19 Nov 2012
There are times when I honestly believe that the makers of some anime series are trolling me - either that or they have a picture of my face, probably with a cheesy grin and with a long list of my kinks and preferences so that they might tailor their production towards them. When I say that Sekirei is relevant to my interests, I am not underestimating how spot on it actually is... the only way that it would be more relevant, if in addition to the hundreds of beautiful women and the giant supple breasts, they all had cat ears. I would die happy then, grinning from ear to ear. Oh yes.
Anyhow, Sekirei: Pure Engagement continues immediately from where the first series finished, with Minato and his four strong sekirei harem having recently had a scare following a confrontation with the discipline squad. Musubi was badly injured following the fight, but she pulled through thanks to the remnants of her hidden power within together with Minato's willpower. Although the discipline squad was beaten on this occasion, the fight took its toll, and Minato and the girls returned back to the Izumo Inn, mission completed. The change in Musubi was odd though. She was defeated, and her sekirei power vanished, yet Musubi survived and came back as someone else, sekirei number eight Yume. What relation does Musubi have to the original leader of the discipline squad, and why do they share so much in common, even down to their bust size?
I will leave the deep contemplation to discuss a bit later on, however. This second series focuses on the progression of the sekirei plan from the first stage, where all of the sekirei have found their ashikabis, to the second stage where the ashikabi and sekirei groups enter into combat to whittle down the numbers left in the game. Its a cruel and sadistic process, with some of the more ruthless ashikabis abusing their sekirei whilst manipulating others to their own end. But slowly, as the last sekirei are claimed, the inevitable battles ensue and those bonded must be separated as the game progresses under the insane eyes of the game master.
I will add just as a minor spoiler, that Minato does gain two more Sekirei in the first half of the series, and that the two girls he attracts should be obvious from the ending of the first series. It is actually quite touching when Homura (the black masked sekirei who acts as a guardian for the unwinged sekirei) gets her wings, especially with all of the continued trouble that he/she (don't ask) goes through in both the first series and midway through the second series. I mean, I have heard of feeling a little hot for someone, but Homura takes it to a whole new level!
The problem that I have with Sekirei as a series is that I don't know who to root for. Who do I want to win the game? The decision is made especially difficult with such a wide range of well developed sekirei and ashikabi characters to choose from, when you are presented with the very cute couple of ashikabi Chiho and Usume, who are just so beautiful together, and who can ignore the demon ashikabi, Minato's sister Yukari and her effeminate sekirei Shiina. Obviously Minato is the prime choice as he is the main character, but should the fabulous Musubi be the only one to reach the pinnacle of the game? I am not so sure... I actually fancy Matsu to win, but that might just be down to my personal preferences (who could say no to a large breasted, pervy and nerdy redhead? I sure can't!). Kusano was my other preference - it would have been amusing to have this cute little child be Minato's permanent partner, rather than the other overly-sexed alternatives from his harem.
The second series of Sekirei stops short of the third stage of the Sekirei Plan, which is when the further elements of the plan come together. For example, as we learn at the end of the second series (in the next series preview!), the Sekirei Plan is almost as much a treasure hunt as an elimination match with alien tokens known as Jinki serving as the actual prizes to be won at the end of the second stage and throughout the third stage. These Jinki are the keys which will allow the Sekirei Plan to come to fruition, and the holder of all of these Jinki will be able to reshape the world and ascend.
But, you won't be seeing any of this any time soon as these later stages are not as yet covered by the Sekirei anime series, and are instead only available in printed form in the ongoing manga series in either the original Japanese language or in Italian. Either way, the ending is as yet unwritten and inaccessible. This hopefully means that we can expect yet more superhuman shenanigans as the series is finished as I, for one, would love to see how everything comes together. I feel that Sekirei deserves a happy ending, and although the second season ends on a more positive note, it's not the ending I would have liked to have seen.
Sekirei: Pure Engagement is, in my opinion, a significant improvement over the first series. The story flows better, the characters are all introduced and developed even further, and there is also time to add that crucial background information which was so badly missing at the beginning. What is also very noticeable is that the actresses providing the voices seem so much more "in" to this second series, providing a very entertaining performance during some of the more questionable parts of the story line. I particularly recommend watching the OVA episode, Sekirei Diagnostics, with the English dub - I challenge anyone not to smile and giggle a bit; it's quite beautiful. The same goes with the unfortunate elements of the story line and the performances given during some of the more tragic times during this second series, which are similarly very good.
For the breast obsessed, there are nipples aplenty. I am not exaggerating - I wasn't exactly sure how you could increase the quantity of fan service from the first series, but I have now been shown how its done. Between the mix of suggestive camera angles, opportunities to demonstrate Newton's laws of motion on fleshy female appendages, bathing scenes and the ripping of clothes during the extravagant fighting scenes, I would have thought that a red-blooded male like myself would have had his fill... that is until the OVA episode is shown. Crikey. That is the only word to describe the OVA episode. Its absolutely hilarious, but I would not advise watching it in the vicinity of a loved one, children, or law enforcement officers. Its also worth noting that the OVA episode is set between seasons one and two, and so it might be worth watching before starting on this series proper. Just a thought...
To summarise, I think my normal recommendation for second series needs to be applied. If you liked what you saw with the first series of Sekirei, then bloody brilliant - slap these discs in your drive, and enjoy the next six hours of your life with the positivity of Musubi, olde-worlde English mannerisms of Tsukiumi, the tsundere attitudes of Homura, the alcoholic tones of Kazehana, the perverse persuasions of Matsu and the ever precious Kusano. Enjoy.
As a final note, I would advise those willing to discover how Sekirei ends, to pursue the manga. There are hints of a 2013 english release, but nothing confirmed as of writing.