「比礼ト風」 (Hire to Kaze)
“Hire and Wind”
Episode at a Glance:
Disliking how the fight is unfair being two on one, Kazehana steps in front of Tsukiumi’s attack to protect the Hire Sekirei. Tsukiumi cancels the attack at the last second and after hearing Kazehana’s concerns, tells an enthusiastic Musubi to play with Kuno instead since Sekirei fights are one-on-one. Despite Musubi’s polite introduction, Haruka and Kuno are intimidated by her and declare that they have no intention of fighting. Kazehana on the other hand, takes off with the Hire Sekirei, but not before telling Tsukiumi that only No.01 and the Game Master can talk to her in the tone of voice she’s using, and introducing herself as Sekirei No.03. Tsukiumi then turns around to find Musubi and the others gone.
On a roof elsewhere, Kazehana asks the Hire Sekirei how Miya is, so she reveals herself as No.10 Uzume and challenges her “Nee-san” to a fight. Back at Izumo Inn, Minato is helping with house chores with nothing better to do, when he runs into Matsu, who tells him to have more confidence in himself. She then undresses to give him her clothes to wash and realizes that it’s a good time for an “experiment” with the others out, when Kagari comes by thinking he’s interrupted something. Minato takes off in embarassment, causing Matsu to divert her attention to Kagari and get burned for it (literally). Kagari then asks for medicine for some new chest pains that he’s experiencing, but Matsu says her stuff is only a temporary painkiller and suspsects that there’s something going on with his body.
Musubi then drops in on Minato outside and drags him back to his old apartment, where Haruka and Kuno are living now. After some introductions, including Minato’s fame for getting evicted and how both Ashikabi failed their entrance exams, Musubi tells Minato that she wants to help them escape Shintou Teito. Meanwhile back at home, Tsukiumi is trying to figure out where Musubi went with Minato and gets into a bit of argument Matsu after explaining the situation on the Hire Sekirei. Kusano manages to calm things down and makes everyone take a bath, where Matsu warns the other two about entering the bath with other Ashikabi’s Sekirei from now on since the battle royale is starting. Back at Haruka’s apartment, Minato wonders why they don’t just leave then, making Haruka realize that he’s really carefree and has no idea that M.B.I. soldiers and the Disciplinary Force are keeping them in. After constantly being reminded of how useless she is compared to Musubi, Kuno tugs on Haruka’s shirt and says that he kissed her and asked her to be his, so he tells her he’ll stop making comparisons.
The two then return home, where Tsukiumi and Kusano are waiting for Minato. After hearing about a “secret” that happened tonight, the two of them take out their frustration on him. In a drunken stupor, Uzume and Kazehana head to Izumo Inn later that night and mistakenly collapse in Minato’s room. In the morning, Minato wakes up to find them both sleeping naked beside him and gets punished for sleeping with the enemy by Tsukiumi, who sees Kazehana taking an interest in Minato and claiming that he looks like him. Miya arrives shortly after and reminds Tsukiumi about fighting here and reveals that she knows Kazehana, a former resident of Izumo Inn. The two naked Sekirei then get dressed and are able to keep Uzume’s identity under wraps. Uzume though is reminded about her challenge against Kazehana last night, which ended up in her defeat, but she was let off the hook for treating Kazehana to sake.
With everyone assembled in the morning, Musubi tells the others about helping Haruka and Kuno escape, which Tsukiumi feels is impossible, but Kazehana is quite fond of the idea. Minato then consults Matsu about the probability of success, which she believes is doable if all his Sekirei work together. However, she then explains the origins of the Sekirei Project, which began with Minaka Hiroto’s discovery of advanced genetic engineering technology inside a wrecked ship on Kamikurajima, which propelled him to president of M.B.I.—Mid Bio Informatics. As their sole purpose is to carry out the Sekirei Project in Shintou Teito, Matsu simply lets Minato know that helping someone withdraw from the fight would be making an enemy of the M.B.I. Outside, Minato starts to feel that an escape plan is reckless, but Musubi reassures him saying that nothing’s impossible in this world when people form a profound bond through mutual feelings. At M.B.I. headquarters, Natsuo informs Karasuba that Haihane let an Ashikabi and Sekirei escape after they tried to flee the city, making her feel that things will become even more interesting now.
「脱出前夜」 (Dasshutsu Zenya)
“The Night Before the Escape”
First off, if you’re offended by any sort of nudity in anime, I suggest skipping the large versions of the screenshots as they really left nothing to the imagination this time around. Kanokon, eat your heart out! At first, I thought it was a bit daring for them to show Musubi in a 69 position with Minato, but that absolutely pales in comparison to Tsukiumi in the bath, and Kazehana hungover, Uzume getting dressed (with no support of course because girls with bust sizes in the 92-98 range apparently don’t need it). While I’m sure there are an endless stream of big breast jokes to follow, I personally find the oversized busts in this show excessive and have to say that the characters would look a lot better with moderate size ones like Yukari and Miya, the latter of which is still a big 86 according to official three-size “stats”. Anyway, that’s my take on the uncensored fan-service this episode, which I’ve tried to depict with more screenshots in this post. I purposely refrained from using any explicit shots on the front page, but I hope no one gets offended by any of this, particularly our female readers!
So plot plot… wait was there any? Surprisingly, there was a fair bit in light of all of the above, as the Hire Sekirei was explicitly revealed to be No.10 Uzume. No.03 Kazehana we also saw a lot more of, not only in the physical sense, but in terms of screen time in general. She’s also referred to as “nee-san” by Uzume, but they don’t appear to be blood-related. (Thanks to all the people who pointed this out. The Japanese wiki page actually makes no mention of this whatsoever.) As a reminder, she’s played by the oh-so-seductive Yukana and sounds just like C.C. in CODE GEASS when she’s serious (now if only she looked like her too…), but has a sillier playful side (usually when she’s drunk) that’s reminiscent of Yukana’s portrayal of Kuugen in Wagaya no Oinari-sama, both of which I’m sure you’re aware are airing right now. Quite frankly, I couldn’t have asked for a better combination, so I’m quite pleased with her being cast for Kazehana. As evident by her name, “Wind Flower”, she uses wind abilities, but seems to always have flower petals scattered about for effect.
Kagari/Homura on the other hand seems to still be having difficulties keeping his powers in check, and seeing as he’s grasping his chest, it’s probably indication of “things” to come. In a somewhat odd sense, Tsukiumi fought with Matsu over Minato a bit this time, but this was quickly resolved by Kusano’s powers, much to Miya’s amusement. Speaking of amusement, I have to say the comedy was pretty damn funny this time, thanks to the constant joke about Kuno being munou (無能, “incompetent”), plus Tsukiumi and Kusano taking out their jealousy on Minato when he arrived home late with Musubi. The series seems to like to emphasize that academic failures get hot girls too, akin to one Urashima Keitarou from Love Hina, which actually established this type of male protagonist in harem anime.
Ultimately though, the episode’s focus was Haruka and Kuno, who want to flee Shintou Teito and withdraw from the Sekirei Project. Given how unreliable yet unbelievably cute Kuno is, I can’t blame Haruka for wanting to protect her. I guess it’s no different than how Minato wants to protect his Sekirei, except in his case, his ones are ridiculously stacked in all senses of the word. Thanks to Musubi’s initial kindness, it looks like Minato has chosen to defy the Sekirei Project and use all his Sekirei to help Haruka and Kuno escape; however, the preview seems to indicate that they’ve enlisted Kaoru’s help as well. On the M.B.I. side of things, Karasuba stated that Haihane has good judgment in making things interesting, which pretty much foreshadows their involvement down the road, so it looks like we’re in store for quite a battle fairly soon. Let’s not forget that there’s still Yukari and Shiina though, who were active in the narration for the preview but didn’t show up in it at all.
On a related note, the SEKIREI Sound Stage 01 drama CD came out recently and has some pretty humorous skits based on the material shown in the anime thus far (i.e. up until episode 8). There’s something new in the last track though, titled “Disciplinary Force” 「懲罰部隊」, as Itou Shizuka makes her debut to the series playing the Red Sekirei, Benitsubasa. In addition, the CD features three vocal tracks in the form of characters songs for Kusano, Tsukiumi, and Musubi, sung by Hanazawa Kana, Inoue Marina, and Hayami Saori respectively of course. Given the seiyuu talent in the series, the singing naturally follows suit, but I found Saori’s performance of “Koi Suru Otome wa Muteki Desu.” 「恋する乙女は無敵です。」 (“A Maiden in Love is Invincible.”) the best out of the three given how well she can sing, followed by Marina’s “Tsuki Hitotsu” 「月ひとつ」 and Kana’s “Midori no Melody” 「みどりのメロディ」.
– 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)
– Uzume (鈿女) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Kazehana (風花) / Yukana (ゆかな)
– Shigi Haruka (鷸 ハルカ) / Okamoto Nobuhiko (岡本 信彦)
– Kuno (久能) / Akesaka Satomi (明坂 聡美)
– Karasuba (鴉羽) / Paku Romi (朴 璐美)
– Natsuo (夏朗) / Toriumi Kousuke (鳥海 浩輔)