Anime of Tomorrow
Senki Zesshou Symphogear Ep. 1
Initial impression – action, music and variety
Winter 2012 (13 episodes) (title literal translation – Senhime Stunning Vista Symphogear) (more info)
I’m not sure if it’s magic girl, mecha musume, idol singer or some strange mix of the three that transcends label, but Symphogear impresses on how it manages to balance several different themes quite well. It all starts with a pretty standard anime cliché for discovering the main character has superpowers. Some time ago a traumatic encounter left a lingering, latent potential in Hibiki only to have it awaken a year later at the moment when the ability is needed most. But something that sets Symphogear apart is the extent to which it plays up the theme of singing being a crucial part of the characters’ fighting abilities. It even goes as far as to call the enemies of humanity, “Noise.” The music isn’t bad, but it doesn’t come close to reaching even K-ON! levels of catchiness or quality; it’s just sort of there for the ambiance. The girls’ suit designs are delightfully crazy and impractical-looking, but the story thus far is moving along with focus. There’s a potential in this anime for something exciting.