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Mai Otome 18
Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mai Otome | Episode 18 | Whiteout

*sobs* A tearful eighteenth installment of Mai Otome dawns (well it was for me anyway) as a second cast member bows out and dies (probably). Although a complete lack of Arika this episode (apart from about five seconds) may actually please those who dislike her!

Its three days after Arika and Nina collided and caused a huge explosion. Nagi has taken over Windbloom and has access to the magical organ and Guaderobe (although Smith can't get either open at present as they need Arika and Mashiro) and the Otome left there are all confined in the school with the exception of Nina who is of course Nagi's Otome and is taking care of the injured Sergey. (While we see Nina taking care of Sergey later in the episode, I'm just mentioning it now to focus on the main events of the plot) Nina is perhaps the most emo and unhinged she has ever been as she is lamenting Erstin's death (after all she did kill her, MURDERER*coughs*).

Anyway on to the main events of things. Natsuki has been unconscious for three days and in the care of Nao and one of her rather seedy acquaintances in the desert. Upon coming around and grabbing Nao and demanding explanations of what's happened Nao reminds her that seeing as she herself is as powerful as Natsuki (as one of the five pillars) she needs to show a bit more respect. This whole scene is rather comic as Nao and Natsuki are certainly not two people who can get along very easily and work almost as a comic duo here with their banter. After Nao's seedy friend (who seems to be the guy who was helping Sergey earlier in the series) explains what's happened to Wind Bloom, events are interrupted by Miyu leaping from a clifftop easily overcoming Natsuki and Nao (who can't use their earrings) and demanding she know where Arika is. After explanations from Natsuki that they have no idea where Arika or Mashiro are (but they are sure Nagi doesn't have them), Miyu evidently decides to go elsewhere but not before revealing the fact everyone knew already that she is a robot (didn't see that coming *rolls eyes*). It's very clear from these events that Arika is the key to everything here, which is why Miyu is searching for her.

While that's one "storyline" for this episode covered the other one is centering around Mashiro. It seems that Nagi ejected all the poor from Wind Bloom and they are making their way to Ealis (we get a brief glimpse of Yukino having Haruka subdued with a huge rock earlier) , Mashiro is incognito as one of them. Mashiro makes friends with a young girl from the group who gives her food and water, however from their conversations and the words of the poor around her she realizes something. That something is that Mashiro isn't popular like she had once thought, in fact she is hated and blamed for a lot of awful things that have happened to the poor (things that are technically her fault but she wasn't aware of). Mashiro matures a lot as a character here as the guilt of what she has done as Queen overwhelms here. However, things are about to get worse. A group of the traveling poor discover Aoi amongst their ranks, get her on a clifftop and demand they tell her where the Queen they hate so much is. Aoi (who catches a glimpse of the sobbing Mashiro in the crowd) refuses, and throws herself from the cliff in epic fashion, a very tearful moment. Character death number two Aoi (unless she is saved of course *gasp*). Mashiro runs off into the desert alone and in tears.

We get a brief glimpse of Arika at the end of the episode fetching water from a well with Mikoto in the desert. Surrounded by buildings that look very much like the home of Midori and Aswald!

A slow paced episode, filling in the blanks of what happened previously but a good episode none the less. Aoi was frankly the last person I expected to die and she does so very epically and honorably I felt the tears well up in my eyes for her. Awww. Predictions for what will happen next? Mashiro will wander into Aswald HQ and team up with Arika who is already there and find Midori and Co really aren't bad people. Chie will find out about Aoi and do something stupid and end up the next dead cast member and Tomoe will swap sides to join Nagi betraying the other Otome. Looking at events earlier in this episode, it seems Nagi may be attacked by another country soon too, an all out war may be just around the corner...

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posted by Mangaminx On Sunday, February 12, 2006  
  • On Sunday, 12 February, 2006, Blogger Hopeless said…

    Wow, this episode really made me wonder what direction the series will take. Eight episodes have a lot to fill in.

    Argoss interests me more than anything now; he has the potential to cause a world war to erupt, and perhaps even to dispose of Nagi and Smith once and for all. That would be a surprising plot twist.

    Next to die may be Chie; I agree with you. Looks like Tomoe may join the dark side with Nina. Perhaps she will try to break Shizuru out, rather than Haruka who is in no state to. And could Argoss me directing his forces at Zipang, a country we know little about, but one that seems to get by without the aid of Otome?

  • On Sunday, 12 February, 2006, Blogger Mangaminx said…

    I hadn't really considered the possobility of Argoss and Zipang coming into things more until you mentioned it just now. Certainly an interesting thought, and one I hope is explored in the anime.

    I think that Chie will be succesful in breaking Shizuru out next episode, but die perhaps by Tomoe's hand but permitting Shizuru to escape.

    It'll be interesting to see where this goes, whatever happens!

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