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kawaiiguy's My-Otome Tv Review

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

As I've only seen 6 episodes of My-Otome, this review will only be a preview of the series. I'll probably write a more complete review when the series concludes.

For those people expecting a sequel to My-HiME, they will be sorely disappointed. Otome features many of the same characters as HiME, but in an alternate universe, playing different roles. Many of the personality traits carry over, however (i.e. Yukino and Haruka are still together). The afro dude also makes a return appearance.

From what I can tell so far, the story centers around Arika Yumemia. She is a simple girl (with a simple mind) on a search for her mother. She finds herself in the country of Windbloom, a place where advanced technology lines the streets. There is hint that the planet is an extension of a future Earth, and much of the technology developed was destroyed during a great war (Windbloom was apparently spared, or victorious, whichever).

Arika's only clue to her mother's identity was that she was an Otome. As one may guess, Arika wants to be an Otome. They are great warriors, extreme magic users, and very graceful. Unfortunately, Arika is none of those. In fact, her best trait is that her hair can tell you exactly what she's thinking.

At this point in time, it's hard to tell where the story is going. In this sense, it was similar to the plot development of My-HiME. After six episodes, we've only come to learn about most of the characters, the school, and the "big picture" plot. Most of the other mysteries have yet to be uncovered. There has been some character development in so far, but it hasn't been anything spectacular. As in My-HiME, the opening episodes feature one episode that is extremely ecchi and downright perverse. There has already been passing mention of a panty thief. There was also a tentacle monster.

There isn't anything spectacular at this point in time, but I'm curious as to see where the story will go. I'm also hoping that Arika will become less annoying. It's intrigued me so far, as well as provided me with some good laughs.

Rating: 5

Art

Otome's art style takes a lot of cues from My-HiME. Character designs remain unchanged, as well as much of the set design. There aren't any surprises on this front. There hasn't been much in terms of effects so far, so nothing has totally blown me away so far. At the same time, it isn't bad and doesn't cause me to cringe or want to turn it off.

Rating: 6

Sound

Otome features the same voice cast as HiME. All of the actresses reprise their respective roles in the new universe. That being said, the acting is good. Each character maintains the same charm (or lack thereof *cough*Shiho*cough*) as in HiME and anyone who has seen the previous series will feel right at home with the new versions of each girl.

Moving on to the music, Kajiura Yuki returns as the composer of the series' score. Her unique style adds a distinct flavor to the series. However, the music so far isn't up to the same dramatic level as in some of her past works. Some of the score feels recycled from My-HiME, which helps link the two together. I'm still waiting for some of the more powerful pieces to come along, as those are the ones I liked from HiME.

The opening and ending pieces of the series are decent. The opening theme is catchy and can grow on you. The ending theme features a duet by Arika and Nina. Personally, I wasn't a big fan of the ending theme.

Rating: 6

Presentation

Thus far, My-Otome hasn't completely impressed me. It's a fun show to watch, but doesn't contain much content. I'm interested to see where the story will go, as well as what other twists are in store. Who knows, perhaps the second half of the series will pick up in much the same way HiME did. I certainly hope so. At this juncture, Otome is entertaining at best. There's been a lot of fan service and suggestiveness about the nature of the characters.

Coincidentally, My-Otome is also an interesting play on words. Where "hime" was Japanese for "princess," "otome" is the Japanese for "maiden." As My-HiME could be read as "my princess," My-Otome could be read as "my maiden." This reading also seems play into the responsibilities of an Otome.

Since there's often questions about my numbers, here's a brief explaination of how I score (I also think the letter grades aren't terribly representative):
1 - "I'd disown this if I could"
2 - "not the worst thing, but getting there"
3 - "could do much better"
4 - "acceptable"
5 - "not bad"
6 - "average"
7 - "pretty good"
8 - "great"
9 - "whoa"
10 - "the pinnacle of human achievement"

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

5.67 (average)

Reviewed by kawaiiguy, Nov 24, 2005

Comments

  1. shinsengumi Retired Moderator Nov 24, 2005

    Your appraisal of My-Otome matches mine as well; thus far it has shown itself to be merely a series of average quality. It seems as if with this alternate universe, the creativity, originality, and charm that set My-HiME apart has been replaced by additional portions of fanservice, as exemplified by the most recent episode (number six).

    Mighty morphin' HiME rangers, indeed! Lets hope this is one of those series that becomes better as time goes on. However, with its lackluster performance thus far, I won't be holding my breath.

  2. keevang Nov 24, 2005

    i agree tht arika's annoying. :x

  3. fireflywishes Retired Moderator Nov 24, 2005

    i have yet to see more of the series (only saw the first 2 episodes) but i wasn't too impressed with what i did see... so my opinion of the show matches yours as well kawaiiguy. hopefully (as in Mai HiME) the series picks up after these "intro" episodes.

  4. debrah Nov 24, 2005

    i caught the first ep at my guy's place. wasnt too entertaining though. i wont be expecting much from the next few episodes to follow ): was kinda cheesy :x

  5. Devildude Nov 24, 2005

    i must disagree, the idea is not that the fanservice is extra, it is more like an opening for better understanding who is playing what role for the characters.
    not like just because it is kinda like that, that we fail to see the bigger picture of a real deep etched out characters much like the original.
    Thus, so far, in the episode of the uniform theft, we can see there is something behind the scenes.
    so far, the action has impressed me a lot, great liquid animation, there is sufficient to say it will keep my eyes glued and thanks to the spoiler filled opening, i can tell excatly who will be coming out in the series soon.
    i really liked the otome clothing designs which you seem to have failed to further elaborate.
    oh well, if it was me, i say i give a 7/10 because so far, it is on the top of my most wanted list of animes as no.3 after Bleach and Full Metal Panic TSR

  6. sodium Nov 24, 2005

    hhmmm... well, personally when i was watching mai-hime, i was quite surprised that the sudden appearance of the mai-star, the evil prince and it is out to destroy earth. anyway my guess is that there will be some unexpected twist towards the ending.. in the mean time i guess we just have to keep our fingers crossed.. hehe..

  7. mushishi Nov 24, 2005

    like mai otome but mai hime is still the best
    kinna sad because i cant see the child again
    but sadly, in this series, mashiro became very annoying and shino became sm queen
    but i still cant wait untill mai show up again.
    good stories and character indeed

  8. harakiri Nov 24, 2005

    I think you are a bit too brutal at rating the series. Especially concerning art and music. Just because character designs are the same as in HiME it doesn't mean that it is bad - it was just the same character designer. The animation is quite good too so I don't know why you're searching for effects - you wanna have computer generated mecha fights in that series?
    I also think that Kajiura developed here style a bit - it isn't the same as it was in HiME, Madlax and Noir - it is a bit different. Anyway the tracks fit into the scences and the music itself isn't poor at all so only because you already know Kajiura you rate her style as bad?
    I can imagine that Otome may seem disappointing when you know HiME but it isn't bad because of that.

  9. Andulien Nov 24, 2005

    This is a nice review you did here. I just saw the first 4 Episodes and hope that it will get better.

  10. GrieverZero Nov 25, 2005

    hmmm, i really like the series and from the series is starting similar to HiME. Where the first episodes serve to build up the characters. The characters still keep the qualities that made them likeable in HiME.

    Arika's not really simple minded, she's never been around technology before, so her reaction is pretty normal for an anime character. Also from the latest episode it looks like its going into the main story.

  11. drkandres Nov 25, 2005

    mai hime is the best. mai otome is just starting so we can't really say for sure how good it is most animes start with intro episodes so we can't tell for sure. Another thing is that since they are using the same characters they need to take some episodes to totally give the characters new roles

  12. Sunira Nov 25, 2005

    I've seen 7 episodes so far as well. I have to agree that there is already way too much fanservice, which in my opinion detracts from the overall story of the series. We'll see if it gets better. I doubt, however, that this series will be able to hold a candle up to Mai-HiME.

  13. UltraMarine Nov 26, 2005

    I have seen up to episode 8 so far and its still among my favorite series. Other than the battles in episode 1 and 3, I agree that nothing too spectacular has occur among the other episodes in my opinion. But the main plot is intriquing and its been keeping me wondering if this or that will happen or not. I do feel the story is progressing rather slowly. This reminds me of Mai Hime where the plot didn"t really "kick in" til midway in the series. Right now, its just seems its all about showing the character's personalities which would then probably play a role in the main plot.
    I think the "F" rating you gave on the art is a bit too low. I would give it a 7/10 rating (an 8/10 for some episodes). I don't expect over the top quality like most OVAs would have. The character designs has good details and the background animation varies from good to great looking though in some episodes, it did lack alot of details.

    I would agreed that the current soundtrack done by Yuki Kajira is not as dramatic as some of her other works. I did like the opera-like track in the 1st episode. Other then that, not many of the BGM stood out for me. Perhaps, when the plot thickens, I hope to hear some memorable tracks.

  14. Nako82 Nov 27, 2005

    this series is a whole new story. its totally different from my hime. i expected it to continue from my hime. for the plot that is. although some of the characters appeared again.

  15. rouki Nov 27, 2005

    i find mai-otome to be amusing, but then again my preferences are different from yours.
    when i first heard about mai-otome i thought it would follow up the mai-hime story... man was i worng,
    i like the concept of the parallel universe.

    {btw the word they used for mai (or my for some people) means dancing in the chinese language (i'm not sure if the japanese use it for the same meaning) so with that said
    mai-hime means: dancing princess (that explains why nagi called their battles dancing)
    and
    mai-otome means dancing maidens (that explains what they mean by porformance).

  16. tzmtong333 Nov 28, 2005

    After watching 8 episodes, I find the whole series promising. Just like My Hime, the plot in this anime leaves you hanging with all the mysteries and I can not wait for the next episode to come and reveal a little more answers to the questions in my head. I will refrain from comparing this anime to My Hime as it has a totally different storyline and I think it deserves a chance to be rated as a seperate anime title on its own, even though the characters are recycled. I will wait for the next episode eagerly and hope it will be a good series in the end.

  17. KilluaAssAssin Nov 28, 2005

    i find this very promiseing i cant wait for the new ep's i lvoed mai hime im disapointed that it wasnt the same characters the same way and just a swquel btu this will do this loks intresting i cant wait to see mroe, as for the story line i dunnno i think that arikas mother was a oatme who protected the queen fo windabloom btu than again i think that she might be the prince' or queen or w.e and mashiro might be the oatme that protected her i dunno i ahvent come to a conclusion but than again i might be completely wrong :D

  18. RainofDarkness Nov 28, 2005

    I find the series really nice. I mean its not a sequel but i found it funny. THe plot leaves lots of possibilities, which if used right could turn out to make it better than Mai-Hime... maybe.

  19. Mabui Nov 28, 2005

    I think people should stop comparing it to Mai-HiME alittle more. Mai-HiME was great in one way, Mai-Otome is great in another. They kind of turn to different audience. Mai-HiME was originally(the manga) created for the male gender. The anime had alot of female theme's though and made it a unisex show. Mai-Otome on the other hand has more female theme's. I do agree that Mai-Otome isn't as exciting and mysterious as Mai-HiME, but it's still worth at least a 7. I mean, the show has barely started, and Mai-HiME was kinda slow till episode 8 too. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Mai-Otome get's eerier as the season enter it's middle. ^^ And I compleatly disagree on the 6 you gave the music. It's an easy 9-10. Just as in Mai-HiME it's great and really fit for the different scenes. Thanks, bye. ^^

  20. Joslin Nov 28, 2005

    I was kind of disappointed in the first place when Mai-Otome didn't turn out the way I thought of. But after watching a few more ep's I think that it's good to have some changes. It'll be a boring one if everything stays the same.

  21. angelicdemonIII Nov 29, 2005

    i think that a lot of you guys are being to harsh to Mai-Otome there has been 8 eps out so far and I really like it. I like how they keep you guessing about what the big picture is about. sure I really don't like Airika she is annoying I miss Mai. but me and my friends think that Mai is the main bad guy. so I really can't wait to see the whole thing. one more I'm glad that it's not a sequel.

  22. wsanchez Nov 29, 2005

    I also find this series to be very promising. People should give it a chance. The more you watch, the more things fall into place. For example, episode 7 rocked, and...you come to learn just why Mashiro has been acting like a brat this whole time. Growing up all your life knowing that people believe you're a fake princess can do that to you. You really can't judge a series by just the first few episodes. You have to sit for the whole ride and then cast judgement at the end.

  23. Tetsdah Dec 01, 2005

    I agree with the lot of some here. I've seen 1- 8 so far, and I actually like Mai Otome a lot so far. Its a little unfair to judge it so early going by how Mai Hime's story pacing was, and I believe that the action will pick up exactly how it did in Mai - Hime. Nearly all the chars were brought back, with new chars as well, and they all transitioned nicely, some having interesting personality changes. And I don't see the intolerable fan service. I personally think its subtle fan service in it, because of the fact its an all girl school. I will admit that ep. 6 was a bit much. But other than that, the fan service is hardly noticeble, at least for me cuz I've seen far worst. As for char. development, we don't know how it'll turn out, because of the overall atmosphere of the anime. We'll have to see on that, but I have high hopes not to be disappointed. As for the Music department, I like the music quite a bit, and it fits well with the setting. I especially love the fight bgms of this anime as I did with Mai-Hime. But for the most part, in some ways I may even like Mai-Otome's bgms more than Mai-Himes. I think I only liked 4 bgms of Hime's and like 2 or 3 so far of Otome's. I can't wait to see the what bgms will end up in the later part of the series. Back to the story, the setting's nice and slowly unfolding. I like the pacing, and from the looks of it, the antagonist is truly coming into sight. I agree with Angelic Demon, that I think Mai is the leader of the Black Valley, and I'm very intrigued of why, since she was previously a pearl Otome. That's of course if she is the leader. But like I said, the story's slowly unfolding, and for the most part I'm really enjoying it. I have high hopes for it unfolding quite nicely, and I hope to high heaven that it doesn't have Mai-Hime's ending. I loved the developing of the story, but the ending I did not like too much. Its too soon to judge this anime, the story has yet to even start blossoming. Give it a chance to unfold, then judge. Cuz it may even be better than Mai Hime.

  24. Natsuki-MaiHime Dec 10, 2005

    My Otome is my favorite anime. I haven't seen it but I have seen its review on webside. The main character is Akira. My favorite characters are always Mai, Natsuki, Chie, Mikoto, Miyu, Shizuru. ^_^

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