Anime sequels are always tricky beasts to pull off, as they have to show a reverence for the rules set by previous iterations, without just spending the whole season bragging about its past accomplishments. Monogatari Series: Second Season endeavors to stuff as many shots of Senjougahara in her skivvies as time will allow, and Rozen Maiden: Sauerkraut Glockenspiel von Schnitzel tries its damnedest to usurp Girls und Panzer’s throne as Most Fauxthentically German Anime of the Year, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music… is left with the daunting task of trying to outdo the first season’s proud tradition of nonsensical, meandering, extremely homoerotic plot animated on a shoestring budget with questionable grammar. At the same time, it has to avoid the pitfalls of fixing too many of the first season’s failures, as that would ruin most of the magic. Mega Deth Party is back though, so I’m happy.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Symphogear, as my totally justified and not at all impulsive placement of it as the 27th greatest anime of all time will attest to. It’s hardly good, but it’s chock full of so many stupid ideas that it utilizes to their full potential that I can’t help but love it. Fighting idols singing their own BGM while fighting dorky-looking creatures of unknown origin? Check. Girl whose sole purpose is to provide groan-worthy attempts at acknowledging the series’ ridiculousness? Check. Reincarnated priestesses wanting to blow a hole through the moon using an underground recreation of the Tower of Babel (that’s actually a laser cannon) just to get even with God? Fucking check.
I will say though, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music… is one of the rare cases where a sequel actually feels like it’s learned from the mistakes of the past and made an effort to by not blowing its load in the very first episode. The transformation scenes have gotten a considerable boost by involving a musical theme of dubious relevance, instead of generic shit. It goes a long way toward establishing a more cohesive visual direction that the series sorely needed for some time. There were more than a few lovely establishing shots that I had to debate using in this post instead of a transformation sequence involving an arbitrary set of musical terms.
The plot is even bigger and better, the primary villain (Maria Cadenzavna Eve) utilizing her newfound mysterious dominion over the Noise for the purpose of world domination. It’s the perfect progression for a series with the subtlety of a laser blowing a hole through the moon. It’s what I’ve come to expect from this show, and I would have frankly felt insulted if it decided not to blend
In short, Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music… is good shit, and I hope that I can actually blog it when I’m back to not falling asleep on my keyboard after nearly four days entirely awake.