Thursday, April 5, 2012

Translation Corner #1

The Japanese site has a set of 40+ "keywords" that are detailed explanations of terms and names from the show. Having skimmed quite a few, I can tell you they reveal a lot that was never spoken about in the dialog. It helps certain parts of the plot make more sense, so I'll be translating them as I can and posting them with my analysis.

Keyword #1: Symphogear

Based on the proposed "Sakurai" theory from the Special Disaster Response Team Division 2's own technology expert, Sakurai Ryouko, "Symphogear" is the name of a special, counter-measure armor that was created through the phonic gain of unique relics.

Currently it is the only existing weapon know to stop the world-wide disaster known as the "Noise," however to avoid conflict with current constitutional laws its existence has been completely hidden to the public.

Able to respond to the synthetic vibration resonance created by the fighting spirit of the user, the Symphogear's greatest trait is its internal functionality to play a certain melody. By synchronizing that melody with the user through song, the Symphogear displays an incredibly high rate of battle potential. 

Although the armor is able to absorb damage during battle, any sort of disruption of the song will result in a temporary dampening of its battle potential. At the moment, this is the only weakness that has been observed in the Symphogear system. 

So essentially, as ridiculous as it may sound, the Symphogear itself is what causes the "song" to play in the anime and the user activates the armor by singing along with the melody. Based on this explanation anytime the user stops singing, they see a drop in their fighting abilities, which may explain why Kanade's armor "powered down" at a crucial moment in episode 1 - it was when the song ended! It also helps to explain Hibiki's power-up at the end of episode 12 when she regained her fighting spirit - that spirit resonated with the Symphogear and basically released whatever limiter had been placed up on it. At least, that's how I look at it.


  1. Hmmm, interesting. So Symphogear is sort of like armor with a built in boombox that powers up through Karaoke? ^_^

    I wished they'd gone into more detail on the limiters. I can just assume that Fine installed them so that she'd eventually be able to one up the girls but in the end she pushed them just far enough to anger them so much that it released/broke the limiters(or was it the songs of many resonating with Hibiki, Chris and Tsubasa's fighting spirits)?

    Another thing is that when the limiters were released the songs became more 'Synchronized' (Synchrogazer playing throughout the last battle and First Love Song when they went out to destroy the moon chunk), plus it gave them telepathy. Is it possible that gear is naturally resonant with other gear (As if it were a band of instruments playing in perfect harmony) and those effects are what activated the telepathy (the resonance actually coming back to affect the user in a more intuitive manner?

    1. Great analysis.

      Re: the limiters. I think there are multiple reasons why Ryoko (or rather, Fine) used them. For one, she's the only person that knew the true potential of the Symphogear and I doubt she wanted that much power to be left outside of her control. Secondly, as her responsibility as Ryoko she no doubt had to use the limiters to ensure that the Symphogear users wouldn't cause any unnecessary damage during their duties protecting the public (you'll notice the city takes quite a beating from the girls in the last episode - not just the Noise!). Overall it was necessary for her to use the limiters to keep their power in check, since overwhelming power was never really necessary and they always had their ultimate songs to fall back on.

      As for how they overcame the limiters - well I think that it's the Lydian song that Hibiki heard in episode 12 that gave her the fighting spirit to overwhelm the limiter and that power is what brought Chris and Tsubasa back to full strength. It certainly was a type of resonance that was only made possible through the Symphogear system - it also very well explains the telepathy between the users and enhanced strength through shared song. I always suspected that resonance was a part of their power, since in many instances of them fighting together, only one of them would actually be singing.

  2. Resonance :) Nice explantion. I love these notes!