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Anime: Mai Otome - Episode 7
Sunday, November 20, 2005

Episode 7 - Azure Dance/Otome Pledge
Ah here we are, for six episodes non stop so far Otome has provided lots of yuri-subtext, light hearted comedy and on occasion thrilling action with a cast I really like. Somewhere under it all there was certainly a plot building and now *gasp* here it is!

Episode Contents
It's a time for Otome's to have free time and everyone is doing their own thing as we see the cast in various day to day activities. Meanwhile however Arika has decided she's going to pay off the debt she is incurring to her mysterious benefactor by getting a job. A job working on fixing the rather trashed castle (a result of both Arika, Nina and Shizuru's previous battles) where Mashiro lives. It's in the castle that Arika here's from Sergey and Nagi that Mashiro may not actually be the princess *gasp* like we all hadn't realized that from episode one (the reason for this is explored through a series of flashbacks).

Arika wanders the castle a while, a bit aimlessly, noting pictures of a powerful Otome with blue-earings (a Mai-Star). Finding Mashiro being in a bit of trouble from the villainous Nagi's advances to marry her Arika (and Mikoto the cat) put a stop to it and make Nagi leave. Nagi really comes across as so sinister here, I can't help but think of him as the "main baddie" in the series. He's an oily slimey manipulative brat. To cut a long story short, Arika and Mashiro fall through a wall into an underground chamber hidden in the castle. There they find a piano with three seats, and a ghostly figure appears (looking very much like Mikoto from Mai-Hime) and says a riddle. Mashiro presses a key on the piano causing Arika's Otome earing gem to shatter and Mashiro's gem encrusted ring too! Oh noes a monster has arrived! It shall kill them both surely! Oh wait...What are these two blue earring's in Arika's amulet... .

To cut a long story short, the blue earings (the same ones from the picture Arika saw earlier) are used to transform Arika into a Mai-Star Otome and fight the beast. However, she and Mashiro become bonded together (if one dies the other dies), due to Mashiro having to activate the earings. Mashiro charges Arika with removing their bond without telling anyone else what happened.

Other Episode Highlights/Key Points
- It wasn't much (they need more screentime dammit) but Shizuru and Natsuki exchange a rather passionate look while relaxing at the start of the episode.
- The monster grows out of a normal human after eh receives a black letter like the one in Episode 1.
- When the piano note plays everywhere hears it and a jet of energy flies from the palace.
- The note is heard by a mysterious black cloaked figure in the desert.

Overall this episode was very dark, moved the plot on quickly with many revelations (most of which had been obvious though). Mashiro and Arika bond well during their adventures in the castles secret area, by the end of the episode perhaps they even *gasp* like each other. Lots of questions are also raised by this episode too, such as the mysterious cloaked figure, the riddle telling shadow by the piano etc.. . The next episode looks like it may be plot heavy as well, Otome is definitely getting darker.


posted by Mangaminx On Sunday, November 20, 2005  
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