Senki Zesshou Symphogear Ep 1: A Wicked Start [First Impression]

Two years ago while attending Zwei Wing’s concert, Hibiki finds herself almost killed by Noise that had started attacking out of no where. Unable to escape the stadium fast enough, Hibiki finds herself caught in a crossfire as Kanade desperately tried to protect her and was critically injured. Kanade then decides to perform her Swan Song which would result consuming her to destroy the noise and prevent them from killing anymore people within the area. Back in the present, the Noise remains as a dangerous threat, and Hibiki is once again in danger, only this time, her desire to protect the girl she has been running with triggers an awakening of new-found powers.

Eva’s First Impression:

HOLY SHIT.
HOLY SHIT.
HOLY SHIT!!!
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!

I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT, AT ALL!
Give me a second to take this all in…

WOW.
It was really unexpected how the plot kicked off with Miku going to Hibiki’s graveyard and grieving her friend’s death. We are then led to a 2 years ago flashback where Miku wasn’t able to attend the concert with Hibiki, but what made me confused what that then it changed to the present.

Okay, so with that said, I’m assuming as how the episode ended, this is well before Hibiki’s death unless magically we discover that Hibiki had died in the first place but her self conscious or something that I can’t put into words is actually merged with Kanade’s. All we know for certain, is that Hibiki – if she isn’t actually dead already- is going to die.

It’s kind of a shame you know because, I’m already starting to like Hibiki. She’s very strong, and she takes what Kanade had told her when she was dying very seriously. She had taken the little girl she ran into at some point with her and carried her and was doing whatever it takes to get them to safety, climbing fearful heights only to be cornered once again. Now Hibiki turns into something, except that something taking over her-  and now she looks like a monster, her blood/organs has completely changed!!! IT looks almost as if she’s about to go berserk or something because this face, CAN’T BE GOOD. I pray to god that she doesn’t kill the kid be it intentionally because she’s obviously not herself at the moment or accidentally.

Right now I’m assuming she had inherited Kanade’s power or… maybe she had it all long, or maybe it has something to do with the operation that apparently saved her life? But the important part is that mark which she deems as a scar- on top of that, Hibiki had survived after being pierced in the heart.

I wasn’t expecting that the Noise was something the public were well aware about and it’s a diaster they’ve been facing for god knows how long. It appears the only way to take them down (as normal weapons are useless) is through SPECIAL singing. I also do wonder where have they originated from? Is that stone, creature, thing whatever we saw that Genjurou’s team was experimenting or whatever with connected with all this? We’ll find out soon enough.

Tsubasa’s attitude has completely changed from when we last saw her from 2 years ago flashback. She seemed to be more timid and such. Now in the present she’s much stronger and probably holds a dislike towards Hibiki since it was because of her, she indirectly triggered Kanade to sing the swan song. Another thing that made me snort was how Genjurou announced that show in particular will decide the future of mankind.
If that’s the case, they it proven that they are in deep shit- not that they weren’t already, maybe it’ll get worse from that point on. It also looks like they were hosting an experiment of some sort, either way it attracted a shitload of Noise and killed lots of people.

Overall I see a good potential in this show. I like what I’m seeing as the animation is pretty unique with a slash of various  styles and I’m looking forward to see how things unfold. Although I have to admit though that I was kind of expecting more for the dancing sequence, but I won’t complain too much since fortunately it wasn’t in CG. I do find it a little strange to see them singing while fighting at the same time, but it’ll grow on me, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. The music is quite beautiful, so I’ll be expecting a strong OST.

Possibility of Blogging: Guaranteed
Possibility of  Watching: Guaranteed

 

Kaitou’s First Impression

…I don’t even know what to say. O_o Mostly that I was confused in the first segment, surprised in the second, and a cross between baffled and excited in the last part.

OK, so opening with a visit to Hibiki’s grave is pretty clever for leveling up the drama, but again, like Eva said, it was a bit confusing when it flips over to the concert in where Kanade and Tsubasa are set to perform from two years before. I was wowed that they put so much into the concert, especially the choreography and effects, which is just a preview of what is to come later in the episode, and hopefully, the show.

One of the biggest shockers? That people die. Seriously, they get smacked by the Noise, and, BAM! They die. Guess that was a surprise for everyone thinking it was just singing magical girls. It’s almost a mash of Nanoha, Precure, and Utapri, but in a fanservice-y way; not too much mech to turn off the girls, just enough cool effects to attract the guys. And the fact that Kanade was pierced straight through the heart, and the blood actually came out? That was really surprising for what you’d expect to be a “light” girls show. Instead, we get angry girls who are willing to sacrifice everything to save a person, bad guys that actually turn people into dust, and the fact that a main character is fated to die. Who’s the protagonist in this show?

Tsubasa? Maybe.

The biggest plus point for the episode was the music and fighting. While I’m a sucker for shows with music (Full Moon wo Sagashite, Macross Frontier, barring Id@lmaster >.>), I was caught up with so much surprise and awe that they actually sang while they fought and it had an effect on the Noise. The action sequences were a easy to be caught up in, and they did something that was very different from the usual “IMMA ATTACK U NAO WIF –INSERT WEIRD NAME HERE–,” where they opted for a still frame with the attack name in large letters with ben-day dots, which integrates in a odd way with the action, but it’s not too distracting  at all. Music is the draw point, but unless they delve more into the mindsets of the characters, I don’t feel compelled to understand what they feel about fighting to the death. I want to know why they fight, and are willing to give themselves up for others even though they seem to the be the only people capable of taking down Noise.

It didn’t really pick up again until the part where Hibiki makes up her mind to live on, and she transforms. What was interesting was that instead of the graceful change from normal girl to that of the Zwei Wing singers in the beginning, it seems more like a parasite bursting out of its shell, manifesting itself onto the body of Hibiki. If Noise was so commonplace in people’s lives, why do they continue to live like this? Where do these powers come from? And why does Hibiki’s other form have such a ridiculously long name!?! How do you even pronounce “Aufwachenschlagen,” (seriously, why .__.)and why would you be compelled to yell it in the middle of battle? I just hope they don’t get bogged down in trying to impress everyone and lose sight of what makes this show stand out over the other mech/magical girl shows. The suspense works well for drawing the viewer in, and there’s so many questions that need answering. It’s not compelling that its deep or anything like that, but it serves as an impressive and strong introduction to what looks like a promising show.

I guess we’ll find out. It was surprising because I had a lot of biased expectations, and they broke all of them, but I hope they can top this episode. More songs, maybe? :3 More Stardust ∞ Foton, for sure.

Possibility of Blogging: Maybe
Possibility of  Watching: Maybe

 

Kat’s First Impression:

The description for this anime starts out with “A music-battle anime following two girls in a top vocal unit named Zweiwing.” This kind of deterred me, but I still wanted to give it a chance, due to the supernatural genre that it holds. And I was glad that I decided to give it that chance.

Right off the bat, I knew I would be at least somewhat interested in this anime. There’s an opening scene that takes place in the present, then after that, it rewinds and backtracks two years into the past. I really like non-linear shows, because they usually have a way of being more complex than shows that are completely linear–they tend to be more interesting and have more/ in-depth plots, in my experience.

Anyway,  two years in the past, Zweiwing is holding a concert. I knew something exciting and action-packed was going to happen when their manager (or the “Commander,” as the girls call him) says to them “The show tonight will decide the future of mankind.” I knew that from that one line, I was hooked.

A girl named Hibiki is alone in the audience because her friend couldn’t make it to the show with her. Regardless, she has a great time watching Kanade and Tsubasa’s performance. That is, until the Noise shows up. Although the designs of the Noise could have been a bit more quality, I absolutely loved the powers that the monsters have: the Noise can disintegrate humans simply by touching them. The effects on this were wonderful, as was the action scene where the two singers fight off the Noise.

My favorite part about this episode was when Hibiki is hit by an attack of the Noise, and falls to the ground, spouting blood from her chest. I love gore, and although this wasn’t particularly gorey, per say, it was satisfactory. Right after Hibiki is wounded, Kanade goes to her side and yells to her, “Don’t accept death!” which I really enjoyed, because it shows that she’s an empathetic character.

Although Kanade and Tsubasa kill many of the Noise prior to this event, there are still many left. I can’t say I wasn’t upset when Kanade gives her life to destroy the remainder of the monsters.  I was already beginning to become attached to her character! So sad.

In another part, the Noise is attacking again. This time, there is military there trying to fight them off, but their guns and explosions are completely ineffective. I really like this idea, because I am against the military in real life, and also because it means that only the magical girls can fight off the monsters.

Okay, I’ve already written a lot, but I have one last thing to say. About the ending, of course. Hibiki ends up on a rooftop while running from the Noise, and it turns out that she is cornered by even more monsters who were on the roof. She starts to sing and a light shoots out from her chest. And, oh, my, her transformation at the end was absolutely amazing. She grows fangs and sprouts a magical, mechanical suit of armour. Her devilish smile and her appearance at the end made me really eager to watch more of this anime.

Possibility of Blogging: Maybe

Possibility of  Watching: Yes

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog

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