A much more serious episode compared to the previous fanservice-laden ones, expanding the plot more and confirming in a few titbits.
Mashiro is having a dream where she has flashbacks to the past where she was still a child, where she heard rumours that she’s not the real princess, especially shocked when she reaches the part where Nagi calls her, nisemono no hime”.
Cut back to Arika, she’s having a part-time job rebuilding Mashiro’s palace and as usual gets bullied by Mashiro when she finds out. Her work proceeds smoothly then , until she overhears Mashiro talking about renovating the whole palace, which angers her and she proceeds to reprimand her, but earns Mashiro’s slap, when she says, Are you really the ruler of this country?” (I don’t think king would be a good word for this sense).
Sergey, who witnesses the whole thing, comes over to tell Arika about the event 14 years ago when he was in Windbloom as a student at that time and how Mashiro was found and selected as the princess, after the previous king and queen was killed. Mashiro’s legitamacy as the true princess has been challenged quite a lot, causing her to react in this way. Feeling pity over Mashiro, she runs off to find her.
Meanwhile, Mashiro is sulking in the throne room when Nagi appears and proposes a marriage to her. Mashiro is disagrees, forcing Nagi to harrass her, but he’s stopped midway when Arika appears. Nagi leaves, and Arika helps Mashiro up, but they both lose their balance and fall into a secret door into an area of ruins.
Arika and Mashiro explore the area while Arika tries to comfort Mashiro. After a while, they find a suspicious looking structure which opens out to reveal an organ. Mashiro hits one of the keys, which releases a sonic boom, breaking the nanomachine inducers on them and causing some damage over the castle. A mysterious shadow(that resembles Mikoto from HiME) appears and says it’s not enough to gain her powers( I think) and disappears.
Immediately, a Slave attacks them and Arika defends Mashiro with the new Gems inside her pendent. She engages Mashiro as her Master and fights off the Slave with her new Robe. After a bit of testing out the Robe, she summons a big club-like weapon(which bears a resemblence to the Crystal Throne in HiME(did I get that right?) ) and uses a special attack, decimating the Slave in one hit.
After that, they somehow manage to find their way out and later, Mashiro tells Arika to find out how to break the contract, but obviously she’s not that keen to break it so soon as well.
(to be done later, after class)
Ok, I realise my screencaps aren’t the best, but well..
In anyways, this episode is much more serious than the previous one and heralds the turning point of the Otome storyline, IMHO. Same with what episode 8 of Mai HiME proved to be the major plot revelation, this episode of Otome reveals animportant fact of the Otome – Master relationship in that the Master also suffers the pain of the Otome, if damage is dealt to the Otome. This could explain the fact why Otome’s are still rarely used, as dealt enough damage, it could kill the Master as well, possibly. Also I did finally find out that the initals that appear during the Materialize phase are the Master’s initial, prompting on some suspicions on who’s the F.H. on Shizuru’s one.
I’ll be adding in more, once I rewatch this with my housemate. I seriously need to rewatch the subs ^_^.
I’m also getting to like Mashiro and Arika now. Both of them are just really tailor-made for each other, considering how both of them can be so annoying and irritating at times, they just cancel each other out. In fact the new Mashiro is just an expected result of a pampered upbringing without any parental influence. In reality, she still has her inner fears as shown in the dream sequence in the beginning. Also, it’s good to see her getting along with Arika, probably her first true friend. I’m expecting for the writers to make them close to each other and unleash the big twist onto them, possibly threatening their friendship.
Nagi is being his treacherous self as usual and perhaps even more devious than his HiME times. The forced kiss just really shows how far he can become, just to get bend things his way. He’s also acting highly suspicious, dropping a lot of juicy hints that he might just be the leader of the SLAVE’s that appear in episode 01 and this one.
Miyu’s brief appearance was a surprise, but we still haven’t seen what’s her role in the upcoming events. Plus the fact that the preview for the next episode shows what I probably think is the 5th Pillar, after Shizuru, Haruka, Mai and Natsuki, judging from the shape of the robe. As for who it is, it’s still in the open :). The next episode also seems to deal with the aftermath of Arika and Mashiro’s contract, as both of them seem to think it’s much more important to hide it, which is probably true, due to the fact that Arika’s still a Coral.