Posted by psgels on 10 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

Mai Otome Zwei, to come with a Blackadder-quote, is like a broken pencil: utterly pointless. Basically, in an attempt to milk out the Mai Hime-franchise even more, the creators ran an on-line poll, where visitors were allowed to vote for their favourite characters. These characters would then be featured in a four-episode long OVA.

It baffles me to think that out of all possible characters, the three main ones ended up winning this poll, because yes, Arika, Nina and Mashiro somehow got most of the airtime and glory in this series, yet again, despite being the most annoying and aggravating characters in the original series already. Still, Mai Otome Zwei has one major advantage above the original series: it’s fun to watch.

Most of the airtime is filled with pure and useless fluff, focusing on these three characters and a number of lucky others who managed to score high in the poll, but at least it’s fun fluff. It’s quite refreshing, compared to the original series, which portrayed predictable and dull struggles between angsty teenagers. I actually laughed more in the four episodes of this OVA, than the entire 26 episodes of the series.

Still, the fact does remain that Mai Otome Zwei is full of weaknesses, especially when it starts getting serious and focuses on its storyline, which seemed to have surpassed the original series in terms of dullness; and let’s not forget the obligatory and suggestive bath-scene.

A story as cheesy as Mai Otome just mustn’t take itself seriously. It’ll only end up falling flat on its face, and the best way is just to include lots of comedy. The final episode of the series made a good start and Mai Otome Zwei continues this trend decently, but the fact remains that Mai Otome is, was and will always be a trainwreck. And then to think that Sunrise is planning to milk out this concept even more with yet another fully fledged continuation. Will the pain ever stop?

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Wyrdwad says:

    So this is TOTALLY UNRELATED to Mai Otome Zwei, but I didn’t know where else to post it, so I figured, ehh, I’ll just comment here. (:

    Have you ever seen the series “Bokura ga Ita”? I don’t know if you’re into straight-up realistic-fiction romance stories (think His and Her Circumstances / Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou), but if you are, you should check it out. I’ve been watching it for the last couple days, and it’s easily the best show I’ve seen in the pure romance genre since KKNJ (unless you count I”s Pure, but that’s more shounen romance, which I think of a bit differently).

    No one, anywhere, seems to be talking about this show, and I would’ve probably ignored it as well, had I not stumbled upon the fact that Akitaro Daichi directed it. He’s the guy who directed Kodocha, Fruits Basket, Akazukin Chacha, Sexy Commando Gaiden Sugoiyo!! Masaru-san, and both directed and co-created shows like Now and Then Here and There, Animation Runner Kuromi, Jubei-chan 1 and 2, and Grrl Power. He’s one of my favorite anime directors, and the fact that he was involved with this show intrigued me enough to download it… and I’m very glad I did, as I’m finding it quite engrossing!

    Just thought I should say something, since I like to spread the word about good shows that I consider not to get enough attention (i.e. PopoloCrois, Nadja, Alice SOS, etc.!). (:


  2. psgels psgels says:

    I know the series you’re talking about, I watched the first episode about a year ago, though at that time I wasn’t really into slice-of-life series, so I dropped it. I’m considering to pick it up again at some time, thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

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