Now I usually don’t do First Impressions of second season shows, but Symphogear gets an exception because I did a review of the entire first season a year or so back.
Two girl-warriors named Hibiki and Chris fight against a horde of alien creatures known only as Noise, as they transport some kind of ancient relic called “Solomon’s Cane” to a research facility. Their mission gets completed successfully, and the girls are about to go to a concert when suddenly! The research facility gets quickly overtaken by an army of Noise.
At the concert itself, which appears to be a giant, international one; two idol girls sing a duet. One of the girls is a renowned Japanese idol named Tsubasa. The other girl is a newcomer; a pink-haired girl named Maria. After their duet, Maria suddenly summons a horde of Noise, and claims world domination. Even more surprisingly, she is shown to be able to transform too, and have the same powers that Hibiki and Chris have…
Oh man, I feel bad for anyone if this episode is their first introduction to the Symphogear series, ‘cause this episode/season is really meant for fans of the first one. So you’re already expected to know (and remember) what happened last season, especially concerning who Hibiki, Chris, and Tsubasa are; what the Noise are; and what the organization they belong to is. Because of its nature as a second season, there’s going to be SPOILERS for the first one from here on out.
If you’re interested in this series, please watch the first season first before checking this one out.
Now that you’ve been officially warned, I’ll go on to my review.
This episode was AMAZING. It really made me remember how fond I was of the Symphogear series, even though it got a bit melodramatic at times. And I’m incredibly happy that Symphogear was popular enough to actually get another season. This episode managed to be both parts narmy and epic; and we sure are starting things off fast as a NEW VILLIAN has just been introduced within the very first episode! I’m really happy to see Hibiki, Tsubasa, and Chris again, and we get a big musical number mirroring the first episode of the first season. It’s great!
The thing I loved most about this first episode was obviously the music. The Symphogear series boasts some pretty top-tier VAs, and the songs did not disappoint. The animation for this episode was also really lovely. I just hope that can last, considering the QUALITY ANIMATION that plagued the first season towards the mid-point. And, even though Chris wasn’t a favorite character of mine from the first season, it’s nice to see her interactions with Hibiki. Let’s just hope she got some more character development within the supposed three month gap between the events in this season and the last.
My main criticism for this episode is… is this season just going to completely re-write the ending to the last? Because at the end of the first season, the government decided to officially proclaim Hibiki, Tsubasa, and Chris as dead so that they could fight the Noise in secret. Yet in this episode, we see Tsubasa regain her status as an idol?! And Hibiki’s friends know that she’s alive and well?! I mean, I can understand Hibiki’s friends knowing about her secret, but having Tsubasa go back to being an idol after THAT ending is a bit… ehhhhhh. I really hope this gets explained later and not just hand-waved aside ‘cause that would be really crappy writing.
Another criticism is… Maria. Her design is nice, and she looks like a potentially interesting character. But her being the main villain (or possibly the main villain) and just being so overly “I’M EVIL LOOK AT HOW EVIL I AM” is really damn narmy. The first season had problems with this too (*cough*Finè*cough*) but are they really going for ANOTHER villain like this? Oh boy…
Overall, I thought this was a pretty good episode even with my criticisms. The story is still developing so far, so I can’t say much about that. But hey—new music! New transformation sequences! And Hibiki got a cooler outfit! The fanservice does seem to be a bit more noticeable in this season, but whatever. If you were a fan of the first season, this episode won’t disappoint you.
Out of five for this episode:
Unfortunately I don’t know if I can review this series as my plate is already pretty full. Other than Dangan Ronpa, Mushibugyou, and another series (*hinthintwinkwink*), if I have the time to take on one more series this season, I’d rather do a brand new one and not another continuation. I’ll definitely keep up with this one, though. Maybe I’ll just do a full overall review once the summer season’s over. Maybe.