Not ground breaking at all, but still a lot of fun.
What They Say:
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 fits the bill, and now he’s caught in the middle of a supernatural slugfest in which voluptuous vixens take turns beating each others’ clothes off!
Contains episodes 1-12 plus the Kusano’s First Shopping Trip OVA.
For this viewing, I listened to the English dub, which is offered in 5.1 surround. The Japanese track is only available in 2.0 stereo. The mix is nice, with all four outer channels used well in the sound effects; the dialogue stayed in the center channel. The tracks were clear with no dropout, and there was nice balance going from quiet scenes to louder ones.
Visually, this is a nice anime too. The characters have good designs, though as with any anime featuring plenty of large breasts, those occasionally looked odd at certain angles. The transfer was nice, with bright colors and a nice range across the spectrum. There were minor instances of artifacting in darker scenes, but nothing that ruins the effect.
This release is two discs that come in two thinpaks. The box has a picture of Musubi in her battle gear looking happy, while the back features another picture of her amongst the summary and screen shots. Each thinpak has a reversible cover, with each one featuring a montage of some of the female characters in the show in various battle poses. Overall, it is a very nice looking set.
The menu is pretty basic, with a picture of Musubi spread across the top and the selections offered below. The selections are pink against a general blue background, so they show up well and are easy to follow.
There are only a few extras on this release, but one is a nice addition. There are a few trailers and clean versions of the OP/ED. But the nice one is a ten minute OVA titled “Kusano’s First Shopping Trip” where Ku decides to get involved in the shopping race that is generally contested by Musubi and Tsukiumi in order to prove herself to Minato. It’s cute, and features similar sorts of humor from the main series.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This set is the original release of the first season of Sekirei, which was DVD only when released in 2010. Though this particular set is no longer in print, it has since been re-released in a DVD/BD combo pack, both standalone and combined with the second season. Sekirei does not really break any new ground with its subject matter, but its relentless sense of fun makes it more enjoyable that others of its type.
Minato is a typical, lovable loser. He has moved to the big city with plans to go to college and make something more of himself than what would be available to him in his small, hometown. However, having just failed the college entrance exams for the second time, he is faced with the reality that his dreams might just be out-of-reach, and he begins to consider moving home and finding something less grand to involve himself in.
However, on the way home from checking the results board, Minato is suddenly crushed when a girl falls from the sky right on top of him. He barely has any time to straighten himself out when he discovers that she is being chased by two women with the ability to throw lighting. He tries to help the girl, Musubi, escape from her pursuers, but they can never quite seem to get away. But when things look bleakest, Musubi suddenly kisses Minato, which awakens a dormant power within her and gives her the power to chase the other two off. And just like that, Minato finds himself drawn into a war among Sekirei—a group of people with mystical powers—and he holds the key to Musubi’s success.
On the surface, Sekirei is just like any other fanservicy, girls fighting anime. It comes from the same tradition that gives us titles like Ikki Tousen or Tenjho Tenge, which means plenty of ecchi humor, clothes being torn off, and a healthy dose of nudity. Some turn out to be decent, while others can be a chore to sit through. For me, Sekirei is up there as one of the better titles in this genre.
A large reason for this is just how little this anime takes itself seriously. A title like Ikki Tousen has plenty of humor in it, but when things get down to it, it presents its issues as life-or-death. The conflict in Sekirei is no less serious on the surface, but the way it is approached makes it seem so. From the cartoonish villain who is executing the Sekirei Plan and making them fight each other to the death to the way the battles often play out, Sekirei just takes its ridiculous concept and has a lot of fun with it. I can appreciate that.
The cast is pretty enjoyable too. Minato is fairly generic as a protagonist, but I like Musubi as his somewhat empty-headed love interest and Seo as Minato’s friendly rival and loveable jerk. But some of my favorite moments come from Ku, the young Sekirei that Minato rescues and brings home. She immediately begins to refer to Minato as big brother, but it’s obvious she has more plans for him when she grows up, and the way she joins in the fights between Musubi and Tsukiumi over Minato’s attentions are pretty adorable.
While I certainly would not go out of my way to call Sekirei fantastic by any stretch, it is a pretty enjoyable title. There’s nothing about it that really makes it stand out from other titles of its type, but its ability to find humor in every situation and its overall sense of fun made it a pretty enjoyable romp. Add in a bunch of cute girls and a more than healthy amount of fanservice, and there’s definitely worse ways to spend a few hours. Recommended.
Japanese Language, English Language, English Subtitles, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: November 23rd, 2010
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamoprhic Widescreen
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Sony PS3 w/HDMI Connection, Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System