Archive for the 'sekirei' Category

Sekirei 01

Monday, September 8th, 2008

What can I say, pokegirls are awesome, even if the animation is quite sketchy (lots of flat coloring on the faces, some blush — where did I see it before?).

The anime seems inoffensive, if one can stomach poor drawing [I withdrew these objections later, see screencaps. — Author]. Myself, I would have finished Yoakena if the writing were any less dumb. So, perversely enough, I’m looking forward to the next episode of Sekirei, flawed it may be. I’m curious to know what happens next.

Sekirei 02-03

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

It’s exceedingly likely that I will not stay with Sekirei in the long run (I’ll write later about it), but so far I’m enjoying it for all it’s worth. And since it’s a doomed show anyway, I may be spoiling a little, to share the fun and excitement better.

First of all, I got over the face design problem, and started watching better parts. Also, faces are not all that bad, you just look about the eyes. And it always could be worse. At least we’ve got well defined noses in Sekirei.

By the way, the ED includes almost a design sheet. Remember all those Azumanga eyes that ADV publicised as a bonus for American fans? Sekirei has them in-show. Sadly, they are not as varying as those in Azumanga, so one must rely on color.

They also show the same line-up for butts and chests. Speaking of which, although I have not watched Kanokon, coming from Strike Witches, Sekirei offers extremely soft and polite fanservice by comparison. In Strike Witches, the key idea is to pound into viewers’ minds that no matter what is shown on the screen, it’s completely natural and acceptabe in the other world… so, tough it out, suckers! But Sekirei returns to standards of fanservice seen, for instance, in Ranma (actually, it is milder in the early Sekirei, but I heard it turns the nipple knob up later quite a bit).

Another thing, the creators did not use a whole lot of easily removable censoring. I only saw one strategically positioned tree branch. Strike Witches is just chock full branches, grass, steam, and sun glare. It’s lame, and Sekirei wins by a kilometer.

Just about the only complaint I have is that chests of several girls are simply too big. Sadly this includes Musubi.

A lot of it is played for laughs and mixes well with the rest of the entertainment palette. For example, I thought Minato’s fantasies with Nico-nico style comments were hilarious, and the censorship strips were beautiful. They even make the modesty a point when Musubi has to fight with one hand because she covers her breasts with the other. This simply was funnier than what Strike Witches offered.

It has to be noted though, while humor always helps, and can even save the show, Sekirei is not comedy overloaded. It concentrates on the story of capturing initial pokegirls by Ash… er, their master. It’s not in any way unconventional. Already I see hints of Minato being a kind and good master, whereas other bad masters abuse their pokegirls. So, the story is not as good as the story of Miyafuji personal growth. The upshot is, the main lead cannot be a total loss, since he has to face other [bad] masters (like Emiya in F/SN).

One thing I noticed, capturing Sekirei wasn’t very challenging so far. The first in Minato’s collection, Musubi, literally dropped into his hands. He had to work a little bit more for the loli, Kuu, but didn’t quite strain his gut [1]. As it turns out, being a master (Ashikabi), is a genetic predisposition, so Sekirei just fall for their Ashikabi. In addition, “bad” masters capture their Sekirei by force — pretty much raping them. Well, I guess three cheers for the happy chance meeting between Minato and Kuu then.

I don’t know that I’m quite comfortable with the idea of sending Kuu into combat. She’s too young for that (younger than Tsubasa of Figure 17, by the looks). But oh well. Creators may yet come up with some trick to skirt around this problem.

There were several other elements I noticed especially. For instance, I’m getting more interested in older women with age… You know where I’m going with this, right? Miya Asama. Hoo boy. She’s a widow, too. Another thing, OP and ED are made of win. But regardless of the small things, Sekirei is a fun show at its core… until it runs out of manga.

[1] In the Pokegirl universe, capturing is a hard job and typically includes violence. And once a master take one in the custody, he has to “tame” her (for example, with hunger and skillful application of Stockholm syndrome). I was a little surprised that Sekirei does not dwell on that. Just one small kiss, wings sprout, and everyone is happy.

Sekirei: Trouble Ahead

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

The biggest problem for Sekirei is that the manga is still ongoing. Here’s what Aroduc had to say:

<zaitcev> Sekirei likes creepy pre-OP sequences.
<zaitcev> In ep.01, who the heck was the baby? Little Musubi?
<Aroduc> Prepare to find out… NEVER
<Aroduc> 7Arcs appears to be rolling this one for the long haul.
<zaitcev> But… 13 episodes?
<Aroduc> Which is alright with me I guess, though it’d be nice if they had a conclusion to this season instead of… well… obviously not.
<Aroduc> Not even 13
<zaitcev> I’m disappointed.
<Aroduc> The manga purists are happy.
<Aroduc> “Rarr rarr, nothing changed.”
<zaitcev> Those damn losers.
<Aroduc> Me… I wish there was a plot or something.
<Aroduc> Instead of some random characters spawned in the eleventh hour as a flimsy excuse to fight some character none of them have met before.
<Aroduc> Not to mention all the others lurking around in the background that they won’t meet nor have anything done with them.
<Aroduc> “Come back next year for season 2 to find out all these answers! Oh boy!”
<Aroduc> Meanwhile, 7Arcs is cashing in on the Nanohamobile with that stupid movie.

While following manga slavishly pleases the carry-over segment, it does not make me confident that creators of the anime are capable of making up a satisfactory ending before manga itself ends.

Sekirei vs Chobits

Friday, September 12th, 2008

The analogy between sekirei and pasocons is rather shaky, beacause so far I have seen no competition against humans in sekirei, and for pasocons almost the whole anime turns upon such. Heck, sekirei are mostly human. Unless we look at Yumi and the trauma her end dealt to Ueda (versus flashbacks of Yomi that Minato keeps having), the general dynamic is different entirely. Most importantly, pasocons are not supposed to fight.

I think the biggest link so far is the widow who runs the place. Notably, their husbands were researchers of sekirei and pasocons respectively.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, I knew that animation in Sekirei after the ep.01 wasn’t bad at all. Seeing screencaps of Chobits only confirmed it.

Sekirei vs F/SN

Friday, September 12th, 2008

With small exceptions (e.g. most or all Masters only have one Servant), analogy between Sekirei and Servants is complete. The relationship with their masters is temporary in both cases, and they form deep bonds that must be broken (or maybe not! the temptation of the evil trade!). Both protagonists wish to put an end to the bloody game as well, and as I mentioned before, they both have to get a grip or else.

The treatment of the subject is different, of course. After all, Sekirei is supposed to be a fanservice machine first and Pokemon second. I have not seen anyone being killed in Sekirei, while F/SN is quite violent.

Since F/SN is more pretentious (or more story-oriented), Saber is a tragic figure with a rich background. I don’t see anyone being built into her mold in Sekirei. Sure, Yume has some dark past, but she’s not Minato’s pokegirl, and so only peripheral to the story.

Sekirei vs everything

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Would someone be so kind to write “Sekirei vs Pokemon” and “Sekirei vs Angelic Layer”? I don’t know much about these series. Blog or e-mail are good. Thanks in advance.

Steven says that it’s more like DearS.

Sekirei 04-06

Friday, September 12th, 2008

This mini-arc is essentially dedicated to capturing Squirtle (#09 Tsukiumi), in my mind anyway. Sure, Minato also takes #02 Matsu, or actually vice versa… But while Matsu may have the meganekko fetish on her side, Tsukiumi’s antics made me laugh uproarously. She’s such a tsundere, and the lofty pretentions…

Is she great or what? I doubt that the alcoholic chick can outdo her.

Oddly enough, despite the knowledge of life, Tsukiumi’s mental facilities are not top notch. We can forgive her the inability to see through a disguise, which Sherlock Holmes said was not for everyone. But consider how she teaches Musubi that wife and husband share a bed — to her own detriment.

UPDATE: Now that I watched a bit of Moribito, I know where Tsukiumi’s speech come from: she talks like the Second Queen. Somehow I assumed that Japanese nobility used a precursor of keigo. Apparently, not true! Tsukiumi’s manner of speaking must be sending a clear signal to Japanese listeners, too bad for American viewers.

Sekirei is gender-neutral

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Seen at Steven’s:

UPDATE: Oh noes! Some of the Sekirei are bishounen. Ick!

Well, yes, of course. In both Chobits and F/SN pasocons and Servants were mixed. And why not? I’m the biggest prude among animebloggers and I have no problem with it.

Seeing Yukari nosebleed was hilarious nonetheless. She was delightful in doing it where Minato was rather ordinary. BTW, there’s no “small Tokyo” effect here. It’s only natural that siblings would share aptitude for an Ashikabi.

Wisdom of #09 Tsukiumi

Friday, September 12th, 2008

This expression is a step up in the difficulty from the one in Stellvia. In ep.06 of Sekirei, at 13:50, Tsukiumi says something that sounds, very approximately: “go ni itte wa, go ni ishitebai to moishteno…” (I’m not even going to bother with the hiragana, so imprecise it is). The translation is, “when in Rome, speak like a Roman”. The “~to moishiteno” is obviously a very corrupted “as they say” or “as the saying goes”. Therefore “go ni itte” is probably “As you go to Go”, and “go ni ishitebai” may be a mis-heard “go ni shiteba ii”: “good if do as Go”. I have no idea what Go is and not even sure if it’s long Gou.

P.S. Another useful thing I learned was, room #203 is not called “二百三度”, but “にまるさんど”. Kind of like Americans say “two-oh-three”.

UPDATE: Matthew sagematt@#animeblogger says it’s “郷に入っては郷に従え” (ごうに いっては ごうに したがえ). It’s actually on the page for “gou”.

Sekirei overload

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

I’ve seen Sekirei 07, where they started to kill each other in earnest, and decided that I had enough of that HiMEtardity. Musubi’s idiotic pact with Karasuba was the final drop in the cup. So the plan was to let Karasuba kill everyone (or at least half) and then see if it all was a mistake, is that right? The blood of all those people will be on Musubi’s hands — in another 100 episodes. So whatever. Stupid bitch.

Also, steam censoring came in force.

Next question is, what to watch this season. After the “suspension” of ZKC, officially I have running Nogizaka (seen 1), x365 (seen 7), and Allison& (seen 6.5). Nothing is particularly exciting… I love Haruka, of course, but she’s kinda in the Yunocci’s power band. So, I’m thinking about advancing the queue again. Next up is Itakiss, which apparently has a real story and a real ending (which hasn’t aired yet), according to blogging at Hinano’s, [Concrete] Badger, and other places. My biggest reservation was that its manga ran for 10 years, but if that’s not a problem, then why not.