Sometimes sounds fantastic on paper, only to fall apart when implemented. The effect is disappointing, even crushing, but it’s an inevitable part of life. Sekirei is a title that falls into this mold, as it has some great ideas, only to be completely botched in execution.
The series revolves around Minato Sahashi, a young man with big, recently-crushed dreams. Minato just found out that he failed his college entrance exams for the second time. As he begins the long walk of shame to his tiny apartment, Minato’s future is changed forever, as a busty shrine maiden quite literally falls from the sky and into his solar plexus. The young lady (if we could call her that) introduces herself as Musubi, and quickly draws Minato into her daring escape from a dynamic duo of pain that has a particular fondness for leather. While Minato and Musubi are able to lose their pursuers, the relief is short-lived, and they’re drawn into a fight. It’s revealed that Musubi is a “Sekirei”, a special being who, with the aid of the right master, can wield incredible power. And, due to a convenient mishap earlier, Musubi was bound to Minato by contract (stop me when you’ve heard this before). Now, the two are bound, and forced to compete in the mysterious “Sekirei Games” – a high-stakes martial arts tournament where the very fate of humanity is at stake.
While the series has a promising start, things begin to veer into the “bad touch” brand of creepy by the third episode. It is at this point where the viewer learns that, while Sekirei generally choose their masters, one can force a contract with a girl, which creates the obvious connotations of rape and domination. His stable of women continues to expand through the series, as he adds even more super-powered servant-wives into his harem. Among these is an ex-man, and proof that Minato gained his pedobear badge in the form of a contract with a young girl who can’t be above ten years of age.
And, really, it’s hard to call these girls “characters” in any sense of the word. They’re objects, often referred to by numbers, created for the sole purpose of getting into Minato’s pants. Through the series, these women tend to remain in as little clothing as possible, as they bicker and fight over who Minato’s “real” wife is. Sekirei that lose in their battles are deemed worthless garbage, and left to be collected by the shadowy Professor character like a couch left by the curb. The whole situation greatly cheapens what could have been an interesting plot, and instead turns the series into a lesson on how to set the women’s rights movement back fifty years.
It’s a shame since, when the show isn’t focusing on mindless T&A, it’s quite attractive. The character art is fairly well done, and the backgrounds are colorful and detailed. The fight scenes are slickly animated and well-choreographed, which make them surprisingly fun to watch… when they’re not trying to reduce their opponents’ attire to the birthday suit.
Frankly, Sekirei isn’t what I’d call an “impressive” experience. The series would have benefitted greatly if the writers paid more attention to the story and characters, and less attention to the characters. As it is, though, Sekirei is a shameless experience that would leave most people rolling their eyes after the first few episodes.