Image Source: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア YouTube Official Channel on YouTube

Symphogear is an anime about girls transforming into mecha hybrid magical girls who fight with the power of song. The characters’ names and names of the weapons also have strong connections to music, as well as the story of the anime.


Hibiki Tachibana

Image Source: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア YouTube Official Channel on YouTube

Hibiki’s first name means “echo,” referring to the series’ theme of music. It might be a bit of a stretch, but her name might be an answer to the character “Kanade,” the character who gave her the power of the Symphogear and gave up her life to save her. “Kanade” means “to play music,” and as the person who inherited her Symphogear and life, Hibiki “echoes” that music.

“Tachibana” means “standing flower,” and has two possible story meanings. First of all, Hibiki is a very positive character who never gives up, giving the image of a flower standing strong and tall. Second, her last name is most likely supposed to be a pair with her best friend Miku Kohinata, whose last name means “little sunlight.” For Hibiki, Miku is the sunlight that keeps her positive, making this story connection plausible.

Gungnir

Hibiki’s weapons are her own fists, but her Symphogear “Gungnir” gets its name from a lance that belonged to Odin from Norse mythology. It was given to him during a visit to the Dwarves (who also bribed his wife to cheat on him, but that’s a completely different story). While Hibiki uses her fists, Kanade who held the Gungnir pendant before her used a lance, just like in the legend. Maria, who also holds the Gungnir, also uses a spear.


Tsubasa Kazanari

Image Source: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア YouTube Official Channel on YouTube

Tsubasa’s first name means “wing” or “wings.” It is most likely a symbol of the band she was a part of with Kanade Amou called “Zwei Wing,” literally meaning “Double Wing.” It also might represent the fact that she left her traditional household in order to fly around the world and make her dreams come true as a singer.

Her last name—Kazanari—means “sound of the wind.” This is most likely a reference to the “wing” theme of her name. The “sound” connects back to the fact that all of the main Symphogear girls have some kind of meaning in their names that have something to do with sound. The sound in her name possibly also refers to her singing career.

Amenohabakiri

Tsubasa’s Symphogear, the Amenohabakiri, gets its name from a katana found in Japanese legends. It’s said that this was the sword that was used by Susano’o to slay Yamato-no-Orochi, a giant snake monster that terrorized Japan. What’s interesting about this sword’s name is that it is a direct reference to Kanade, whose name Amou makes up the first two kanji characters of the sword’s name. This means that Kanade is with Tsubasa wherever she goes.


Chris Yukine

Chris’ first name is written in katakana, which is reserved mostly for foreign words and names. This means that there’s no certain way to know what her name really means, or if it’s really her full name. Her family name, Yukine, however, means “sound of the snow.” Chris’ hair is the color of the snow, and the sound theme connects back into the fact that all main Symphogear girls have a reference to “sound” somewhere in their names.

Ichaival

Although this weapon is sometimes misspelled as “Ichii-bal” in Symphogear lore, the Ichaival is named after a bow of the same name used by Odin, connecting Hibiki and Chris together. It’s said that the bow was able to change one arrow into ten when shot. Chris’s weapon is a crossbow that also serves as a machine gun and other long-range weapons, including missiles and a rifle.


Maria Cadenzavna Eve

Image Source: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア YouTube Official Channel on YouTube

Maria Cadenzavna Eve is a little bit more tricky. While her middle name Cadenzavna seems to have no meaning, it is extremely similar to the word “cadenza,” which is an improvised and free part of a musical work. This is her connection to the “sound” theme that all Symphogear girls have.

Her first name Maria is the Japanese representation of Mary from the bible, who gave birth to Jesus and, as such, is considered to be a holy figure. Eve is also a biblical reference, referring to the first human female, Eve. These both might be a reference to the fact that at the time of her first appearance, Maria claimed to be the new vessel of Fine, a powerful ancient being worshiped by many. It’s also interesting to note that in the latest season of Symphogear, we have a character named “Adam.” We’ll have to see if that connection plays a role in the story.


Kirika Akatsuki

Image Source: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア YouTube Official Channel on YouTube

Kirika’s name is pretty straightforward—her first name means “piercing song,” going back to the “sound” theme of all the Symphogear girls. It also probably refers to Kirika’s weapon, a scythe. Her last name means “daybreak,” a contrast to Shirabe’s last name which gives an image of the night. As the two are always together, it makes sense that they would have names that parallel each other.

Igalima

Kirika’s Igalima is a scythe, but this Symphogear is named after a Sumerian deity of the same name. This deity’s brother was Shul Shagana, the name of Shirabe’s Symphogear.


Shirabe Tsukuyomi

Image Source: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア YouTube Official Channel on YouTube

Shirabe’s name simply means “melody,” or “music note.” Her last name means “reading the moon,” which refers to her calm personality, and also serves as a parallel to Kirika’s last name Akatsuki, which literally means daybreak.

Shul Shagana

Like Kirika, Shirabe’s Symphogear is named after a Sumerian god. Shul Shagana is the brother of Igalima, symbolizing the close bond between the two girls.


Kanade Amou

Kanade, the former partner of Tsubasa, has a first name that literally means “to perform a song.” Her last name is a parallel to Tsubasa, with “Amou” meaning “wings of heaven.” With both Tsubasa and Kanade together, they form the idol group Zwei Wing, meaning “Double Wing.” The “Heaven’s Wing” part might also refer to her tragic fate, and how she visits Tsubasa from heaven from time to time to provide support. Her last name is also the same as the first two characters of Tsubasa’s Symphogear, Amenohabakiri, which means she’s always with her in a way.


Miku Kohinata

Image Source: 戦姫絶唱シンフォギア YouTube Official Channel on YouTube

Like Shirabe and Kirika, as well as Tsubasa and Kanade, Miku’s name might be a parallel to Hibiki’s. While her first name is fairly simple, meaning “future,” her last name means “little sunlight.” This might refer to the fact that she is the emotional support for her best friend Hibiki, providing sunlight for Hibiki—the “standing flower.”

Shen Shou Jing

“Shen Shou Jing” is the Chinese reading of the kanji characters for Shinju-kyo, a Japanese mirror with images of Chinese gods and animals engraved on the back. Of course, these mirrors were first used in China as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC~220 AD). As Miku’s Symphogear uses a mirror device as one of its weapons, it’s easy to see why this name was chosen.


The first three seasons of Symphogear are currently streaming on Crunchyroll with subtitles. The newest season—Symphogear AXZ—is not currently streaming in North America.

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