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Sekirei: Complete Series(TV) (2008)
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!
For more about Sekirei: Complete Series and the Sekirei: Complete Series Blu-ray release, see Sekirei: Complete Series Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on March 31, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Director: Keizo Kusakawa
» See full cast & crew
Sekirei: Complete Series Blu-ray Review
Sekirei or bust. Actually, Sekirei and busts.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, March 31, 2012
What can you say about an anime whose Blu-ray release touts in a very large font on the back cover "Boobies for the win"? Well, no one will probably accuse the FUNimation PR people for being overly subtle in their promotion of Sekirei, as was discussed in the review for Sekirei: Pure Engagement, The Complete Series. The press sheet accompanying that release worked in as many doubles entendres as possible referring to women's bosoms. Of course that's part of the allure of this franchise, one which appeals to a younger male demographic which can never get quite enough of breasts bursting out of barely constrained blouses. One might ask what kind of boob ended up releasing the second season of Sekirei before the first, but that's the case here, so that those who have already indulged in Sekirei: Pure Engagement will actually be traveling back in time, as it were, now picking up the original season of a series that gets off to a ferocious start with some kick-ass action involving a typically pulchritudinous female pretty much single handedly dispatching a hallway full of well armed military men. Despite what seems to be a set up for an action adventure series featuring superpowered alien females, instead the series takes a quick left turn and introduces what turns out to be the main plot arc, the story of hapless young male Minato Sahashi, a shy kid who is temporarily depressed about not having passed his University entrance exams until suddenly out of the blue (literally) a buxom young female falls right into his lap. That turns out to be Musubi, who soon reveals she is a Sekirei and that Minato is her Master (shades of I Dream of Jeanie). The series actually tends to focus more on the comedic side of this relationship than on the sort of high octane battle scenes that its opening gambit hints at.
Sekirei: Pure Engagement played much more like a traditional harem series if only because the story was far enough along to have Minato surrounded by an entire bevy of buxom young women. Those who are hoping for something similar with this first season of the series will have to be patient, at least for a little while, for the first couple of episodes concentrate fairly exclusively on Minato and Misubi, including some early travails as they attempt to find a suitable place to live, and also try to figure out what their new relationship means for each of them. We do finally meet more Sekirei, but this first season may not completely satisfy the overactive fantasies of young males, at least to the degree that the second season probably will, if only because there's a quasi-monogamous relationship at the core of the show.
Patience is a virtue, however, and it is finally rewarded in true harem fashion when Minato's exploits do finally start to recruit more Sekirei to his side. It turns out that there is an epic battle of sorts that the Sekirei are involved in, and that they in turn are drawing certain chosen humans (like Minato) into the battle. It's a winner take all competition, however, which means that even those within any given harem may end up coming to tragic ends. Sekirei moves through all of this information in a fairly fleet manner, quickly establishing the relationship between Minato and Misubi, and then moving on to reveal the larger story arc that involves the entire Sekirei race and how their battle plans will play out with regard to humans. Musubi provides quite a bit of the comic relief here, with a sort of dunderheaded take on various aspects of interacting with humans that is offset by the series' more traditional take on the actual battle elements.
There's actually a fair amount of plot that has to be gotten through in this first season which not only introduces several characters but also start to explicate the Sekirei Plan, or Game, the battle competition that is meant to winnow down one Sekirei and Ashikabi (human master) over a series of elimination rounds. Playing into this general outline are a couple of subplots, including some evil Sekirei as well as the machinations of the MBI, the supersecret organization behind the Sekirei which is arranging the Game and which ends up doing some things that put various characters into jeopardy.
Sekirei is a middling to fairly good series that has so many elements that longtime anime fans have seen before that it becomes something of a struggle to find anything new to really latch onto. Of course, there's a certain comfort in familiarity, and Sekirei is a series that doesn't demand much of its audience, which may in fact endear it to those who simply want a little entertainment without having to wade through a Ghost in the Shell-esque labyrinth. The Sekerei back story turns out to be more interesting than might initially be expected, but the basic Minato plot line plays pretty much like every harem anime you've seen. There's a reason that this particular subgenre of anime has proven so consistently popular: there's obviously a rabid fanbase for this kind of outing, and those who are in that category will probably find enough busting out of the show to warrant tuning in.
Sekirei: Complete Series Blu-ray, Video Quality
Though this Blu-ray set was released second, chronologically it comes before Sekirei: Pure Engagement, but like that release, this FUNimation release features an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. Much like that other release, the design element here is pretty standard, with fairly generic looking characters and a ubiquitous use of chibi in emotionally raucous moments. Colors are decent, but once again tend to be on the pale pastel side of things quite a bit of the time. Line detail is generally sharp and well defined and some of the backgrounds look nice, if often quite Impressionistic. This is a perfectly acceptable looking high definition transfer that never really explodes into the top tier of eye popping wonderment, but which gets by with an above average presentation.
Sekirei: Complete Series Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Much as with Sekirei: Pure Engagement, this FUNimation release also features two lossless audio options, an English dub delivered via a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround mix, and the original Japanese language track in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 stereo mix. Both of these options feature excellent fidelity and some rather surprising dynamic range, but as with Pure Engagement, the English mix offers a much more fulsome low end and at least a bit more opportunity for spaciousness and discrete channel effects. This is once again a curiously restrained soundtrack, without a lot of bombast, even in the battle scenes, though there is occasional nice use of LFE and some good sound effects thrown into the mix on several occasions. As with the image quality, this is a perfectly acceptable rendering that probably won't offer much "wow" factor to ardent audiophiles but certainly presents everything cleanly and clearly.
Sekirei: Complete Series Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Sekirei: Complete Series Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
It's kind of funny that this show is deemed suitable for "mature" audiences, because it's patently obvious that the series is going to appeal mostly to adolescent males (or maybe post-adolescent males who haven't quite grown up yet). This is a show that stuffs as many cleavage references as it can into any given episode, while at the same time pretending to have a plot about an alien fighter class and their human counterparts. There's nothing horrible here by any stretch, but there's also nothing very exciting. Sekirei is perfectly enjoyable fare for those who want something undemanding, but even those who may end up watching both seasons of the show are probably going to admit they've seen a lot of other outings that traverse much the same territory as what's on display here.
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