I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m late out of the starting gate this season for anime. My options on new shows to follow this season slowly deteriorated as the weeks went on with disinterest, especially since I’m still trying to speed through Bakemonogatari in order to see Nisemonogatari, Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki is not being deep enough to blog about, and Black★Rock Shooter is not coming out until next month.
Therefore, I opted for something that I didn’t have high expectations for, Senki Zessho Symphogear, and took a chance watching it.
This Suite Precure/Vocaloid/Strike Witches type anime created by Satelight (Shugo Chara, Fairy Tail, Moretsu Pirates) seemed like it would only be an advertisement for music singles. While it is that definitely (the music in this series is fantastic), the story is actually good. So far, at least. And the fanservice, while obviously there, is not as overwhelming as I expected it would be.
The first episode was rather impressive, and the two that have followed maintained the pace. What Symphogear lacks in super spiffy animation (it’s art is no Guilty Crown, for example), it makes up in creativity. It takes advantage, almost to a fault, with different art styles; mainly those for the transformation and attacks as well as the Noise having a different “noisy” look to them, stand out the most.
One of the best things about the series is something I thought I would hate. In order to transform, the symphogear needs to hear sound waves, mainly, a song from its user in order to equip. Thus, you have the girls singing as they’re attacking. It was a bit odd at first, but they mix it up, so it works enough to not be annoying.
The story starts with the end. A common trope to use, to start with the knowledge of the death of the main character, but this has an interesting twist. Miku’s best friend died because she wouldn’t stop singing.
Then before you have time to even ask “Wait, what?” the story shifts back in time to two idols/symphogear fighters, Tsubasa and Kanade, and a concert gone wrong.
In the midst of this is Hibiki, Miku’s best friend (see above), becomes a symphogear wielder via shards of a relic that was shot in her chest during the concert attack. Now, by the power of a song that wells up from deep in her heart, she has to fight the Noise and keep those she cares about safe.
Pretty straightforward concept, overall, but throwing the grieving Tsubasa, who cannot accept anyone to fight alongside besides her late partner Kanade, adds an interesting dynamic. Before Kanade’s death, Tsubasa was much like Hibiki; shy and unsure of herself.
Then there’s Hibiki, who’s just a normal high school girl, dreaming of a fantastic life and ended up with more than she bargained for. She has to keep her symphogear a secret from everyone, even her best friend Miku. And we all know this will only work for so long. Hibiki has already had to skip seeing a meteor shower with Miku because she had to fight the Noise.
It will be interesting to see how well this series holds up and if Hibiki ever discovers and honesty may be the best policy, or whether she will die alone (because we know she will die judging from the first episode).
Despite the OP being wonderful, which is one of the few things that helps hook me to this series, the characters are tolerable and dare I say it, pretty interesting, especially with some recent developments.
I am developing higher hopes for this series. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear 02 – Noise & Dissonance (apprivoiser.wordpress.com)
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear- 01 (animeblurbs.wordpress.com)
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear 01: BASARA NEKKI HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, NOW KILL ALL YOUR ENEMIES (ghostlightning.wordpress.com)