I wasn’t as disappointed in Senki Zesshou Symphogear (Valkyries of the Swan Song) as I should’ve been. The first episode was amazing (to me) but then as it went on, things fell apart with plot holes, cliches, and silly little flaws. My first impression still stands —found here along with an episode 1 summary— that episode 1 was great, but that was the only reason I kept to the series. Pretty much Hibiki, our main character, becomes a mecha, magical girl, who sings to battle monster known as Noise (sadly, they aren’t related to TWEWY); sounds odd, but I really enjoyed the concept.
This power that Hibiki gains, of course, brings trouble, but a lot of it causes dramatic stuff with her best friend Miku (though honestly, you may as well call them lovers). Since Hibiki isn’t allowed to let anyone know about what she’s doing, Miku freaks out, over several episodes, and some girl drama goes around. Then, being the main character, Hibiki has to learn to strengthen her powers and earn her weapon, but something unexpected happens, and she…yea spoilers. But hey, she makes friends and battles a silly villain with a stupid plan!
The plot really wasn’t as grand as I hoped it would be. I didn’t expect it to be *SPOILER*
defeat the villain who wants to destroy the moon and take over the planet
I expected something more than that; I’m not sure what, but I had high hopes for this series, but it just happens. At least the music was great; it had to be in order to make the series work out
So onto characters; there were many types of characters in this series, but I feel the urge to point out the one I hated the most, this chick pictured down there (this image is from a later episode, but it doesn’t spoil too much…I hope). She was kinda funny at first with her whole “You’re overworking yourself, it’s not like you’re an anime character”, but when that’s all she’s really there for, I want to kick her in the face and punch her life. I mean you couldn’t have given her much more to do other than demolish the fourth wall? I guess she has some sort of a part in the last few episodes, but the fact that she wasn’t a serious character and that you couldn’t possibly take her seriously, just threw her down the drain for me. Regardless, most of the other characters were pretty interesting. I can’t really go into depth about them without heading into more spoilers, but I can say that Hibiki was pretty undeveloped. She may be the main character, but she didn’t pull off “Friendship is magical!” very well, and she started to annoy me because she was throwing friendship everywhere.
Oh, and let’s not forget how notoriously quality this anime is! I’m not even sure how some of this happened…First, the animation; glad to know I wasn’t the only one who saw this and died laughing. The animation is pretty iffy throughout the series, it switches around a lot so you get these fantastic scenes (it’s the promotional video, but you can see the differences in animation), as well as nice “clean” (as in easy to tell what’s going on) battle scenes, or then you get that mess, but you know, it’s not the worst I’ve seen, and a lot of animes fall victim to the anatomy of walking/running, and movement in general. Then there’s that abomination of “Engrish”, which was ridiculous; it lacked grammar for one, and I feel like they only had one voice actor who kinda knew how to pronounce the words so whenever a character (and any character) had an “English” line to speak, she was put there to speak. The animators put their own subtitles in both English and Japanese, and it was horrid. The subbers had made much more sense out of it all than I could imagine anyone could. Sadly, this stuff kinda killed the mood of the scene and I couldn’t take the rest of the episode seriously. I did at least enjoy the animation of the attacks and how the names of them would be called out. I think the first episode was made pretty consistent just to leave an impression (which was actually a pretty great idea, but…), because the animation looked nice and clean until the second episode.
Once again, the music somewhat makes up for it. I loved the OP and ED’s greatly; they were upbeat and very catchy. I also loved the girls’ swan songs; which of course we didn’t hear them too much, because singing the song would mean the girl is sacrificing her life for an extremely powerful attack. I liked how the darker melody was very soothing, and Kanade’s (for example) managed to give me a chill. It was interesting about how unique the songs were to the character, and how they had their own song while in battle; it shows how the creators really did hope to incorporate just the right amount of music into the anime.
So as you can see, I wasn’t too happy with this anime, but it was decent to watch. It did somewhat feel like a joke to me after the halfway point; things just got pretty absurd. I won’t spoil anything more, so you’re on your own now; don’t let my review get you down about it, check it out and see if it’s to your liking, just keep in mind some of my points *cough*