Genres: Anime, Drama, Magic, Military, Romance, Shoujo Ai
Studio: Studio Deen
Source: Original Anime
Description: (From MyAnimeList)
In the theocracy of Simulicram, everyone is born female. At age 17, each maiden undergoes a special ceremony to choose her sex. However, only Pairs of maiden priestesses can synchronize with the ancient flying ships known as Simoun, which are necessary to defend Simulicram. These Pairs refrain from undergoing the ceremony as long as they wish to keep piloting their Simoun.
Aaeru is recruited to be a Simoun pilot, after an enemy nation attacks and decimates the Chor Tempest squadron. To earn her wings, Aaeru needs to find her way into the heart of Neviril, leader of Chor Tempest. But Neviril’s heart still belongs to her previous Pair, lost in the battle when she attempted a forbidden Simoun maneuver.
What to expect?
Simoun is an “exotic” anime series, which can only appeal to a niche audience. If you’re relatively new to the anime world, then I recommend to look elsewhere for now.
However, if you experienced a myriad of anime series and you can appreciate the more “unusual” ones among them, then Simoun may be a show for you.
On the surface, you follow the lives of teenage girls. That doesn’t sound too uncommon or special, does it?
But, underneath the cute and colorful roster of characters, hides a dark and twisted setting. These girls are supposed to be innocent priestesses, who perform religious dances with the divine machines they call “Simouns”.
Only, these magical machines can do WAY more than drawing pretty lines in the sky. If mounted by a skilled Pair, the Simoun becomes a weapon of mass destruction. When the peace in the land is threatened, these young girls will be sent to the battlefield to nuke everything around them!
And don’t think they’re fighting against machines, aliens or other teenage girls. This is a srs bsns war between humans, with trained soldiers, deadly weaponry and lots of death.
Is this really a Shoujo Ai/Yuri?
Yes and no.
I know that some people get immediately discouraged after they see the “Shoujo Ai” tag. Yes, girls kiss and there’s some romance between them. If you have issues with any lesbian innuendo, then this show will scare you away.
Nonetheless, Simoun doesn’t try to turn you on with lesbian acts. It’s not riddled with forced fanservice and it doesn’t revolve around romance 24/7.
In the world of Simoun, all humans are born females and they choose their sex at the age of 17. It makes sense for girls to develop romantic relationships, since one of them can become a man later.
Still sounds like a lazy excuse to feature Yuri material? Luckily, the show doesn’t neglect its setting.
Along with the many troubles they have to face, choosing one’s sex is also an important dilemma for some of the girls. It’s not a part of the setting which exists merely to justify a cast of girls
The Good & The Bad
Dry acting. The voice acting of some character is uninspiring and doesn’t convey the feels as greatly as it could. This is especially noticeable in scenes with more drama.
Moving soundtrack. Where the voice acting fails, the music picks up the slack. If you let the music guide you through the emotional narrative, then the feels will come through.
A colorful cast of characters. Based on first impressions, one may think the whole show is about Aaeru and Neviril. In truth, the show offers a robust array of characters. Most of them are also explored to a decent depth and are unexpectedly developed along the course of the show.
There’s a lot of world building. The show may test your patience early on, as it presents many small details about the world and they may feel “excessive”. However, if you keep watching, then the show will eventually reward you with deep and carefully planned setting elements, which you didn’t even expect to be addressed.