Sekirei: The Complete Series
Studio: Seven Arcs
Format: DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Price: $49.98 – Available Here
Over the years there have been plenty of anime that contain plenty of action as well as those who follow a romantic route with the main character ending up with a specific girl, or in some cases, multiple girls. However there are only a few series out there that combine this action-harem anime style and Sekirei is perhaps the prime example of such an anime.
Originally released in North America by FUNimation back in late 2010, the series was missing one key component that many anime fans clamor for in 2012. That component was the ability to play the anime on Blu-ray disc. As such FUNimation has re-released the series on Blu-ray disc and DVD for those who never caught the series when it first was released. Does the higher quality viewing make these fist fighting vixens better than ever before?
Minato Sahashi isn’t having the best of luck in the year 2020. Not only is he living alone in a small apartment he just learned that he has failed to enter into a college for the second time in a row after failing his test. With no job, no aspirations for the future and no girlfriend Minato’s life is one that no one would feel jealous of. However that all changes in the blink of an eye when a girl named Musubi literally falls out of the sky on top of him and squashes him with her breasts.
This lucky twist of fate immediately has repercussions however as two strange girls are chasing after Musubi and are able to use lightning like a weapon. The reason that these girls seem to possess such strange abilities and why Musubi was able to survive such a long fall, besides being cushioned by her generous air bags, is because they are not simple human girls, but Sekirei.
Each Sekirei has special abilities, far surpassing those of any human and Musubi is looking for her Ashikabi, a special person with the ability to wing a Sekirei and unlock their inner abilities. In the heat of the moment Minato falls into the world of the Sekirei as he kisses Musubi, making her his Sekirei and entering him into the Sekirei plan, a wide-spread battle throughout Tokyo where the 108 Sekirei will fight until only one stands the victor.
Now Sekirei offers something a bit different from your standard harem anime, and that is an overarching plotline that doesn’t simply revolve around which girl the hero may end up with. On the other hand, it is hard to describe Sekirei as anything but a harem action anime with large breasted women who fight against one another, often with plenty of clothes being ripped off in-between. However amongst this action lies a story worth paying attention to between bouts of fan service.
Another one of the main factors that elevates Sekirei above being a standard harem anime are the various personalities of the girls that surround Minato. Sekirei also side-steps the issue most anime of this genre fall into where they focus nearly every one of the introductory episodes on introducing girls, or in this case Sekirei, into the picture.
Instead we are provided with a satisfactory amount of plot development and the humorous character interactions that occur between battles. Viewers will immediately be able to identify which girl they personally will be rooting for as every Sekirei that joins Minato has a unique personality that grows throughout the series which follow your standard harem archetypes but also expand upon them. This makes the main cast as well as the enjoyable side characters the key element to what makes Sekirei an enjoyable anime to watch, not just because of the ample amount of breast exposure.
One of the key reasons to pick up this release of the first season of Sekirei is the fact that this package includes not only the standard DVD release but also the Blu-ray release as well. That being said, the Blu-ray version of the show is crisper and more vibrant than the original DVD release of the show, though in the end the animation and the artwork are still the same fans will remember in the previously released DVD version.
Now that isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, as the battles are well animated and have a consistently high level of animation quality, even when the girls unleash their powers to the fullest. However there are also plenty of moments outside of combat where the animation quality of even the most basic scenes takes a noticeable drop, with some characters’ faces suffering heavily in the quality drop.
While the quality does fluctuate in Sekirei, the characters themselves are well designed and given a decent amount of detail to keep them unique in appearance. It is worth noting however that Sekirei does follow the harem genre closely and features plenty of women with ample cleavage that gets exposed quite often, either in bathing scenes or having their clothes torn off in combat. Now this obviously means that those who are put off by fan-service and breasts in their anime may want to steer clear of it, but those who enjoy it will find plenty of it with Sekirei.
As before, Sekirei is being released with both the English and Japanese voice tracks so this means that viewers can take their pick and listen to the original Japanese voices if they so choose, however these people will be missing a satisfying performance by the English voice actors. Minato’s voice actor Joel, Mcdonald fits his personality perfectly and provides a great performance with the rest of the cast following suit. One strange inclusion however is the old-styled English used by Tsukiumi and her voice actress Lydia Mackay. While it does fit her high-class personality which also expands her uniqueness as a character, viewers may be a bit put off by her way of speech.
Sekirei’s background music is suitable enough and features plenty of satisfying background tracks that accentuate the battles and most of the girls have their own themes that play occasionally. As far as the opening and ending songs go, the opening song “Sekirei” and “Dear sweet heart” are both performed by the Japanese voice actresses for Musubi, Tsukiumi, Kusano and Matsu. Both of these songs are satisfying and most viewers will be more than happy to listen to them each time they come on.
A number of extras are included in this release of Sekirei, including the standard inclusions of a clean opening and ending song as well as trailers for upcoming and past FUNimation releases. However alongside these standard inclusions is an extra OVA episode called “Kusano’s First Shopping Trip.” This bonus episode, while only 10 minutes long, offers a nice side-story that is fully dubbed in English.
There are plenty of anime out there that stick to just one genre and will deliver a decent, if not basic, story. However Sekirei goes above and beyond that limitation by combining a harem comedy with plenty of super powered action as the Sekirei battle against one another and live their lives at the Izumo Inn alongside Minato. Of course Sekirei also excels at providing plenty of fan-service via breasts and panty shots, more so than many other shows on the market. However beneath all those pairs of large breasts lay interesting characters and a charming storyline that shouldn’t be missed, especially now that it is available in Blu-ray splendor.