Summary:
In the desert, a creature called a Jabal gets its claws on Mashiro’s body, but several volleys from one of the Aswald kill it. They bring Mashiro, who has the blue GEM in her ring, back to the Aswald village where Arika immediately recognizes her. Back at Garderobe, Miss Maria is complaining to Nagi about the occupation, but Nina steps in her way. Miss Maria leaves after warning Nina that she’s going to regret what she’s doing. Nagi tells Smith that his Ultimate Black Diamond is a last resort, and that as long as Smith doesn’t betray him, Smith’s wish will be granted.

Mashiro wakes up to find Mikoto peering over her. She’s overjoyed to see both her cat and Arika, but then Midori and Rado join them. Arika ended up in the desert with Mikoto after the battle and was picked up by the Aswald. Though she seems normal now, Arika was lifeless when they first picked her up. Mashiro tells Midori about what happened in the battle, but they still don’t know who is queen (though Mashiro doesn’t consider herself to be). Arika, who still has Erstin’s bandage, is bringing back some water when she’s teased by some of the children. She trips on one of the boys who is sporting a crutch, but Midori doesn’t want her to help him back up because an Aswald man should use his own power to stand up. The boy manages to do so and the rest of the kids all gather around for a hug with Midori; it’s apparent how much the Aswald people love her.

Meanwhile, Nao and Natsuki are hitchhiking their way to the Airies Republic. In trying to attract an oncoming vehicle, Nao cuts off Natsuki’s pants. The truck stops and several Airies soldiers come out to arrest them for indecent exposure. At Garderobe, the various Otome are all going through their own troubles. Tomoe, who bribes the guard so that she can view Shizuru’s jail cell, vows to help the Pillar Otome. Irina tries to get Nina to tell her what happened with Erstin, but Nina just gives her the cold shoulder. A lonely Chie reminisces of a time when the Trias were around, and then she continues writing a letter to Yukino. As for Shiho, she’s still up to her maki-maki ways, dragging Yayoi and Lilie in this time.

Arika tells Midori that the Sapphire was handed down to her as a memento of her mother. For that reason, Arika considers Rena to be her mother. At this point, Rado offers his apology to Arika. Fifteen years ago, the attack by Schwarz and Aswald was part of the Windbloom Interior Minister’s plan to assassinate the king and queen. Rena, who had already lost her Otome powers, still fought because of her loyalty to the king. The Aswald believe that a person, even if they are the enemy, who sacrifices themselves for a mission should be given the courtesy of a burial. But that never happened for Rena, and Rado regrets not being able to protect her remains from John Smith. According to Midori, John Smith is using Rena to create a new Shinsou for a new type of Otome. In fact, it seems that John Smith has already completed a new black crystal. Nagi says that it will allow anyone to become an Otome, whether they wish to or not. He wants Nina to find some people to test it, but Sergay comes in and takes the job instead.

Midori continues her story by telling the two girls about how the Aswald hometown was destroyed in the 12 Kingdoms War. The Aswald are now a cursed group because of the sickness that spread through the descendants. It is this sickness that forced Rado and the others to become cyborgs. Midori, who also fell victim, relies on her REM which was created after analyzing a GEM. Because of it, she is eternally 17 years old. And only with nano-machine technology of Garderobe can the sickness be cured. Midori asks for Arika and Mashiro’s help, but Arika still has Erstin in her memory and refuses to use her Otome powers. She runs out crying, with Mashiro and Mikoto giving chase. Mikoto tackles her, but then senses something scary nearby. A hole opens up below the two girls, and they get swallowed up by a Jabal.

After so many heavy drama and action episodes, we finally get another one that’s almost entirely plot development.
The Discovery Channel – Anyone else get Discovery Channel vibes from watching the furry thing eat the scorpion, and the Jabal eat the furry thing?
That Pose… – I was pretty amused watching Natsuki try to hitchhike again (yay for the reference to episode nine of HiME). Nao cutting off Natsuki’s pants technically did accomplish their goal of getting picked up, even if it is being arrested. Haruka’s going to have a field day with it…
All about Airies – The refugees were headed there, as are Nao and Natsuki. Chie is sending a letter to Yukino that refers to the “artificial 乙-HiME called ‘Valkyrie.'” Yukino and Haruka may play pretty big parts in the coming episodes.
Rena Revisited – So it WAS Rena that was in that weapon that John Smith used to shut off the Robes in episode 17. If her spirit is in the capsule, Arika (or whoever her real daughter is) may yet get a chance to talk to her.
Back at Garderobe – I hope Sergay has something planned that will screw over Nagi and John Smith’s plans. However, I don’t see his chances of surviving to the end of the series as being very high, especially if he tries to save Nina somehow. Actually, I think that John Smith might cross Nagi sometime in the near future too.
The Cyborg Connection – They explained a whole lot about Rado, Midori, and the rest of the Aswald, and what their goal is (to cure the sickness by using Garderobe’s technology). Makes more sense now why Rado refused the name Reito. However, Yohko’s relation to them is still a bit murky.
Oh, and Arika… – Though it’s still not clear who the princess is and who Rena’s daughter is, Arika considers Rena to be her mother. But with Erstin’s death, Arika now doesn’t want to be an Otome or use her powers anymore, which is quite the contrast to the beginning of this series. It’s probably going to be a life-and-death situation with Mashiro sometime next episode that will cause her to change her mind.

Aside from the aforementioned stuff, next episode seems to show Tomoe in a Meister uniform (perhaps because of the new crystal), and Cardair finally seems to be making a move. Lots of action in the preview, so it’s definitely something to look forward to.

32 Comments

  1. It’s the same as every other anime,
    -person chooses not to fight
    -some loved one or important friend gets hurt
    -person has no choice but to use special powers to help save important friend or loved one

    Warukyure
  2. oh and a question… in epi. 18 when aoi falls from the cliff.. which music is that.. cuz i have mai-otome vol.1 and i cant seem to find it.. any 1 know which track# it is?… thnks in advance

    JT
  3. JT, that song is not in the OST. It will most likely be in the Second OST which is released in March.

    Good episode, a little on the slow side but we get slammed with a ton of info and backstory which is nice. Loved the Natsuki Hitchhiking part 2, she never gets a break.

    The next episode looks sweet though. Hopefully we can expect a ton of fighting.

    Fuhrer
  4. Me I’m just happy that they show the Natsuki Hitchhiking scene again!!!
    I sooo love her face in the scene!!! SOOO CUTE!!!!

    Also….
    I can’t wait for more action!!!

    GO ANTSY!! I mean ARIKA!!!

    wanderer
  5. Although Omniscient there’s some technicality error that you posted in your review regarding the black crystals turning anyone into an Otome.

    The political correction would be that the black crystal will turn any girl into an Otome.

    Guido
  6. To me, the fact that Mashiro doesn’t consider herself the queen anymore and that Arika doesn’t wish to be an Otome anymore does nothing but confirm that Mashiro will be the queen and Arika her Otome.

    Bob Dole
  7. Bob Dole: To be an Otome, you have to have the Nano machines in your body. At this point in time, the only person between Arika and Mashiro, capable becoming an Otome is Arika. She is an Otome because of the contract and nano machines but it does not mean she is not the true heiress. Becoming an Otome was a choice she made but does not negate the fact she may be blue blooded by birth.

    As for Mashiro not considering herself the Queen is because of all the rumours she has been overhearing since the day she could understand a sentence. Mashiro was already having self-doubts and to top it all off, for someone like Sergei to publically announce to all those around including the ‘present legitimate’ Queen, that the person Arika is in fact the true princess, therefore the true Queen. How do you think she would have felt then? Everyone is already saying she’s a lousy Queen.

    And of course the fact the contract has been made between Arika and Mashiro is still binding. Mashiro will still be Arika’s Master and Arika will be Mashiro’s Meister, even if Arika is infact the real Queen. The contract made is on the basis Arika accepted Mashiro as her Master and thus registered in the GEM. The GEM does not take into consideration you change in social standing and the GEM is very much a computer of sorts.

    Arika
  8. Uhh… Where’s Mai?

    Anyway Sunrise really liked the idea of making the characters do the things they did back in Mai Hime… too bad it always manages to make the characters dig their own graves (i.e. Natsuki and the hitch hike)…

    BlackValley Necromancer
  9. I actually liked the format ^^;

    Sorry if it took a lot longer to write though ._.

    As for the people that don’t like it, is it possible to link to a gallery view; reusing the same images to not impact storage space? (repeated since I doubt people keep track of comments between articles).

    Provided the extra effort isn’t too difficult (maybe even fun o.o), perhaps layout could be a poll? Of course, Omni should just go with what works for him/her, first and foremost.

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