Another season of anime comes to an end, as they tend to do with the passage of time. As per usual, I’ll be looking back over what the past three months have given us anime-wise, and celebrating all the stuff I really enjoyed.
Here’s a list of everything I watched during the summer:
- Aikatsu Friends! Shining Jewel
- Are You Lost?
- BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS
- Carole & Tuesday
- The Demon Girl Next Door
- Fairy Tail Final Season
- Fight League: Gear Gadget Generators
- How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?
- Re:Stage! Dream Days♪
- One Piece
- Star ☆ Twinkle PreCure
- Symphogear XV
- Wasteful Days of High School Girls
There will potentially be spoilers for the shows listed above. With that said and done, I shall now dive right in.
Best Opening Theme
“METANOIA” by Nana Mizuki
The opening themes for Symphogear have always been a treat, and METANOIA continues that trend. Of course, that is just one of many incredible songs that Symphogear has to offer, but this particular song always marked the start of an incredible experience every Saturday for the summer season.
Runners-up: “Tsuki wo Ou Mayonaka” by Eir Aoi (GRANBELM); “Wa! Moon! dass! cry!” by Nozomu Tanaka, Akane Kikuchi & Shiori Saginomiya (Wasteful Day of High School Girls)
Protecting the world with songs
The fifth season of Symphogear has our protagonists dealing with monsters, a deity and at least one ridiculously powerful human as they strive to protect their planet with the power of their songs.
I’ve not really clarified this before, but the best plot is basically the award for the show that had me most invested and wanting to see what happens week after week; Symphogear XV more than qualified for that.
Runners-up: Demon girl vs. magical girl (The Demon Girl Next Door); GRANBELM tournament (GRANBELM)
From Symphogear, Hibiki would much rather reach out her hand to her enemies rather than fight them. When push comes to shove, though, Hibiki is able to punch her way through any obstacles that come her way. Already a great character on her own, the fact that she is portrayed by Aoi Yuuki just makes her pure perfection.
Runners-up: Mangetsu Kohinata (GRANBELM); Yuko Yoshida (The Demon Girl Next Door)
Symphogear is a series that constantly escalates, and Shem-ha is ultimately the culmination of all that; in video game terms, she is the final boss that the Symphogear wielders must overcome. A foe that has existed for millennia, and has all the power to back it up.
Runners-up: Suishou Hakamada (GRANBELM); Acnologia (Fairy Tail Final Season)
Best Female Character
Honestly, any of the Symphogear wielders more than qualify for this one, but ask me to pick out just one favourite and my answer is Hibiki Tachibana every time. To echo the words of Chris Yukine, Hibiki is “just too cool sometimes”.
Runners-up: Kae Hiiragi (Re:Stage! Dream Days♪); Hibiki Tenshou (Aikatsu Friends! Shining Jewel)
Best Male Character
Genjuro KazanariThe commander of S.O.N.G. in Symphogear, and a man who can fight on equal terms with the Symphogear wielders – without any special powers of his own. Turns out that incredible strength runs in his family, as Symphogear XV demonstrates.
Runners-up: Gus Goldman (Carole & Tuesday); Natsu Dragneel (Fairy Tail Final Season)
Best Cast of Characters
Symphogear Wielders & S.O.N.G.
It is pretty clear by this point, but I absolutely adore Symphogear. Part of that comes from the characters, and not just the six main wielders. I feel great affinity towards the cast of Symphogear, and it has been an utter pleasure watching them for seven years.
Runners-up: The chosen mages (GRANBELM); KiRaRe & rivals (Re:Stage! Dream Days♪)
Elfnein has come quite far ever since joining S.O.N.G. in Symphogear, even going so far as being willing to stand on the front lines of battle. Granted, she does have a little help when it comes to that, but that is something she was able to bring about herself.
Runners-up: Yuko Yoshida (The Demon Girl Next Door); Saku Momoi (Wasteful Days of High School Girls)
Most Badass Character
Oh, hey, it is Hibiki again! But, how many other characters are known as “god-killer”? Yeah, that is something that Hibiki is totally capable of pulling off, even if it doesn’t really match up to how she would prefer to do things when it comes to conflict. Again, this is an award that any Symphogear wielder is worthy of.
Runners-up: Hibiki Sakura (How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?); Homare Onishima (Are You Lost?)
Hibiki Tachibana & Miku KohinataHibiki loves Miku. Miku loves Hibiki. That’s all there is to it, and that’s all I’ll ever need.
Runners-up: Hibiki Tenshou & Alicia Charlotte (Aikatsu Friends! Shining Jewel); Yuko Yoshida & Momo Chiyoda (The Demon Girl Next Door)
Symphogear wielders vs. Shem-ha
Any single battle from Symphogear is worthy of being mentioned here, but for me the final battle is one of my favourites. The Symphogear wielders are in their most powerful forms, and Shem-ha is a deity; it’s quite a clash. The matter of how the fight is resolved is also very good.
Runners-up: Hibiki Tachibana vs. Noble Red (Symphogear XV); Carol Malus Deinheim vs. Noble Red (Symphogear XV)
Symphogear XV is full of superb songs, and Hibiki’s song ALL LOVES BLAZING as seen in the video above is just one of many. Picking out a single favourite is so hard, because the soundtrack is just that good.
Runners-up: Re:Stage! Dream Days♪; Carole & Tuesday
Making history with a light that even the gods don’t know
The finale for Symphogear XV sees the Symphogear Wielders battling a deity, and then using their songs to save the world. What an incredible way to see off what is easily my all time favourite anime.
Runners-up: Yuko & Momo promising to be together (The Demon Girl Next Door); GRANBELM’s final battle (GRANBELM)
Best Ending Theme
“Lasting Song” by Ayahi Takagaki
It probably comes as no surprise to see that Symphogear is dominating this season’s awards, but that is quite simply because I love the show. Hearing this song generally meant that a given episode of Symphogear XV had come to an end, but what an incredible not to go out on each week.
Runners-up: “Yoimachi Cantare” by Coro Machikado (The Demon Girl Next Door); “Negai” by Uru (GRANBELM)
I absolutely love Symphogear, and Symphogear XV was a fantastic way to conclude the whole thing. For me, Symphogear has always encapsulated everything I love about anime: over-the-top action sequences, superb music, and intimate relationships between girls, just to name a few. Other anime may bring one or two of these things together (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha probably coming closest), but nothing delivers them in quite the same way Symphogear does. Unless Symphogear ever gets a sequel of some sort, I very much doubt that there will be another anime that ever makes me feel the way Symphogear did.
Runners-up: The Demon Girl Next Door; GRANBELM
That wraps up the
Symphogear summer season of anime, and it was a very good season. Of course Symphogear was my favourite show, but the others I chose to watch all delivered some great stuff as well.
Possibly one of the best seasons of anime in recent memory, which I shall mostly attribute to Symphogear XV. I don’t think I’ve stated this enough, but I love Symphogear.