OP: 「Dream☆Wing」 by 栗林みな実
ED: 「乙女はDO MY BESTでしょ？」 by 菊地美香 and 小清水亜美(sucks)
Watch Status: Raw
Genre: Fantasy, Mahou shoujo
Warning: Lots of screencaps, 56-kers be warned.
In a medieval world, a castle is being attacked. An injured women is running away with something. She reaches a stream and lowers what’s she’s carrying into it. It turns out to be a baby and with a beautiful pendent. She wishes the baby to live and watch as it floats away. Then her pursuers catch up with her, and she starts to fight. Fast forward 14 years later, in the middle of a desert, where a girl is stranded in it. A ship passes by (anyone notice the resemblance to Mai-HiME?) but it doesn’t stop to rescue her. The girl follows the ship to some kind of port where she tries to steal someone’s drink but trips and makes a big mess. Later, she wakes up to be confronted by her ‘victim’, Nina Wong, and her father, Sergey Wong. The girl introduces herself as Yumemiya Arika. She follows Nina on to town where she’s fascinated with the sights and sounds. Suddenly, they see a girl confronted by 3 guys on top of a building and they save her. Then they reach an airport (I think) where the girl they saved reveals her ring and she seems to be someone important. A giant monster attacks them and Nina asks the girl to be her temporary Master where she changes into an Otome and fights off the monster but she’s too weak. Arika’s pendent shines and the aircraft they’re sheltering in lifts off with the monster, called a Slave, on it. Natsuki sends Akane and Shizuru on a rescue mission where they successfully complete it. They land down and Arika proclaims she’s going to be an Otome after seeing Shizuru’s prowess ( who isn’t, lol). End.
One of the most anticipated new shows of this season, Mai-Otome, the spinoff of last year’s dramatic Mai-HiME, doesn’t disappoint on the first episode. You *cannot* argue on the greatness that is Shizuru, period.
In any case, Otome is set in a somewhat Victorian-style fantasy world, most probably to exploit the meido theme for this year. Speaking about that, there’s still Rozen Maiden: tràumènd to come… ahhh, the anticipation.
It is nice to see all our old favorite Mai-Hime characters back in action, especially Natsuki and Shizuru. God, Sunrise made them much much more cooler. ARIGATO GOZAIMASU~!!! I’d actually thought that Nina Wong’s gonna be Natsuki’s version in this story but thankfully I was wrong. And god damn, Shizuru is damn cool,especially with her trademark scythe. Second only to my fetish on girls with swords, is scythe users(especially girls). In Mai-Hime, I’d felt that Shizuru’s capabilities was wasted but it’s good to see Sunrise changing that. More Shizuru plzz~~!!!!!!!!
As for the main characters, Arika is definitely no Mai. Mai had more charisma and undoubtedly Arika loses in that department. She feels really ‘noisy’ and kinda resembles Momono in Gunbuster 2. Well, we’ll see what she’ll be when the drama kicks in.
Nina Wong plays a good job as the coolheaded one of the team, up on par with Natsuki in Mai-Hime. Funny that, Tate’s version in the universe is her father. Wonder is the Sunrise team are hinting something, hmm….
Mashiro is…. bratty, I’ll say. Far cry from her days as the stoic Mashiro in Mai-Hime. Still, it’s only the first episode and it’s kinda funny to see her acting like that, still prefer the old one though. I can see a lot of tsukkomi opportunities with her and Arika to Nina.
On the art and animation side, Sunrise keeps the style of Mai-Hime and the animation work has not much fault. The action scenes are fluidly done, especially the Shizuru parts \(^_^)/
But the OP & ED are big letdowns for me. I didn’t really like the Mai-Hime OP and ED much and the ones for Mai-Otome sound really uninspired especially the ED. OP sequence was done really nicely though, but the ED sequence just plain sucks. BGM is a different matter though, with Yuki-sama doing her best as usual. The BGM used on Shizuru and Akane’s ‘launch’ sequence(well, coming from the studio that created Gundam, no surprise there) is really good and gives me high hopes for the OST.
Overall, Mai-Otome shows much promise on the first episode.Can’t really judge what’ll become, look at Mai-Hime. It’ll be on my blogging list even if the first half is just boring fanservice. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see if it can match up to Mai-Hime.