157th G-View: Senki Zesshou Symphogear (G-Empire 1st Anniversary Special)

Hey doods and peeps. Welcome to another episode of The G-Views. There have been 5 anime catering to both sci-fi and yuri fans. I already mentioned on in BRS TV and if you’ve been following my episodic analyses at the castle, you know 3 more. The 5th one will be a surprise but for now let’s dive right in with my review Senki Zesshou Symphogear, or “Strawberry Zesshou Symphogear Panic” as I like to call it.

Alternative Title:
Senhime Zesshō Symphogear
Swan Song of the Valkyries

Genres: action, magic

Themes: fighting, music, yuri

Objectionable content: Intense

Number of episodes: 13

G-Rating: 9/10 for the nation. N/A for everyone else. (I’ll do what I can to convince non-yuri fans to give this a go.)

Plot summary: Two years ago, a pair of idols, Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amō, 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.

That’s pretty much all the spoilers I’ll provide as there’s more to the 1st episode than what’s written up there but I’ll leave that for you to find out. How does the show work as an action/yuri drama/semi-musical? Pretty damn good as far as I’m concerned. Some will obviously not like this show for understandable reasons such as its blatant fanservice (Meaning its many close up shots of the women’s sexual assets and sometimes 90% nudity) but I honestly think it does its job well and doesn’t particularly detract from the show’s appeal. I mean look at the Symphogear armor for Pete’s sake.

Skin tight power suits and bodacious babes (Not an intentional Bodacious Space Pirates reference) are practically drawn to show off their “gifts”. So there you go. Also I have to mention that not since Saki have I seen melons being put to good use. Believe me when I say I’d like to meet the plastic surgeon for some of these women. I’d sure like to give my future girlfriend implants as powerful as the ones some of these ladies have. It’s there, it’s glorious like it or not. I’ll admit that they can get in the way during dramatic moments where the serious mood is semi-ruined by the sight of mouthwatering cleavage. For me it isn’t a problem but I can understand it being a turn off for some. Trust me, it’s not as bad as Ikkitousen’s and Queen’s Blade. A respected colleague of mine cannot stomach to watch even 2 episodes of Queen’s Blade due to its excessive titillation, but easily wanted and enjoyed Symphogear in its entirety. Take it for what it’s worth.

Let’s move on from the fanservice to the drama. I initially labeled this show as a “me 2” cashing in on Madoka Magica’s success and trying to rip off its dark mahou shoujo concept but it turns out not to be that at all. The drama here is less insane than BRS TV’s but not as epic as Madoka’s. Are the romantic portions heartwarming? Heck yes. They aren’t over the top (Most of the time). I already mentioned the serious moments somewhat hampered by lovely boobies but I know some of you who couldn’t get enough of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai’s Sena and still took her seriously despite her mega kazangas. Moving on…

Action scenes. Oh yeah, there are plenty of those and they all ROCK! It isn’t as violent and gritty as BRS TV’s but the fights can get pretty intense and bloody. Thankfully bloodshed isn’t as excessively used as in Another. I’ll sum up the action scenes like this: Attractive women transforming into badass armored warriors with super cool special attacks that fight Gnosis inspired monsters called “Noise” or other attractive armor wearing women…all while singing. In short, defeating evil through the power of SONG! The power of song compels you! Yes I’ve heard it has a similar premise to Macross Frontier or something, I dunno. I haven’t MF yet. Point is, it’s pretty badass. For Pete’s sake, one of the ladies’ special attacks is called Mega Deth Party! It actually makes me want to listen to some Megadeth.

Before I continue with the usual review formula of mine, a minor rant. Why the heck did the writers decide to add politics to the mix? What was the point of both American and Japanese politicians being a part of the story? Thankfully they play an extremely minor role (so minor they’re pointless) but it still ticks me off a bit they had to add a well known global fact of American politicians being evil. Newsflash, all politicians are bad guys. I don’t need preachy self-fulfilling propaganda in my yurirific action show.

On the plus side, this show’s Engrish is…TERRIBLE! It’s so hilariously awful. It is by far the WORST Engrish I have ever heard in an anime and it is MAGNIFICENT! Oh my word, I cannot count the times I nearly bust my gut laughing hearing this person botch the English language so badly. Trust me, you’ll be in for a treat.

The animation. Before I go there, one of my classic lines,”Well the girls are hot.” Other than that I admit this isn’t exactly a masterpiece in motion drawings but I’m okay with it as usual. I suppose hardcore critics will easily notice some flaws here and there but I’m too lazy to notice or care because I was having too much watching the show and that’s what’s most important to me.

The music: short review, I WANT THE SOUNDTRACK, CHARACTER SONGS, THE WORKS! I highly doubt it’ll be as praiseworthy as Guilty Crown’s music but whatever.

I’m not going to go over the characters this time because it’ll spoil a lot. Instead I’ll only say one minor tidbit about the main antagonist. This person’s…something else. Big Bad’s master plan, objective and motivations will have you scratching your head asking…”what?” I don’t mean it in the sense of confusion but “what?” as in, “What the hell!? Are you serious!?” End of spoilers. As for the rest of the cast, I’m pretty sure you’ll like almost everyone by the end of the show. WAIT! Honorable mentions must be made:

This guy right here (Commander Genjuro), much respect. He is a real man’s man. “I eat, watch movies and sleep. A True Man knows nothing else!” Those words made me proud to be a man. It also helps he greatly reminds me of Street Fighter’s Akuma. 10 points in the badassitude meter.

I won’t talk much about this bombshell of a woman lest I want to smother all my drool over the keyboard. What a woman.

Of course I can’t conclude this review without the usual climactic yuri paragraph. I could go on and on about “The Legend of Lesbian Jesus” but as I mentioned above, this show is so obviously a yuri romance story disguised as one of pretentious Best Friends with benefits farce. It’s clear as day many of these women are lesbians and wearing yuri goggles would be ill advised because you’d die of nosebleeds. The love the women on this show have, especially Miku and Hibiki seen above here in a wonderful fan art is truly touching and will warm the hearts of Nation members everywhere. You’d have to be an anime smark or homophobe to not notice the romantic bonds these women share for one another. Heck I haven’t even talked Tsubasa and Kanade yet.

I don’t know what others think but Kanade is EASILY one of the most badass killed off early characters in anime history I’ve ever seen. Every time we see Tsubasa reminisce about her relationship with Kanade after the events we saw in episode 1, the writers continuously shove it in our face that Kanade is (or was) da bomb! It’s no wonder why it’s so difficult for Tsubasa to get over her, especially since she was her first love.

Point is, no matter how you feel about the rest of the show, this is a must watch for yuri fans.

In conclusion: I already made it clear what target audience this show will easily appeal to but as for non-yuri fans…unless you dislike musicals, women donning armor and fighting evil with badass weapons, are allergic to oh so fine 2D breasts, dislike drama altogether, or are an anime smark, I see no reason not to give this one a go.

P.S.: Berserk Mode Hibiki.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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41 Responses to 157th G-View: Senki Zesshou Symphogear (G-Empire 1st Anniversary Special)

  1. Rincewind says:

    Great review!!
    Symphogear (Symphogay!) was a good ride, full of emotions, explosions and hot-bloodedness!! The lasts episodes seems to add a good dosis of Gurren-Lagann to the mix!!

    Its has issues, like the horrible QUALITY moments (just a few, but very notorious, hopefuly will be fixed in the Blu-ray edition) and sometimes a weird pace (I blame the fact that was intended to be a 26 episodes show, but was changed a few weeks before airing).

    But, those things are minor, the show is a great watch. The music is fantastic. I love the characters songs!! And the action is intense and well done. Chris is awesome in everything that she does. The Commander is just BADASS, in capitals. Its like Ozma from Macross Frontier, not an adult… A MAN!!!

    And I love the yuri. Miku and Hibiki are so cute together. Miku is the best waifu ever!!

    Finally, Kanade… oh, boy. She surely knows how to going with a bang. She’s welcomed to the Valhalla of the Badass characters killed early because of plot. Kamina, Teresa of the Faint Smile and Mami-san are honored to have her with them.

    I gonna miss my weekly dosis of Symphogear. 😦

    PD: You should watch Macross Frontier… is my favorite Sci-fi show from the recent times. Its fantastic. And the music!!
    (And in the end I couldnt help but ship RankaxSheryl :P)

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      We all will dood, we all will. It’s not the original 26 script show some wanted but what we did was nothing short of greatness.

      You pretty much praised the show for the same reasons I did. Great stuff indeed.

      Miku x Hibiki’s tale of eternal love will be passed on from generation to generation of future Nation members. It deserves to be told.

      Like

  2. Rincewind says:

    Well said!!! MikuxHibiki is already LEGEND!!!

    I did my little and petty humble tribute to this beautiful and lovely pairing.

    http://fav.me/d4r4szq

    Yeah, Im not good at drawing, but well, I REALLY wanted to do something with Miku and Hibiki.


    Forgive me!! Im not worthy!! Im not worthy!!

    Like

  3. SnippetTee says:

    Lol, I think this is a good anime after all. I thought there’s going to be more yuri and expecting that there’s going to be more than just best friends with benefits… oh well Kanade x Tsubasa are still my favourite couple on this show, regardless.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      You know full well writers don’t have cojones these days when it comes to animated yuri. So for now off screen lovers is the best we can get. Seriously though, one on screen kiss wouldn’t end the earth, would it?

      Like

  4. It was worth watching for the cute moments and berserk mode. I would love to see a second season even if it is very unlikely.

    Like

  5. Stevie Nix says:

    Just got a chance to finish the last episode.

    Hibiki returned to Miku’s side and they finally got to see shooting stars! Honestly that is all that matters to me.

    Actually, while yes there was some rought spots and I do wish it was longer, overall I extremely enjoyed Symphogear.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      In the end, do the flaws matter my friend (To the nation, excluding one Crash Holly)? “Looks at Miku and Hibiki snuggling again”

      Like

      • Stevie Nix says:

        No they don’t. Honestly any flaws are so minor, they do not subtract from my overall enjoyment.

        Overall, this series was wonderful. I enjoyed the story, found the monsters interesing, I really liked the whole music power angle, enjoyed the characters, and most importantly we got Hibiki X Miku!

        I really hope this series does sell well, so maybe we can get a second season.

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Let’s not forget KanadexTsubasa or ChrisxThe fandom.

      Like

      • Stevie Nix says:

        Heh, very true. I still hope that maybe if there is a second season, Kanade will return in some form for Tsubasa.

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? In a country where nerds are as horny as manatees, I don’t have high hopes of that happening but hopefully I’m wrong and there is hope for otakus…sadly Nisemonogatari will be a #1 seller soooo…I’m not holding my breath.

      Like

  6. Nymphogear was definitely a fun ride and I can’t say I disliked it at all. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it really. I fear you’re right about Nisemonogatari being #1, please let it be wrong though. It took me a while to finish this but that’s because the wife loved it so we only watched it when able to watch together. I stand by Yukine Chris being my favorite, but Hibiki was awesome, especially in berserk mode. Also, loved the music and the yuri was sweet. I’m glad it ended the way it did, even if it was a bit predictable. I felt actual emotion when watching this which is always good 🙂

    Like

  7. Fiers says:

    I watched this with a friend. Sadly, I wasn’t drawn in until my friend mentioned that there was Weaponized Overkill (capitalization needed). I also asked him if there was a railgun in it, and he was like “It’s in there later, so keep watching.”

    I actually liked the ending, it was touching, but there were some discrepancies between the “beginning” ending, and the “ending” ending (like Hibiki’s picture on the grave).

    My friend called the Commander “Commander Badass”. He is one of a few Anime characters that aren’t just badass, they’re like, gods among men badass. They draw you in. He (my friend) also made a joke referencing “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”, saying “They’re in lesbians with each other,” which is an apt joke to make.

    Every time I heard the “Release” song, as well as the “Swan Song,” tingles ran from the front of my head to the back. There’s power in them songs, and it’s delivered beautifully.

    All in all, a good anime.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Glad you ended up liking the show eventually. The action scenes are all pretty good as far as I’m concerned.

      After the ending we got, a few inconsistencies can be forgiven.

      The commander is definitely as awesome as his fans portray him. Any guy who is worthy of donning Akuma’s gi and beads is undoubtedly badass.

      Dood, they ARE lesbians, so joke or not your friend’s right. He also gets major props for referencing the Scott Pilgrim movie.

      Like

      • Fiers says:

        I know, it’s one of the things I kept saying… “Oh look, that’s a confession if I’ve ever heard one.”

        I’m surprised. Apparently people thought that the Scot Pilgrim movie was hard to follow. I actually liked it. The “manga” however, was ruined for me the moment I laid eyes on Anime (glorious ANIME! *angelic choir sings in background*)

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      The beauty of an anime girl confessing her love to another girl never gets old. It’s simply beautiful.

      What’s so hard to follow about a movie based on a graphic novel dedicated to gamers and otakus, whose plot is about some guy nobody cares about getting a crush on a girl nobody cares about, who so happens to have 7 vindictive exes. Seriously though, the best and most memorable parts of the movie are the fights, video game references and Knives Chao.

      Like

  8. SilverFox says:

    I love watching this anime. I bought a copy of it a month ago. I caught word this morning from an anime page I follow on fb that the director has announced things to come in the future for this anime. I’m hoping for a possible season 2 or some OVAs.

    Like

  9. Baka says:

    Finally i had some time off and watched the first episode. What can i say? Loved it. I’m not a anime master (heck, i’ve started this year), but this is the only show i’ve seen in my life that i don’t become embarrassed watching the musical part (that is awesome, btw). When i finish it, i’ll post my thoughts about it.

    Like

  10. Baka says:

    Just finished the first season, and it’s AWESOME, man. I won’t be sayin’ all the good things about this show, as you already did, but i want to make some points:

    1) I can’t get enough of Hibiki’s voice. The sound of my pc was the loudest possible just so i could hear her voice, it’s that good. (Won’t ever do that again, too)

    2) Is it just me or anyone else saw the resemblance between Tsubasa and Chikane from Kannazuki no Miko?

    Like

  11. That opening is impossible to skip.

    Like

  12. yurimylove says:

    Miku x Hibiki FTW!!!

    Like

  13. baba says:

    So I just finished it, my expectations for this anime were low but I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was fun, a bit cliché but fun and enotional. I like all characters and I enjoyed the ships. I dont think there was that much fanservice, I barely noticed it, so that was nice (for me). I’m excited to see the next seasons specially because for what I know Tsubasa is shipped with a new girl later, I want to see her moving on in that aspect of her life.
    Anyway I’ll give it a 7/10

    Like

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