My Otome, Volume 2 is as close to a pile of service with a plot attached as is just about possible. In fact, if you only care about the story, you could easily skip the first three episodes of the volume and lose nothing at all.
Once again, my thanks to Ted for his generosity and sponsorship of this review!
The volume starts off with a slightly different spin on the typical “bullying the newcomer” plot complication. Someone has stolen Arika’s uniform and sold it to that bastion of fan perversion, Backstage. After lots of chasing and stuff, Irina comes up with a clever, plausible and all-together incorrect explanation for the missing uniform. This is followed by a “mysterious” sponsor who offers to pay Arika school expenses, as long as she keeps her grades up and writes regularly. I honestly can’t imagine anyone watching this series have the slightest doubt at all who the sponsor is. It’s one of the least mysterious mysteries ever.
Next up, a clever (this is me rolling my eyes) reason for a tentacle monster to appear in the pool, thus giving the writers a chance to use tentacles, bathing suits, bouncing breasts and Yuri in one fetish- and stupidity-filled episode. I’m torn between imagining that the writers hate themselves or their audience more. Can’t quite decide.
In the last episode the plot makes a cameo appearance. We learn that there’s a big church organ in the basement of the castle, that Arika and Mashiro and Nina all seem to know different bits of the same song (was that ever explained? I can’t recall if it was….) and in a surprise move, Arika and Mashiro against all rules, including those of common sense, become bonded as Master and Otome. The ancient Harmonium sounds, surprising everyone on the planet and foretelling some serious shit that is about to happen.
The extra has, wait for it, *more* slimy service. Juliet/Nao gets the girls to wear ridiculous lingerie and crawl all over one another and films it for a quick buck online, one assumes. I like that she has no morals and isn’t burdened by any personal sense of right and wrong. I could even take the random – here, wear this underwear. But the filming. Makes me want to take that knife and hot tar out of the closet and start doing a little service of my own.
Yuri in this volume is primarily Erstin’s feelings for Mopey Nina. I wish that that had been given some depth, but basically it will remain a gag plot complication. However, I still feel that Nina’s reaction to Erstin’s bizarre assumption that Nina was feeling her up in the pool was the single best thing she did in the entire series. Coulda killed her right after that and it would have been fine with me.
Art – 7
Characters – 6
Story – 6
Music – 7
Yuri – 2
Service – 7
Overall – 6
This is probably the low point for the series for me. It felt like they were wasting my time, when they could have been telling a story.