Mashiro dreams of when she was young and ordered people around however she liked. But then she remembers meeting Nagi, and him calling her an imposter princess. Back in the present, Arika is working part-time at the construction site for the castle when Mashiro herself comes to inspect it. She finds one part that she wants rebuilt, and announces it just as Arika walks by. Arika, angry because so much work has already been put into it, questions if Mashiro is really the queen. With tears in her eyes, Mashiro slaps Arika and runs off. Nagi and Sergay were watching nearby, and Sergay explains that fourteen years ago the castle was attacked, the king and queen slain, and that an Otome saved the baby princess. Mashiro was later found and declared to be the princess, but the rumors about her remain till today. After hearing this, Arika goes into the castle to find Mashiro and sees a painting of a woman wearing a blue earring. Meanwhile, Nagi corners Mashiro and asks for her hand in marriage. He almost kisses her, but Arika interrupts just in time. With Mikoto defending Mashiro, Nagi decides to give up for the day. Mashiro collapses, and Arika offers her a hand up. Mashiro takes it just as Mikoto jumps on the pair, and all three go stumbling into a secret door behind the throne. They end up in an old, crumbling section of the castle, and the two eventually walk into a room with a large sphere in the front. When Arika approaches it, the ground lights up, and the doors part to reveal an organ inside. Mashiro plays a random note, which causes the organ to light up and the resulting soundwave shatters all the glass in the area, including Arika’s Coral earring and Mashiro’s ring. It also sends a light shining above the castle, which catches the eye of a familiar figure walking in the desert. The two are even more amazed when a dark figure with a red outline appears before them and tells them that it is insufficient, and then leaves a cryptic message about obtaining the Harmonium’s power.
Afterwards, a Slave appears behind the group, summoned by the construction worker who was following them. Arika’s pendant deflects an attack, and then two blue gems appear out of it. Arika remembers the blue earring so saw on the painting earlier, and so she puts one of them in her earring and the other in Mashiro’s ring. The two set up a contract and Arika powers up into a “ROBE BLUE SKY SAPPHIRE.” In a custom robe now, Arika is able to toss the monster into the wall, but then takes a hit to the back. Mashiro experiences it too, causing Arika to remember what Natsuki told her about the master sharing the Otome’s pain. Arika summons her element, a double bladed weapon. Seeing that it’s probably not big enough to defeat the Slave, Arika powers it up into a giant version. She then charges straight through the Slave, destroying it. Once it’s all over, Arika and Mashiro return to the populated parts of the castle, and the two promise to keep it all a secret.
Great episode for Mashiro backstory and Arika showing her stuff. Mashiro acts pretty bratty for the first half, but she and Arika have started to bond by the end of the second episode. And since they now share a set of gems, I’m guessing that Mashiro is the only one who can activate Arika’s special robe. As for the identity of the princess, at this point, I’m willing to believe that Mashiro is not the princess, but rather Arika (or even Nina). If Mashiro was just found by a rich man and thought to be the princess, then she’s probably not. Arika has the mother-factor working for her, and Nina has that flashback from last episode in her favor.
The episode turned out to be a lot more standalone than I thought it would have been, though there’s plenty of plot development. But the battle scene alone makes this episode enjoyable for me. I guess I’m a sucker for those good-guy-wins-and-looks-cool scenes. Especially when her gem keeps announcing her moves (like “BOLT IN THE BLUE”) ahead of time, complete with a countdown counter. 🙂
The buzz now is all about this image of a mysterious Otome from the next episode preview (image courtesy of a 2chan poster). Speculation has it that maybe it’s Mashiro’s real mother or Miyu or an entirely new character. Her clothes remind me of Ziggy from Xenosaga though…