「風立チヌ」 (Kaze Tachinu)
The start of this sequel is focusing a lot on Benitsubasa’s grudge against the ass-kicking she received at the hands of Yume at the end of season one, and I’m loving every minute of because she’s proving to be good comic relief. I was amused to no end when she and Haihane kidnapped Minato in order to lure out Musubi, who was out grocery shopping at the time. Her phone call to Izumo turned out to be a gag-filled affair, with her first demand to get the “girl with the big tits” on the line confusing Kusano like crazy. Benitsubasa demanding for “eighty-eight” right after didn’t help either, as Kusano was thinking about bust size measurements. As hilarious as that was, Kusano hanging up on her proved to be the icing on the cake, since she didn’t know any better about how to hand off the phone to someone else. To rub Benitsubasa the wrong way even more, Kazehana did the same when she called again (thinking it’s a prank call), leading to an Itou Shizuka outburst of epic proportions that was frightening just as much as it was hilarious. Given how Haihane wasn’t all that interested in helping out with Benitsubasa’s revenge and was sulking over missing the finale of her favorite TV series, the seriousness behind the whole kidnapping situation was more or less nonexistent from the very beginning.
While the plot here didn’t take itself too seriously, it still led to some pretty good fight scenes between Tsukiumi and Haihane when the latter was acting as a diversion, which included Tsukiumi breaking out her water dragon attack. I was also a bit impressed by Minato’s new-found resolve to put his Sekirei’s safety above his own, as he had the guts to tackle Benitsubasa and break his own cellphone so that they wouldn’t be lured into a trap. After the whole setup of this episode with Kazehana falling for Minato more and more, it was rather befitting that she was the one who was able to figure out where he was being held from the background noise over the phone. Upon her arrival, it didn’t seem like she had any difficulty taking on Benitsubasa alone — being an original member of the Disciplinary Force — but the return of Haihane evidently changed all that. It looks like the tables won’t be turned in their favor for long however, as the preview hints that Kazehana is finally going to get “winged” after holding out on falling in love all this time. I actually thought this was going to happen back in season one, but I guess Minato already had enough new Sekirei at the time.
Quite frankly, I wasn’t too sure where this episode was headed when I first started watching it, but it ended up being a pretty good one in terms of both story and humor. Matsu pointed out early on that various Ashikaba and Sekirei have tried to flee the city after hearing how a pair (Haruka/Kuno) were able to do so and how none have been successful thus far, explaining the attempt shown last time. In addition, Yukari and Shiina finally got some notable screen time in their quest to find Kusano together, which they’ve earned a fearsome reputation doing thanks to their interrogation methods. For now, I’m curious as to what Kazehana will be able to do when she realizes her true powers with Minato as her Ashikabi, since we know she can drink Ethanol straight-up as a substitute to her usual Japanese sake. Good ‘ol Matsu thought it was going to be funny handing a bottle to her, but it ended up being the perfect thing to quench her alcoholic craving. It’s just too bad Kazehana doesn’t put a Drunken Fist style to her fighting, because that would be pretty awesome to see.