I've always been a fan of harem anime. Maybe
it's because the situation, where one
loser guy finds himself surrounded by women who are fighting over
it), is so absurd that it's inherently funny, or maybe it's because I
realize that living with that many women would be difficult and
the guy. In any case, more chances than
not, I enjoy them. One of Funimation's
latest releases is Sekirei: The Complete
Series on Blu-ray. The title is a bit of
a misnomer, this is only the first season but the second one went by
the name Sekirei
2: Pure Engagement, so technically it's correct. Previously
released on DVD, this combination
battle/harem show is filled with a lot of fan service and a nice
humor. While the show doesn't break any
new ground it's a nice, short series worth watching.
Minato is a guy who doesn't have much going for him.
He's just failed his college entrance exams
for the second time in a row, doesn't have a girl friend, and he
doesn't have a
job. On top of that his mother cuts his
allowance. He's wandering around town,
feeling sorry for himself, when out of nowhere a very buxom young lady
out of the sky right on top of him.
She's being chased by two other women, but she grabs his hand
They soon escape and she introduces herself as Musubi and
explains that she's a "Sekirei," a woman with special abilities and
powers. Musubi is a 'fist type' and
she's strong and good at hand-to-hand combat.
She goes on to tell the bewildered young man that every Sekirei
"Ashikabi," a male human that a Sekirei bonds with by taking some of
his genetic material. Once that happens
the Sekirei's becomes marked with a bird-like image on their bodies and
full power is unleashed. Musubi is so
enamored with Minato that she decides she wants him to be her Ashikabi
seals the deal by kissing him.
That's all fine and well, but Musubi moves in with Minato
and that causes him to loose his apartment.
On top of that Musubi informs him that the 108 Sekirei are in a
competition: they have to fight each
other. Whenever one looses she's removed
from her Ashikabi, and only the last one standing can live with their
forever. The competition will begin
soon, and Musubi says that she has no intention of loosing.
With no job, no education, no money, and no prospects,
finding a new apartment is impossible.
After being turned down by every agency in the city, Minato and
stumble upon the Izumo Inn run by a lady named Miya Asami.
She has a 'no one is turned away' philosophy,
so after hearing their story the pair have a place to live filled,
unusual and colorful characters.
Being an Ashikabi isn't all fun and games. Minato
starts to have dreams about a girl
stuck in a tree, and soon reality and the dream world intersect when he
a very young Sekirei who can control plants named Kusano.
After saving her, she kisses him and he's her
Minto then meets Matsu a
hacker living in a hidden room at the boarding house, and she turns out
to be a
Sekirei too. Then there's an attack by a
very powerful Sekirei named Tsukiumi. Of
course Minato becomes the Ashikabi to both of them too.
But the competition is are about to begin, and when the city
gets sealed off and martial law is announced, Minto realizes that the
This was a nice mixture of comedy and action, with neither
aspect being outstanding but both done well.
The jokes are funny, but there's nothing that's outrageously
in the show, and the battles are solid, but not overly exciting. It's a case of competent work on a good show,
but not more than that. Of course
there's nothing wrong with just being a 'good' show.
There are a lot of anime series that don't hit
There's also a good amount of fan service thrown in.
I usually hate fan service, and the
unnaturally large breasts in this (and many other) anime series looked
rather than sexy, but it wasn't a bad as it could be.
They do farther than a lot of mainstream
shows and have a lot of topless nudity, but the panty shots and the
breast shots are generally pretty short.
There are a fairly large number of characters introduced in
this 12-episode series and while the story doesn't end in a
battles haven't really gotten underway when the short season is over. The end did feel a little rushed, and there
was some deus ex machina moments in the last episode that were a bit of
but even with those it was an enjoyable series that was fun to watch.
This series comes in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on two DVDs and
two Blu-ray discs housed in a single Blu-ray case.
The first wave comes with a slipcover too.
Viewers have a choice between the original Japanese stereo audio
track and an English dub in DD5.1. I
watched episodes in both languages but viewed the bulk of the series in
original language. The dub was very well
done with talented actors who did a great job of not only matching
to the animated lip movements but also brought the characters to life,
extra channels made the show more enveloping, especially during the
scenes at the end, but I thought the Japanese track just 'fit' the
little better. Neither track had any
dropouts, background noise, or other defects.
This is a nice looking show.
The anamorphic 1.78:1 image is crisp and clear with tight lines
great amount of detail. The colors are
vivid and strong and really make this transfer shine.
There aren't any digital defects, with even
aliasing and blocking, the two most prevalent animation flaws being
absent. Fans will be very happy with the
way this disc looks.
There's a fun OVA included with the set, Kusano's First
Shopping Trip. This 10-minute short
details what happens
when young Kuu tries to compete with Musubi and Tsukiumi in their daily
shopping race to see who gets to sit next to Minato during supper. It's amusing and well worth watching. There are clean opening and closing animations
and some trailers.
While Sekirei doesn't break any new ground in terms of
action or harem shows, it is a fun, short 12-eisode anime that fun to
watch. There are some good battles and
some funny bits and it doesn't overstay its welcome.
This show gets a solid recommended rating.