After the frontier incident, everyone who knew the circumstances believed the Noise were gone and the pain they caused was at an end. But a new conflict approached unseen. In the Yokohama Harbor Oosan-bashi Pier, a new pattern is detected that is similar to the Noise. A combat group wielding mysterious technology stands in the way of Hibiki and the others. When she hears of this enemy of unprecedented strength, Tsubasa hurries back home from England. But the Symphogear users see no opening to counterattack and are forced into a difficult fight. In this situation of extreme disparity, the battle for the song that will end the world begins.
Ah, Symphogear GX, a show that people may have forgotten by now. It’s one of the more underrated series this year and honestly not surprising. GX is the third season of the series’ trilogy that began from the original series. And by story standards, a lot has evolved since then. I’ll state the obvious for now. Watching the previous season is absolutely necessary as you will be completely lost if you come into GX fresh.
Hibiki and her friends are now much more experienced in using their technology while gaining respect for one another with as new friends. If you remember the events of the second
season (Symphogear G), they came in conflict with the mysterious Symphogear users composed of Maria, Shirabe, and Kirika. Now that their conflict has resolved, there seems to be a peace in their world. Or is it? Unfortunately, the third season introduces a new threat.
The third season establishes a story where the new enemies are no pushovers. Led by a mysterious girl coming from the world of alchemy named Carol, she wishes to bring the world into despair. This also introduces the Autoscorers, mysterious fighting warriors named after holy archangels who support her ambition. The story turns deadly as their first encounter with Hibiki’s friends show the testimony of their power. For what’s worth, the third season makes it clear that the new antagonists are capable of destroying the world. As the story progresses though, startling revelations are discovered when we learn more about their goals. As generic as it sounds, Symphogear GX does able to entertain the audience with its sheer ability to craft conflict.
Similarly, the conflict extends more than just the fighting between the two sides. There is an abundant amount of interpersonal issues as well such as with Maria’s background, Hibiki’s relationship with her father, Tsubasa’s tragic past, or Chris’ own self-doubt. Symphogear GX makes connections with the previous seasons as it hopes to remind viewers the purpose of what the characters are doing. By doing so, I think the show has a firm grasp at characterizing the characters. Unfortunately, the story itself is quite predictable with each progressing episode. Some resolutions are swift while the buildup can be a mixed bag. And like the previous season, there’s comedy in it as well although most of it has some ill-timing.
The show still maintains a nice amount of visual artwork. From a visual standpoint, it actually improved especially compared to the first season. Character designs looks steady and is resourcefully decorated. The transformation scenes are focused with a good amount of highlight. Fan service on most parts is light while replaced by full throttle action, most of which features well-coordinated cinematics. It’s also noticeable that some of the new enemies are almost unlike anything the first two seasons. Their designs bring a colorful yet malevolent intention with their presence. Finally, some of the newer battle gear that the Symphogear users looks quite stunning.
At the core of Symphogear is the music. It’s one of the strongest points of the show as main characters each has their own signature song. And on most parts, I think it’s attentive enough to keep the momentum of a fight going. Even Carol gets her own character song as well because she is the Big Bad. Likewise, the OST is performed with a lot of tense moments that dictates what Symphogear GX is – a show that combines music and action into a battle extravaganza.
Symphogear GX may have ended but it’s made some memorable moments. Its storytelling isn’t exactly the best but sticks to the point throughout each episode while getting the fans to anticipate for more. Anyone who is also interested in the music will find that GX will be a nice treat to the ears. By the time you finish watching this show, it might bring somewhat of a nostalgic feeling to know that it’s all over. It’s just a nice little present to give back to the fans.
I'll first start by saying I love this series due to how over the top everything is. It's the definition of "turn your brain off and it becomes awesome" anime, a popcorn anime in the most affectionate of definitions.
I loved the first season, disliked most of the second season, and LOVED about 70% of the third season. The remaining 30% was either meh, or too absurd and poorly done to even be able to turn your brain off enough to enjoy it. Episode 6 of GX was by far the best episode in any anime this season, for what it is; it rivals even
the best of the year. You know the feeling when the side-crew are getting stomped, not even Piccolo can help them and Goku is in recovery? He comes back and unleashed a flurry of badassity that causes your blood to pump and your hairs to stand on edge.
That was Hibiki in episode 6, it was such a great episode and despite the first episode being the best opener, and the episodes 2-5 being decent in their own right, episode 6 destroyed any of my thoughts that suggested GX wouldn't be prime Symphogear.
Then, sadly some amusing characters died, a character is brought back from S2 as more or less a plot-shield to keep the show going, and oh my god was I ever wrong with episode 6. The final episode of this show was absolutely abysmal.
It literally felt like the writers were fed up with the show and just wanted it to be over with, the tense build up in the previous episodes, killing off the two new characters with decent character designs, all culminated into a "With our powers combined... GIANT FIST ATTACK!" which would be cool if there were a legit explanation for it, which there wasn't.
Then you have a weird lead-in to a possible fourth season...
I was expecting to be really bummed that Symphogear was ending, after finishing it, I felt totally cool with it.
Not to mention that last scene.... that was really awkward.
However, for the amount of fun I had through the show, if this does get a fourth season I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but if this were the finale of Symphogear as a series, then I don't recommend Symphogear to anyone, period. That was one of the worst final episodes I have ever seen, and this is coming from someone who loves this show despite it's many, many flaws.
So after G, LA wanted more from this series, did GX outdo G, or did it go back to the first season shenanigans?.
GX left off from G introducing us to some new villains, by the name of Carol voiced by ''Inori Minase'' and her four "dolls".
In terms of characters, LA will say that for the main cast up to G, the main cast do get their own episodes to develop them (as well as their interactions between them), with special regards going to Hibiki's and Tsubasa's parental problems being dealt with. Shirabe and Kirika relational development goes full out yuri undertones as well as
their misunderstandings from that gets addressed further, while Maria goes through her hangups of her sins (like Chris did in G) she did in G and finally Chris' development as trying to protect Shirabe and Kirika, overall for the hero side things, it feels like many of the character developments gets swapped around with other characters (besides Hibiki's and Tsubasa's anyways).
The villains however there are only one to really focus on that being Carol and her motivations, it's explained however it "nearly" went into a mess, if not it could have been handled a bit better, the four dolls LA mentioned before however are nothing but plot devices to move the plot forward. Overall in terms of characters, interactions and development, if you wanted more growth from the main Symphogear cast then GX delivers.
In terms of animation, once again helmed by Satelight, LA will say for the most part, the battle pieces were even higher detail than G (and all the more bombastically batshit insane at times), LA however did some rare facial derps/body anatomy quality dips here and there but LA can ignore it as it's still "rare".
The music once can get HUGE props for this season, from all the singer/voice actors of the Symphogears did an outrageously great job for their character portrayals and battle OST singing (those once again being Aoi Yuuki, Nana Mizuki, Ayahi Takagaki, Yoshino Nanjo, Ai Kayano, Yoko Hisaka and the newly added Inori Minase) where to the point LA saw the battle OST of this season being the best of the entire series, the new OP ''Exterminate'' sung by Nana Mizuki is a personal favourite in terms of musical score, however LA will say that G's ''Vitalization'' has a special spot for LA still, Exterminate is at best at 2nd in terms for openings, the battle OST's overall considering which character you like or the style of music, the OST is stellar and expected of this series.
Now onto the technical features of this season, in terms of plot twists, considering how much faster pace this season brings forth much more than G did, the plot twists just comes outta nowhere including an old villain coming back and just ruining LA's day, LA "gets" the the plot twist and these kind of twists are something of a staple in the Symphogear series, but it really does goes from either "too convenient" to outright "batshit crazy YOU just HAVE to accept it".
Because of the fast pacing however LA will note that although LA really likes the further development of the main cast, some of the characters' development gets done pretty quickly not even giving LA time to breathe from certain character developments, those being Tsubasa's and Hibiki's issues getting resolved just like that. Chris however gets some pretty jumpy character development and a lack of focus at times. The other new character that got introduced to GX Elfnein voiced by ''Misaki Kuno'', however gets good character development and somewhat predictable plot twists involving her but she becomes her own character nonetheless.
LA will point out that the newer "gimmick" to this season that being the Ignite Module did bring us a new transformation that is oddly reminiscent of Maria, Shirabe and Kirkia's previous Symphogear color palette just more sharper and the "use" for the Ignite Module becomes rather predictable as to what Carol is planning, but nonetheless it brings up lore that was mentioned back in the first season and LA will praise this little feature for actually having a purpose other than moving the plot (and instead giving us something of character evolution for the Symphogear main cast).
Now the fanservice is even more rampant more than G, with just more full body nudity to boob bounces, it however is nothing to rage about as although the fanservice is as rampant as ever it's still rare and isn't the primary focus.
The battle scenes however LA will be completely honest, that almost all the battle set pieces are UP TO AN ELEVEN from G, perfect example is the first episode of this season and the final battle set piece.
The ending by all means blew LA away with an even more bombastic final battle than G's and did a nice epilogue of every character, in which they resolved EVERY plotline of this season, LA was once again satisfied with this ending although the little plot twist with Elfnein did surprise LA.
So LA posed a question at the start of this review, is this season gonna surpass G's or be like the inconsistent mess of the first season, well...with all the nitpicking and praising LA had with this season. LA enjoyed this season more than the first season but only misses out of the best season of this series to G with some of the negatives LA pointed out, however if it not for this season's ending it could have gotten to be like the first season's or worse. GX is an enjoyable bombastic, musically charged season bringing in both the flaws and strengths of the previous two seasons and ultimately succeeding in giving us another welcoming installment to the Symphogear series.
I awaited this season eagerly, and was awarded with a pile of puss filled garbage compared to the rest of the series. I have enjoyed this show so much, with Symphogear G being one of the best action shows I have watched, but GX is so atrocious in comparison, I really wish I had not remembered it as of recent. It was a foot-dragging drudgery to go through this season, one that I could not recommend to even the most horrible of people.
This season has very little going for it, as few characters are introduced, and those that they re-use have already been developed quite
thoroughly (Hibiki, Tsubasa, Kirika, Chris, etc), so it's the same old "jazz" to see them overcome problems (in the same fashion as every series term prior), with their friendships held between one-another. The art nearly made me nearly vomit on multiple occasions, with extremely poor transitions and grossly incomprehensible battle scenes, which were comprised of discordant choreography and many flashing or overused colors (seasons prior used many of the same colors in battles with beams and swords, but did so in a much more appropriate way with the audience's perspective in mind(this time it is just no fun to look at)). The music was just kind of "ok", nothing really stuck out for me in the sound track this time around (which is a bad sign for a show about good music). These many factors really tore apart my original love for the series, as this season is the last in my mind related to the show.
If you are brand new to this show, watch this season's anime first, then watch the first season, and end with G, as it will leave the best impression seeing worst to best.