Sekirei

Sekirei (セキレイ, lit. Wagtail) is a Japanese manga series by Sakurako Gokurakuin. The manga was serialized in Square Enix‘s seinen magazine Young Gangan between December 2004 and August 2015. A sequel to the manga began serialization in the same magazine in May 2017. An anime adaptation produced by Seven Arcs and directed by Keizō Kusakawa aired in Japan between July and September 2008, and a second season aired between July and September 2010. Both seasons were licensed in North America by Funimation, until their license expired in 2017. The central character of the series is Minato Sahashi, a ronin who failed college examinations twice. His life changes, however, when he meets several girls with special powers called “Sekirei”, and is dragged into a battle to decide the fate of the world.

Plot

In Tokyo known as Shinto Teito (新東帝都 Shintō Teito, “New Eastern Imperial Capital”) in the year 2020, 19-year-old Minato Sahashi is extremely intelligent, yet due to his inability to cope under pressure, has failed the college entrance exam twice.

One day, Minato meets a girl named Musubi, who literally falls from the sky. Minato soon learns that she is a “Sekirei” and chooses him as her “Ashikabi”, one of the mysterious set of humans that have the genetic trait and can make a contract by kissing the Sekirei. This binds the Sekirei to him and allows them to use their full power in elimination battles with other Sekirei. Made up of 108 cute girls, buxom women, and bishōnen, the Sekirei fight in a competition known as the “Sekirei Plan” organized by Hiroto Minaka, the chairman and founder of the mysterious and powerful MBI Corporation.

Minato soon learns that being the partner of a girl is not all fun and games, especially when several other Sekirei choose him as their Ashikabi, each also forming a contract with him. Now, Minato must find a way to survive both the life-threatening battles of the Sekirei Plan and his partners’ fierce competition for him.

Main characters

Minato Sahashi

Minato Sahashi (佐橋 皆人, Sahashi Minato) is a high school graduate who had failed the college entrance exams twice. After meeting Musubi at the start of the series, he becomes an Ashikabi.Ch. 0 Over the course of the story, he “wings” several Sekirei and they share a residence in Maison Izumo where he has his own room. Originally he has a passive and somewhat cowardly personality, but over time, due to the kindness and love of his Sekirei and his desire to protect them, he becomes more confident and “manly”.[volume & issue needed] He often places himself in the path of danger to protect his Sekirei from harm and avoids situations that pose a high risk of danger to prevent his Sekirei from engaging in needless fighting. Although many of his Ashikabi peers consider these actions cowardly, Minato finds that these traits endear his Sekirei to him even more. Minato’s known family consists of: his mother Takami, his grandmother (whom Minato’s mother stated could live another 100 years) and his younger sister Yukari. It is later revealed that Hiroto Minaka, MBI’s director and CEO, is Minato’s father.Ch. 100, 102

Minato has “winged” six Sekirei, each of whom physically reacted to him prior to winging, with the first five choosing him as their Ashikabi. Musubi, Kusano and Matsu were winged in the game’s “First Stage”, and Tsukiumi, Kazehana and Homura were winged in the “Second Stage”, earning him recognition as the strongest Ashikabi in the northern part of the city. As a result, he received the title “Ashikabi of the North” (北の葦牙, Kita no Ashikabi), with few using his given name as a result of Minato being falsely described as an Ashikabi with a “shady” background. Many individuals think that Minato is somehow the key to foiling MBI’s ultimate plans for the Sekirei. By the end of the Third Stage, Minato is seen with some advantages against the other remaining contestants as he is the only Ashikabi with two Jinki in his possession, one having been stolen by Matsu and the other won in battle, and for having winged the most Sekirei among the single numbers, totaling four (not including Musubi who inherited the powers of Yume, another single number), while receiving guidance from Miya (who, despite not participating in the Sekirei Fight, is known as the strongest Sekirei of all). During the final stage, Minato is chosen among the remaining Ashikabi to represent them in the final match at the Heavenly Palace to save all Sekirei and their Ashikabi. He and Musubi journey to The Heavenly Palace to fight Miya for the prize; the rest of his Sekirei join their life-forces with Musubi, defeating Miya. After the final battle, Musubi/Yume becomes the new Guardian of the Heavenly Palace and Minato must return without her. In the year that follows, Minato finally passes the entrance examination to the university, has a part-time job at MBI (now run by his mother Takami in the absence of Minaka) and is determined to learn as much about Sekirei as he can in order to “destroy this system binding these Sekirei and remove the leash on these girls.” He continues to live at Izumo Inn with his other Sekirei, reuniting with Musubi a year later.

Musubi

Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Drama CD), Saori Hayami (Anime) (Japanese); Alexis Tipton (English)[1]

Musubi (, Sekirei #88) is the main heroine of the series. She met Minato when she literally fell out of the sky onto him while being chased by Hikari and Hibiki. Musubi specializes in hand-to-hand combat which utilizes her greatly enhanced strength, enforced by the heavy combat gloves she always wears. Musubi’s outfit consists of a short red skirt and upper clothes resembling those traditionally worn by mikos. She is quite naive, often saying things she doesn’t understand and is the most “childish” of Minato’s Sekirei (even more so than Kusano), yet at times can be insightful. Musubi is the most “competitive” of Minato’s Sekirei, often showing great eagerness to fight other Sekirei, but never fails to be polite as she would usually introduce herself and then ask for

permission first before fighting them. A running gag in the story is how her clothing always ends up in tatters and her sexy curves are revealed after every fight. After hearing Tsukiumi say that she is Minato’s wife, she decides that she is his wife too.Ch. 24 She eats a lot and is a fairly decent cook (but only curry in large amounts). Because Musubi eats so much food to maintain her energy level, Miya’s nickname for Musubi is “Airheaded Glutton”.Ch. 54 During moments of extreme emotion (such as anger or jealousy), the image of a ferocious bear appears behind her, which may be the result of her being Miya’s disciple. Musubi’s known attacks are the Bear Fist (熊拳, Kuma-ken) Ch. 66 and Bear Meteor (熊拳, Kuma Ryūsei) Ch. 87 and her Norito is “By the fists of my contract, let my Ashikabi’s perils be shattered!” After all Ashikabi start losing their strength on Kamikura island, Musubi is chosen from among Minato’s Sekirei to represent them in the final fight atop the Heavenly Palace against Miya for the prize in order to save all the Sekirei and their Ashikabi. After accomplishing this and staying to becoming the new power of the Heavenly Palace in order to restore all of the fallen Sekirei, she returns to Minato’s side a year later.

Kusano

Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (Drama CD), Kana Hanazawa (Anime) (Japanese); Tia Ballard (English)[1]

Kusano (草野, Sekirei #108), commonly referred to as “Kuu-chan” or “Ku”, is the youngest of Minato’s Sekirei, and is also known as the “Green Girl” (緑の少女, Midori no Shōjo) by other Sekirei due to her having the power to control plants, making them grow at an accelerated rate and to unnaturally large proportions, and typically using them to ensnare or disable her opponents without hurting them.. At the beginning of the story, she was hiding in a botanical garden after being traumatized when Mikogami attempted to forcibly wing her. Kusano communicated with Minato telepathically and led him through the garden until he found her. Kusano refers to Minato as Onii-chan (big brother), and is the most attached to him. She does not like fighting or quarreling and she can be seen stopping them when they start. She is also very impressionable and often copies Musubi, Tsukiumi and Kazehana’s mannerisms. She is extremely determined to be Minato’s wife when she grows up, and is highly possessive of him at times, even hissing at her fellow Sekirei when they start to get too close to him Ch. 30 (and on occasion biting Minato himself when she thinks he is paying more attention to others of his Sekirei).

Kusano’s use of various plants is highly imaginative and extremely effective, but her MBI adjustments were never completed, which is why whenever she’s sad or upset her powers rage out of control. She has a sibling-like relationship with #107 Shiina, despite the fact that his power is the natural opposite of hers. In the manga, when Minato initially brought her to Izumo Inn, Miya, believing that he had kidnapped her, drew and pointed a sword at Minato’s face (a detail not used in the anime); however, Kusano’s growling stomach and later falling asleep at the dinner table brought out her motherly instincts, and Miya insists that Kusano share her room, to make sure, as per her wicked sense of humor, that Minato doesn’t do anything indecent with Kusano; however, Kusano often sneaks into Minato’s room to share his futon with him and any of his other Sekirei who have done likewise. Her name literally means “A Grass Field”, and Miya’s nickname for Kusano is “Little Foster Daughter”.Ch. 54

Matsu

Voiced by: Yuki Matsuoka (Drama CD), Aya Endo (Anime) (Japanese); Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)[1]

Matsu (, Sekirei #02) is a bespectacled Sekirei wearing a light peach dress that closely resembles a cheongsam. Matsu has the power to access and analyze any electronic device on a telepathic level,Ch. 72 but does not have yet the power to control them.Ch. 73 Matsu has genius-level computer and hacking skills, and utilizes a vast network of satellites and spying devices to gather large amounts of information, once even succeeding in hacking MBI’s mainframe computer. Ch. 17, 21 Matsu refers to herself as the “Sekirei of Perceptiveness” and addresses everyone using the “-tan” suffix (i.e. Minato→Mina-tan). However, in sharp contrast to her high intellect, Matsu is very perverted, often using her resources to peep on people and often tries to “experiment” (implicit sexual acts) with Minato, Ch. 16 with most calling her the “Shameless” Sekirei as a result. One of her favorite hobbies is watching the mayhem Minato and his other Sekirei cause every day. Matsu serves as Minato’s unofficial strategist and tactician, using her vast network of information to aid him but rarely venturing outside of the Inn. Her name literally means “Pine” and Miya’s nickname for her is “Perverted Four-Eyes”.Ch. 54

Prior to the beginning of the story, Matsu was a member of the first Discipline Squad led by Miya. Ch. 71 Later, she stole the #8 Jinki, leading her to live in a secret room at Izumo Inn to avoid being captured by MBI.Ch. 79 Her Jinki (numbered #2) was a prize for the winner of the second match of the Third Stage, and ended up in the hands of the Ashikabi of the East after the winner was attacked.Ch. 80

Tsukiumi

Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (Drama CD), Marina Inoue (Anime) (Japanese); Lydia Mackay (English)[1]

Tsukiumi (月海, Sekirei #09) is a Sekirei with a tsundere personality and a Western appearance that first appeared to Minato in a dream saying that she would kill him.Ch. 19 She wears a black and white dress and brown boots over black thigh-high stockings with brown garters. Tsukiumi’s initial resentment is a result of her desire to be the strongest without the need to be winged by an Ashikabi. She is also under the false belief that “winging” means having sex with an Ashikabi; this misunderstanding is cleared up after the two finally meet and she decides to become his Sekirei.Ch. 23 The most aggressive of Minato’s Sekirei, she refers to herself as Minato’s “true wife” and is very possessive of him; she is also very quick to nearly drown Minato over trifling matters. Tsukiumi has a very short temper and rarely smiles; she does, however, have an honorable side, and is a strong adherent to the fundamental rule that Sekirei combat is one-on-one. She also goes to great lengths to prevent innocent civilians or bystanders from getting caught up in Sekirei fights. Tsukiumi’s speech differs from the other Sekirei in Minato’s party, as she speaks old-style Japanese; this was mirrored in the English dub of the anime by having her speak Shakespearian English. Minato’s feelings for her are quite complex: he tells her at one point that to him she is “so beautiful, so strong, so stylish…[he] thought that you were too good for someone pathetic like me” and that he’s “working hard to become an Ashikabi…a person worthy of you”.Ch. 136

In the beginning of the series, Tsukiumi has a one-sided rivalry with Homura stemming from a defeat when they first meet. Homura always refuses a rematch saying that she should concentrate on finding her Ashikabi. Since being winged by Minato, Tsukiumi looks forward to a rematch with Homura.Ch. 14 Tsukiumi once confided to Miya that she still wants to be the strongest, but now it’s so she can be with Minato forever.Ch. 36

Tsukiumi has the ability to control and manipulate water, as well as the ability to gather large quantities of water out of the air. Her name literally means “Moon Sea” (not to be confused with lunar mare (月の海, Tsuki no Umi)), and Miya’s nickname for Tsukiumi is “Faucet with Legs”.Ch. 54 Her known attacks are Yamata no Orochi (ヤマタノオロチ, “Eight-Headed Snake”), Ch. 66 Water Arrow (水の矢, Mizu no Ya), Ch. 47 Hydra Blast, Ch. 46 Water Blade (水ノ劔, Mizu no Tsurugi), Ch. 46 Water Celebration (水祝, Mizu Iwai), Ch. 37 Water Dragon (水龍, Suiryū), Ch. 32 and Steam Dragon (with Homura).Ch. 87 Her Norito is “This water represents my pledge! Purify the evil residing in my Ashikabi!”

Kazehana

Voiced by: Yukana (Japanese); Kelly McHalen (English)[1]

Kazehana (風花, Sekirei #03) is a tall and extremely buxom Sekirei and wears an extremely tight-fitting and revealing purple dress with a hemline that ends just below the tops of her thighs (Miya’s nickname for Kazehana is “Obscene Exhibitionist”Ch. 54). Her first encounter with Minato was to stumble into his bed in a drunken stupor. She takes an immediate interest in Minato, surmising that he could be Hiroto Minaka’s son because Minato possesses the same hand shape and cheek bones, but she keeps this belief to herself. Despite experiencing physical reactions to Minato, Kazehana initially keeps her distance, hoping that Minato will display some “manliness”. After witnessing Minato’s concern and love for his Sekireis, Kazehana chooses him as her Ashikabi.Ch. 50

Kazehana displays an extremely relaxed personality, preferring to spend most of her time lounging and drinking sake, and often becomes giddy when discussing matters of love. However, when she becomes serious she displays a lot of power and lets nobody (with the exception of Minaka, Miya, and Minato) talk down to her. Kazehana knew about Uzume’s secret, and while she didn’t condone Uzume’s actions, she understood Uzume’s motivations (love for her Ashikabi).Ch. 67 Along with Matsu, Kazehana was a member of the first Discipline Squad.Ch. 71, pages 15-16 Prior to meeting Minato, she had an unrequited love with Minaka, but was rejected because he loved someone else.Ch. 50

Kazehana has the ability to control and manipulate wind, which also grants her a limited ability of flight; her name literally means “Wind Flower”. Her Jinki (numbered #3) was a prize for the winner of the third match of the Third Stage and is currently in Minato’s hands (which is his second Jinki). Ch. 95 Her known attacks is the Flower Whirlwind (花旋風, Hana Senpū), Ch. 72 Flower Dance (花の舞, Hana no Mae), Flower Feast (花宴), Long Sword of Wind (風の大刀, Kaze no Tachi),Ch. 106 and Cherry Flower (花桜), and her Norito is “By the Four Winds of the contract, My Ashikabi’s dark clouds will be blown away!”

Homura

Voiced by: Hiromi Hirata (Drama CD), Yuki Kaida (Japanese); Leah Clark (English)[1]

Homura (, Sekirei #06) was the self-titled “Sekirei Guardian” who protected unwinged Sekirei during the first two stages (this mission was given to him by Takami), usually from Hikari and Hibiki.Ch. 0, page a13 Prior to being winged, Homura’s power and gender were unstable. Even after his body started becoming female (called “feminization” in the manga), Homura continued to think and act as a man.

For a long time, Homura lived under the alias Kagari () and worked as a host club entertainer in an effort to find a “female Ashikabi” and few knew his real identity. Homura began reacting to Minato just before Kazehana became his fifth Sekirei, but it became more obvious afterward. This caused Homura a great deal of stress over his potential Ashikabi being a male.Ch. 18 At the end of the Second Stage, it was revealed that he was the last unwinged Sekirei.Ch. 60 Homura left the Inn to kill Minaka in order to bring an end to the Sekirei Plan; however, before he could reach the MBI Tower he was attacked by multiple Sekirei attempting to capture him. Refusing to be a trophy in Minaka’s “Game”, Homura attempted to commit suicide through self-immolation just before Minato and his Sekirei arrived.Ch. 64 Refusing to let Homura sacrifice himself, Minato winged him, saving his life and causing his power to finally stabilize. As a result, Minato received the power to determine Homura’s gender and mentality, but chose to let Homura remain who he is and what he wanted to be, earning Homura’s respect.Ch. 68 After the final battle, Homura, due to his/her hermaphroditic body, is no longer a “host”, and has instead gotten a part-time job as a bartender at a small bar (where he is as popular as ever with the female clientele even though he no longer dates them)[2]; he is also once again the Sekirei Guardian, but is at peace with himself to the point where he is finally able to tell Minato that Minato really is Homura’s chosen Ashikabi.Ch. 186

Homura has the ability to control and manipulate fire and has a habit of smoking when anxious (he lights his cigarettes with his own power). He is quite powerful, as Tsukiumi speculates him to be the strongest unwinged Sekirei prior to being winged by Minato. His name literally means “flame”, referring to his element, and his known attacks are Fire Dragon (炎龍, Enryū), Steam Dragon (スチームドラゴン, Suchīmu Doragon, with Tsukiumi),Ch. 87 Sword of Flame (炎の剣, Honoo no Tsurugi),Ch. 106 Fire Snake (蛇炎, Jaen), and Fire Wall (炎の壁, En no Yan). His Norito is “These are the flames of my pledge! Burn the karma of my Ashikabi!”

Miya Asama

Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)[1]

Miya Asama (浅間 美哉, Asama Miya, Sekirei #00, renumbered #01) is the landlady of Izumo Inn and the oldest Sekirei. Takehito, her husband, worked at MBI as a researcher, but died. She also stated that she left MBI due to the events that caused his death. She states she never refuses anyone needing shelter; however, she prohibits fighting and obscenity in her house, although she passively does eavesdropping using a rubber duck speaker with glasses and a #2 on its forehead that she refers to as “Duck-san” (made by Matsu). Currently, only Kusano, Matsu, Kazehana and Homura know of Duck-san, but they have all been “warned” (i.e. threatened) by her not to tell the others of it. She trains both Musubi and Tsukiumi to help them win Sekirei battles. Whenever she becomes angry, annoyed, if any person breaks the rules of the house, or when she is making threats, a demonic visage appears behind her, and is frightening enough to scare even Homura and Tsukiumi into submission; it is possible that she learned this technique from Takehito doing it first, which made her smile at for the first time. She is the only Sekirei who was never winged because Takehito, the man she loved, wasn’t an Ashikabi.Ch. 139 It is shown in a flashback that Seo interrupted her just before she was about to kiss Takehito while he was napping, and possibly had interrupted at other times too which would explain why she loathes him. However, because he was Takehito’s friend and had taught her how to cook delicious food, she allows him to visit, eat free meals and sponge off supplies. Minaka hasn’t tried to get her winged like Homura due to honoring a last request by Takehito (also, he might be too scared to mess around with her or Izumo Inn for fear of her wrath).

It is strongly implied that Miya is the strongest Sekirei, even referred to by #4 Karasuba as “another dimension”. Miya was the leader of the first Discipline Squad (known as the “S-Plan Guardians”) and displayed the power to sink several large warships. She is a swordswoman of unrivaled skill, with the ability to produce powerful directed shock waves with a swing of her sword. Due to her fearsome reputation, which has earned her the title “Hannya of the North” (北の般若, Kita no Hannya), no Ashikabi or Sekirei has dared to attack Izumo Inn. She violently conceals her true identity and past from others, with only members of the first Disciplinary Squad and Homura knowing the truth before she shares her secret with Minato. When Minato asked about Sekirei #01, Miya cryptically responded by saying that “she” died along with Takehito. Her Jinki (numbered #1) was a prize for the winner of the first match of the Third Stage and it is currently in the hands of the South.[1] During the last stage, Miya reappears at the top of the Heavenly Palace as the final opponent of the Sekirei Fight, claiming that the winners of the Last Stage, i.e. Minato and Musubi, can only obtain the prize by proving themselves in combat and defeating her. She is defeated by Musubi (thanks to Minato’s other Sekirei joining their life-forces with her) and replaced by Musubi/Yume as the Guardian of the Heavenly Palace. She returns to Izumo Inn, but because of the severing of her long-term connection with the Heavenly Palace she is a semi-invalid and still unwinged; however, Minato hopes that one day he will be able to revive Takehito so that Miya can be reunited with (and “winged” by) her “true” Ashikabi.

Uzume

Voiced by: Yu Kobayashi (drama CD), Hitomi Nabatame (Japanese); Jamie Marchi (English)[1]

Uzume (鈿女, Sekirei #10) is a Sekirei originally living at Izumo Inn when Minato and Musubi first arrived. Uzume’s Ashikabi is a young girl named Chiho Hidaka (日高 千穂, Hidaka Chiho, Voiced by: Sayori Ishizuka (Japanese); Kara Edwards (English)), who is confined to a hospital due to an unknown illness. Uzume shows deep love towards Chiho, which is entirely reciprocated. Musubi first encounters her after sharing the same bath with the other Sekirei, with Uzume seeing Musubi’s Sekirei crest and revealing to her that she is also a Sekirei. This turned out to be a bad move, since Musubi was taught to immediately challenge another Sekirei as soon as she encounters one, and resulted in Musubi attacking first before Uzume managed to escape and find Minato; the “fight” was eventually broken up by Miya. Uzume has a large collection of costumes at the Inn, which she made herself and which were worn to entertain Chiho. Higa, who is using Chiho’s medical treatment as leverage for Uzume’s cooperation, manipulates her into using her powers to eliminate other Sekirei. She develops a friendly rivalry with Kazehana, whom Uzume refers to as “Nee-san”.

Near the end of the Second Stage, Uzume leaves Izumo Inn, realizing she can no longer be friends with Minato’s group. She unwillingly fights Minato and his Sekirei in the hunt for Sekirei #06 (Homura) and when she is forced to steal Minato’s Jinki after the 3rd match in Third Stage, visibly bothered and saddened. She visits Chiho a few times after she leaves Izumo Inn, in tears because she has to fight her friends against her own will. When the East tries to steal Minato’s Jinki at Izumo Inn she sacrifices herself in order to save Minato, getting stabbed in the back by Sekirei #31 (Sai) and eventually dying in Minato’s arms; similarly in the anime, she sacrifices herself to save Musubi. In the manga, this was made all the more tragic because Minato had just told her that his Sekirei had moved Chiho from Higa’s hospital to MBI’s hospital, thus freeing Uzume from Higa’s control. In both the manga and anime, before her termination is complete she begs Minato to look after and protect Chiho, and Minato tearfully promises her to do so. Her termination devastates Minato and his Sekirei deeply but also motivates Minato to win the Sekirei Plan in order to restore her to life.Ch.111 Uzume’s spirit appears idly sitting on Izumo Inn’s rooftop when Minato is temporarily “terminated” during the Kamikura Island battle. She says he is not supposed to be there yet, questioning why Minato’s Sekirei are letting their Ashikabi be in such place. She also tells him that he can only bring one Sekirei to the final battle at Kouten.Ch.177 After the final battle, she is restored along with all of the other fallen Sekirei, but because of the long period of time she spent “terminated” she awakens without her memories. Minato’s plan is to reunite Uzume with Chiho (who has come to live at Izumo Inn after her complete cure), but after she has been restored she prematurely sneaks out of the MBI facility and makes her own way to Izumo Inn (which he had told her about), where she and Chiho are joyfully reunited.Ch.184

Uzume fights using a costume composed of long strips of cloth, which also serves to hide her face and identity, earning her the nickname “The Veiled Sekirei” (比礼の鶺鴒, Hire no Sekirei). She is very swift in terms of fighting, being able to dodge continuous attacks from the likes of Musubi (though she still wasn’t properly trained at the time) along with the other Sekirei she bested on Higa’s orders. Uzume primarily uses her veil to increase the range of her attacks, giving her a tremendous advantage over many melee-type fighters, but is fairly useless against Sekirei with abilities of elemental manipulation like Kazehana and Tsukiumi. Her known attack is Shawl Lance (ショールランス, Shōru Ransu) and her Norito is “By the veil of my contract, destroy the nightmare of my Ashikabi!”

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