Nina remembers when she was young and Sergay gave her a birthday, September 7th. In his office, Sergay recounts Nagi telling him that his job is to search for the real princess. With the queen’s birthday coming up soon, Sergay checks his appointment book and remembers that it’s the same as Nina’s.
At school, Arika’s friends are surprised to hear that Arika is now placed 29th after their last exam. Eristin is now in 30th place, but Arika is gung-ho about everyone doing their best. Watching from above, Natsuki worries to Shizuru about the Aswad group’s technological advances and the data that was taken by John Smith. Of course, Shizuru promises to stay by Natsuki whatever happens. Back with the girls, Erstin mentions that Nina’s birthday is tomorrow. The girls want to throw a party, but their fun is interrupted by Miss Maria. Arika and Nina later return to their room holding presents – Nina gets a gold chain from her father while Arika got an entire box full of random stuff from her benefactor, both as birthday presents, both from Sergay. After reading the attached note, Arika realizes that her birthday is also tomorrow. When Nina learns that Arika shares her birthday, she remembers the Sapphire that Arika wears and makes the connection that maybe Sergay picked that birthdate for her because of Rena.
The next day, Mashiro learns that she has an upcoming marriage interview with a neighboring prince and starts plotting an escape. Arika and Nina are at the train station when Nina spots a young kid who reminds her of herself when was young and living on the streets. Nina leads and passes off the child to a train station employee, but then realizes that her watch and chain are gone. She sees the kid go running with it in his hands, so she chases. The two catch him, but he throws the chain into the canals, where it drops onto a passing boat. Arika has to hold Nina back from jumping into the water to chase after it. In her motorcade and at an intersection, Mashiro, dressed as a queen, bolts out of the car and runs away with Mikoto. Nina and Arika track down the man who was driving the boat, but unfortunately, he tells them that a crow carried the watch and chain away. When Arika tries to find the crow by climbing up trees, Nina tells her that it’s enough. After Arika calls Sergay by his name, Nina is once again reminded of Rena and how Arika, who Nina considers to be Rena’s daughter, has the same birthday. She feels that it’s all a lie and remembers Sergay giving her the watch piece for one of her earlier birthdays.
In a telephone booth, Mashiro has changed back into her normal clothes. She sees Mikoto jumping after a crow, but Mikoto falls well short of her target and lands squarely on Mashiro’s face instead. A mysterious man arrives and pulls Mashiro and Mikoto into the nearby alley. Immediately after, a familiar hand reaches down and picks up the watch and chain that the crow dropped. Back in the woods, after Nina says that Sergay only paid attention to her before Arika showed up and then starts crying, Arika realizes what kind of feelings Nina has for him. Arika asks Nina if she likes Sergay, but Nina doesn’t directly answer, instead countering by asking if anything happened when Arika was with him during the hiking exam. Arika claims that nothing did, but Nina doesn’t seem to believe her. Much to the girls’ surprise, Sergay appears behind them with the watch and chain. He presents it to a overjoyed Nina, wishing her a happy birthday. Nina doesn’t remember that it’s been six years since he met her, and Sergay tells her that September 7th is the anniversary of that day. Nina is in tears because she now knows what the significance of her birthdate is.
Meanwhile, under the city with no Mashiro, Aoi and Sakomizu greet the prince, who also has a very familiar face.
Ok, I thought this would be a boring filler-ish episode, but it’s not. There’s quite a bit of Nina development and drama this episode, centered on her birthday and her relationship with Sergay, but there’s also bits of humor here and there (Mikoto vs. the crow). Nina spends most of the episode angsting about Arika and Rena’s connections to her father, and getting quite jealous. Because of that, Arika now knows that Nina likes Sergay and will probably act more consciously around him.
We also get the introduction of two characters from Mai-HiME, Takumi and Akira (dunno if those are still their names). What’s interesting is that both have that three flame symbol on their clothes, signifying a connection already. From the preview, we see that Akira is still a girl with her chest still wrapped up. I’m guessing that this isn’t all just a coincidence and that she and Takumi are involved or will be involved together in some way. I do have to say that I find it creepy how Takumi drags Mashiro and Mikoto into that alley. The preview also shows those two spending time together, and Arika dressed up pretty and spending time with Akira.
Closing Thought: If Nina had looked over at the handwriting on the note Arika’s patron wrote her, then Sergay would be exposed. 🙂