Also Known As: My-Otome, Otome
Genre: Romance/Drama
Format: 26 Episodes
Allegiance: Sunrise
Director: Obara Masukazu
Vintage: 2005-2006
Intelligence Agency Report by: Orax
Yumemiya Arika has one goal in mind, and that’s to become an Otome. In order to accomplish her dream, she enrolls in the prestigious Gualderobe Academy that trains young maidens to become worthy Otome. Becoming an Otome not only allows her to enjoy its rewards, but also helps her discover secrets of her past. As other nations become jealous of the monopoly that Gualderobe has on Otome, Arika will find herself in an adventure that will decide the fates of all countries.

Field Agent Report by: Orax
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
Audio
7.00
7.50
7.25
8.50
8.25
Overall 7.25
(not an average)

Pretty much Mai-HiME’s second season, Mai-Otome takes the same characters but puts them in an alternate universe. Otome shifts focus to concentrate on the new characters, yet it keeps HiME’s familiar cast quite close. In general, I’m glad the main characters are new, but I found the series to be less appealing than its predecessor.

Otome’s first episode does well to capture interest, as it impresses the viewer with great art and action mixed together. Yet, it soon followed in HiME’s footsteps as it took many episodes to get things moving and become exciting. Only for Otome it took much longer, and while waiting, the viewer is exposed to drama that, in all honesty, made me cringe in response. Scenes that were supposed to be touching only got my head shaking in disapproval. The drama that defined HiME does not appear in its successor.

Another problem I had with Otome is that there was a lot of background story that never gets explained. A large part of the blame falls on the huge cast of characters that only grew since HiME. Only a brief mention is made in some cases and the rest is left up to the viewer to find out. There was too much story to handle and not enough time to explain it all. Even by the end of the series, I still felt like a stranger in this new world.

To be honest, it was only the fact that I watched HiME that made me finish this series. My interest peaked only after my favorite characters in HiME showed up in Otome. Though there were times that I did enjoy watching this series, it was only because it was living on borrowed fame. In conclusion, I don’t feel it’s necessary to watch this if you’ve seen Mai-HiME. But, if by some chance you’ve seen Mai-Otome first, watch HiME now.