One night in the Windbloom Kingdom, Princess Mashiro Blan de Windbloom is assassinated in her sleep. Some days later, the main character, an anonymous boy, arrives in Wind City, capital of Windbloom. Using a gem passed down from his mother, he takes up the identity of Mashiro and joins Garderobe. The story follows his experiences in Garderobe and later his battles against those who would seek to destabilize the peace.Okay, now forget any idea you might have had that this would be a dark, intriguing international story. Right, now that that's squared away, onto the real plot.The manga is semi-related to the anime series Mai-Otome. At the start of production (despite common belief, they started at the same time) both the anime and manga production teams were given the basic premise, setting and character list, then allowed to go into their own directions. Hence, the manga has a vastly different story from the anime with a far greater focus on Fanservice and wildly different Character Development. Additionally, a semi-sequel, Mai-Otome Arashi, followed a short time later and continued the story, along with a non-canon Hentai chapter that took place at a hot spring.Contains examples of:
Aloof Big Brother: Natsuki is outwardly cold and even a bit harsh to her younger sister, Alyssa, at least until someone threatens the girl. Alyssa even reveals that she designed the Maids with the hope that they would replace the Otome so that Natsuki would not have to be Headmistress anymore and Alyssa could spend more time with her.
Badass Longcoat: Natsuki is much more badass in the manga than in the anime. Mashiro gains one of these, from Nagi, of all people. He immediately stops looking like a trapalicious crossdresser and more like Sephiroth's Little Brother.
Berserker Tears: Shadow HiME Mai after she realizes how much Manshiro reminds her of Yuuichi.
Eviler than Thou: Sergey stakes his claim as the real Big Bad by offing Jerkass Artaian leader Nagi in a very bloody fashion to activate the Shinso. Hoo boy.
Evil Twin: Evil versions of the HiME are resurrected to fight against their Otome counterparts. Arguably, this also covers the real Mashiro, which makes for a harsh contrast to the more gentle twin, Manshiro.
Expy: While none of the Five Columns/Pillars are present in the manga, the short-lived "superhuman Meister" Reira Mariposa bears a striking resemblance to the heavily curled Rosalie Claudel from the anime.
The resemblance is MUCH stronger with the directly copied similar hairdo and ribbons of Youkihi in the Arashi manga one of the Cosmo Beauty Jewel Thieves who drive the plot of the 'sequel' manga. Her character design, minus the Otome robe, is a direct copy of Rosalie Claudel - Reira Mariposa was the one who got the robe.
Fan Nickname: The male Mashiro quickly became "Manshiro" to the fans (despite what Wikipedia says).
Fighting Your Friend: Arika vs. Erstin, although Shiho brings this about by manipulating (by taking advantage of Erstin's inability to stay with Nina) and mind controlling Erstin. Arika is willing to go through with this, while Manshiro is initially determined to stop it until Natsuki talks him out of it.
For Want of a Nail: Nina's character arc is decidedly different as a result of Sergay not being her father, and her future master Nagi being killed when Sergay begins his plan.
That, and Arika insists that, among the Corals, Erstin's chest is ranked number one. Needless to say, they get emphasized at every opportunity.
Heroic Sacrifice: Reito rips his own cyborg heart out and detonates it to protect Manshiro and Arika. Natsuki also tries to make a Heroic Sacrifice by replacing the Shinso (thus laying down her life) to restore the power of the other Otome during the final battle. Lena beats her to it though, so Natsuki has to settle for Taking the Bullet in the shoulder for Erstin.
Erstin also tried doing this herself once by throwing herself up against Evil Natsuki's Slave with a grenade. Needless to say, this didn't work.
Then again, that was one messy sacrifice, Mashiro gets a Tear Jerker death scene, and Mai from Mai-HiME is revealed to have been sealed away for God knows how long before she finally gets reunited with Yuuichi and Mikoto...
Luke, I Am Your Father: Rad/Reito says this to Arika when he takes her to meet Lena, who is alive, but doesn't recognize her daughter at all.
Mythology Gag: The girl that Tomoe Marguerite was... getting friendly with... in the 'Super H' chapter was more or less her evil minion in the anime, where Tomoe was a major antagonist. Huh... you know, if they were doing that in the anime continuity too, that would at least explain why she was so willing to listen to Tomoe all the time...
When the 'Dark Hi ME' show up, Shizuru is disappointed that there isn't one of her (as this is based off of the Mai Hime manga, where Shizuru was not a Hime, but Haruka was) and starts to think about what hers would be like. The image she comes up with is basically a comedic version of Shizuru Fujino from the Mai-HiME anime.
Naughty Nuns: Yukariko's "dark Hime" counterpart, complete with a very Stripperiffic outfit which looks nothing like a nun's habit and a "So many men, so little time!" attitude.
Ninja Maid: MIYU and the robots designed after her.
No Name Given: Every time Manshiro has said, or tried to say, his real name he either gets cut off or (the one time he said it) the audience doesn't get to read it.
Rags to Royalty: Subverted. Several times. Mashiro was originally meant to be a 'Kagehime' (Shadow Princess), or a stand-in for the deceased Princess of the Windbloom family. Then we learn that the original Princess Mashiro isn't really dead. THEN we learn that Princess Mashiro had a twin... Mashiro, who was secreted away as a backup plan in case Princess Mashiro snapped and went on a rampage. So Mashiro goes from being a fake stand in, to a worthless accessory, to the lone inheritor of the Windbloom Royal Family line in the space of a few manga chapters.
Stern Teacher: Miss Maria, much more so than in the anime. She even carries a riding crop around!
The Founder, (Fumi and later, Lena) tends to assign harsh penalties to Otomes, taking most or all of their points for minor infractions and making it difficult to gain hearts. Lena even insists that Arika call her "Shinso-sama" rather than "Mother" when others are around.
Take That: A description of Erstin's "boob attack" against Arika is a clear dig against the ridiculously-proportioned girls of Eiken.
Took a Level in Badass: Mashiro. No less than THREE TIMES: The first, upon inheriting Nagi's Badass Longcoat, and gaining the mental fortitude to oppose Sergei's plans. The second, upon manifesting the 'Mashiro Naru Kongouseki'(Pure White Diamond) and proceding to cut the Otome version of Kagutsuchi in half with a SINGLE ATTACK. The THIRD, upon using the 'Mashiro Naru Kongouseki' Super Admin powers to manifest all the Otome's abilities through him, gaining a white-shelled armor with 8 angel wings, and procedes utterly slaughter the penultimate bigbad of the series. This even carries onto the Arashi manga, where Manshiro - in a maid's uniform - manages to send someone molesting Nina flying with a single kick. And later on, he gets the Badass Longcoat back...
Unusual Euphemism: Manshiro refers to his arousal at being around half-naked girls who have no idea he is actually male with "My Element is Materializing!" and "I think my Element is going to discharge!"
Again, in the Super H extra, he uses "Element exploded" after a particularly... provocative scene.