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Mai Otome 4 Raw (Mild Spoilers)

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  • Chalcahuite
    Episode 4, less action, more revelations and ground work for later plot points, if they re not dropped, still more character introductions, and more of your
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 28, 2005
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      Episode 4, less action, more revelations and ground work for later plot points, if they're not dropped, still more character introductions, and more of your friend and mine:  fanservice. 

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      In case anybody missed the reference in Natsuki's and Shizuru's exchange in 3's next episode preview  Episode 4 of Mai Hime was the infamous panty thief episode.  

      Mai-Otome's episode 4 is equally fanservicey, replete with strategically placed soap bubbles and conveniently opaque steam. (This show needs more Chie, btw.) 

      I wasn't a Haruka fan until late in Mai-Hime, but now that I've come around, I must say that Haruka rocks.  Haruka and Yukino make their first speaking appearance, and while, ostensibly the dynamic between the two of them is different, (I think Yukino is the noble that Haruka serves) their relationship and their personalities still haven't changed.  Which makes me grin stupidly. 

      Episode 4 of Mai Otome introduces one of the thinnest psuedo-scientific rationale for yuri since Stratos 4's space virus. Simply put spermatazoa interferes with the nano-machines Otome's use to enhance and focus their powers.  Now, I'm perfectly aware that power in virginity is a cross-cultural staple of myths, legends, et al, and, I'm not really complaining, but it is kinda lame. I think I would have been OK with a cultural or political or some other scientific or biological reason, but this just seems unnecessarily silly to me.  But, that's OK. What this means is that the yuri potential of this series just skyrocketed. (Though honestly, I think we'll get the same or less amount of meaningful yuri relationships as the "forbidden-ness" of the straight relationships may take a higher significance plotwise.) 

      As an interesting corollary, Akane and Kazu-kun's relationship doesn't look like it's changed either, so if the writers pursue it, theirs would be a "forbidden" relationship. Which leads me to think that once again Akane gets to be the object lesson for the cast and the viewers.  Poor Akane. 

      There's a brief shot in the next episode preview of a poster with Mai in an Otome uniform, and Natsuki makes a vague reference to someone with whom she had rivalry with much like Shizuru and Haruka and Arika and Nina. Hmmmm. 

      If I were to speculate wildly, and I do, I'd say it's Mai in the hood and the mask, because she and Rado had one of those "illicit" relationships. I've been thinking and I'm wondering if the reason they are illicit is not because the Otome loses her powers, but rather, the Otome's power becomes uncontrollable by the system they have in place. Because we all know there's nothing more dangerous than a woman who doesn't know her place. ;) 

      Of course, I could be horribly wrong and the above is way too complex for this series, but it's been a while since I speculated wildly on something, I have to keep it in shape. ;) 

    • atheniag
      ... And the mysterious absence of a few key players. Just think about it.... ... Yues and yes. Yukino is the Pres. of Elias, Haruka is her Otome. I like the
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 30, 2005
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        --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, Chalcahuite <ximatl@i...> wrote:
        >
        > Episode 4, less action, more revelations and ground work for later
        > plot points, if they're not dropped, still more character
        > introductions, and more of your friend and mine: fanservice.

        And the mysterious absence of a few key players.

        Just think about it....
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        > I wasn't a Haruka fan until late in Mai-Hime, but now that I've come

        > around, I must say that Haruka rocks. Haruka and Yukino make their
        > first speaking appearance, and while, ostensibly the dynamic between

        > the two of them is different, (I think Yukino is the noble that
        > Haruka serves) their relationship and their personalities still
        > haven't changed. Which makes me grin stupidly.

        Yues and yes. Yukino is the Pres. of Elias, Haruka is her Otome.

        I like the buffed up new Haruka alot. And the fact that she and
        Shizuru have "unfinished business". :-)


        > Episode 4 of Mai Otome introduces one of the thinnest psuedo-
        > scientific rationale for yuri since Stratos 4's space virus. Simply
        > put spermatazoa interferes with the nano-machines Otome's use to
        > enhance and focus their powers.

        And PSA, don't forget that. I liked that touch, myself.

        Now, I'm perfectly aware that power
        > in virginity is a cross-cultural staple of myths, legends, et al,
        > and, I'm not really complaining, but it is kinda lame. I think I
        > would have been OK with a cultural or political or some other
        > scientific or biological reason, but this just seems unnecessarily
        > silly to me. But, that's OK. What this means is that the yuri
        > potential of this series just skyrocketed. (Though honestly, I think
        > we'll get the same or less amount of meaningful yuri relationships
        as
        > the "forbidden-ness" of the straight relationships may take a higher
        > significance plotwise.)

        Pretty much. But when you think of the idea of the Otome as a whole,
        there are so many other things you have to accepts as hand-waves,
        what's another three or four? :-)

        I did think it was a bit tedious of Natsuki to make it seem like a
        *bad* thing to never sleep with a guy, considering, but perhaps she
        assumes that that particular part of an Otome's education comes with
        being assigned to an onee-sama. lol


        > As an interesting corollary, Akane and Kazu-kun's relationship
        > doesn't look like it's changed either, so if the writers pursue it,
        > theirs would be a "forbidden" relationship. Which leads me to think
        > that once again Akane gets to be the object lesson for the cast and
        > the viewers. Poor Akane.

        Well yeah. OR, she may just make the decision - it's not like you
        *have* to be an Otome. She may decide that love wins over duty.

        ...yeah, 'cause that happens in Japanese anything....


        > There's a brief shot in the next episode preview of a poster with
        Mai
        > in an Otome uniform, and Natsuki makes a vague reference to someone
        > with whom she had rivalry with much like Shizuru and Haruka and
        Arika
        > and Nina. Hmmmm.
        >
        > If I were to speculate wildly, and I do, I'd say it's Mai in the
        hood
        > and the mask, because she and Rado had one of those "illicit"
        > relationships.

        The hair would match what we see of the hodded one in the preview as
        well.

        I've been thinking and I'm wondering if the reason
        > they are illicit is not because the Otome loses her powers, but
        > rather, the Otome's power becomes uncontrollable by the system they
        > have in place. Because we all know there's nothing more dangerous
        > than a woman who doesn't know her place. ;)

        Or mayber, driven by the need for power, the blck letter crowd may
        have come up with a way to suborn the normal desctruction of Otome
        powers with something horrible and Sauron-like, giving rise to tedious
        dark, mad Otomes.


        > Of course, I could be horribly wrong and the above is way too
        complex
        > for this series, but it's been a while since I speculated wildly on
        > something, I have to keep it in shape. ;)

        Two things I want to mention too: Reito and Midori. I think we've seen
        'em already. Just my 2 cents.

        Cheers,

        Erica
      • Iain
        ... We have an interesting mix of what we d expect from MH and twists that seem to mesh well. I never really liked MH Haruka - she was an interesting person,
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 30, 2005
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          atheniag wrote:
          > --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, Chalcahuite <ximatl@i...> wrote:
          >>
          >> Episode 4, less action, more revelations and ground work for later
          >> plot points, if they're not dropped, still more character
          >> introductions, and more of your friend and mine: fanservice.
          >
          > And the mysterious absence of a few key players.
          >
          > Just think about it....
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          >> the two of them is different, (I think Yukino is the noble that
          >> Haruka serves) their relationship and their personalities still
          >> haven't changed. Which makes me grin stupidly.
          >
          > Yues and yes. Yukino is the Pres. of Elias, Haruka is her Otome.
          >
          > I like the buffed up new Haruka alot. And the fact that she and
          > Shizuru have "unfinished business". :-)

          We have an interesting mix of what we'd expect from MH and twists that
          seem to mesh well. I never really liked MH Haruka - she was an
          interesting person, but among everyone with power she could never be
          more than an annoyance. Now she has attitude and a way to express it.
          And then they made her subservient to Yukino - genius.

          > I did think it was a bit tedious of Natsuki to make it seem like a
          > *bad* thing to never sleep with a guy, considering, but perhaps she
          > assumes that that particular part of an Otome's education comes with
          > being assigned to an onee-sama. lol

          More than that, in the crappy translation I watched, she says "give up
          on a woman's happiness." I found myself doubting that Shizuru would
          agree with her on much of that speech.

          >> There's a brief shot in the next episode preview of a poster with
          > Mai
          >> in an Otome uniform, and Natsuki makes a vague reference to someone
          >> with whom she had rivalry with much like Shizuru and Haruka and
          > Arika
          >> and Nina. Hmmmm.
          >>
          >> If I were to speculate wildly, and I do, I'd say it's Mai in the
          > hood
          >> and the mask, because she and Rado had one of those "illicit"
          >> relationships.

          I can't help but think that Mai as the hood is too obvious. I'm not sure
          if Mai as Natsuki's rival is also too obvious. Most of the MH twists
          were (well, I found) fairly obvious only in hindsight. They've pushed
          this one on us a few times now which makes me dubious.

          If it is right - Mai / Reito might be otome / master rather than an
          illicit relationship. An otome's loyalty is to her master, with a
          death-pact. If Reito's involved with the Black Valley crowd (was that
          him fighting Shizuru?) then Mai may be opposed to the school's
          interests, too. And the only indication we have that the Black Valley is
          "bad" is Shizuru doesn't like it.

          Well, that and the wanton destruction, which the good guys usually
          refrain from...

          In MH, Reito seemed like a decent guy - if you'll overlook his being the
          Great Lord Of Darkness. He was a bit full of himself, but wasn't a wimp
          like Tate. For Mai to be with him this time around (whether it's as
          otome / master or otherwise) would be a nice twist.
        • Chalcahuite
          ... Me too. Hopefully, we ll get to see more of them later. ... Well, as I said, it was notable for being especially bad. Sometimes you just have to say no to
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 30, 2005
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            On Oct 30, 2005, at 1:08 PM, atheniag wrote:

            --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, Chalcahuite <ximatl@i...> wrote:


            Episode 4, less action, more revelations and ground work for later  
            plot points, if they're not dropped, still more character  
            introductions, and more of your friend and mine:  fanservice.


            And the mysterious absence of a few key players.

            Just think about it....


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            I wasn't a Haruka fan until late in Mai-Hime, but now that I've come 



            around, I must say that Haruka rocks.  Haruka and Yukino make their  
            first speaking appearance, and while, ostensibly the dynamic between 



            the two of them is different, (I think Yukino is the noble that  
            Haruka serves) their relationship and their personalities still  
            haven't changed.  Which makes me grin stupidly.


            Yues and yes. Yukino is the Pres. of Elias, Haruka is her Otome.

            I like the buffed up new Haruka alot. And the fact that she and 
            Shizuru have "unfinished business". :-)

            Me too. Hopefully, we'll get to see more of them later. 

            Episode 4 of Mai Otome introduces one of the thinnest psuedo- 
            scientific rationale for yuri since Stratos 4's space virus. Simply  
            put spermatazoa interferes with the nano-machines Otome's use to  
            enhance and focus their powers.  


            And PSA, don't forget that. I liked that touch, myself.

            Now, I'm perfectly aware that power 

            in virginity is a cross-cultural staple of myths, legends, et al,  
            and, I'm not really complaining, but it is kinda lame. I think I  
            would have been OK with a cultural or political or some other  
            scientific or biological reason, but this just seems unnecessarily  
            silly to me.  But, that's OK. What this means is that the yuri  
            potential of this series just skyrocketed. (Though honestly, I think 
            we'll get the same or less amount of meaningful yuri relationships 

            as  

            the "forbidden-ness" of the straight relationships may take a higher 
            significance plotwise.)


            Pretty much. But when you think of the idea of the Otome as a whole, 
            there are so many other things you have to accepts as hand-waves, 
            what's another three or four? :-)

            Well, as I said, it was notable for being especially bad. Sometimes you just have to say no to really, really bad science. ;) 


            I did think it was a bit tedious of Natsuki to make it seem like a 
            *bad* thing to never sleep with a guy, considering, but perhaps she 
            assumes that that particular part of an Otome's education comes with 
            being assigned to an onee-sama. lol

            Well, I imagine part of that was for Arika as well as the audience. Presumably, most girls who want to become an Otome are already aware of this. Arika, being a foreigner, was likely unaware of what she was giving up. Although, judging by Arika's reaction, she either doesn't really understand or doesn't care. 

            As an interesting corollary, Akane and Kazu-kun's relationship  
            doesn't look like it's changed either, so if the writers pursue it,  
            theirs would be a "forbidden" relationship. Which leads me to think  
            that once again Akane gets to be the object lesson for the cast and  
            the viewers.  Poor Akane.


            Well yeah. OR, she may just make the decision - it's not like you 
            *have* to be an Otome. She may decide that love wins over duty.

            ...yeah, 'cause that happens in Japanese anything....

            Well, it's probably happened before. I'd wager that this type of situation may have brought about Arika in the first place. Though, this may be an important plot point later on. As for Akane and Kazuya, let's just hope that he's a noble and she gets assigned to him. 


            Or mayber, driven by the need for power, the blck letter crowd may 
            have come up with a way to suborn the normal desctruction of Otome 
            powers with something horrible and Sauron-like, giving rise to tedious 
            dark, mad Otomes.

            The black letter crowd are the Schwarz who have the "slaves" and are apparently a separate group from the Black Valley people with Rado, cyborg guy with Reito's seiyuu, and our maybe Mai, maybe Midori girl in the mask and cloak. 
            The motivations of these two groups are obviously an important plot point to be divulged later on, the Black Letter group may be traditional style enemies, but the Black Valley people may be something else entirely. Though, as unlikely as it for me to say this, they may want to look at other colors. ;) 



          • Ashley
            Sorta-Spoilers below... * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 30, 2005
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              Sorta-Spoilers below...
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              Yeah I liked the new Haruka too, she had a touch of her old persona in
              there as well. Yukino kinda looked a bit matronly though... but I still
              like them. And I just now noticed that Nao has a sexy voice. I liked the
              shower scene with Chie. hehe And the lesbian-virus... ya'll made it
              sound like they were saying:
              "Well because of the nanobots, dont be surprised if you or another girl
              falls in love with another girl." Which wasnt the case heh. I thought
              the whole "woman giving up her happines" line was a bit too much like
              'women are only happy when married (and in the kitchen)' but that might
              have just been me... ^^

              Ashley
            • Chalcahuite
              ... In theory, anyway. As I said before I don t think they re relationship has changed all that much. Haruka is still the where Angels fear to tread type and
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 30, 2005
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                On Oct 30, 2005, at 2:55 PM, Iain wrote:

                atheniag wrote:

                --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, Chalcahuite <ximatl@i...> wrote:


                Episode 4, less action, more revelations and ground work for later 
                plot points, if they're not dropped, still more character 
                introductions, and more of your friend and mine:  fanservice.


                And the mysterious absence of a few key players.

                Just think about it....


                *
                *
                *
                *
                *
                *
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                *
                S

                P

                O

                I

                L

                E

                R

                S

                P

                A

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                E

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                the two of them is different, (I think Yukino is the noble that 
                Haruka serves) their relationship and their personalities still 
                haven't changed.  Which makes me grin stupidly.


                Yues and yes. Yukino is the Pres. of Elias, Haruka is her Otome.

                I like the buffed up new Haruka alot. And the fact that she and
                Shizuru have "unfinished business". :-)


                We have an interesting mix of what we'd expect from MH and twists that
                seem to mesh well. I never really liked MH Haruka - she was an
                interesting person, but among everyone with power she could never be
                more than an annoyance. Now she has attitude and a way to express it.
                And then they made her subservient to Yukino - genius.

                In theory, anyway. As I said before I don't think they're relationship has changed all that much. Haruka is still the "where Angels fear to tread" type and Yukino is the one who gently reins her in. I think all they did was acknowledge that Yukino was in charge of the relationship. 

                I did think it was a bit tedious of Natsuki to make it seem like a
                *bad* thing to never sleep with a guy, considering, but perhaps she
                assumes that that particular part of an Otome's education comes with
                being assigned to an onee-sama. lol


                More than that, in the crappy translation I watched, she says "give up
                on a woman's happiness." I found myself doubting that Shizuru would
                agree with her on much of that speech.

                As I said, I think that was more for our and Arika's benefit rather than her own opinion on the matter. 


                I can't help but think that Mai as the hood is too obvious. I'm not sure
                if Mai as Natsuki's rival is also too obvious. Most of the MH twists
                were (well, I found) fairly obvious only in hindsight. They've pushed
                this one on us a few times now which makes me dubious.

                Well, yes they could pull a fast one on us, but I'll believe it when I see it. 


                If it is right - Mai / Reito might be otome / master rather than an
                illicit relationship. An otome's loyalty is to her master, with a
                death-pact. If Reito's involved with the Black Valley crowd (was that
                him fighting Shizuru?)

                Yes, that's Rado with Reito's VA. Not exactly the same character, but Sergei isn't Tate either. 

                then Mai may be opposed to the school's
                interests, too. And the only indication we have that the Black Valley is
                "bad" is Shizuru doesn't like it.

                Well, that and the wanton destruction, which the good guys usually
                refrain from...

                Well, now that I think about it, I think Rado's move causing the plane to start falling was a distraction, since the fight with Shizuru wasn't going to be easy and probably wasn't to go his way. And he wasn't really intent on causing wanton destruction initially, he had snuck in and was looking for something. I'm guessing there's a bit of lost technology that has revolutionary potential and he wants to get his hands on it. Probably for a bad end, but it's still early. 

              • Iain
                ... Just noticed? :) Oh, I *love* her voice. Good or evil, I don t care. After y all were talking about Mai HiME and I saw Yuuka Nanri in the list of seiyuu
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 30, 2005
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                  Ashley wrote:
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                  > like them. And I just now noticed that Nao has a sexy voice. I liked the

                  Just noticed? :)

                  Oh, I *love* her voice. Good or evil, I don't care. After y'all were
                  talking about Mai HiME and I saw Yuuka Nanri in the list of seiyuu that
                  was the last prompt I needed to download it. I got hooked on her voice
                  listening to the Madlax soundtrack. She voices Sawatari in "The Place
                  Promised in Our Early Days" (wonderful movie, if yuri-free) and I have a
                  hard time reconciling the light, bleak schoolgirl with the Madlax OP/ED
                  themes. No such trouble with Nao, though.
                • Fujyuu
                  ... Of Ashley ... Rather than to marry, I think it implies more on having child part. The man part could be less important :)
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 1, 2005
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                    ________________________________

                    > From: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Yuricon@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                    Of Ashley
                    > Sent: Monday, October 31, 2005 8:22 AM
                    > To: Yuricon@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: Re: [Yuricon] Re: Mai Otome 4 Raw (Mild Spoilers)
                    >
                    >
                    > Sorta-Spoilers below...
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                    > "Well because of the nanobots, dont be surprised if you or another girl
                    > falls in love with another girl." Which wasnt the case heh. I thought
                    > the whole "woman giving up her happines" line was a bit too much like
                    > 'women are only happy when married (and in the kitchen)' but that might
                    > have just been me... ^^

                    Rather than to marry, I think it implies more on "having child" part. The
                    "man" part could be less important :)
                  • mellowrg
                    ... I thought ... I think the show is trying to tell you that s just one of the many things an Otome has to abandon. Franky, even if an Otome was gay for her
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 2, 2005
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                      --- In Yuricon@yahoogroups.com, Ashley <dreamingxashley@g...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Sorta-Spoilers below...
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                      >
                      I thought
                      > the whole "woman giving up her happines" line was a bit too much like
                      > 'women are only happy when married (and in the kitchen)' but that might
                      > have just been me... ^^
                      >
                      > Ashley
                      >

                      I think the show is trying to tell you that's just one of the many
                      things an Otome has to abandon. Franky, even if an Otome was gay for
                      her mistresss I doubt it will be all peachy.
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