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Sekirei: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Discs: 4 (2 x Blu-ray + 2 x DVD)
  • Run time: 300 Mins.
  • Studio: FUNimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 10, 2012
  • List Price: $49.98

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Purchase Sekirei: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

FUNimation chose to release the Sekirei series in reverse order, for whatever reason, starting with the previously reviewed Sekirei: Pure Engagement and now the first season, titled, simply, Sekirei. If you’ve seen either season, then you will be familiar with this fan service-heavy series based on the manga series by Sakurako Gokurakuin. It follows the exploits of the teenager Minato Sahashi and his bevy of buxom beauties known as Sekirei – alien beauties born to do battle to the death against one another in the capital city in what is known as “The Sekirei Plan” a game run by a maniacal business tycoon with nefarious plans.

The series’ first season chronicles how Minato becomes the “Ashikabi” (humans with unique genes that enable them to unleash the Sekirei’s full power through mucous contact (read: kissing) thereby making them his servants). Some humans have been forcibly recruiting Sekirei rather than allowing them to naturally find the Ashikabi that they are drawn to. Minato, meanwhile, a 19-year-old failure, by all accounts, who has failed his college entrance exams multiple times and has no prospects, has managed to attract a virtual harem of beautiful Sekirei to fight for him. It all began when the well-endowed Musubi literally fell out of the sky right on top of him! From there, Tsukiumi, a powerful single-number Sekirei who controls water and hates Ashikabi nonetheless finds herself drawn to Minato. Then the young Kusano who controls plant growth is saved by Minato from a frightening Ashikabi trying to force her to become his. He also finds Matsu, a geeky agoraphobic Sekirei who lives secretly in the boarding house run by a strict, but beautiful, landlady where Minatu and his ladies have been forced to take refuge. There are three more Sekirei residing here, but they are not yet connected to Minato.

As the story goes, each Sekirei must battle to death in order to “win” the “game” and be the last one standing in the capital city. Trying to flee the city in order not to fight is punishable by death, for not only the Sekirei, but the Ashikabi as well.

While this may seem like a strained story, Sekirei works on many levels. The relationships between Minato and the various Sekirei is actually quite sweet, more than it is lecherous, even in the face of the strong fan service throughout the series. There are numerous scenes that take advantage of the very shapely drawn female characters, with the exception of the prepubescent Kusano, of course. There’s always a timely bath scene and clothes seem to get torn off quite easily — and rather frequently — during battle, sometimes intentionally, by opponents. Fans of this sort of thing should eat it up.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Just as with Pure Engagement, this first season of Sekirei is a 1080i/60 encodement up-scaled from SD. There are obvious artifacts in the image that present themselves particularly in panning shots in the form of stairstepping/jaggies. Overall detail is a little soft and colors don’t quite pop as they would had it been a full high definition production. On the whole, however, it’s not absolutely bad for an up-scaled image and definitely offers an advantage over DVD with its wider bandwidth and lower compression level.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The audio is provided in the original Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) and an English dub in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit). I prefer listening to the original Japanese even if it’s not in 5.1. The track is clean with wide stereo imaging and a relatively strong sense of dynamic range. In comparison, quick checks of the English track yield similar results with dialogue sounding just a little thinner and a slight use of the surround channels for discrete information. There’s also an obvious, but slight, increase in low frequency extension through use of the LFE.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The Sekirei OVA, Kusano’s First Shopping Trip, is the only real extra added to this release.

The supplements:

  • OVA – Kusano’s First Shopping Trip – In this brief, fifteen-minute, OVA, little Kusano joins the shopping race to prove she is Minato Sahashi’s real wife, but the youngster needs a lot of help out in the big city on her own for the very first time.
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Peel off the layers (no pun intended) and Sekirei is actually a very fun series with cool characters and lots of heart. The character design, while not groundbreaking, is still rather strong and the story always engaging. I was at a bit of a disadvantage reviewing this series considering this was my first time coming to it and I’d started with the second season first, but it was still quite enjoyable.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0071LEJDK[/amazon-product]

Purchase Sekirei: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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1 COMMENT

  1. I found it to be the best Anime series so far. It is sweet. It is funny. Even with the fan service, the story is engaging and heart warming. Nothing is overdone. Loved it. The only bad thing about the series is that it takes so long between releases and there is no word yet if there will be more seasons.

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