Hello everybody and welcome to the penultimate episode of Symphogear G. Where characters switch sides just so that we have an excuse to have them fight each other.
In our last episode, Shirabe is shown to be in the custody of the SDRTST while we're informed that both Shenshoujin and Gungnir were destroyed by Miku's battle with Hibiki. This is treated as a good thing, since it means Hibiki is no longer in danger of burning up and possibly killing them all in a fiery explosion. However, this means they're short two power armored magical girls, as Chris has defected for some unknown reason, leaving Tsubasa behind to deal with the situation on her own. So, basically, standard operating procedure.
But it gets worse. Frontier is actually a floating island, and it proceeds to do just that by grabbing hold of the Moon and using that as an anchor. But physics still exists in this world, so the act of moving such a mass means the Moon is going to hit the Earth Sooner. Something that Maria is against, since they haven't started preparations to rescue people. I suspect Dr. Ver doesn't really care at this point, since he used some of the Nephilim's cells to transform his arm into a Nephilim, which gives him control rights over Frontier. And he had such a trustworthy face, too.
Realizing that Tsubasa has a difficult task ahead of her, Hibiki, all loving hero who has a charisma stat so high it makes Paladins want to roll her stats, convinces Shirabe to help them in their hour of need. She accepts, because of Hibiki, and off she goes into battle, with Hibiki bumming a ride off of her. And this is why, when you want Hibiki to stay somewhere, you put her on a short leash.
This leads to our two battles, the first between Kiri and Shirabe, and the second between Chris and Tsubasa. And these aren't "holding back as much as you can" fights. No, except for the FIS fight, they're out for blood. This means that Hibiki, powerless, must make her way to the control center alone to stop this once and for all. Will she succeed? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with Frontier rising into the sky as we go right into the SDRTST fight. Tsubasa wants to know why Chris is fighting her, but she doesn't answer. Though I do notice something flashing around her neck. I don't recall noticing that last episode. Was that new or always there? I'll have to check it out. Anyway, I'm guessing bomb or another mind control device. The battle continues as Tsubasa does her best to keep the fight to her range. Oh, and I think I see why we didn't see the neck thing before. It's mostly covered up by her collar. That may also explain why Tsubasa hasn't noticed it yet, given how observant she is about these things.
-After an exchange, Chris finally speaks, saying that she can't let anyone else bear her cross. Tsubasa is confused by this, but that's when she sees the pulsing neck collar of doomy death. But she doesn't get a lot of time to think on it as a bullet sends her back a bit. Who knew Chris' projectiles had that much force behind them?
-At the FIS fight, Shirabe is asking Kiri what she meant by "while you're still you". That's when Kiri reveals that Finé's soul is inside her and is close to awakening. She knew this would be a possibility, but this only strengthens Shirabe's resolve to save her. With her blades spinning menacingly, like she's the villain, she will protect the Kiri she loves and will stop her. I imagine some limbs will be lost as a result. Kiri seems a bit insulted by this declaration of love, because she loves Shirabe more, so she's going to protect the world in which the people she loves will live. Girls, can you wait until after the battle to have this "I love you more" battle?
-With this, Shirabe turns her spinning saw blades into helicopter blades, allowing her some flight, which is a skill called Emergency Type Phi Twin Moon Karma. In response, Kiri unleashes a few more scythes in a skill called Sealed Slash: Pinocchio. I'm sure there's some hidden meaning here. The two girls then attack one another, both declaring their love for one another. What an unusual way of expressing it.
-Oh, I should add that the opening was skipped today, but the song was playing in the background of these fights. We need all the time allowed for this episode, and dammit, we're going to find ways to make that happen. We then cut to the beached SDRTST sub as we get tonight's episode title, Striking Spear. Inside the cargo hold, we see Genjuro and Ogawa enter in a jeep, because of course they would have one, preparing to enter the field of battle on their own. I should note that Ogawa is taking the time to buckle his seat belt while Genjuro sits there, hands crossed. Should we tell him to put on his seat belt, or does gravity and physics fear Genjuro that much?
-Apparently the reason they're entering the field is because of Genjuro's troublesome student. Ogawa responds that they should be happy she gave them the chance. As long as the Noise isn't involved, you know having these two enter the field of battle will end things rather quickly. Before they can leave, though, Sakuya shows them a video of Maria addressing the world. Oh, this is going to get interesting.
-In the video, Maria introduces herself and admits to falsely claiming the name Finé. As she goes on about the plan, Aoi tells Genjuro that the video data is being sent from Frontier and is being broadcast all over the world. You think there's a way we can hope on that kind of broadband service? Because the internet would become so much better with that kind of bandwidth. Or worse, depending on what part of the internet you frequent.
-This announcement only confuses Ogawa. At this point, what is FIS after? Given how fractured the group is at this point, the answer is probably something along the lines of potatoes. During the video, Maria explains that the evidence of the Moon's decaying orbit was concealed by the US, the Security Council, and the Bavarian Illuminati. I assume she means the UN Security Council. The reason for the cover up was that the truth was very inconvenient to an elite class that exclusively controls a portion of the political and economic spheres. Damn you, capitalism!
-We briefly pan Frontier, showing just the building itself, before we get a flashback to Nastassja secretly communicating with Maria about how her songs will save them all. Turns out, the Moon was an observation device set up by the Custodians to strip humanity of its mutual understanding. ...Wait... wait a minute. Do you mean to tell me that Finé was right all along and that the Moon was actually causing the Curse of Babel? So maybe she wasn't all that insane after all. No, actually, she was still insane. Just because she was right doesn't mean she wasn't nuttier than a nut.
-Nastassja explains that the Lunar Attack did shut down some of its functionality, but if the Moon can be restarted, it can be returned to its original orbit. You know, I'd question the science of this more, but given that we basically have a magical girl that can punch a tornado rainbow, I think that's the last thing I should worry about. What Nastassja should be worried about is that red background, as she coughs up a heavy dose of blood. Yup, I think she's at the end here.
-Maria calls out to her, but Nastassja tells her diva to save the world with her songs, which leads to the present and Maria addressing the world about FIS and their plans. Oh, and she did get the evil makeover, since her jacket is black and purple instead of whatever color it was earlier. Anyway, she admits to lying about everything thus far and realizes that her words may not reach them, but there is one thing she wants them to believe in. It is the fact that songs can become power! She then sings her activation key, activating Gungnir, complete with her transformation sequence. You do realize you gave the world quite a show there, right?
-Maria continues, saying that her power alone isn't enough to handle the falling Moon. So she calls on the people of the world to give her their songs, and soon enough she's singing into the control panel. Yeah, I'm sure the world is going to get right on that, you terrorist scum. As she sings, Gungnir starts to blow, with her wishing to use the live that Serena save for a greater purpose. And thanks to the video, Ogawa and Genjuro know exactly where to go. And off they go to live out their own action movie scene.
-Speaking of action movie scenes, we check in on Hibiki, who's making her way up the stairs as random explosions happen around her. She knows somebody is trying to do their best, so she needs to do the same. For her, there is no answer except to go forward! Good thing you had that stair climbing training recently.
-Back in the SDRTST fight, that's still in a stalemate, but we get a quick shot of Dr. Ver cradling the Staff of Solomon like a baby. Yeah, like we need further proof of the doctor's insanity. He does tell Chris that if she doesn't hurry, she won't get the toy she wants. Like you can trust him to honor any sort of agreement. Though for Chris, her goal is to destroy the staff, so she'll do that by any means necessary. Tsubasa wonders, then, if Dr. Ver is using the collar of doomy death to make Chris obey him. Realizing that the fight isn't going to get them anyway, the pop idol takes another option.
-Tsubasa goes into a wider stance, asking Chris what she wants so much that she's willing to wear a dog collar? Chris replies that those without homes always do the dirty work. This gets Tsubasa to smile, saying that she is going to take the Death Metal Goth Magical Girl home, even if she was to drag her by the neck. Because there is a home waiting for her. Chris looks away, uncertain how to react to the statement, but Tsubasa says that no matter how strongly she refuses, she will help her. And while she knows that having only one wing won't help her fly, making the wind blow is her duty. She then thinks of Kanade, because she needs a paycheck, before flying off to the ether once more.
-As for Chris, she tells at Tsubasa because of those mixed emotions, but Dr. Ver reminds her of the time limit she has before the Dog Collar of Doomy Death goes off. With this, Chris will end the battle in the next attack, using a combination attack she's been working on. Of course is that she called Tsubasa "senpai", which catches the pop idol off guard. Tsubasa smiles, saying that she'll show her junior the killing side of her blade. If you guys were speaking in code, then I think you lost me with that last exchange.
-The two girls gear up with exchange of skills, which includes the Mega Deth Party and the Thousand Falling Tears skills. The exchange results in a massive explosion that engulfs the two girls, seemingly killing them. Dr. Ver, ever the onlooker, cheers in joy, as this was exactly what she was hoping for. But it may not have been faked, because Aoi reports that she lost the signals for Ame no Habakiri and Ichaival. Of course, this could mean that they're depowered, but we're meant to think that they're dead. So, basically, just like last season, which used the penultimate episode to "kill" them off, too. So I'm sure they'll be back for the finale... maybe.
-Meanwhile, for the FIS fights, Shirabe takes over singing duties as she engages with Kiri, and after an exchange of attacks, Kiri takes over for her verse. Shirabe uses her skill Emergency Type Sigma Forbidden Moon Wheel to launch herself at Kiri, who activates her skill Dual-Slash Cinderella. Given how little we know of their gears, I suspect that they're just making up names at this point. The two girls quickly start singing together as they go all out against one another, and like the SDRTST fight, they're also stuck in a stalemate. And I don't think they're talking in code, either.
-During a break in battle, Shirabe asks Kiri if she really can't stop. She responds by saying that if Shirabe really wants her to stop, then she has to try harder. She throws her a vial of LiNKER to her friend. Shirabe is confused by this, but that's because Kiri has her own vial that she uses on herself. Shirabe follows suit, and soon enough, they're singing their Climax Songs. Their respective gears get a massive upgrade, something we didn't get to see before thanks to Hibiki, and we see Kiri become a flying Dark Magician Witch, using her scythe as a rocket powered broom. As for Shirabe, she basically uses her gear to become a giant mech. At this point, I'm like "sure, why not?"
-After a quick exchange of blows, showing how Kiri gained mobility while Shirabe lost it, Kiri says that she will do everything to protect Shirabe, even if her soul is erased by Finé. She then starts powering up her scythe and turns it into a giant energy wheel. I think Ruby might be a little jealous here. Shirabe, however, counters that the people Dr. Ver will save will lose those they love, just like her. There's another exchange of strikes that results in Shirabe losing one of her mech arms, but that doesn't weaken her resolve. She tells Kiri that, even if she survives in a world like that, she would never be able to sing again. And we all know how important singing is in this world.
-Kiri, however, is just as stubborn as Shirabe, and will continue, even if she is hated by her best friend. She attacks, destroying the other Shirabe mech arm, which only seems to make her worried for Kiri. She asks her friend not to fight anymore, to not let the Kiri she loves be taken from her. But Kiri will not relent and she goes in for the kill, only for Shirabe to produce the same shield that Kiri did a few episodes earlier, just like the one Finé made last season. Uh... okay, what?
-Kiri immediately gets depressed, going right away that it's Shirabe who is the vessel for Finé's soul and not her. Though given her statement, it seems like she already knew that Shirabe was the vessel? I don't know why, but the wording seems to imply that. Kiri sends her scythe away, calling herself an awful girl and wants to disappear. That's when we see that the scythe is coming right for Kiri. Shirabe rushes over, probably looking to move Kiri out of the way, but it's too late as she takes the stab meant for her friend. You know, given how big that scythe is, you'd think it'd do more. In a darker series, maybe, but not in this one!
-The first half of the episode ends, not on that, but on Frontier, glowing a light rainbow shadow, as Hibiki reaches the top of the stairs, ready for the final battle. When we return, we're in the control room as Maria finishes her song, but she's clearly tired. That's when the glow fades from Frontier. And that video feed is still going, showing the world how serious she was. Also giving them a free concert, too! however, it was all for naught as Nastassja reports that the Moon remains silent. It's as if it doesn't want to talk to anybody!
-Maria collapses in tears, thinking she isn't powerful enough to perform this task. The video feed is still going, and the three friends are seeing this. They can understand what she's doing, or at least, what she's doing now, so it looks like public opinion of her is changing. Maybe her career can be saved after all!
-What can't be saved is megalomaniac scientists. We don't need them. We enter a crystal cavern as Dr. Ver makes his way down, saying that, in the world he's looking to create, Symphogear-wielders are unnecessary. Which is why he brought them all together, in order for them to fight one another, but he didn't expect it to go this well. Okay, there's no way you could have planned this. You're just taking credit for something that happened pretty much by chance, like the good megalomaniac scientist you are.
-Oh, so this is the result of the explosion from the SDRTST fight. Dr. Ver is surprised to see Chris is still standing, and it's Tsubasa who's on the ground, depowered. Chris says that she took care of the pop idol, as promised, so she'd like the Staff of Solomon now. Pieces of Ichaival begin to break apart as she turns to face the doctor, demanding the staff. As expected, he wasn't going to keep his promise. He brings out a detonator and presses the button, but for some odd reason, there's no explosion. I know, right? In a show like this that loves random explosions, an intentional one doesn't happen? Shocking.
-Anyway, Dr. Ver is confused as to why there isn't an explosion, but Chris, being genre savvy, says the Dog Collar of Doomy Death is broken, ripping it off her neck. She knew he'd never hold up to his end of the bargain. Good thing Genjuro makes you watch all those movies, right? In response, Dr. Ver unleashes tons of Noise. Chris looks more annoyed than anything else, but she feels a sudden pain, and we find out why. Apparently the good doctor keeps smoke grenades filled with anti-LiNKER with him, and he threw one when she wasn't looking. But don't worry, Chris has a plan for that. And it's to violently depowered her Gear by performing an armor purge, which sends out chunks of her armor, hitting a bunch of Noise. Well, hopefully that didn't destroy Ichaival, because that would be a bad thing.
-Thanks to the smoke from the attack, Dr. Ver is unable to see a now naked Chris attack him, knocking the staff out of his hands. This wasn't part of the plan, but to make it worse, they're surrounded by Noise, and she has no way of fighting them. That's when she calls out for senpai, and suddenly, thousands of daggers appear, striking and destroying the Noise. Yup, Tsubasa was playing dead, and here she is, up and... wearing her season one colors? Dr. Ver explains it as her using a gear with a lesser phonic gain to ease the stress from the anti-LiNKER. He didn't think that was possible, but Chris smugly says that if it's Tsubasa, then she makes it possible.
-So I guess Ame no Habakiri and Ichaival we saw this season were upgrades to season one. Which would explain why they look different. But what about Hibiki's Gungnir? Is that just force of will on her part. Unfortunately we don't have time to discuss this as we're right into the action, with Tsubasa slicing her way through the Noise in classic season one style. And this is how you use those heel swords.
-We get a flashback of the final exchange between the SDRTST girls, showing that yes, they were speaking in code, so they knew how to attack one another and make it look convincing to anybody watching. We do get a shot of Tsubasa slicing the Dog Collar of Doomy Death, deactivating it so it doesn't go boom on the later. In the present, Tsubasa continues clean up duty, so Dr. Ver takes this time to run. Fortunately for him, Chris is surrounded by noise, so the pop idol prioritizes her friend over him, setting her sword ablaze and taking out the remaining Noise. Now, I know this will be disappointing for some people, but we don't get to keep a naked Chris for long, as apparently she can materialize her school uniform, so she won't be trying to hide behind rocks or use convenient censorship. And we see that Ichaival did survive, as Chris looks at the relic in her hand. I suspect that's something you don't want to do too often, because who knows what it does to Gears in the long run.
-Tsubasa herself powers down and hands over the Staff of Solomon to Chris. Mission complete! Now lets get drinks. But before they do that, Chris apologizes for running off on her own, but Tsubasa is a forgiving senpai, though she admits that she can't do anything on her own. Plus, she considers herself lucky to see Chris being a good girl. Chris goes a bit Tsundere on the pop idol, but then asks why she believed in what she said? It's because she called Tsubasa "senpai", so she couldn't ignore what she was about to say. And that's all that was needed. Now, before getting those drinks, they need to meet up with Hibiki, who's probably gotten herself in trouble again. She walks off, with Chris smiling, happy to have a home with them. Chris certainly got an increase in the adorable factor this season.
-We follow Dr. Ver in a long elevator shaft, pissed that he lost the Staff of Solomon. He'll need to send Maria after them, assuming she isn't tired from trying to sing the Moon awake. Speaking of getting people to wake up, Kiri is over Shirabe's barely alive body, pleading with her to wake up. In the all too familiar space between life and death, Shirabe sinks deeper into the abyss. She can hear Kiri call out for her, but she also sees the spirit of Finé floating over her. Turns out, Hibiki actually did purify her, as she planned to stay quite without erasing anyone's soul. The problem, however, is that after being hit a strike that splits the soul into two, she won't last that long. How very un-Finé of you.
-Shirabe asks why Finé took the blow for her. But it's because she needs a messenger, and Shirabe will do. She wants Shirabe to tell "her" something. She explains that, for a millennia, she's been the villain. Sometime, somewhere, and it's too late to pretend to be a hero. She, living in the present, must deal with it. Shirabe recognizes who the "her" Finé is referring to, as the priestess continues, saying that sometime in the future, people will be connected, and sharing that isn't the role for a ghost. And with that, she fades away into little specks of light, which also appear in the real world, coming from Shirabe. So... Kiri killed a ghost? Good for her.
-Oh, right, she's upset because she may have killed her friend. Kiri begs for Shirabe to open her eyes, who tells her that they're already open. She sits up as Kiri is having issues processing it, but after being stared at by Shirabe, Kiri just breaks down and wraps her friend up in a giant bear hug. She's all kinds of confused, so Shirabe explains it as best as she can. Something about Finé apparently not being evil and taking the metaphorical bullet for her. Kiri is just more confused, but that leaves her open for a bear hug from Shirabe. Hugs for everybody!
-Shirabe tells Kiri that everyone is helping her, so she needs her friend to help, too. They are going to save Maria together. Kiri can get behind that, and with that, her heel-face turn has been completed. I think, technically, that makes her the last of the FIS Magical Girls to switch sides.
-As for Maria, she's having her little break down as Nastassja asks her to try and reactivate eh lunar ruins again. Maria is being a defeatist, however, saying that her songs can't save the world. Eye-Patch Mom pleads her to help, but that's when Dr. Ver arrives. You have terrible timing, doctor. So, hey, you know how FIS' ultimate goal was to stop the Moon from falling? Yeah, apparently that wasn't Dr. Ver's plan. He hits Maria with a backfist. No, not a slap with the back of the hand, but a backfist, and berates Maria for trying to stop the Moon from falling. If it fails, he won't be able to do what he wants. And to think I called him a megalomaniac earlier as a joke.
-Dr. Ver hears Nastassja on the comms and gets right to work as Eye-Patch Mom begs him to use Frontier to reboot the ruins that control Balal's Curse. With that, they can return the Moon to its proper orbit. Okay, you want to do that? Then Dr. Ver will help you out by sending you straight to the Moon. And suddenly, the building that I'm guessing contains the engineering room Nastassja was in goes flying. Dr. Ver then says that the reason all the heroes throughout history have been unable to rule humanity is that humanity's numbers were too great! And so, he's going to reduce humanity to the point that he can rule them! Sounds like you were born in the wrong universe, doctor.
-So, let's see. We have psychopath, megalomanic, mass-murderer. Anything else to add? Oh, right, and egotist, as the good doctor says that only a genius like him could figure out how to rule humanity. He says he always wanted to be a hero, and now he'll be greater than one. Maria, pissed, brings out her spear and confronts Dr. Ver, but he reminds her that, if she kills him, she'd be killing all of humanity. Yeah, she stopped caring and attacks. Yeah, looks like the doctor didn't expect that and panics, but luckily, Hibiki comes in to save the day!
-Maria is upset that fusion-syndrome patient #1 is in the way. Lady, she has a name, and Hibiki gives it, along with her age, and that she is not some "fusion-syndrome patient." No anymore, that is. Anyway, Hibiki is here because she wanted to talk to Maria. But the diva already knows that allowing Hibiki to talk is the worst thing that can happen, so she tells the younger girl that, no, there is no need to talk. Dr. Ver killed Nastassja, so she's going to kill him. Well, she isn't exactly dead yet, is she? She's still got some time... possibly. Depends on how fast that building is going.
-Maria attacks, lunging straight for Dr. Ver, but Hibiki, showing why there will be a second law about sending her out on the field, grabs the spear and is able to keep the powered armored diva in check. All without a Gear... maybe. She tells the diva that she can look for a reason to kill Dr. Ver later, but for now, she can't give up on living. And that's when Hibiki sings the activation key for Gungnir, which causes Maria to depower, though she didn't get her clothes back, and for the entire place to be covered with specks of light and energy. Which leads to the reactions of everybody looking, because remember, the live streaming is still going on.
-We have Kiri and Shirabe, who's first thought is to save Maria. Then we have Chris and Tsubasa, who just kind of shrug, calling this typical Hibiki behavior. Then we have the world, showing that yes, Hibiki is a gear wielder. And the three friends looking on in surprise. They'll probably need to tell her about this later. We cut to Ogawa and Genjuro, looking at the video with neutral expressions. Well, he was going to punish her before, so it's not like that's changed. and then we're in the SDRTST command deck. Now, I know the looks of Aoi and Mike are suppose to be one of shock, but given the way their eyes are shadowed, it makes me think they're looking at something horrifying.
-Back at the bridge, Maria is confused. Apparently the fusion patient shouldn't be able to do this. Who told you that, Dr. Ver? Really, how often does the man lie to you? Even if he tells the truth, you can't trust what he says. Also, this is Hibiki we're talking about. She could rewrite the universe if she wanted to. With encouragement, Hibiki transforms into Gungnir, though I think she actually has a jewel on her chest this time, as she yells out her gear, called Strike Spear Gungnir. Cue credits! Good timing, too.
On Friday, the finale. Until next time.