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Rosegirl18's My-Otome Tv Review

My-Otome

My-Otome tv Review

Arika Yumemiya has traveled far in search of her goal: the prestigious Garderobe Academy. At this school, young girls are trained to become Otomes, protectors of royal leaders throughout the lands. While attending Arika makes plenty of friends, but some enemies know something about her past that she does not. Nevertheless, her spirit and determination will keep pushing her forward. --- Adapted from it's predecessor, Mai-HiME, this series is not a direct sequel, but an alternate universe setting featuring some of the Mai-HiME cast (though with different personalities).

Story & Characters

Mai-Otome, also called My Otome or My Z-Hime, is the interesting Alternate Universe companion to the successful 26-episode series, Mai Hime. Otome is set in a futuristic setting where the Earth has drastically changed due to a war called the 12 Kings' War, which apparently wiped out most of the world's technology except for some major devices which still remain in a country called Garderobe. In this land, many familiar characters are re-introduced, most of them being "Otome," women who are bred to be excellent in battle and beautiful in nature.

We are first given a glimpse of two major new characters, and a third who has returned with a significantly new attitude. It is unfortunate that these three are hardly likable in the beginning, for they are unique and definitely different from the three-person main cast in Hime. There is Arika Yumemiya, the cheerful girl who has come without family, influence, or anything else except herself, to enroll in the prestigious school that teaches girls to become otome to find more about the past of her Mother, who apparently was a famous otome. There is Nina Wong, the number one student in her class at the Otome school, also in love with her father by adoption. And there is the return of Mashiro, now a rebellious, untalented, selfish princess who will soon become the Queen of Windbloom and Garderobe. Fate seems to bring them together in a series of odd occurrences, such as when the three find out that they share the same birthday.

The series also goes into a lot of character pasts, more developed plot twists than the ones in Hime, which shows us the neglected Mashiro, hearing the whispers that she might not be the true blood princess of the throne, the hurting Nina, feeling that her adopted father sees her only as a child, and Arika, who is holding the Meister Otome gemstone, the Azure Sky Sapphire.

Later on, however, when Grand Duke Nagi of Artai causes a war to bring down Garderobe, Otome, and everything else, that becomes the least of their worries. Nina, being originally from Artai is forced to face off Arika, who has now become Mashiro's Meister Otome with her mother's Azure Sky Sapphire, and Nina must fight with Artai's legendary Black Diamond, while all the other otome face off against each other at the whim of their masters.

Rating: 8

Art

The art style is similar, if not identical, to the art of Mai Hime, as they remain colorful, pretty, and somewhat shoujo. I liked how all the characters seemed to have their own appearances and characteristics in hairstyles, eyes, body, and fashion sense. I think that this series had more unique fashion and transformation grace than Hime. However, many people think that the uniforms of the school that Arika and Nina went to had ugly uniforms (I have to agree with that...). The clothing style is usually on a fantasy-style base.

Rating: 8

Sound

The soundtrack in Otome is done well, although I seemed to hear only three distinct tracks for most of the anime. However, I thought all of the melodies were very inspiring and fitting with the series. The ending is nice but not spectacular, and it spans for the whole series. The openings, however, were excellent in my opinion, as they switched over to another song after the drama got heavier in the plot. The first opening was more perky and fitted well with the character introductions and comedic air of the first opening clips, while the second was more serious and action-inducing. The clips with it showed the emphasis of friendship rift, war, and allies in the battlefield. I was happy that there were two, because the two fitted perfectly with the series, but if one of them had been used for the whole plot, none of the two would have fit with the whole series.

Rating: 9

Presentation

Mai Otome's general presentation is good, although not excellent. The plot is well done and is creative, but some developements are not made. Also, the producers use characters from Mai Hime, which causes continuous comparisons and references to the two series, making the two never complete on its own. Otome would never have made sense without the former series, Hime, which makes it look too much of something like an OVA or a sequel. Overall, however, I felt that Otome was better on terms of switching between different genres throughout the series. It was quick to come back when it went into dramatic and angsty mode, and continued to try to maintain a balance between the comedic and the more serious tones. This causes it to be less serious than Hime, which was comedic for the first half, a tearjerker in the second, and came back as a big picnic party in the end. Otome has a better defined sense of plot and genre than other short animes nowadays, and manages to maintain it's own uniqueness and interesting points.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.50 (very good)

Reviewed by Rosegirl18, May 23, 2006

Comments

  1. kyokujitsu May 23, 2006

    A very nice review, you support your ratings really well, and I liked your plot summary. However, I disagree on a lot of the points. I'll keep it relatively short to avoid making it a review in itself.

    Perhaps you could have included more on why you gave the story and characters an 8. I found that character development was fairly predictable and boring, and the majority of the characters were barely mentioned (especially, the Otome that appeared in the last few episode). Also, concerning the storyline, I thought that was predictable and boring as well. Just like Mai-Hime, the story ended abruptly and was confusing. By the end, I was asking a hell of a lot of "Why?" questions that just left me unsatisfied.

    I agree with your art rating, the animation did have some spectacular sections. I will not comment on your sound rating, as I paid little attention to it. Nothing spectacular, but nothing spectacularly poor either.

    And so, keeping it short, I don't like your rating of 8.5. A 7 would be more to my satisfaction, perhaps even a 6, for I see story and character as the most important aspect of an anime. But overall, a very well presented review.

  2. charcoal9046 May 23, 2006

    my otome was really good. everyone needs to watch it. haha later

  3. afaT May 24, 2006

    Really nice review. There are many points I agree with you, but I cant really find a point I cant agree with you right now :\. The music is great and giving it a 9 is a fair rating. Its also good that you explained what you liked about the two openings. Its true, the whole series would not be good with just one of those two openings. The ending is great, and its good that they didnt change it.

    The characters: Fair rating there too. Having new characters is good, but you dont love them as characters at first sight. You have to get... used to it o.o (cant find right word right now :\)

    You have done a really good review Rosegirl18! ^^. Mai-Otome is a good series ^^

    ~~~~~~~~
    afaT

  4. platt May 25, 2006

    I can't agree on your score on any point in the review, since I found the serie to be boring with one of the usual endings and openings. Nothing spectacular, worthy a 6.

  5. fireflywishes Retired Moderator May 26, 2006

    Nice review and I agree with your scores for sound and art. The OST is beautiful... quite possibly better than Mai HiME. Regarding your score for story and plot I do think that another season would have given them more time to flesh out certain characters and lengthen at least the ending battle. Since from what I hear only whole scores can be chosen, so I think that your rating of 8 is fair. I would have given it a 7.5 if it were possible because the ending seemed very rushed. Overall, a nice review! ^^

  6. Rosegirl18 May 26, 2006

    Just mentioning now... I tend to give out high scores most of the time. My judging criteria:

    1 = Crappy beyond imagination
    2 = Failing grade
    3 = Incomplete and sucky!
    4 = Hardly acceptable
    5 = Bad
    6 = Not good
    7 = Passable
    8 = Somewhat good
    9 = Very good
    10 = Excellent

    So my take on My Otome would be between Somewhat Good to Very Good.

  7. DanTheGreat Banned Member May 26, 2006

    i'm somewhat disappointed with this series.... my give will be 6

  8. Kashino Restricted Member May 29, 2006

    At the moment I saw only Mai Hime, so I can't tell anything about the serie. But the review is great and after reading it I feel like watching Mai Otome ;)
    Good job! It was a pleasure to read it!

  9. Pladao38 May 30, 2006

    Nice review. I agree with most part of it, espescially their ugly uniforms. TwT
    The sound is nice, ED is lovely. :D And OP suit the story well, but I didn't pay attention to OST when I watch this, so I can't comment on it.
    Character don't have much (if not at all) development, but reasons beyond their action are acceptable, good point in that. :)
    If my memory is right, Windbloom is the name of the country and Garbrobe is the Otome academy , isn't it ?
    And maybe this review contain a little too much spoiler, maybe only my opinion. -0-
    Sorry if something might sound irritating, but those are for improvement, hope they are useful. ^o^
    Last, I will give this anime 8.5/10 (but I will give Hime 9/10 >_>)
    That's all I can say.

  10. cassandraronald Jun 02, 2006

    nice review
    you support your ratings and I liked your plot summary^^

  11. almina Jun 06, 2006

    That's a nice review even if I'm a little perplexed with the "shoujo" design... probably cause I don't find it really pretty and closer to some shonen romance than to shoujo.

    Oddly enough, I wasn't interested by any Mai-Otome track even though I'm a great fan of Yuki Kajiura (I absolutely love Ensei and It's only a fairy tale).

    MaiOtome begins quite well (while I got bored during the first eps of MaiHime).

    SPOILER
    I though the ending was quite disappointing cause well it seems so unbalanced and its moral is quite flawed (really happy ending for almost everyone no matter what bad things they have done).

  12. Rosegirl18 Jun 06, 2006

    Yes, the "Mai" endings are quite happyful... I was actually enraged with the huge picnic party ending for the Hime series, so I've gathered that the series producers like to give the viewers a sugary-sweet ending with a good feel. Although most parts of it never make sense.

  13. almina Jun 15, 2006

    Rosegirl18 :
    "It is unfortunate that these three are hardly likable in the beginning"

    I have forgotten to say that I really like Nina while I neither felt moved by any Hime heroins. So I've thougth that maybe they were better making relationships that were a little shown than the more obvious one (I didn't like at all the square (Mai-Tatte-sausagesGirl-VicePresident))

  14. greenluck Jun 21, 2006

    great review. I love mai hime and mai otome!

  15. Rhyme097 Sep 14, 2006

    In fact i watch this anime 'cause of My-HiME. I think the story of My-HiME is better and this Otome is like to sell characters. But it's not like i think at all. It's also one good anime btw, thnx for your review

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