Sunrise shows off their excellent storytelling skills with this episode, juggling both humour and plot development equally throughout the episode.
First off, the *omimai* was darn funny, with everyone using each other’s names. Takumi became “Akira”, while poor Akira got forced to become “Takumi”. While the *sanbaka* interchanged each other’s names, with Arika becoming “Mashiro”, Mashiro taking up “Nina” and Nina as “Arika”. Ironically, Mashiro and Takumi DID get to meet each other, but that was expected anyways. Shizuru seemed to had fun exposing Akira though :P.
But in the midst, there was some nice character development, as Mashiro gets to see how the divide between the rich and poor in her country is.She’s ignorant about it first, but now she seems to feel some regret over it, after looking at it firsthand.
While for Takumi, he seems to have inherited Mikoto’s *”ane/ani sagashi”* trait from HiME. It seems that Mai suffered some traumatic experience due to becoming an Otome and is now missing, with Takumi trying to find her.Takumi also has matured from his HiME days, with his questioning about the Otome’s roles to Natsuki and his realization of the suffering of people. He would make a fine king someday :).
Next episode, Akane seems to be the focus and it doesn’t seem like something good is going to happen to her. Is the (Joke) Mai Otome Wishlist Wish No.2 really coming true?!! Hopefully not, a certain someone wouldn’t like it ^_-.
Oh, and *chibikko* Mai and Natsuki are to die for :)