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Sekirei (Season 1) Collection

Anime Review

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Sekirei (Season 1) Collection 1Title: Sekirei Collection
Alternative Title: セキレイ
Published by: Madman Entertainment (Australia), Funimation Entertainment (US)
Based on: Sekirei manga series, which as of yet, hasn’t been released to english audiences.
Audio: English and Japanese Dubs
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (16:9)
Runtime: 300 Minutes over 2 DVD’s
Cost: $AUD 34.95 from Madman Store
Trailers:
Click Here, however, if you do not like the overuse of giggling or the word “bouncy” in trailers, Madman have kindly put up samples of Episode 1 and Episode 2 on their website (These may be region locked to Australia only)
Copyright Information: © Sakurako Gokurakuin/SQUARE ENIX , Sekirei Project
Special Thanks: A review copy of Sekirei was provided to me by the good people at Madman Entertainment. My cheers go out to the entire press team there!

First, there was pokemon, 150 er… 151 beings that prowled the planet in their masses in which every man and his dog could enslave them… and it was good. Then there was digimon, where the beings were still monsters however they were able to speak more then their name and not be captured by humans…. and this was good. Then things turned where Rozen Maiden reduced the number of beings to 7 and had them pit war against each other to win the love of their father…. and that, was also good. Seeing a pattern here?

In the latest offering of this style of series is Sekirei, a series that takes place in the city of Shinto Teito, which within it has 108 human-looking beings known as Sekirei, which for the most part, are similar to humans. These 108 Sekirei take part in a dangerous game where they must look for a partner known as a Ashikabi and attempt to take out the other 107 of them, all under the orders of the MBI Corporation, which has enough power to literally control the city.

The back of the DVD case states that this is an anime with spectacular martial arts battles with the same harem situations that made Love Hina and Ranma 1/2 so popular. So, was this an enjoyable watch? Read on for my review of the Sekirei Collection!

Sekirei (Season 1) Collection 2

You’ve seen a million shows where heroes go toe-to-toe, now feast your eyes on the only anime where hot girls with super powers settle their differences chest-to-chest!

Minato had no luck with the ladies until the day a well-rounded warrior babe named Musubi fell into his life and crushed his face with her ginormous cleavage. Hunted by a stunning pair of twin sisters, Musubi was searching for the right guy to give her a squeeze and unlock the hidden powers lurking beneath her ample assets. Minato fit the bill, and now he’s caught in the middle of a supernatural slugfest where voluptuous vixens take turns beating each others’ clothes off! Only one of these bodacious brawlers will come out on top, but the unbridled excitement of watching them go at it makes this utterly-fulfilling series the breast action-harem anime of all time!

As you may have noticed, I have highlighted a few key terms about this anime which are important to consider before watching this anime. Essentially, all the good little boys and girls who are far to young to be watching an M rated movie, should take my advice and wait until you are older, since the frontal boobage in this series is uncensored and at times, the characters may casually walk around with their goods showing. I assume if you have read past this statement then you have either completely ignored this paragraph or fell like it is a fine thing to have in an anime – I am not going to judge you.

Sekirei (Season 1) Collection 3

Before this review can continue, the basics of a Sekirei must be described. The Sekirei’s are a group of beings that were found on a mysterious island by the president of the MBI Corperation. Utilizing his findings, he has been able to build up the corperation to an extent where he has bought out most of Shinto Teito. He unleashed the 108 Sekirei into the city, in which they yield superhuman abilities such as control of elements and superior strength. They hunt amongst the city for the one they share a genetic attraction to, in which they can then kiss and be winged, offering them superior strength, special abilities and more. They might fight between each other until only one remains… and gains the ultimate prize.

The storyline has a good flow from start to finish and does not rely on filler content or unnecessary time jumps between episodes to keep the storyline going for the entirety of the series. The series starts by introducing your generic sounding loser guy who has failed his university entrance exam twice. Even this failure is mentioned several times in the series making even the introduction seem important. He runs into Musubi and from there, flees his house and moves into the Izumo Inn with Musubi, where the true story of the Sekirei game is revealed to him, as he progressively meets and wings further Sekirei.

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During this series he wings a total of four Sekirei. The first is a ditzy powerhouse Musubi, the second is a child-like child who can instantly grow plants named Kusano, the third is a technological genius named Matsu and the fourth, and most probably my favorite is a tsundere girl who can attack with water named Tsukumi. All these characters have two goals…. the first is to defend Minato against any Sekirei attackers and the second is to become “his wife”, in which all four of them try different routes to get ahead of the others. The primary, if you could call him, antagonist is one of the more unique personalities in this series. He is the discoverer of the Sekirei and the Game Master of the Sekirei Plan and has an insane manner of speaking but still being surprisingly intelligent and well knowledgable of everything that happens in the city.

Besides the sometimes excessive boobage that appears in some episodes, each episode equally balances the fanservice and overall storyline to make use of the number of potential characters, and also branches out into other storylines with other characters, which can start early on in the series, and only touched upon occasionally to be resolved at the end, or for more of the serious sidestories, taken over into the next season.

The one thing that ruined the storyline was the ending. Whilst it did incorporate all the characters in some way (In a way that was not done to just include them in the storyline), the ending used too many plot twists which made it seem too an improbable ending given the rest of the storyline, and this plot twist was spoiled by the ending preview shown in the previous episode. However, overall the storyline was good and the characters were all interesting, even when not taking into account the sheer number of characters.

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The character designs were all used seemingly to appeal to different appeal groups. First you have the busty Musubi to the people who like the boooooobs, you then have Kusano who has a more innocent and child-like appearance to cater to the fans of loli-style characters (Althrough her fanservice is limited to her cosplaying as a mouse and wagtail), Matsu caters to the intellegent glasses-wearing character fans and Tsukumi is…. a character that no doubt would appeal to multiple groups. Even if these character’s don’t fall into one of your preference groups, the remaining cast would no doubt have one or two characters that would be based on your preference… and if all else fails, just appreciate the character designs and enjoy the uncensored boobs shown in the episodes. As with the character personalities, a special mention goes to the Game Master Minaka, who is wearing the most eccentric clothes that I have seen in any Japanese production since Chairman Kaga in Iron Chef.

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The series uses several different locale designs in the series. Despite the storyline taking part in a city, the main characters all live in a Japanese-style inn in a more rural part of the city and therefore most of the time the buildings are not as developed as the city buildings, however it allows more nature to be incorporated into the backgrounds. In Episode 3: The Green Girl as well as the following episode, they cover the city in trees which is also a nice design element, and the forest design was also very pretty, to suit the personality of Kusano.

The design quality doesn’t really drop during the entirety of the series and the designs in episode 1 are as good as they are in the final episode. In terms of lip-syncing to the english voice actors, there were no noticeable issues noted.

Opening Theme: Sekirei by Saori Hayami, Marina Inoue, Kana Hanazawa, and Aya Endo
The song is fast paced and is enjoyable after multiple times of listening. It does a rare thing that doesn’t appear in many series similar to it… it gives the male protagonist a decent amount of screen time in the animation. Alongside the main characters, some of the minor characters do get an appearance on it. There is very little fanservice in the opening which is saved for the ending theme. However, it is not that common for the voice actors of the series to pull off an enjoyable series theme, however this is a really enjoyable one.

Ending Theme: Dear Sweet Heart by Saori Hayami, Marina Inoue, Kana Hanazawa, and Aya Endo
The ending theme is also very enjoyable, if not more then the opening theme for the sheer creativity of it. The song is sung by the voice cast of the series, as was the opening. The same comments stand for this song as being a rather enjoyable song and being one that goes well with the animation. The animation aspect of it has a bit more fanservice showing panty shots and cleavage as well as the obligatory nose bleeds and blushing by Minato. The CG art of it is good (Shown in the last 30 seconds of the ending) and they do change things each week with a more masculine Minato dragging a crying Minato through the sky and sleeping with him at night, with the clothes changing to a different characters each week.

For most of the normal life scenes in the series, little to no music is played, and instead different sound effects are used such as a dog barking or a gust of wind, none of which distract the viewer from the conversation at hand. The music that is played is mostly suspenseful or action-packed music depending on the scene.

The english dubbed voice acting in this series would be my preference hands down, as all the characters suit the original Japanese voice actors and the characters well. Each character speaks clearly and there is no noticable difficulty in understanding what they are hearing, and a number of characters have very interesting accents, such as Tsukumi, voiced by Lydia Mackay who has a most charming old worldish accent that really suits the character. The one character I did have issues with at the start was Kusano, voiced by Tia Ballard who originally I didn’t think was able to pull off the childish voice of her respective character at the start, however I soon found myself starting to like the cuteness her voice provided.

There is a few bonuses included on the second disk including:

  • The bonus OVA episode “Kusano’s First Shopping Trip OVA”
  • Textless Opening
  • Textless Ending
  • Trailers

Nothing really special in the extras department with the exception of the 10 minute OVA, which was overall a good episode to give Kusano some focus, as in the later episodes she is not as important as the other three main Sekirei.

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Personally, whilst this would be considered a harem anime and there is nudity in it, I wouldn’t call it a fanservice driven story, instead I think it uses the whole concept of multiple beings under one title in a very unique way which leads to an overall enjoyable experience containing romance, violence and never a dull moment. There is never a dull moment in the series and I hope that eventually, Madman will be releasing Sekirei ~Pure Engagement~, the sequel to this series as I believe Funimation, the US distributors for this series have already announced that they have picked up the rights to it.

Sam
Sam
Founder of The Otaku's Study. I have been exploring this labyrinth of fandom these last fifteen years, and still nowhere close to the exit yet. Probably searching for a long time to come.

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