mai otome 18

Glitter Is Gold 236H

Boring. Boring. Boring.

The aftermath of Nagi’s win is presented: the poor are forced out of Windbloom and now wander the desert, Natsuki and Nao are by themselves, and Nagi now controls Windbloom as well as Nina. Mashiro is still being pursued, and she hides out in a cluster of refugees that also include Alyssa. Natsuki recovers from her wounds, only to learn the horrible news from Nao that befell Windbloom and Gaudlerobe after she was defeated. The two are then attacked by Miyu, who wants to know where Arika is. Sadly, no one seems to know since they don’t show the rest of the Arika/Nina battle, and I’m wondering myself. After 17, the show had its pedal to the metal… why let go of the accelerator now?

Nina is serving as Nagi’s otome, much to Sergey’s disappointment… and Nina knows it. Their relationship can only be more awkward if Sergey had slept with Arika. Meanwhile, Nagi and Smith are trying to excavate that giant organ that Mashiro and Arika stumbled across what seems like many, many moons ago.

Mashiro is taking her loss hard, and it doesn’t help that she is now separated from all her friends. The refugees blame her for their plight. She eventually stumbles across a startling scene: her meido, Aoi, is being bullied into revealing where Mashiro is, but Aoi refuses. They threaten her… and after Aoi sees Mashiro in the crowd, she decides to throw herself off of a cliff and protect Mashiro.

The last thirty seconds finally show Arika… she’s well… with Mikoto… and credits roll. To be continued.


I felt that they really blew a great chance to build off of the previous episode. For me, Mai Otome has become train wreck anime… but for train wreck anime to be good, there has to be, uh, wrecks. Something — anything — has to happen. No action. No battles. No backstabbing. No Shinn-type face convolutions. A cooldown episode after serious fighting works for shows like Rozen Maiden and Shana (think Shana 9), but Mai Otome? Not really. I say keep the pedal to the metal, and keep the otomes smacking one another.

There’s also too much focus on minor characters… I mean, Miyu gets more screentime this episode than all previous ones combined, and when Alyssa speaks more than Nina, Arika, and Shizuru combined, it’s a cry for help. And there’s too little focus on the major characters… Arika is doing her Kira-hibernation thing (remember when Kira and Athrun totalled Strike and Aegis, and then Kira sulked around Lacus’ summer home?), Nina has about thirty seconds of awkward screentime (think Shinn and Luna after Shinn downed Athrun’s GINN), and Shizuru isn’t even in the episode. That makes for a loss right there. Mashiro was the only interesting bit in the episode as she is clearly tormented by the loss of her country, the loss of her people, and the loss of Aoi.

Sadly, I don’t feel her pain. First off, they have painted Mashiro as a crappy queen throughout the series, and now they’re trying to muster sympathy for her. This storytelling tactic worked great for Stellar, remember? Mashiro also didn’t cry when Ers fell. Then there’s Aoi… she’s like one of the red uniformed ensigns that accompanied Kirk on away missions. Yes, someone died… but does it have any real emotional impact? Has Aoi even had ten lines the previous 17 episodes? Are we supposed to care about her now because she sacrificed herself? It had a small fraction of the impact a death like Ers’ had, and it definitely felt forced. Sorry, Kurogane, I disagree. She’s not like Akane in Hime. Their deaths are not even in the same league… it’s like comparing Smush Parker to Kobe. Akane’s death triggered the Hime wars and made everyone think, “OMFG what have we gotten ourselves into?” Aoi’s not even a top 25 meido.

Lack of main characters, lots of recap, lack of hawt girl-on-girl action, and the least compelling death in the Mai Hime/Otome universe makes Mai Otome 18 a pretty boring episode. I really, really hope the train wrecks start piling up, or else I’ll have to start waching Kage Kara Mamoru.

(BTW, Nao desperately needs a better costume. This French mime thing didn’t work in Hime, it ain’t workin’ here.)

15 Responses to “mai otome 18”

  1. I enjoyed 18, but I get what you’re saying. I think Mashiro learning she was in fact a crappy queen and a spoiled brat was what was important.

    Nao DEFINATELY needs some new attire. The suspenders and shades need to go… NOW! :)

  2. Sorry, but I completely disagree. Aoi’s death had much more impact on me compared to Erstin’s, who had been tagged for death for ages. In fact, I think it’s one of the show’s strengths that you can present a simple, but very bitter and disturbingly _realistic_ scenario like this WITHOUT having to spice it with flashy fighting, Yuri and whatnot :)

    So, 18 goes down as one of the BEST death scenes I’ve seen in a long while in MY book.

  3. Watching Mai Otome for realism is like watching the 2005-2006 Lakers for team basketball. Sure, it’s possible… but it’s a lot more fun watching Kobe go for 63 or 81.

  4. Even if Aoi’s (supposed)death isn’t as impactful as Akane’s but it was still a very fitting death scene for her.

    Aoi has a strength of character rarely seen, and under her gentle personality, lies a brave and loyal person as well.

    The way that she died, jumping off the cliff without revealing anything about Mashiro after finding out that she’s alive an well, is truly fitting in her character.

    In fact, I see Otome is now quite in trouble when the minor chracters are much more intersting that the major ones.

    TBH, if you’d asked me to choose between Shinn and Arika, I’d be taking Shinn anytime. Shinn had potential, but couldn’t be realised thanks to stupid writing, but Arika…. I haven’t really liked her from the start.

  5. Kuro… I read jason’s post about this episode… and then I read yours…

    >> Ah… Sunrise seems to be back in their best form with this episode. I greatly enjoyed this episode for the noticeble lack of Arika, thank god.

    …and I laughed. Probably a bit too much. :) I’m not even watching Mai Otome—HiME’s ending was enough to make me fear Sunrise—but it’s still funny to see such huge differences in opinion.

  6. I can’t say much about that, I did felt that the whole lack of Arika = +100 enjoyment for me.

    Apart from that, I’m glad that I still have my humour left. I’m in a particularly depressed mood recently, with the lack of my PC and the stuff happening recently IRL.

  7. If I hate the main character of a show, I generally stop watching that show (see: Blood, Trinity) and move on to another series.

  8. I wouldn’t say it was boring as hell, but I will echo the irritation with the whole Queen/Mashiro side of everything. Either she’s not really the queen, and all this angsting over it is just wasting our time, or she is, and they’re just being really contrived about creating drama, especially because she hasn’t really matured over the last 18 episodes. Maybe that she’s sad now when people get bitchy at her instead of just being selfish.

    But yeah, who cares about Aoi’s ‘death’? When was the last time anybody fell into darkness and actually stayed dead anyway? She could have vanished entirely from the series and nobody would have noticed. And from a logical standpoint, revealing Mashiro would have probably gotten her torched anyway. *shrug* I had hope after 17, but now I fear for the lives of Chie, Yukino, and all the other barely noticable characters in the Otome world because apparently they fell that they’ve got to kill -someone-.

  9. Well, for what it’s worth, I agree with you. Natsuki’s back to being useless, Miyu’s still ugly, and all that’s going on is a putting me in a coma.

    And *insert your favorite string of profanities here*, where’s Mai?! Geez, why bother even calling it MAI Otome if MAI is not even there… not to mention the intense amount of hate I’d have for Sunrise if they turn Mai into a Deus Ex Machina, only to be shown at the end of the series as a super cop out.

  10. Wait, I thought Akane didn’t die. Didn’t she just go completely bonkers after Kazu and Harry died?

    The reason everyone feels bad for Mashiro is cause she was cool in Mai Hime. She’s totally riding her own coattails and mailing it in as queen. We don’t even know if Aoi is really dead yet.

    Omega bonus points for mentioning Shinn face contortions and also Smush Parker.

  11. Well, to be fair, the way Sunrise translates the character “Mai” is “My”, so… they’re just screwing around with homophones for whatever reason.

  12. Maybe, but looking at the official site, they retain the original ‘Mai’ kanji, meaning ‘dance’, which is what they used whenever they showed Mai’s name in HiME in the title, so I’m not convinced. And judging by the way this show’s being written, I doubt they’d be that clever to use a homophone.

  13. I can’t help it, I find this ep very boring and slow. And I find this jump from the cliffhangerish Arika vs Nina battle to a Mashiro zoom-in quite unfitting. I think this ep could have lasted less than 5″ in total. This anime is becoming taxing on me if they don’t start to show some linearity in the unrolling of the story. The last ep was starting to climax…but this one kinda falls flat on his face.Ok, onto the next…(I rant, but I like this show-I really do).

  14. I MISS Arika, poor Aoi*cries* and Chie is gonna have a heart attack btw i like how Mashiros character evolving*

  15. Maybe I am just too much of a sensitive little girl but I cried when Aoi died. T^T

    And I know Mashiro has acted like a brat up until this point, but the series has made sure we were aware of her as a good person inside, just ignorant of her peoples’ plight, or at least real way of life. So, yes, I do feel a lot of sympathy for her. I believe this is a good growing experience for her, and she definitely needed a reality check, but I still feel her pain and loneliness.

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