There comes a time when you are watching something on television and think to yourself, “I cannot watch this in front of my family/girlfriend/pet” without fear of divine retribution and extreme embarrassment. I have had quite a spree with this kind of series recently and Sekirei additionally neatly falls into the category of “something not to show your mother”. Yes, it’s another big breasted ecchi harem anime... or is it?
The Sekirei are a group of 108 stunningly beautiful women (and men, yes, there are a couple of men!) with unique abilities who are destined to battle each other in a battle royale in order for the victor to achieve divine ascendance into the skies above with their chosen romantic and genetic partners, the Ashikabi. For all intents and purposes, this is a battle to the death between the Sekirei with a massive city, controlled by the devilish MBI Corporation, as the stage.
The series is focussed around a chap called Minato Sahashi who, other than being a cowardly genius, is a bit of a magnet for these Sekirei. His troubles begin immediately after catching the stacked beauty Musubi in his lap as she flees from would-be unknown assailants, with only a mild mammary induced coma to show for it (aren’t those the best kind?). After fighting off more attacks from two scantily clad ladies, Musubi realises that this loser who she is dragging around with her isn’t quite such a loser after all, and they proceed to “interface their mucus membranes” and “initialise the transfer of DNA”; also known to you and me as French kissing. From this point onwards, Musubi and Minato are permanently connected as Sekirei and Ashikabi, destined to be intertwined lovers forever.
Unfortunately for Minato, who is a bit of a wimp and not used to having weapons of mass distraction regularly thrust into his face, being an Ashikabi is not a monogamous role and during the course of the fights he begins to attract more and more strange and beautiful females into his fighting harem as they prepare for the oncoming battles for the ultimate and divine reward.
This clichéd story line, as seen in other series recently (Master of Martial Hearts anyone?) is only the backdrop that allows the individual relationships to blossom and for the characters to truly shine. With each brassiere and blouse exploding battle and with each gratuitous flash of giant naked breast flesh the relationships between the numerous Sekirei and the Ashikabi grows deeper along with their burgeoning sexual tensions. Unfortunately for Minato “blue balls” Sahashi, nothing ever happens with any of his many beautiful companions in true Ah My Goddess / Love Hina style.
The brief summary above unfortunately does not give this series the justice I believe it deserves. The phrase “relevant to my interests” has never been truer than during Sekirei. This series takes inspiration and aspects of those series which I love; the ecchi, jiggly and beautifully explosive fights of Ikkitousen and Master of Martial Hearts; the deep romantic characterisation, sexual tension and situations of long-forgotten harem comedy classics combined with the long running story telling as demonstrated in Witchblade. All of these aspects have been quite expertly combined into a well animated, voiced and presented anime series which I would be happy to call one of my “guilty pleasures”.
The series delivers what it promises, which is a jaw dropping, trouser adjusting, gravity defying comedy action harem series that will make any self respecting person blush (for varying reasons) while watching it. It isn’t a work of art, but it is good fun.
As a footnote to the above and as a brief warning to avoid any potential disappointment. Sekirei is a two season series, to which only the first is currently licensed for release at the time of writing. This first series, although very enjoyable, does not offer any form of closure with regard to the big picture storylines and simply offers its fair share of well-ripened fights between many beautiful women. The second series, Pure Engagement (which aired in late 2010), offers closure to the overall story judging from the synopses available while maintaining the dynamism of the first. Plenty to look forward to, in my opinion!