Arika has been feeling down lately and her friends notice that she doesn’t have an appetite. The group spots Akane and Kazuya together on a date. The two share a passionate kiss in the woods but when Kazuya tries to go further, Akane resists and pushes him away because she’s an Otome. In fact, Akane’s Otome duties just got a lot bigger as she’s chosen to be the successor of Meister Rosaria, who is retiring because of marriage. Meanwhile, Arika is still not feeling too well. She sees Nina’s watch and the picture of Sergay, which causes her to blush. Nina catches her with it and takes it back, but Arika soon faints.
Arika wakes up in the infirmary, and Yohko tells her that since her nano-machines are acting weirdly, she’s probably sick. Yohko then asks Arika if she’s heard of the Enju no Kougyoku. Arika enlists her friends to research it, and they find a book that tells them about an Otome and the “Fire String Ruby.” Nina tells the story of the girl who was set to succeed the Fire String Ruby after she graduated. However, this girl fell in love, and the girl who had decided to become an Otome became troubled by her love or her dream. It had been decided that this girl would be one of the five pillars and usually these Otome who have no master serve the founder (Fumi-sama). For this girl, however, that was the most painful sentence. She who worried about her fate went into the forest of a god who could predict the future. But in the end, she never came back out. Thinking about the story afterwards, Arika sees Akane worrying to Nao about her situation. Akane is ready to tear her photo of Kazuya in half, but Arika stops her. After Akane asks Arika if she’s ever fallen in love (the answer is of course no), she tearfully recalls her feelings of love.
Meanwhile, Nagi and John Smith discuss what’s required to start the Harmonium, and it appears that they’re already using the data they stole on the Slaves. In fact, another crystal has been mailed out, this time to a street vendor right near where Akane has asked to meet Kazuya. She has decided to break it off and tells him that although she really loves him, she can’t throw away her dream. When she starts to run away, Kazuya chases her, and the two happen to run into Arika and Shizuru. But just then, a Slave appears and Akane asks Shizuru to let her fight. Shizuru agrees and activates Akane’s Pearl Robe, allowing Akane to fly into battle. Akane struggles at first, but with her resolve to be an Otome and will to fight for her dream, she manages to break off one of the Slave’s arms. A man in the crowd starts clutching his own arm and is quickly spotted by Shizuru. However, before Shizuru can do anything to him, he gets sniped by a hooded figure hiding in the surrounding mountains. His death and the breaking of the crystal also stop the battle. Akane bids a final farewell to a shocked Kazuya before flying off.
The ceremony to appoint Akane’s master soon arrives. But in the middle of the ceremony, just as Akane is about to put the ring onto her new master’s finger, Kazuya bursts in to stop them. He declares his love and says that he’d throw away everything for Akane. After apologizing to her would-be master, Akane jumps into Kazuya’s arms for a kiss. The two then take their leave. Afterwards, Sergay tells Nina and Arika that throwing away a dream for love is one way of life. Nina declares that she’s definitely going to become a Meister Otome, but Arika isn’t so sure anymore. Arika actually remembers what Akane told her about her feelings of love, and realizes that maybe she has feelings for Sergay.
Sometime later, Natsuki gets a phone call from Yohko telling her that Shizuru is reporting an Otome battle on the borders of the countries of Romulus and Remus.
Coming into this episode, I really thought Kazuya was going to die or Akane was going to fight Shizuru or something. So I’m rather glad that Akane and Kazuya got a happy ending (for now). It did occur to me that the ceremony to appoint Akane’s master really resembled a marriage, especially with the ring. It seems ironic that Akane has to choose between her love to Kazuya and a “marriage” (very much in the ’til-death-do-us-part sense) to her new master.
They do a great job paralleling Mai’s story (should be pretty safe to call it Mai’s story now) with Akane’s. Both girls had to make decisions between love and being an Otome, and it turned out differently for both (as Sergay notes, it’s one way of life). In Mai’s story, it’s noteworthy to point out that the profile of her lover really looks like Sergay or even Tate. I say Tate because unless they introduce some really complicated relationships from their younger years (something like SergayXMai and SergayXRena and Natsuki thrown in there somehow), there’s a chance that Sergay has a relative or ancestor who resembles him. And plus there must have been some reason for them not to have used Tate’s name yet. And while we’re on the subject of Sergay, I gotta admit that I’m a bit concerned about how they’re setting Arika up to like Sergay, but I guess we’ll see where that goes.
Looks like things are heating up politically in the series as Romulus and Remus (good story) are apparently fighting. It’s way too early for Arika, Nina, and company to get involved, but I’m sure this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Closing Thought: The more they make Tomoe a raging lesbian, the less I see her as an actual villainess.