SEKIREI ~Pure Engagement~ – 13 (END)
「真実ノ絆」 (Shinjitsu no Kizuna)
Following the collapse of Teito Tower and the conclusion of this second season, the “to be continued” message at the very end left the door open to a possible third adaptation. Things were left pretty open-ended with Musubi and Karasuba’s exchange at the end, though it was pretty cool to see Yume awaken within Musubi and kiss Minato so that she could unleash the powers of a Norito. While nothing came from their fight, I did get caught up in the helpless feeling that had taken over Minato’s Sekirei. It may have been six on one, but no one was really in any condition to help out after miraculously surviving the tower’s collapse, so all they could do was look on as Musubi struggled against Karasuba alone. Nearly half of the episode was dedicated to that scene, so it was nice to see them make it pretty suspenseful with the music and Musubi’s shirahadori (barehanded blade catch). There was also Matsu’s analysis that Musubi has no chance of beating Karasuba in her current state, Kusano’s earnest cries for them to stop, Karasubi thinking about cutting up Minato to drive Musubi’s anger over the edge, and everyone trying to intervene to no avail to really give off a sense of a hopeless fight. I was seriously having a case of déjà vu from seeing Karasuba take the same approach that Cell did to awaken Gohan’s Super Saiyajin 2 in Dragon Ball Z, complete with a “Change the World” insert song as soon as Musubi kissed Minato and powered up. (Sung by none other than Musubi’s Hayami Saori.)
While I held onto the firm belief that Karasuba wouldn’t take advantage of the situation and actually kill anyone, I loved how the desperate feelings quickly turned into ones of hope when Musubi went flying towards her to end their fight with the very next exchange. Musubi only managed to break Karasuba’s katana before her sudden burst of power faded; however, everyone rallying to her side after Minato dove in to try and protect Musubi was pretty moving to see with the song playing in the background. Also, Matsu adding that an attack like that would be enough to take out Karasuba gave the impression that the tides had turned. It was a bit anticlimactic to simply see the leader of the Disciplinary Force just walk away right after, but not so much in my case since I was expecting her to do so at some point. There were simply no signs leading up to this finale that either Musubi or Karasubi would be severely injured, and no time to show what happens after even if there were. In terms of providing a big battle at the end of this second season, their fight did provide just that though. Minato also managed to get the data needed to cure Chiho, so the actual arc revolving around her regaining the ability to walk did come to a close.
Given how the rest of the episode went, there was more than enough indication that a third season is in order to address some of the new things that came up. As expected of Higa, he sent Seo in to try and steal a bunch of M.B.I.’s alien technology during the confusion. What wasn’t expected though was how Seo asked Matsu to give him dummy data after he gave her the twenty pass codes to unlock the computer system. While trying to disable the self-destruct, Matsu was also notified that the third stage has begun, which suggested that all of this was going according to Minaka’s plan. The only thing that wasn’t specifically planned was destroying Teito Tower in the process, since the self-destruct was for taking down the building if plans were ever made to build a new one. Last but definitely not least were the crystal containers that Matsu managed to get a hold of and Minaka has on board the spaceship he escaped in, which are numbered eight and one respectively. Eight I can understand since Yume is no longer around, but the fact that Miya’s still around left me wondering if there was some truth behind what she said before about Sekirei No.01 being gone. In any case, lots of new questions were raised on top of the various subplots that need to be explored (e.g. Karasuba’s grudge with Yume), which I hope to see answered in another sequel down the road.
When word of a SEKIREI sequel reached my ears, I wasn’t eagerly looking forward to it but was intent on watching it whenever it showed up. When it finally premiered this past summer, there had been a long two-year gap since I watched and covered the first season, so naturally the anticipation dwindled over that time. However, the long break was kind of nice in retrospect, since there was almost a sense of nostalgia to see the same cast of characters back on screen and the story picking up from where it left off. As a bonus, the shift to high definition allowed Seven Arcs to produce a much better looking series as well, which was the same welcomed improvement seen in STRIKE WITCHES 2. The end result was a sequel with much better looking production at a much more interesting part of the story — the latter of which didn’t feel nearly as open-ended as the first adaptation.
For me, the most satisfying moments of this sequel were the winging of Kazehana and Homura, seeing as the prospect of that happening was hinted at several times in the first season. I’ve been long since aware of who Minato’s six Sekirei are, so never getting a chance to see them all come together back then made the eventual bridge escape conclusion feel even more open-ended. This time around, I’m actually much more content with the conclusion of Uzume/Chiho arc, simply because the main cast of characters have assembled alongside Minato and the story can advance whichever way it needs to. Going forward, the formal introduction to Higa resulted in the vast majority of the plot in Pure Engagement, but leaving Sanada fairly sidelined for the most part. As such, Sanada is one character who I would like to see fleshed out more in another sequel. Higa himself also works in very mysterious ways, so there are definitely a lot of plot devices that haven’t been touched upon, which hopefully come together in some significant way.
As things stand now, another chapter of the story feels like it’s been closed, with another one expected to pick up where it left off. This proved to be a pretty enjoyable sequel as a result, and surprisingly satisfying in light of the fact that there’s no indication of the Sekirei Project concluding anytime soon. Thus far, it’s all been about approaching it one stage at a time, with confirmation of the third one starting leaving me curious as to what Minaka has in mind. Needless to say, a sequel is in order to answer all those questions surrounding the president of M.B.I. and the project as a whole, so I’ll be watching for sure if/when one is produced. I’m not dying to see one anytime soon given how things ended off here, but I do want to see where this story I’ve been following on and off for the past two years is headed.