Back when Sekirei came out, I noted that it seemed to have an unusual amount of plot for a fanservice vehicle; that it was delivering what Goyshusho-sama Ninimiya-kun did not in that area. Well, since Season 2 of the animÃ© will be coming up soon, I decided to read through the manga, to see if I could pick up anything more. Um, being bored enough to go look it up helped…. For my troubles, I got two small surprises.
First, the manga is much more ecchi than the TV version, though I don’t know if it is more than the DVD version. I have to wonder, after reading: “I want to f*ck him so bad.” followed by ‘TL Note: Yes. she really says that.’ That was Kazehana, #03, who was the drunk one always wandering around with the giant bottle of sake.
Second, they actually stuck pretty close to the manga; almost panel-for-shot. The only five things I have truly identified as different are:
- that there was a bit more emphasis on Minato’s sister and her sekirei in the manga. They’re seriously bad-ass, which I didn’t expect. They become known as “The devil and the demon” because she usually goes and beats the crap out of the other ashakabi while #107 puts the hammer down on the opposing Sekirei. His power is “decay” (the opposite of Ku-chan), which makes him pretty much invulnerable to 1 on 1 ranged attacks or armed melee attacks.
- As an ashikabi, Minato was given an MBI credit card with effectively no limit. The Sekirei each also have one, so that’s how they survived until their winging. However, the landlady (Miya) notes that it’s the only card she doesn’t accept, so Minato has to pay the rent in cash. Just how he’s paying for multiple rooms on that tiny part-time salary and his half-allowance, I don’t know. (Remember, the landlady forced the girls into different rooms — effectively increasing her income and his costs, if they’re paying rent.)
- There were a few details different in the final fight on the bridge. There’s no kill-sat in orbit, plus Uzume and the Black Sekirei weren’t there in the manga. Kazehana was, and she became Minato’s #5 during the battle instead of the next day, as the animÃ© hinted.
- Some details about the landlady were left out.
- The aftermath of the bridge fight was completely different, with some major implications for the backstory.
Major spoiler, post-bridge fight:
I haven’t finished all the manga online yet; I have about 14 chapters to go, but I’m having to wonder if the second season isn’t going to have a problem with overrunning the manga badly, even with only 11-12 episodes. I’m not seeing a point coming up where they can cut off cleanly, though it’s possible I haven’t found it yet.
A final observation that I pulled up from the spoiler below: FYI, it’s apparently canon that Musubi’s are the largest, #09 Tsukiumi (tsundere-chan) is just behind her, and either Kazehana or Mutsu (#05, the computer geek) are barely in third. Hey, these things are important.
Now I’m going to finish with a lengthy, major future plot spoiler discussion. RSS readers, bail out now.:
At the time of the discovery, nine of the sekirei were very young children or babies (these became the “single digits” and the rest were embryos. For some reason, the singles were somewhat more mutable in regards to their powers, and those vary based on their MBI trainers from back in the years right after the spaceship was found. How powerful are they? Apparently MBI stood off five attempted invasions of the island by military forces, with just the single digits. The black sekirei even jumped to a ship providing shore bombardment… and sank it. (correction: she did it from shore, with one sweep of her sword). The previously-unexplained opening scene of the first episode of the first series is taken from one of these battles.
Shortly after the bridge incident, Prof. Hiroto texts all the ashikabi to point out that there’s only one sekirei left unwinged, and it’s in the northern sector. Of course, we know it’s Homura, the guy down the hall who’s always in black. He considered himself “protector of the sekirei” and had been secretly keeping Sao’s two from nailing the unwinged ones. Well, here’s the squick: Of all the single digits, it turns out he’s really unique — his body’s breakdown is because he has to have an ashikabi to regulate his unstable powers. And to top it off, he realizes he’s been reacting to Minato’s presence because his body is changing to female. S/he’s kind of half-n-half at this point. At least s/he looks kinda feminine when Minato wings him/her….
Oh joy. The futinari pervs are gonna love that. What makes it worse? Homura tells Minato that he has no choice; his body will change to whatever Minato desires, “but I self-identify as a male.” So Minato tells him to be whatever he wants to be. Did I mention that the sekirei can “power-up” by kissing their Ashikabi? Uh-oh. Get the brain bleach out, we’re gonna need it.
Homura is #06, so at this point in the story, Minato has six sekirei, four of which are single digits: #03, #05, #06, and #09; Musubi can manifest another (#08, Yume, the Destiny Sekirei); he’s friends with #01 (Miya, the landlady), and if he and his sister ever learn each other are ashikabi, he’ll have a natural/powerful ally in the team of his sister and #107, whose little sister is Ku-chan, #108. (Actually, it might go the other way, and Minato will have to rescue them. One of the other warlords has grabbed her to blackmail #107. At least he proposed marriage…)
Although he’s in good shape, it’s not all promising. At least one of the other major masters has 10-12, and apparently some of the single-sekirei owners are swearing fealty to the other warlords. Minato also has enemies. UzumÃ© has, however unwillingly, gone over to the dark side, and is working for one of them, and Sao is beginning to look like a rat bastard. The “Plan” is now in Phase 3, and instead of a battle royale, Prof. Hiroto is summoning random ashikabi and their sekirei to arena battles. He also randomizes where the battles take place and what the rules are, and the ashikabi have to participate as well.
All in all, it looks like a opportunity for a lot more fanservice and a little more plot. Given what this season’s looking like, I’ll take it.
Edited to make some identities clearer.