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Dated 13 January 2006: Mai-Otome

I am enjoying Mai-Otome quite a bit, although not as much as I enjoyed My-HiME.

Mai-Otome, also known as My-Z-HiME, is sort of a second season of My-HiME, except in an alternate reality sort of vein. Most of the characters from My-HiME return, with a few differences, although the show stars two new characters that only had brief cameos in My-HiME: Arika and Nina. The third star of Mai-Otome is Mashiro, who is quite different from her My-HiME counterpart (for the better, I think).

Arika, Nina, and Mashiro
Arika, Nina, and Mashiro.

Wisely, neither Natsuki nor Shizuru are much different personality-wise in their new Otome roles.

Also, strictly speaking, I think one could interpret Mai-Otome as occuring within the My-HiME universe and timeline, just three hundred years in the future, and arguably still kinda on schedule. Those of you who saw My-HiME should know what I'm talking about.

Through 13 episodes, Mai Otome has yet to turn into the wonderful "magikal girls betraying and killing each other" dramabomb that was My-HiME, but this development is expected shortly. I'm looking forward to it, and the tragic Yuki Kajiura music that is bound to accompany it. I just hope the ending of Mai Otome is much more downbeat than the ending of My-HiME.

Shizuru
"What? Why is everyone looking at me?"

In fact, regardless of what happens this season, I motion that Sunrise commission a high-speed three-hour My-HiME anime opera composed by Yuki Kajiura that ends in spurned lesbians tearfully killing their loved ones and utter tragedy and whatnot. It'll be totally radical.

Dated 2 February 2006: Mai-Otome

With episode 16, Mai-Otome now has a new OP sequence. There are obvious Gundam SEED influences. Both shows are Sunrise properties, but the new Otome OP is so similar in style to the Gundam SEED OPs that the resemblance must be intentional.

I don't know if the same team of people worked on all these OPs, or if the Otome crew just wanted to invoke (Ha! I kill me) some sort of fan response through the homage. Another possibility is that Sunrise is banking on developing a My-HiME franchise. It won't replace Gundam as a whole by any stretch of the imagination, but I can see how it might be more successful than SEED in the near term.

Arika and Nina
Arika and Nina clash.

Who knows, maybe this will pave the way for a Sunrise anime series loosely based on this.

With regards to episode 16 itself...shit is about to hit the fan, dudes.

Dated 5 February 2006: Mai-Otome

Nina
Nina is kinda pissed, yo.

Ha ha, yes, it is ON. Mai-Otome episode 17 is all about the magikal girls rocking the shit out of each other. Oh, and Nagi smirks a lot.

Watch out for the Natsuki-Shizuru double-team, eh.

Line 'em up, and knock 'em down.

Dated 13 February 2006: Mai-Otome

Regarding My-Z-HiME, Mai-Otome episode 18: I am now further convinced that the Otome universe coincides with the first-season HiME universe, just several hundred years later (the whole HiME star-cycle thing), and that the Otome Miyu is the same as the HiME Miyu—err, M.I.Y.U.

Alicia and Miyu
Alicia and Miyu.

In other news, I'm also invoking the Providence Breaker Clause with regards to Aoi.

Dated 14 March 2006: Mai-Otome

Mai-Otome is reaching "paydirt" status. I can't really discuss episode 22 without revealing a number of important spoilers, so be so warned.

I knew I was on the money in invoking the Providence Breaker clause regarding Aoi. This is Sunrise, after all. It's the same reasoning as in Gundam SEED and its in-cockpit deaths.

Arika
Arika crazy face.

Am I off base thinking that the Harmonium is a remnant of the red star from My-HiME?

I'm liking the Otome Miyu, even without Yuko Miyamura voicing her Searrs counterpart. For some reason, this Miyu kind of reminds me of the Shrike from Hyperion and Endymion (uh, the Dan Simmons science fiction books, not the John Keats poems), only less pointy.

Tomoe
Tomoe crazy face. So much crazy face.

I hope I wasn't supposed to notice the bit regarding forehead markings on the feline Mikoto earlier, because otherwise I'm going to feel kind of dumb for missing those clues.

I'm eager for Mai's reappearance. Given that I only mildly cared about her in My-HiME, I suppose this is a testament to the proper build-up she received in Mai-Otome. Hopefully her character will only serve to bring the series to a satisfying climax, and not drag the show down to its knees like Kira's mis-handled re-insertion into Gundam SEED Destiny.

Nina
Nina crazy face. Crazy face is an official My-HiME staple, now.

With regard to episode 22 itself...so much ass kicking. Midori ownage. Miyu ownage. Nina going SSJ. And Tanaka Rie using her "angry Yomi" voice to great effect. I was also stoked when Tomoe's sentai crew combined.

Still, Mai-Otome needs a new, Nami Tamaki-based, Gundam SEED-esque ED to match its OP.

Dated 23 March 2006: Mai-Otome

FIRE STIRRING RUBY
FIRE STIRRING RUBY

Mai
FIRE STIRRING RUBY Mai

Mai's ramen
FIRE STIRRING RUBY Mai's ramen.

Arika, Mashiro, and Mikoto
Arika, Mashiro, and Mikoto enjoying FIRE STIRRING RUBY Mai's ramen.

Ah, Mai-Otome episode 23. No episode of anime has given me such a craving to eat ramen since I finished Kaze no Yojimbo. Okay, maybe Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu episode four or thereabouts.

I rather prefer the Mai-Otome Mai to the My-HiME Mai—personality-wise, that is.

After [SPOILERS] from episode 23, I'm even more dismayed that Yuko Miyamura has not been in Mai-Otome. Why? Why? Why? Damn, yo.

Dated 3 November 2006: DO YOUR BEST deshou

Either fansubbing has slowed to a crawl or I'm just not watching very many shows this season. Probably the latter, as I'm not watching any raws, either. Still, there's something wrong as a matter of principle when the only things I have on the radar are Gift ~eternal rainbow~ 05, and the next episode of Heroes.

Arika
Mai-Otome ED.

At least my Galaxy Angel Z DVDs arrived today, and I've got the my Geneon order to watch. Still, it's odd to watch so few shows from the current season. I also attribute this as the reason why I've got "Otome wa DO MY BEST Deshou" on the brain.

Who am I kidding? I know I'm going to end up re-watching all of Mai-Otome before the next My-HiME DVD ships.

Dated 20 November 2006: Tsukihime

So, it seems many people who have played the Tsukihime game also agree that Hisui is one of their favorite characters—disproportionately so compared to the fans of her anime counterpart.

I have a theory about that, actually: Hisui spends nearly the entire game standing next to your bed.

Hisui and Akiha
Dammit, Akiha, get the Hell out of here. Hisui, go stand by the bed some more.

In other news, I've also discovered that many of the tracks from the Mai-Otome soundtracks are suitable replacements for the Tsukihime in-game music.