All Myths Are True: Norse myths (Kanade's relic, Gungnir), Japanese myths (Tsubasa's relic, Ama-no-Habakiri) Hebrew/Sumerian tales (Kadingir, the gateway of the gods, looks like the Tower of Babel, the healing artifact Nehushtan and the demon-binding Staff of Solomon), Roland's sword Durandal, all together.
All mythological creatures and monsters are thought to have existed too, though the majority are theorized to have been Noise.
All There in the Manual: Lots of information regarding Symphogears, relics, and other material can be found in the form of translated key words. They give insight to things that weren't or couldn't be explained by watching the anime alone.
And Now You Must Marry Me: After revealing that saving "Mankind" was just saving himself Ver tells Maria they should talk later about repopulating the human race.
And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the series there's still Noise in the world to be fought and heroines willing to do it. Indeed, the adventure continues in Symphogear G.
Animation Bump: Season 2 has only just started, but the animation is much more fluid and better-looking than the first season.
Badass Boast: One from Hibiki in G episode 6 at the end. Very well done as the boast is preceded by actual FACT, Hibiki punching a Noise and not disintegrating on the spot, further gives weight and reality to her words.
Ver: As a mere human, touching a Noise?!
Hibiki (initiating the sequence BEFORE, but actually transforming AFTER punching the Noise!): My fist, my life! Both of them are my Symphogear!
Bait-and-Switch Credits: Subverted. The last thing you will see in the OP is the holding hands of two girls and a starry sky. This is elaborated further in the finale, and it is also the last thing you will in that episode. After Hibiki's return to Earth, she and Miku get to see the meteor shower, holding hands.
Bastard Girlfriend: Fine punishes subordinates' mistakes stark naked save for black stockings.
Batman Can Breathe in Space: Symphogears, without any visible means of life support, are space-worthy. The part about talking in the vacuum is explained by being telepathy, at least. And it took them quite a while to return to Earth.
Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Fine claims that she through several reincarnations has been responsible for most of the world's global paradigm shifts.
The Berserker: Hibiki becomes visibly bestial (her fangs grow slightly and her figure darkens) when angry caused by being fused to Gungnir's fragments rather than just wielding a relic the usual way. When fully enraged she can't tell friend from foe.
Tsubasa. Her Armed Gear is a no-dachi which can transform that into a giant claymore. Her "Heaven's Wrath" Finishing Move causes it to grow many times her size and combine with a flying kick from her Symphogear For Massive Damage.
Durandal. Hibiki activates it in episode 5, which she promptly uses to demolish an entire chemical plant in a single attack.
Big Eater: Japan's Secretary of Defense sure is eating quite a bit...
Bland-Name Product: They weren't even trying to hide it. For instance, Ryoko's car's logo is the same as the Toyota logo, upside down.
Blood from the Mouth: Kanade, in a flashback during episode four, lets fly a massive geyser of this, when she injects herself so Gungir will sync with her. This is a set standard when invoking the "Ultimate Song", too.
Boobs of Steel: The bustiest girl is the Big Bad Fine, who can easily take on several other Symphogears at once. On the heroic side, it's played with. The one who's a brawler (Hibiki) doesn't have the biggest bust.
Fine plays this trope literally when her boobs deflect bullets at point blank range.
Just as Hibiki did in the first episode, in the last episode Miku rescues a girl under Noise attack, they run, she falls, a heartbeat is heard...
The whole graveyard scene serves as book ends.
The final episodes (of the first season) bring back the following songs: Synchrogazer (as an ending theme specifically) and Gyakkou no Flügel (the insert song from the first ep, now the series ending theme).
Done again in the final episode of the second season with: Vitalization (as an ending theme for 12) and again a full chorus Gyakkou no Flügel.
Body Horror: Noises' mere touch turns people into ashes quickly, but not quick enough for the victims not to feel it.
Hibiki's first Symphogear transformation is less than pleasant, with giant bio-mechanical growths shooting in and out of her back.
Boxing Lessons for Superman: Despite her strength, Hibiki's lack of experience and training makes her ineffective in combat until she learns martial arts from her Badass Normal commander. "Eat lightning and crap thunder!"
Broken Bird: Tsubasa and Chris. Tsubasa by experiencing the death of a partner and Chris after undergoing child slavery made one to become a cold and obsessive death-seeker and the other a violent, mistrusting terrorist.
By the Power of Grayskull!: A musical variant; each girl sings a brief verse to activate her gear. Careful listeners might catch the names of their relics in the lyrics.
The 2nd season, on the other hand, goes back to the dark tone of the first 4 episodes, and even more.
Chainmail Bikini: The Nehushtan armour when worn by Fine doesn't do much to cover her user below the shoulders. But it makes the exposed skin as bullet-proof as the rest of the armour, as seen in episode 11.
Chekhov's Gunman: The little girl Hibiki saved during episode 1 plays a role in the finale.
Chilly Reception: Averted when Hibiki gets a welcome party that a new employee/recruit/etc in Japan can expect from the old-timers... but played straight by Tsubasa, who gives her the cold shoulder.
Clark Kenting: When Kirika and Shirabe infiltrate the school festival to take the protagonists' Symphogears, their only cover is a pair of glasses.
Cliffhanger Copout: Tsubasa and Hibiki's fight never happens: old man Genjuro comes out of nowhere and stops Tsubasa with his BURNING FIST.
Colony Drop: This was Fine last ditch effort as she grabbed a piece of the moon and pulled it towards the Earth. The second season reavealed that the moon itself is heading towards the Earth.
Cooldown Hug: Tsubasa gives one to an out-of-control Hibiki in episode 12.
The Corruption: Gungnir fragments inside Hibiki. It's responsible for Hibiki turning into a black berserker, and is slowly spreading throughout her body. If nothing is done, eventually she'll become the bone of her relic. The upside is that Hibiki can regenerate lost limbs and that as a living relic, she can touch (punch, kick) Noise without being carbonized. Hinted since season 1, but the fecal matters really hit the proverbial blower in season 2.We see the full effects of it in episode 10 of Symphogear G.
Combined Energy Attack: In S2, this is how Nephilim's Final Form is defeated, via combined Phonic Gain from the entire world. VITALIZATION!
Continuity Nod: In season one, Hibiki breaks off the heels of her Symphogear outfit because they're in the way. Season two has Tsubasa accidentally break a heel of her idol outfit when fighting Maria.
Counterpoint Duet: Shirabe and Kirika get a pretty awesome one during their fight scene.
Crash into Hello: Happened twice so far with Tsubasa and Chris; the latter running to escape being dragged into events by her new classmates.
Creature Hunter Organization: The Mobile Disaster Response Corps. being the ones with The Valkyries who are the only ones with a fighting chance against the Noise.
Cue the next scene having the bureau celebrating Hibiki getting there.
Disco Tech: Symphogears and relics are activated and run on "phonic energy", that comes from singing.
Doomed Protagonist/Foregone Conclusion: Hibiki is shown to have expired some time before the end of the story and what we're seeing are the events leading to her death. Ultimately subverted in the end.
Downer Beginning: It was rather shocking to watch Episode 1 where a main character dies and another is seemingly handed a death sentence (not to mention the villains slaughtering a whole concert hall).
Eagle Land: Extremely obvious by the phone call and the assassination of Hiroki by anAhnuldlook-alike. — In-universe, Japan and America relations are tense due to sheer competition and its authority present around the world. At least until it is revealed that America and Japan were working together to get information about Ryoko.
Bittersweet Ending: Although she came to terms with the loss of Kanade, her singing career and eventually is still alive, Tsubasa will have to give up her overseas singing career and dedicate her life to fighting Noises 'from the shadows', since she, Hibiki and Chris were officially listed as KIA. Thankfully, by the second season, the government took care of that (by making everything Symphogear-related to be top secret files), allowing Tsubasa to continue her idol-singing.
Eccentric Mentor: Genjurou teaches Hibiki his unnamed, super-powered Secret Art after she proves unable to bring out her Armed Gear in episode four. Part of the training involves watching action movies and doing forms in cosplay.
Empathic Weapon: The Symphogears are powered armors that run on their users' singing skill and emotional state. They also take more or less stripperiffic forms on specific users (compare Chris in her Nehushtan Armour to Fine's).
The fact that Tsubasa is a highly-skilled, blue-haired stoic cool songstress may remind fans of The Idolmaster of Chihaya Kisaragi. Not to mention, she's also the least busty amongst the girls of the show (though not exactly flat)
Faux Fluency: The beginning of episode 5 has a conversation over the phone done in full English. And it's very obvious the voice actors aren't very fluent in the language. Watch it here. Invoked on the Japanese side of the conversation: she was performing that gratuitousness as an insult to her American interlocutors.
Gratuitous English: The subtitle for the logo is "Meteroid-falling, burning, and disappear, then..." This is supposed to reference shooting stars, which show up in Episode 3 as a Youtube video.
In S2, the subtitle is "In the distance, that day, when the star became music..."
Hair Contrast Duo: Kanade (orange), Hibiki (creme) and Kirika (blond) are cheerful, Tsubasa (dark blue), Miku and Shirabe (black) are calm.
Heartwarming Music: Not that it is even seen in Symphogear G but the single for the G ED Next Destination has Takagaki Ayahi, Chris' Seiyu singing "Memory" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats. When you listen to it, imaging Chris is the person singing this song will be the way to see this as a Justified Trope.
Heroic BSOD: Episode 7 is a good contender for the most BSODs in one episode.
Heroic Sacrifice: How Kanade saving Hibiki from the Noise and potentially anyone who uses the Ultimate Song.
Re-iterated in S2 Fine saving Shirabe from a mortal strike by Kirika, that tears souls
High-Pressure Blood: Any meaningful impact will release a humongous burst of blood, as seen for example when Hibiki gets hit in the first episode.
Hourof Power:In Symphogear G Hibiki gets one of these in episode 10, two minutes and forty seconds to be precise before the growth of the Gungnir shard in her chest starts to spread uncontrollably like some crystalline cancer. Which she proceeds to go over anyway.
Hot-Blooded: Kanade, Genjurou and his alumn Hibiki. Watch a man teach martial arts to a girl with lines like "Your fists ought to fly like hammers that hit the thunder of the bolt that strucks you!" and the girl respond "I didn't understand a word of that, but I'll try!". Same gal who yells battlecries while playing an arcade crane game.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: In G episode 12, no less than three characters suddenly find themselves naked due to their circumstance. Two of them are even displayed in their glorious nudity to the whole world!
I Surrender, Suckers: Being outmatched, Fine switches for a moment to her Ryoko persona to recover the momentum.
Fine pulls off another fake-out later when she causes a Colony Drop right after it seems she has given up.
I Thought It Was Forbidden: By the end of the series the Ultimate Song, or sometimes translated, "swan song" has been used so often that it doesn't look that dangerous.
And it is actually dangerous only if the user is not perfectly tuned to the relic. Which... is only kind of explained in the anime, making it a case of All There in the Manual.
The very first scene of the second season is the death-by-swan-song of another Relic user, Maria's little sister, Serena. She is both very young and un-tuned, which means it is a certain death for her.
Noise are 100% unbeatable for anyone who doesn't have a Symphogear. They are unaffected by conventional weaponry and even one touch from them is instant death.
It's All My Fault: In episode four Hibiki blames her lack of skills for forcing Tsubasa and Kanade to use their Ultimate Songs.
It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Hibiki's relationship with Miku become strained after Hibiki become a superheroine. However, Miku will always support Hibiki. Aww... until The Reveal kicks in, and Miku stops supporting Hibiki for a while for constantly lying about her secret identity.
Jumped at the Call: Hibiki takes to her new powers and working with her heroine earnestly.
Leitmotif and Mood Motif: All of the Valkyries sing their song as a way to debilitate the Noise. The songs also actively change throughout the series as a way to show their current personality/Character Development. For example, Hibiki's songs earlier in the series are Lighter and Softer, but gets progressively more Hot-Blooded as the show goes on.
MacGuffin Delivery Service: In S2, Hibiki and Chris' battle to secure the by-train delivery service of a relic is rendered moot when the Noise attack the party who receives it just as those two leave. Both the relic and the scientist who handles it (Dr. Ver) are missing. Episode 3 says that this was intentional, and that Dr. Ver is actually in league with the Big Bad.
ZweiWing's Tsubasa ("wing") and Amou ("heaven wing"). Also fits the valkyrie theme, and Tsubasa's Broken Bird status.
"Kazanari", Tsubasa's last name, means "calling wind".
"Yukine" is written "snow-sound".
"Miku" means "future", though it could also be after the pronunciation of "mic" as in "microphone"
"Finé", of course, signals the end of a piece of music.
Further emphasis on this in Kanade/Hibiki's theme songs, which use the same instrumental but have lyrics echo-ing to each other. Kanade's song is called "Until I die, I will play this sound called 'you'", Hibiki's is "Beyond the resonance of this sound called 'me'", which embodies nicely the baton pass between them (a played sound will resound).
In G, there's Maria Cadenzavna Eve. "Cadenza" is a musical term that is generally described as "an elaborate, often improvised solo inserted within an existing piece, typically near the end".
There's also a common theme of time. In the second season, Kirika's last name "Akatsuki" means "daybreak", whereas Shirabe's last name "Tsukuyomi" is another term for the goddess of the Moon. Makes perfect sense given their personalities, but then there's Miku's last name "Kohinata", which means "a little sunshine" for Tachibana the "standing flower".
In the climax of the first season, Hibiki's declaration of the unified Swan Song brings together the sound kanji from Yukine, Kanade, Kazanari, and Hibiki: "Yoake wo tsugeru kane no ne kanade, nari hibiki watare!" "Ring the bells of the coming dawn! Let their call resound across the world!"
Megaton Punch: Hibiki decides to go this route, since she can't properly manifest her Armed Gear, and simply funnels all the power into ass-whooping punches from episode 5 and onwards.
The Men in Black: The government agency handling the Symphogears actively keep their existance from the public eye, as they are considered a strategic resource. But their tactics are pretty nice and polite, like making witnesses sign Nondisclosure agreements.
Meta Girl: Yumi, one of Those Two Guys, keeps pointing out how things play out like in an Anime, beginning by calling Hibiki out for behaving like a cartoon character in the second episode.
More Dakka: MEGA DETH PARTY! Chris in her Symphogear, Ichii-Bal dual-wields Gatling guns, a multi-rocket launcher, and a crossbow that can shoot multitudes of exploding light arrows. Did we mention the crossbow is a Bifurcated Weapon? And it upgrades it later, even, to MEGADETH QUARTET. And then comes the last episode. This girl is Dakka personified◊.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While protecting Hibiki from the Noise, some fragments from Kanade's Gungnir breaks off and accidentally sends a sharp chunk straight at her, spearing her through the chest, nearly killing her.
Not Quite Dead: The girls do survive the destruction of the Moon fragment and return without a scratch. They are declared officially dead in a cover-up for political reasons.
Not So Stoic: Tsubasa isn't terribly consistent with the whole "A sword should have no emotions" thing.
Off Model: Episode 3 has a walk scene that looks animated in Adobe Flash. The animation studio working on Bodacious Space Pirates in the same season (especially when Mouretsu Pirates has so much CG scenes in them), plus having the OP single delivered post-haste and a budget slash might explain these animation issues.
Oh Crap: Everyone's reaction when they see that Maria has the black Gungnir.
Ominous Latin Chanting: Reportedly, it's actually (supposed to be?) Old Norse, which fits with the Symphogears' naming theme.
One-Winged Angel: Fine's Apocalypse Dragon form is her last trump against the Symphogears.
In S1 the Lydian students singing their anthem revitalize Hibiki and resurrect Tsubasa and Chris, giving all three of them new Gear forms in the process. All of the forms are winged (and far more potent than anything they had access to before).
In S2 the combined Phonic Gain from Maria singing to the entire world unlocks the final form of each Armed Gear. Each of them has wings.
The Power of Rock: This is a series about fighting evil Noise with power armours running on singing.
Psycho Serum: How they develop Gungnir inside Kanade. It didn't work on the first attempt, so Kanade forced the transformation by injecting herself with the rest of it.
Rage Against the Heavens: Subverted. Initially, it seems like Fine tries to destroy the moon using the Kadingir because God destroyed the tower she built to reach Him. It turns out she's trying to destroy the moon because it will make everyone speak the same language as God again, allowing her to confess her love for Him.
Rape as Backstory:Captured by one group in a civil war torn country after losing her parents, who were peace activists from Japan, Chris was raped as a child sex slave until she was rescued by a UN Peacekeeping Force. The pain of being forced by adults despite her pleas to stop resulted to her general distrust of adults.
Red Herring: The introduction with Hibiki dead was actually a cover-up by Genjurou. The animators left out the few minutes after, showcasing Hibiki, Kanade, and Chris well alive and ready to fight.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kanade holds enthusiastic view toward battle, while Tsubasa is more reserved (and in the Flash Back, was actually quivering in fear). Hibiki, while not quite enthusiastic, is always in high spirits.
Replacement Scrappy: An In-Universe example. Tsubasa thinks that Hibiki is one for her dead friend Kanade. Ultimately, she learns to respect her, thus Rescuing her from the Scrappy Heap.
The Reveal: An In-Universe example: Miku sees Hibiki in Symphogear form fighting off against Chris in Episode 6. This easily changes her perspective on how Hibiki has been acting.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Why Kanade took up the Gungnir Symphogear; her family was carbonized by the Noise. As a result, she initially would go utterly crazy while fighting them. She started to tone it down, however, after people began thanking her for saving their lives.
Tsubasa does the same thing when fighting against Chris as a way to make up for the loss of Kanade.
This was actually played with a few times. They used it to announce a special event after the credits of the final episode of season 1, and Genjuro's reaction changes from a yell of surprise to quietly repeating the name of the relic with a worried look at one point in season 2, when Hibiki's uses her Gungnir when it could kill her.
Save the Villain: Hibiki's Combination Attack in season 2 drains and discharges other Armed Gears' Swan Song, allowing its participants to use its devastating power with significantly less risk. This is used to save Kirika and Shirabe from certain death when they are forced to use it in episode 7— the combo doesn't discriminate between allied and hostile Armed Gears.
Scenery Porn and Scenery Gorn: On both sides of the spectrum, and can change at any moment. Transitioning from a vibrant laser-show concert that ended with a sunset to a battle-stricken concert under that same sun is animated very beautifully.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Episode 6 of G, when Hibiki is enraged, the Nephilim attempts to do this. Remember that this is the same one that killed a Symphogear user and made a Curb-Stomp Battle in the previous episode.
Secret Identity: The Symphogear are kept out of the public eye, and thus Kanade, Tsubasa and Hibiki have to keep their side job secret, even from best friends. Anyone who witnesses a Symphogear in battle either has to sign an agreement that they will never tell anyone about what they saw, or is dragged into the organization themselves.
She-Fu: Tsubasa is keen on flying kicks and cartwheels.
Ship Tease: Miku and Hibiki are roommates and classmates, but they are also close friends, often share the same bed, have at least one moment together, and they comfort each other. Not only that, but they also want to go out and see shooting stars. Everyone can see it, until Miku decides to break ties after Hibiki hides her new heroic job. It's okay, they get better.
Second season adds up 'Maria' and 'Shirabe' in the shout-out to said familiar series.
When Tsubasa bleeds from eyes and mouth when she executes her Ultimate Song against Nehushtan Armor, she looks almost like Miki Sayaka during her "I'm such a fool" moment. Jarring, because Tsubasa normally doesn't make that kind of face, her emotional spectrum considered.
At one point during the episode 4 Training Montage, Genjuro is dressed exactly like Akuma/Gouki. Considering his Badassery, it's not exactly inappropriate. Hibiki is also wearing Makoto's clothes.
The Training Montage of the second season, on the other hand, is a full-blown Shout-Out to Rocky, complete with punching frozen carcasses and the library staircase.
Chris's armor the Ichii-Bal is a nice one to Wild ARMs.
Let's not forget "pagan technology", the "Ruins of Memory" and Kadingir, a tower to reach the heavens.
Miku's Sympohogear form is a pretty much a Murokumo unit, mixing elemnts of Nu-13 and Lambda 11 (the Anubis-like head gear and visor) with elements of Mu-12 (having special devices that allow beam spam).
Skyward Scream: In episode 4, the camera cuts off to the sky after Hibiki screams Tsubasa's name when the latter collapses due to performing her Ultimate Song. Presented rather similarly to a certain moment in Neon Genesis Evangelion, incidentally.
Starts with Their Funeral: The first few minutes of the first episode reveals under Grave Clouds that Hibiki is already dead and buried. The series then flashbacks to two years ago and then forward two years again (though some time before the initial scene, since Hibiki's still alive) to show it got to that point. Also doubles as a Foregone Conclusion.
Start X to Stop X: Chris wants to stop all wars and fighting... by viciously beating anyone with a weapon using her Symphogear.
Superpowered Evil Side: Hibiki shows one first in episode 3. She really wanted to go see the stars with Miku. Later revealed to be a side effect of an experiment by Fine to fuse relics with humans.
Take That: In season 1, Genjiro states that Japan has the upper hand over the crisis-ridden Europe (i.e. the 2008 financial crisis), and thus the Durandal will be kept by the Japanese.
In season 2, Genjiro states that the USA can't be trusted. One wonders whether it's because the mess was kickstarted by the American relic lab, or due to the sheer extent of the US' surveillance state in Real Life.
There are also three girls in Chris' class that want to be her friends and help her break out of her shell.
Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Genjurou doesn't usually fight women, but he'll do an exception if said woman wants to hurt someone under his protection.
Title Drop: The collective name of the anti-Noise armor is the name of the show. Also, each season title-drops its opening theme as the final, ultimate attack for that season.
Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Japan as a whole consists of the Research Facility underneath the school, at least three Valkyries in two locations, and (potentially) two weapons, one of them being BFS Durandal. Doesn't look like Japan will hand over Durandal to the EU, what with Episode 5's revelation that Hibiki can use it as part of her song.
Took a Level in Badass: She may activate her Symphogear fine, but Hibiki has the fighting skills of the average middle schooler until she gets training from Genjurou.
Wave Motion Gun: Kadingir is not a tower - Fine even references the biblical Shinar - even though it is referenced as such, but an humongous energy cannon with the intention of shooting the moon. It works, but not as expected.
Weird Moon: It...has a massive dent and a ring surrounding it as shown early on in the second season.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Chris — She fights Tsubasa and isn't afraid of summoning Noise to overwhelm her, all for her laudable objective of ending wars with lethal force.
Wham Episode: Episode 11; the Big Bad and her plan is revealed, bad guys change sides or turn to have been The Mole for the good guys all along.
Symphogear G, episode 5: The moon is on a collision course with earth, and Hibiki loses an arm to the Nephilim.
Symphogear G, episode 7: Maria didn't inherit Fine...but Kirika does.
Symphogear G, episode 9: Miku was brainwashed by Doctor Ver and armed with her own Symphogear.
Symphogear G, episode 10: Hibiki and Miku are apparently killed, The Frontier is risen by their fight, and as a last shot Chris shoots Tsubasa in the back while saying "Goodbye"
Whole Costume Reference: During Hibiki's aforementioned training montage with Genjuro, there's a brief still where Hibiki dressed like Makoto (the red cloth strip is on her neck and her gi isn't sleeveless) and Genjuro dressed exactly like Akuma, both characters of Street Fighter fame.
You Remind Me of My PartnerWho Is Dead: How Tsubasa views Hibiki. And she doesn't like her, at all, because to Tsubasa, Kanade is irreplacable. The second season brings this back in a twist: After Tsubasa finally befriended Hibiki, she was extremely crushed that Hibiki is going down the path that would lead to her death, reminding her on how she lost Kanade.