Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari – The Harem to end all Harem’s, with added light-hawk wings
February 17, 2012 9 Comments
Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is the latest seires based on the Tenchi Muyo universe – this time however we do not see the main characters and the story is centered on Kenshi, Tenchi’s half-brother. This series is part of the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki continuity within the Tenchi universe, so there are numerous references to the ‘goddess’ that I assume refers to the Chousin (Washu, Tokimi and Tsunami). The story starts off with Kenshi Misaki being summoned to the land of Geminar. In Geminar various countries have waged wars with humanoid robots known as Seikijin that are meant to be relics of a past and powerful civilization.
The story has two main arcs, the first one set in an elite, most all-girls school situated in a place known as the holy land with the express purpose of training Seikishi – those who ride the Seikijin. The second arc is more serious in tone and is essentially a ‘save the world’ arc with Kenshi and those he has made close links with attempting to stop a catastrophe that is set to consume the land of Geminar. In essence, however Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is a high school series with Kenshi being surrounded by more girls than you can count. Through a set of interesting and curious circumstances Kenshi winds up on board the ‘Swan’ a ‘ship that looks a little like a floating island and belongs to Aasu XXVIII Lashara, a precious 12 year-old and newly crowned queen of the Shitoreiyu Empire. This whole meeting introduces the main characters of the show and brings Kenshi to the holy land as the servant of Lashara.
I would loosely class this series as ‘mecha’; however, while there are big robots stomping, or more often flying around the show does not overly focus on them. There are only a limited number of Seikijin as they are known, and women pilot the majority of them, another central strand of the story. In this alternative world of Geminar women ultimately hold the power in most of the kingdoms; they are the main pilots of the Seikijin, with very few men being capable of becoming a Seikishi or knight. This element of the story is quite fascinating as it is an interesting point about gender and power, although it does also handily serve to add a massive harem element to the series. The majority of the characters in positions of power in Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari are women. We have Lashara and her cousin Maria both being Princess – newly crowned, although potentially deposed queen in Lashara’s case – Lithia the student council president, the main people in charge of the holy land, along with other characters who are either rulers, or hold immense power. The majority of battles that involve Seikijin also involve more women than men, thus the women in Geminar also hold a significant amount of military power within the respective countries.
There are many male characters, but they are little more than background, having almost no active role, although a few specific characters play important parts in the story overall. Kenshi naturally is immensely important, especially when it appears as if he has powers that perhaps equate him to that of a god, or even a mythical being that could either bring about a new golden age or doom the world to oblivion. The main protagonists in the series are also men, with both Dagmyer and Babalun (Lashara’s uncle) playing the role of bad guys. Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari also has a fascinating political sub plot, following the subtle under currents of politics in a world where holding the most powerful Seikishi, along with technology from an ancient civilisation equates to little power. Throughout the series we see Lashara, along with the student council president negotiating, masking deals, and second guessing everyone, not only n the academy, but also within the separate countries.
The main relationships, along with character and plot development happen around Kenshi, which is hardly surprising considering he is the main character. Kenshi is a curious character, who appears to posses near superhuman reflexes and strength, along with an amazing knowledge of the environment – possible due to his Misaki heritage, but also perhaps the fault of Washu and her experiments. As the show progresses more and more women and girls flock to Kenshi, partly out of curiosity, and grow accustomed to his strange ways, and in the end falling madly in love with him. A major element of the show is about Kenshi being chased by all these girls, and considering that this show is part of the Tenchi universe, that should hardly come as a surprise. The character progression overall is rather good, with the story focusing on a small group of about nine women and girls, although for the majority of the show we only tend to see about six around him, with several having other roles to play. All of them are in positions of power, but they all gradually grow closer and closer to Kenshi, opening up to him in ways that even they perhaps would never have dreamed of.
What I like about the characters is that they are not all blindly in love with Kenshi, and are all very individualistic, deciding things for themselves, and behaving like someone with a personality, rather than a simple haremette. Some of the characters are brilliant, especially Mexiah and Flora who are both ‘older’ women who are incredibly hedonistic, and appear to stop at nothing to get what they want. Lashara is also a fascinating character, who is simply too mature for a 12 year-old, although we do later discover that this is largely because she has been trained since birth to be the perfect queen, thus loosing her chance at a ‘normal’ childhood. It is through their meeting and interacting with Kenshi that these characters are largely able to open up and acknowledge things that before they may have been incapable of.
Although this series has a relatively in-depth and quite serious political sub-plot, along with an interesting set of ideas about gender, power and military might, it never got overbearing for me. There is a lot of humor in the series that perfectly splits up the serious elements, and yet never detracts from the situation itself. Kenshi is a great character for this, always being scolded by Chiaia – Lashara’s bodyguard, and another haremette – seduced by Mexiah and Flora, and chased around by Lithia and numerous other girls. Another weird, but also entertaining aspect of Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is the world itself, which incorporates certain elements that would probably be familiar to anyone who has ever watched a high school romance anime, or read a manga with similar themes. It is as if the Chousin, and more specifically Washu have had a field day with this world, introducing things that are downright weird – for example the graduation ‘uniform’ for female Seikishi appears to be a car version of the bunny girl, completely with earmuffs that have cat ears. Things just get weirder from her on out; with Shurifon having the pot-dish battle as a tradition and Havoniwa appears to have a pillow fight as its traditional greeting as well. All these events are just there to mess with the viewer and provide excuses for mass fanservice, something that Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari does feature. There is a significant amount of fanservice, which is hardly surprising when you consider that the majority of the show is set in a school, which, for all intents and purposes, is all girls. There is a lot of stripping involved, with loads of opportunities given to see these girls and women in revealing outfits, especially when piloting their Seikijin.
Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari is a great show, with a well-animated world, that is both ludicrous but also fascinating to look at. It may in part be a glorified high school series set in a highly prestigious all girls school, but there is a lot more to the show than just that. The mecha are fascinating to watch, with every major character appearing to have an individual looking Seikijin, and there is quite a lot of action. The series does have a lot of dialogue though, and while that dialogue is important for the story, for many it may move to slowly. For a thirteen episode series it is actually quite long, and the 45 minute episodes go along way to allowing of a lot of character and plot development, some of which may appear obvious if you pay close enough attention to the episodes. I thoroughly enjoyed this series, and while the harem aspect was often quite obvious, I felt it never spoiled the series. It’s odd to think that a harem involving several hundred female students and Seikishi seemed quite normal for this series, I almost felt sorry for Kenshi – almost. It being a Tenchi series we do get to see the light-hawk wings in action, along with Kenshi kicking some ass in a royal fashion. To me it was a nice blend of politics, fantasy and good old-fashioned ecchi comedy; unfortunately, due to the way it has been released I feel it has been largely overlooked as a series. I recommend it, however, if you don’t like either harem or Tenchi series you probably wont enjoy this one regardless of everything else it brings.