*MASSIVE SPOILERS ABOUND*
Hibiki starts skipping school to train under Genjuro. Meanwhile, in some mansion; the name of the fourth girl with symphogear armor is finally revealed to be Kris. She seems to be working under a much more evil woman against her will.
Back with Hibiki, the people of the 2nd Division explain to her the massive amount of politics involved with the symphogears and Durandel. Because it could possibly be used as a weapon in warfare, the 2nd Division was created to keep the relic fragments (and possibly the Noise) a secret. While this is happening, Tsubasa meets with Kanade in her dream-coma state and finally re-awakens afterwards.
After Ryouko goes to meet with the Defense Minister of Japan, he’s assassinated by terrorists. Due to this sudden violent attack, the 2nd Division has been forced to move Durandel from their base to a safer location. However, en route, they are attacked by an army of Noise. While Ryouko appears to have some power of her own to hold off some of the Noise, it is Hibiki who picks off the rest. Midway through the battle, Kris flies down, attempting to steal the Durandel that’s been left unattended. However, Hibiki claims the sword for herself and manages to decimate the Noise (and a chemical facility) in one swing. The surge of power knocks her out, and when she wakes up, she’s left wondering about what’s going to happen next.
This episode had so many “WTF?!” moments for me. Fortunately, it was not the bad type of “WTF” because unlike Guilty Crown, this series actually handles SOME plot twists rather well.
This episode was very politics heavy, which might be a bad thing for those of you who don’t like that kind of stuff. As the politics actually plays a large part in Symphogear, I didn’t mind too much. This episode was also rather plot heavy in that respect. THINGS ARE DEFINITELY GOING DOWN. Each episode is an info-dump so you CANNOT miss even one. In a way, that could be a bad thing for more casual viewers, but at least Symphogear has a coherent and focused plot. Really, there is rarely any filler in Symphogear (other than that concert in the very first episode, probably).
The plot twists are getting more and more dramatic. Kris is actually being controlled by a dominatrix-type lady?! Holy crap, suddenly there are assassination attempts?! Ryouko has super-powers too?! I thought that the assassination was a good plot twist, Ryouko’s powers a little less well-done, and the fact that Kris is under orders to be… well… BAD. The assassination was pulled off well plot-wise because the plot has already been shown to politics focused. The sudden reveal that Ryouko has super-powers just came out of nowhere without any foreshadowing, so I found that to be handled a little poorly. However, it DOES increase my suspicion in Ryouko. Ever since episode 2, I found her to be a bit sneaky in her motives, and this episode has a ton more of those moments. Now that we know she has powers, the next thing to find out is whether she’s really a good guy or the big bad.
And now to talk about Kris. The fact that she’s actually acting somewhat against her will is really damn cliché, for one thing. For another… wow did the producers really go there. So our new evil villain is apparently a dominatrix who never wears clothes apart from boots and tortures Kris as a form of “love.” …Okay then. I guess they’re trying to make her out to be REALLY EVIL but that whole scene reeked of so much cheesecake that it was painful to watch. Like all the Engrish that was said in the opening scenes of the episode too.
Overall, an okay episode. Not horrible, but it’s far from being the best. Sadly, there was tons of QUALITY throughout the episode, mostly concerning the horribly CGI’d cars. I hope that gets fixed in BD releases or something because wow, that was bad. The episode did pick up near the end when Hibiki started fighting, but I think that was the sole highlight of the episode for me.
Out of five: