337th G-View: Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ

I am running out of ways to introduce this series so I will keep it brief. This is my review of Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ, aka Symphogear 4.

Reviews of seasons 1-3:

Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ Poster.jpg

Full Title: Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ: By shedding many tears, the reality you face is…

Genres: Action, Magic, Science-Fiction

Themes: Ecchi, Fighting, Music, Mecha Musume, Yuri

Number of episodes: 13

G-Rating: 10/10

Plot Summary: This time Team Symphogear must contend with members of the P/Bavarian Illuminati, who are secretly the higher ups that supplied several of the show’s antagonists with the weapons needed to fulfill their plans while unknowingly fulfilling the Illuminati’s own goals. Think of it as Symphogear vs Marvel’s H.Y.D.R.A.

Team Symphogear ready for battle.jpg

Team Symphogear are back for another round of awesomeness.

The short answer of what people can expect from Symphogear 4 is the following: Not only is it my favorite season of the series by far but it solidified Senki Zesshou Symphogear as one of my favorite anime of all time.

Now for the long answer. Symphogear 4 is more of the same, meaning epic logic defying fights, an awesome soundtrack, nice character development that, while dramatic, does not go overboard and of course yuri couples whose love is so obvious that fans are just biding their time waiting for them to kiss on screen. What made it stand out however is how much there was featured in it. So much happens this season and not once did it feel crammed. Also the first and last episodes had different flows to them. What I mean is that there is a tradition when it comes to how each season of Symphogear starts and ends. Each first episode up to season 4 featured a Tsubasa concert and each finale had a final boss fight that had a similar climax. Not this time. There was no Tsubasa concert and the finale went in a different direction than anticipated. What we did get in the start and finish was still awesome though. Now as far as the tradition of referencing two particular characters at least once, that one remains intact. Longtime fans will know exactly which two ladies I am referring to.

Chris deep in thought

“The Chronicles of Chris’ eternal torture” continued this season.

Continuing the topic of traditions we go to the drama portion of the show, specifically something I like to call “The Chronicles of Chris’ Eternal Torture”. Yes doods and peeps, once again Chris had to face her past demons and, while sad that she STILL had not found inner peace, it was interesting to see how she approached it this time around. Another group who had to face their past once more was Maria’s Squad (Maria, Kirika and Shirabe). Like Chris it was interesting to learn a bit more about the squad’s past despite already knowing the gist of it. Think of it as “extra DLC that filled in some gaps and revealed a bit more about the trio”. Hibiki and Tsubasa already faced most of their past demons in season 3 so they focused more on facing present and future intrapersonal challenges. Basically the series’ drama was still there and it was balanced, meaning viewers could feel the girls’ struggles and cheer them on to overcome it and the show did not go overboard with it.

Saint Germain, Cagliostro and Prelati

The three most prominent antagonists: Saint-Germain, Cagliostro and Prelati.

The antagonists this time are a trio of Alchemists I referred to as the “Agents of Illuminati” led by Saint-Germain. The other two are the voluptuous Cagliostro and the petite Prelati. Like past antagonists they are not truly evil and have noble goals but the methods used to achieve said goals are what makes them not very nice for the most part. That of course does not stop our heroines from trying, as usual, to reason with them. Now what makes Saint-Germain’s partners interesting is who they used to be. However, who they used to be is subtly referenced every now and then from what they say and some key words in the episode title or phrases. Simply put, unless the viewer looked up Cagliostro and Prelati’s profiles online they would not really know who they used to be. Thing is, who they used to be is not that important to the main plot or their own subplots. What matters to them is who they are in the present and helping Saint-Germain achieve her goals. I imagine some might be disappointed that part of their characters is not deeply explored but I personally am cool with it because it is not a made a huge deal of. They are happy and proud of who they are in present time and that is the message they want to convey to viewers who paid attention and/or read their profiles.

There are two other antagonists but unlike the agents they are irredeemable douches who need not be elaborated upon. There are a few interesting aspects about the two but it is best for viewers to see for themselves. Moving on.

Maria cheering up Elfnein

Elfnein worked hard to prove that she is a worthy addition to the cast since her debut last season.

The side-characters also got their time in the spotlight. Next to Elfnein who played a big role helping out our heroines characters who did not get to do much in season 3, such as Chief Akuma (Genjuro) and Ninja Guy were given a chance to remind viewers why they are badasses and the only reason they cannot be of more help to the Symphogear Warriors on the battlefield is because they are not equipped to fight the Noise. When it comes to non-Noise or magically enhanced enemies however…

I would also like to give a small nod to how this season connected past events, especially from seasons 2 and 3, to what was happening at this point of the story. Very cool, especially for fans who have paid attention or marathoned the first seasons in preparation for this one.

Drill of Justice

Drill of Justice!

On to the animation and soundtrack. The animation has not changed very much because it is already excellent. The action scenes are par for the course as they remain some of the most gloriously over the top showcases of unadulterated awesomeness in all anime. Four seasons in and this show STILL FINDS WAYS of making my jaw drop. The show knows it is over the top, ridiculous and is not at all ashamed to push the boundaries of “screwing over realism” while staying true to the rules set in their world. The music, as always, is magnificent. The insert songs are still some of the best tunes in anime and the lyrics are still powerful.

Miku watching Hibiki eating

Miku gets a lot more to do in season 4 compared to the very small role she had in season 3.

The power of love

Kirika and Shirabe’s love is as strong as ever.

The yuri is as strong as ever giving fans numerous “JUST KISS ALREADY!” moments between the two most prominent couples so far in HibiMiku and ShiraKiri. Unlike last season where Miku did not get to do much, this time she had various moments to show why she is STILL the Ultimate Waifu and one of the strongest members of Team Symphogear despite not being a Symphogear Warrior most of the time. Shirabe and Kirika are still doing what they do best, being an incredible tag team and singing songs about how much they love each other while fighting the Noise and anything else that gets in their way. The third couple, TsubaMari took a backseat this time around but they still reference their strong bond every now and then. As for Chris…viewers will have to see for themselves if she found a lucky lady.

Overall Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ/4 is my favorite season of the show thus far and it solidified Symphogear as one of my favorite anime of all time. It is more of the same but like Hyperdimension Neptunia (the main series to be exact) it keeps getting better and better with each new entry. Symphogear is not the most psychological or thought provoking but what it does it excels at like few can, being a Summer Blockbuster quality series on a consistent basis. Every member of the cast got their time to shine, the character development from small to big were all well done, the action scenes and soundtrack still delivered and the yuri was as strong as ever…possibly having become even stronger this season. Again, like its (I am positive about this!) inspiration, the Nanoha franchise, the couples are obviously canon and all fans are doing is waiting for them to “ascend to heaven”. Highly recommended to longtime fans of the series and mecha musume enthusiasts. People who did not like either of the previous seasons however…do not expect this one to change your minds…

PS: Tsubasa is still my #1. So hot, so badass.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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22 Responses to 337th G-View: Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ

  1. Ivn says:

    So Im not the only one thinking this was the best of this season, lol.
    A shame not all people think that way, or maybe they haven’t watched this at all.

    For me this season made Symphogear one of my favs too, hell, I even rewatched all the past seasons before the last episode of axz aired. Funny enough by doing this I came to realize the writers done a pretty good job with the series, every piece starts to fit somewhere in each of the seasons, sure there are some cheap tricks here and there (just my opinion), but its something almost every anime has, it mades me think the writters had all planed for this 5 seasons, and yes I know season 5 hasn’t aired, but everything is connecting little by little and I think they planned that far.

    Also, the last episode this season really felt like a cliffhanger, and thats expected since this season will be linked to season 5 more than the others have to each other in the past, they ended with a ‘to be continued’ instead of ‘fin’/’the end’.

    One last thing, and this it may be a spoiler for those that havent watched the last episode. Or maybe Im going crazy but I think not.

    *****spoiler*****
    Those on the miku train Im now 90% sure this train is arriving at its destination on time, and now its going full throttle. Or at least im pretty sure about that.

    That last part just made me explode from overhype. Also thwyre going to have to change the tittle from senki zesshou symphogear to senki saint hibiki adventure axz.

    At this point awesome cant even fully describe this series.

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      I loved this season to bits. No one will change that for me.

      The connections are all much appreciated.

      Of course it ended with a “to be continued”. Why else would two seasons be announced at the same time?

      The hype for season five is real, so very real.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m fairly sure Nanoha and Madoka are still holding onto their respective spots of #1 and #2 on my “favorite series of all time” list, but…Symphogear is sure a strong contender for #3, at the very least. Amazing. That’s all I can say. Not much else to add, really, that I can put into words at least.. This season was pure awesomeness. And all the little plot-points from earlier seasons tying in together now into one awesome main plot!

    Awesomeness including the JoJo/Fist of the North Star reference at the end of the season. Not many magical girl series (basically none bar Nanoha (possibly) can pull of that kind of reference and succeed). Hibiki, never change.

    Also spoiler stuff:

    #MikuSeason5GearHype
    #AllthehypeforS5
    (Summer2018 cannot come fast enough if that’s when we’ll get S5.)
    (I heard on a comment chain for the last episode that the director of Symphogear actually originally had planned for Miku to not get a Gear again, but then, upon seeing her new Gear form in the mobile game, decided to go for it anyway. I approve of this decision. Very Much.)

    But just imagine if Miku gets a new Gear, now that we also know how exactly Gungnir works on Hibiki (or what Gungnir is, basically), and that both Hibiki and Miku have the Curse of Balal removed from them + their love for each other + Drive = Something I am supremely hyped for, and that will probably be something that needs to be seen to be believed.

    Also, I wonder if Hibiki getting purified/the Curse of Balal removed back in season 2 was actually partly the reason she was able to pick up and use Maria’s Gungnir so easily afterwards? Also, of course, explains a lot of the other later stuff Hibiki has been able to do. Somewhat. She’s still awesome beyond belief, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      I know your love for Nanoha runs deep. Good franchise to have as one of your favs.

      Yup. Nicely done connecting events of past seasons with the ones in season 4.

      Hibiki spits in the face of logic because she is THAT DAMN AWESOME!

      As I told Ivn the hype for season 5 is super high! Oh the possibilities. I cannot WAIT TO SEE IT ALL UNFOLD BEFORE OUR VERY EYES (most likely) NEXT SUMMER! This is a Summer blockbuster style series after all.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ivn says:

      I can understand the director making that decision, in my opinion that gear is awesome. Which reminds me I still need to get my hands on it.(F$Β’k RNG)

      Summer 2018!! I dont think I can wait that much.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ivn says:

    On another note I would expect the studio to make another Zesshoushinai OVA now that 2 more seasons have passed. Or maybe they’re waiting for 5 to come out. Unless I’m incorrect no OVA came after S3.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. FantasyGirlKanna says:

    That’s another great season! I’ve been waiting for this season to end so I can watch it continuously and not be left hanging every week…I don’t regret it one bit πŸ˜€ I really thought those three would join the team, especially Saint-Germain to be a possible ship for Hibiki but it’s really Miku all the way…not that I have any problems with it they’re my OTP in this show after all…..oh and there’s Maria x Tsubasa too so it’s TTP lol πŸ˜›

    I really love how they connect everything from the past seasons to the current one. And despite all the freaking issues they have to deal with everything’s not rushed, like you said it doesn’t feel crammed. Also you mentioned that Miku had more to do in this season, I think that’s because she’s probably going to be part of the team in the next season based from the last part of the last episode πŸ˜€ Either that or she’ll be used once again by the enemy….or just have waaay bigger role in general. Well no matter what it I’m definitely looking forward to it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Keep in mind HibiMiku are practically married. We’ll probably get more TsubaMari next time.

      Yup. Most fans are hoping she’ll join the others on the battlefield next season.

      Liked by 3 people

      • FantasyGirlKanna says:

        Yup HibiMiku already are married πŸ˜€ I sorta want to see Miku jealous lol πŸ˜› But I guess with how the show is, I don’t think they’ll have such time for that πŸ˜›

        I do hope she joins them properly this time and not be used by the enemy as a weapon like last time πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Understandable.

      Yeah. That would be annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Keitchup says:

    Holy shizzles! I agree with you, this season is the best so far. I loved the way things ended. I was somehow getting tired of the finale patterns (not complaining, those episodes are still awesome) and I’m glad they decided to switch things up. I did not see that coming. As I’ve been saying before, this show never loses its charm and you’ll just end up wanting more.

    I’m just quite sad the Alchemists were gone for good. I was hoping to see more of them. But their exit was done so well I have no issues. The yuri this season is great as well. You know there are a lot of moments perfect for a kiss between the couples. But I don’t really need an on-screen kiss to confirm their relationship, it’s just for an omega squee.

    When is Season 5 airing? That last scene was the ultimate hype the show can give. The producers must have caught on the fans’ requests to see the ultimate waifu don her battle gear and join the battlefield once more. I’m so excited.

    P.S.
    Yes, Tsubasa is also my number 1. What a fine woman that graced our lives with her perfection. I loved her out of character glee over the tomato her girlfriend fed her.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      It was certainly a different kind of finale and a welcome one at that.

      Yes. Their departure was a bittersweet one. At least they went down in a blaze of glory.

      Pretty much. Don’t need kisses to confirm their love but it would be great seeing them kiss.

      Looking forward to seeing what role Miku will play next season and if she does end up joining her beloved on the battlefield.

      YES! Tsubasa is GLORIOUS!

      Like

  6. yurimylove says:

    let’s hope “5th time’s a charm”, break the MariMite curse and get us the delicious yuri kiss in S5 πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nick says:

    When I first started this show I never thought it would get another season, let alone 4 more. I”m honestly surprised just how much this show has grown over the years and has gotten better and better each time. Just the action alone is so crazy and over the top yet I love it so much. The battles they fight and the enemies they encounter don’t even make sense at times, but who the hell cares? It’s so damn fun to watch and you can’t help but get caught up in the hype each ep brings.

    Like you mentioned, Chris getting more back story and such was great to see. Well not great as seeing her suffering isn’t fun, but seeing her character get fleshed out more is always a welcoming sight.

    Other points I liked about this season are of course the music. I mean this show is all about the music and songs and once again they delivered on that big time. Just a side point here, but watching the Commie release is always a treat. I love how they sub the songs (especially the duets with the dual colored subs) and just the general typesetting they use. It’s the small things like that which make watching fansubs so much fun and for 4 seasons now they’ve made each ep a treat to watch.

    And of course the yuri side of this show is heating up as always. I really hope we get a kiss in S5. I mean by now it kinda warrants one. It felt like all the lyrics of each song, especially ShiraKiri, were about how much they love each other and there are moments when I’m literally on the edge of my seat waiting for them to kiss because it’s all leading up to that, but so far no. It’s gotta happen, it needs to happen.

    Lastly Miku making a comeback for next season. Pardon me as a scream for a moment: S5 HYYYYYYYYYYYYYYPPPEEE!!!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!! Okay enough screaming. But seriously, Hibiki and Miku are long overdue to kiss, I mean come on they need to show them kissing at least once. That will be the icing on the cake for this show.

    Okay, sorry for the long comment but I’ve been waiting to share my thoughts for a while now. Excellent season and I can’t wait for one final outing for this show. Saying “go big or go home” doesn’t really work with this show as they’re always going big. For S5 they need to take things to the absolute maximum and go completely all out. End with the biggest, most memorable ep ever and make it be one of those anime we’ll be talking about for years to come. Symphogear is totally capable of that, I hope they realize that too and give us what we’ve all been waiting for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      That’s what Symphogear does best and one of many reasons why fans love it so much: It runs wild all over logic and delivers Summer blockbuster worthy action scenes time and again.

      Poor Christopher was doomed to suffer for a long time. Hopefully she finally found inner peace after this season.

      The soundtrack always delivers.

      Hopefully in S5 the stakes will be so high our lovely couples will get caught up in the moment and finally express themselves the way we all know they want to so very badly. One thing is for sure, the hype for S5 is at an all-time especially when it comes to Miku’s role. Summer 2018 has a mega hype show waiting for us alongside the Kase-san OVA.

      Like

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