31 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Senki Zesshou Symphogear episode 1

We want to be Macross so hard it burns ussss!

Good lord this was hilarious. Where to begin, where to begin? So the main character starts off dead. Not in itself unusual, as they are normally spirited back to life again. But this is in the future, complete with character collapsing at her grave crying “why did you have to leave us, wwwhyyyyyyyyyy!?!”, so it adds obvious tension when the main character happens to be alive in the present day. She was going to attend a Sheryl X Ranka concert, but the tickets were sold out, so she instead had to go some shoddy rip-off band with music not composed by Yoko Kanno. Cue incredibly dull concert scene with awful pop music that doesn’t even have the decency to be ironically bad like the music in Uta no Prince-sama. Thankfully, some giant aliens attacked, ending the concert sequence there.

What this scene reminded me of was when I’m listening to music, I like to pretend they are backing tracks to some random anime playing through my head. This isn’t a particularly good way to create a story, as you’re left to the wild whims of a song ending halfway through a scene, or perhaps playing music that doesn’t fit with what you had originally envisioned. But Nymphogear runs with it anyway, prisoner to the shuffle playlist on their ipod, and stops the song and starts with the alien invasion. The two pop idols (colour coded for your convenience) don’t seem to fazed by this recent development and instead turn into robots and start singing while fighting the aliens.

Meanwhile, random background characters are being crushed and killed and generally not having a very nice time, something that seems to fly straight over the head of our female lead. Perhaps she’s embraced the idea that she’s going to die, so she stays completely still while the evil aliens attack. Eventually one of them does attack in her general direction, causing her to scrape her knee. This grave injury has incapacitated her, but thankfully the orange colour coded pop idol noticed her in distress. Completely ignoring the various people being slowly crushed to death under fallen debris, she rushes to the girl with the horrific injury to protect her. Fat lot of good she does though, as the aliens then cause copious amounts of pomegranate juice to spew out of her body.

Oh dear, a little girl has a scraped knee and spilled some juice. We can’t let this happen can we? Never mind all the hundreds of other civilians being crushed and zapped and generally in much worse off situations, our orange colour coded pop idol can’t let this girl die. So she sings a song that kills herself. Yes, these aliens are causing them a bit of trouble, so the only option is to use the one attack that causes her to disintegrate. Fantastic tactics there. Apparently it was done to help the girl recover from her life-threatening scraped knee. Yes, let one of the only warriors who can fight the aliens charge into a wild kamikaze song to save one little girl.

Anyway, fast forward to the future, the aliens are still attacking. The military are apparently still sent out to fight them, wasting what must be hundreds of thousands of Future Money on expensive weaponry that have no effect on the aliens, who are called Noise (oho I see what you did there. Music is the opposite of Noise so you fight Noise with Music). Thankfully the blue colour coded pop idol flies in and saves Japan’s budget by killing the aliens. Meanwhile, the main character has apparently recovered from her scraped knee, but the spilled pomegranate juice has left a nasty stain on her chest. After a day in school where she climaxed 100 times, the anime reminds us that CDs are status symbols and that you have to buy them or else you will be shunned by your peers BUY OUR CD SINGLES NAOW!!!

Unfortunately, on her way to the CD shop to buy stupidly overpriced singles that she could just pirate anyway, our main character is attacked by those nasty Noise again. Well, she’s less attacked and more walks straight into the warzone, apparently being so gormless that she only notices the destruction after she has wandered straight into the middle of it. Her survival instincts kick in again when she turns a corner and is confronted on all sides by Noise, who are apparently so flabbergasted by her stupidity that they fail to scrape her knee before she escapes. Then, somewhere off camera, the main character picks up a little girl and starts dragging her on top of giant buildings. This was seriously baffling. I mean, it quite literally went from one scene of her running away from the Noise to another when she had a little girl in her hand. No scene where they met up. No explanation as to where she had come from. She was just suddenly there.

Anyway, main character hauls the little girl on top of a building where several Noise had stopped for a picnic (main character displaying her remarkable survival instincts yet again). Thankfully at this point, the main character realises that the only weakness Noise have is singing. The clue was the only establishments not touched in the recent alien invasion were the karaoke bars. The scene then cuts to the bridge of every single wartime government organisation ever, complete with a raised bridge with man pulling Gendo Ikari eyes and a harem of women whose job it is to push flashing buttons and spout technobabble. German technobabble as it turns out, one of the girls saying “This couldn’t be…Aufwachenschlagen!?!”. Clearly it is Aufwachenschlagen. How could you mistake it for anything other than Aufwachenschlagen? Google translate tells me this is German for ‘wake up hitting’, which is exactly what the main character does. She wakes up, turns into a giant robot, and I suppose the next episode will kick off her her hitting the Noise while singing terrible jpop.

I can’t fucking wait for the next episode!

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  1. Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, the first episode was a bit of a mess, but I just can’t stop watching it. Screw the eventual spoiler in the opening minutes, it hasn’t stopped other shows from being good in the past.

    • Posted January 8, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

      Actually, it would not surprise me in the least if the lead STAYS dead. Seriously, spontaenous resurrection kind of fits in this series.

    • Posted January 8, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Or rather, would be surprised. Stupid lack of edit function…

  2. ~sky
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    implying the jpop was so bad it hits and wake up even the dead?

  3. Moomba
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Just a small note – apparently Aufwachenschlagen mostly translates to “Awakening Beat” which also happens to be the episode title.

    Additionally, on the little girl, I assumed that she heard the girl screaming, vanished offscreen and then reappeared with the girl in tow.

    That juice fountain was absurd. It left a convenient “f” symbol on her chest though… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamics_(music)

    • Posted January 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      The word “Aufwachenschlagen” doesn’t really exist in German. It’s a senseless combination of the words “aufwachen” (to wake up) and “schlagen” (to hit/beat) which doesn’t resemble correct German grammar. The correct translation of “awakening beat” would be something like “Weckschlag” or “Schlag des Erwachens” (“beat of awakening”).
      But well, we can’t expect from the Japanese producers to use proper German grammar when they can’t even use proper English grammar in most of their anime productions (especially in crappy anime productions like this one).

  4. ma
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Best single episode of the season needed best single post of the season!
    I laughed hard.

  5. Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    “No explan­a­tion as to where she had come from. She was just sud­denly there.”
    Ha, I won’t let this pass, Scamp!
    Basically, she heard a girl screaming. Offscreen, she found her and took the girl with her. As a consequence, the girl was right next to her and they started running for their life together.
    As for the giant buildings, I think it was quite a nice move. After being told to value her life and never ever give up no matter the circumstances, she’s indeed capable of pulling off this little stunt. It really shows her determination. Not a subtle move, that’s for sure, but certainly not the dumbest move on earth.

    Regarding the rest, I agree with you. Some scenes were indeed very very silly. Not as bad as… let me see… GUILTY CROWN, but still idiotic. Looks like I’m only watching this for glorious animation quality.
    See, that’s what your behated Sakuga AMVs are for: Making your forget the stupid context/plot so you can enjoy the things happening on your screen.

    The BGM was still unbearably noisy as fuck and personally, I hated the insert songs. Every single one of them.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I think I must have mistakened the little girls screams for generic background screams

  6. ペーパー先生
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    It was still a thousand times better than I thought it would be. And it has notably less mindless fanservice than I expected. Plus, I got to learn from it! I now know that little Japanese girls are filled with Juicy-Juice!

  7. Kiseki
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I find it funny how everyone says the animation looks great when the screencaps and character designs look terrible.

    By the way, the Final Boss in Suite Precure is a screechy giant bird named Noise who wants to rid the world of all…sounds.

    • Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Character designs and screencaps are in no relation to animation quality.

      • Kiseki
        Posted January 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        I know. I just wasn’t expecting praise when the stills looked terrible.

  8. Embok
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for not making a retarded Madoka comparison like everyone else does.

  9. Erif
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Our main character is obviously the SAVIOUR OF THE UNIVERSE. Why else would orange pop idol so selflessly sacrifice herself just for the girl’s sake?


    • Posted January 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      To heal her scraped knee.

      • elior1
        Posted January 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        the main character girl dead will be in the later episodes of this anime what we see now is before her dead as magical girl

  10. Thrashy
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    The Locust are invading. Send out the j-pop idols!

  11. FURY261
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    better than i expected. Thought it was gonna be girl robots getting their suits ripped off by sound. It was corny but interesting. Maybe because it actually managed to thwart my expectations or maybe it was because of the animation & fight scenes. Well regardless, it was not as painful to watch as other shit ive seen i.e. Guilty Crown.

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 1:49 am | Permalink


  12. Anne Onymous
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    >After a day in school where she cli­maxed 100 times
    Looks like you used Commie’s subs? Underwater translated this better.

    As for the little girl, you could hear a scream for help before she went offscreen to help her.

    As for the music: Vocals by Mizuki Nana, who also performed the songs for Nanoha.

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      What was she supposed to say? Because it was a tad bit alarming that that little girl knew how 100 climaxes feel.

    • Moomba
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Considering she specifically says it felt like 100 climaxes in succession I’m not really sure what a “better translation” would be… more liberal perhaps?


      Now I may not be completely fluent in Japanese, but there’s one very obvious way to read that – “The feeling of 100 climaxes firing in rapid succession.” It even has the words “Climax” and “100” in it!

  13. tjlep
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Stick with Symphogear for absolute hilarity. The scene where the main character is skipping along singing “CD.. Status.. CD.. Status..” had me in stitches.

  14. Posted January 8, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I dare you to blog it

  15. Alterego
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Are you going to cover Miniskirt/Bodacious/Mouretsu (Space/Uchuu) Pirates/Kaizoku?

    • Scamp
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      I’m going to cover EVERYTHING!!!

      • DarkEnergy
        Posted January 9, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Scamp is evolving!
        Congratulations! Your Scamp
        evolved into OtakuScamp!

  16. Bob Bobsters
    Posted January 8, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    At one time I was told that one could not ascertain sarcasm from written text. Whoever told me that had obviously never read anything by Scamp.

  17. KBKarma
    Posted January 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    So much laughter. Thank you very much.

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