I was really surprised that a third year of this show came out, owing to how things were, more or less, wrapped up, but “Senki Zesshō Symphogear GX” (“Superb Song of the Valkyries: Symphogear GX”) came out with much disappointment for me. I supposed I watched it to ‘officially’ close out the franchise, but it was tough going.
The ladies are now part of a group called S.O.N.G., who provides disaster relief around the world. Kind of like the “Thunderbirds”, but without being marionettes. The problem is that they are attacked by an autoscorer while facilitating a rescue. This is a doll (more like an automaton) bent on the destruction of all the Symphogear girls and it looks like they might succeed, as they are stronger, faster and better equipped. The series looks into how our sextet can defends themselves and the world against a new, more powerful, threat that can even destroy their armor.
But that’s a problem, as it seems every episode, the ladies are sprawled out, their powers no more effective than a Styrofoam sword. And with the enemy not only able to conjure up more Noise than before, they are of a tougher breed who push around the Symphogear like that, so the ladies are on the run for the entire series. On those rare occasions they manage to defeat a doll, it comes off more as sheer luck than a unified attack plan. It’s just that it got both boring and silly. For someone as ‘evil’ as Carol, it came off more like petulance and that she was doing her own version of “Mean Girls” or “Heathers” in seeking revenge against those that did her bad.
I never felt there was any dire problem or insoluble situation or overwhelming concern. It came off as a high-tech cat fight, whereas I can use massive whirling saw blades or gigantic stomping boots of doom to defeat my enemy, but never any kind of cataclysmic, world-destroying force afoot. I ran into a guy who adored this show, but I think he was clued into the transformation sequences and the rather flirty outfits. And the ending! Why does it take four or nine or 76 trombones to defeat the enemy? I know that it shows a unified force to protect and defend, but whatever happened to one-on-one confrontations? Doesn’t that kind of sap your message?
Well, at this point, I think the show is over, but if there is a fourth coming around, I will not attend, as this season was weak and not really thought out or planned well. Whatever “Symphogear” started out to be, it has morphed into something else that, in the end, could not hold up under pressure.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Strong character design and execution)
Plot 5 (Thin, thin, thin)
Pacing 7 (Too many fight sequences)
Effectiveness 6 (Gets tiresome)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but hasn’t ended, even though they say it’s over)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 7 (Got rather pathetic with results)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I sing my swan song.