Series Recommendation: Senki Zesshou Symphogear

Meteoroid – falling, burning, and disappear, and then…
A song was born!

Senki Zesshou Symphogear is one of the top franchises that incorporate music perfectly into an action-packed series. Essentially all-girls Macross with magical power armor instead of giant robots (there are giant robots too but yeah), Symphogear captivated viewers through both sight and hearing. Epic battles with gorgeous songs sung by cute, beautiful girls in power armor. What’s not to love?

The first season – Symphogear – was released back in 2012. It was very successful to spawn a total of 5 anime seasons and many other multimedia, most notably CDs (of course). The franchise features many prolific voices such as Nana Mizuki, Aoi Yuuki and Youko Hikasa, to name a few.

+ Plot: Cheerful school girl Hibiki was happily on her way to a concert of ZweiWing – a pair of idols who were also warriors clad in mystical armor “Symphogears” to protect human against Noise, disco-looking jelly monsters. Tragically, Kanade – a member of ZweiWing – sacrificed her life to protect Hibiki. This became the trigger within Hibiki to unleash her own song, with the Gear that Kanade used. Along with Tsubasa Kazanari, Hibiki set out to fight off the Noises, protecting people as well as try to enjoy her daily life with her best friend, Miku.

The series started out with some really crazy events and conflicts, which is quite in tune with some serious Mahou Shoujo series out there, not to the extent of Madoka but more like Twin Tails. The first season acts more like an initiation for Hibiki into the S.O.N.G as well as establish her initial relationship with Tsubasa. Aside from Hibiki going through her first times with the Relic and her Rocky transformation, Tsubasa also have to face reality and learn to accept Hibiki. The series introduces many dynamic and twists that make it very similar to a Tokusatsu series.

+ Animation: Animated mainly by Satelight (the studio that did modern Macrosses), Symphogear has fantastic actions scene. Due to the extravagant Gear that the characters used, there are a lot of hype scenes that technically aren’t very realistic, but they are cool (and they are magical so who cares?). The Gears at first only has a bit of mechanical element in them, but they grow more and more technically advanced as the series went on, combining and transitioning from magic to high-tech. It’s always good to see cute girls executing over-the-top attacks while singing in the process.

+ Mechanical Design: Characters design works are by Dan Yoshii-sensei, as well as Satoshi Koike and Masahisa Suzuki. The gears are mostly tight-fit mecha musume dress style. On top of the base layer are some armor pieces that evolved throughout the series. The weapons of each Gear users are where the eye-candy lies. The weapons are quite basic at first, but they revealed A LOT of mechanical gimmicks as the plot demands it. If you need a rocket-boosted punch? Sure it has one! Do you need a giant sword? Out of thin air, easy! Heavy-arms missile spam style? X2 that out of the girl’s thighs! The Gears and their weapons are the main mechanical part of the franchise and they are freaking awesome.

+ Music: This is an important aspect, maybe the most important aspect of the entire franchise. With a lot of talented seiyuus and singers, Symphogear aim to deliver top-tier singing for the audience. And it accomplished it marvellously. There are a lot of difference voice ranges in the anime. The cutesy but genki Aoi Yuuki for Tachibana Hibiki, the deep and powerful Nana Mizuki whom we all love for Tsubasa, the high-pitch and dignified Ayahi Takigaki. During the action scenes, the songs are sung with bated breath at times, giving the impression that they are actually singing while doing all the punching, slashing and firing, which gives a sense of realism.
All the openings are sung by Tsubasa’s voice, Nana Mizuki. We all know her through Valvrave, Cross Ange and many other series. Not only a talented singer, she is also an expert voice actor as well. Her voice really fits the personality of Tsubasa. Aside from the battle songs, there are many other OSTs as well, mostly sung by the characters themselves. And there are LOADS of them for you to enjoy.

+ Conclusion: Overall, Symphogear is a great franchise if you want great OSTs as well as awesome mecha musume combat (anddddd maybe some yuri too). Featuring a great cast of awesome voices (they have Ryoma Nagare from Armageddon as well as Kira Yamato too) as well as singers, Symphogear will definitely satisfy your eyes and ears. Really recommend checking out the anime, and if you like it, there’s another 4 other seasons for you to check out as well, each better than the previous!

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