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Otome are elite female warriors, employed by important political figures as bodyguards. Their powers and skills are vast making them by definition supersoldiers (in a unorthodox fashion as they are also technically magical girls), as Nao explains to Arika the military strength of any country is measured by the number and quality of its Otome. On the planet Earl, where the series takes place, only one place exists where Otome are trained: Garderobe Academy in Windbloom Kingdom, where the ancient technology powering Otome is kept.
Otome receive their powers from nanomachines injected into their blood which granted peak-human strength and limited healing abilities. However, said nanomachines are vulnerable to the prostate specific antigen (PSA); acting as an antigen, PSA causes an Otome's body to develop immunity against nanomachines (and any future injections), rendering her permanently powerless. Therefore, Otome cannot engage in sexual intercourse with males.
The Japanese word "otome" (乙女 otome?) means "maiden", which can be considered to the Otome's forced virginity. This is, however, not the way it is spelled in the original title of My-Otome (舞-乙HiME Mai-Otome?), which only uses the first kanji of the word. In written form, Otome are called 乙HiME (乙-type Highly-advanced Materialising Equipment).
A Meister (pronounced "MaiStar") Otome is an Otome who is a qualified graduate. This is proven through the design of the GEM, which is different than that of the students'. In English, meister brings about the meaning 'a person who is good in what he/she does'. Therefore, it can be said that a Meister Otome is an elite Otome. However, Meister also means "Master" in German. Meister Otome also receive a title based on their GEM that can be inherited by passing on the GEM, for instance Lena Sayers and Arika Yumemiya are both referred to as the Blue Sky Sapphire.
A contract is a pact between an Otome and her master, whom she is appointed to protect. It is enforced by the Otome's GEM. The contract restricts the use of Otome powers, only allowing it upon the master's explicit authorization. It is not merely a technical term; the Otome and her master share their pain, and if one of them dies, so does the other.
If an Otome without a permanent master faces a need to utilize her powers, she can forge a temporary contract to allow her interim master to grant the needed authorization. Interim contracts are logged in Garderobe Academy.
A Robe is an Otome's powered suit. It provides her with super-strength, the ability to fly and materialize her Element, and, apparently, life support in outer space or at least above the upper atmosphere assuming the My-Otome universe still applies most of the rules of the normal world. Most Robes have prehensile ribbons or coat tails, the number of which vary, and some are used for support or extra appendages while some can be used offensively as blades. Most Robes also have distinctive glowing ring-like structures around the ankles and wrists as well as other glowing accessories on other parts of the suit. They usually glow when in flight. A few robes have extra unique abilities such as Sara's, which can turn invisible.
Robes are voice-activated. Once the GEM is unlocked by the master, the Otome can materialize the Robe by saying "Materialize!" The GEM then displays the initials of the Otome and her master, as well as the gemstone-themed code name of the GEM/Robe, and proceeds to materialize it.
Robes provide considerable physical resistance even to the apparently unprotected head but are not completely failsafe. Under sufficient external force (or simply from overexertion, as seen with Arika in episode 4), a Robe may shatter, although it is unknown if this completely suspends all of the Robe's abilities, as Arika and Nina somehow survived re-entering Earl's atmosphere in episode 26 even after their Robes completely disintegrated. Also, if the GEM's connection to the master is disturbed, the Robe will disappear leaving the Otome with her clothes before she activated her Robe. However, this process is reversible if the Otome comes in physical contact with her formal Master. She would immediately regain her Robe. This shown during episode 25 when Arika regained her Robe after clasping hands with Mashiro, her formal Master.
A GEM (Generable Enigmatic Matrix) controls an Otome's access to her powers. The name "GEM" is actually a pun, as GEMs are named after actual gemstones and resemble them. They always come in pairs, one is worn on an Otome's left ear and the other is on a ring of the Otome's Master excluding the Columns, Pearls and Corals. This is purely ceremonial however as physical contact is all that is required evidenced by Mikoto who holds her GEM in her belly.
Except for the Five Columns, the GEM requires authorization from the Otome's master before it allows her to materialize her Robe. It is never clear how Meister GEMs are made in the anime; in the manga, in the opening of chapter 2, it is explicitly mentioned that Meister GEMs cannot be made. In either case, GEMs are preserved when an Otome cancels their contract, as is evidenced by the Pure White Diamond, the Sky Blue Sapphire and the Abyssal Green Jadeite. However, the Excel Elegance White Onyx is never shown after Fiar is killed by Midori. Some GEMs are also lost, such as the Neptune Emerald shown in the last episode of My-Otome Zwei.
REMs (Reinforceing [sic] Enigmatic Matrix) are Schwarz-modified versions of GEMs. The only one known to exist is used by Midori. It resembled a large green lens worn on the back of a glove granting its user strength near that of a Robed Otome, via nanomachines, before breaking down after a short time. Youko modified it to last indefinitely until depowered. This is proven by the infinity symbol which is an inverted number 8 when Midori activated her powers.
In the manga, Arika Yumemiya also uses a REM for a short period of time after the Founder is revived. It is loaned to her by Midori because it allows her to materialize the Sky Blue Sapphire's Robe without confirmation from Mashiro and, more importantly, without the Founder's assistance.
The weapon of an Otome, which she is able to materialize. Elements can take virtually any form and have multiple special powers. A rather puzzling fact is that a Meister GEM might have several versions of the element. For example, the element that Arika uses before she destroys her mother's body is different than the one she uses after.
Formal ceremonial battles between Otome. Students may also engage in them. All of these special battles must be approved first, as they are subject to strict rules and procedures. Like with all other My-Otome terms Butou is a pun, it means Dancing Performance.
The academy for training otome as well as the absolute authority on all ancient technology as established by Fumi Himeno to prevent their abuse which led to great wars during her era (this policy was changed however after Mashiro convinced Natsuki to share some technology with Midori to save the people of Aswad, more technology was loaned again to Aries to stop the meteor). Politically separate from all other nations (despite being within the territory of Windbloom City as Natsuki pointed out to Sergey in Episode 2) and ruled over by its principal, it is also a political neutral ground (much like the United Nations) and the most vital element to all the nations with massive funds and sponsorships being poured into the campus from all over the planet. Once again the name is a pun, as garderobe means 'wardrobe' in a variety of languages.
Mechanical intelligent lifeforms used by Schwarz and the cyborgs of Aswad and Midori. They serve a similar purpose to Orphans in My-Hime however to be activated a Slave's Lord establishes a contract with one by bleeding onto a large obsidian gem thus establishing a contract similar to that of otome. Slaves come in numerous different forms from fairly weak mass-produced types to the Meister Otome level ones that Asward uses. Midori's Gakutenou is a Slave. Similar to the contract between a Meister Otome and her master, if the Slave is destroyed, its Slave Lord is also killed.
The Five Columns are Meister Otome who do not have masters (their master is Shinso, Fumi Himeno), and can activate their powers at will. They appear to be the only military police of Otome (evidenced by how Mahya arrested Akane) and preside over all other otome as a military tribunal and military court. They hold authority in sanctioning and presiding over the graduation of otome. They also are tasked with policing ancient technology to keep them from being abused and their authority is considered above other otome and on par with the authority of various national leaders. They are numbered #1 to #5, but these numbers seem to be more an assignment of duties than a ranking of them. With the exception of Natsuki Kruger, who acts as the headmistress of Garderobe, the columns work independently across Earl.
The Five Columns currently are:
- Sara Gallagher (Galacticamarine)
- Natsuki Kruger (Ice Silver Crystal)
- Shizuru Viola (Bewitching Smile Amethyst)
- Juliet Nao Zhang (Break String Spinel)
- Mahya Blythe (Swirling Dance Fluorite)
Nao is selected as the fourth Column during the events of the anime. It is unknown who previously held the title nor what caused her to abandon it. However, in episode 13, it is mentioned that Mai was selected as one of the Five Columns (presumably at the same time as Natsuki, her ex-classmate), although she ran away before she could be properly made a Column.
A Shinso is a deceased Otome who gave birth prior to her death, acting as the source of pre-Meister GEMs. Prior to the events of My-Otome, the only Shinso was Fumi Himeno, the first Otome, whose body was sealed inside Garderobe Academy. Fumi acted as the master to the Five Columns, faculty members and to Garderobe students. A separate back-up system is also built after Nagi's coup that allows Otomes linked to the Shinso system to materialize for a few minutes before it breaks down.
During My-Otome, Schwarz creates their own Shinso from the remains of Lena Sayers to power their Valkyries into a tower on Fuka Castle in Windbloom. It emitted an intravenous wave that disrupted the Otome's GEM link, dematerializing their robes. The tower also included a large cannon powerful enough to deflect Natsuki's cannon blast.
The Shinso system differs slightly in the manga, it is expanded as the system that assists all Otome across Earl. Unlike the anime version the Shinso is also still conscious and continually talks to Otome personally through various automated statues. The first Shinso is Fumi Himeno and then Lena Sayers, who is still alive in the manga. The Shinso also does not need to be dead prior to integration but loses their physical form after. Another notable difference is that a large statue of the Shinso appears on top of the Shinso Shrine.
The Valkyries were Meister-level Otome created by Schwarz. Their master was Rena Sayers, Schwarz's Shinso. They used identical black Robes and GEMs, which were referred to as the Obsidians of the Darkness (呪詛の黒曜石 Juso no Kokuyōseki) and apparently modeled after the technology Schwarz used to summon SLAVEs. The Valkyries carried halberds as their Elements and could transform into fighters for speed and agility. In this mode, a team of Valkyries could perform a powerful attack known as the Dance of the Valhalla.
The Valkyries lost their Robes when Rena's body was destroyed for good by Arika Yumemiya, her daughter.
The name "Valkyrie" is a reference to My-HiME, where the Searrs foundation referred to the HiMEs as the Valkyries.
Administar (Guiding Star)
The Guiding Star (導きの星 Michibiki no Hoshi?), as it is known in legends, appears as a blue dot in the sky next to Earl's moon.
Legends said that when the Guiding Star turned red, all Otome would be released from their contracts. In the final episode, Miyu fulfills the prophecy by connecting to the Administar from underwater ruins (resembling Fuka Academy from My-HiME) and reprogramming it, effectively substituting each Otome's master with the Administar itself. When she does this, the star indeed turns red and the moon changes its coloring as well, although it later reverts to its original state.
In My-Otome Zwei episode 4, Yuna, having assumed the form of a giant Fumi Himeno, interfaces with the Administar through Fumi's GEM, which shows the words "F.H connected Administar" and then "Administar connected F.H", turning the star red, allowing Yuna to regenerate, and awakening Childs around the world. Natsuki, Yohko and Irina later cut off the connection using the Surrogate System, restoring the Administar's blue glow and suspending Yuna's regenerative abilities.
The Surrogate System is the temporary system which takes place if the Fumi System is down. The surrogate system only has a limited number of uses available, and each use only allows a materialization for a few minutes before energy runs out. Only the Five Columns (which are contracted to the Shinso) need to use it; Meister contracts function normally and do not require the Surrogate system.
Yuna, a planetary annihilation weapon, an entity with the ability to copy and petrify anything it's laser comes in contact with. The origin of this was the asteroid, Thron 1, which was destroyed by Arika Yumemiya. Since Arika came in contact with the asteroid itself, it originally appears in her form. After attacking Garderobe the creature is usually seen in a form resembling Fumi Himeno, it possibly also possesses the ability to change into the forms of Miyu, Shizuru Viola, Maria Graceburt, Haruka Armitage and Juliet Nao Zhang.
Multi-purpose Assistant-type Independent Droid. A series of robots based on Miyu that are being developed in Aries.
Beautiful Power (Miryoku)
Miryoku is the name for special attacks used by Otome. Miryoku come in multiple varieties; some are used individually (such as Arika's Super Blue Comet) while others are performed in groups (such as Trinity Lover Strike, performed by Arika, Nina, and Erstin in chapter 43). Unlike the special attacks performed by some Otome in the anime (like Arika's Bolt from the Blue), Miryoku are not usually bound to specific GEMs, but rather to characteristics of the performing Otome; for example, Bust Impact, used commonly by Erstin, is an attack with a magnitude that varies directly with the user's bust size, and can only be performed by Otome with breasts F-cup or larger as is stated that a previous busty Otome could also use it.