June 05, 2016

Symphogear GX

So, what do you do when your sequel has used up every last bit of continuity from the first season of your show? There are no loose ends. What does your band of heroines and the government agency that supports them (With their own sub!) do?

Well, apparently they willingly let themselves be subsumed by the United Nations. So there's your cultural difference between America, as embodied in Captain America: Civil War, and Japan.

A Space Shuttle went to go pick up the remains of the old lady who restored the Moon, and collect technological samples from the piece of Frontier she got launched in, but a systems failure means it's going to crash into a populated area. Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters? No! International Rescue? Good Choice, but also Wrong. No, you call the newly renamed S.O.N.G. Only before they can break into action, they have to wait for UN Approval....

No, Seriously.

And there were two No votes.

So the sub launches a missile at the Shuttle, and the astronauts think they are doomed, but the missile MIRVs into three warheads. Okay, not warheads, but our three heroines, who apparently can survive in space (To be fair, they did in the first series as well). And then they deploy their powers to change the trajectory of the shuttle. It's very over-the top.

How over the top? "Oh no, now it's going to crash into K2!" They blast an entire layer out of the middle of the mountain, fly through the gap, while the top falls back into place, and one of the techs calmly announces "Updating K2 as the third highest peak in the world." They are gliding down the mountainside towards the treeline, and Tsubasa mounts a giant blade on the front of the shuttle, and trees go flying like an episode of Speed Racer. Hibiki punches the canyon walls to redirect their course, which unfortunately leads to another populated area. As the shuttle smashes down main street, towards the city hall, she jumps ahead, and with a punch, causes the shuttle to flip over the city hall and land on its tail behind the building.

That's how over the top.

BTW, we also get to see that the two Lolis and Maria are prisoners, wearing what looks like straitjackets with all the straps, except the sleeves aren't closed, they end in cuffs - big heavy metal ones that aren't actually attached to anything.... But I guess they have privileges, because they get to watch the live feed of the crash/rescue. In fact, later on Maria and Tsubasa get to do the actual concert together that got interrupted in S02E01 by Maria's terroristic announcement that went nowhere.

But, there IS a new enemy, and a little girl carrying a wooden McGuffin box with Norse runes on it is being chased by a woman firing coins at her, who isn't named Misaka. And apparently she has a teammate who ambushes Maria backstage after the concert whose power is draining the life out of Maria's guards. She also has ball-joints like some kind of doll... this can't be good.

Meanwhile, Hibiki is playing Fireman, rescuing people from a burning building (The life-sensors on the sub are just that good). and after saving everyone, she calls out to this strange girl standing on an overpass that it's dangerous to stand there. Little does she know this is the little witch who is behind this (we know she's a witch because of her outfit, and her flashback about her father being burned at the stake), and she wants to destroy the world. Cliffhanger as she fires a shot at Hibiki, who had unarmored after the rescue....

Posted by: Mauser at 02:22 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Is there a name for the Cliche' in anime where the hero(ine) proclaims they don't want to fight, they just want to protect people? Usually right before the bad guy unloads some whoop-ass on him/her?

So our bad little witch girl is Carol Malus Dienheim, and she uses Alchemy - "The over-technology that existed before Science and Magic split into different fields," according to the Bridge Bunnies. Her color is purple. I'm guessing that the color-coded assistants she has are some kind of Homonculi.

The not-Misaka is Leiur. She has a thing about doing what she does with style. her color is Yellow. She was chasing Elfnein, who is carrying a McGuffin Box (Dvergr Dainn's Legacy, whatever that is), until Chris gets in the middle of the fight.

The sword-wielding doll fighting Tsubasa and Maria isn't named yet, her color is green.

A new one is shown named Garie, she's blue and apparently collects memories or something, as well as sucking the life out of a guy who was shooting Hibiki's fight with his iPhone.

At the end we are shown the red one, who isn't activated yet, but the OP makes it look like she's some kind of insane beast. There was also briefly shown some kind of giant who dropped boats on Chris.

Carol utters a cryptic line at Hibiki before teleporting away, "Fight next time, or I can't destroy everything you have." But with Tsubasa and Chris, we get an idea what they mean, after their opponents sprinkle crystals on the ground that turn into Noise. Only they aren't actually Noise (the were all destroyed in the last series), they are Alca-noise, and their are able to make the Symphogear armor disintegrate (Don't know for sure yet if it destroys the relics, but they are shown damaged)

BTW, everyone has new transformation sequences, which involve more nudity, and especially for Chris, some Perineum-Cam and Gainaxing.

Posted by: Mauser at June 12, 2016 07:33 PM (5Ktpu)

2 Episode 3: To start with, we see the attacks on Chris and Tsubasa progress to full stage MCSA. Tsubasa is able to re-clothe herself with bits from Maria's concert attire. But Chris, she's Kayoed, and by sheer luck, the two Loli's happened by and rescued her and Elfnein, wrapping Chris in a banner they stole.

The problem for the Lolis is that they don't actually have high compatibility with their Symphogear Relics, so using the power has harmful effects on them without the LiNKER serum the mad doc from Season 2 created. The effort leaves them sidelined.

The result is, after this conflict, SONG is reduced to one fighter, Hibiki, who hasn't been much of a fighter lately.

We learn some more names, the green chick with the sword is Phara, and the red one who hasn't been in action yet is Micha. Carol refers to them as "Autoscorers".

Back at headquarters, Elfnein is studied, and turns out to be a genderless Homonculous. This rather bothers Hibiki for some reason. She also reveals Carol's plan, which is to build an alchemical machine that will dissect the world in to itty bits. And it's almost completed.

Analysis of everyone's Relics is that they are damaged, and impossible to repair without the technology of the bad chick from Season 1. Their power core is intact, but the transformation parts are shot.

Elfnein has brought them a fragment of another relic, some sword, well, a chunk of the blade. How they will use it remains to be seen.

While walking with her classmates, Hibiki comes across a whole pile of life-drained people, and the blue Autoscorer, Garie is there, and responsible. Slightly earlier we saw what she does with the life force, she feeds it into Micha, who is not fully activated yet. Garie throws down some Alca-noise and fighting, er, Protecting ensues next episode!

This will probably figure in the future, but wasn't worth mentioning earlier, but there was a fourth girl among the bad girls in Season 2, only known in flashback. She and Maria were close, but she got cremated and crushed by the lab burning down. Maria carries her damaged relic around. Remembering that Maria originally had a second copy of Hibiki's "Gungunir" relic, which decided it liked her better, clearly the only way she's going to get back into action as shown in the credits is they figure out a way to fix ALL the crystals.

Oh yeah, and for some bizarre reason, right in the middle, there's a musical number in cooking class all about making Beef Stroganoff.

Posted by: Mauser at June 14, 2016 06:27 PM (5Ktpu)

3 Of the three series, this one is the best by yards.

In episode 4 Garie's ambush is in full flower, Hibiki and her schoolmates are surrounded by Acla-noise, and Garie is just WAITING for Hibiki to transform so she can destroy her Gear. But Hibiki has been having doubts about fighting, again - she only wants to use her power to help people. Well, Gear wants to fight I guess, and Hibiki suddenly isn't able to sing the words to transform.

Then comes a scene like I have never witnessed before. In a brilliant response to the ambush, one of the girls from the back says basically, "Hey, My friend and I aren't part of this group, we were just walking behind them, can we go?" And Garie is magnanimous, opens a break in her cordon, and BAM! All the girls run out. A chase ensues, and things look really bleak, but reinforcements arrive, in the form of one of the staff and Marie. (Some of the top staff members have really supreme kung-fu). Hibiki gets blasted, her relic goes flying. Marie makes the flying grab, and reunited with her former Gear, transforms into the black version of the Gungunier armor. However, she's not fully able to synchronize and the armor collapses after a very short fight. Garie is just about to put the coup-de-grace on her but decides this fight is beneath her and teleports home.

Back at the dorms, in the bed they share, Hibiki confesses her crisis of conscience with Miku. She doesn't want to hurt people with her singing, but she almost got her friends killed by not fighting. (This is SUCH a Japanese problem). Miku comforts her in the only way she knows how... by holding her hands, you pervs!

While Hibiki sulks and does homework, and while the Lolis and Maria visit the grave of their "Mom" and reminisce about their days in the "Orphanage" and being experimented on to develop LiNKER - providing important backstory - on the sub Elfnine briefs the boss and Tsubasa and Chris about the Autoscorers, and the relic she brought that should be able to beat them.

Miku and Hibiki are going for a nice walk through the city in the rain when they are ambushed by Micha. She chases them into a building under construction. It is mostly a hollow shell. Hibiki still can't perform, until Miku is directly threatened with obliteration (also dissection - Micha is sick, as well as silly and mental), at which point Miku finally comes up with the pep-talk necessary to get Hibiki to sing. And she comes back with a vengeance. It even looks like she's going to mop the floor with Micha. And yes, a mop and bucket would be appropriate. The final blow breaks up what turns out to be a water-based duplicate. Garie is there, and she apparently also has water-based powers (She's blue, so.. who coulda guessed?). Worse, this has positioned Hibiki directly over the real Micha, who has a blade-shooting power, who blasts Hibiki skyward, out the top of the building, hitting her directly in the crystal relic. It fails, and Hibiki's armor and costume start disintegrating as she plummets back to earth. It's a good 20 story fall. But she's still glowing a little as she impacts, so on that cliffhanger, we don't know if she's snuffed it or not, but it sure doesn't look good. The good guys are all out of fighters and weapons, so the only hope lies in this untested little homonculous and her stolen artifact.

And this is just 4 episodes in!

Posted by: Mauser at June 21, 2016 06:46 PM (5Ktpu)

4 Episode 5: Hibiki is in a coma, not dead. Miku is drifting in uncertainty because of her friend's condition. Elfnein is working diligently on upgrading Chris and Tsubasa's relics. So, this is the PERFECT time to have the sub's power plant up for service. The process takes a LOT of energy, so they're hooked up to these massive solar towers at the naval-ish base they're at. (All that power to drive a pencil-sized laser Elfnein is working with?)

So, Carol launches her attack. She has her autoscorers not only attack the solar tower, but all nearby power plants. If the power fails before the modifications are complete, DOOM!

Lots of regular soldiers are killed by waves of Alca-Noise. (Especially right after one mentions they seem to be holding them off.)

Who is left to defend the base? Well, the Two Lolis haven't had their relics destroyed yet. Now, they were sidelined because they have low compatibility with their Gears, but they have a plan! They sneak into the med section, and steal LiNKER, and do the best they can to fight off Micha and all her Noise.

It works for a while, but then they make the mistake of overdosing, and it's still not enough to win. And next thing you know, the Lolis have both been MCSA'd, and the AlcaNoise are moving in on Shirabe (The serious, dark-haired Loli) to kill her while Kiri lays there helpless and naked. All looks lost but Then!

Chris and Tsubasa arrive with their upgrades.

And the episode ends with a dramatic pose.

(Also, Hibiki wakes up in the middle of it all, and Elfnein had a flashback of Carol's memories for infodump purposes.)

Posted by: Mauser at June 26, 2016 07:29 PM (5Ktpu)

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