「落涙」 (Rakurui)
“Shedding Tears”

First Kanade and now Tsubasa? While it does look like Tsubasa will pull through, this episode had me going for a bit that she might join Kanade as a “spiritual character” for the rest of the series. That would’ve been somewhat disappointing — even if someone like Miku were to succeed Tsubasa’s Ame no Habakiri 「天羽々斬」 — since Kanade’s backstory as the sole survivor of a Noise attack five years ago had just shed some more light on Tsubasa’s conviction now. The last thing I would’ve wanted to see is her getting written off so soon after, regardless of the immediate impact her death would have from singing her “zesshou” (i.e. final song). With her survival, we’ll likely see Hibiki slowly earning Tsubasa’s trust and eventually fighting alongside her, now that the former’s fully aware of what happened two years ago. It may be an all-too predictable scenario, but given the alternative of having Symphogear turn into the “Tachibana Hibiki Show”, I’m quite content with the direction things are headed. As I mentioned last time, I enjoy watching their precarious relationship as it’s the driving factor behind most of the character development, so I definitely want to see more of it.

Where things got really interesting was on the Symphogear side of the equation, after the Nehushtan Armor Girl (Takagaki Ayahi) burst onto the scene and started summoning Noise at will (and providing some gratuitous fan-service in the process). We already have a bunch of unanswered questions regarding exactly what happened two years ago at Zwei Wing’s final concert and whom this girl works for and leaked information to, but now we’re thrown a real curve ball that suggests the Noise are a man-made/controlled threat. I’m quite surprised more attention wasn’t drawn to that revelation by Genjuurou, as he was more concerned about how Hibiki’s being targeted. Without any further discussion on it, there isn’t too much else to go on, other than the lingering suspicion of a conspiracy involving the United States and its security treaty with Japan (which I can’t imagine going over well with U.S. viewers). Compared to that, not so surprising was the fact that the Armor Girl survived Tsubasa’s song, as she’ll likely be the main antagonist of the series — at least until we find out who she works for.

Overall, there were a lot of positives to take away from this episode. Most notably was how it provided a good sense of the multifaceted story that we have here, from Tsubasa’s past with Kanade and her present relationship with Hibiki, to the conspiracy surrounding the Noise/Nehushtan and Hibiki’s newfound resolve to become a dependable partner. However, the question remains on whether the series will make good on it, as I feel that Symphogear is at a junction point where its success rests on how Hibiki grows into her role as the main heroine. Right now, she still comes off as rather goofy and acting on emotions alone, so I’m kind of wary that there will be a lot of wasted potential until she shatters that image.

* I’m starting to think that the questionable walking animation is a curse that follows Shinji around.
* You can never go wrong with Bruce Lee tributes, but I love how they had Genjuurou and Hibiki cosplaying as Street Fighter’s Gouki/Akuma and Makoto too.
* Tsubasa’s pulling out the Shadow Weaving techniques a la the Nara clan.
* Full-length images: 02, 03, 04, 06, 07, 11, 20, 26, 31, 32, 37, 42, ED3 03.

 

ED3 Sequence

ED3: 「撃槍・ガングニール」 (Gekisou Gungnir) by 悠木碧 (Yuuki Aoi)
Watch the 3rd ED!: Streaming ▼

50 Comments

  1. Huh, that a was great episode. Go figure. The action was very good, and I was actually on the edge of my seat thinking that Tsubasa would bite it. Thankfully she didn’t. I did find it interesting how Kanade started as a raging vengance girl before eventually softening up. Perhaps that explains why Hibiki suffers from sporadic bursts of rage.

    As for I find Hibki alot more endearing now since I prefer optimism over angst. She’s certainly smart enough to have herself trained by Mr “I punched a 30 ft sword with my bare hands”. If that doesn’t add points to her GAR meter nothing will.

    fragb85
      1. Don’t worry Benigmatica.. I’m just pointing out that Croos game me a small screen cap.

        And I actually made a mistake there.. There’s a black spot between Bruce’s arm and body. Ugh.. I forgot to mask that. :\

        MrRei
  2. This was really quite crazy. And I loved it! I have to agree, in the end, this show is gonna either be good or suck depending on Hibiki and how convincing it is when she grows up and takes the lead. For now though, I’ll just take all the angst, blood and violence as a good sign that I’ll enjoy this show for at least a few more weeks.

  3. This show needs more Kanade. She showed us how bad-ass she is in the 5 minutes of screen-time that she got this episode. Definitely looking forward to the berserker mode that seems to be associated with Gungnir.

    Miku definitely knows more than she lets on. The black shooting-star video is rather suspicious to me. Just a wild guess, but I think she might possibly be the Nehushtan Armor Girl.

    Still can’t get very attached to either Hibiki or Tsubasa. Kanade stole the show for me.

    Kentaiyoshimi
  4. If there’s a problem with this anime it’s the Noise. In the first episode the Noise were shown to be very aggressive and destroy everything on their path. But in later episodes, in the battle scenes I always notice that the Noise would just gather in on place while doing nothing and just wait to be killed by Tsubasa and Hibiki, they don’t give much resistance at all. And because they gather in one place, it made Hibiki and Tsubasa job much easier.

    kurochan
    1. Except the show has outright stated that Noise are controlled by an outside influence. We’ve seen it happen this episode when they attempted to kidnap Hibiki rather than kill her.

      fragb85
  5. Shikamaru would sue for stealing his technique if wasn’t so bothersome.

    Personally I think they focusing on the wrong stuff. Like how they did a backstory of Kanade here, they should actually make her less interesting and Hibiki more interesting. Not the otherway around.

    But, that doesn’t mean this show isn’t entertaining. It’s not great, but I have fun watching it.

    JHN
  6. I’m a US viewer and I don’t have any problem with it. It’s like watching a little rat dog yap at a Great Dane. It’s cute.

    Though I was a little annoyed at Hibiki when she suddenly started going on and on (in the middle of a rather important conversation/brainstorming) about how weak she is and how it is all her fault. What did that have ANYTHING to do with what’s being discussed?

    minitune
  7. That shot of Tsubasa post-zesshou is going to haunt my nightmares. Kanade’s brutal transformation wasn’t pretty either.
    Then we have exposition about things we already know for the second half of the episode and no character growth whatsoever! Yay!

    Bio D
    1. Nah, Madoka did a much better job on it’s early episodes. Sure, Symphogear might surprise us with a darker take on things (which is what I think they are trying to do), but the thing is… Hibiki. Seriously, her character is waaaay out of place, more than Madoka. Tsubasa’s development could be better as well.

      Gavrilo
  8. Ok, we desperately need a prequel animated for a full view of Kanade’s awesomeness. Even dead, she’s way better than Tsubasa and Hibiki up to now! Frigging US goverment, even messing around in anime (Hibiki would’ve something to say against SOPA/PIPA)
    NAG is a little too overkill (resisting a Final Song at point blank reeks like plot armor, Full Relic or not), and is clearly that even with training, Hibiki alone couldn’t even scratch her.

    Sensing more Tekkaman Blade vibes after Kanade’s brutal inicial armor summon.

    SeedStriker
    1. “Ok, we desperately need a prequel animated for a full view of Kanade’s awesomeness. Even dead, she’s way better than Tsubasa and Hibiki up to now!”

      This, as I said from ep 1 and this episode basically proved it again, I want that show not this one.

      DangerMouse
  9. Watching this episode almost induced a rage in me. Forget about how Tsubasa’s song didn’t even kill the other symphogear girl. The fact that Hibiki was completely, utterly useless in this exchange was almost a throwback to the event 2 years ago. Like, GAAAH!!! Get your sh*t together girl!

    But I guess it was deliberate seeing how she toughened up her resolve by asking Genjuurou for some kick-ass training. The Bruce Lee and Street Fighter easter eggs were awesome.

    Islidox
  10. After watching the episode, it just makes me more annoyed of Hibiki. All that talk about getting stronger to replace Kanade irked me the wrong way. And she doesn’t see anything wrong her words about it! It wasn’t until Tsubasa is in critical condition that she figured it out. It shouldn’t have taken her being hurt to have Hibiki realize that she put her foot in her mouth. Her pity party didn’t help as well as her constant proclamation that she has people she want to protect. So far, it seems to be about her, her, her. Her life, her friends… Everything else doesn’t matter. She’s such a boring character right now. It makes me wonder how well they can improve her character so she can really carry the series further.

    Sylph
    1. I’m in the same boat. It feels like her character is in a completely different show than everyone else. It’s even worse that none of the other characters call her out on it either. I mean this is some important stuff people are dying and they are all okay with her being a useless sad sack?

      W.Wolf
  11. I think, i saw a Subtitle that said. That this Nehushtan Armor was Tsubasas Old Armor, until it got stolen somehow, when She was distracted or Weak. You know, when they was Talking on the Battlefield

    And looks like this Armor, is based on Nanomachines or something alike. We see this, after she fall back from Tsubasas Strong Attack. Her bare flesh Parts… Just look closer

    Germanguy
    1. I don’t think so.
      I suppose 2 years back the concert is to awaken the Nehushtan relic (Ep1).
      No one can use it before that.

      They said the concert is the hope of mankind.
      So they knew that Nehushtan can control Noise?

      iron2000
  12. Great episode. Im loving this.

    And, I feared for the worst when Tsubasa started to sing the Swan Song. Luckily is not down… at least yet.

    Anyways… I want more Miku and Hibiki in the next episode.

    Rincewind
  13. ergh, this show is turning into my least favorite kind of show. The kind of show that sucks and you want to stop watching it but then it goes and does something interesting and you think, “oh wait maybe it’s getting better now I’ll watch one more episode”. Rinse and repeat.

    W.Wolf
  14. If you look close the Nehushtan Armor Girl is in the OP and also another mysterious female.
    Wonder if she suffered like Kanade to fit the armor.
    Or since Nehushtan was awaked by the whatever wave 2 years ago, anyone could use it.
    By the hairstyle it is her who walks in the normal ED as well.

    So Nehushtan is a complete type Symphogear.
    Ame no Habakiri and Gungnir are fragments, if they are complete relics would their Symphogear have a visor and more armor parts?

    In ep3, Ryoko explained that Noise exist since a long time ago.
    So I guess they are a natural occurance only that the Nehushtan Armor has the power to summon Noise, or do complete Relics have that power?

    The Durandal, I wonder is it that golden sword in the OP.
    Anyone can use it?
    What if Miku uses it that henshin into the form like the silhouette of the title logo?

    Actually I see more of Kamen Rider then Madoka in Symphogear 😛
    That Rider Kick Tsubasa used aiming at Hibiki.
    By the way, Hibiki looks like someone out off Keroro Gunso.

    Will we see less of Kanade as Tsubasa open up to Hibiki?
    Letting go of the past.

    iron2000
  15. So here are my personal thoughts on this current thoughts of this episode.

    The beginning of this episode was very well done, I was on the very edge of mys eat, and the fight scenes were very well done. I mean granted that Hibiki, is kinda useless without a weapon, it was great to see the twist. In fact, I never even thought Kanade was a hell bent revenge crazy as girl until she found out that she loved singing for people and bringing hope to everyone. Also, when Tsubasa decided to do the swan song… I WAS LIKE NO!!! You’re killing another one of them!!!! SCREW YOU PRODUCERS! SCREW YOU! STOP WITH THE DEATHS THAT BEEN HAPPENING ALL AROUND ANIME ALREADY THIS YEAR. I was that close to saying.. ok I’m done. I’m glad that she’s alive though.

    Now with the ending… I have to say that was an ok round up, but I wasn’t very impress with it. It didn’t end on any cliff hanger like I was anticipating, other then Hibiki is going to train with world renown I can block Symphogear with my martial arts badass learning through Bruce Lee, Kill Bill costumes and Akuma and Makato costume. I mean don’t get me wrong, the episode overall was good, the ending was ust… like wait what? That’s it? Where the impeding danger that should have been left at the end of that episode.

    Also, I’m liking how we have Gungir, Durandel, Ama no Habakiri, and Nehushtan… meaning there a lot of development for other sacred relics, most famous would be Excalibur, Balmung, Gae Bolg, Zulfiqar and Mjolnir, and Ascalon. Though that depends on how long the season is and how much backstory they want to do. It could also delve into other side-material.

    Overall, now I can officially say I’m kinda glad that I picked up this show. I was great with the first episode, iffy on the next 2… especially when they drop her crazy mode so quickly which I’m hoping to see more off later.

    Sora no Kaze
  16. No offense but they should of made Kanade the main character. I knew that she wasn’t the main character because of the first episode. The first episode hit it for me but the three just seem like Character development and fixing the screw ups the rushed production time brought about.

    Here are my reasons to support Kanade:
    1) Her personality just shoots Naruto’s to me. I think that’s why everyone likes here. She is willing to do anything to protect the people around. The carefree attitude but strong presence that comes out in serious situations. Her personality that just brings people to like her.
    2) Her character was solid. They created such a solid character that it just made me disappointed to see her killed in the first episode. I wouldn’t even care if she couldn’t fight, train Hibiki for all i care, you dont just kill the best character you have to save for flashbacks to help the story along. They make her awesomeness distract you from the other characters and plot. With her like this, the series doesn’t jump out at me like the first episode did or other series that this could of been like.
    3) They put so much time into her character, when she’s not even the main character, that the other characters didn’t get any…. Hibiki for example. i dont even think i have to go into her.
    4) If your going to make her character so awesome, why the fuck do you kill her off at the start of the series? It doesn’t make sense to have a side character the awesome badass with no other significance to the story other than a plot device. Series, all they talk about is Kanade and how she effected the main characters. Ok, i get that but dont make her more important than the other characters. Its like they want to appeal to the viewers like of Kanade and forgo their other Characters. Tsubasa, you dont really have to. Its like Sasuke. You could stick him in one episode and people go nuts. Granted she is acting like a bitch but you know she’ll turn around. Hibiki is just a throw in character but it annoys me that she is the main character.

    I don’t understand it. Someone explain it to me how that worked out. It was like Hibiki was thrown in at the last moment and they changed the story around to fit her. Kanade should be the main character at this point and not Hibiki just for the mere fact that they keep priorizing her over the other characters in almost every episode that it pisses me off. The first episode was sick and then trash till 4…. the first 5 minutes made me like it. Erg, now i have to see where they are taking this and i have to listen to a whiny main character that doesn’t stick for me…. great…. =(

    Kyouran

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