Tag Archives: nana mizuki

Senki Zesshou Symphogear Episode 01 – El Review

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Hello everyone, after being convinced by Kujou-san on how informative this episodic reviewing thing can be, I was converted and decided to do ongoing show reviews.  For this season I will be doing Senki Zesshou Symphogear and Nisemonogatari.

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Having only read a brief synopsis of the show prior to the first viewing, I had little to no expectation for this show. To be quite frank, I only decided to review this show after learning that Nana Mizuki was in it and no other real reason. So, thanks Kujou-san.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear (戦姫絶唱シンフォギア) is an original anime produced by a relatively rookie studio Encourage Films and co-produced by Satelight slated to run 13 episodes with Nana Mizuki performing the opening theme Synchrogazer and Ayahi Takagaki performing the ending theme Meteor Light.

Before I begin, let me briefly list the “apparent” main cast members as you will all soon find that this concept of main character is just that, a concept.

Surprisingly, the show features an impressive cast but as Kujou-san and I discussed, so did Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. In Senki Zesshou Symphogear (which can be literally translated as Battle Maiden Excellent Symphogear,) Aoi Yuuki (Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Mina Tepes from Dance in the Vampire Bund) stars as Hibiki Tachibana, Yuka Iguchi (Index from To Aru Majutsu no Index and Tsukihi Araragi from Bakemonogatari series) as Hibiki’s roommate and friend Miku Kohinata,) veteran Minami Takayama (Conan Edogawa from Case Closed series and former member of Two-Mix most notably having done the theme songs for Gundam Wing series) as idol duo Zwei Wing member Kanade Amou, and, of course, Nana Mizuki(refer to my previous post) as the other half of Zwei Wing, Tsubasa Kazanari.

Show starts. Main character is dead. Thank you for watching. The End.

The show opens up with Miku going to visit Hibiki’s grave… One way you know that a show is going the right way is seeing that as soon as the show starts one of the main character is already dead. But, in the midst of crumbled and shelled out buildings, we transition to two years in the past where apparently Hibiki is still alive attending a concert featuring Zwei Wing’s Kanade and Tsubasa and all the futuristic buildings are shiny and vibrant again.

Though having promised to go with Hibiki, Miku skips out due to family stuff and we get a pleasurable few minutes of Nana Mizuki and Minami Takayama singing voice. Occasionally we get a random flash of a control room looking place where a male character with lion manes (I will go into more details about him in later episodes,) discusses with another in the room about how excellent the concert is going while staring at a glowing relic that seems to have lasers pointed at it.

However, peace is disturbed when the folks in this control room seemingly located beneath the stadium realizes that all is not excellent and the relic causes a violent explosion which is followed by an onslaught of extremely badly designed foreign beings attacking the people at the stadium. And for some odd reason the crowd already knows what they are and calls them, Noise. These Noise of varying shapes and sizes with some flying would envelop its victims in the stadium then turn the victim and itself into black ash. It does not look too pleasant, rather, it looks gruesome and cruel as the people are screaming up to the point where they dry up and turn to powder. One young woman repeatedly screeches that she does not want to die as she turns to powder shakes me with an odd fear despite the horrid monster designed apparently (assumedly) by a five year old.

Most Excellent Monster Design curtesy of an unnamed five year old.

My fears soon subsided when the two members of Zwei Wing, to no viewers’ surprise, turned out to be power suited super heroes who slowly but surely takes off into action.

When you fight, you show what moves you’re doing in giant banners covering the entire screen, cause you’ll just end up dying in a cruel way.

How would power suited idol duo fight monsters? Well, 1) you get giant swords, which they have, and 2) you sing while you slash and thrash. That’s right folks, they LITERALLY sing while they slash and thrash at the monsters. All goes decently well despite being weakened by the large number of Noise but the duo persevere, that is, until Hibiki who idiotically as main characters are wont to do stumbles near the fight then gets pierced right in the chest by a piece of straying debris. Kanade, then runs to her and tells her to stay alive then just settles the matter herself by singing a song in what seems to be in Old Norse or some non-German germanic language which apparently kills her and kills all the Noise. The scene ends with Hibiki witnessing Kanade in Tsubasa’s arms as Kanade is slowly ripped apart in silhouette.

Then comes Hibiki’s miraculous recovery and her at school with Miku again and running into Tsubasa who is also a student at the same school. Of course, no one knows what happened at the stadium except Hibiki and Tsubasa so Hibiki desperately wants to speak to her but fails to do so.

Later we’re shown a brief scene where the military mindnumbingly shoots straight through these Noise monsters with no effect until Tsubasa shows up and drops down from a helicopter WHILE singing and singlehandedly defeats Noise while the yet again completely inept anime military men watch on.

Next we’re bestowed with the epic climax of the episode. Hibiki goes to a convenient store only to discover black ash remnants of humans all over the area. She spots a little child so she chivalrously grabs her and runs to safety while being chased by the artistic aberrations. With a few winding turns and dips into sewage then a long ladder climb to the top of a nearby factory, they are hopelessly trapped with no where else to run. Scene cuts back to the control room with the lion mane man where they detect Gungnir (some sort of energy?) then we get to see one of the best moments of offmodel history since the Transformers days in mid 80s.

Things growing out of or pumping in and out of Hibiki…

This energy transforms Hibiki from the inside out and turns her into a power suited warrior… Alas, witness the scariest image known to man of the supposedly main character who happens to be as innocent as a bunny rabbit. After the final scene we transition into a cinema style credits with the opening theme by Nana Mizuki.

I might be hyping this a bit or bashing it but this show will either be the second best show in the season or THE worst. Stay tuned to see which way it goes.

Fooooooood!!!

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Seiyuu Spotlight #1 – Nana Mizuki

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声優 • スポットリト 第一語: 水樹奈々

Behind every human and non-human voice lies a real life individual.  In anime, we call them seiyuu.  With the burgeoning of the anime industry some of these seiyuu have garnered fandom of epic proportions.

Today, I would like to feature one of these seiyuu in our first Seiyuu Spotlight.  Like any seiyuu, Nana Mizuki is talented.  Just how talented, I am about to explain.

From the music video of Blood-C's ending piece

If you have been reading this blog, you are, by now, familiar with the anime Blood-C.  Nana Mizuki is the voice behind Saya, the lead character of Blood-C as well as the singing voice behind the show’s ending theme.

Throughout her ongoing seiyuu career, she has had some rather interesting roles spanning from voicing extras, lead and secondary roles in some major hits, and even as a panty-flashing schizophrenic vampire.

In addition, oddly enough, she almost became the only seiyuu to portray two different characters in two different anime that almost share the same first and last names, as Rin Ogata in Rideback and Rina Ogata in White Album.  Of course, such coincidences are mere amusements and with enough voice credits on your back, it is typical to have played many characters with the same names.  (Her current role as Saya in Blood-C would make it the second time she has voiced an unrelated character named Saya)  Another oddity is having been credited in voicing a Nana Suzuki but then too is not as rare as one thinks.

But what really sets apart Nana Mizuki as a seiyuu is that she is incredibly talented as a singer.  The new trend since the late 80s is the participation of the voice actors and actresses in singing the themes of their shows.  So, it is almost a faux pas not to be able to carry yourself in a tune, but Nana Mizuki set the bar much higher.

Currently, she is the highest selling, according Oricon, (a more native version of the the Billboard charts for Japan) of all the voice actors.  As an enka-trained professional, when it comes to letting her vocal cords roar, she really lets it rumble.  She not only possesses vocal strength but she is also able to maintain accuracy and consistency in her live performances.

What is probably even more admirable in her case is that she has yet to leave the voice acting realm but has rather embraced it into her fame, unlike some other highly famed voice actress not to be named here.

As a bonus to her fans and those who prefer a more interesting computing environment, Nana was chosen as the official voice actor for the Microsoft Windows 7 distribution in Japan with special editions that featured a fictional Windows anthropomoprh Nana Madobe featuring Nana Mizuki’s voice as a Windows Theme.

Whether she’s voicing a ballerina turned mecha-fighter (Rideback) or a former idol turned producer who seduces a mentee’s boyfriend (White Album) or a schizeophrenic vampire flashing her panties every other second (Rosario + Vmapire) or a lullaby humming ditzy ankle length hair vampire slayer (Blood-C,) Nana Mizuki is and always will be a superb seiyuu and an outstanding singer.

Listen to her singing voice here:

The more live version of Blood-C’s ending piece.  She is, by far, one of the best live performers as well.