Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sekirei Pure Engagement Anime Review

Sekirei: Pure Engagement
Sekirei Season Two
Complete Collection - 5 discs
350 mins. - 13 episodes + 1 OVA episode
$64.98 (2012) Blu-Ray/DVD combo
$69.98 (2013) Season 1-2 Blu-Ray/DVD combo
ISBN 704400058417
Japanese/English Subtitles - English Subtitles
Director - Keizo Kusakawa
Studio - Seven Arcs

Synopsis: Minato Sahashi has joined the Sekirei Plan as an Ashikabi.  He was just a regular guy having trouble passing his college entrance exams when a beautiful girl bumped into him.  Her name is Musubi and she is a Sekirei.  The Sekirei are numbered (up to 108) and must battle each other according to the Sekirei Plan which is a run by the clandestine MBI Corporation.  Musubi has chosen Minato as her Ashikabi, the human partner who can amplify a Sekirei's power through a kiss.
Musubi and Tsukiumi have a hardcore rivalry on who can shop fastest
The pair's bond has been tested through battles with other Sekirei/Ashikabi pairs as well as MBI's cruel Discipline Squad.  They have become stronger as a result and Minato has proven himself a confident individual.  He and Musubi live at a boarding house, the Izumo Inn, filled with other Sekirei.  Most of them have chosen Minato as their Ashikabi and compete with each other for his attention.  They include Musubi (who uses hand-to-hand combat), Tsukiumi who considers herself Minato's actual wife (she wields power over water), Kusano is a young girl who plans to marry Minato when she gets older (her ability is plants), and Matsu the computer-genius.
It's always party-time when Kazehana is around!
The Inn is also home to a few mysterious Sekirei including the ridiculously well-endowed Kazehana (she controls wind and drinks a lot of sake) who develops a keen interest in Minato, the secretive Homura who hides a chilling secret (yet is a Fire Sekirei), Uzume who hides the fact she is a Sekirei (what is her true goal and who is her Ashikabi?), and the frightening innkeeper Miya whose roots reach back to the birth of the Sekirei Plan.  We also get to meet Minato's mother who actually works for MBI - will she protect her son or choose her employer?
Homura doesn't like getting interrupted in the bath.  Mystery or
just common privacy?
The Plan progresses and peripheral participants are forced into the forefront by MBI's maniacal chairman, Hiroto Minaka.  This includes Uzume, Homura, and even Kazehana.  Minato and the girls are thrust into action to oppose MBI and the Sekirei Plan.  Events take a serious turn as friends are pitted against friends in a battle to the death.  Can they stand up to the Discipline Squad and the other Sekirei, or will they be torn apart?
The original Discipline Squad has a few familiar faces
Pros: Decent opening theme music (ending theme is just okay), this show is all about fan-service and there's a lot, good animation, Minato is a stand up guy and not the typical harem genre wimp, more action than the first season although perhaps less fan-service O_o, we learn more about the Sekirei Plan and MBI, set includes the OVA "Two Gossip Topics"
Tsukiumi warns Kazehana to keep her giant boobs away from Minato!
Cons: Story is not very deep or compelling, more attention is given to the peripheral Sekirei and not as much to the Musubi/Minato relationship as the first season, MBI's chairman is a ridiculous jackass, the plot moves slowly forward without many real answers, I'm always annoyed by DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs (seems like a waste)
Not this douchebag again!
Mike Tells It Straight: I watched the first season of Sekirei and despite being heavily focused on fan-service I found it to have a good heart.  The growing relationship between Musubi and Minato was charming and I was really impressed at him being an atypical harem-genre male protagonist.  He actually had a spine and stood up for the girls in his 'harem' which was very refreshing.  The plot wasn't so great and it was more about girls losing articles of clothing during battles (or the ample bath scenes), but showed enough promise to make we watch this second season.  
Kazehana must rescue Minato from the current Discipline Squad
The story picks up as the Sekirei Plan moves forward and MBI's chairman forces Sekirei/Ashikabi pairs to participate.  Focus shifts to the mysterious Sekirei living at the Izumo Inn as we get the story of Kazehana, Homura, Uzume, and Miya.  I was a little let down by the overall story progression of this season despite and maybe because these peripheral characters take away the focus from Minato/Musubi.  I found the firs season's best aspect was their buddy relationship and the 'harem' aspect of the show blocked them getting closer.
Who is the Veiled Sekirei?
Focus shifted toward the story vs. the fan-service in this second season, but there's still plenty of busty half-naked girls.  It felt more serious and one of the peripheral cast is taken out.  MBI's chairman is a total chump and not a menacing villain at all.  I really hope there's a third season because the finish of this season didn't resolve the story.  If you liked the first season then check this one out (you should obviously watch the first season before this one), but if fan-service and ridiculously-proportioned women are not your bag then steer clear.
Each year the Sekirei submit themselves to a physical examination
by the MBI Corp.  Yeah, it's pretty hot.

TO BUY and Recommendations: