Basara Nekki, the SPACE BARD OF PEACE, has been my favorite character in all anime for the past 3 years. This is unlikely to change, but Basara for all his annoying righteousness and callousness… is indeed righteous in the most righteous way: he sings for peace in the most awesome way possible. He wouldn’t countenance killing, and he’d disable lethal ordnance on his VF if he could.
The thing is, would I want another character like that? The way I would want say, more badass mecha pilots in anime? No. One Basara is enough, spare us all. I came into watching Senki Zesshou Symphogear knowing only that there is a concert scene. And I thought, “oh idols.” I had watched iDOLM@STER to my disappointment – there was nothing remotely awesome about it – just a bunch of moé idols perpetrating the marketing illusion that idols are adorable in front and away from the camera.
I grew up watching Macross so that nonsense will never really impress me. But I gave it all I could and I would do the same for Symphogear. And sure enough, it rewarded me with an idol concert far beyond anything in iDOLM@STER:
Not bad at all, and this is from me who’s watched the May’n & Mamegu Sheryl & Ranka schtick over and over and over at the Budokan (no I wasn’t really there). This is well done as idol concerts are concerned, especially for TV anime. But I’ll be goddamned if this was the only thing the episode gave me.
It gave me violence and death, and a big ‘ol stand from an IDOL MAGIC GIRL ROBOT FIGHTER.
Now let me tell you what is cool about this shit. Yes the idol was singing to destroy the enemies. The song wasn’t just for powering up, it’s intrinsically linked to how the enemies… the “Noise” are destroyed. Melody destroys Noise. Get it? Got over it? Good. This wasn’t Minmay shocking the Zentraedi with idol cuteness. This wasn’t Ranka stupefying the Vajra with fold waves. This wasn’t Basara making Space Vampires cum with his Anima Spiritia and HOLY LONELY LIGHT.
This is an idol magic girl with power armor and weapons destroying CG monsters that kill people without fanfare. Concert-goers got massacred, now Kanade delivers her retribution. Even cooler, she sings in the low register, as befits her badass powers. It just wouldn’t do to have a shrill or chirpy moé idol voice getting this shit done. This was righteous.
The episode unfolds its origin story of a Madoka Magica-esque weak little girl turned hero. But unlike the long, clever tease of Magical Girl Madoka Magica, Tachibana Hibiki transforms by the end of the pilot episode, AND HOW! BRING FORTH THE BEATS OF BEASTS~ I’ve no idea how this show will progress from here, but I only ask for the following:
- Keep things violent and deadly.
- Make the action scenes fist-pump worthy.
- Make the music interesting.
Do this and I will sing your praises. Note how I didn’t mention “character development” or “DEEP PLOT” whatever anime fags demand from their moving illustrations. Titillation is okay, just keep it down a notch or seven from the trash Guilty Crown and Rinne no Lagrange have been begging to make us fap to. Code Geass, Macross Frontier, and Neon Genesis Evangelion are titles all up to their gills in fanservice, but I never felt the disgust that kimoi shit like Fractale serve up.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear has my attention, now LISTEN TO MY SONG!