Symphogear #01 — StardustooFoton

January 6th, 2012




Hmm. This will be interesting to talk about. One of those rare times where I feel like I actually have to discuss the plot. I see the parallels to Ga-Rei Zero now that people who watched the early pre-airing were talking about. It begins with a flashforward to one character at another’s grave. By the end of the episode, said dead character has sung the song of Gungnir, had a beam shoot evil ivy into her veins, and transformed into some manner of berserk half-mech. In the interim, she was too weak and clueless to realize to run away when monsters were attacking and got one of her idols killed, which taught her to… not be so clueless. Sort of. It didn’t look like they were going to win that fight anyway. I appreciated how the monsters stopped attacking so she could throw her weapon aside and run to the side of some random girl in the crowd who got winged by shrapnel though. What polite monsters. Also amusing how her partner just stood there yelling. What a jerk.

So in short, the episode focuses on three characters, one of which dies, and the other you’re told is going to die in the opening seconds of the show. It’s certainly a hook, I’ll give them that, and never let it be said that I’m not a fan of wanton bloodshed. The rest was pretty well-done too, but there were certainly a number of hiccups here and there. The jarring shift from ol’ Gungnir-girl watching her hero die to suddenly having wacky fun at school was probably the worst of them, but the CG and general cheapness during the concert made me cringe a little. The scar in the shape of a forte symbol also made me roll my eyes hard enough to see the aneurysm building in my brain. Production was quite good otherwise though, barring the random splash images naming attacks. No, that’s not supposed to read "Lastoometeor." They handled the music quite well too, which is a blessing given that apparently bullets lack the power of vibrato.

So far though, definitely one of the solidest episodes of the new season thus far. There’s still a lot about the characters and world in general that needs to be fleshed out a bit more, but that comes with time… or with a giant expositional dump at some point. Hopefully the former. I certainly enjoyed this first episode enough to give the next few a chance.

Posted in Symphogear | 12 Comments »

12 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Chen says:

    Maybe it’s the ∞ symbol, like Stardust Infinite Foton or Last Infinite Meteor. Okay, the second one doesn’t make much sense, but it does sound pretty damn cool.

    Aroduc says:

    Hm. You’re probably right. It’s different from the ‘o’ in ‘Foton’. Oh well.

  • NightShadow2239 says:
    Cheers to its localization!

  • Anonymous says:

    A show Aroduc doesn’t hate from the get-go? Impossible.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised you don’t hate on this show. It’s actually really, really dumb and suffers from a lot of mistakes you usually are the first to point in other shows. Like:

    -We’re given 1 whole minute of silly monsters killing people while the super-powered heroines wait doing nothing for the slaughter to end. Fucking Blood-C flashbacks. This was a cheap ploy to feature GRUESOME, yet actually funny, SCENES that actually makes no real sense in retrospective.

    -Hibiki was perfectly still the whole time. Everyone around her was dead. Why was she still safe? Why didn’t she even try to run away?

    -Why was Kanade singing their own theme song? If that song was the source of her power, why wasn’t Tsubasa singing later on in the second half of the episode? Why is cheesy J-Pop a source of power, anyway?

    -When Hibiki got hurt and Kanade went to see what had happened to Hibiki, why did the monsters stop attacking? Why were they all perfectly lined up waiting for Kanade to get ready again?

    -Hibiki witnessed hundreds get killed and didn’t give a shit. Why was she so I CAN’T LIVE ANYMORE WITH THIS GUILT over a single schoolgirl getting hurt? Why were these monsters that she needed to die to defeat so strong when they looked just like the ones Tsubasa effortlessly slaughtered later in the episode?

    -Why was a single small girl the only survivor from the Noise attack on the city? Why didn’t Hibiki try to run away towards the school? Why did she run towards a dead end?

    takebou says:

    Sure, the writing leaves the viewer a little dissatisfied, but to be honest, it really wasn’t that bad. Production values were fairly solid (with the exception of lol sketchy concert), characters knew what kind of people they were without going into angst-ville, and the music was certainly good if you like j-pop.

    Then again, the writing is….still something that needs to be improved on….

    Also, for hibiki getting cornered like that, it’s one of those established tropes that a character needs to be cornered first before he/she gets saved by unknown power/person x. :/

    It’s a bit stupid when you stop to think about it, yes, but things wouldn’t progress into the story for most action shows if one of the main characters doesn’t run into dead ends every now and then.

    alex says:

    “Hibiki was perfectly still the whole time. Everyone around her was dead. Why was she still safe? Why didn’t she even try to run away?”

    watch Macross Frontier False Songstress, you’ll understand

  • ZakuAbumi says:

    “but the CG and general cheapness during the concert made me cringe a little”

    CG and cheapness? During the concert? Really?

    Sure, the characters were off-model at times but that’s not really what animation is about. And I’m also quite certain that there wasn’t any trace of CG regarding those two, it looked clearly like full animation to me due to a high frame rate. It actually reminded me of CLANNAD’s parallel world scenes or Kou Yoshinari’s works.

    Anonymous says:

    No, they were definitely “CG”. CG rotoscope. They animated them in CG and then drew over the CG. It’s actually really obvious:

    ZakuAbumi says:

    Oh, so that’s it? Thanks for the information.
    But I find it pretty hard to discern those two methods. Is there anything special to look for, something that really sets them apart?

    Progeusz says:

    It was so obvious that only you have noticed it. Yeah. Go hate somewhere else.

  • The Phantom says:

    I don’t know what to say about this, but on a positive note, it seems that they are willing to kill main characters and that is enough for me to add it to the watch list.