A candidate (装者 Sousha?, lit. "dressed person") is someone with the ability to harmonize with relic fragments within a pendant and form Symphogear. With the power of song and the aid of Symphogear, they are able to fight and destroy Noise.
Not every relic responds to an individuals song, and the right affinity is required to resonate with it. If the individual has enough compatibility with the gear, they will be able to sing a Holy Chant and form a Symphogear. Candidates will have varying levels of link coefficiency with the gear that can be improved over time by training.
- Main article: LiNKER
There are individuals who are able to resonate with a relic and form a Symphogear, but do not have a high enough link coefficient to safely use the gear without backlash. Through the use of LiNKER, these individuals are able to temporarily raise their link coefficient to be on the level of a natural attuned. This comes with many risks as the drug is harmful for the body and can be easily overdosed.
As with the case of Kanade Amou, LiNKER can also be used to forcefully attune an individual with zero compatability to a relic, making them a Candidate. According to John Wayne Vercingetorix, forcing an individual to attune with LiNKER alone is incredibly difficult and "Love" is required.
Although the same relic can be used by multiple candidates, the candidates themselves are only able to attune to one relic. The one exception to this rule is Maria Cadenzavna Eve, who has a special case of being able to use Gungnir and Airgetlám. There is no confirmed explanation on how she is able to do this.
Despite being unattuned individual, Hibiki Tachibana was able to activate the Gungnir relic at the level of a fully attuned Candidate due to the shard of Gungnir within her chest. This had the lethal drawback of her body fusing with the Gungnir relic and giving her body the properties of a Symphogear such as regeneration, energy generation, and the ability to touch Noise without disintegration.
While researching Divine Power, Elfnein discovered that when Hibiki and Miku Kohinata were bathed in the light of Shénshòujìng during their battle, they were cleansed of the original sin, the Curse of Balal. This allowed them to become a vessel for Divine Power and progress from a LiNKER user and relic fusion to fully fledged attuned candidates.
List of candidates
These characters are able to equip a Symphogear naturally, without the need for LiNKER.
These characters require the aid of LiNKER to equip a Symphogear safely, as they will suffer backlash without it.
- In the fandom, the candidates are sometimes referred to as the "attuned", "harmonizers", or "wielders", terms created by various official and fansub groups that subbed the series.
- The kanji "装" is also used in words relating to "equipment" and "armor".
- The Japanese term, sousha (装者) appears to be a pun on the word near-identical sousha (奏者), which shares the second kanji and has the exact same pronunciation, meaning "Instrumentalist".
- Every student at Lydian Academy is in fact a possible candidate for a relic, and was accepted into the school for that reason.