Summary:
At school, Arika is very busy with work and is ecstatic when she learns of a trip that all the other girls seem to be afraid of. The class arrives at a beach resort in the Airies Republic to take an exam – the goal is to cover 100km in rough terrain. At dinnertime, their teacher and senpais will come to grade them. Each girl is given an armband to contact the teachers in case of an emergency. They will be working in pairs: in particular, Arika with Erstin and Nina with Tomoe. However, during the night before the girls set out, a shadowy figure tampers with Erstin and Arika’s bags.
In addition to the academy folks, Sergay, Nagi, and Mashiro all happen also to be here. Sergay learned from his source that Nagi met with John Smith, and has started to doubt the grand duke. In the morning, Mashiro and Nagi have fun on the beach with Chie and Yukariko while Akane meets with Kazu. In the woods, the pair of Arika and Erstin is moving along, but Erstin is beginning to lag behind. After Erstin suffers a snakebite, Arika decides to stop for the day. Shiho arrives to check up on them, and Arika forces one of her dinner creations onto her. Shizuru, on the other hand, enjoys a world class meal courtesy of Tomoe and Nina. As the night wears on, Arika is giving Erstin a bath and has noticed that she’s getting sicker. Arika wants to use their armbands, but Erstin doesn’t want to impede on Arika. When Erstin breaks down crying, Arika comforts her with the lullaby. Elsewhere in the forest, Midori is leading her men through and tells them that she wants to arrive before dawn.
The next day, Arika and Erstin continue on, but the skies above cloud up. Their compass seems to be broken, and Erstin soon faints from a fever. Arika tries to use their armbands, but they’re both broken. With the rain now pouring, Arika leaves Erstin bundled up in some shelter under a tree and sets off to look for a way to help Erstin. When the rain finally clears, we find Arika climbing a cliff, reaching what appears to be man guarding a fence. But upon closer inspection, Arika realizes the soldier is dead, his eyes still open in shock. Behind her, an armored figure appears, brandishing a metallic whip similar to Rado’s. His attacks send her over the cliff and falling into the water below.

I have to say that if this is to be considered a funny fanservice episode, it’s done superior even to this week’s episode of Shana. Not that Shana was bad, but that this is just a lot better. We’re getting developing story all while what’s happening has me in stitches for most of the episode. Shiho is the source of a lot of this amusement, but NatsukixShizuru, Mashiro and Nagi, and Arika all have their moments.
But this episode isn’t all fun and games. Someone’s sabotaged Arika and Erstin, and I suspect that it’s Tomoe or one of her subordinates again. Sergay seems to be looking out for his own interests, learning about Nagi’s meeting with John Smith and seeing Akane and Kazu. What either of those will lead to remains to be seen. Meanwhile, Midori, who’s full face is finally revealed, is moving quickly towards her target, while one of the cloaked men attacks Arika. And for once, they actually ended the episode on a good cliffhanger.
The preview has so many juicy shots, from Arika getting close (literally) to Sergay, to Midori battling Haruka. Looking forward to next week 🙂

22 Comments

  1. Actually it’s a good mix of fanservice and plot movement IMHO.

    For one, we get to see what exactly becoming an Otome involves. Unfortunately for Arika, it’s a lot of different type of exams she’s not good at! I have to feel bad for Irina who seemed to be her partner for some of the tests… at least for the last one, a kind of survival in the forest test, Arika gets paired with Erstin. I won’t mention the other pairs but much to say, some of them are hilarious.

    Another strong point for this episode, minus the obvious fanservice, was seeing potential plot movement in various forms. The Black Valley group make their move on the treasure/whatever they were asked to get. We also get to see all of Midori’s lovely mask-clad face plus sorta get introduced to one of the other members of the Sentai of Evil (TM) group. And if that wasn’t enough, the preview for ep 10 promises some Midori action!

    Sergey, as Mentar mentioned in his MO 8 review, really does show he’s a one-man faction as we learn his connection to one of the returning secondary cast members of MH. This is turn also helps to put new light on his alliance to Nagi and what both men’s real intentions are. Also, if I heard it correctly, his comment after seeing Akane and her boytoy together might lead to some drama in the future. Though for everything I just said, based on the next ep preview, Nina’ll be overjoyed to hear that her father might like underaged girls afterall 😉

    As for the fanservice… well, I think Omni’s caps says it all! The highlight, though, which Omni’s caps can’t show had to be the Shizuru oiling Natsuki’s scene. Yay for obvious attempts at yuri! Speaking of Natsuki and the forth-mentioned scene, more clues are dropped about “that person” when the others talk about Natsuki’s time when she had to do the survival test… and how they had to drop out after (assumingly) getting lost, I think ^_^;;

    Pretty good episode overall though next week’s looks as good, if not better! Can’t wait!

    moyism
  2. Mentar, if you’re talking about the scene where Arika’s and Erstin’s bags get tampered with then I’ll have to disagree with you. The only problem I have about your suggestion is that the person’s sleeve was red and John Smith ain’t wearing anything like that. From the small part we can see, it seems more likely the person is someone wearing the school’s jersey as seen earlier in the ep. I think it’s still most likely Tomoe since she has the obvious motive plus her later internal line when her and Nina were talking. However, I’m always up for suggestion of who else the person could be.

    … btw, if it is a girl who did it.. dang, she has man hands! XD

    moyism
  3. Anyone notice the 4 holes on Nagi shoulder and the 4 white patches on his lower back? What are they? Is he a cyborg? Tube baby?

    I wonder where did Shizuru “rub” the oil? Are those “happy” mushroom legal? 🙂

    Agate

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