Mai Otome 16

I think I must be only one who isn’t getting more and more fanboyish on Otome. Somehow, the direction of the show lately and the new OP is having a reverse effect for me in rather than making me going gaga, i’m going “pfft… been there done that”. I guess it must be the overrated-ness of Otome among the otaku right now.

To come and think of it, the recent episodes have been very messy and unclear. Arika’s (almost)rape, didn’t put a good impression in me, and this show is seriously going GSD on me already. The new OP seriously reminds me of the other big Sunrise franchise, Gundam, which is nicely detailed in jason’s post. I’m never going to reach his level of fanboyism though :P.

To boot, they \*had\* to make is sooo spoilerish. Keep the surprises please, that was one of the main attracting factors of HiME. Oh wait… what am I saying, this \*is\* GSD..Otome Sunrise. Oh well… there goes my expectations of Otome.

One thing that’s sorely lacking now in Otome also is the total lack of fanservice, both risque or not. In fact…it’s getting boring to watch Otome.Clichés now come out in full blast, with that little lullaby sequence with the trio in this episode, signalling last time they’re ever going to spend time together as friends.

Ah… well, just had to get that off my chest. It’s just….. irritating.

26 Comments

  1. AC Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 2:47 am

    I love you. The entire set of episodes after the Midori fight has just seemed like a gigantic waste of time to me, as all they’ve covered is Mai’s background, the immensely boring Sergey/Arika thing and fleshed out two conflicting plots (Mashiro is false princess vs Mashiro wants to be a good queen). Plus it’s going immensely in the direction of “everyone is good vs the evil Slave army”, which is a vast change of “everybody is going to be force to kill each other, like it or not” of HiME.

    Alright, that was excessively long, but I’m happy to see someone else with the same opinion.

  2. Kurogane Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 4:23 am

    Oh no, it wasn’t. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who’s not into Otome right now.

  3. Kylara Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 6:49 am

    Argh. The pain of these episodes hurts. I disagree with AC, though – Sergey/Arika wasn’t immensely boring, it was INTENSELY HORRIBLE.

    I realized suddenly that the reason I want Mai to show up so badly is because I want the same drama and impact that HiME had.. oh, how I delude myself. So sad.

  4. T_I Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 7:18 am

    I agree on the OP, but I think your magic 8 ball is wrong.

    Mine tells me that it is in fact, going with the everyone forced to fight everyone route. Of course there will be an everyone let’s be friends faction, but that’s in Mai Hime too.

    As for suspense…

    Seriously, are you sure you know who the real princess is? or what Arika is? what happened to Rena? What happened to Mai? what’s Miyu’s agenda? what the Harmonium does? Why Fumi went to eternal slumber? who the black letter corral is? ect. ect..

    To me there is still a lot of questions. None of which, the OP has given an answer to.

  5. T_I Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 7:35 am

    and I like to add the events so far mirror that of Hime.

    according to the timeline we are about halfway, the school invasion arc in which everyone works together to thwart the invaders while an silly J Pop song plays in the background.

    However, what comes after that might satisfy the blood hound in us all.

    Sometimes people need to remember that Mai Hime started with episode 1 and not episode 16

    :)

  6. Plant42 Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 9:00 am

    Otome OP 2 is good but I’m sure that SHANA OP 2 will greater than this

    And of course Shakugan no SHANA is greaterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr than Mai-Otome

  7. AC Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 9:10 am

    Well, a lot of it comes back to the fundamental difference between Otome and HiME. In HiME, the premise is that a bunch of relatively ordinary girls are being forced to fight Orphans and later each other. They’re putting everything on the line for something they don’t believe in really (with a couple exceptions like Midori). The early episodes highlight a lot of this, especially Mai’s reservations and that makes the whole fuckupitude in the end a lot more powerfully dramatic.

    Otome on the other hand, is girls enrolling in a school which trains them to fight, and reminds them that they may some day be fighting each other. They knew full well what they were getting into and chose this life, as do their masters, and if they get tired of it, and find something else, like Akane, they can just leave.

    I had hoped (and it still may be possible) that the whole Schwartz thing would just be the catalyst for the Otome crowd eventually having to all fight each other, but if they’re going to go the angle of a massive army of evil that kills so much more of the dramatic impact. Yeah, Nina will likely turn over the dark side out of duty and fight them, but compared to Yukariko’s meddlings, Yukino’s attack on Mai, and the whole Nao/Shizuru situation in HiME, that’s really more of a let down.

    I’m still watching it and enjoying it for the excellent music and animation, but unless the OP is totally misleading, I’m quite disappointed in the direction they decided to take the plot.

  8. T_I Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 9:29 am

    Remember Mai Hime

    mid way: Searrs cuts of support from the island by blowing up the bridge, sends in a fleet, girls work together to thwart the invasion while a cheesy JPOP music plays in the background. Sisterhood and friendship! After that Nagi spoils their union.

    Otome:
    mid way: Schwarz cuts of support from Garderobe by blowing up the port, sends is a fleet, girls will likely work together, and hopefully less cheesy JPOP music this time. After that..?

    Yes, I believe you are looking at this from the wrong angle. Thing will definitely go wrong. And I don’t think Akane has a free pass either.

  9. mikemil828 Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 9:51 am

    What I don’t get is why everyone wants another Mai-hime, it was plainly aggravating how everyone was anticipating Kazu-kun’s inevitable death, and the note of disappointment at how Akane’s exit was a bit more happier than expected. There is already a show like Mai-Hime, it’s called MAI-HIME, go watch it. When they said that some Mai-Hime elements would be in Mai-Otome, I don’t think they meant it to be a carbon copy.

  10. T_I Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    people anticipated what they hope and want to see in a show.

    that is life. Yes, some people would be very happy to see Kazu die. Why? because it’s darn good entertaintment.

    I don’t think they’re expecting an exact carbon copy either. Well, maybe a minority of strange individuals. However, most do expect to once again see what they liked from the first Mai Hime: a shameless celebration of melodrama.

  11. AC Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

    Man, this is more whiny backlash than I got when I made a passing remark elsewhere that Genshiken was a low budget show. :-p

    Kuro and I will just sit in a corner and remain skeptical of Otome together then. We’ll even have pie. Nyeh.

  12. T_I Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

    And you’re whining about other people whining at you, when in fact you’re the one that whined in the first place.

    Here, have some pie. Nyo

  13. Kurogane Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

    Wow… I didn’t expect this big a response to this.

    T_I, as usual, I have to thank you for presenting such a fine argument and comparision of points. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go in such indepthly towards this things :P.

    Otome still has a lot of unanswered questions, yes, and the OP isn’t all that spoilerish, but it doesn’t really feel engaging after all. I think they’ve dragged the whole “who is the real princess” thing too much already.

    One thing now also that’s making me not liking Otome is how blatantly they’re copying HiME’s events. I did notice the parellels in episode 16 and sad to say, it’s not as impressive as the Searrs arc in HiME. I think I must’ve been the only one who enjoyed that arc too.

    @mikamil: I never wanted another HiME and T_I has already pointed out what I’d really wanted the Otome writers to copy from HiME, which is melodrama and I might as well add in impact as well.

    As for AC, I won’t consider this as a whiny backlash, as T\_I has given us such a convincing argument. But I’ll gladly join you in that corner and have T\_I’s pie with you :).

  14. T_I Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 3:54 pm

    Rest assured that I don’t want this to turn out to be another GS Destiny either, oh great pie eating one.

    Although, I would appreciate seeing Tomoe in Lacus Ninja garb. Lacus is Evil. Suigintou is Evil. Tomoe is Evil. Tanaka Rie is Evil.

    INFINITE POWER!

    darthlacus.ytmnd.com/

  15. Kurogane Said,

    January 28, 2006 @ 3:57 pm

    OH SHI….

    Darn…. i thought soo…. Rie Tanaka is Tomoe’s seiyuu….

    I’d never realised that :P, though I had a faint suspicion.

  16. aeriolewinters Said,

    January 29, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

    you forgot to include Chii to the evil list… to go along with lacus and tomoe…lol

  17. Anime Adoru Said,

    January 30, 2006 @ 7:28 am

    I mostly agree. I initially got totally hooked on the series, and every episode was better than the one before, until after the hiking exam, when they couldn’t increase the suspense any longer. The episodes since then have been pretty mediocre; while good plot development, it all seems a little bit thrown together. Every episode left me with a “but the next one will get back to the level of suspense and drama of the first ten episodes” feeling, never to be fulfilled. Right now, facing episode 17, I’m thinking exactly the same, and I worry I might be disappointed again. Yeah, that Gundam Seed style new opening is good, I think, but it doesn’t inspire confidence in new original development and drama, sigh. Why is it so difficult to create a series that is just good??

  18. Matrim Said,

    January 30, 2006 @ 9:45 am

    Finally some people who share my sentiments about the big disappointment that Otome has turned out to be (so far). I don’t want it to be the same as HiME, I just want to be able to watch it without cringing due to the stupidity of the plot and the extremely annoying nature of some of the characters (Arika for instance). Whatever dramatic events unfold in the coming episodes I don’t think they will have much impact on me since I don’t care at all about most of the characters. Some (Nao for instance) are cool (mainly because of the pleasant Mai HiME memories) but that’s pretty much it. The big drama of MH might have started in episode 16 but episodes 1-15 are in my opinion many times better than the same episodes in Otome. And yes, the Sergey-Arika relationship could have hardly been more annoying.

  19. mercyz Said,

    January 30, 2006 @ 7:19 pm

    Though I agree with the many on the list that Otome is turning into a huge gaudy and confusing circus, I must say that what keeps me going against this wave of backlash is the fact that Sunrise has left too many holes uncovered. Fact is, I still want to know who is the true queen (although the hypemetre’s dropping – OP juxtaposed Rena’s image onto Arika in battle; how more obvious can you get?), how will Sergey and Arika turn out; if Rena’s still alive, Mai’s role in this seeming Greek Tragedy. I mean, after spending so much time with Otome as they flesh out their characters, wouldn’t you want to know how they end up?

    Give the show a chance: it’s probably just a snag the plot has to work through, given that writers did make a colossal error by introducing far too many loopholes in this one, as compared to Hime’s plotline. Though my guess would be that the show might have to shortchange itself on some of the subplots it has introduced, like the story of Miyu; or Nagi’s and Sergey’s history.

    And seriously, Arika’s kinda cute. Minus the vermicelli pigtails. But then again, that’s another story. (I humbly await thy violent objections.) XD

  20. mercyz Said,

    January 30, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

    erm… and whoever Plant42 is, just wondering if you’ve lost your way. Tag on RC’s Shakugan review if necessary. I’m sorry, but comparison between anime’s just so futile. Sigh. For the record, I watch both, and both have their strong points as well as their failings.

  21. Kurogane Said,

    January 30, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

    mercyz: Well, I actually never cared about the story or the loopholes. In fact, I’ve been watching this raw all this while and I never darn cared about “who’s the real princess?” or “who the heck are those cyborg guys?” because I’ve been through so many animes that I can probably predict ahead what’s going to happen and who’s this and stuff.

    The problem I feel is the presentation now, which has totally gone to the dogs. The hiking exam was really the start of the decline :(. The recent events are really boring to watch, IMHO.

    I wouldn’t trust on the ability of the writer(s) to pull this off successfully. Their track record includes Gundam Seed and Seed Destiny, which I’m sure we all know what a trainwreck it is. In fact, Mai HiME also really barely pulled it off for me on the story part, it was more on the action part that got me.

  22. Matrim Said,

    January 30, 2006 @ 10:13 pm

    Judging by GSD and Mai-HiME the last thing we should expect is a satisfying ending.
    I don’t really care who is the real queen because the whole story is absurdly contrived and it seems like such an artifical plotline. I mean how the hell wouldn’t anyone be sure how the baby princess looked like and whether it’s Mashiro or not? They have photographs, advanced medicine technology etc.
    So far there are too many questions and too few answers. All that would have been bearable, though, if the new characters weren’t either annoying or boring.

  23. T_I Said,

    January 31, 2006 @ 1:45 am

    Oh c’mon now. I don’t see Chiaki Morosawa or Fukuda anywhere on the staff list.

  24. Kurogane Said,

    January 31, 2006 @ 1:49 am

    We should be thankful of that, really.

  25. mercyz Said,

    February 1, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

    That I must agree. Well, I’m a completist, if there was ever such a word. And then boy, are they lucky they’ve got viewers like me around.

    “… So far there are too many questions and too few answers.”

    to Matrim: Agreeably, the plot’s way too twisted. But I sort of thought it was more of the fact that it was poor planning rather than being too contriving. In an earlier entry, I believe I read that they’ve tried too hard to draw parallels with the HIME universe. Perhaps that’s the root of the problem. But like I said before, I’ve spent too much time doing the whole guessing game and so I guess I won’t be able to stop. =P

    “… it was more on the action part that got me.”

    to Kurogane: Otome’s actually more action-packed in comparison to HIme. This however, could be considered one of their pitfalls as they turn the story into a circus because of the excessive number of events that seemed to be happening at the same time.

    Scrolling back, I realise that I’m a die-hard fan. Despite your numerous illuminations of Otome’s failings, I still wish to continue the series. Haha, maybe it’s just the NatsuShiz addiction that I can’t get enough of. Ep 15 and 16 were dry for me as there was just too little of the two.

    Anyway, enough said. Just wanted to know if Kuro’ll still be blogging on Otome. Am prepping for negative response but hoping for an affirmative as blog entries have been a weekly staple.

  26. Kurogane Said,

    February 1, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

    I do watch Otome on a regular basis, but I’m not blogging it regularly, due to the fact that I have nothing much to add, and there’s like a few hundred anime blogs out there that blog Otome, which are much better at it than me, from Mentar’s detailed essays per episode to Chalcahuite’s discourse on the Otome-verse. I can’t hope to match up to their fanboyism on Otome.

    I’d rather not waste energy on Otome and concentrate on less-exposed series’. No use in redundancy right :). It’s only at times when I have something to say, only which I blog it, like my disappointment with Otome’s direction now and all. I still harbour hope that the later episodes will prove me wrong.

    Otome hasn’t failed…. yet. It’s only on a downward spiral now. This post is just a honest rant from my feelings on Otome now.

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