anima mundi, Hibiki Tachibana, Intelligible Triad, Kanade Amou, Miku Kohinata, Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Swansong of the Valkyries Symphogear, Symphogear, techno visualization, Transformation, trinity, Tsubasa Kazanari, yuri, ZweiWing
If last winter I was enchanted by Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, this time I’m spellbound by Senki Zesshou Symphogear. Although it seemed comedic and playful for the most part, I like it because from the get-go it already gave us that mysterious vibe and sad event. Aside from that, this series also has very heart-warming yuri moments and engaging visuals and musicals. However, what fully caught my attention is the intricate and mind-boggling magical makeover of these Swansong and Noise-fighting schoolgirls especially Hibiki’s super awesome techno-futuristic transformation on the first episode.
The lovely visualization of how these regular young girls turned into glamorous fighting machines is so amusing. It gives me that entrancing spiritual experience whenever they deviate out from their earthly bodies as they change into the marvellous magical girls in armours. These scenes may seem like short flashes but when dissected, these give fascinating profundities that we can play creatively within our imaginations.
Interestingly, just like its predecessors, I find these transformation sequences as charming and spiritual in nature because from being ordinary, these young ladies undergo to the divinization process. I’m so charmed by the idea of the possibility and the possibility of the impossible. The imagery wherein a magical girl hovers as she aesthetically moves and glows into the air over a magical background as her clothes fade away is so symbolic and very feminine in nature. And, the way it’s being depicted is like the classic mental picture of the mystery of the Intelligible Triad.
That’s because we can see that during the transformation, the Harmonic is like a little world inside the great universe as she suspend by all her three spirits. First, we know that her worldly body is deeply connected and in constant sympathy to save its parent earth. Second, being a creature that has her own thoughts, she separates herself from this material world as she creates her new form of reality.
Further, Symphogear has very cool and enthralling visualizations of how a Harmonic’s astral soul suspends and lives in unison with her sidereal anima mundi—she is in it, as it is in her. Those techno background, sound bars, and cryptic wordplays are so wonderful and emblematic in ricocheting the world-pervading elements which fill all the space. Plus, I love the progressive movements on the screen for embodying the shoreless and infinite space.
Third, in the final phase of her divinity, it’s so captivating to see those segments of infinitesimal rays and those countless radiations. I see it as something that represents the Highest Cause—the emblazoning of the eternal Spiritual Light/Sound of the World. Hence, this trinity of the organic and inorganic facets creatively shows the clashing and merging of the physical and spiritual world. Or simply, the wonderful transformation of an ordinary school girl to sexy goddess-like Harmonic.
Right now, this is the most engaging anime that I’m watching. Apparently, I’m loving it more than I thought I would. But of course, how can’t I? With music as its main plot device embellished by yurific moments and artistic visuals, Symphogear is truly one of its kind. Plus, there are so much for me to fangirl about on this show (quite shallow but who cares? duh.)
And, Kanade x Tsubasa and Hibiki x Miku… so hnngggg<3
Interesting. I never thought of the transformations in that way, though I’m not a spiritual/philosophical person. While the visuals and yuri moments make the show fun at times, I think the writing for the characters is sloppy and full of cliches. And unlike Madoka, the sad event here was rather irrational and occurred before we even knew the character.
I still feel like this series has long long way to go before it match Madoka. The characters for me are quite interesting especially Tsubasa but except for Hibiki’s hair. There’s a good sense of balanced comedy and angst that’s why I’m enjoying this series.
While I don’t know if this show deserves the Madoka comparison just yet, it’s definitely improved upon itself since the first episode and I’m interested in seeing where all of this is going to take us.
I’m not really comparing this show to Madoka, Madoka is by far much better than this. However, I can see potential on this show and I liked how unique it is.
Time and time again, it amuses me how much research and effort you put into analyzing shows you really like. I now have a better understanding of why your watchlists are usually so small.
Anyway, back to the show,
I have a strong feeling that a debate between Madoka and Symphogear will be taking place after Symphogear comes to a close. I don’t know why, I just have a gut feeling.
Miku should win Hibiki’s heart because seriously, she’s Tamao’s successor and she must win at all costs. Tsubasa still has to find peace within herself so having her end up with Hibiki would be a low blow.
The henshins of course are epic and the special moves are executed fluently. Good stuff.
Now then Snippy, allow me to continue fantasizing about Ryoko popping Hibiki’s cherry.
Great analytical post as always.
To be honest, I just happened to mention Madoka because this also has that somewhat mysterious first episode and Hibiki’s voice sounds similar to Madoka. But by no means I’m putting this on the likes of Madoka. But, I believed that this show has a great potential.
Anyway, Tsubasa is my favourite on this series. I don’t know who else I can ship for her aside from Kanade. Unfortunately she died right away :( I also don’t think Hibiki’s right for her and I want Hibiki to just stay with Miki. I think they’re cute together. ^^
By the way, you’re always kind OG, thanks for your nice words. ^^
Well, the reason I mentioned Madoka is because this show feels like it’s cashing in on the dark magical girl blend Madoka made relevant again. However, it’s a different magical girl, the combat armor type, made popular by the legendary Nanoha Trilogy.
Anyway, this show is definitely one of my top 4 this season so far, along with Rinne no Lagrange, Bodacious Pirates and Last Exile 2. By the way, if you’re not watching any of them, as a fellow yuri nation member, I highly recommend picking all of them up. You won’t regret it.
Now on to why Madoka and Hibiki sound similar. Easy, they’re voiced by the same woman, Aoi Yuki. Seriously, I think I’ve fallen in love with that woman. I could go on and on about how awesome she is but I already made a post about that and you read it. I mean she voices both Hibiki and Last Exile 2’s Gisey.
It’s amazing how supposedly someone said Aoi Yuki is a yaoi fangirl and she continues getting roles where she’s either a 90% lesbian or a chick magnet. DARN IT I LOVE HER!
Stone Cold Tsubasa’s a neat character. I’m curious to see what will happen after she recovers from her near fatal injuries.
Heck yeah my dear Snippy. Hibiki x Miku all the way!
Of course I’ll always be nice to you Snippy. How can I not be? You’re so much fun to talk with.
I haven’t seen the Nanoha franchise. The closest that I’ve been with that series is through Nano x Fate doujins. Btw, I had seen Rinne no Lagrange’s first two episodes but it’s too mecha-ish for me. And as for the Bodacious Pirates, I just didn’t click with its first episode despite the blatant yuri hints. The characters are also somewhat… fat for me, haha.
Nice research on Aoi Yuki, now I just remembered that you wrote a post mentioning her. It’s pretty funny to know that she loves yaoi but her voice is always being type-cast as lesbian.
And oh why, of course Hbiki x Miku all the way! We build our fanclub just to ship for those two.
Aww, you’re missing out on the yuri goodness from Lagrange. Watch episodes 3 and 4 and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Trust me. This is coming from a non mecha fan. Watch 3 and 4. You won’t regret it.
Hmm, not clicking with the pirates, eh? That’s too bad. Oh well, I’ll let you know if there’s a mega doki-doki worthy moment in it should it arise.
I must confess that I haven’t seen the Nanoha trilogy either but it’s definitely on my schedule.
Miku is so deeply in love with Hibiki that it hurts seeing HER get hurt by not being able to spend time with the girl she loves because of inconvenient circumstances.
I personally hope she isn’t
A: going to make a heel turn (Become evil)
However, should they follow that path, THIS is the most acceptable ending a highly revered nation member made:
Miku: *suddenly attracts noise and turns EVOL after thinking Hibiki died which Hibiki didn’t do*
Tsubasa: *facepalms, sees a bit of herself in Hibiki, slaps Hibiki around*
Miku: *Arrives at some dramatic plot point*
Hibiki: We prepared, too!
Hibiki: Special attack: Love Song
Hibiki: *hands Miku flowers instead of beating her up*
Miku: *is instantly cured from EVOL*
Omg, on episode one Miku was crying over Hibiki’s tomb. Like what the heck is that? So I guess you can now delete B. But as for A, who knows… there might be a possibility especially if we put jealousy on the equation.
Btw, I’ll try to check out Lagrange. The animation looks really good for me too so it wouldn’t mind checking it again.
Other nation members are temporarily scratching that scenario off as something the secret agency Hibiki and Tsubasa are working for would instigate in case of an emergency.
It’s too early to call whether Miku will turn to the dark side out of jealousy but this is a dark anime after all and we know how entertainment media, both East and West, LOVE their dramatic struggles between the main characters and a person/people very close to them. I personally am sick of seeing the hero/heroine fighting against a sibling, parent, close relative, best friend or love interest. Enough with the effective, yet now painfully repeptitive scenario.
It’s not that I think it’s a bad anime or anything, but I think the premise seems too…out of my “acceptable range” of girls doing battle-like activities with “Mahou Shoujo Transformations”. It might be the greatest anime of this season, but I think it’ll take a lot of persuasion for me to even download it.
It could be just me, but that’s how it is.
Derp, but still quite an interesting review. You just made the whole show sound a whole lot more interesting, but…still.
For me, I’m really enjoying this show. I’m not really an action fan but if the show has some decent amount of ingredients that I find so entertaining, I’m willing to forgive its flaws. Indeed, the premise might be cliched but that isn’t the only thing for me when I’m watching an anime. ^^
So you want me to persuade you? Hmm… this show has fair amount of big oppais, haha joke! But seriously, I like it because of its yuri undertones, engaging characters, unique used of music, and most of all it’s not afraid to kill its characters. So far it’s not gimmicky so I really like it.
Interesting analysis. Definitely does give off an air with the regards to the transformation Never heard of anima mundi, but since I know Latin I think translates into “Soul Of The World” or “World Soul” something like that. However, the terms you put into does make sense with the shows theme. To me, felt like I was a watching a concert. It may not be any Madoka, but the music is definitely awesome as it advertizes and the graphics are not bad either (Only second to Rinne no Lagrange I would say).
I like this show mainly because of its uniqueness in terms of the plot, it maybe not original. But, for the other elements that it has, I find it entertaining and unique and more than anything else I like its visuals the most.
Engaging visual? Yes. Music? No. The songs the girls sang aren’t exactly my kind of music so for me, it’s quite difficult to enjoy the show. It doesn’t help that every single time these girls fight, they have to sing.
So you don’t like the music, I’m not surprised since you weren’t the first one to say that. It’s not really my type of music but I find it so funny on how they apply it.
I’m still kinda on the fence on whether I want to follow this now, or just wait when its finished. It’s not that I think its a bad show, and although I do love Nana Mizuki, there’s something about it that I can’t just put my finger on. I did watch the first episode though.
I had a more lighter interpretation of the transformation sequence – the lines reminded me of the synchro rates in Neon Genesis, so I likened it more to the girls getting in-tune with the symphogear.
Since you mentioned to me before that you didn’t really like the yuri in Madoka, you might not like it here as well. Quality-wise is way far from what Madoka had established, but Symphogear has a different vibe though. I would say that I’m recommending this show because I’m enjoying it, but it’s also easy for me to understand how others won’t enjoy this show.
I think you could make the same argument for any anime where girls transform, especially mahou shoujo like Sailor Moon. I’m finding myself liking some aspects of Symphogear, but not others. The music, yuri, and general idea are great, but the noise look like something drawn by a 5-year-old and the plot seems to be all over the place at the moment.
Some of its art are quite a bit off especially the monsters, but when the good ones are being showed, all of a sudden I’m forgetting my complaints about it’s other art flaws. That’s why I guess, this is my guilty pleasure of the season.
Cave Story said:
I like how Hibiki always fumble here and there in the early phases of combat but still tries to keep the concert going :D
Like in episode 5, ooo, that innocent little pipe on the floor tripping her. Somewhat akin to real combat situation, sometimes it’s the little obstacles that screws up the footing. But, seems like she will be graduating from taijutsu to weapon combat soon!
This anime reminds me of those stylish moments in a video game and comics.
I also like that. The song and concert combat style kind of pisses some viewers because it looks weird, but I’m liking it because it’s funny and unique. It eases that violent and serious atmosphere of the fighting scene. ^^
Oh yeah, I find the transformation sequence pretty and brilliant too. Especially the split image display where one of the bodies are equipped with the armours and stuff before materializing as one main body again.
I rather like the music though, well, granted that Hibiki isn’t such a great singer, I can’t really touch on that but my perspective that “the music is great” is mostly backed up by the fact of the emergence of Nana Mizuki! <3
I’m not really familiar with Nana Mizuki, but since music is one of the reasons why I’m liking this show, then I guess Nana Mizuki is really a good singer.
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i´d like to find the lyrics form the swan song :(
Antonia Bell said:
Here are the lyrics for Swan Song from a YouTube Video that wrote them – the video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XnCyedFGY8
These are the Lyrics from the video –
Gatran de spartles segret, edena…
Emistolo zerfine elbarazis…
Gatola de spartels segret tu edena…
Ericitaro zerfiner si”
Hell Antonia, thank you for providing the link. :)
what she world she said to be transform in a symphogear
Oh, I’m sorry. I’m not sure what world they are in. I believe they are in Earth and it’s being invaded by the Noise which are said to be aliens.
Antonia Bell said:
Could anyone perhaps look up the words used for each transformation for me? I’ve got the Swan Song lyrics and want to see what the Transformations are like
I’ll try to see what I can do. So far the only translated lyrics that I had seen are the OP and ED.
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