My Zhime (My Otome) Anime, Volume 7 (English)

October 17th, 2008

As we begin Mai Otome, Volume 7, the world is poised for war; Meister vs Meister, Otome vs Otome, Garderobe and its allies lined up to do battle against Nagi and his forces of Chaos. What do we want most in a situation like this? We want *heroes*! We want the damn cavalry to come thundering down the damn hill and we want it to be shiny, and colorful and we want the horns of Rohan to blow wildly and we want it now.

Boy oh boy do we get that in Volume 7. ^_^

One scene after another, we think we (“we” being the good guys, of course,) have turned the tide in our favor and Nagi pulls yet *another* trick out of his ear, even going so far as to manipulate his own Meister by shooting Sergay and using Nina’s desire to save him to wreak havoc. (His manipulation-fu was a little weak and if Nina hadn’t been such a mopey sop, she might have noticed, but we needed her to just go with it to set up the final confrontation anyway.) Each time calling for yet another triumphant entry of the next wave of the good guys, accompanied by epic background music.

One after another, the Meisters arrive and add their strength to our forces, and time after time, our strength is neutralized until, in a gigantic display of Miyu ex machina all the contracts are cancelled, the Meisters set free and they can *all* take on Nagi’s last-ditch efforts to break toys and pull the wings off of flies.

Of course the world is saved by Arika. Were you worried?

And everyone lives happily ever after, even Tomoe who really should have died horribly. Several times.

Volume 7 also offers a mixed bag of Yuri for our various pleasures. While the volume attains utter fail for Shizuru’s and Natsuki’s completely unromantic and untouchy reunion, we can’t blame them too much, they were both a bit distracted by being in the middle of a war zone. We get a quick retrospective of Shizuru’s playtime with Tomoe (who assumably was a good girl) and for Ers x Nina fans, there’s Erstin’s moving letter to Nina upon which I am sure many a fanfic is based. ^_^ Of course there’s the climax of the whole series where an embrace by Arika brings Nina back from the brink of destruction, and although I am not an Arika x Nina ‘shipper, I know they are out there. Haruka and Yukino continue to be the best manzai government ever. Lastly, but not at all least, there’s Chie’s moving reunion with Aoi. (That’s everyone *I* can think of. I’m sure there are others, so feel free to add in whatever ones you’ve made up in your head to the list of those I’ve made up in mine.)

Mai Otome was never intended to be high art. It was, and remains, a very silly, action comedy-drama with loads of service frosting. A great time for the whole family…assuming your family is like mine. ^_^ (D’oh! I should have watched this with my Dad last time he was here – he would have loved it! Oh well, next time.)

Ratings:

Art – 8
Characters – 8 (We love you Miss Maria, oh yes we do…)
Story – 8
Yuri – 3, but with nuts and candy filling
Service – 5

Overall – 8

And *speaking* of heroes, all my thanks today goes out to the hero of the day, Bruce M, for his sponsorship of this fabulous volume of a lots o’fun anime. (My Dad thanks you too, although he doesn’t know it yet.)

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9 Responses

  1. grace says:

    thanks for the post. when i got vol. 7, i watched it all the way through – twice! it was so good and so fun. i wished for more ShizNat Yuri goodness, but i’ll take what i can get and i’ll just go back to re-watching Mai Hime. i love that Mai returns with her apparently fabulous cooking and she & Mikoto with their fighting skills. this series was such a happy reunion for me! and Chie…wow, what can i say? awesome!

  2. Eric P. says:

    A very appropriate ending for an entertaining series like this. One thing that surprised me was that I had half-expected Erstin to come back in some way, in the tradition of the Mai-Hime series. She never does; she actually died and stayed dead, and it then made an impact on me because of it. But since then, there’ve never been any real major character deaths from what I remember, which seemed intended to keep the story lightly entertaining and fun all the way to the epic conclusion.

  3. Eric – There was Mimi’s death, as well. That sinalled Mashiro’s transformational momnt. But yeah, netiehr Mimi nor Ers come back, in a completelreversal of the previous series, so the deaths actually *mean* something. That was one of the many reasons I preferred Otome to HiME from beginning to end.

  4. Katherine says:

    Nice review! :) I agree, Mai Otome isn’t high art, but it’s definitely one of my favorite series (as well as Mai HiME, despite its ending), especially in terms of rewatchability. And the ending had all of the bells, whistles, and epic “Zomg” moments I wanted. ^^ (Frankly, it was pretty satisfying to see Tate/Sergay get shot and have Nagi suffer at least some punishment for his asinine manipulations. And I can still read between the lines- err, I mean work with Shizuru and Natsuki’s understated reunion.) Now we’ll all just have to wait and see how the new Mai series (with yet another new protagonist) does in maintaining the spirit and characters of the first two. ^^

  5. Eric P. says:

    Oh yeah, forgot about Mimi. In a strange way I thought it was done really well, what with all the events that lead up to it and as you said how it affected Mashiro

  6. Anonymous says:

    thanks for the review the last eps were great kept me glued to the screen. as for shiznat i am sorry but i have to disagree in my opinion the shiznat relationship didnt have to be shown with overtly affection. it was sublte and well understood that they are together and even the rest of the characters understood this also u do not need to be affectionate in public in order to get the point across besides they were pretty much occupied with everything else that was going on as it is. so i am pretty sure once things got calm and they were in their home things were different. and i am sorry but that whole tome thing never came close to threatening shiznats relationship if u dont know how devoted shizuru is to natsuki by now than u just never saw it besides they were in the middle of war so of course all bets are off and i am sure natsuki understands that. besides i highly doubt that shizuru did the things people assumed she did of course we will never know since it never was shown to us but we shouldnt go accusing her either.well anyways sorry for the long post it is just that it is refreshing to see two people devoted to each other without having it be all over the screen the relationship to me is obvious enough and i am not grabbing at straws either to see the relationship then again this is only my opinion.

  7. Hi anonymous – I absolutely agree that Shizuru and Natsuki are a couple in this series. I’ve said it repeatedly through the over a dozen Mai Otome posts I’ve made (and several posts on other topics.)

    What you misread was simply a comment that when they were reunited, *most* fans would have prefered to see at least a little embrace or touch.

  8. Dragoncaster says:

    Did anyone besides me want Sir-Gay to die, and for Nina and Arika to be consolation for each other? I swear, since the beginning of the series, I wanted blondie to bite it eventually, and for Nina to get over her daddy-complex. It didn’t quite turn out like I hoped….

    Maybe that was just me though. Still, the idea of NinArika just made too much sense to me.

  9. Anonymous says:

    thanks for taking time in reading my post. i do apologise for misunderstanding you in concern to shiznat. is just so often this fans expect to much of the characters that they tend to miss the bigger picture here and that is that this ladies are and do care for each other alot and are devoted to each other. which is why in my opinion it wasnt necessary to see it at that moment yes it would have been nice but i think their body language and their expressions said it all. besides like i said they were in the middle of battle and being how private natsuki is about her life and shizuru it is not surprising that she would hold herself back and shizuru respects natsuki’s believes and wishes so she herself wouldn’t do anything to go against that. i just think it is understood of them and the rest of the characters as was shown through out the series if people were paying attention. again sorry for the long post and i do apologise for misunderstanding that part of your review and this are just my opinions of how i saw things in the series.

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