Synonyms: Senhime Zesshou Symphogear
Japanese: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア Meteoroid-falling, burning, and disappear, then...
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2012 to Mar 30, 2012
23 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 6.851 (scored by 10239 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisTwo years ago, a pair of idols, Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amou, collectively known as ZweiWing, fought against an alien race known as Noise using armor known as Symphogear. To protect a girl named Hibiki Tachibana, who got severely wounded by the Noise, Kanade sacrificed herself. Two years later, as Tsubasa has fought the Noise alone, Hibiki ends up gaining the same power as Kanade.
(Source: ANN, Wikipedia)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Senki Zesshou Symphogear: Meteoroid-falling, burning, and disappear, then...
Sequel: Senki Zesshou Symphogear G: In the Distance, That Day, When the Star Became Music...
Characters & Voice Actors
Episode Director, Storyboard, Key Animation, Assistant Animation Director
Script, Original Creator, Series Production Director, Series Composition
Senki Zesshou Symphogear is an odd musical, action anime featuring girls in colorful sci-fi battle suits who must fight against monsters called "Noise" in order to save humanity. In order to use the relics that power their Symphogear suits, the girls must sing certain songs. The different songs they sing give them different powers ranging from charging up their suit to unleashing their strongest attack which has a recoil effect on them when used.
Despite a visually promising concert scene in the beginning of the first episode, the story falls to pieces almost immediately. It seems almost as if the organization working with the Symphogear girls expected the Noise to attack the concert where the girls were singing in order to revive a powerful relic. So why risk the lives of thousands of eager concert-goers who get caught in the fray when the Noise do show up? This may seem like a minor plot problem (aside from the hundreds of carbonized dead bodies), but similar plot issues like this build up after a while and become difficult to ignore. The two girls, Kanade and Tsubasa, who had been performing then change their songs and begin fighting the Noise in order to save the frantic mass of people who are all scrambling for the exits. However, our main protagonist, Hibiki, gets trapped while trying to get away and ends up getting injured despite the singers' efforts to save her. Since mentioning some things that happen in the first episode would be a spoiler, I'll stop the initial summary there.
There are many more problems with the story, but most of them occur with several sudden changes in characters' personalities in addition to the nonsensical ending. The characters in this show get over their anger at others in the most illogical ways ranging from having someone clean their room to just deciding out of nowhere that they should be friends again. The Swan Songs (which are the girls' ultimate attacks) also deal less and less of a self-damaging recoil every time they occur in the anime for some unexplained reason.
As for the characters themselves, they are hardly unique at all. Hibiki is basically a weaker and more annoying version of Kaname Madoka who accepts her power a bit faster (they are also both voiced by Aoi Yuki). As for the other main characters, they are a girl who likes to fight alone and dislikes Hibiki for reasons in their past and a tsuntsun girl who has a hard time understanding other people's perspectives of the world. The villain is just an annoying sadist who enjoys being nude and has no appeal aside from her excellent voice actor (who still couldn't save her from being annoying).
Being an anime with a heavy focus on music, you would expect a great soundtrack. While this is the strongest category, it's only barely above average. For much of the earlier episodes, the music plays almost non-stop switching from track to track with hardly any break. It got to the point where I was grateful for some of the scenes later on when they finally paused the soundtrack for part of a scene. None of the tracks stood out much either aside from one hard rock track that was used to accompany Yukine's fights. Much of the rest of the music consists of the j-pop/techno combinations used for both the songs sung by the characters' as well as the background music. There were also some problems with the volume of the music/singing when used while characters were speaking at times.
Oh, and this anime has some of the worst Engrish I've ever heard to the point where the subbers provided subs for it and even fixed the grammar at some points to make it more understandable.
The animation is the most inconsistent category. It looks like a quarter of the entire animation budget for this show was used during the two concert scenes. Compared to these scenes (especially around episode 3 and 4) the animation takes a nosedive. That's not to say it's all bad aside from those two scenes, however there are some moments where a single motionless shot will stay for almost twenty seconds or the animation just looks like a couple gifs pasted on top of each other. There is also one scene where a character is looking down out of a library window and sees two characters in a hospital room, but when you see out of the window from the hospital room, there is no library (or any buildings at all) in sight. Similarly to Evangelion, this anime also reuses the same shots of the main organization's headquarters many times.
Story - 3/10
Animation - 5/10
Sound - 6/10
Characters - 3/10
Enjoyment - 3/10
Overall - 4/10
The many faults in this series build up over time and prevent it from being very enjoyable. It's uncreative premise of saving the world from mysterious creatures which has been done much better hundreds of times doesn't allow for much right from the start. The bland characters, mediocre soundtrack despite being a music anime, and the inconsistent animation don't do much to save it either. I recommend skipping this anime and watching something like Gurren Lagann, Evangelion, or Madoka Magica if you want something similar but much better. read more
If you hate inconsistencies, stupid plot devices, a horribly flawed setting, and poor characterization, Senki Zesshou Symphogear is your worst nightmare.
The start of the series is deceptively good, we see a concert that's animated brilliantly, and we have a seemingly gritty story; we witness Kanade die in the past, and Miku crying over Hibiki's grave in the future. This image the anime painted itself in the first episode is one of the greatest deceptions I've witnessed in any form of media.
After the first episode, the animation quality drops dramatically, at times you wonder how the producers thought they could get away with it. Epitomizing this is a scene as early as episode 3 where Tsubasa is walking along the corridor with her manager, which looks like a GIF pasted on top of a moving background. It's obvious that they spent most of their budget on the first episode, leaving them to cut back as much as they could throughout the rest of the series. By the end they managed to get a more acceptable level of quality, which was consistent for the rest of the series, so happily it manages to avoid totally failing in the art area.
The soundtrack is quite enjoyable, and goes some way to make up for the animation. The songs they sing as they fight are relatively good, and it can bring an atmosphere to fights that is otherwise missing. The Opening is fine and fits the series very well, but I personally preferred the ED, "Meteor Light" by Takagaki Ayahi. It took a while for it to grow on me, but it's a track that sounds dark and traumatic, which fits the atmosphere the series was originally aiming for.
The characters are terrible, and the relationships they share change for the most bizarre of reasons. There's an instance where a character hates another one so much she's tried to kill her, but her hate is instantly forgotten when the other character points out her room is messy. Most of the characters are characterized very poorly, and the protagonist is very annoying. However, whilst this is the case, most of the cast is likable, and so you'll find yourself liking most of them, even as they go through the harsh character changes that the plot forced upon them.
Unsurprisingly, the plot is also lacking. It's a very simple plot, the one plot twist the series has is so obvious that you can identify it 5 episode before. It's simplicity works for Symphogear's though, as it manages to avoid being too disastrous throughout most the series. However, in the final few episodes, it gets so ridiculous that you will be amazed. Stupidity like this is something that is rare, and therefore something to be treasured, as it will make you re-evaluate what you consider truly preposterous.
The setting is also so tremendously flawed that whilst you can happily ignore it if you so wish, even minor probing will expose questions to which there are no answers. For example, with the frequent attacks by the Noise, which you cannot defend yourself against and kill everyone in the areas they attack, why do people go outside so casually? Much as I like the outdoors, I can't hep but think that I like living more. Also, much as I love my current house, if there was constantly the threat of death, I think I'd move.
The inconsistencies are fairly easy to ignore, but if you think about anything in the series, you're likely to notice some. Take the Swan songs, they used to mean certain death, yet past Kanade's death, it stops being fatal, and towards the very end, there is no visible affect at all. This is of course because it was a plot device, but the unashamed way in which the anime casually allows these is dreadful.
With this all in mind, this is a very bad anime. However, there is one thing that works in Symphogear's favour that saves it from the worst, and that is that it's earnest in it's stupidity. It isn't trying to be taken seriously, and it isn't pretentious, which means it is very hard to hate. The characters that I hated at the start of the series grew on me, to the point I liked almost all of them. Take the girl who's lines almost solely consist of failed meta-comedy attempts like "If this were an anime" which infuriated me at the start, towards the end I almost found her habits endearing.
It's a strange quality of an anime like Symphogear, which is terrible, but still enjoyable to the extent where I looked forward to the last few episodes, to see if the episodes could outdo themselves in their silliness, but more importantly fun.
So, if you are happy to ignore all that is wrong with this anime, then you will be able to enjoy it. Despite the amount that is wrong with this, it's all surprisingly easy to ignore. However, if you cannot ignore the technical details in anime, then avoid this like the plague, unless you wish to see how badly executed an anime can be. read more
Both fighting with the power of songs.
Although macross is more set into space then Senki
They feature a lot of songs and music is central to the plot, as it amplifies people's fighting abilities.
Girls. Fighting weird creatures. By singing.
Both animes use music, singers and idols as a way to fight in the world that they are living in, whether it is to survive or for power/hope.
I was lucky enough to watch Macross Frontier after starting Symphogear.
For those who wants something with dynamic fights and singing chars I recommend Macross Frontier. MF is just far better in production. You may miss Symphogear's clumsy madness, but MF is all about perfect quality.
Similar style involving girls singing to music and fighting the good fight. However, Senki focuses more on action/drama while Macross Frontier has that love triangle side. Both series have great soundtracks.
Both anime fight alien-like enemies.
Both series also have idols who fight.
Both series are sci-fi
Both have awesome soundtracks :D
Opening Theme"Synchrogazer" by Nana Mizuki
Ending Theme#1: "Synchrogazer" by Nana Mizuki (ep 1)
#2: "Meteor Light" by Ayahi Takagaki (eps 2-3, 5-12)
#3: "Gekisou Gungnir (撃槍・ガングニール)" by Aoi Yuuki (ep 4)
#4: "Gyakkou no Flugel (逆光のフリューゲル)" by Nana Mizuki and Minami Takayama (ep 13)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
AnimaKai [AnimaKai] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related ClubsCafe Dere, Winter Anime 2011, Yuuki Aoi fanclub, Zaku A/m/azing, Touyama Nao Fanclub, Kanade come back!!!, Senki Zesshou Symphogear Fanclub!, On Goings Club, Anti-Symphogear Liberation Front, World of Animes (W.O.A.), Mahvilyze[Hiatus], Takagaki Ayahi Club, Mutirão Brasil - Ver. Summer Season 2012, Gladies, Mizuki Nana, ♫ The Music Genre ♫, Seinen Magical Girl Fanclub, Hibiki Tachibana´s club
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