6 CommentsSenki Zesshou Symphogear G / By Inushinde /

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G Episode 4: Mantisister Doll

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Symphogear’s outfits are certainly unique as a whole, but I think props have to be given to the new best character, Mantis Girl, and her entourage of cosplaying anisong peeps. Only they can find a way to outdo the sheer dorkiness of the costumes by showing just how depressingly obsessed with anisongs they are. Even Hibiki has to laugh at how pathetic their performance was.

Oh, and crazy ancient spirit Fine is back, because she’s apparently all about possessing the bodies of impressionable girls with an interest in… well okay, there’s no real similarity between the hosts, aside from the fact that they’re all women with ambiguous motives, but it is actually a neat touch of continuity between seasons, stressing the supernatural element of the nymphogears. While far from stellar, it does show that Symphogear’s learning from its meteoroid falling phase in order to better present the possibility of a star becoming music. Fine wasn’t exactly the apex of villainy with an impactful personality, but it’s still nice that she’s not down and out just because of a change in obnoxiously long subtitle.

This episode is actually fairly good in the foreshadowing department, with plot points staying grounded in the universe that it’s set up—this isn’t Laser Cannon of Babel bullshit (yet). Granted, competence costs Symphogear some of its inept charm, but that’s not a wholly bad thing, provided the 90s OVA charm isn’t lost in the process.

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Thankfully, the show does provide moments of goofy goodness to sink my teeth into. The highlight, aside from the gloriously cheesy score playing in the first several minutes, is an inexplicable anisong performance by three girls dressed in what I assume to be cosplay from their favorite anime. The standout among them is praying mantis girl, who plays her role with all the uncertainty of a normal person thrust into the Symphogear clusterfuck. If there was ever an unintentional audience surrogate, Mantis Girl is definitely it. I’m hoping that she stays dressed as a mantis for the rest of the show and becomes a permanent fixture of the cast. In any other show, I’d feel that this is just wishful thinking on my part. Since this is Symphogear though, which thought it was a good idea to make a girl whose sole purpose is to say “this isn’t an anime!”, I’m holding out hope.

Finally, there’s the Finegear infiltration of the school toward the end of the episode, where the series thinks it best to have them challenge Chris to a duel of song. I’m hoping that next episode is nothing but the two of them shouting at Chris in song form, with Chris doing the same in return.

I feel betrayed that Symphogear is giving in to the dark impulses of putting actual thought into its story, but it still flirts enough with ridiculousness (both unintentional and intentional) that I can forgive these periodic lapses into being generally alright. Just as long as we get more anisongs sung by Mantis Girl, preferably at the least appropriate times, and next episode turns into a Skirmish of the Singers between Chris and the Finegears, I’ll be happy.

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6 Comments

  1. anon
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    It’s unclear to me from the article whether you noticed or not, but the performers were Anime Janai Girl and Co.

  2. Fumoffu!!
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    No mention of that wonderfully cheesy performance at the end by Chris? That was the highlight for me, it was made me go all “D’awwwww”.

    Praying Mantis girls seems rather upset, I imagine most would wear a constant frown whilst trying to make sense of anything.

  3. Embok
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    The official site updated with some information on the show they were cosplaying. Its explanation is longer than any of the other keyword explanations on the site.

    Mantis girl is apparently the monster of the week from episode 8. Her evil gimmick is to steal grocery bags. Unfortunately her scythe hands make that a bit difficult, so she ends up questioning the meaning of her existence. It’s all real deep, which is why it’s Anime Girl’s favourite episode and Mantis is her favourite character.

    • Posted August 1, 2013 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      What the hell. That sounds too deep for an aninme inside an anime.

  4. R1CK_D0M
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Love the parody of Space Detective Gyaban, unfortunately the fire in their hearts was not enough to power the soul of their song.

    In other news: my dearest hope is that this song turns out to be a japanese rap battle between chris and the two finegears, with mic dropping and everything. Chris in her anger would throw the best rap slurs.

  5. Posted March 13, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

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