My Zhime (My Otome) Anime, Volume 3

February 10th, 2008

Sincere thanks to Ted for sponsoring today’s review! Be a hero and sponsor a review of your very own by purchasing something off my Yuri Wishlist. You’ll get my sincere thanks, and the adoration of everyone who reads and enjoys the review. :-)

My Otome, Volume 3 is a total gyroscope of a story. You know how a gyroscope spins so fast that it looks like it isn’t really moving? That’s pretty much the feeling you get watching this volume of My Otome. Nothing is happening, but it’s not happening so fast that there’s an illusion that the story isn’t moving. Only, it is.

The first big exam for Otomes-in-training has arrived, and as is usual, the protagonist has no clue what anyone is talking about. Every else in Garderobe knows that this cross-country trek and cooking competition is a major portion of their grade – how Arika manages to not have heard of it even a little approaches a kind of genius. Sabotage strikes Arika and poor Erstin, and although they both survive, lots of nothing-really-happenings happen as a result. Sergey and Arika have a tense encounter, Nina starts to move her dislike for Arika out of “rival” into “person I most want to see die horribly” and Tomoe turns out to be Evil, and Psychotic. We’ve already seen evidence that she is a Lesbian, so we can add her to the list of EPLs.

The other main “nothing really happens” arc, actually explains a lot to us, the viewers, although just about none of the characters have enough pieces to put anything together. In a thoroughly predictable twist of fate, it turns out that Queen Mashiro, Nina and Arika all share a birthday. Huh, how ’bout that.

Mashiro meets and is befriended by the Prince of Zipang, Takumi, but as both are incognito, they just think that the other is a commoner. Arika (because of course, with all the graceful, accomplished and beautiful Otomes-in-training at Garderobe, the only one who could possibly take Mashiro’s place is the one bumpkin in the place) pretends to be the Queen, while poor Akira, who is already pretending to be a boy, now has to pretend to be the Prince of Zipang as well.

Shizuru proves that her gaydar is good and sees right through Akira’s drag king act. Later, when Akira *has* to use her mouth to give Takumi medicine, Shizuru is completely unflappable as everyone else reacts to what appears to be a m/m kiss by pointing out that that’s another type of love. So the Graceful Amethyst comes through like a seasoned lesbian. Points to her.

Important stuff does really happen in the middle of all this silliness and chaos. Among them, the development of a definite triangle between Nina, Sergey and Arika is probably the most icky-making, but it is pretty significant.

On the good side, we get to see Chie and Akane materialize. ^_^

It’s episodes like this that pissed off a lot of viewers. Where My HiME was, about this point in the story growing very serious, My Otome simply refuses to. I see that as a positive – we’re not being fooled into taking this more seriously than it deserves. But I can see where the humor wears thin, too. I will give it this – until Mashiro used Marie Antionette’s line about “let them eat cake” I’d never really thought about it as an expression, not of disdain, but of complete cluelessness. (I’m not in the habit of thinking about Marie Antionette much, I’ll admit.)

The one extra is bizarro world side story as Shiho “maki-maki”s everyone, causing much of the havoc that fills the exam arc.

Ratings:

Art – 7
Characters – 7
Story – 6
Music – 7 (I like the various materialize themes)
Yuri – 1
Service – 7

Overall – 6

My *only* complaint about the anime remains the same as was the first time. What complete ass makes girls trek cross-country in the woods wearing bloomers and boots? That’s just absurd. I hate the writers for doing that, and every single person who found that cute, sexy or otherwise in any way not completely dumb.

I’d also like to register a complaint with Amazon. PICK A SPELLING, for pity’s sake. My Otome, My Hime-Z, My Zhime. Pick ONE. Stick with it. Thank you. It’s like Ikkitousen all over again.

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One Response

  1. Ange says:

    Reading you is as enjoyable as usual ! I’m probably the biggest (worst ?) fan of Mai Otome in france, if in the world (I’m the kind of people who can assume anything… even this. Special training, you know), and I’ll say you have the talent to exactly put the spirit of Mai Otome into words. (hehe)

    “how Arika manages to not have heard of it even a little approaches a kind of genius.”

    Yeah, Arika truly IS a genius. That’s something people usually don’t understand, saying things like “My HiME was much better, this heroine has no charisma at all, bla bla bla”. But who’d want a charismatic heroine ? (I mean, WHO isn’t pissed of by Mai after only fifteen minutes of show ?)

    On the contrary, it is nearly impossible for me to be pissed of by Arika. (maybe a few times, when the scenarist was bored being auto-derisional all the time) I’m just beginning to laugh every time she goes on the screen, and that’s all. I can’t help liking this heroine who, like the series, can’t possibly be serious more than twenty seconds.

    Mai Otome is never serious : sometimes thin, often satyric, always humoristic. ( Speaking about that, I remember some blogger on the net who was indigned by the highly erotic (NEARLY PORNOGRAPHIC he said.) scene of the big poulp in the pool… Geez, how can someone with a positive IQ get to take seriously a big purple ridiculous octopus, oviously parodic, trying to steal young ladies crying and blushing dramaticaly with big tentacles… )

    The true heroine is Nina. She’s the hidden one. She’s stoic. She’s a poor and courageous girl. Well, the fact is, she’s not the heroine of the series at all, and I bet Mai Otome would have be a lot more like My HiME if she did. (Nina is an interesting character though, needed in the plot, good design, good story… Not too much pathetical, it would have been boring)

    Like you said, Mai Otome is a humoristic series that doesn’t try to be more than she (it ?) is, while most of series does. (My HiME for example) Doing that, she’s more honnest, and most of all, she doesn’t fail being funny, silly and complete at the same time.

    Well, in the name of the two or three great fans of Mai Otome in the Stellar System, I thank you for catching the true silliness of the series and writing articles as auto-derisional and ironical as the series is. Thanks. :]

    I would have been happy to write more about Mai Otome, but this is one a forum, so I keep it for the next time. (plus it’s late here, and my english is getting worse with hours)

    See you sometimes on rizon,

    Ange (Clara),
    White rose.
    Future Otome, too.( you’ll see. )

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