Mai-Otome – 22
The king of Annan apologizes to Natsuki for Erstin. Natsuki then relays her fears of Nagi starting up the Harmonium and subsequently causing a huge war. After hearing her pleas, the king of Anna agrees to help. Meanwhile, somewhere in the desert, a Mikoto confronts Miyu. In the Aswad camp, Mashiro notices an approaching vehicle in the distance. Sergay emerges from it and asks the Aswad to hand over Arika and Mashiro. The two girls decide to go, despite knowing that it’s all probably a trap. In Windbloom, Nagi has been brought the good news that Aoi, who holds the last part of the song, has woken up.
While Mashiro is watching from nearby, Arika confronts Sergay. She wants to know why he was her benefactor, why he was helping her, and why he almost kissed her. Sergay admits that his actions were because he was attracted to her. Arika pities Nina because she knows that Nina has the same feelings for Sergay as she does. Sergay also knows of those feelings, however Nina is still his daughter. He points his gun at Arika and wants her to surrender, but of course she won’t. She avoids and blocks his bullets, and Sergay uses the chance to jump away. Before she can pursue him, four new figures enter the scene: Tomoe and the Valkyrie. Tomoe shows off how elated she is by her new Robe, but her hate for Arika quickly takes over. While Arika is caught fighting all four opponents at once, Chie finds Mashiro hiding nearby.
Now that he has all of the parts, Nagi leads Nina to the Harmonium. Her robe activates when she steps up onto the platform. Nina recognizes the song, even though the lyrics are new to her. Back in the fight, Arika is managing to hold her ground against her opponents. Sergay tries to stop her by holding Mashiro hostage, but Mashiro tells Arika not to worry. If they had wanted to kill them, they would have already done so. And because they share the same life, if one of them gives up, it’s all over. At that time, Natsuki and Nao are nearing Cardair, but are surprised to see the place in flames. The Aswad force is decimating the city and its inhabitants. Midori uses Gakutenou’s horn to impale Fia Gros, thereby also killing Argos XIV. Back in the desert, Tomoe reveals the extent of her treachery with everything she had Miya do against Arika. Using explosive chains, the other three Valkyrie then down Arika. Remembering how she interfered, Tomoe takes the opportunity to bad-mouth Erstin, saying that it served her right that she died. Arika gets angry after hearing that, but Tomoe decides that it’s time to use the Valhalla no Mai (Dance of Valhalla) attack; it creates a swirling energy blast aimed at Arika.
Fortunately for Arika, a shadowy figure jumps in, grabs Mashiro and Mikoto, and blocks Tomoe’s attack. That person is none other than Miyu. She accuses her opponents of playing with Rena Sayer’s remains to create what she refers to as the “cursed Valkyrie GEM.” That statement, of course, catches Sergay by surprise. Referring to her top priority orders, Miyu readies her sword (Sword and Vortex modes) and cuts Tomoe’s Halberd in half with one swing. But before she can kill Tomoe, Sergay fires his gun at her. Miyu switches her target, rushes up to Sergay, and stabs right through him. Fortunately, Miyu seems to have avoided the vital spots. Back in Windbloom, Nina’s mind is on Sergay, so the Harmonium takes her there. She emerges from a tornado in front of the group, happy to see her father. But she then notices the wound and blames Arika. Her anger combines with her new power to create quite a force to be reckoned with. In response, Miyu uses Alyssa to make ARTEMIS, her golden sword. The two massive powers collide in a huge explosion.
When Arika wakes up, a dark figure is sitting on top of her. Another person (carrying a wok and ladle) walks up to her bed.
So the last few episodes, although full of plot development, have been relatively slow. I was expecting this one to pack a good bit of action, but it still hit me like a truck. The use of music is superb, and because the second soundtrack came out this week, I was able to identify all of the background tracks that I like. Anyway, without further ado…
She’s alive! – Most people predicted correctly that Aoi is indeed still alive. What I didn’t expect was her to be able to provide Nagi with the final part of the song that he needed (thereby making Sergay and the Valkyrie mission rather pointless?). Her face looks rather lifeless, so I kind of wonder if she’s been emotionally scarred since the incident.
Valkyrie Garb – The Valkyrie Robes are so fitting for Tomoe and her lackeys in that evil sort of way. The transforming aspect is a bit unnecessary, but it did make them impossible to hit by Arika. That begs to question why they didn’t just stay in their flying form the entire time against her.
Oh, that’s gotta hurt – When Fia Gros got impaled by Gakutenou, why does it look like she also lost her arms and legs? Maybe those are just what decay into sparkles first when she died.
Multiple Mikoto – It wasn’t until a Mikoto landed on top of Nao and Natsuki’s car that I realized that there were multiple cats. One is the Mikoto with Mashiro (cross shaped marking), one is the Mikoto that confronts Miyu at the beginning of this episode (lambda shaped marking) and the last is the one that landed on Nao and Natsuki’s car (crescent shaped marking). I like the idea that the multiple Mikoto are leading their targets somewhere, or are part of a larger power at work. Actually, that larger power may just be Mai and Mikoto (the human) since the preview shows two cat Mikotos in the onsen scene.
SEARRS For The GOLDEN MILLENNIUM! – Ok, I was definitely cheering when Miyu started using all of her weapons and skills. I think you need to have watched Mai-HiME to get the same reaction and to fully appreciate all of the original series references (Alyssa the millennium queen, ARTEMIS, etc). All of the Miyu and SEARRS stuff really does make it seem like Otome is some future version of HiME, but I think the references are just a nod to the fans of the first series.
It’s just a flesh wound – The revelation that Rena Sayer’s remains are being used to make the GEMs probably would have had a lot more impact on Sergay if he hadn’t gotten impaled soon after hearing that. If and when he does remember it again, he’ll probably be pretty pissed off at Nagi. At this point, it’s more a question of when and how he’ll betray/get his revenge on Nagi.
Top Priority – I wonder who Miyu was referring to when she was talking about the top priority orders she had. It’s possible that she’s referring to Mai or Rena or even Arika’s grandmother. This is one of those questions that’ll be answered if they decide to tell us more about Miyu and why she’s protecting Arika.
I have the power! – Is it wise to give Nina all of that power? It seems like it’s possible that this would all blow up in Nagi’s face if Nina decided to betray him and do things on her own
Drumroll, please… – Mai!!!! You can bet I’ll be shouting that again next episode. I can think of two explanations of why Mai and Mikoto (the person) are taking care of Arika and Mashiro. The first is that Mai saved them from the explosion, and the second is that Miyu is connected to Mai and brought the girls to Mai after the fight. It’ll probably get explained next episode. The one thing I am afraid of is that they’re going to lose too much momentum by putting an onsen-ish episode in so late. The preview could be deceptive though, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s only showing us a small part of next episode.
Only four more episodes of Otome are left!