Friday, August 21, 2015

Sekirei Review

Sekirei Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the first season of Sekirei. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched the show. Or you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:

This is one of those shows I watched when the overfill of anime watching was flooding through my veins. Originally, I wasn't too keen on watching this show, and instantly dismissed it as another crappy fanservice show. But after Luke showed me some funny moment videos that he watched in Study Hall, I reconsidered, and was interested to see what it was like. I've heard other good things about it, and I shouldn't judge it based on Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians, right?

I think the me who looked at this show a few years ago is shaking its head again. But regardless, Sekirei managed to surprise me with how good it was. The story was pretty entertaining, the characters (for the most part) were pretty nice, and most moments were highly enjoyable. I cared about a lot that was going on, and I'm happy that this show at least has a brain to balance out its fanservice with story progression, like Freezing later down the line.

Though there are a few minor problems with the show, such as some animation issues and other various things, this show still convinced me that I shouldn't judge fanservice by its cover, and helped me get out of my comfort zone a bit for shows. I was able to complete Highschool DXD  and Freezing, two shows that probably have the heaviest fanservice, so what else could be next?

Let's first talk about the story this show has:


In the year 2020, Minato Sahashi lives in Shinto Teito. He has recently failed the college entrance exams for the second time in a row, and he worries about his life not changing and him being stuck at point A. When he runs into a girl named Musubi after she falls from the sky, his life drastically changes. 

Musubi is a Sekirei, along with 107 other individuals, which range from bodacious beauties to cute boys. Each Sekirei has powers that are unique to them, and they compete in the Sekirei Plan, organized by Hiroto Minaka, who was one of the first people to find these mysterious beings, along with the future head researcher of MBI, where he becomes the chairman. This competition involves Sekirei fighting until the last one is standing. When Musubi kisses Minato during a tussle with two twin Sekireis named Hikari and Hibiki, Minato become her Ashikabi, a human with unique genes that helps empower the Sekirei that serve them. After escaping, Minato allows Musubi to stay at his apartment, where he eventually gets kicked out.

After finding a new place to live at the Izumo Inn, run by Miya Asama, the place also holds various other attendants, some of them also Sekirei. After meeting various other people related to the Sekirei Plan, which includes an Ashikabi and making contracts with 3 more Sekirei, it's going to get very ugly. When Phase 2 of the plan starts, which blockades Tokyo to make sure no one escapes, a lone Ashikabi asks Minato to help him escape from the city, due to his Sekirei, Kuno, being very frail and weak. It's not going to be easy, thanks to the Discipline Squad providing quite a struggle. What will happen in this final fight? Will Minato be successful?

One of the things that Sekirei does right is that the writers progress the story during each episode. Yes, Sekirei is aware that it's a fanservice show, but one thing they remember to do is to try and balance the amount of fanservice with how much the story develops along the way. There's some interesting things that come to light, as well as how characters react. Don't forget some of the twists!

Also, the show manages to have some great moments along the way that made me laugh or crack a smile. Some examples:

One thing that did kind of bug me was this moment in Episode 12 that clearly was just put in there for a deus ex machina. I mean, I was expecting it since the season ended happily, but it bugged me a bit. And then we have the slightly open ending, where Minaka promises that it's only the beginning for the Sekirei Plan. And considering the premiere for Season 2 was so disappointing, it's giving me less drive to find out what happens next. Damn it!

Let's talk about some of our characters:


The main characters in Sekirei were actually pretty nice. Though I think some of the side characters felt a little tacked on and didn't really have a lot of personality, aside from a few of course, the main cast does make up for it nicely, and that's a good thing.

For this review, I'm going to talk about Minato and 3 of his Sekirei that he gets in the show's first season. But let's talk about this leading man first:

Minato isn't necessarily the most interesting main male protagonist out there, but he's not a complete special snowflake that has unique abilities. I say he's like Kazuya, with the fact that he's got determination, though he's less of a miracle who has incredible powers. I feel like I should like Minato a little more, but he suffers from being too bland. He does have a kind personality, and can be nice to others, but let's be honest, the girls are most definitely better and far more interesting.

Are ya'll ready for Musubi?

Musubi is Minato's first Sekirei, met when Musubi fell from the sky during a battle with Hikari and Hibiki. She is Sekirei #88. Her powers mainly consist of hand-to-hand combat, rather than a special element for example. Though FUNimation advertises that pretty much every fight in this show will end up in tattered clothes, this isn't necessarily the case. Though I will say that Musubi's fights will normally end up in her clothes looking like they went through the shredder, and that's fine. You know, since she's the main girl. *wink wink nudge nudge*

Out of the Sekirei Minato gets, Musubi is perhaps the most dense. She can get pretty competitive, and will want to automatically fight with a Sekirei upon discovering if they are one. Yet, at times, she can easily tell Minato about certain things of the Sekirei Plan, and I like her devotion to Minato, even if that connection felt a little too insta-love looking back on it. 

Out of the Sekireis we meet, Musubi isn't my favorite. However, I still really like her. I like her energy, her enthusiasm, her courage, and just her positive attitude in general. There seems to be some things to see that may need some explaining (like the too spoilery moment I mentioned earlier) and I am interested to find out more about her. Plus, I want to see if she gets stronger.

Time for my favorite to emerge. Ku, where are you?

Kusano, also known by her nickname Ku, is Sekirei #108, the last of the known numbered Sekirei. She's also Minato's second Sekirei. Besides being the youngest out of Minato's Sekirei and perhaps the youngest overall, she was also known as the Green Girl, as she was trapped in a garden after being severely traumatized after Mikogami, another Ashikabi we see in the show along with Seo (though Mikogami has like a billion Sekirei) tried to wing her by force.

Before Minato decides to set off for the garden, Kusano communicates with him telepathically, on one occasion even helping Minato and Musubi not have as rough of a fall after Musubi flies with Minato in the sky for a while until she runs out of power. She hates when the other girls fight with each other, and is the most attached to Minato, calling him big brother.

Ku can control plant life, often making plants grow at rapid acceleration, making things unnaturally large sizes. However, her powers can go a bit out of control whenever she gets angry or upset.

Overall, despite the fact that she has a lot of cuteness going for her, I really like Ku due the fact that the writers don't find an excuse to objectify her. For one, she's very young, so that would be kind of gross to do, and it just wouldn't feel right at all. Also, she's very warm and friendly, but can get into spats with some of the other girls over Minato, since she does view him as an older brother. I'm happy the relationship stays the way though, since again, she's too young.

Tsukiumi's last up:

Tsukiumi is the tsundere character out of this series, and is the fourth Sekirei of Minato. She mainly speaks in 16th century English (in the dub), and is different from the other Sekirei that Minato has collected. For one thing, she rarely smiles, and is always quite serious when fighting and in everyday conversation.

Before being winged by Minato, she thought she could go off unwinged because she wanted to be the strongest without the use of an Ashikabi. She first appears in one of Minato's dreams where she claims she will kill him. This causes Minato to search for her, and to successfully obtain her. 

She has a hilarious rivalry with Musubi that works better than other rivalries from fanservice shows (such as Rias and Asia). This is because she is very possessive of Minato, and refers to him as her husband. Her powers mainly consist of water and being able to manipulate it, most known by her main attack of Water Celebration.

What helps makes Tsukiumi as entertaining as she is is her Shakespearean dialect. But aside from that, I think she's a pretty strong fighter, even though she may go into things a little too strongly. I do get her feelings for Minato and how she eventually warmed up to him. She also has some of the best moments of this season, an example is when she tries to ask Minato is he wishes to sleep with her, before getting interrupted by a drunk Matsu.

Other Sekirei include Matsu, Sekirei #2, that is very perverted and is the 3rd out of Minato's Sekirei, who is great with technology. Kazehana, Sekirei #3, who has the power to control wind. Homura, Sekirei #6, who has the power to control fire and has no official gender. The Discipline Squad, which are the most interesting side Sekirei. a numberless Sekirei named Akitsu, Sekirei #43 named
Yomi, who was sent by Mikogami to kidnap Ku in Episode 3, Uzume, Sekirei #10, Shiina, Sekirei #107, who later becomes Minato's sister's Sekirei while trying to find Ku, Hikari and Hibiki, Sekireis #11 and 12, Kuno, who is Sekirei #95, and some that I skipped over since they don't appear as much.

Other characters include Miya Asama, the landlady of the Maison Izumo, Minaka, who I mentioned as one of my favorite anime villains of last year due to his awesome strategic skills for the Sekirei Plan in general, his assistant, the Ashikabi of the Discipline Squad, Mikogami, the people behind the blackmailing of one character's duty (which I won't spoil because it's fairly interesting to find out who), Minato's younger sister, Uzume's Ashikabi, Seo, an old friend of Miya's late husband who is very laid back, and Haruka Shigi, the collage student who wishes to get Kuno out of the town, 


The animation for this series was produced by Seven Arcs, who are also known for working on series such as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Dog Days, and Trinity Seven,

As a whole, the animation for this series is good. There are a lot of bright colors that contrast the darker tones of the show pretty well, But it's not amazing, as there are some choppy moments where the animation becomes very mediocre, There's also some weird modeling issues that take place in some of the episodes, but it doesn't dominate the show. The most notable scene that has some of the worst modeling is in Episode 11. I mentioned it in my Trinity Seven review, and I'm talking about it now. I even got a screenshot of that moment since it's on a clip from FUNimation's Youtube channel. I never want to see something like this again in any other show. It's just as bad as some of the shots I've seen of the recent Fairy Tail series, in case you're curious on how bad it is.

*sighs* I think I've made my point. So overall, not bad animation by any means, but there's some obvious moments where the quality drops the ball.


The scores for this series was composed by Hiroaki Sano, who has also worked on the scores for the Magical Lyrical Nanoha franchise. He also ocntributed scores for 18+ anime, from looking at Anime News Network, which I didn't now about until recently.

As a whole, the score is pretty much the same as the animation. While there are some nice moments in it, I wouldn't really call it memorable in most regards. Even though it's been a year, I can still remember some pieces from The Devil Is A Part Timer and Karneval, for example. This series doesn't have that, which is kind of a shame.

I watched this show in English, mainly because I first saw clips from this in English, but also due to the fact that some of the Japanese voices are kind of annoying. As a whole, the English dub for this series is very good, and is close to some of my favorite dubs from FUNimation. Most of the voice work just stands out as a whole to me, with majority of the voice cast giving some very memorable performances.

Highlights in the show's English dub include Joel McDonald, Alexis Tipton, Tia Ballerd, Lydia Mackay, Colleen Clinkenbeard (whose voice sounds completely different from her other roles), Leah Clark (same thing as Colleen), Monica Rial, Jamie Marchi, Ian Sinclair, Brittney Karbowski, Cherami Leigh, Chuck Huber, Shelley Callene-Black, Christine Auten, Anita Neukar (possibly Trina Nishimura), Clarine Harp, Jasmine Mendigo (possibly Brina Palencia), Maxey Whitehead, Josh Grelle, Todd Haberkorn, Carrie Savage, Eric Vale, Anthony Bowling, and Kristi Kang (credited under her maiden name, Kristi Bingham).


So overall, I think Sekirei helped me understand not to judge a fanservice show based on its cover. This was a much better show than Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians ever was, and it helped me open up to other shows in this genre that I could watch. Though it does have some problems, I think this is a show that I would be happy to revisit. 

Speaking of, I haven't maanged to watch Season 2 yet, besides the disappointment of Episode 1. The OVA to Season 2 I have watched though, but I count it as kind of a prequel/bonus episode of Season 1, as it takes place before Season 2 does. This episode is actually very funny, and just a ball to watch, besides the English script writers deciding that this was a great idea to shove in as many synonyms for boobs as possible that it becomes a bit facepalm worthy. But overall, this episode was quite entertaining, and was very enjoyable.

As a whole, if you like fanservice anime but are disappointed in the lack of stories, I would recommend watching this one. It has a great story, along with some nice progression, and it's definatley one of the better fanservice animes out there, compared to others.

Score: 8/10


Good story.

Story progresses every episode, unlike other shows.

Main characters are pretty nice.

Decent animation.

Great English dub.


Minor animation slip-ups.

Side characters aren't as interesting compared to main cast.

Score is fairly average.

My next review will be my first collab. But instead of my inner spirits like in my Top 12 Favorite Anime Characters, this time, it'll be another person, AKA the friend I've mentioned several times. Because let's be honest guys, it's not a collab unless there's more than one person. ;)

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