Sekirei volume 1 cover.
|Genre||Action, Harem, Romantic comedy|
|Original run||June 2005 – ongoing|
|Original run||July 2, 2008 – September 17, 2008|
|Sekirei: Pure Engagement|
Sekirei (セキレイ, lit. Wagtail) is a Japanese manga series by Sakurako Gokurakuin. Originally starting serialization in the seinen magazine Young Gangan published by Square Enix in June 2005, Sekirei is an ecchi manga aimed at young men. An anime adaptation produced by Seven Arcs and directed by Keizō Kusakawa was aired in Japan between July and September 2008. The central character of the series is Minato Sahashi, a ronin who failed college examinations twice. His life changes, however, when he meets a girl named Musubi.
In Tokyo in the year 2020, Minato Sahashi has failed the college entrance exam twice, is awkward around women, and unemployed. Growing up, he could never stand up to his mother or little sister, a trend that continues to this day. In reality, Minato is extremely intelligent, yet his inability to cope under pressure results in his constant failure. As a result he has been branded an idiot and loser by many. One day, Minato meets a girl named Musubi, who literally falls from the sky. Minato soon learns that she is one of 'Sekirei' and he is her 'Ashikabi', human with special genes that allows them to "wing" (ie. form a contract with) Sekirei. This binds the Sekirei to him and allows them to use their full power in the elimination battle with other Sekirei. Made up of cute girls, buxom women, and bishōnen, the Sekirei fight in a dangerous and sometimes deadly competition (also known as "The Game" or "Sekirei plan") organized by Minaka Hiroto, chairman and founder of the mysterious and powerful MBI Corporation. Minato soon learns that being the partner of a beautiful girl is not all fun and games, especially when he discovers that an Ashikabi can have more than one Sekirei partner - and that's where the real trouble starts.
The Sekirei are extraterrestrial super-powered beings with genetic code similar to humans. Sekirei spaceship had crashed at Earth and had been found in 1999 by students Minaka Hiroto (future MBI chairman) and Takami Sahashi (future MBI head researcher and Minato's mother). Onboard this pair had found 108 life-forms (described as "One pillar and 107 baby birds").
The adult and eight embryos are also known as the Single Numbers. It is hinted, that unwinged Single Numbers are equal or even more powerful than winged others. All Sekirei had undergone adjustments for "Sekirei Plan", especially the Single Numbers (some of their adjustments were mischievous). Adjustments had been undergone not only for making Sekirei stronger, but also for controlling and stabilization of their power.
Also 8 mysterious artifacts (named Jinki (神器, literally means "God vessel") and numbered from #1 to #8) were found on Sekirei spaceship. If all eight of them will be gathered together, it will be possible to turn off all Sekirei. Sekirei under the same Ashikabi can merge their techniques.
Ashikabi are humans with unique genes that enable them to empower Sekirei destined to serve them through an exchange of saliva between Sekirei and its Ashikabi, which is usually done through a kiss, thereby resulting in a "winged" Sekirei. Unlike Sekirei, who are mostly buxom women, or handsome young men, Ashikabi can be quite innocuous as they can appear in any gender, age, and even status. In the series, the power of an Ashikabi can be determined not only by the number of the Sekirei he or she has in his or her disposal, but by the bond between them. Four Ashikabi in particular, including Minato, are considered the most powerful ones having titles based on their names followed by what part of the city they rule over. In any case an Ashikabi dies, all Sekirei winged by him or her will also perish.
The third match of stage three of the Game has ended in the manga currently. The first anime season ended in the middle of the second stage.
Sekirei began as a manga series which started serialization in the seinen manga magazine Young Gangan in June 2005, published by Square Enix. As of December 25, 2009, nine bound volumes have been released.
The first 12-episode anime series adaptation, produced by the animation studio Seven Arcs and directed by Keizō Kusakawa, aired in Japan between July 2 and September 17, 2008. The anime is licensed by Aniplex in Japan. The first season is mostly faithful to the overall story structure of the manga series, covering roughly the first fifty chapters of the series. The opening theme is "Sekirei" (セキレイ) and main ending theme is "Dear sweet heart", both songs performed by Saori Hayami (#88 Musubi), Marina Inoue (#9 Tsukiumi), Kana Hanazawa (#108 Kusano) and Aya Endo (#2 Matsu). The ending theme used in episode eleven is "Kimi o Omou Toki" (きみを想うとき) by Hayami.
DVDs of the first season were released between October 22, 2008 and March 25, 2009 with a total of six volumes. DVD volume six was supplemented with an original video animation episode, "The First Errand" (初メテノオツカイ Hajimete no Otsukai ), featuring Kusano participating in the shopping race with Musubi and Tsukiumi. At Anime USA 2009, Funimation Entertainment announced that the anime's first season was licensed and will be released in 2010.
A second season entitled Sekirei: Pure Engagement will be released in 2010.
A video game for PlayStation 2 entitled Sekirei ~Gifts from the Future~ (セキレイ ～未来からのおくりもの～) was released on October 29, 2009 by Alchemist.