Summary:
With Mashiro missing, Arika is chosen to replace her in front of the visiting prince, who introduces himself as “Tokiha Takumi”. Nina introduces herself to him as Arika. The real Mashiro is having a dream where Nagi professes that he’d die for her and she starts whipping him (S&M style). She wakes up to see a guy playing with Mikoto in a place she’s unfamiliar with, a slum of sorts. The guy introduces himself as “Okuzaki Akira”, and Mashiro decides to use the name of Nina Wong. Meanwhile, Arika and the real Nina are riding in a procession through the city. Nina mentions that she knows about the contract between Arika and Mashiro. In order to keep that a secret, she asks Arika to forget everything that happened today (regarding losing the watch). Nina then notices that there are posters everywhere showing what the real Mashiro looks like. In fact, the real Mashiro tries to motion towards one of the giant posters, but it gets removed before “Akira” can see it. She mentions it’s her birthday, so “Akira” buys her a flower and pins it in her hair.
The royal procession makes their way to Garderobe, where Natsuki and Shizuru greet “Takumi.” Shizuru notices something about the prince, but doesn’t say anything. Sergay, who is walking with Arika, wishes her a happy birthday. In the city, “Akira” and Mashiro go and have fun, doing things that would be done on a date. Resting on the bench, Mashiro sees “Akira” taking the last of his medicine, but he assures her that he’s ok. He tells her that he’s searching for a person, but he knows that this person isn’t here. Instead, he’s in this city to experience what this person saw and felt. This person is, of course, his sister.
In her room after the tour is over, “Takumi” is revealed to be really Akira, a girl. As she starts undressing, Shizuru appears, apparently knowing that Akira was deceiving everyone. Arika opens the door and sees what looks like Shizuru and the prince kissing. Akira takes the opportunity to jump away and use a smoke bomb. Shizuru activates Arika’s robe and the two chase after Akira. The “Akira” who is walking around with Mashiro is of course the real Takumi. He makes some comments about the city, noting that the queen is having a birthday celebration yet there are people in the slums who have to worry about having bread to eat the next day and some even need to steal. Mashiro, holding up her lollypop, responds that they can eat candy if they don’t have bread. Takumi, seeing her naiveness, tells Mashiro that she seems happy. Suddenly he keels over in pain.
Akira, who dodges an attack from Arika, spots Takumi on the ground beside Mashiro. She goes in with weapon drawn and gets stopped by Nina. Nina grabs and pulls Mashiro away while Akira reveals who Takumi really is. Seeing Takumi in pain, Akira takes one of his pills and administers it mouth to mouth. Of course, the girls still think that Akira is a boy, so it looks like a boy on boy kiss. Later, Natsuki and Takumi discuss the Otomes, with Takumi taking a negative stance towards them. He feels that it’s wrong for an entire country’s fate to be burdened onto a girl. Natsuki replies that the current peace brought by the existence of Otome. Takumi then says that that power is what people are after, and the Otomes themselves suffer. Natsuki answers that they have a strict selection process, but then Takumi demands an explanation for the 「炎珠の紅玉」 (Enju no Kougyoku – Ruby of the Flame Gem). Takumi speaks of her as a strong person who was torn over love and her dream. The purpose of Takumi’s trip, however, is to convey Zipang’s non-intereference policy with all nations. Elsewhere, meanwhile, Sergay reads a letter with the Tokiha seal. That night, Natsuki stares at a picture of long ago when she was still attending the academy. The next day, Takumi and Akira leave, but before they do, Natsuki asks Takumi something about Mai that we don’t get to hear.

For anyone who was confused at all, or doesn’t know the HiME characters so well, the names traded are (Real Name -> Borrowed Name):
Takumi -> Akira
Akira -> Takumi
Mashiro -> Nina
Nina -> Arika
Arika -> Mashiro

I really can’t say enough good things about this show. This episode had me laughing so much, yet there’s so much plot development. Most of that development is from Takumi, who seems to have matured quite a bit from his days in HiME. He leads thoughtful discussions about the poverty in Vintoblum with Mashiro and then about the Otome with Natsuki. In the former, Mashiro says something that’s reminiscent of Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake” statement, though it probably wasn’t meant in the same manner. It really does show how naive she is towards ruling her people and the divide between the rich and the poor. I find it quite ironic that Mashiro was skipping out on a marriage interview, yet she ended up going on a date with Takumi, who is really the prince, anyway.
And just as much as Mai was all about Takumi in Mai-HiME, Takumi is all about finding his sister in Mai-Otome. This episode gives us a lot of information about Mai, the most we’ve gotten since the series started, including what appears to be her title. So let’s see, if Mai is a Pillar, then that makes all five: Mai (ruby), Natsuki (quartz/silver-ish crystal), Shizuru (amethyst), Rena/Arika (sapphire), and Haruka (topaz). Those are all people who have actual gems. And that photograph that Natsuki looks at features four of the five future Pillars on it.
Next episode is Akane-centric, and the preview has a very interesting shot of a shocked Shizuru getting part of her hair vaporized, but unfortunately there’s no Otome next week. Episode 13 will air on January 6th, 2006.

Closing Thought: Arika looks better with her hair down. She should keep it that way. Nina too…

31 Comments

  1. Hey if Natsuki was a coral, does that mean we may actually see her in her robe outfit?

    Best Pics have got to be:
    First row, 3rd pic, (Mashiro and Nagi are into S&M?)
    and 5th row 2nd pic, (Nice punch or whatever)

    Warukyure
  2. Lol haven’t seen the ep yet *maki maki her bt speed* but man they did speed up things between akira n takumi XD
    Arika is really better her hair off and i agree with mm, coral pic is too cute..man cant wait to watch it n read more comments ^^

    K.neko
  3. Shizuru n natsuki dont have masters has they are one of those 5 pillars ppl (sorry dont remember the name …) ..i guess Mai and Rena are/were(?) also in the top 5… but thats only my speculation for now.

    K.neko
  4. They really pulled this episode off well. It had me laughing half the time and when it wasnt funny there was serious plot progression. Great stuff.

    Shizuru was damn awesome again, and Natsuki and Mai looked so cute in that old photo. Also Arika should really keep her hair down all the time, she looks a lot better. 🙂

    Cant wait for next week, looks like Akane might be the first to go again.

    Fuhrer
  5. Shizuru n natsuki dont have masters has they are one of those 5 pillars ppl (sorry dont remember the name …) ..i guess Mai and Rena are/were(?) also in the top 5… but thats only my speculation for now.

    Natsuki and Shizuru are both Pillars, Meister Otome who are contracted directly to Fumi, the Shinso. They can materialize their robes without an authorization, and are in charge of keeping the Otome system running.

    Yukariko and Maria are also probably pillars, since they don’t seem to have masters either, and Yukariko has shown the ability to Materialize on demand.

    Rena was definitely NOT a pillar, and Mai…we don’t know.

    Fencedude
  6. did anyone notice in the last eps i think, it showed a close up of natsuki’s gem and also shizuru’s gem they’re different color/ stone

    Eh? Natsuki has a clear/white GEM, Shizuru has a purple one.

    Shizuru is the Graceful Amethyst

    Natsuki is the Silver Quartz of Ice and Snow.

    Fencedude
  7. Mai-chan is the only one with the gold colour trimmed outfit. ^^

    maybe mai was number one, like nina and tomoe, they have different colors too

    Arika also has a different color, but maybe that’s because she’s a special case

    menina
  8. I also think that Yukariko is likely to be one of the 5 pillars 🙂 Shizuru said earlier in Episode 1 that the job of the 5 pillars is to serve the Academy. Thus it is likely that Yukariko is connected to Fumi (Shinso) which explains why she doesn’t need anyone for authorization to activate her Robe in Episode 6 to pin Arika down from going to play in the sea :p I’m also thinking that Miss Maria could also be a pillar too. The screenshots for this episode are so whacky & kawaii. I believe I’ll be laughing my lungs out when I finally get to watch the show XD Looks like Mashiro likes Takumi & I wonder will their relationship develops further in the later series :\ I suppose Akira is still a ninja who is quick enough to dodge Arika’s attack eh? Nice Summary 🙂

    Middy
  9. let’s see, if Mai is a Pillar, then that makes all five: Mai (ruby), Natsuki (quartz/silver-ish crystal), Shizuru (amethyst), Rena/Arika (sapphire), and Haruka (topaz). Those are all people who have actual gems.

    err i ‘m not sure haruka is a pillar as she needs Yukariko ..maybe miss maria is one XD

    K.neko
  10. based purely on what I’ve seen thus far , neither Haruka nor Mai serve the Academy , per se , so it would be unwise to say that they constitute two of the five pillars . Arika almost succeeded in summoning her what i call “GardeRobe” (ironic naming process for it does mean armor suit) in ep. 1 despite not having been contracted to serve anyone , clearly demonstrating that Rena could have been one of the five pillars

    but that mess ought to be cleared up soon , …

    this ep had me in stitches … esp. having Nagi ask for ” … more … !!! ” it’s totally insane ^^ hahaha

    Mashiro really has seen much , frm trying to establish her self-worth , to getting to know her city in the real , and finally experiencing the tangy-sour taste of 1st love …

    tonbo
  11. Shizuru seems to know wverything about little girls ;p. She can smell one a mile away without activating her robe.

    Actually, when ‘Takumi’ met the officials at Guarderrobe, we had a scene of Shizuru looking at ‘Takumi’s’ adam’s apple… or where there was supposed to be an adam’s apple, if ‘Takumi’ had really been a guy (come to think of it, do we see an adam’s apples on any of the guys in Mai Otome?). When she didn’t see one, she correctly concluded that ‘Prince Takumi’ was actually a girl.

    Bein Nine
  12. Pillers are Meister that are contracted to the school itself. They do not need authorization to activate their robe.

    Natuski and Shizuru are shown on thier profile on the japanese website to be Pillers.

    Yukariko (sister) does not need a master to activate her robe -> most likely a Piller but unconform

    Haruka is contracted to Yukino and needs permission to activate her robe = Not a Piller

    Rena was contracted to the king of Windbloom = not a piller

    Mai = absolutely no idea but i am guessing she is Piller as they said in Ep13 that Zapang does not have otome.

    Miss maria = as she and natuski, shizuru and Yukariko are the only otomes at the school, I guessing hse is also a Piller. I mean who wants a old lady as a theri otome when they can young one.

    Xellos-_^
  13. This episode is one of the most insane episodes I have seen! Because of a few things: Many characters play pretend like Arika which her real long hair shown pretend to be Queen Mashiro, Akira who is a girl pretended to a prince, some characters’ names changed like Nina changed her name to Akira, Mashiro whipping Nagi in her dream, and Mai from My-Hime was shown in a photo of the previous Otome graduation with Natsuki.

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