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Matt Kamen has a 2020 vision… careful, you might go blind…

SekireiHigher education in Japan can be fiercely competitive, with students facing punishing exams to get into the best high schools and even tougher ones for University. It doesn’t look like it’ll get any less stressful by the year 2020, as Minato Sahashi is reduced to a spineless wreck, having failed his entrance exams twice. On top of that, he’s a wet blanket, allowing his mother and sister to walk all over him, while everyone else considers him a complete loser. If only he had a girlfriend or six to boost his confidence….

Luckily, an ego boost is in Minato’s future, with the cute and impressively buxom Musubi literally falling into his arms. He’ll have to fight for her though, as he learns that Musubi is a Sekirei – a humanoid alien that can bond with a chosen human to activate their superhuman powers. Unsurprisingly, Minato turns out to be just such an individual and the newly formed duo is dragged into a survival tournament known as the ‘Sekirei Plan’, organised by the secretive MBI Corporation. As Tokyo becomes a battleground pitting the Sekirei against each other, Minato learns he can “contract” with more than one girl, creating a veritable harem of tough-as-nails warrior babes! When losing a battle also means the loss of the Sekirei, can Minato actually bring himself to compete when it means destroying other girls?

The male-oriented series is a departure for Sekirei’s manga creator, Sakurako Gokurakuin, whose body of work is dominated by boy-on-boy titles which usually target straight women. Gokurakuin – who also publishes manga under the name Ashika Sakura – first gained attention with self-published fan comics of Gundam Wing, before debuting her first original work, Night Walkers, in 1994. One of her earliest series, 1997’s Tokyo Renaikitan, focused on the relationship between a distressed teacher and his guardian demon, introducing a fantasy element that would go on to infuse many of her works.

Gokurakuin’s 2003 anthology series Sensitive Pornograph would receive its own video series adaptation in 2004, the first of the creator’s original works to be animated. Running only two episodes, the animated version echoed its anthology roots, with one episode exploring the addictive relationship between two manga creators with a decade’s age difference between them, the other a more whimsical tale of a man pet-sitting a rabbit which bizarrely turned out to be another man.

Sekirei, however, has proved Gokurakuin’s most popular work by far, with two TV seasons to its name so far and the manga seeing new chapters published fortnightly in Square-Enix’s Young Gangan magazine. While the true purpose of the Sekirei Plan and the mysteries of the aliens’ origins are still to be revealed, the answers begin to unravel in Sekirei: The Complete First Series

Sekirei: The Complete First Series is out now on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

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