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Mai Otome 19
Sunday, February 19, 2006

Mai Otome | Episode 19 | Fateful 17 Year Old

Ah Midori, Midori. Throughout the series you've tried to have our heroines killed, battled Shizuru and pointed swords at Natsuki all the while looking rather cruel and tough. But your not cruel at all are you really? In fact your all fluffy and kind and lots of people would hug you if they didn't want to risk getting impaled on your oh so spikey hair. But anyway, this weeks episode of Mai Otome is very much Midori and Aswald's chance to show they aren't evil just incredibly unlucky to be who they are.

As was suspected last episode, Arika is now living with Midori and Aswald. Just by chance a bunch of Midori's cyborgs also find Mashiro laying unconscious in what appears to be the smallest desert thats ever existed as everyone keeps bumping into oneanother there. Mashiro is brought back to the Aswald base as she has a Meistar gem, and its soon revealed to Midori that Mashiro is the queen (or rather she might not be the Queen, and the story wants you to think she isn't but really she probably is *deep breaths*). After coming around, and realizing Midori and company aren't going to kill her Mashiro relates what has happened and the story begins to focus on life in the Aswald village. We see a different side to Midori here as she urges her people to be strong and always be fighters in life. It seems she actually *gasps* cares, and isn't the rather emo individual we have become accustomed to seeing through the series all the time.

A quick jaunt to the Wind Bloom and Ealis border is now on the cards, as Nao and Natsuki who are speedily becoming such a wonderful comic duo are looking for a way to hitchhike to the capital. Natsuki seems convinced just removing her jacket will get a truck driver to stop, but Nao has other ideas and just as a truck passes uses her well used nail file to expose Natsuki's underwear. Unfortunately for them both the truck happens to be full of Ealis guards who arrest them for indecent exposure.

Meanwhile back at the school, we see how things are going for the other Otome. Not good really, Chie hallucinates all her friends are still around her, the other pupils get guns pointed at them occasionally by Nagi's guards and Shiho enlists Yayoi and another girl who's name eludes me to do random "maki maki" in the woods. Earlier in the episode, we also see Nina has apparently totally switched sides to back Nagi as she almost threatens Maria as she lectures Nagi on what he is doing to the school. But the most important thing (well I thought so) going on here is Tomoe! Our little green-haired Shizuru obsessive bribes the guards purely so she can look in at her beloved Onee-sama in her cell. Tomoe is evidently obsessed with breaking Shizuru out here which is a bit odd as I felt for sure she was going to betray everyone (still that might come later anyway).

Whizzing back to the armpit town of the desert that is Aswald central, it's time for some backstory, and tears and angst. So, here we find out that Rena (who Arika is convinced is her mother, but probably isn't) was killed by Rado in an attack by Aswald on the Wind Bloom castle (as seen in episode 01!). What were Aswald doing attacking the castle? What do they want from inside the castle? They need the big gem from Shinso-Sama the creator of all Otome gems to cure a disease that is killing them all off of course! Now we see Aswald move from evil gem thieves too poor persecuted people who are not receiving the help they need and are fighting for their own survival!

Here it is also revealed that Smith intends to make his own Otome gems, and create his own Otome via the use of a new version of Shinso he is creating. To create gems you need the body of a former Otome who has given birth, looks like he could have the body of Rena. Just as Midori mentions Smith's intention of creating Otome gems, we cut to Smith and Nagi revealing he has apparently made some and needs test subjects. Nina is ordered to trick some girls into becoming these subjects (the subjects will be used to track down Arika and Mashiro), but Sergey who has now recovered begs he do it instead to prove his loyalty once more. Hopefully Sergey has something up his sleeve here...

Finally back with the new image Midori she asks Mashiro and Arika to help her save her people by helping cure them and stopping Smith. Arika is an emotional wreck by this point after the story she's heard and runs off into the desert screaming she doesn't want to be an Otome anymore. Mikoto (who was found with Arika) soon brings her to her stop by launching her fat kitty body at her head and Mashiro catches up with her. However before anything can be said the sand opens up below them and they plummet into the ground!

The big piece of information this episode was that Midori is only 17 and presumably looks older as she was ravaged by the disease the Aswald get or something. I didn't mention it till now as really I didn't see why it was so important. Whoop de doo she's 17 eternally due to the nano machine in her (Im probably missing something very key linked to her age her).

Where are they falling too? What will happen to them? Will Natsuki stand the humiliation of being arrested for indecent exposure? All these incredibly important questions and probably a lot more answered in the twentieth installment of Mai Otome!

Plot, plot, backstory, backstory a lot goes on here in the way of character development and we see several characters change a lot (mainly Midori, Arika and Mashiro but Nina seems to be getting increasingly darker too). It's probably one of the most important episodes so far in terms of actual story as a fair few gaps are filled and we realize what Smith is up too. Some of the best story content in the series.

Next episode! Tomoe (and apparently by the letter she was writing Chie) become test subjects for the new Otome earrings, Midori looks like she ends up fighting someone and the organ thingy glows a bit. Maybe someone will die too, but don't worry as the organ will probably resurrect 99% of all dead cast members at the end anyway! Oh and her legions of fanboys around the world will lament Mai hasn't shown up yet for the twentieth time (unless I'm proved horribly wrong *sobs*).

posted by Mangaminx On Sunday, February 19, 2006  
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