Saturday, February 25, 2012

Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08

[ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_10.36_[2012.02.24_22.14.27] [ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_11.28_[2012.02.24_22.15.19] [ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_18.14_[2012.02.24_22.22.31]

For as much consternation as it caused among the viewers, the rift between Hibiki and Miku was settled quickly – and in a rather straightforward and believable way.

If you don’t believe me about the kerfuffle, check out places like MAL and AF – the fans have been raging about Miku’s “betrayal” of Hibiki in a big way.  I think this is a classic case of over-analysis, myself – especially given the relative lack of subtlety in Symphogear.  If the emotions of this show were a painting, they would be all primary colors – but while I love emotionally subtle series, I can appreciate how straightforward this one is when it comes to feelings.  One of the things I love about the show is that the character don’t act like exceptional people – they act like normal people in exceptional situations.  Hibiki isn't an especially complicated girl, but the depth of feeling there is undeniable.  As I said last week, I don’t think anybody was “wrong” – these were just two 15 year-old overwrought girls who got in over their heads emotionally.  Miku was hurt, she overreacted – and Hibiki went to pieces about it.  Given time, they would surely sort it out – and that’s exactly what happened.

The fundamental difference between Hibiki and the other tragic heroines of this show (and I’m not saying Hibki isn’t – or won’t soon be – one) is that she has a soulmate who’s still alive and able to be her salvation.  Tsubasa has lost Kanade and while she’s clearly making a journey towards acceptance, she’ll never have her back.  Kurisu appears to have never had anyone at all, having lost her parents as a small child and been cruelly mistreated by all the adults in her life, most obviously Fine’.  She has no friends at all – at least before this week.  Hibiki and Miku may not have a perfectly equal friendship, but they do have each other, the other person they care most about it in the world.  As Miku herself said, it wasn’t the keeping of secrets that bothered her – it was the worry that Hibiki was trying to shoulder everything herself and might get hurt (or worse) again.  We should all be so lucky as to have a friend like that.

Especially Kurisu, of course – and that’s where things start to get really interesting.  Kurisu ends up sleeping off her injuries in the little rooms above Flower, wearing one of Miku’s gym shirts (and nothing else).  It could be argued that she was effectively a stray puppy Miku picked up, desperate for someone to take care of and look after with Hibiki temporarily not filling that role.  I don’t think it’s that simple, though Miku certainly does have the protector/nurturer gene in overdrive – I think it’s more that when she sees someone in trouble (or a lost soul) she can’t help herself.  We’re seeing the slow repatriation of Kurisu into the human race, starting with the two lost siblings, then Miku, and finally Genjurou – but she’s filling her role as the self-loathing anti-hero admirably, pushing those people away from her even as they try to get closer to her.

There’s no question Kurisu’s role is the great variable of the series at this point.  Both Miku and Hibiki worry about her and neither knows the other is involved – though the fact that Genjurou knows the connection now should speed things along.  No question Kurisu’s swan song and relic Ishi-Bal are the coolest in the series – she’s a blast to watch fight, with her neo-Gainax Gatling Guns and Takagaki Ayahi’s engaging warble.  Hibiki worries she doesn’t have a home, Miku worries period, and Genjurou has seen her fight at full strength now.  He’ll certainly see the possibilities in bringing her into the Second Branch, and she certainly seems fully on board with redeeming herself for all the death and destruction she’s been a party to.  But can there really be more than one at the center of Hibiki’s heart?  As with the romance pairings in Ano Natsu, the numbers here don’t seem to me to add up – I think there’s more tragedy to come.

While Senshogear has been very successful at portraying the emotional drama driving the main characters, I think it’s been less successful at laying out the overall plot.  While we know the basics of the situation, for me the whole conflict with the Noise is more of an abstraction than anything else at this stage.  Genjurou could be a key here – he’s a sort of unsung hero in the cast.  He’s beastly strong, seems to genuinely care for the girls in his care, and has his hands in that larger plot as well.  If any character can help that overarching story gain some of the traction the relationship drama has, maybe he can do it – but I worry for Genjurou.  Lots of death flags there, and for all his bravery and intelligence he strikes me as a somewhat naïve chap, especially compared to the devious Ryoko/Fine’.   I see “bad end” in his future, but I hope I’m wrong.

[ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_05.58_[2012.02.24_22.09.49] [ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_08.03_[2012.02.24_22.11.54] [ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_11.26_[2012.02.24_22.15.17]
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[ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_19.10_[2012.02.24_22.23.27] [ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_19.32_[2012.02.24_22.24.15] [ReinWeiss] Senki Zesshou Symphogear - 08 [Commie-Modified][10bit].mkv_snapshot_20.19_[2012.02.24_22.25.02]
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14 comments:

  1. Definitely a good episode here. The pacing was fast, but I only realized that in retrospect. "All that was in only 24 minutes?" I'm really glad they did not milk the break up between Miku and Hibiki. It was more realistic than I expected, slight lack of communication was the problem and once they talked it out they were adult enough to accept each other and move forward (Hopefully Miku can prove to be a Badass Normal in the future, I wouldn't mind her getting a relic either tho. But admittedly that would feel a bit contrived). I did think it was silly that they were laughing after nearly dying but that's easily forgiven.
    As for Kurisu, I hope you will agree with me here G.E. but I hope she turns sides sooner rather than later. She's an anti-hero and I think we as an audience understand that, but we've all seen this play out before so I hope Symphogear stays frank and to the point like it has been. No subtlety needed, just bring her on bored in a realistic but satisfying and efficient manner.
    So far the most glaring problem behind Symphogear, I think, is the lack of development for the main plotline and the background on the setting. What kind of future are we looking at here? What are the noise? Where are they materializing from? How are the rest of the world handling them, if it even occurs elsewhere (I assume they do since the E.U. and America are involved in at least the research of relics). I like the characters but I think the show could stand to focus away from the heroines for an episode and give us a proper introduction to this world.
    I'm enjoying this winter, that's for sure ^.^
    Though I HATE MONDAYS @.@

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I'd like to see Kurisu make the transition to the good guys sooner. Take the lesson from Ano Natsu and don't draw it out - make it happen and explore what happens afterwards.

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    2. Why hate mondays?

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  2. Considering how happy and suffering free this episode was, there is nowhere things can go but down for the last four episodes. But this was a good breather, it can't be suffering all the time, and I'm so incredibly glad that Hibiki didn't die while she and Miku were still apart. Also, Black Rock Shooter had enough suffering for 4 shows this week.

    Anyway, Kurisu at least has a chance of surviving the show (though the chances of any named character other than Miku making it to the end is still pretty low), so I can see those uneven numbers you mentioned working out in the end, though not until after some intense heartbreak for Miku.

    I was pretty surprised that Fine didn't appear at all, and Ryouko only at the very end, but I bet she'll play a big part going forward. I fully expect the endgame arc, whatever it ends up being, will start next week.

    But I really wanted a kiss. Would that have been too much to ask?

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  3. The opening changed abit, with new clips of kurisu in ichiibal and fine in kadingil. Anyway its still a good episode.

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  4. Flawed it is, but contrasting this show with GC is illustrative for me of why character at the expense of plot is better than plot at the expense of character.

    As for who makes it out alive, I think all possibilities remain open, including Hibiki surviving and Miku not. I actually think Tsubasa has a good chance to make it through, too, and sort of carry the torch of suffering on for everyone who doesn't.

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    Replies
    1. Did you forget the first scene?

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    2. You should rewatch the first minutes of episode 1 again.

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    3. I believe that scene was a troll to some extent - the only question in my mind is how much, and how?

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    4. Im crossing my fingers for some Deus Ex Machine making the start of the series a fake.
      I REALLY wants a happy ending for Miku and Hibiki. (And a kiss... :P).

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  5. sums thing up

    chris is now going face also seem genjuro might know about chris & yea WOW really pulling the piece of road got wonder is he over 9000?!

    yep the hibiki-miku les-yuri sis-mance sis-code is back together now.

    ok then we got wonder what next?

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  6. *GASP* Were there lots of death flags this week? Did I miss something?
    Gouki's invincible. He will never die!

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    Replies
    1. Not so much this week as an overall impression in my part...

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  7. So all you have to do is join the track team. You can out run super monsters and out run a super hero girl who leaps buildings with boosters and jets.

    Anime logic.

    So children slaves must be fed pretty well if Kurisu can grow to that height, have so much strength, and have such high value assets.

    More Anime logic.

    So the monster exploding like a frag grenade deals 0 damage but in episode fragments caused Hibiki to nearly die.

    I see, anime logic. Not Logical.

    And Hibiki's voice is somehow getting more irritating. (sorry)
    Instead of some name like symphogear, this should be called. The nature and law of Coincidence.
    This show is like full of coincidences. This episode alone. Has like countless. Betrayer of friendship meets Girl who was betrayed. Girl who was betrayed meets super (Japanese) man. Flying girl jumps arounds and meets Man in car. Too many more to state

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