scientist trope who wants to enslave humanity. With Hbiiki having health problems and Fine's Symphogear user Maria having second thoughts, the battle for world peace will be quite complicated.
The plot is, as I said, much more focused and feels like a cohesive arc with a beginning, middle, and end. It moves at a good pace and provides for a lot of exciting action scenes, as well as the requisite overlong and extremely over-the-top finale. While there were points of season one that took themselves way too seriously, this season feels more carefree. The danger is real but there is no unpleasantness to showcasing how bad the Noise are and the handling of killing, as far as Maria's character is concerned, is pretty decent. There's also a great sense of humor with one of my favorite anime moments ever being a montage sequence in which Hibiki and the girls train with their master while singing the theme song to Jackie Chan's Police Story. It's positively wonderful.
But the ending suffers from the same fate as the first season. This time, the final sequence of events is five episodes long and though it doesn't really feel stretched out, it still has an air of filler to it. The scientist, Dr. Ver, is the main antagonist here and he's so generically crazy and uninteresting as a villain that I didn't much care about seeing him get his come uppance. Some of the battles between characters had emotional stakes and I was invested in that, but the weakness of the main villain knocks the season down a few pegs (especially given the bad guy of the last season was also a scientist).
The characters are just as fun as they were last season. I love Chris, she's great and there's a modicum of a character arc going on there. Series newcomer Maria isn't all that interesting but some of the second-guessing she faces is. Kirika and Shirabe are the lolis. At first I felt like they were nothing more than the little girl fapbait. But as the show progresses, they flesh out and Kirika especially becomes one of the more interesting components of the cast.
Musically this season has a few songs I quite liked. The fact the beginning of the ending theme starts twenty seconds before the actual credits roll adds a really hype element to the end of each episode, making you excited to watch the next one and see a cliffhanger resolved. A real problem, though, is that this music-centric anime has so few interesting songs. Because of that, the music score is knocked down a peg.
The animation is slightly better from the first season but still cheap. Fight scenes look great but mundane scenes have the characters looking janky.
Symphogear G is a step up from the first season and works off everything that was enjoyable about its predecessor to make an even better product. It's full of holes and silliness but if you're looking for a good time, I think Symphogear is a series that knows itself well and knows how to provide for the fans exactly what they are looking for. I can't wait to see if the third season maintains or exceeds my expectations.