「なお昏き深淵の底から」 (Nao Kuraki Shinen no Soko kara)
“From the Bottom of the Shadowy Abyss”

Well it sure didn’t take long to find out who the informant is within the Mobile Disaster Prevention Unit, as it was easy to pick up on the voice in the early parts of this episode — well before they made it blatantly obvious. At first, I thought the naked, faceless, sadistic blonde was a new character voiced by Sawashiro Miyuki (in barely comprehensible English), but then I quickly remembered that she’s already voicing Sakurai Ryouko. After making that connection, it wasn’t hard to see the similarities in their hair; however, just to be doubly sure that they’re the same person, I scanned the credits to see if our voluptuous blonde is listed separately. Turns out she’s not, which more or less confirms it.

The real question now is what Ryouko hopes to achieve as a double agent for Japan and (presumably) America. My growing suspicion is that she has a self-indulgent motive that stems from her obsession with her Phonic Gain research, which has no concern for country loyalty or even the fate of mankind as long as she gets to see the fruits of her labor. She’s made it clear that she’s using whichever country she’s dealing with, so she evidently doesn’t care about taking sides or even assassinating Defense Ministers who have helped them greatly. As such, I’m starting to think that “scientific vanity” wouldn’t even be too much of a stretch. It’s almost as if Ryouko wants to make her research public and be praised for it — something that she can’t do in Japan since it’s sworn to secrecy with anything involving Symphogears and just sitting on Durandal instead of trying to awaken it. In the process, she’s made a sexual plaything of the now named Kurisu — Yukine Kurisu if I’m reading her name in kanji correctly 「雪音クリス」. It’ll be interesting to see what Kurisu’ wish is, especially since she’ll endure being tormented to see it granted, as I already get the feeling that she’ll end up siding with Hibiki and Tsubasa once she learns it was nothing but a false promise.

As for Hibiki herself, I still can’t say I’m a fan of Yuuki Aoi’s singing — even though she’s probably trying to sing in character — but I do like how much she’s improved on the fighting side of things thanks to Genjuurou’s training. While the ending sequence last time was pretty goofy, the results speak for themselves. With this “new” Hibiki who’s taking things a little more seriously, I suspect she’s whom Kanade was referring to when she told Tsubasa that it’s up to her if she’s with her or not. Kanade did have an almost psychotic conviction with annihilating the Noise, so perhaps these lapses in Hibiki are from the remnants of her personality in Gungnir. In any case, as things continue to progress on both Hibiki/Tsubasa’s front and now Kurisu’ front, it does look like Ryouko’s going to be the “last boss” of the series.

* Full-length images: 02, 05, 06, 07, 09, 13, 15, 18, 19, 23, 27, 31, 32, 35.

53 Comments

    1. That guy on the phone…he’s wayyyy overused in the anime industry. He’s practically the generic English voice for all foreigners in every anime I’ve seen since Senkou no Night Raid.

      DCLXVI
  1. THE ENGRISH! DEAR GOD THE ENGRISH MAKES MY EARS BREED!

    Its nice to see the results of Hibiki’s training though. She can now easily destroy Noise and stand up to Chris. I also liked how she destroyed her own boots when she realized her armored high heels are retarded. And then she does an Excalibur. Seriously she was channeling Saber right there when she used Durandal.

    Ryouko being the same SM Women was obvious though. Chris even looked at her with jealousy when she seemed fascinated(turned on?) by Hibki wielding Durandal.

    fragb85
  2. Gotta say, I didn’t see Ryouko being the villain coming. I spent a lot of time rewatching that first scene (for various reasons…), before finally determining that yes, it was definitely Sawashiro Miyuki. Which does rather give away the game.

    Personally, I don’t see Tsubasa/Hibiki ever happening, at least not on any level more than just comrades. Hibiki’s basically in a committed relationship with Miku, and while she does idolize Tsubasa more than just a bit, hasn’t ever seemed interested in her romantically. The bit with the centerfold in the newspaper was a nice touch though, I liked that.

    Anyway, if Tsubasa does get together with anyone (and assuming anyone other than Miku even survives the show, which is a pretty big assumption), I’d say she’ll play Nanoha to Chris’s Fate.

    1. There’s some foreshadowing about Ryouko in the earlier episodes though. At one point Ryouko bites Hibiki’s ear then say she wants to take her virginity. Seemed like a harmless yuri comedy gag. But if you connect it to this episode makes sense that Ryouko would be into the kinky stuff.

      fragb85
  3. yea we go options are evil twin, clone, paraelle world (cue from onore decade), same person with disguise, etc on the blonde.

    indeed this is when combine nonoha, madoka, & singing.

    MR.KLAC
    1. My twin cousins can really pass for each other until the got old… I’m not 100% buying that Ryouko and the blonde is the same person till i see more proof as she seem to almost live on the base.

      Ani_BEE
      1. I say fakes her death to protect her friends for the greater good? Or that that scene ends the season as well as begins it but with an orange boot popping into the screen at the last second so that a second season is possible.

        barrage7667
  4. Man I’m glad I watch subs, it made the “english” more comprehensible. Can’t be too critical though since I’m sure my Japanese wouldn’t sound any better.

    Glad Hibiki got rid of those danm heels, I hated seeing those on Gundams too. Also glad to see her taking things seriously and put up one hell of a fight. I actually like her song, it’s catchy.

    Not too impressed by Cris to be honest, an all too familiar character trope. Hopefully they’ll do something different to keep my interested in her character.

    Roguespirit
  5. wait that suit case with blood stain is the one that defense minister carried? at 1st watch I thought that it implying the blonde killed the original Ryouko, thus her blood in the case.

    Id
  6. Engrish you evil SOB! We meet again! But damnit, I liked Ryouko! Now I just feel bad for Chris and hope Hibiki somehow turns her to the good side. Not exactly likely in a show like this, but hopefully she’ll at least get a good death.

    Hopefully Tsubasa comes back as 100% more likeable to even things out… Yeah, right >.<

    Poor Miku, always in the dark holding down the home-front.

    Aex
  7. So, let me get this straight. People all over the world are DYING in horrible, unpredictable, unstoppable attacks from mysterious creatures known as Noise, and yet the only country with the technology and ability to combat these terrible threats are keeping a lid on it… for what reason? Not to mention, every artifact shown in this show (except for Tsubasa’s) are historical treasures of other countries.

    Shit, I know that most Japanese Manga and Anime suffer from blatant xenophobia, but this is getting a little too much. Focusing the setting on one’s own country is one thing. Ignoring mass murder in other countries is another.

    MTune
    1. Actually, it seems the only place suffering from a severe Noise outbreak is…the place where all the Symphogear are.

      Funny, that.

      Everywhere else, it seems the Noise just…are a thing that happens, like Earthquakes. Yeah it sucks, but they’re rare enough that you don’t have to live in constant fear of them.

      This is a somewhat silly comparison, but if you don’t think about it too hard, it works.

    2. The first episode implied that Noise attacks are very rare. During Hibiki’s narration she indicated that the Noise attack in the concert (where Kanade died) was one of the worst Noise outbreaks to date.

      fragb85
    3. well as we saw from last ep and this one, its likely that the reason noise are just “common” in japan right now is due to “someone” creating more of them. otherwise they are supposedly rare…
      the reason that its kept a secret is likely that japan is being cautious of the other countries(and with good reason as we see here). it seems like japan is in a crisis right now with all the noise showing up, and they think that some country(they discussed this last ep) is doing this(as proven).

      amado
    1. It was likely part of the plan from the beginning. And in some ways it’s easier to take out a helicopter than a car, which is why we still use armored cars to transport money and not Apache Longbows.

      DCLXVI
  8. Glad that i’m not alone getting annoyed by Yuuki Aoi’s singing…
    And all those martial art training Hibiki done get wasted, seeing her gain a OP weapon in just one episode.

    Oh. I just have to do this:
    “Genjuurou : RUN toward somewhere dangerous! They won’t dare to set it off!”
    * EXXXXXCAAAALLIBBBURRRRRRR!!*
    * Enemy caught in the blast! But seemingly escaped! *
    * Untold number of civilians blasted to bits *
    “Genjuurou : ….”

    Watever
  9. Aside from the glibberish engrish, first blatant error from Symphogear: runing the way too predictable path of the traitor. I had hoped that the producers would’ve banned all shounen-esque plot armor that we all know. Now, this seems extracted of Kurumada’s Saint Seiya poorly scipted after-the-12-Houses-scenario (worst of all, using Miyuki Sawashiro for this) Expect the classic split-personality dissorder from now on.

    SeedStriker
    1. I am in awe of how many assumptions not in evidence this post contains. Truly, an amazing piece of work.

      Its hilarious that anyone claims to know where Symphogear is going. No one saw this coming, and for all that you can make predictions on where it could go from here, past evidence demonstrates that making statements like that is a good way to be very confidently wrong.

      Let the show tell its own damn story, ok?

      1. At least its not one of those “Kanade should have been the main character because my magic 8-ball can automatically tell this would be a better and unique show!” comments.

        fragb85
  10. Well, nobody wonders Where She get these “Shield” Power anyway? And the Capitan’s Power only comes from Chi? 🙂

    And yes, the Writers hit us Hard, with “They are Sisters!” Story. Only that one liked to be Nude and has other Hair color. But same Hairstyle. Looks like both enjoy their Work

    Germanguy
  11. There’s something a Sawashiro Miyuki voiced MILF that is sooooo alluring even if she’s a crazy sadistic bitch.
    I’m so glad Tsubasa has recuperated. Can’t wait to hear her sing again 🙂

    Seishun Otoko
  12. Great episode. Nice to see the result of the training. Hibiki is kicking some serious ass there!!
    I cant wait to see what happens next.

    And… poor Miku. Hopefuly Hibiki will do something nice to her in compensation for all this… while her can. T_T

    Rincewind
  13. I know hibiki’s singing isn’t the best but I like her character and the progress she has made to fight the noise. I like her punching and kicking, personally I hope that weapon isn’t permanent.

    killdamnzade

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