「閉ジタ帝都」 (Tojita Teito)
“A Shut Teito”
Episode at a Glance:
In an attempt to leave Shintou Teito, Shigi Haruka and his Sekirei, No.95 Kuno, try to slip past a M.B.I. checkpoint, but are intimidated by the Blue Sekirei of the Disciplinary Force, No.104 Haihane, forcing them to flee back into the city. Witnessing this from nearby, Homura gets the feeling that Hiroto is getting serious about his plans. At Izumo Inn, Minato and the others are cleaning the bathroom, where Musubi, Tsukiumi, and Ku continue to fight for Minato’s attention. After Miya accuses Minato of being a hentai, she tells everyone that it’s time for dinner, so Minato stops by Matsu’s room to let her know.
There, the cyberspace hacker Sekirei is browsing through the M.B.I.’s super top secret data bank and shows Minato and Ku the information they have on the current Ashikabi, the Sekirei with wings, and the defeated Sekirei. Matsu adds that she made a peculiar discovery though, where a couple of defeated Sekirei don’t have a victor listed. Explaining that there’s an unspoken rule of etiquette between Sekirei to guard a defeated opponent until the M.B.I. arrives, Matsu reveals that there’s a Sekirei leaving its defeated opponents on the verge of death after winning. Minato suspects that this is simply a lack of courtesy; however, Matsu says there’s importance behind letting the M.B.I. recognize the victors, so choosing not to is suspicious.
Upon seeing Ku dressed up in a mouse costume, Minato realizes how little he knows about Uzume, so he asks Miya about her. Despite not knowing much details, Miya recalls that Uzume got this mouse costume to cheer up a person she visits at the hospital now and then. She’s unsure if this person is Uzume’s Ashikaba though, but knows that they share a deep bond. At a hospital somewhere, Uzume pays a visit to a girl named Chiho, who wakes after getting kissed on the cheek. Chiho questions if Uzume was crying earlier, which she denies, and then apologizes for not being able to do anything as her Ashikaba. However, Uzume tells Chiho that simply living is enough.
After Musubi and Tsukiumi return from their grocery shopping battle (which Musubi wins), Minato and Matsu hold a secret meeting to tell them not to stand out too much with this dangerous Sekirei around, but they get fired up about fighting a strong enemy and upholding the Sekirei fighting rules instead, with Ku following suit. Minato expresses that he’s just worried about them though, which causes Tsukiumi to confirm his concern later on. Tsukiumi tells him there’s nothing to worry about though since she’s the greatest, making Minato realize how beautiful she is and how safe he feels around her, much like Musubi. Upon leaving the room though, Minato finds Musubi just outside and panics out of guilt, much to Matsu’s amusement.
When Uzume returns home, she enters the bath where Musubi and Tsukiumi are arguing about who Minato’s legal wife is, which makes her hope that things can remain this way, but Tsukiumi points out that they might end up fighting one day. Unbeknownst to them, Matsu is in the changing room and looking into the bloodstain on Uzume’s pants that she noticed earlier. Elsewhere, Hayato learns that Mitsuha was defeated by Karasuba, making him wonder why the Disciplinary Force is getting involved, so Mutsu reminds him that they’re participants in this game as well. When he hears that Akitsu’s surveillence reports that Shiina still hasn’t sprouted wings, Hayato decides that it’s time to fill in the gap that Mitsuha left.
At her apartment, Yukari learns that Shiina is looking for her sister Ku, prompting Yukari to tell him about how her brother used to always look out for her. Feeling that Ku is definitely waiting for him to come, Yukari agrees to help him find her. Back at the hospital, Uzume is confronted by Kakizaki, who compliments her on a job well down the other day, something he feels is as expected from a Sekirei made by Asama Takehito. He also informs her that Izumi holds her highly, but Uzume tells him to stop the useless talk and give her the next target, which turns out to be No.95 Kuno. Unconcerned about Kuno’s special ability, she leaves with the photograph, but not before Kakizaki reminds her that her Ashikaba doesn’t have much time left.
Overhearing how Tsukiumi plans to go after this disrespectful Sekirei, Kagari feels there’s need for him to appear as a guardian. On the Izumo Inn rooftop, Minato thinks that Musubi and Tsukiumi are against one another, but learns that they’re working together this time because of a secret between just them girls. Meanwhile, Haruka and Kuno are being pursued by Uzume and fail to get away, even with Kuno’s ability. Having heard the scream though, Musubi and Tsukiumi arrive to save them, introduce themselves, and ask Uzume for her number and name, unaware that it’s actually her. Tsukiumi accuses Uzume of being the Sekirei that they’re after, but Uzume simply thinks of how she doesn’t want to fight them yet. Kazehana then arrives in a drunken stupor and expresses how she doesn’t like the sight in front of her.
「比礼ト風」 (Hire to Kaze)
“Hire and Wind”
While they continue to hide her identity in the credits, they’ve made it obvious enough now that Uzume is the Hire (比礼) Sekirei. (Hire is a long piece of cloth/silk that drapes over one’s shoulders all the way to the feet in traditional Japanese attire.) We were also introduced to four new characters this time around, including Uzume’s bedridden Ashikaba, Chiho, whose seiyuu isn’t listed in the credits. The reason for this is undoubtedly because she’s played by one of the existing seiyuus, but I can’t quite put my finger on who it is, even though I’m able to eliminate some of the possibilities. Anyway, the fact that she’s double-casted makes me feel that she might not live long in the series, especially with Higa Izumi and his glasses subordinate Kakizaki extorting Uzume to do their dirty work.
Other than Chiho, we were introduced to a new Ashikabi/Sekirei pairing in the form of Shigi Haruka and No.95 Kuno, the former of which is supposedly a school dropout. Haruka is played by Okamoto Nobuhiko (Morimiya Yorito in sola, Kanzato Shin in PERSONA -trinity soul-, Meguro Gau in Nabari no Ou), whereas Kuno is played by the less well-known Akesaka Satomi. Kuno’s screaming appears to be her special ability, which Haruka aptly refers to as “The Screaming Gun of Lament” 「絶叫のガン泣き」, despite how much she dislikes that name.
Last is No.104 Haihane, the Blue Sekirei of the Disciplinary Force, who’s played by Saiga Mitsuki (Yoite in Nabari no Ou) which I briefly mentioned last week. Since they’ve hinted at the fact that lower number Sekirei (particularly single digit ones) are to be feared, I wonder where Haihane ranks amongst everyone being No.104. She (he?) looks powerful enough and I get the feeling that the later Sekirei are really powerful as well; however, that has yet to be confirmed until Shiina (No.107) and Kusano (No.108) show us exactly what they can do.
According to what Mutsu told Hayato, Yukari still hasn’t formed a contract with Shiina, so it looks like those two are going to need some pressure situation to get them together. I’m still waiting for the moment Yukari meets up with Minato again and finds out that they’re both in the Sekirei Project though, as I’d like to see the separate storylines start coming together. I’m suspecting that this will be somewhat soon, seeing as Yukari decided to help Shiina find Ku. Other than that, it appears that Mitsuha was eliminated by Karasuba last time, based on the casualty list that Matsu dug up from the M.B.I.’s top secret files.
Comedy-wise, the endless struggle to be recognized as Minato’s “main” Sekirei continues to humour me, especially when Ku matches Musubi and Tsukiumi‘s quarreling. Kuno’s pretty funny to watch as well, seeing as she’s semi-unreliable, which is a characteristic that Haruka makes all the more apparent. As for Sekireis in general, I find that Uzume is the most attractive out of the bunch in her fighting form, which looks pretty damn cool when she releases a lot of Hire.
At eight episodes in, I still haven’t found any consistent information on how long SEKIREI is, but MOONPHASE still indicates that it’s 12 episodes. If that truly is the case, we’re over two-thirds through the series now, which doesn’t give a lot of time to bring things together. Aside from hearing that it’s actually two seasons long (i.e. 26 episodes), I’ve also heard that SEKIREI might be split up as two separate seasons. Whichever the case, twelve episode definitely seems too short, given the current pace of the series, so hopefully it’s one of the latter possibilities. Next week looks like it’s going to be Kazehana‘s proper introduction to the series, who supposedly has some relationship to Uzume. Regardless of what that is for now, she’s an alcoholic played by Yukana, so she should be a treat to watch.
– Sahashi Minato (佐橋 皆人) / Tachibana Shinnosuke (立花 慎之介)
– Musubi (結) / Hayami Saori (早見 沙織)
– Kusano (草野) / Hanazawa Kana (花澤 香菜)
– Matsu (松) / Endou Aya (遠藤 綾)
– Tsukiumi (月海) / Inoue Marina (井上 麻里奈)
– Asama Miya (浅間 美哉) / Oohara Sayaka (大原 さやか)
– Kagari (篝) / Kaida Yuki (甲斐田 ゆき)
– Hire Sekirei (比礼の鶺鴒) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Kazehana (風花) / Yukana (ゆかな)
– Sahashi Yukari (佐橋 ユカリ) / Asumi Kana (阿澄 佳奈)
– Shiina (椎菜) / Ishidzuka Sayori (石塚 さより)
– Shigi Haruka (鷸 ハルカ) / Okamoto Nobuhiko (岡本 信彦)
– Kuno (久能) / Akesaka Satomi (明坂 聡美)
– Mikogami Hayato (御子上 隼人) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
– Mutsu (陸奥) / Matsubara Daisuke (松原 大典)
– Haihane (灰翅) / Saiga Mitsuki (斎賀 みつき)
– Kakizaki (柿崎) / Takahashi Kenji (高橋 研二)