(All videos taken from reddit.com/r/animethemes)
#3: Synchrogazer/Vitalization/Exterminate – Nana Mizuki (Senki Zesshou Symphogear)
So…yeah, I kinda cheated here. When I was making this list, one of the hardest decisions I was trying to make for the entire list was which Symphogear OP would make the cut, since I try to limit myself to one per franchise. Each OP is amazing in its own right and I couldn’t bring myself to pick one over the rest. Every time I thought I had made a decision, I doubted it when I re-listened to the three. So, it’s cheating a bit, but I decided it would be appropriate to have the three share the spot. Since this write-up would carry on for a very long time if I were to analyze each three OP with the detail I did for Great Days and World’s End, Girl’s Rondo, I’ll keep each to one paragraph.
Starting with the first season’s opening sequence, Synchrogazer, Symphogear starts with one of the most visually stunning openings out there. The colors of the OP run the gamut between dark, sleek designs and bright, flashy effects and everything in-between. The characters are all very expressive, the visuals are striking and memorable, and I particularly like that during the chorus the characters appear to be singing the OP as they fight, mirroring how the show’s insert songs are sung by the characters while fighting the Noise. Besides the visuals, Synchrogazer is an amazing track and the first of Nana Mizuki flexing her vocal range all over the Symphogear franchise. Nana’s heavenly voice oozes over the entire song and gives it a smooth flow that seamlessly goes from subtle nuance to fast-paced hype.
Moving on, we come to the opening sequence for Symphogear G, the show’s second season, Vitalization. If you had asked me directly following my first watch of the series which OP was my favorite, I would have quickly responded with Vitalization. From an audio aspect, Vitalization would probably be my favorite song from the bunch. The song immediately starts with a striking intro from Nana with light instrumentation slowly building around her until it picks up into the first pre-verse. As opposed to the flow of Synchrogazer, Vitalization’s sound is sharp with lots of staccato works with the voice, giving the entire song a sharp edge to it and contrasting the smoothness of the first OP. The chorus makes for pure hype and always manages to get me pumped up. The visuals for the OP are all poignant and stunning as to be expected after Synchrogazer. Vitalization is a big part of why I consider G my favorite season of Symphogear, and it heavily deserves to share this spot with the other two.
Lastly, we move onto the OP of the most recent season, Symphogear GX’s Exterminate. Originally, I honestly wasn’t a big fan of Exterminate. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, just not as much as the others. But, since then, the OP has grown on me majorly. In Exterminate, we move from my personal favorite song to my personal favorite visuals of the Symphogear bunch. The visuals are stunning within Exterminate and some of the cleanest and sharpest I’ve seen in anime. The effects are both flashy and symbolic at the same time, with some gorgeous animation in several scenes. Among my personal favorites are the witch trial scenes in the early stages of the OP and the pre-chorus visuals with each member of the main cast fighting the Noise. Exterminate is a spectacular song with a strong driving melody that builds into one of the best choruses from the entire Symphogear franchise. Also, as a side note, as a ShiraKiri shipper, I adore this visual near the end of the OP.
Symphogear, as a franchise, has some of the best OPs I’ve ever seen in OP. Each one of them has their own strong suits and things they do really well, and each is a spectacle for both the eyes and the ears. I really couldn’t choose just one to be my #3 spot, so I figured since I love them all so much I can’t decide between the three, it’s only appropriate that the three would share my #3 spot.
To Be Continued Saturday Evening