Symphogear G ep6: magical girls don’t retire, they explode like a thousand suns!
In the span of one episode, the tables are turned, the hourglass is reset and once again Hibiki is the most fearsome creature on the planet!
Last episode’s cliffhanger is quickly resolved when we’re reminded that Symphogear didn’t study at the school of pretty prissy mahou shoujo like all the other good little magical girl shows. Mahou shoujo got its degree at the school of shounen battle manga, where lost limbs and death are only excuses to get stronger and kick more ass. The loss of Hibiki’s arm and the ensuing panic causes Hibiki to go berserk at the same time the Nephilim digests her arm and transforms into a larger evolved form. Amazingly, berserker Hibiki is able to regenerate her arm, much to everyone’s amazement. This leads to a ridiculous and brutal fight between the two literal monsters. A fight that the Nephilim is clearly losing.
The normal smug and calm Dr. Ver is left screaming and panicking like a crazed idiot from the Higurashi series, as his beloved and treasured Nephilim is massacred right in front of him, heart ripped out and thrown to the abyss! The Nephilim itself penetrated and blown into nothingness.
As anyone who has watched the first season knows, berserker Hibiki doesn’t just stop at victory, and it takes the pleading and restraints of her friends to get her to calm down and transform back to normal. Why they immediately did this I don’t know, it seems to make sense to me that they’d let her rip Dr. Ver into piece and retrieve Solomon’s Cane. But that doesn’t happen and the bastard gets away screaming and crying. Ugh!
Meanwhile, the girls in Fine are left conflicted after seeing the chaos outside. Though all the girls have been told they’re doing a good thing, it doesn’t feel or look like it from Dr. Ver’s action. Maria Cadenzavuna Eve can’t stand to watch and has to step away. Though she has to come right back because the old hag’s lung thing is acting up again, and they need Dr. Ver to help address her sickness. (You know, just because someone’s a doctor, it doesn’t mean they can address everything regarding science and medicine.) This leads us to the fall out phase of the episode.
With Hibiki retrieved and unconscious in the hospital, we see that she’s having a recurring dream where she feels guilt over surviving the Noise attacks, and persecution that comes with it. I’ll address this later…. *grumble grumble*
Fresh off temporarily addressing the issue of the moon falling to Earth, Genjuro meets privately with Tsubasa to address a new pressing issue. Through their diagnostic testing after Hibiki’s berserker episode, they’ve discovered that her relic has rapidly, intimately spread throughout her body. While this explains the insane amount of power that she’s able to produce, it also shows that her relic is taking over the very cells of her body and killing her. At the pace they’re fighting, she won’t last long. They decide to not let Hibiki fight any more, in order to save her life.
Tsubasa then goes outside and harshly delivers the news to Hibiki. She does this in a way someone might send an attached pet out into the wild. Chris isn’t in on this, so she’s goes off on Tsubasa just discharging Hibiki like that. But it’s all for naught. With that, she’s no longer a part of the fighting force, and can go back to having a normal school life.
The story then switches back to the bad guys, where we see that Dr. Ver has happened across the still beating heart of the Nephilim. While the two young girls have been sent out to find him while the old hag recovers in the stealth helicopter (ugh) with Maria Cadenzavuna Eve.
Hibiki’s normal high school life doesn’t last long though. As she attempts to recover from her honorable discharge from duty with her girlfriend Miku and their often-in-the-wrong-place friends, we see them walk right into another disaster. Dr. Ver has shown up again, spamming Noise around the area in an attempt to protect his precious Nephilim heart. But his previous experience with berserker Hibiki has left him with a crippling phobia of the little girl. And discharged or not, there’s nothing that’s gonna stop Hibiki from protecting her friends.
End of episode.
That was a fun, though clumsy experience. When I say clumsy, I’m talking about stuff like how no one tried to stop Dr. Ver while he scrambled away. It would be a simple matter for Tsubasa to just hop on over to him and take him out while he’s panicking, then hop back over. And then there’s the terrible way they handled telling Hibiki she can’t fight anymore. Again, the tactics are justified, I can’t imagine Hibiki to willingly stop fighting. Hell, the very end of the episode proved that point. But I still think it could have been handled better, more intelligently. Then there’s the whole thing about bullying someone who survived a disaster. Though that may be more my disgust with people seeping through, than my problem with the show’s logic. Then again, I should know better than to try to project some level of subtlety and nuance to this franchise. Those things have never existed in this show, and I can’t expect them to appear just because I like it and want to hold it to some higher arbitrary standard. I watch this show because I want to see these girls beat sh*t up and look cool singing while they do it. I haven’t watched this show for a moment expecting deep dialogue and clever writing.
The situation regarding Hibiki’s story is pretty sad, though something that probably should have been expected. i don’t believe the first season totally addressed the situation with Hibiki’s embedded relic, nor her berserker tendencies. In a way, we
have been seeing what the Nephilim can do since the first season because that’s exactly how Hibiki acts when she changes.
It will be interesting to see how this show marches towards its conclusion with things getting fragmented halfway into the series. I don’t doubt for a moment that there will be a falling out between Maria Cadenzavuna Eve, the girls and Dr. Ver, probably the moment the old hag dies. He’s unhinged as hell, and I’m not sure what his final aim is, but it’s definitely not the mere salvation of Earth. I just wonder if Fine will beat him to it.
Note: My 400th blog post! Woo-hoo! Incredible!