Mai-Otome Zwei – 01
It has been one year since the incident at Windbloom and a new threat has appeared in the shape of a meteoroid hurtling towards the planet. An attack team has been formed consisting of the world’s Otome, including Arika, Haruka, and Sara Gallagher among others. Each of them throws their special Meteor Breaker weapons towards the meteor, but its trajectory changes, meaning that the weapons don’t completely destroy it. The largest fragment continues to hurtle toward the planet on a course that would crash it into Windbloom. Arika is the one who springs into action and gets Mashiro to activate her blue Zwei robe from the ground. She then proceeds to get in front of the meteor, brings forth her Sword of Akatsuki, and make a charge directly at it. The force of the impact with Arika shatters and destroys the meteor in a bright explosion. From the ground, Miyu watches as the smaller pieces burn up in the atmosphere, but she sees something in particular falling and goes after it. Back in space, Arika is happy that she was able to protect everyone, but a winged dark shadow suddenly appears behind her.
Arika then falls out of her chair, causing her to wake up. She becomes afraid that everything she saw was just a dream, but Miss Maria reassures her by showing her a newspaper clipping that says she saved the world. As she runs through the castle grounds, Arika mentally composes a letter to Nina talking about how Mashiro is working hard as a queen, how she herself is still studying to be a good Otome, and how she wants Nina to come and play. She stops running because she notices that there are a group of laborers gathered at the front gate demanding to see Mashiro. Meanwhile, Irina and Gal are investigating one of the desert crash sites of the meteor. With them are Natsuki and Shizuru, the former of whom is reading in the newspaper about those same laborers and their wages. Irina finishes up and is ready to go back, but Youko radios that she has one more place for them to go check. Shizuru offers to go by herself, allowing Natsuki and the others to go home. Upon arriving at the new site, Shizuru sees Miyu fall from the sky, except Miyu’s body has been turned to stone. In a fuzzy voice, Miyu tries to warn Shizuru to run away, but it’s too late. A dark figure has appeared on the cliff above her, and Shizuru gets surrounded by giant stalks that come out of the ground.
Back at Windbloom, Arika and Mashiro get into an argument after Arika takes the side of the protesters. Arika ends up spending the next day in Youko’s lab while Mashiro heads off to the Black Valley. Although Mai and Mikoto still live there, the Black Valley has actually been turned into a national park. In any case, strange things soon start happening in both places. Natsuki visits Youko’s lab inquiring about Shizuru, who still hasn’t returned. When Irina tries to contact the missing Otome, there is no response because – unknown to them – Shizuru has been turned to stone. Over at the Black Valley, a shadowy figure that has Shizuru’s shape suddenly appears perched on top of one of the rocks. Having just finished eating, Mikoto suddenly gets a vision of this figure, but she then yawns and falls asleep. The ground there soon starts shaking and at the same time, Youko’s lab gets a warning of a Highly-advanced Materialising reaction. Something resembling a Slave comes out of the ground in the Black Valley, so Natsuki and Arika head there immediately. With the Slave starting to wreak havoc, Mai gets a sleeping Mikoto to kiss her earring and then materialises her robe.
Arika and Natsuki soon arrive, but Mashiro and Arika continue to argue until Natsuki turns their attention to more pressing issues. Mashiro activates Arika’s robe and then Arika brings out the Zwei version. But even with the strength of three Otome and their most powerful attacks, the girls are unable to make a dent in their enemy. Arika tries her “Bolt from the Blue” attack, but the Slave just disappears into a void and reappears after Arika has passed through where it was standing. While that fight is raging on, a shadowy figure resembling Miyu is approaching Fumi’s mausoleum at Garderobe. Youko’s lab gets alerted of the intruder and contact Miss Maria, who transforms into her younger form as she goes down. Miss Maria encounters someone floating around her, taking different forms, but then the nearby Fumi’s chamber suddenly lights up and Miss Maria’s robe disappears. With the Fumi System going down, Youko switches over to the emergency mode’s Surrogate Mother System in order to keep Natsuki’s robe on. Natsuki and Mashiro learn of the intruder from Youko, but then Arika alerts Natsuki to a group of people who need to be saved.
Much to Arika’s dismay, Mashiro ends up ordering Natsuki to return to Garderobe to deal with the intruder instead of going to help the people. After Natsuki flies off, Arika questions this decision since their promise is to create a world where everyone can smile. When Arika claims not to understand what Mashiro is doing, Mashiro angrily tells her to shut up and follow orders. Mashiro immediately realizes what she just said, but it’s too late to take back her words. Their effect causes Arika to lose her blue Zwei robe, returning her to the pink and blue one. What’s more, Arika stands motionlessly as the Slave suddenly grabs her and throws her against a rock. Though shocked at first, Arika then notices some toys in the rubble: a figure of her inside a wood replica of one of Mai’s flaming rings. This gives her the idea to work together with Mai to defeat the Slave. At the same time, Natsuki is arriving back at school, but the Surrogate system has terminated, leaving Natsuki without a robe. However, before she can even go inside Fumi’s mausoleum, a dark winged figure bursts out and flies away. Arika and Mai meanwhile are able to defeat the Slave after Arika uses her “Bolt from the Blue” attack through Mai’s flaming ring.
This victory is short lived because clouds soon start gathering over the Black Valley. Arika and Mai receive a warning from Natsuki that something appeared and stole Fumi’s Pure White Diamond. Just as they’re getting the message, the two get attacked by the winged dark figure. While this is going on, the rocks around the town start to glow and retract into the ground. Arika rushes toward Mashiro, but she can’t make it in time before the ground that Mashiro is standing moves away and disappears with the queen. At that time, somewhere far away, Nina notices the lightening in the sky as she returns to Sergay. As the dust clears in the Black Valley, Arika can only cry out for Mashiro, who is now gone.
Man, this OVA reminds me of how much I’ve really missed this show and its large cast of characters. Not everyone was featured (I was hoping for some Shiho or Nao fun), but that’s probably for the better so that they didn’t squander the time showing too many people. Before anyone corrects me though, both Shiho and Nao were briefly shown, but they didn’t have much involvement. In fact, the first time I watched this, I missed Shiho’s very brief shot during the first scene in the Airies observatory. And yes, she was still doing the maki maki. In any case, I was just glad to see everyone at it again.
Being an OVA, this episode was pretty much full force animation quality and action. The words “mad orgy of stuff that made Otome cool” come to mind when I try to describe it. You’ve got pretty shots like this, Miss Maria showing her young side again, Arika and Mai working together, and more. The end also shows Nagi, Sergay, and Nina, making me wonder if they’ll all play a part. I’m willing to bet that at least Nina will return in one of the future episodes.
The story here is about a new threat that can apparently take on shapes similar to people that it has encountered, including Arika in the blue robe, Shizuru, Miyu. Surprisingly enough, it’s already turned Shizuru, Miss Maria, and Miyu into stone! That knocks out three very powerful people, and means that Miyu probably won’t be saving the day like she did so much in Mai-Otome, which I think is a good thing. As for the shadowy figure, at first the dark wings reminded me of Nina’s winged form from the end of the series, but I’m not really sure what it is. Looking closely at this shot reveals someone that doesn’t seem familiar to me.
And because I enjoyed watching this, the worst part about this episode is that it ends on a cliffhanger, and the next DVD episode (out of four total) isn’t due out until February 23rd, 2007. Something to look forward to… *marks calendar*