Symphogear G - Reviews

Alt title: Senki Zesshou Symphogear G

ialex32's avatar
Aug 24, 2022

Symphogear is about high school, magical girls who activate their powers through singing, and their battle against Noise, evil creatures controlled by vindictive magical girls. Due to the activation and control of these relics through sounds, these magical girls also "moonlight" as idol singers. The plot armor for why high school girls save the world is that ancient relics can only be activated through certain frequencies, which only certain chosen ones possess. Closing the distance between yourself and your symphogear increases your power, and there are a few pure relics only a chosen few can possess, wielding nearly unlimited power.

Is the plot made up on the spot? Of course. Is anything ever explained? No. Stock footage? Check. Dramatic voice lines? Check. Signature moves? Check. Transformation sequences? Check. Comic fanservice? Check. Leery camera angles? Check. Undefeatable finishing move? Check. Vague platitudes? Check. Action training sequence? Check. Impossible physics? Check. Stripperific outfits? Check. Magical stripping to unlock superpowers? Check. Undercover spy? Check. Chosen one? Check. Improbably well-endowed women? Check. Creepy bath scenes? Check. Boob closeups? Check. Gratuitous boob jiggling? Check. Groin shots? Check. Boobs larger than a character's head? Check. Nudity for the ending credits? Check. Lesbian for the camera? Check. Save the cat? Check.

But Symphogear is awful outside of just the horrendous plot and fan service. An emotionally and physically abusive mom is repeatedly framed as loving, with her children missing just how great she was after her death. Even though she even subjected them to medical experimentation, she's framed as actually good because she cries while she abuses her children. Abuse isn't a character flaw as long as you have good intentions while you carry it out, since it's simply tough love. It doesn't matter that they're child soldiers to carry out terrorism as long as you love them.

Even if you ignore all its problematic elements and incoherent plot, Symphogear is still terrible. Despite the increased animation budget of later seasons, the fight scenes are just as lifeless and uninspired as ever. Rather than do anything creative, the creators seem content with new transformation stock footage, shinier graphics, and incessant boob jiggles. Their commander catches a barrage of bullets flying at him with all the excitement of catching someone's car keys. The protagonist's punch, which normally can pierce metal and destroy rock, doesn't even graze him. Dramatic collisions overshadow fluid fight scenes. Effortless attacks can wipe out an entire battalion of enemies. Epic battle scenes include the protagonist throw punches in the same place without moving while yelling top of her lungs for a full minute. The "high-octane action" is less inspired and creative than golf.

Symphogear is atrocious and haphazardly combines classic shounen tropes into a mindless mess of a story. There's the audience surrogate, a weeb girl who relates everything to anime. There's a scantily clad villain sensually torturing her pawn as character development. The 55 pound school girl lets her fists do the talking. The soundtrack is a generic blend of up-tempo synthpop. Symphogear is peak anime, everything from the awful objectification of minors to gratuitous fan service to mindless action sequences, so its target audience will love it.

Is it good? Absolutely not. Is it worth watching? Absolutely not. Does it at least execute the overused plot devices it contains well? Also no. Symphogear being not "not bad" is about the strongest praise I can give it. It's budget Kill la Kill, with a high-octane magical girl story that doesn't take itself seriously. Unfortunately, Symphogear has all of Kill la Kill's of the problematic elements and few, if any, of its upsides. The plot, action, and music are generic, incoherent, and dull. Cutting the entire creative department and replacing it with footage from a Grand Theft Auto playthrough would be an improvement in every regard. Worse, this show gets progressively creepier as it goes along, seemingly unwilling to spend more than 5 minutes without leering at minors.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
1/10 overall
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