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Anime: Mai-Otome

I finally found my dream. So call me reckless or whatever, but I'll do it.
—Arika Yumemiya

A 2005 series, from the creators of Mai-HiME.

Sometime in the future, on a distant colony world that has almost forgotten about Earth, the rulers of the various nations are accompanied by super-powered female bodyguards called "Otome". These Otome are ordinary girls who have been transformed into fearsome weapons of war through training and nanotechnology, acting as protectors and military deterrents. The Otome are admired as the pinnacle of grace and beauty, to the point where every little girl wishes to be one when they grow up.

Only one place in the world possesses the Lost Technology needed to create Otome: Garderobe Academy, an elite private school in the city-state of Windbloom. Arriving at this place is fourteen-year-old Arika Yumemiya, an energetic young girl determined to follow in the footsteps of the mother she never knew and become an Otome. Armed with a mysterious amulet and no shortage of bull-headed enthusiasm, Arika wins her way into Garderobe only to discover that the road to becoming an Otome is much harder than she ever dreamed.

As Arika trains to become an Otome, a conspiracy to seize control of Garderobe's Lost Technology begins to emerge, linked to a cult known only as "Schwartz". The realities of Arika's idealist dream — and what it means to be an Otome — slowly come to light as the world ticks towards all-out war and the deadly powers of the Otome are called into service.

The series is notable for recycling virtually the entire cast from Mai-HiME, with lots of in-jokes based on the differences a character might have between the two series: for example, a Yandere character in Mai-HiME is in a happy and content relationship with the girl she lusted after in the original series. The last few episodes imply that the series exists in the same universe as Mai-HiME.

Mai-Otome is every bit as fun a ride as its predecessor, and in spots is strongly reminiscent of Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind. Highly recommended.

Followed in 2006-2007 with Mai-Otome Zwei, a four-episode OVA. A three-episode prequel, named Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~, has also been released, featuring Arika's mother, a young Miss Maria, and two canon immigrants from the Alternate Universe novel series Mai-HiME Destiny.

Has an attendant manga, which actually started first and was produced at the same time. Opinion over that one remains divided. Keep in mind that it was never meant to be a direct adaptation, and they were just given the same concept.

Available in North America from Bandai Entertainment for English-speaking viewers, although it's inexplicably retitled My-HiME Z: My-Otome.

For more information on the characters themselves, please direct your attention to the Mai-Otome character sheet.

This show provides examples of:


MahorabaAnime of the 2000sMushishi
Mai-HiMECreator/FU NimationHaruhi Suzumiya

alternative title(s): Mai Otome; Mai-Otome; Mai-Otome
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