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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » My-Zhime: My Otome. Vol. 4
My-Zhime: My Otome. Vol. 4
Bandai // Unrated // January 8, 2008
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Rightstuf]
Review by John Sinnott | posted April 28, 2008 | E-mail the Author
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Series:

Volume four of My-Otome is another excellent disc. These four episodes keeps the larger plot moving while also taking time to look closely at the Otome's themselves to see the sacrifices that they make in order to become powerful and highly regarded royal servants. The Otome are both powerful and tragic, and the show doesn't ignore the latter aspect, which makes the story very interesting.

Series background:

The planet Earl has lost most of the technological knowledge that they once had. One of the few pieces of advanced tech that they still have access to are nanobots that can enhance a woman's strength and abilities, but only virgin women. The women who are injected with these devices are Otome, and act as both servants and bodyguards to the royalty of the planet. If they ever have sex their bodies will reject the nano-machines however.

14-year-old Arika Yumemiya has traveled through vast deserts to the capital city of the Windbloom Kingdom in search of her mother, who she knew was an Otome. Arika has a mysterious past, she hardly knew her mother and was raised by her grandmother, and there may be more to the young girl than meets the eye. Arriving at the capital Arika meets Nina, a top Otome candidate. Nina is aggravated by the rural Arika but when the new girl spots someone running from guards they both go to her rescue.

It turns out that the girl they saw was none other than Mashiro Blan de Windbloom, the soon to be crowned heir to the throne. Mashiro isn't grateful that Arika and Nina saved her life. After all, that's their job. The princess is a spoiled brat of the first degree, partially because she's been pampered all her life, but also because of the rumors about her, rumors that she's not be the real princess. Nearly 14 years ago there was an invasion. The king and queen were killed, and the infant princess was missing. As soon as the invasion was repelled, a minister produced a baby girl that he said was the princess...but was she really?

Based on her performance saving the queen, Arika is granted admission to Garderobe Academy where Otome are trained, an honor that many aspire to but few achieve. Getting special treatment doesn't endear her to many of her new classmates however, and the fact that she doesn't have the money to pay the exorbitant tuition sets her apart from the others too. It seems that passing her classes won't be the only things that Arika has to worry about.

This volume:

These episodes take some time to look at the Otome's themselves and how they feel about what they are going through. The first episode centers around an Otome in training named Akane. She's an excellent student, one of the top in her class, and she has a promising career ahead of her. She would be happy since her life long goal is to become an Otome except for one thing: she's in love.

Akane has to choose between her dream and the man she loves, and it's not easy. What's more, her predicament makes Arika realize that she's in love too, with Sergay, Nina's adopted father.

Meanwhile things start heating up politically when two Otome from rival countries have an all-out battle. No one is hurt, but things could quickly escalate to an all out war. Peace talks are hosted at Garderobe Academy but both sides are adamant that the other country was the aggressor. The head Otomes start wondering if there could be someone pulling strings behind the scenes and trying to start a war.

At the graduation day ceremony for Garderobe Academy, Arika has been chosen to perform in a mock dance battle for the entertainment of the guests. This is also the day that Mashiro unveils her newly restored castle. It looks like an exciting day, but events don't go as planned and something sinister happens that may affect the lives of all of the Otome at Garderobe.

This was another good volume. The show is doing a good job of telling smaller, more personal stories so viewers can feel connected to the characters along with moving the larger more complex overall plot. It's still not clear what is going on or just who is on the bad guy's side, which makes the show interesting. There are a lot of unexpected twists in the show, including the expulsion of some of Arika's classmates. This is one of those shows that its really easy to get into, and my main complaint is that I have to wait for the individual volumes to be released instead of just plowing through the whole adventure.

The DVD:


Audio:

This series offers viewers the option of a listening to the show in the original Japanese with optional subtitles or to an English dub, both in stereo. I alternated audio tracks and the Japanese one is superior. I'm not a person who thumbs their nose at all dubs, some recent English dubs have been fantastic, but this one has some characters with phony accents that sound really bad. They are minor characters, granted, but we shouldn't have to put up with something like that at all. Aside from that, both tracks sounded fine. There were no dropouts, distortion or background noise that I could hear.

Video:

The full frame image looked very good. The colors were bright and solid and the lines were tight. On the digital side things also looked fine. There was just a touch of aliasing in the background, but it was much less than your average anime disc. Cross colorization, blocking, bleeding were all absent. Overall I was very happy with this disc's visuals.

Extras:

Bandai included a short adventure, Beyond the Crimson Sky, with this disc. This mini-episode lasts 6 minutes and show what happens after Akane and Kazu run off at the end of episode 13. It's pretty cute. Needless to say their elopement doesn't go as planned. There's also a textless opening and trailers to three other Bandai anime titles.

Final Thoughts:

This series is really growing on me. The show is moving at a good pace while filling in some of the details of this world at the same time. Many of the events seem too big for one person to handle by themselves, much less a mere student. It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds. Highly Recommended.

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