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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 Fan Service 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:
- Alas, Poor Villain: Nagi, the real Mashiro.
- 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.
- Absolute Cleavage: This troper will never look at Fumi the same way after seeing her Otome... well, you can't really call it a 'robe', can you?
- 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.
- Bifauxnen: Arashi
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Erstin in the first volume.
- Butt Monkey: Natsuki, more so than even in the anime.
- Combat Commentator: Irina, during Arika and Erstin's duel.
- Combination Attack: Trinity Lover Strike.
- Demoted to Extra: Chie and Aoi are given a limited role, and the latter only appears on one page at the beginning.
- Tomoe gets demoted to about the same importance as some of the other background Otome, mainly serving to comment on Arika's fight with Erstin.
- The Ditz: Arika is even more stupid here, though she makes up for her stupidity by being super
- Does Not Like Men: Erstin, to the point of panic attacks.
- 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 Princess Curled Rosalie Claudel from the anime.
- The resemblance is MUCH stronger with the
directly copiedsimilar 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.
- The resemblance is MUCH stronger with the
- Fan Nickname: The male Mashiro quickly became "Manshiro" to the fans (despite what Wikipedia says).
- Fan Service: *ahem*
- 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.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Alyssa
- Gainaxing plus Gag Boobs: Erstin, whose boobs are actually described as being "F Cup".
- 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.
- Hot Shounen Mom: Lena and President Saeko Kruger. In the Super H extra for the Arashi manga, Tomoe Marguerite's mother looks more like Tomoe's older sister.
- If It's You It's Okay: Erstin to Manshiro. Also, believe it or not, Nagi to Manshiro.
- I Want Grandkids: Lena is indicated to be this in Arashi
- Large Ham:
AssistantInspector Haruka Amiteji, Windbloom's Goddess of Justice! Rarely seen without both a megaphone and her trusty 300MM Enforcement Cannon.
- Lighter and Softer: In comparison to the anime. Erstin's not a mole and she doesn't die, Nina doesn't turn evil, Nagi is revealed to be a pretty okay guy after all and actually makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save Manshiro...
- 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.
- Mind Control: Shiho hypnotizes Erstin into fighting Arika.
- 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.
- Naughty Tentacles: Kazuya's Slave.
- 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.
- One-Winged Angel: Sergei turns into a giant black monster at the very end, followed by an A God Am I moment.
- Panty Shot: Quite a few prominent ones in the first chapter.
- Also present in the Super H extra courtesy of Manshiro himself, forced into wearing the short-skirted Garderobe outfit, complete with panties.
- Power Trio: Arika, Nina and Erstin.
- Psycho Lesbian: Yukino's Evil Counterpart. Unlike all other incarnations of her, she's the dominant and aggressive partner.
- 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.
- Smug Snake: Nagi...up until his gory death.
- 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.
- Tenchi Solution: The end result of the Arika/Erstin/Mashiro/Nina love square. And then, in Arashi, add in Arashi as the fifth.
- 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.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Catgirl Mikoto can turn into an actual cat.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Manshiro.
- Worthy Opponent: Midori gives Manshiro a rose to lay at the tomb of the Meister she killed during her escape, saying, "Even though she was my enemy, she was still a strong woman."
- Your Cheating Heart: Akane finds out that Kazuya was never faithful to her, and he is actually a member of Schwarz who was seeking to make contact with Arika. She is not pleased.