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Headscratchers: Mai-Otome

Anime

Why don't they just use condoms?

  • Because you Can't Get Away with Nuthin' .
  • Besides, condoms aren't 100% fail-safe.
  • Do they even exist in The Verse? Maybe they have an ultra-conservative government that banned birth control.
    • They seem awfully nekkid-going and Les Yay for some sort of post-apo Talibans. Besides, they have friggin' trains and holograms; condoms were used in Ancient Egypt...
    • There are at least twelve countries on the planet, maybe more. It's unlikely that each and every one had birth control banned. Unless it was part of the Otome Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it sounds silly even then.
  • More practically, they don't want to risk it and more importantly the rich people that spend ass-loads of money training them don't give a crap about their sex lives.
    • True, but in some cases, the rich people in question do care. (* cough* Akane and Kazuya * cough* ... This one is ridiculous to the extreme. He's the king of his country, and he lets Mahya, a mere Column, control his own sex life?)
      • Mahya, as a Column, is extraterritoral with regards to her influence... sorta like a non-affiliated body with nuclear weapons that isn't allied with any one particular country. Plus this keeps Akane alive (as Mahya basically told the two that the punishment for running off was death for Akane). Besides, the Rule of Funny is in effect here.
      • A lot of fans did not find that one funny in the least.
      • Do Akane and Kazuya really need to have sex for their relationship to be complete? Mahya may have been going a bit too far when she implied Kazuya only wanted Akane for her body, but having a chaste relationship is a potential compromise between love and Akane's Otome career (although they could follow Rosalie's suggestion and have Akane marry Kazuya while Shiho becomes his Otome).

And for that matter, wouldn't dispersed semen be the ultimate weapon against Otome on an actual battlefield?

  • Bukkake for victory? >_<;
  • Come to think of it, does the DNA in question have to be... inside to take effect?
    • It's prostate specific antigen, not DNA.
  • Not to mention what this quirk of the nanotechnology implies would be the most efficient way to permanently rob a captured Otome of her powers.
    • What, males useful in a Bishoujo series? You've got to be kidding me!
    • This possibility is actually used in the anime. In one episode a group of hired thugs tries to drag Arika into an alley and "revoke her right to become an Otome".
    • Presumably though, this would never be used against a real otome. In addition to the obvious fact that otomes are walking nukes, if you did manage to capture one it would be infinitely more beneficial to study the nanomachines intact, rather than rape the girl to depower her, and then try and study the goop that the nanos have become.
  • Wasn't there a story in the manga where an enemy tried to seduce one of the girls to quit and be his girlfriend and I believe a soldier also once tried to rape one of them.
  • One can try to corner an Otome and stab them with a syringe full of semen, or the Otome can carry these syringes on their person (for stabbing other Otome.) Better yet, one can use a firearm that shoots darts full of the stuff!
  • More than likely because of shear impracticality. It's implied that it really needs to be a direct injection of the stuff to do anything (so even if somebody was enough of a psycho to try making it into a gas or something it may not have worked), and syringes make for terrible weaponry because of the fact that it really needs to go in very specific points on the body that are very small to get into the bloodstream, and the needles on them are fragile as can be so trying any kind of forceful stab would likely break them. As for semen syringe shooting guns, you'd need Improbable Aiming Skills of the highest order to hit said points with a gun at any range, and that's not even taking into account the fact that they can dodge normal bullets. At that rate, this troper thinks they're all better off having them try to stab each other with their BFSs.

Is the storyline connected to Mai-HiME at all? If it isn't, why all the references? If it is, how do all the doppleganger characters make sense?

  • The answer varies depending on the medium. If it's the manga, then yes (it's stated outright by the Big Bad that the current planet is Earth, and he also mentions the events of the Mai-HiME manga). The anime, however, is more ambigious.

Why didn't Nagi just destroy the Fumi System when he had complete control over Garderobe and had such a chance? It would have at least rendered the Five Columns powerless. And for that matter, why was Garderobe so lightly guarded that a few Otome managed to get in easily without their Robes?

  • He didn't have complete control over Garderobe. He couldn't get into the mausoleum where the Fumi system is kept (since Fumi's corpse is part of it, that must be where it is) or he would have had access to all the lost technology in there.
  • Sirect attack against Garderobe would have been direct offense against treaties, which would have led entire world against him. They already had trouble convincing peaple that Nagi had commited crime.

Why didn't Nagi stop Sergay and the Valkyries from trying to kill Arika? The goal of their mission was to capture Mashiro alive, but if Arika died, so would Mashiro! (Kudos to Amaiko from AnimeSuki for this observation.)

  • He did tell them to capture Arika, but didn't actually need Mashiro anyway.
    • No, Nagi did insinuate to Sergei that he wanted Arika dead. His "We don't need Arika-chan anymore. Actually, she's just in the way now," statement plus Sergei and Nina's horrified reactions to him saying that make it pretty clear that he's suggesting Arika be killed in the upcoming kidnap attempt. Again, for someone who's supposed to be such a mastermind, he's somehow ignoring the fact that killing Arika will kill Mashiro as well.
      • It didn't really matter if Mashiro was alive at this point; he had her country after all, and the marriage wasn't important after that.
      • That doesn't change the fact that the whole exchange doesn't make sense. Even if Nagi didn't need Mashiro alive, the mission is presented to Sergei and Nina as "retrieve Mashiro", not "kill Mashiro" and yet Sergei clearly gets the implication of Nagi's "We don't need Arika-chan anymore" but somehow fails to notice or protest that killing Arika would kill Mashiro as well. It's just retardedly done no matter how you look at it.
      • Both Arika and Mashiro are potential threats to him. So, either he captures them to keep them under his control, or he kills them — Both work.
      • Sergay tells Arika to surrender if possible and appears to react to Tomoe trying to kill her as though it's something that's contrary to the plan. It's unclear whether this is Nagi's plan or just him acting on his own, though.
    • He never clearly state "kill Arika". Just that she is useless to them. Also, Sergey realises that killing Arika is bad idea, watch his reaction as Tomoe goes out of control. It could be interepted that Nagi wanted Sergey to... depower(look up on the page) Arika and lock her up so she would no longer be a threath to him. Which just makes Nagi even more jerk.
    • Oddly enough, the Valkyrie system (which prevents the people with it from going against the mission) doesn't shock Tomoe when she tries to kill Arika, but when Chie seemingly attempts to go against her orders to capture Mashiro, she gets shocked.
      • For that matter, how does this restraint system work? Is it an AI or what?

Why did Tomoe continue to attack Arika after Sergey had already captured Mashiro?

  • Surely she knew about the whole "kill the Otome, kill the Master" bargain, too, since she and Arika took the same classes. If Nagi found out that Tomoe disobeyed a direct and crucial mission to settle a personal vendetta, she likely would have screwed herself out of her "reward".

How do multiple contracts work? Say, if one Otome from the Delta Squad was killed, wouldn't it result in a chain reaction that would erase the other three and their master?

  • Could be that one have to take down all contracts for the master to be erased.
    • If Multiple Contracts are one of the things the anime took from the manga, that's precisely the case.
  • Masters also receive any minor injuries their Otomes receive, and may be affected more by them (When Nina hits Arika in the leg in the final battle, Mashiro suffers damage and is in a wheelchair with her leg in a cast in the last episode, while Arika is fine running and flying) It's thus possible that an Otome might be damaged more than the master could bear, causing the master's death and thus, the Otome's (especially if all of the Delta Squad suffered severe injuries).

Wouldn't it have been easier to introduce the rule that Otome are not allowed to fight other Otome and/or are restrictied to defensive methods only? It would have made for far less drama, but that way the nations could still have defended themselves against eachother's armies, without risking all-out destruction by Otome going berserk.

  • That would defeat the whole point of the Otome system, which goes roughly like this: "If wars happen anyway, let's avoid unnecessary human casualties by introducing warriors nearly indestructible by conventional means and thus reducing wars to duels between them." Of course, everyone, including the Otome themselves, hopes that the rulers will be wise enough to never unleash them against each other, but it's not always the case.
    • Sounds like "A Taste of Armageddon" to me. Personally, I think it's dumb anyway - in total war, a competitor will do anything to win. Anything to get the other guy to have no choice but to surrender. Did people really think they could impose those kinds of rules?
      • In a word, 'yes.' The whole narrative of the series is about a breakdown in those rules. If you substitute "Nuclear Weapons" for "Otome" things make a lot more sense.
      • Keep in mind that when an Otome fights, they risk there master's life as well as there own, so in order to be effective in a war, this system means that the head of state is personally risking their life. Kind of brings the stakes closer to the decision makers.
      • There's also the "Strategic Otome Limitations Treaty" in Zwei. Substitute "Arms" for Otome, and you can see what it's supposed to remind you of.
      • Also, the rule of "only Otome fight" isn't an "imposed" rule, it's a practical limitation. Otome can simply No Sell and One-Hit Kill every other weapon system in the world. In the final battle, Mai and Arika annihilate an entire army of Slaves on their way to the palace. There's no point in using other kinds of soldiers, except for holding territory when an Otome isn't around.

Why were only four of the Five Columns present during the final battle? Where was Mahya, in Cardair adjusting King Kazuya's chastity belt?

  • Mahya showed up towards the end of the battle with Akane. You may have been distracted by Akane's boobs and missed her. I know I was.
    • Maybe, but where was she before?
      • ...with Akane and Kazuya. Are you unclear on the timeline of events?
      • Akane arrived earlier. She was already there when the other four Columns transformed at once.
      • No, she wasn't. She and Mahya arrived together on a Cardair land battleship.

Is this show supposed to be science fiction? If so, it's so soft it makes my head hurt.

  • The show actually has more of a fantasy setting. The SF-elements merely function as ways to spice up the plot a little.
    • Ironically, Mai-Otome qualifies for science fiction more strongly than, say, Star Wars, even though the "science" behind it is complete bull — because the main characteristic distinguishing SF from a Space Opera is exploration of how technology affects society, and to me, it's almost the entire point of Mai-Otome. Minus the fanservice.
  • Mai Otome is Science Fantasy. a fantasy plot with science fiction style elements but no serious attempt to make the science consistent or physically plausible. Just like Star Wars.
    • The technology presented in Mai-Otome, while completely implausible, is internally consistent in a Magic A Is Magic A sense. Star Wars is space opera: its futuristic setting serves little purpose except as a backdrop for epic stories (although the Expanded Universe highly varies in this respect). Here, the Otome technology is a plot point, a rather obvious metaphor, and the series explores its effects on the society, both short-term and long-term.
  • Whole serie revolves around technology. Nanomachines replace magic, altoughn they work same way (don't ask about slaves, there is no excuse for them). The Force of Star Wars works sameway, altough less consistent. So yeah, Mai-Otome is science fiction. It has science(major point of the serie) and it's fiction. Criterie filled. If they would say MAGIG then it would be fantasy.

How did Arika and Nina survive the fall through the atmosphere... without Robes... naked?

  • The Power of Love?
    • No, thanks, I'd prefer a logical answer that makes sense in a rational, materialistic universe.
      • You're watching the wrong show for that.
      • It's your opinion. Thing is, there's no magic involved in Mai-Otome. It would never occur to me to ask such Just Bugs Me question for, say, Mai-HiME, because that series features actual magic. Here, all "magic" is Applied Phlebotinum. It's not like I have high standards here; even an answer like "Garderobe science sneers at air friction!" would satisfy me, as long as it's, you know, addressed in the actual show.
      • It's more like Magic from Technology, really.
      • it's not just like Magic from Technology it realy is that, at least in the manga. Where it is made clear that the Otome's are the end product of the Searrs Foundation's research.
      • It's demonstrated that Otome don't have to be Robed to have superhuman strength, improbable fighting prowess, ability to shrug off deadly poisons, etc. Robes just make it moreso. Perhaps the list of innate abilities includes resistance to high temperatures. Or maybe they're not harmed because they're so preoccupied with their hug they don't even notice. Or maybe the universe runs on cartoon physics. Or Rule of Cool.
    • Interestingly enough, while they're clearly shown falling through the atmosphere, apparently burning up on re-entry, they're never shown landing. Perhaps someone caught them at some point, maybe while they were still in outer space.

Why didn't Miya simply stand up to Tomoe and tell her to get bent? She didn't have anything to gain by going along with her, and would probably have been able to make something of herself if she stayed on the straight and narrow (for given values of "straight").

  • Furthermore, why didn't anyone else except Chie or Shizuru notice? It's not like Tomoe was doing that good a job at keeping it a secret.
    • I motion that we add Selective Obliviousness to the main entry due to this failure of main characters to notice important things, like upcoming betrayals.
      • I'm tempted to go one step further and call Idiot Plot here. Specifically, the survival exam episode, when Arika and Erstin's tracking bracelets lose their energy when they try to call for backup after Ers gets bitten by a snake. I think it would have made sense to send one or two of the Meisters to form a search party at or around the point where they stopped receiving the signal. Instead, the faculty waits around for news of Arika disappearing to suspend the trial, not considering that someone (Tomoe) could have tampered with the equipment before everyone got started. Sure, it would have been a mild inconvenience to double-check the bracelets and repair them if necessary, but wouldn't it have made sense to ensure that everyone was competing on equal ground?
  • C'mon, this one's easy. Tomoe is a bully. Lots of high school students have trouble standing up to bullies. There doesn't have to be a fancy reason for it — just good old-fashioned intimidation.
    • Still, in Episode 5, Nina threatens to not hold anything back if Miya does it again. Is Miya that much more scared of Tomoe than of Nina? And shouldn't Miya have at least enough of a conscience to go against Tomoe when her plans involve having Arika raped?
    • Miya setting Arika up for rape was probably also motivated by Arika's childish comment about the ongoing war involving Miya's homeland. Tomoe definitely had a hand in it, but Miya would definitely see no problems in going through with it after what Arika said.
  • Speaking of Tomoe, wouldn't you think Garderobe Academy would be smart enough to have mental evaluations of some sort to make sure their potential Otome are mentally healthy and not prone to being a crazed Psycho Lesbian who will kill whomever her delusional mind thinks is hogging attention from their love interest?

Garderobe is sitting on powerful tech capable of lifting the human race to being a truly space-faring race, and the only way they see the tech is as a weapon, even to the point of dehumanizing the very wielders of the tech.

  • "I must study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy." - John Adams.
  • That's actually kind of the point. Garderobe was founded after a disasterous war with high technology that looked like it could be The End of the World as We Know It. The war was only ended by the intervention of Fumi and the introduction of Otome technology. Garderobe's purpose is to keep that kind of dangerous technology out of the hands of ambitious politicians while maintaining the status quo with the Otome System. The Black Valley is their opposite number who lands were devastated by technology and who believe that it is the same technology that could save them.
    • Well yeah... On the other hand, it can be argued that if the tech were redesigned with a different set of restrictions a functioning society could be constructed where the only difference is a proportionally greater quantity of power in a given individual. For example, just nanites gets you basic reaction-less acceleration and environmental invulnerability up to and including no atmosphere, with society authorizing individuals for larger allowed power-levels (increasing abilities and granting new ones,) culminating in combat-level and finally the old Meister Gems. Perhaps acquired similarly to driving licenses, with the combat-level and Meister Gems subject to the strictest regulation and years of training. It just seems like the ancients had a knee-jerk reaction to a new tech and applied some unneeded restrictions to it.
    • Because humans are such a peacefull people. No matter what tech they would release, someone would at some point use it as a weapon. They are planning to slowly release technology at the end of the serie. Otomes are used to prevent long and costly wars, by having them tied to leaders. Decide to go to war? Better be sure fo your abbility to win or it's your funeral. However, we have seen what most of the old tech is: world destroying weaponry. You really want to give that to public?

Why didn't the Windbloom royal family get a new Otome after Rena was "depowered"? Not only that, from the way Sergei and others present the story (that the Windbloom invasion "coincidentally" happened right after Rena's "retirement", when she'd already been "retired" for about a year at that point) it sounds like Windbloom and/or Garderobe kept Rena's depowerment and subsequent pregnancy a secret from the public, only choosing to reveal it a few months after Arika had been born. Why?

  • Probably because they didn't have an appropriate GEM. The Lofty Crimson Jade was destroyed, and the Azure Sky Sapphire is implied to not work properly for just anyone. True Otome GE Ms are a finite resource, Garderobe doesn't whip up new ones on command. So it was better to keep the fact that Windbloom was largely defenseless without Garderobe's protections (which can't be called on in just any situation) a secret from the world at large.
    • If that's the case, then what GEM was the King of Windbloom's Otome using in Sifr (remember, Rena was specifically Bruce's Otome, not the King's) and why didn't they use that one instead? Or even if Garderobe doesn't create new GE Ms on command, there were absolutely no currently unused GE Ms or suitable Meister Otome without masters waiting around for an assignment? I would think that Garderobe maintains at least a few "backup" GE Ms exactly for situations like Rena's, (they managed to produce a backup GEM for Rosalie to use after Akane bolted with Florence's GEM, after all) so the fact that Windbloom basically sat on its ass and did nothing to rectify their lack of an Otome still smells like a plothole to me.
      • On a separate matter, shouldn't there be repercussions for one GEM that formerly belonged to Florence changing hands to Cardair? The two countries weren't on good terms before, and while Shiho (another Otome formerly from Cardair) takes Akane's place as Florence's Otome, I wonder what the King would have to say about the GEM going missing. Akane was going to send it back as soon as she "lost (her) qualification for using it", but that never ended up happening.
    • It's suggested in the Character Profiles (see 0:48 and 1:04) that the Corals and Pearls got their names from jewelry that can be mass produced, which might suggest that the Academy can easily make 50 gems for first year students and 25 for second years. This would also imply that making Meister-level GE Ms is more complicated, but may produce stronger GE Ms with unique abilities. Then again, as for Otomes, there's no shortage of volunteers for Otomes, and as most of the replacements happened almost immediately, it's strange that Windbloom didn't replace Rena when she was depowered for at least nine months, and possibly retired for longer than that.
How do you know that they didn't have another otome, one who was overwhelmed by sheer numbers and force? It's been proven that Aswald can overpower otome (Like with Fiar). And since that other otome wasn't really important, she was left out of the story.

Wait... Why did the Harmonium react to Arika and Mashiro if Nina was the true princess?

  • Perhaps because they both knew portions of the song that was supposed to activate it?
    • To clear that up a bit more, the Harmonium needs three things to break the seal and operate. A Player (any member by blood of the Royal Family of Windbloom), a Protector (any Otome), and the Song (specirically, the song that the various girls are singing to each other throughout the series.) Arika is an Otome, and Mashiro knows the Song (as a member of the Royal Family, she has been taught the whole song even though she can't use it.) The Harmonium lights up two circles and reveals itself, but it won't activate for that alone. Later, when Nina turns up, she herself is a member of the royal family by blood, the Otome of the Ultimate Black Diamond, and has been taught the Song by Arika and Erstin. Thus, she alone fulfills all three requirements.
    • Later confirmed that Nina playes both roles of Protector and Composer. I think it's tradionaly Royal Family member playing(Composer+Song) while his/her Otome(Protector) watches. However, Nina is Otome and knows the song and has Royal Blood, so she fills all three roles.
    • Oh, and to answer original question: it reacted to Arika, who is otome. It also could react to Mashiro since she knew part of the song.

What happened to Sergay and Nina after the final battle?

  • You can see Sergay getting wheeled away to Garderobe on a stretcher, and Nina falls out of the sky at the end, but it's never stated how they managed to avoid being arrested for their roles in Nagi's plan for world domination or how they could have escaped with Sergay being in the condition he was in. It's also unclear why Nina would take him far away rather than let him stay at a hospital if she wasn't being forced to flee. They could have been forced into exile, but if they were, it's strange that it never comes up in the ending or Zwei.
    • Most likly they were just put somewhere far away, Nina being considered too much emotionaly unstable to be held accountable and Sergey having lsot his memory. Most likely Garderobe just decided to pull it under the rug, by letting people think she died. She didn't like what she was doing, but was manipulated by Nagi. Nina isn't excatly poster girl for emotional stability

Mashiro's identity

  • So, the minister turns up with some random infant and proclaims she's the lost princess, and all they can do is suspect her of being fake? What ever happened to DNA tests?
    • Ignoring the very real possibility that DNA tests just don't exist here, its made pretty clear that everyone knew Mashiro might be a fake—but more importantly, they need someone who they can present to the public as a rightful heir. Otherwise civil war would erupt.
    • Because at that moment, all they knew was that royal family was wiped out and they needed someone to claim the throne or face civil war. So one duke comes and says "Hey, I got princess!" everyone just rolls with it. They might have made DNA test, but decided that fake princess is better than no princess at all.

Why didn't Nina or Chie do anything about Miya or Tomoe, respectively?

  • At the end of Episode 5, Nina warns Miya that although she doesn't plan on telling anyone about her being responsible for the theft of Arika's uniform, she doesn't like "cowardly acts like that", and "if (Miya) does it again, (she) won't hold anything back". Chie similarly tells Tomoe in Episode 16 that "Shizuru Onee-sama will be sad as well. If she finds out you were making Miya-kun do all those things". If they were expecting Miya or Tomoe to stop what they were doing to Arika, without having to resort to reporting them, it clearly didn't work out (Tomoe tries to drop a vial of acid on Arika in the same episode as when Chie delivers her warning), so it's unclear why Nina didn't follow through with her threat or why Chie didn't charge Tomoe for her responsibility in the incidents, despite having the power and responsibility to do so.

Nina and Sergay after the final episode, after Sergay loses his memory.

Putting aside the issues with a girl falling in love with her adoptive father, his getting shot and losing his memory, enabling her to introduce herself to him again without is knowing about their prior relationship raises some questions, the implications of which make this a bit of a wasted plot, since Nina notes in Zwei that nothing has happened between them yet, and Sergay is only briefly shown in the ending.
  1. Would amnesiac!Sergay be notably different from pre-amnesia!Sergay to no longer be the person Nina loved?
  2. What would happen if Sergay somehow regains his memories and realizes that Nina has lied to him?
  3. What would happen if he met anyone (notably Arika) who knew him before and didn't know what he had forgotten, especially being Nina's father (and most likely, his past connection to Lena)? Would they or he realize Nina had deceived him? And how might Arika feel about him now that the conflict against Nagi that put them at odds with each other is over?

Manga

Just how old are the Dark HiMEs supposed to be, anyway?

  • If Mai is supposed to be the mother to the Mashiro twins, then shouldn't she look a little older (in her 20s, perhaps)? And yet, her respawned Dark form (as well as the rest of the Dark HiMEs) looks almost exactly the same as she did in the Mai-HiME manga.
    • The Dark HiMEs are apparently not the real thing, at least not physically. Judging by what happens to them when they die, their bodies are some sort of artificial recreation of the Mai-HiME cast, with the souls trapped inside providing their powers. So it makes sense that they'd look like those girls did when they were young, rather than what their Otome counterparts look like now; they look like that because they were modeled to look like the HiME when they were at their most famous, which was when they stopped the Obsidian Prince.

How old are the characters in general?

  • While you can generally tell how old a character in Mai-HiME is by what year they are in school, here, you have a few issues that call into question how old characters are
    1. Shiho and Nao (who in Hime, are middle schoolers) are in the same year as Chie and Akane, (two high schoolers). Shiho in particular looks younger than some of the Corals (such as Tomoe).
    2. On the other hand, Natsuki and Mai, previously first-years in high school, have graduated most likely a few years prior to the Pearl class at the start of the series' enrolling at Garderobe. They're also only a year behind Shizuru and Haruka, both third-years in Mai-Hime.
    3. Both above cases would suggest that age is not necessarily related to the year in school at Garderobe.
    4. Natsuki, in the manga, looks only a few years younger than her mother Saeko, and looks at least two or three times as old as Alyssa (who does not appear to be an Artificial Human, unlike either of her Hime incarnations).

Is there a databook or any such source for the manga and/or anime that suggests the character's precise ages?

Mai-HiMEHeadscratchers/Anime & MangaMai-Otome 0~S.ifr~

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