Welcome to Part 2 of my review of Symphogear where, as mentioned in my overall review of the (supposed) final season, I would go into more detail on the lead duo Hibiki and Miku’s relationship development. Think of this also as a Yuri Talk post.
Check out Part 1, the G-View (spoiler free), HERE.
Note: This post is not meant to change minds but tell readers my side of the story. All I ask is to be civil in the comments. Do not harass other people for not sharing your views.
Before we get to the main topic let us go over the 3rd most popular couple in the series (ShiraKiri are #2, or #1 for some). To me they were the Ruby X Weiss of the series (RWBY fans know what I am talking about), meaning they are the “wishful thinking” ship. Here is the thing. In my eyes their potential relationship development did not truly start until around Season 4/AXZ. In Season 2/G shippers were going crazy for Tsubasa X Christopher (Remember Maria, Kirika and Shirabe were antagonists then). In Season 3/GX it was “Team Christopher” vs “Team Maria”. I admittedly was on Team Maria. In Season 4/AXZ it was clear Maria “won” the battle of “getting to spend more personal time with Tsubasa”…which for viewers who saw the chibi extras (Season 2 and onward) knew Maria already had the advantage before her “rivalry” with Christopher began.
Speaking of the chibi extras fans who saw them know that they not only consist of cute comedy skits but an in depth look into the heroes and antagonists featuring extra tidbits about them not shown or really delved into in the main anime. When it comes to MariTsuba, apart from her spending a lot of time with Tsubasa as part of her missions (Maria became a secret agent of S.O.N.G. after serving her time alongside ShiraKiri), the two did not have many scenes of them being lovey dovey around each other compared to the other two couples.
Maria’s occasional uber blushing around her was the best we got. Tsubasa mainly saw her as a respectable equal on stage and on the battlefield and a friend.
Season 5 is where we finally started getting some progress from Maria showing the most concern for Tsubasa while being serious at the same time. She was the oldest member of Team Symphogear and she felt it was her duty to basically be the “dada” of the group while Christopher became the “mama”. As we recall Milaarc and Fudou messed with Tsubasa’s mind REALLY HARD, sending her into a deep depression bringing great doubt about her life purpose. She was trained from an early age to become a protector and little else. It was through fortunate circumstances she got to become a singer. Thanks to that she believed she could bring positive change to the world not only with her sword but her words. Unfortunately Milaarc and especially Fudou tried twisting her mind into a “survival of the fittest” mentality or that the Kazanari Family are the only ones strong enough to lead the weak. Maria was sent on a mission to stop Fudou and the not exactly brainwashed Tsubasa. She was authorized to kill if necessary but of course Maria was having none of that crap.
An already long story short Maria figured the best way to heal the heart of a warrior is approaching her like a fellow warrior. Basically it is ONLY NOW that a potential relationship can blossom between the two. Best we can hope for is the Season 5 chibi extras for more details and if possible a movie because we do not need a Season 6.
Ah yes. We now know for sure Maria is the “top/seme”.
Right then. Finally it is time for the main event.
I suppose the best place to start is the beginning where my heart knew it would become eternally invested in HibiMiku’s romance. It was in 2012, somewhere around…
…here. Episode 1 had a sign but when HibiMiku went bed I “squeed” loudly thanks to the girl I deemed “The Ultimate Lesbian Waifu”. Miku was never a trained fighter like her beloved eventual leader/ace of Team Symphogear who I dubbed Captain Bikkie (Thank you Captain Marvel movie), but there were moments here and there where she saved her captain be it via emotional support or a rescue in a dangerous situation. Seasons 1 and 2 showed a lot of development between the two. In S2 Miku played the “worried spouse” for half of the show but when the baddies got involved…
This emotional battle took place where the captain’s resolve was truly put to the test. The battle ended with the two somehow becoming potential vessels for a greater power. More on that in a bit.
In S3 Miku had a more “Go get ’em Tiger.” attitude toward her captain’s super heroics, being there for emotional support, listening to her and offering sage advice.
In S4 Miku again saved the captain from the darkness near the end showing how powerful she was despite not being a warrior.
Now we come to S5 and the critical point of their relationship. Fans remember in the first episode Miku bringing up the question of what would the captain do were she to be become a threat to the others. Then in the above image as Bikkie mentioned her parents having difficulty conveying super deep stuff to each other, Miku could relate.
Next we got the game changing argument at the karaoke bar. The captain suggested taking Tsubasa (and Elfnein) to a karaoke bar to help relief her stress. Miku thought it was a bad idea and the two had an argument, leading to the revelation that changed everything between the two. Miku talked about how much it hurt her all this time seeing Hibiki put her life on the line time and again while she stood on the sidelines praying she came back safely. She blamed herself for not being strong enough to stand by her side and have a “We protect each other” moment (another reference RWBY yuri fans will get). Most importantly she blamed herself for Hibiki involuntarily becoming a superheroine and starting all this.
For the longest time Miku was Hibiki’s “sunshine”. The one who was always by her side. The one who stuck with her when she was ostracized for being the “sole survivor” of the concert disaster in the beginning of the series. She was her best friend and most important person in her life. Her heart/conscience/source of sanity if you will. Remember this.
While recovering from a battle against a powerful enemy Hibiki had dream conversations with Miku (the first being an extended Ferris Wheel date) which was partially her heart guiding her brain to the truth. What I like to call the “heart knows what the brain does not” romantic obstacle.
Meanwhile Miku was captured and used as the vessel of a fallen demigod, Shem-Ha, for Fudou to control in order to take over the world. Shem-Ha of course had her own goals. After Fudou’s defeat she proceeded with her own plan to rule the world, or in her mind take back what she felt was hers. What is important here is the discovery that Miku’s inability to tell Hibiki her true feelings was partially what allowed Shem-Ha to possess her. The darkness inside her heart essentially. Somewhere in her heart she was like “maybe this is the way to get my message across”. Of course Shem-Ha had other plans.
Fast forward to the final battle as the captain led Team Symphogear and CaroNein to war against Shem-Ha. While the battle was vintage Symphogear awesomeness the most important part came here.
It was those words from Shem-Ha and Miku’s tears showing she was still fighting to regain control that helped our dear captain find the answer she was looking for.
And this dear readers is what I wanted when I told some that I hoped the writers would do the right thing. Whether we would get an on screen confession and/or kiss was not what I NEEDED to satisfy the long wait, no. I have watched enough shows with or centered around yuri to know how it all works. Sometimes we get a confession/and or kiss, other times the emotions are as clear as day where no words are needed. This was an example of the latter. All I wanted was for Hibiki and Miku to realize their true feelings for each other. For Miku it was to find the courage to have “THE CONVERSATION” with her beloved captain and for Captain Bikkie it was to realize Miku was not just her best friend but the girl she loved with all her heart and soul. That finally happened and the amount of joy in my bedroom was astronomical. Her love was so strong that as she was charging toward Shem-Ha at full power she was not thinking about saving the world but getting her beloved Miku back.
Afterward when Shem-Ha unleashed one final desperate attack we not only got to see Miku join the others to save the world but she got her “We protect each other” moment! Huzzah!
So am I upset we did not get to see THE CONVERSATION on screen? Not table throwing or hating on the writers but admittedly a little bummed. Would have definitely been nice to see.
After five seasons of buildup including the chibi specials…I already know how this conversation will go. By this point it was clear as day how it would end.
Again I am not expecting anyone to change their mind. I am simply sharing my thoughts on the whole thing and understanding what the writers were going for.
Better than Hibiki still being oblivious after all that happened. Then we would have had some problems. Of course they did not do that.
Still hoping for an extra OVA or movie showing how the four couples are doing. Yes, I ship Christopher X Elfnein. Who better to fill Elfnein’s heart after losing her first love…again.