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SEKIREI ~Pure Engagement~ – 13 (END)

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「真実ノ絆」 (Shinjitsu no Kizuna)
“True Bonds”

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.

 

Epilogue

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Final Impressions:

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.

September 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm
22 comments »
  • September 26, 2010 at 11:15 pmtkarma

    season III, season III, season III!!!!

    • September 27, 2010 at 12:01 pmAshen

      Took the words right outta my mouth, comrade.

      Homura’s mini arc had to be my favorite part of this season. Definitely looking forward to season 3!

  • September 26, 2010 at 11:28 pmLectro Volpi

    Show how much of a monster is Karasuba, no one (manga/anime) has successfully landed a hit on her!

    If that is how strong Karasuba is, then Miya is without a doubt “Another dimension”.

    I don’t know how a third season (if there is one) is going to work out but I’ll give it a try anyway!

  • September 27, 2010 at 12:17 amPachikun

    tercera temporadaa!! obligatoria!!! esperemos que no tarde mucho

  • September 27, 2010 at 12:26 amZnail

    The Jinki crystals are a nice touch that they showed as that is the arc they skipped this season, which was to be expected as that arc is still ongoing. It seems like they plan to handle that in the next season and that would mean a lot of combat, for those who haven’t read the manga. It’s actually only the destruction of the MBI building, the press in orbit and lack of Yukari troubles (which is also ongoing) that’s really deviating. So it seems like they will be able to do a third season without too much rework of the story line.

  • September 27, 2010 at 3:26 amdamrod

    2 seasons done together with 2 acts…
    Sounds like a season for every act, or in other words 4 more seasons before sekirei is finished.

  • September 27, 2010 at 3:35 amewok40k

    well, manga itself is still in the making, so we dont rally know how many seasons it would take to get the whole story…
    Karasuba is hax, and Miya is debug godmode…

  • September 27, 2010 at 4:45 amSilivious

    UGH…this most recent chapter of the manga is just trolling people by following the manga. -_-

  • September 27, 2010 at 5:04 amCroosboy

    i find the picture epic. so im going to watch

  • September 27, 2010 at 7:42 ammr.mask

    I’m curious how are they going to tie next season’s story line without Uzume.. .. Just pleased that there’s a third season. . .

    • September 27, 2010 at 10:32 amKarmafan

      This week the manga corrects the storyline between the manga and anime regarding Uzume. I suspected that they were supposed to reveal Uzume’s fate at the same time but perhaps the manga ran behind so anime folks saw what happened to her 2 weeks before it appeared in the manga.

      There are alot of things that can be done with Uzume next season. She was defeated and lost her crest. That does not mean she is dead. She might be released sooner or later to live as a normal human with her ashikabe? Or Minato can win the game and his reward to be bring Uzume back? There are still lots and lots of story to tell…

      Minato and his sister don’t know each other is an ashikabe.
      The jinke arc still needs to be animated.
      We dont know if that idiot that runs MBI is Minato and his sisters father?
      I suspect #1 will still have a large part to play in the series. Possibly on Minato’s team?

  • September 27, 2010 at 8:40 amPanther

    Silivious: Damn straight lol.

    divine: Also the crystals are known as Jinki, and they are presumably the focus of the next anime arc. Not much is really written about them in the manga anyway.

    • September 27, 2010 at 9:06 amkuro

      Yes there is. It’s purpose was at least mentioned in the manga but that’s it.
      Although they shouldn’t have shown Matsu holding one yet. But meh, they did it
      with Homura’s case last season, showing that he/she has changes happening with his/her
      body at the end of the last episode.

  • September 27, 2010 at 11:30 amIsland Esper

    Well Minato did a semi grope from behind to Kazehana, to me that’s the best ending :0 I might have to re-read the manga but there are 8 jinki pieces and the whole point is to get all the pieces together fuse them and something will happen. Following Divine analogy getting all seven dragon balls to summon the dragon and wish all sekireis back to live. Go Goku err I mean Go Minato… Anyway like most have said the story is ongoing lots of things to be revealed/solved. Uzume passing and/or disappearance did kill a lot of steam for the series. Let’s hope that this is like one piece and no one dies for real until killed like 4 times. So nice run, great to see all the girls working as a team to take over the world and win the sekirei game. Next season now !!!!!

  • September 27, 2010 at 1:26 pmSyaoran Li

    What a bullshit.

  • September 27, 2010 at 2:25 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Overall, a satisfying “conclusion” to Season 2. Definitely going to be a Season 3 and I really look forward to seeing more action from Tsukiumi and Homura, if the manga is any indication.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 27, 2010 at 10:43 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    LACKLUSTER would be a kind way to describe this TRASHY season 2 of sekirei, it started out with strong animation and…..well, little else. And that’s sad, because i really liked this show….Now I’m forgetting why…….. the series is not mature enough for another season and won’t be for a LOOOOOOOOG time……FAIL

    • September 28, 2010 at 5:38 pmSilentcid

      Ouch…Sort of harsh don’t you think?

    • September 29, 2010 at 11:31 amShirt

      Are you going to the Anime Convention in Manhattan this weekend?

  • September 29, 2010 at 9:02 amShirt

    That was another great ending to one of the animus I’ve been watching over the past few months. Talk about a great cliffhanger! Minaka’s laugh is contagious!! (lol) I don’t know how to say “That was close.” in Japanese but I know when it’s being said and it cracks me up every time. All that lip the actors put into it just kills me. XD

    This episode really felt like it had a climax to it’s own climax! The action just never seemed to stop. So intense! Musubi-tan is hot buttery craack!! X3 I can’t imagine what shed be capable of she could remain in that state for longer periods of time. And can any of the other Ashikabi do it too? I’d love to see Tsukiumi or Matsu go bonkers on Minaka or someone in the disciplinary squad. They crazy~!

    Man.. Glad there’s gonna be another season. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if the show kept on going like Bleach and Naruto!! (I’d be delighted in fact!!!) :D

    p.s. You made an excellent choice not to blog Asobi ni Iku yo. That show was horrible story-wise. smh

    • September 29, 2010 at 11:37 amKarmafan

      All Sekirei have their own special powerups. Would love to see the others use theirs. WOnder what Kuus woulod be?

      Re: Asobi… I actually liked that anime. It had a decent storyline and the characters were beautifully drawn (especially Eris). It won’t win any awards for being great but it was a decent way to spend 25 minutes each week. Could have been better but could have been alot worse. Your typical comedy action Harem anime.

  • October 1, 2010 at 1:09 pmShiro

    Divine, great post! I too can’t wait to see where this story is going. The two year wait was a killer for me but I’m glad they did a season two. I hope that they choose to make a season three and I’m pretty sure it will be badass!

    しろ