Symphogear’s premise is so outlandish, it’s just fascinating! Listen to this: J-pop idols transforming into armor clad beauties and fighting aliens. Crazy, right? As crazy as it sounds, that’s not the reason why I find Symphogear painful to watch though.
The problem with Symphogear is it reeks of desperation. It’s so eager to prove itself as a series worthy of being taken seriously. It’s like watching a five year old putting on a business suit. This series has tons of potential, but it’s not there yet. The premiere lacks refined execution. It starts with an angst ridden school girl crying at someone’s grave and flashbacks two years ago, then it skips a few months ago to arrive at where most of the plot is supposed to take place. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the grave scene was placed in the very beginning, it was supposed to set the mood and remind the viewers that ‘OH MY GOD BAD THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN AND IT’S SO SAD’, complete with a girl crying her eyes out in front of her bestfriend’s grave. The amount of angst here is just annoying, put that together with the blatant symbolism (Oh, and the redundant use of German) and you’ve got a mess so pretentious it’s (As Inushinde puts it) almost endearing.
Goddamn it’s Aufwajkhsda;sdkepjupewpi;! This show is too DEEP for me!
Like Rinne no Lagrange, Symphogear takes plenty of inspiration from several other series I won’t even mention. But if you’ve been watching anime since the 90’s then there’s nothing more similar (minus the singing) to Symphogear like Cyberteam in Akihabara. And much like Cyberteam, it almost feels like Symphogear is being too obvious with the themes it borrows from older series. If you’re curious, Cyberteam in Akiharaba borrows the ‘prince’ theme from Revolutionary Girl Utena.
I think you guys know what Symphogear is going for, I don’t need to tell you.
If there’s one thing I can praise it for though, it’s that the animation is decent. There’s movement and variation. Something series like Kill Me Baby, The New Prince of Tennis and Area no Kishi sorely lack. That isn’t a huge compliment given the series I’m comparing it to but beggars can’t be choosers. The variation is hampered down by the poor character designs and bad palette choices. The colors are almost too ‘cartoony’ choosing bright blues and rusty orange on Noise (Noise is that derpy alien race that prefer killing bystanders. They also lose basic brain functions when they’re up against the main characters.) doesn’t make them menacing, it makes them look stupid– which I guess is the point.
I’m not kidding, these aliens suck. It’s not even funny.
Not that the humans are any better, they’re a bunch of dumbasses too.
I’m going to give this series a few episodes to explain itself, but I have incredibly low expectations. The writing and pacing is so sloppy, with Noise practically waiting for the main character to do something before they can finally attack.
The first episode of Symphogear did make me want to write about it though, which isn’t the case for almost everything else I’ve seen this weekend. But like I said, this series’ premiere just wasn’t that good. I’m not even sure you can watch it for sweet irony the way most people watch The New Prince of Tennis.