Thursday, February 4, 2016

Symphogear GX Staff Book

Long time no see. Thought I'd give the old blog an update now that some new stuff has come in. I hope to return to regular updates...someday. H&D subs for OVA 2 coming soon, the script is out of the draft phase but I fear setting the signs may take time. My thanks to those who are sticking with us. In the meantime let's take a look at the new releases as we gear up for the concert at the end of the month.

First up let's take a look at the GX Staff Book. This is a book comprised of messages and drawings from the staff and cast as a way to celebrate a successful end to the season. Of course, we start out with the two big shots of Project Symphogear: Agematsu and Kaneko.

Agematsu wrote at length about Symphogear's attack names. Apparently it was his life's dream to be able to design attack techniques, and so he puts a large amount of thought into the job. Each character's attack names have their own style, with Kirika's being the most complicated. He states that it's actually easier for him to write an entire song than it is to come up with an attack name for Kirika. Her attacks generally use a combination of words and symbols that make up another word, but the common theme is that it's all intended to invoke fear. This is why for example, the "ze" in "Rapunzel" uses the kanji for "pain." And "ker" in "Tinkerbell" uses the kanji for "maelstrom."

He goes on to talk about Shirabe's attacks, which are all subdivided by different "styles." He explains what each of them means. Alpha style is for attacks that involve something shooting out from her gear's twintails. Beta style is for attacks that utilize her yo-yo. Gamma style is for attacks that use her twintail saw blades. Delta style attacks are those that utilize her skirt. Sigma style attacks involve using the saws in her leg gear. The Phi style is for attacks where she moves in mid-air. And finally, the omega style is for her ultimate attacks and are only used when she's in X-Drive mode. Agematsu ends by telling us that there are more completed attack names that have not been used yet and he hopes to use them in the future.


Next up is Kaneko. He drew a picture of Hibiki in his usual style. He mentions that he tried to emulate the rough design of the GX CD covers, but it ended up causing trouble for him. He says that he would like to release a symphogear production book that isn't comprised of images, but rather text that focuses on character details.

The rest of the staff section is filled with art of various characters. One notable image is from the main character designer, Fujimoto Satoru. He drew a picture of Carol and the Auto-scorers, explaining that he drew many of the images that were used for promotion in magazines while GX was airing but a request never came to draw the Auto-scorers, so he wanted to draw them here.

Then we get to the cast section which has even more drawings and a lot of commentary. Ao-chan intended to draw a picture of Hibiki, but when she finished she said it didn't really convey the feeling of appreciation to the rest of the staff and cast that she wanted. Instead she drew the pairing she supports: Maria and Tsubasa.

Ayahi drew a funny picture of Chris (presumably herself) hugging a Chris body pillow. She talks about how Chris has come a long way from season 1, where she was living on the street friendless. Now she's a senpai with her own place to live. It makes her feel a bit like a mother, and she looks forward to seeing Chris walk farther along the path of happiness.

Nanjo wrote about how the recording sessions were always fun and about how she watched the series while it aired and the various stories about everyone's fathers made her cry. Meanwhile, Inori talks about how the experience of being Carol left her with many memories, especially since she started out as a mob character in season 1 and by season 3 found herself as the series last boss. Meanwhile, while nearly all of the staff and cast had some words of appreciation, or a picture to share, Genjurou's actor Ishikawa simply takes up his entire page with the question: "When is season 4?"

Leiur's actor, Shizuka, and Micha's actor, Shiori, both display impressive drawing talent on their pages. In fact, Shizuka used to practice in high school to become a manga artist, but later changed her dream to voice actor, it seems her skills never got rusty.

On the last few pages there are more written comments from various staff, including two comments in English written by foreign members of the group. One is Evan Call, an American who is a member of Agematsu's music group: Elements Garden. The other is Ngo Viet Long, a member of Satelight's "French Team" headed by Thomas Romain, who are in charge of backgrounds and more.

The staff book is a total of 60 pages and retails for only 2,000 yen (about $16). You can purchase it at most any mainstream online anime store including amiami, CD Japan and Play Asia. Stay tuned for the next post where I'll go over the contents of the GX Design Archive. 


  1. Welcome back! I have been following this blog for only a while now, but I have seen a few of this blog's older articles. As you can imagine, I like Symphogear as a show, and you can learn a lot just by going through this blog.

    As for the book, it's a very cool item, with the cast's designs being the highlight. Micha's voice actress' drawing is certainly impressive; it's as if she was a part of the production staff, designing characters for the show instead of voicing them. It just goes to show you, one cannot underestimate the abilities of a voice actor/actress...

  2. Is that picture of Hibiki hugging Carol by Dan Yoshii? It really makes me want more Symphogear manga.

    I hope I'll be able to get this book soon.