Eh? This was actually pretty good.
It had an interesting storytelling structure: the episode began with a visit to the main character’s grave. It’s not clear if or when we’ve reached this point yet.
The animation is great, with tons of fluid motion and attention to detail. Check out the above screenshot, and note that all those people are moving. The monsters look really cool, too, as did the costumes and transformation sequences. But I don’t like the color palette, nor the ridiculous hair styles of the character designs.
The characters themselves have potential, although this episode was more of a teaser so we didn’t learn much about them. One worrisome aspect, however, is the school setting. These types of shows will sometime start out strong with the action sequences, and then descend into monotony while the characters attend school.
But my biggest concern is that this seems quite similar to shows I’ve seen before that I would rather forget. The setting with the monsters is reminiscent of (*shudder*) 7eyes, Melody of Oblivion, and Gunparade Orchestra (but also of Chrome Shelled Regios and Gunparade March). The music school idea seems similar to Shinkyou Shokai Polyphonica. And the color palette reminds me of Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi. These are the mental associations I have for the show, so forgive me if I harbor some doubts.
But aside from my reservations due to guilt by association, I’m optimistic that Symphogear can keep up this level of storytelling and animation and be a memorable show.