The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music…

Title: Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music…
Genre: Action
Company: Satelight
Format: 13 Episodes
Dates: 5 Jul 2013 – 27 Sep 2013

Synopsis: Months after Hibiki, Tsubasa, and Chris save the world from lunar annihilation, Fine has returned in the form of the beautiful foreign idol Maria Cadenzavna Eve. Maria’s allies Kirika and Shirabe hold the power of the dark Symphogear… can Hibiki and friends stop them?

The Highlights
Pacing: Moves at a reasonable pace to fill out 13 episodes nicely.
Antagonists: Far too likeable to be the real bad guys.
Style: Visually appealing, with caution and logic thrown asunder. More or less what you expect from an anime about idols singing songs that give them powers when fighting.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music… is one of those sequels that you absolutely need to watch the first season beforehand. Not because of the need to familiarize yourself with the characters or the premise; rather, it is so that you can appreciate how much better the visuals have gotten. But while it’s a huge improvement over the first season in terms of production quality, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G retains the chaotic storytelling and flaccid characters of its predecessor. Those who enjoyed the first season will be happy to find more of what they enjoy in the second, but for everyone else, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G is a largely forgettable sequel that does nothing to redeem the franchise.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G looks much better than its predecessor, but that’s not necessarily saying much. The first season was pathetically crude in terms of production. Characters in the background are hastily drawn, movement was jerky, and the quality of the art was several levels under par. This made climactic set pieces such as fights and concerts far less impressive than they should have been. Senki Zesshou Symphogear G has no such problems. The musical duet between Maria and Tsubasa in the first episode looks outstanding. Fight scenes look immersive and have much better camerawork. The swarms of enemies impart a great sense of scale. However, I would stop short of calling Senki Zesshou Symphogear G “beautiful”. While it is an artistic masterpiece compared to its own predecessor, the show looks average compared to its contemporaries. When characters are not singing or fighting, the anime looks pedestrian by all accounts.

Besides the passable production quality, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G is an unrefined mess. The plot is a convoluted quagmire of action clichés and logical discontinuities. The dialogue is clogged up with buzz phrases that are nonsensical because the show does a terrible job explaining them. During the climax the line “use the Frontier to project concentrated phonic gain toward the Moon, and restart the Lunar Ruins that sustain the curse of Balal!” is uttered. What do any of those words mean? I may have known if the show explained things in a way other than casual information dumps. Something would happen and an astounded observer would then react by exclaiming what just happened. Between groans and eyerolls, it’s hard to figure out what the dialogue or narrative is even there for.

Beyond these shortcomings, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G is marginally fun, especially during the first few episodes. Everyone has thematic, ridiculous moves that pause for an eyecatch every time they use it. The character designs are colorful and appealing, albeit unusual. Chris specifically has broken out in a much more prominent role this season and develops into one of the more memorable characters in the show. The songs are goofy, especially the fact that the characters sing them to give them power while fighting, but this anime is about idols saving the world with the power of music. I believe Senki Zesshou Symphogear G has the right to claim just a little refuge in audacity. Not enough to excuse the stilted dialogue, faux drama, paper-thin characters, and nonsense plot “developments”, but enough for us to laugh at how silly the characters’ powers are. I got through it without much problem.

The Rating: 5

Reviewed by: kevo

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