7th G-View: Simoun

Genres: drama, romance, science fiction
Themes: gender switch, religion, shoujo-ai, war, yuri
Number of episodes: 26
G-Rating: 10/10

Plot Summary: In the world of Daikuuriku, everyone is born female, and chooses which sex they wish to become at age 17. In this world, the peaceful theocracy of Simulacrum is guarded by magical flying machines called “Simoun”, which can only be piloted by young girls who haven’t chosen a sex yet. The Simoun can activate a magical power known as “Ri Maajon” that can destroy large numbers of enemies at once. When the industrialized nation of Argentum decides that it needs to invade Simulacrum to acquire the secret of the Simoun, war breaks out, drawing the Simoun “Sibyllae” (priestesses who fly the Simoun) into a lopsided battle. Because the war is raging, the Sibyllae are granted an exemption from choosing a permanent sex for as long as they’re willing to keep flying. Aaeru, a determined young Sibylla with a mysterious past, and Neviril, the leader of Chor Tempest, Simulacrum’s most elite Simoun squadron, must lead their fellow priestesses through conflict both within their ranks and in the sky.

By Cryssoberyl:

Simoun. It is the one of the finest examples of anime I have ever witnessed, and certainly one of the most overall superior anime series with yuri as a major element. It is a story of breathtaking artistry and power, depth and maturity. The life breathed into the characters, their circumstances, their relationships…the story, the setting, the themes, the moods, the artwork. It is superior in all ways. The final episode broke my heart. The final scene is one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

The hallmark of a truly immersive fantasy is when you feel as though you’re just getting a glance at something much deeper…that you are hearing only one narrative among countless others which will never be told. Simoun makes an art of creating this feeling.

It never compromises, and it never panders. There are times when Simoun will give you what you want, but it will never be in quite the way you expected, nor will it ever be done in the way you might wish for the most. With a very few exceptions, this show is not interested in crowd-pleasing.

In attempting to avoid specific details and spoilers in these write-ups, never have I felt more constrained than I do now. There is so much I wish I could address, pages and pages of speculation, interpretation, and observation that I could write about the characters, their relationships, the setting, the mechanics of their world, the society of it, its past and future, and so on and on. Initially, I had planned to simply write until I ran out of things to say, but I’ve managed to exert reason over passion, with difficulty.

I will say this however, and those who have seen the show will understand me well:

Simoun leaves us with so many unanswered questions. The hallmark of a truly captivating enigma is when you feel as though if you contemplated it just a little longer, a little harder, you could pierce the veil and gain some true insight into the heart of the mysteries. Simoun makes an art of creating this feeling.

Certain logistical matters aside however, the lack of answers is not a failing of the show’s storytelling, but far more intentional. As with Haibane Renmei, we’re not supposed to know the answers. Like the characters themselves, we only get glimpses of what the truth might be.

This anime will also tackle in its own way, the journey of a teenager into adulthood. Trust me, the rite of passage here is an incredibly difficult decision to make when each girl has to go to the spring and have their gender determined based on their thoughts and feelings. The sacrifice that these girls will make, the first step taken into the world of adulthood, where everything that you treasured in your youth, all the good times, bonds shared together with everyone, will either be gone or never be the same again. It’s hard to explain so you’ll have to watch in order to understand what I mean.

I’ll tell you all this much: If you truly wish to experience something new and unique, THIS SHOW IS ADDICTIVE! At least it was for me. Trust me, you won’t be satisfied after only one episode because it will continue to lure you in over and over again. You can’t stop wanting more. On the other hand, there’s so much to sink in, that you’ll want to take your time and appreciate this glorious work of art, one episode at a time. It’s up to you.

Oh, if you have homophobia or can’t get into yuri, my bad.

Also, there’s an easy cure for those who may have issues with the gender bending logic in the circle of life in this anime’s universe. All you have to do is…remember that even though the decision of which gender you wish to become in this world requires a LOT of thinking, keep in mind that the male species serves one purpose and one purpose only: Continuing the life span of the human race.
All seriousness aside, that is their primary purpose in this anime.

This anime deserves recognition. There will be characters you’ll like then dislike and possibly like again later. There will be good times and bad times. This show will leave you thinking for a while.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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34 Responses to 7th G-View: Simoun

  1. abscissa says:

    The reason why I always postpone watching this show is because I’m not really fond of the battle scenes. But I can hear your seriousness on this post, I’m going to include this on my long plan to watch list. I still have Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto waiting for me. ^^


  2. Overlord-G says:

    Ooh, Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto (Double Slammy G-View #3) another review I’m proud of. On with Simoun, I myself was so immersed in this series that I couldn’t stop watching as soon as I began but it might be tough for you to watch this show in one sitting. Take your time watching it when you have said time.


  3. ahmoon says:

    If I didn’t read this convincing review, I wouldn’t watch that fabulous Simoun ^^. I was a bit confused at first, esp the technical jargon and the ideology and such, and I even watched the first episode three times lol. But it’s all worth it.
    THIS ANIME IS GREAT! but I’m dying to witness more of AeruxNeviril moment after the final ri majoon… And I thought Onashia is some kind of deity who can appear out of nowhere, but I was completely shocked when I knew the truth…
    I’m planning to re-watch it cause there’s not so little questions in my head about this series


    • Overlord-G says:

      It’s definitely an underrated classic that requires time to realize what a great show it is.

      While there were other pairings that were more interesting than Aeru X Neviril, I won’t deny their love was an interesting one. Ah yes, the truth about how important Onashia’s role and suddenly giving another character who initially felt bland, a purpose.

      Hopefully your remaining unanswered questions will be answered the 2nd or 3rd time you watch the show. Thanks for the comment dood.


  4. ahmoon says:

    This comment contains SPOILER!

    Do you think Aeru & Neviril have other intentions to go to the other world?
    Aside from grandfather of Aeru’s wish to see it, and Neviril’s to find the answer about Amuria, and the other sybillas’ expectation to crown them as eternal maiden.
    Or it’s just both of them wanna be free from those who “invade”
    their land and be happy together in the other world?
    I need a second opinion about this…


    • Overlord-G says:

      It was never explained, really. All we know is they’re going to continue traveling through dimension (or time) until they turn to dust like Onashia did. What they’ll do is up to speculation. It’s kind of intended to be an open ending…for them anyway. I guess they will do everything you mentioned since they have time to spare and no real world issues to worry about anymore.


      • ahmoon says:

        Oh, I see… What the former sybilla see and that memorable last scene are all make sense. Thanks for clearing up the last episode, OG. You’re the best!
        And an open ending never hurt anybody. This anime is timeless


    • Overlord-G says:

      You’re welcome dood.


  5. Foxy Lady Ayame says:

    Simoun is so, so lovely! Somehow I didn’t see the yuri element as pivotal. A kiss between girls to activate the machines isn’t necessarily one between lovers, much more a lesbian one. To tell the truth, I considered this the only fanservice element of the show. Simoun had great character development, awesome inner struggles, the most wonderful BL couple ever (its grace and value can only be compared with Michiru x Haruka), but it had to say much more besides romance between ‘girls’. It was about growing up, war, religion… The scene were Eri weeps after exiting the spring is the essense of the anime- or almost. If only we could get such anime more often.

    ” As with Haibane Renmei, we’re not supposed to know the answers. Like the characters themselves, we only get glimpses of what the truth might be.”
    I’ll have to argue here that some things weren’t very well written to the point of having holes and contradictions. But in contrast with Haibane Renmei, the questions left unanswered in Simoun aren’t major ones. What important things Simoun had to tell, it delivered them clearly.


    • Overlord-G says:

      Ah, the Eri scene. That was what I meant when I was talking about the hard decisions each girl must make when they reach the age of adulthood. In its own way, Simoun shows us how difficult the journey to becoming an adult is.

      Teachnically, there were some canon yuri couples besides Aeru and Neviril. Rodoraemon and Mamina, Dominura and Rimone, even Waporif and Morinas. I don’t care that he’s a dude. His transformation doesn’t finish till the finale, so until then, he was a she to me. Besides, “it” was SO FINE! I was personally upset that “it” chose to become a dude. She and Morinas were the hottest women on the show.

      Plot holes and contradictions are common in all sci-fi media. I’m glad theimportant questions you had were answered but there are some viewers whose questions weren’t.


      • Foxy Lady Ayame says:

        oh yes waporif x morinas ❤ dominura x limone is one of the very few May December romances I liked (coz if you think about it, it's still kinda creepy). What I wanted to say is that most aren't "in a relationship" and flirting isn't extensive. So I kinda didn't see it in a traditional yuri way, I guess.


    • Overlord-G says:

      Morinas and “Whopper” is my #1 couple, followed by Rodoraemon and Mamina.

      Ah. I see. It makes sense. Still, the yuri was prominent and played an important role in several subplots.

      Oh, May-December, huh? Hehe, I have a special Yuri Talk episode dedicated to that subject…once I finish a specific bunch of manga. Stay tuned.


  6. David Lee says:

    Agree completely with all postings re: Simoun. It only makes me want history on Tempus Spatium & magical mechanics re the Spring. Great as it is, it makes you want a sequal. The flying aircraft carrier aspect to the story – dont neglect it!


  7. Subarashikun says:

    Reminds me of Last Exile… but with more, concept!


  8. I love seeing that some people saw this anime! This anime was my first mecha yuri and to be honest most of the time I cried. It was so beautifully written. It truly is timeless! And I have to agree that even though Guragurief and Anubituf BOTH decided to be men they were still together. #themfeels. But this anime is to me something I recommend to any yuri lover. It’s so beautiful! I love seeing people who appreciate it’s epicness!


  9. froggykun says:

    I finally managed to finish this anime! So naturally the first thing I did was hop over to your blog to see what you wrote about it.

    I don’t think Simoun ever felt like a yuri anime in the stereotypical sense of the word. I thought the way it portrayed gender in this world was pretty interesting to say the least: having to pick your own gender really brings a new perspective to traditional gender roles – because you’re right in saying that the males are only good for reproducing in this anime. Because of that, the romances in this series felt like love affairs of the soul, something that transcended gender.

    I can’t say I love it as much as you did, but it did give me a lot to think about, this show 🙂


    • Overlord-G says:

      I am honored to read that the first opinion you wanted to check out about this show after finishing it was mine.

      I get what Foxy Lady Ayame was saying earlier because you’re saying the same thing. This show is still yuri but in a sense that the love shared between these people is one that transcends sexual labeling. They are romantic relationships shared by souls who wish to spend the rest of their lives together and has little to do with being male or female.

      The show gave you a lot to think about. Fair enough.


  10. May says:

    Thank you overlord-G for introducing me a really good anime. I think this is the first anime that gives me anime-gasm. Now, what is sucks that i’m afraid i could find any other anime to top that. Probably, i will not be watching anime for a while. Simoun has brought me to a beautiful and wonderful journey of joy, sadness, despair, friendship, hardship, camaraderie, and love. Thank you so much.


  11. Nii-San says:

    So glad I watched this! That’s all I can say because no words can really perfectly describe how poetically beautiful the series is. It’s art!


  12. Deathbowler says:

    Can you tell me the name of the 1st masterpiece? Thanks


  13. Yuri romance and dogfights, instant 10/10 for me.


  14. Cryssoberyl says:

    Well now, this is interesting…you seem to have plagiarized a great deal of my old Simoun write-up on the Master List – without crediting me. Really, it’s like that?


  15. I’d say this also falls under the Category of “Modern Epic”. An armed conflict between a struggling nation and a land that lives by religion is a real solid base for an epic story. Simoun definitely does NOT disappoint. One of the things I probably love most about this show is the pacing. Twenty-six episodes can fit the lengthiness of a war very well. And the pacing also ties into the addictivness. The pacing blended with the story gives the PERFECT stopping point for each episode and leaves you wanting more. I also always find it impressive when they can have such a large cast of characters and make them very unique and interesting. There isn’t much to talk about here because it’s just so good.

    I’d say I rate this anime “CRIMINALLY UNDERRATED” and a 10/10.


  16. Pingback: Yuri Talk: Japan’s Top 10 Yuri Anime List | The Yuri Nation

  17. Christian Appel says:

    One of the best yuri anime with one of the best confession(s) of all time.

    Aeru only knows how to fight and nothing about love, until Floe teaches her, but Aeru understands it wrong at first.

    This leads to a love rollercoaster until the end, after a war, which shows all the (brutal) things a war has.

    I would describe the ending as an happy one, but an following OVA would had been great, because the manga only has 5 chapters or so. But it is great to see and watch, how much they did of that for this great anime.


  18. baobaboilpalm says:

    i watched all tier 1 and a majority of tier 2 and i
    don’t think grade 1 yuri is ok
    yuri is undoubtedly not the driving force of this anime


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