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Dated 8 July 2007: My-Otome Zwei

Okay, when I said I was only watching two shows...I lied. I'm actually also watching the Maria-sama ga Miteru and the My-Otome OAVs.

I'm all over the My-Otome Zwei OAVs because they are AWESOME.

Arika could take Strike Freedom one-on-one, straight up.

I was hooked right from the start of the first My-Otome Zwei OAV because it was essentially Stratos 4 except with magikal girls. The planet is all like, "Oh shit, giant asteroid inbound!" And the Comet Blaster Otome are all like, "FOX ONE!" And then they're like, "Oh shit, it dodged!" [P.S. SPOILERS.] And Meteor Sweeper Otome Mikaze Arika is all like, "Fuck you, asteroid, I'll punch you in the face—in the FACE!" Yeah, that RULED.

Arika has had a little nanomachine work done.

Speaking of Arika, she's a lot more likable now as slightly older, somewhat more mature, substantially more developed, confident Arika. Plus I think it's kinda funny that her new MATERIALISE ZWEI ULTIMATE special power is the ability to turn into her mom.

Mom-mode Arika.

Speaking of which, mom-type Arika really would have been a better My-Otome protagonist than ant-type Arika.

Dated 29 August 2007: My-Otome Zwei episode two is Die Hard on a bus

Chie and Haruka
Chie and Haruka.

God, I love Sunrise. And I love what they've done with the My-Otome Zwei OAVs. Let's consider what we have here:

  • There's a lot more physical comedy. For example, we have Sara Gallagher spit takes, giant hammer jokes, and we have Tomoe kicking her purported boyfriend off the top of a van, with a dumbfounded otomedience following his off-screen career with their wide eyes. I don't think the physical comedy in the My-HiME series has ever been as good as it is in the second Zwei OAV.
  • And then we have Chie hat-punching a hijacker up-side the head. How can you not enjoy Chie hat-punching people upside the head?
  • I also like Arika much better now in the Zwei OAVs compared to the regular Otome series. Her spunky "Do Your Best, Deshou" attitude is kinda endearing, now. Also, I like how she transforms into her mom when she powers up.
  • We're all curious as to whether or not Nina and Akane still have their Otome powers, I'm sure, but I guarantee you that they're still strangers to the magical de-powering protein, alas. There's no way these two are just going to sit out all future Otomescapades powerless. I herein cite the Lacus Clause.
  • Speaking of which, I hope Anime Jesus Kira Yamato really does get nightly visits from the Ghost of Flay and her occasional astral hand jobs in Gundam SEED III. That entirely platonic relationship he has with Empress Lacus is beyond ridiculous now.
  • Almost as bad is Meyrin walking two paces behind Athrun on their dates. Maybe in SEED III she will Tonya Harding him in the knee so he'll have to spend most of the season with his arm around her shoulder for support again. Could happen.
  • And then they'll squeeze Meyrin into a Buster machine as an excuse to make Fumiko Orikasa holler, "PHYSICAL CANCELLER ZENKAI! EXOTIC MANEUVER!" Hey, it could happen.

Dated 30 September 2007: My-Otome Zwei episode three is Marimite with MATERIALISE instead of lesbianism

Nao and Nina
Nao and Nina.

The third chapter of the My-Otome Zwei OAV mini-series features Nao and Nina re-establishing their mentor/student relationship. Tweaking the character a bit, Nao in the My-Otome universe is an older, more emotionally stable version of her My-HiME counterpart. The original Nao is an extremely precocious middle school call girl with some severe emotional problems. The older Otome version keeps her street smarts, but benefits from a mature coolness absent in the HiME Nao. These changes work better for Nao's character, and enhance her role as Nina's Marimite-esque onee-sama substantially.

Nao and Nina
Would you believe, Marimite and the Last Crusade?

The onee-sama role suits Nao so well, in fact, that My-Otome Zwei part three makes me wonder why they didn't do more with Big Sister roles in the My-Otome series. The show establishes that younger characters are assigned older Otome to teach them the ropes and whatnot, but the influence and bond they have are far below that of Maria-sama ga Miteru levels.

Nina is having a bad day.

Ignoring those ties was a big mistake. The Nina/Nao chemistry works so well in the OAV's third episode that I wish we could have seen more of it during the series. Nao's friendly teasing and earnest mentoring coupled with Nina's respectful deference and sheepish lamentations invoke some of the best parts of Maria-sama ga Miteru and successfully integrate them into the My-Otome universe, where they should have existed all along.

A really bad day.

In fact, in some moments, Nao and Nina's affection for each other surpass the Marimite relationships because, as we all know, Nina is definitely not a lesbian. For that reason, Nina's understated admiration seems more genuine. Maybe I'm just saying that because, even after three season of Marimite, I still suspect Yumi is setting herself up for multiple phallus-driven epiphanies. Nevertheless, I'll go so far as to say that the Nina/Nao moments in My-Otome Zwei channel what Sunrise should have used for the Athrun/Shinn bits in Gundam SEED Destiny.

Dated 23 April 2008: My-Otome Zwei episode four

Mai fights Kagatsuchi
Lift with your legs, not with your back, sweetie.

I never got around writing a proper entry regarding the fourth episode of the My-Otome Zwei OAV. In a nutshell, it makes no sense, but I don't care because it's AWESOME.

If you'd like to initiate the Surrogate ONE.
If you'd like to load a Silver TWO.
If you need to report your best friend for feeling you up in your sleep...
...please stay on the line.

Really, if you're expecting more from My-Otome beyond magikal girls kicking the Bejeezus out of each other...err, a common enemy, you're asking too much from this franchise. My-Otome is about giant swords, lots of hollering, scandalous couplings, and getting aced square in the face, okay.

Mashiro slaps Arika
Slap Sisters is the new Blood Brothers.

The most meaningful thing My-Otome Zwei does is elevate Nina to the coveted position of My-Otome Best Girl. Bear in mind this is a series that includes Chie hat-punching deadbeats, Mashiro and mom-sized Arika slapping the shit out of each other, and Nao demonstrating why she's the best onee-sama at the academy. Then again, it also has Natsuki (the My-HiME Best Girl) spending most of the mini-series yakking on the phone, which is kind of a shame, but Zwei wisely pares down the character count to avoid diluting the story too much.

Nina wakes up
Nina with her hair down is basically Claes in Megane Mode.

"Story," I says, but sheepishly. I admit I didn't follow My-Otome Zwei for the gripping plot. I watched it for "MATERIALISE!" and the old gunfighter (read: teenage girl) coming out of retirement to take names—and because if I keep hyping it up maybe Kajiura Yuki really will write a three-hour My-HiME opera. A fan can dream.