Maser Patrol podcast episode 47: Symphogear

After a long hiatus, it’s time for another episode of the Maser Patrol podcast. This time, we take a look at a show with a valuable life lesson:

That’s right, this time around Josh and Kevin discuss the sweet Swan Songs of the Valkyries in the Senki Zesshō Symphogear franchise. It’s largely a synopsis of the five seasons, but hopefully our enthusiasm (and a little bit of the historical context) gives a sense of why it’s a program absolutely worth checking out.

Warnings: Many spoilers. Also, the editing for this podcast might not be all that tight due to Audacity problems (but it’s Maser Patrol, so of course it’s a couple hours long anyway).

Direct download

Show notes:

Marketing

  • How Symphogear is marketed in Japan:
  • How Symphogear is marketed in the US:
  • How Symphogear probably should be marketed:
  • But what Symphogear is really about:

Sample clips:

  • The marketing leading up to season 1 all implied that Kanade would be a main character, and not, say, someone who would die halfway into the first episode:

Talking about the show:

  • Hibiki Tachibana in a nutshell:
  • The Noise designs are very much like Tohl Narita’s Ultraman monsters:
  • Even more psuedo-Ultraman: The Nephilim was modeled after Zetton, while Hibiki turns into a red-and-silver giant at one point.
  • Yumi’s self-awareness:
  • Ignite module vs Kill la Kill god robe:

The mobile game

  • Symphogear XD Unlimited mobile game opening:

XDU Collaborations that’d be of interest:

  • SSSS.Gridman
  • Godzilla
  • ULTRAMAN
  • Nanoha Detonation
  • Attack on Titan
  • the Gamera trilogy
  • Nendoroids mentioned:

Hopefully that all sheds some light on why the franchise has such a devout fanbase, and why “watch Symphogear” has become a meme associated with rabid, proselytizing otaku. But seriously, if you’re even a bit curious, it’s worth checking out.

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3 Responses to Maser Patrol podcast episode 47: Symphogear

  1. Ramior says:

    Meh, always seems to me to be “Pretty Cure, but with fan service and edge.”

    • kevnder says:

      Symphogear likely would not have happened without the physicality of PreCure (especially the early stuff), but otherwise I don’t think there’s that much overlap.

      Its seasons build on each other without changing out the cast, there’s no “monster of the week” status quo, no cute animal mascots, no fancy transformation devices. It’s also got more emphasis on world-building, mechanical design, music, and over-the-top ridiculous elements.

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