Title: Senhime Zesshou Symphogear
Genre: Action, Drama
Summary: Humans have been menaced by mysterious monsters called “Designated Aberrant Disaster: Noise”. Tsubasa and Kanade are a popular vocal unit “Zwei Wing”. They wear the new weapon “Symphogear” and fight against Noise to save the earth.
Review: I’m not sure why I thought this series my turn around considering I didn’t have much hope for it since the beginning. It wasn’t like there was anything that captured me. I’ll admit that the opening was pretty neat and it had some cool fighting moves. However, the characters, story, and extensive drama was a bit overplayed. The series already starts with someone dying and hints that someone else would die as well. I’m not sure if everything came together in the end either. The characters still annoyed me and it had too much a feel good atmosphere to it.
The artwork for the series wasn’t that bad. It had some great fight scenes with a lot of cool wallpaper-esk art. I could get behind the crazy designs they came up with when a flashy move was about to happen, and even some of the more bare-bone fist fighting. The characters weren’t that unique looking though and as usual the series either had the girls in their school uniform or in their transformation. Nevertheless I would still consider the artwork average at least. There were a lot of great scenes that I still remember after such a long time. Though the scenes were more memorable because of what was going on rather than how it looked. The flashy lights, skin tight outfits, and artillery shell explosions get old after the fifteenth time. Even the creatures or “Noise” weren’t that interesting. A blob of random colors that vaguely took humanoid form and some other reviews also agree. The series seemed a bit too childish artistically for the somewhat atmosphere they were trying to go for. When an enemy blew up after dying it just reminded me of those old Power Ranger cartoons where the baddy would die in a fiery explosion after being defeated.
The story and character’s weren’t much better. If I wasn’t desperately trying to pay attention to the pity dialogue of two friends not hanging out enough I was trying to figure out what the hell the point of all this was. I’m still wondering how the Noise and Symphogear were connected. It seems like they were about to tell you but then just forgot about all that and focused on more fighting. Additionally the Noise couldn’t be harmed by normal means yet every time Noise attacked the military would show up to “help stop them”. In reality the military came to get in the way and die. They were basically used as human meat shields as they distracted the Noise while the civilians ran away. The Noise weren’t the only problem with the series either. The big boss at the end who I wont reveal as it is supposed to be a twist (that you figure out roughly 5 episodes in) even had some whack job idea. No real whit or actual method to her madness she decides that everyone should just die. On top of bad enemies, the heroes of the show were also really annoying to watch. If they weren’t complaining about their everyday life as being school girls they were whining about how fighting was hard and tiresome. Don’t worry though they all band together like a team and fight the Noise for the good of the people. They even used the mighty “Swan Song” that was meant to be a last resort method that annihilates both the user and enemies alike. The series played it out to be a really big deal at the beginning, but it soon lost its effect when EVERYONE used it MULTIPLE times. Talk about an anti climactic finishing move. Probably the worst of all the characters was a girl named Yumi. She was supposed to be the friend on the sidelines that showed up at random points in the show. How could a background character be so bad you may ask? Because I felt any time she was on screen during an attack she was having a complete mental breakdown. We get it, things suck, and you will probably die, but follow your friend’s attitude and at least try to be a little more productive. Probably the only reason I continued watching was because of the early episodes. For some reason every time I saw Hibiki go berserk mode it got my blood pumping. Watching her go in an all out rage made the anime a lot more entertaining. Unfortunately Hibiki was usually whining about something else instead of getting angry. You progressively see that side of her also die down as she gets more used to her suit and the power that comes with it. It also wasn’t enough to turn this anime around.
Finally the soundtrack the anime. I don’t’ want to say that it was horrible, but it did get really annoying. At first I thought it was pretty neat that the girls had to sing to power-up their Symphogears, but then it just got tiresome hearing them sing over and over again. I personally didn’t find the singing that attractive in the first place, just the concept. I wasn’t a huge fan of the opening either because the electric beat didn’t match the voice very well. I did listen to the full version of the ending though and enjoyed it quite a bit. It was also electric, but the voice followed the beat a lot better.
Final statements: I’m just going to say this is an avoid watch because the characters and story were below average. The artwork and soundtrack can’t save this anime, which is sad considering the anime was revolved around music.