Most helpful positive review
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
A surprisingly well made fan-service anime!
on 19 August 2011
Let's get this out of the way first. Sekirei is a harem based anime which is heavy in fan service created to attract male viewers and it is fair to say that Sekirei has probably got the heaviest amount of male enticing service that I have seen in any anime. You have to in some ways admire the level it goes to actually, as it's not just the odd panty and cleavage shots we get (Though there are many off them too...) as we see clothes just fly off the Sekirei at the slightest excuses to which they expose themselves fully in the breast department, be it in a fight or in one of the many bath scenes that litter the series. Now there will be many people who despite this type of anime, while there are others who will lap it up for the reasons I described. I for one am in between as I don't particularly have a problem with fan-services as long as it has solid plot and good characters behind it to justify its creation and I am glad to say that Sekirei is one of the best example of a harem fan service anime.
The plot follows nineteen year old Minato Sahashi who after finding out he has failed to enter university for the second time encounters the beautiful Musubi who literally falls in to his life and his face. She is a Sekirei, a race of humanoids who have special powers and are using the city as a battle ground to decide who will be able to ascend to the sky with their Ashikabi, there `soul mate' like human masters who by kissing them allows the Sekirei to unlock their full potential and power.
What surprised me the most about Sekirei was its story. It is surprisingly well written, engaging and gives a genuine sense of emotion at times which is something I find is quite rare in anime series of this sort. The plot and characters do not just feel like mindless excuses for nudity and girl-on-girl fights, even if there is a lot both in this series. The story in general has a good speedy pace thanks to the short length of the series (12 episodes in total) and there are pliantly of twists here and there as we start to learn the darker secrets between the Sekirei and the mysterious MBI organization who keep them at bay. The more emotional aspects of the series can be quite predictable and sometime feel excessive during the middle episodes as woman after woman fall for Minato, but even so they are written with enough emotion to make them feel genuine enough for most of the situations presented especially at the latter end of the series. It also has a good sense of humour which while mainly cantered around the nudity is also drawn from the characters and story and helps keeps it from feeling too obscene or crud (Though there will be dose who disagree) The battles between the Sekirei themselves are very well choreographed and are quite exciting as the Sekirei fight with their fists, jets of water, spells of thunder, claws and even whips while they don't last too long and become tedious ether.
It is worth mentioning that despite what the DVD says this is not the complete series (There is a second series called Sekirei: Pure Engagement but it is unlikely that we will see this in the UK for a while) and as such the series ends with most of its questions un-answered.
While Minato and Musubi are charming in there innocence's there is little that marks them out from your regular anime hero and heroine and as such it falls to the wonderful supporting cast of characters who are the true stars of the series. Highlights include the perverted bespectacled Matsu, the stronger and tough talking Tsukiumi, the cheerful Uzume, the deadly leader of the MBI Discipline Squad Karasuba and the mysterious male Sekirei Homura along with many others who keep the series going. They may have some stereotypical anime traits among them but most manage to feel unique enough to be judged on their own which was quite a feat for any anime series. They all are well written and never feel like they were wasted opportunities, which is surprising given the series short length of time.
The animation is wonderful and is rarely a let-down while the character designs in particular have to be praised with many of the characters feeling very unique in their design.
The Japanese dub is superior to the English one which in itself not to bad considering but it is a little dull when compared. The music soundtrack is nothing special but goes well with the series especially during times of emotion and battle.
The DVD comes with a 10 minute OVA which follows the character of Kuu as she goes on her first shopping trip. It's a fun little adventure which manages to pack in plenty of action, humour and yes even a scene in the bath. The only other extras include text less openings and endings, which is a shame as I would have liked to have seen some making-off feature or even the odd commentary.
Sekirei may have boobs and patty shots excessively flying left right and center, but unlike other animes of its kind it stands out for having a great plot, some wonderful characters and most importantly a heart which many fan-service heavy shows severely lack.