「縁の鶺鴒」 (Enishi no Sekirei)
“Sekirei of Fate”
Episode at a Glance:
With Musubi defeated, Minato tearfully clutches her in his arms, but Benitsubasa and Haihane aren’t the slightest bit remorseful. Kuno however manages to contain the two Disciplinary Force Sekirei for a bit by borrowing her Ashikabi’s powers and using her “Funya Funya Song” prayer ability, which drains the strength out of those affected by it. She’s unable to maintain the effect though, so Benitsubasa decides to take out Minato. Tsukiumi arrives in the nick of time though, but is shocked to find Musubi defeated. Angry about not having an opportunity to win against Musubi, Tsukiumi takes her frustration out on the Red and Blue Sekirei, who are shocked to find out that she’s a single number. Two on one proves unfavorable for Tsukiumi though, and she winds up trapped under a rumble caused by Haihane’s attack. Watching from afar, Homura figures things will be difficult now that the Disciplinary Force has shown up, but Kazehana senses Uzume around and decides to go in for a closer look. Nearby the railway bridge, Kazehana stops Uzume from helping them, claiming she still hasn’t been shown anything yet.
Walking through the plants left in Matsu and Kusano’s wake, Yukari and Shiina barely miss running into them and are discovered by Hayato, Mutsu, and Akitsu instead, the first of which questions how Yukari can refrain from making Shiina hers when the urge between them is this hot. Back on the bridge, Minato attacks Benitsubasa back with a headbutt, causing Haihane to laugh and make fun of her. Refusing to run and leave his important Sekirei behind, Minato is about to be killed when Musubi reawakens as Yume after proclaiming that this is love. With everyone around hearing this, Shiina uses this opportunity to form a contract with Yukari, after which he chases off Hayato and his Sekirei with his “World End Garden” attack. Musubi then declares herself as the Sekirei of Fate, Yume, leaving everyone around wondering who that is. “Yume” however questions when the Disciplinary Force started picking on the weak and decides to teach Benitsubasa and Haihane a lesson as their senpai. After Yume scares the hell out of them with a beam attack that destroys a huge portion of the bridge, Matsu arrives with Kusano and explains that the “S. Keikaku” Disciplinary Force that Yume claims to be apart of is the old name for the Sekirei Project. Yume then proceeds to literally throw Benitsubasa and Haihane off into the distance with everyone looking on speechless.
Claiming that his strong feelings for Musubi called her out, Yume stuffs Minato’s head into her chest, much to his other Sekirei’s jealousy. Happy that Yume has returned, Karasuba arrives and greets her, before attacking her head on. Dodging the Black Sekirei’s attack, Yume suggests that she isn’t the one that she should be fighting, thinking there will be someone else standing in her way later on, and allows Musubi’s consciousness to return. Sensing this at the last moment, Karasuba stops herself and decides to leave. Matsu’s hack on the surveillance satellite soon expires, causing a laser beam to be fired upon them from orbit, destroying the bridge. While Minato and his Sekirei are able to get away, Haruka and Kuno end up being saved by Uzume and Kazehana, the latter of which is happy about the young romantic mood in the morning, but feels that the real man inside Minato is still hidden. With Haruka and Kuno well on their way to freedom, Minato decides to stay behind feeling that there’s something here that only he can do after hearing Yume’s voice asking him to teach all the young Sekirei birds what love is. He then tearfully apologizes to his Sekirei for being naive and dragging them into this fight when he can’t do anything himself, but Musubi tells him that being himself gives them the motivation. Sensing the Musubi is capitalizing on the situation, the three other girls then make their own move on Minato.
Back at Izumo Inn, Hikari and Hibiki apologize frantically to Miya about Kaoru eating over again for the third time in a row, while Musubi, Tsukiumi, and Kusano fight over feeding Minato. At M.B.I. headquarters, Takami is surprised to hear that Musubi reactivated herself and decides to start an investigation into it. Hayato on the other hand is wondering where he can get new Sekirei. Bruised and battered from earlier, Benitsubasa is mad about the big-breasted Yume beating her up, causing Haihane to make fun of her being at most a B-cup. In her defense, Benitsubasa says that Natsuo doesn’t like big breasted girls anyway (which seems to be the case when you look at his Sekirei). As for Natsuo himself, he senses that Karasuba’s having fun, so she reveals that things will only get better from here on. Visiting Chiho in the hospital, Uzume is unaware that Kakizaki is informing Izumi about how she helped Kuno instead of eliminating her and adds that she’s likely to betray him. Izumi however says that there’s still a use for Uzume. Out on the streets elsewhere, Shiina easily defeats another Sekirei, after which Yukari questions the Ashikabi if he knows about No.108. On the roof of Izumo Inn, Kazehana bugs Kagari about not being honest about his feelings when his body is already reacting to meeting his fated person. Out on his usual clock tower, Hiroto declares that the story about the little birds has just begun.
Fear the “Funya Funya Song” (i.e Limp Song), Kuno’s Sekirei prayer ability that saps the power out of you and puts you on cloud nine much like Haihane found out. Given that this is the finale (at least for now…), it was nice to see Kuno do something helpful for a change. Granted, she did inadvertently harm herself in the process somehow, but at least it’s better than her putting on a face like this for the entire episode.
Tsukiumi on the other hand made her grand entrance and got the obligatory “single number!?” reaction from both Benitsubasa and Haihane, which I rather enjoyed because I was hoping she would show the two of them their place. Unfortunately, two-on-one proved to be quite unfavorable, but at least Tsukiumi did put up a really good fight with the sword-like technique she used to counter Haihane’s claws. Water is pretty damn versatile huh?
Fight impressions aside, there sure were a lot of sprouted wings in this episode, with Yukari finally forming a contract with Shiina being one of them. On that note, I was wondering how they’d fit Hayato’s part in this episode given all the other things going on. Much to my surprise though, they managed to do so really well with only a brief confrontation. I figured they’d still have to leave things open-ended for now, but at least something worthwhile came out of it in the form of Yukari and Shiina’s contract. In addition, we also got to see Shiina display his powers with his “World End Garden” attack.
So as the preview and episode title nicely spoiled for us last time, Musubi made her “return” in the form of Yume. While it was hinted that Yume gave her life up in order to save Musubi’s, I was a bit surprised to see that she’s still very much alive. With no clear cut explanation regarding why that is, I’m under the impression that Yume shared her life with Musubi, rather than simply giving it to her. As such, I guess it’s fitting that they’re numbered 08 and 88 respectively. Anyway, I was still curious as to what a Sekirei of Fate’s powers would be, so much to my surprise, it’s firing insanely powerful beams with yin-yang eyes.
Karasuba evidently still has a grudge against Yume, but surprisingly distinguishes her from Musubi. Seeing as they haven’t revealed much about why Karasuba wants to kill Yume in the first place, it’s kind of hard to pinpoint what the Black Sekirei’s motives are, but she did hint at the fact that she’s waiting for Musubi to become stronger. My hunch as things stand now would be that she wants to fight (and defeat) Musubi only when she’s at Yume’s level. Of course, I still can’t fathom what the reason for this might be, but Yume alluded to the fact that she isn’t the one that Karasuba should be fighting. To me, this suggests that Karasuba may change sides some time down the road, so hopefully they’ll make a sequel like they’ve suggested. Otherwise, I may find myself reaching for the manga soon.
Overall, the episode was a climactic ending to the series, but not conclusive in the slightest. Since there’s indication that there’s going to be a sequel, I would say that this is a good way to start things off. (If there isn’t and this ends up being just a tease… Ugh…) I’ve also been told that this anime adaptation follows the manga reasonably well, so I imagine that most people should be happy with this outcome. The epilogue gives us a lot to look forward to as well, with Homura’s metamorphosis into a woman being the most interesting (…or should I say disturbing?). I’m still quite torn between whether having this happen or having Minato get a male Sekirei would be better, but it looks like they’ve already decided for us. In any case, the most surprising thing about this finale is that it didn’t feel rushed in the slightest, despite all the things they had to cover. In fact, they even had time for a fairly lengthy epilogue that continued through the credits.
Aside from the main issues involving Musubi, Karasuba, and the Sekirei “reactivation” via Yume that Takami is investigating, there’s still the whole East Shintou Teito group we haven’t seen much of. However, their scarce involvement in this season in conjunction with the related Uzume/Chiho sub-plot gives us some interesting things to look foward to. Also, Yukari and Shiina still haven’t to run into Minato or Kusano, despite getting pretty close this time.
Seeing as there will likely be a sequel down the road, I don’t know if a “final impressions” section is even worthwhile, but I feel the urge to reflect on the series thus far, so here we go.
When I first started watching SEKIREI, I wasn’t really too sure what to expect aside from the cast I read about. After watching the first episode, I made immediate comparisons to Fate/stay night because the Sekirei Project resembled the Holy Grail War. While I feel that this comparison is still valid, the similarities pretty much end there as the setting and level of ecchiness is completely different. Personally, I’m fine with the ecchi flair that SEKIREI has, but I can really do without the oversized breasts since I find characters along the lines of Karasuba and Yukari more attractive. Luckily, this didn’t detract me too much from continuing watching this series, as there’s much more to it than just “big boobs”.
Production-wise, I had some complaints with the animation inconsistencies (usually in distant shots of the characters), but thankfully this final episode looked much better than the previous one. Overall, I would say I’m fairly content with the quality, but I can’t ignore the fact that when it was bad, it was pretty damn bad. The music however was surprisingly good, plus the characters are amusing/interesting enough that I really enjoyed the drama CD a while back. Throw in an interesting plot with a lot of possibilities like they have and I can’t really find much not to like. All that’s left now is to see what they have in store for later on!
– 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)
– Uzume (鈿女) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Kazehana (風花) / Yukana (ゆかな)
– Asama Miya (浅間 美哉) / Oohara Sayaka (大原 さやか)
– Homura (焔) / Kagari (篝) / Kaida Yuki (甲斐田 ゆき)
– Seo Kaoru (瀬尾 香) / Konishi Katsuyuki (小西 克幸)
– Hikari (光) / Kaida Yuuko (甲斐田 裕子)
– Hibiki (響) / Neya Michiko (根谷 美智子)
– Sahashi Yukari (佐橋 ユカリ) / Asumi Kana (阿澄 佳奈)
– Shiina (椎菜) / Ishidzuka Sayori (石塚 さより)
– Kuno (久能) / Akesaka Satomi (明坂 聡美)
– Shigi Haruka (鷸 ハルカ) / Okamoto Nobuhiko (岡本 信彦)
– Minaka Hiroto (御中 広人) / Seki Toshihiko (関 俊彦)
– Takami (高美) / Itou Miki (伊藤 美紀)
– Karasuba (鴉羽) / Paku Romi (朴 璐美)
– Natsuo (夏朗) / Toriumi Kousuke (鳥海 浩輔)
– Haihane (灰翅) / Saiga Mitsuki (斎賀 みつき)
– Benitsubasa (紅翼) / Itou Shizuka (伊藤 静)
– Mikogami Hayato (御子上 隼人) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
– Mutsu (陸奥) / Matsubara Daisuke (松原 大典)
– Akitsu (秋津) / Kobayashi Yuu (小林 ゆう)
– Higa Izumi (泉 氷峨) / Takewaka Takuma (竹若 拓磨)
– Kakizaki (柿崎) / Takahashi Kenji (高橋 研二)
– 冷水 / Shimizu Hiroyuki (清水 博之)
– 朱魏 / Akagi Nao (赤城 奈穂)