Synonyms: My Princess
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Sep 30, 2004 to Mar 31, 2005
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.711 (scored by 30071 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction comedy drama fantasy romance school
Apr 14, 2010
At first, it seemed to me that I was getting dragged into another magical-girl-super-happy-fun-time-shoujo-drama bit. But after about episode 3, I realized that there was something...else, a mechanic that seemed to me as cryptically subliminal. I thought, "angst, perhaps?" I indeed did see a touch of dark story that plagued many backgrounds of the main characters in the show. That is what had peeked my interest in the beginning: to continue examining just what made these HiME girls tick.
The company did a very good job of expressing different personalities in all of the characters. Each persona had their own individualism without becoming redundant or too obnoxious. Each girls' CHILD specifically expressed the more deep, introspective psyche to each of the characters' personalities (Natsuki's cool, level-headed demeanor expressed by the ice wolf Duran; Nao's manipulative, sexual charm demonstrated by the slick and dangerously beautiful Juliet; Mai's tragic, yet passionate willpower and strength shown by the power of Kagutsuchi, etc...)
When the characters collide in conflict, there is no awkward dialogue (save for some traditional mou and fanservice-y scenes), and it made me feel as though I had some deep, underlying connection to these characters, caring about their own feelings as if we were good buddies. The story that drives the entire plot, basically: "You will destroy all the lives of those around you so only you may prosper, and you will watch the loved ones of those you have defeated die." Once I took in all of the both large and minuscule details of the plot, I had sunk down so deep into the depths of this anime that I had become enthralled by it.
The dramatic music promotes a heartbroken beauty when watching the incredible art of this show come to life. The use of shadows, flamboyancy of bright and deep color, and the intensity of shading and lining makes this series not so sore on the eyes. Although, like most shows, there are the common examples of "forgetting" to draw in the facial expression or what have you in characters "behind the main scenes".
I hope that others can come to appreciate this marvel of a series that I have come to love. Either that, or I'm just crazy. Nevertheless, I hope other anime lovers out there will come to see this show the way I see it: Beautiful, dramatic, and addicting. read more
Sep 9, 2008
I watched Mai HiME long before joining MAL so I didn't know what to say when I first saw the overall rating to be so low. Thus I decided to re-watch the show this past week to refresh my memory and to prepare for this review. If there is one thing my opinion changed about this anime since my first time watching it a few years back, it is the quality of the animation which we will get to in a moment. One short recommendation before we begin the review, get lots of tissue paper when you watch the latter half of the anime, you'll need it.
Extremely outstanding. Although the first half was somewhat slow to begin with, but the second half just throw you out the window. But without the character introductions and developments in the first half, the viewers reaction will not be as strong in the latter half. In essence, the entire show (episode per episode) was planned so that it can bring out all the emotional effects as it approach the end. That is not to say the anime is boring until the end though. In fact, most of the humorous moments reside in the earlier episodes mixing with some light fan service.
The animation quality is one of the very few things this series could have worked on. As a product made in 2004, the animation level is definitely not the best that Sunrise could have produced.
Absolutely stunning. Mai HiME is one of those rare anime series where the OP and ED are overwhelmed by occasional theme music in between episodes. The soundtracks are so well coordinated that one can truly say the music can play with your emotion.
Due to the large number of casts in the series (there are 13 HiMEs alone, not to mention their "precious" other half), it can get messy the first time watching it. However, once you get past the confusion of knowing the characters, you'll see how well each of the characters are made. The strong links between each of the HiME, whether it is friendship, hate, or romance, all proved to be an important part of the story.
Enjoyment + Overall:
A must watch. I can't stress it enough. MUST WATCH! I don't care if you are a guy, a girl, a homo, an animal, or whatever you may be, I strongly recommend it (don't forget the tissue for the 2nd half). I hope you get my point on how much I've enjoyed this show. As for Mai-HiME's successor, Mai-Otome, I would recommend it just as much as Mai-HiME. Another definite must see! read more
Jan 6, 2007
Characters include the 13 HiME's, each with a distinct personality and Child - a sort of mecha guardian. Each HiME also has one special person, very important in her life. That makes a main cast of 39 (or 26 if you don't include Childs). From here, there's several more main characters related to the plot as well as quite a few sub-characters. Sounds confusing, right? Sunrise does an amazing job of maintaining this large cast - main character names will always remain with you (or at the very least, their faces will be memorable) while the few interesting and comedic sub-characters also prove to be very memorable as well *cough*Chie&Aoi*cough* Main characters have backdrops to their personalities, reflecting their actions and continue to develop through the story.
Animation and Sound are top notch as expected from Sunrise and Kajiura Yuki. The soundtrack's most prominent pieces feature language-less vocals mixed with various background music (pseudo techno, strings) which will easily stir the emotion tied to the scene. I truly, have never heard any other anime's soundtrack that can even match the raw power of HiME's. Although the art style is simplistic for characters, you can really tell the difference between Mai HiME and a lower budget anime. Specifically, the battle scenes prove to out match Gundam war zones.
The most important part - the story. Mai HiME features two very different arcs, the first lasting about 16 episodes and setting the stage for the second. The first is a simple "defeat the bad guys while dealing with school, love and drama," however, the second changes the story completely. When I saw the change, I nearly choked on my drink. I won't spoil it, but it's quite the heart breaker. Both however expand on characters and situations to give a very powerful feeling to watch more - While Mai HiME was still coming out week by week, I literally watched each episode 3-5 times ^^;;
Another great part of the story is how each episode inter-connects with another. Something small may happen in say, episode 5 but in episode 8, that something small creates a greater impact that you'd imagine at first. >.> Sorry about the poor explanation XD. To be able to make the viewer put all the pieces together shows an incredibly high level of planning.
Mai-HiME is amazing at what it does. Drama, action, comedy, romance - if you're looking for any of these, watching Mai-HiME will not disappoint. Don't be fooled by the overly comedic appearance though - by episode 8, 15 and 16, you'll be dying to watch more as you sit through some of the heart wrenching situations the people you've seen up till now have to live through. read more
Oct 24, 2007
This anime is about girls who are able to see a strange red star. These girls are known as HiME (Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment) and they each have special abilities to materialize elements to use in combat. From the beginning of this amazing series it may be hard to see why so many people love Mai-Hime however the first half dedicates itself to light-hearted humour and character developments. The comedy aspect of the series mixes well with the fanservice, to create something that is entertaining to watch and the characters that are introduced and developed are not only limited to the few stars of the show. It is until a major turning point that the series takes spin to the storyline; filling it with intense action, romance, heartache. The major plot is also finally revealed, as it is about the fated battle between the Himes, with their Childs (strange mecha-like beings). What makes it so incredible is that each battle will always have a tragic conclusion, which you may even shed a tear for. T_T
The reason behind those tears you may shed is solely because how well each of the characters and their connections between each other (either romantic or friendship) is developed.
As for the animation, I would say that Mai-Hime is animated well, with decent environments and character designs that suit their personalities. The action sequences are quite the treat and even though the quality may reduce slightly, the somewhat fluid animation makes up for it. What helps intensify these moments are the added CG effects and the over-the-top emotions. The music was alright to begin with but with the added plot twist, came an improved soundtrack. It really made a difference in the emotional scenes and also the action sequences.
Overall Mai-Hime is a surprisingly amazing anime, which was far above my expectations. After watching countless Action, Romantic, Comedies, I didn’t think I would find anything of the same genre that could standout but Mai-Hime proved me wrong. With such a fun anime with characters you’ll easily grow attachments to, I was worried when the show went on to a darker path. Yet this darker storyline worked so well that I ended up getting so emotional I had to hold back tears. The ending to the show was partially satisfying but it was still incredibly stupid and just didn’t go well with the storyline. So if you allow this marvellously, entertaining anime to grab your attention then you’ll love it like I did; however, if not, then this anime is just not for you.
^_^ read more
May 30, 2008
The beginning of My-Hime was quite fun to watch, featuring extremely likeable characters and well choreographed action sequences. In particular, the first episode had amazing action sequences and was quite a good way to start. However, I started to wonder just as the previews for ep 2 said “Hey, isn’t this suppose to be a school life story and have lots of moe in it?” Afterwards they started to focus on the school life aspect, introducing and fleshing out the large cast of characters while slowly building up the plot in the background. Where as in the 2nd half all of this character building is cashed in so to speak and the plot rolls in full force. Without the first half the 2nd half of My-Hime would have not been as effective.
Now this isn’t to say that the 1st half of My-Hime was bad, it just wasn’t anywhere near as good as the 2nd half. As I said before the 1st half was fun to watch with amazing action scenes and very likable characters. What really surprises me is the fact that virtually everyone in such a huge cast gets plenty of screen time to flesh out their characters. Even now I can still remember the names of most of the characters, where as most of the time I can only remember one, the main character. Part of this is due to the extensive back-story and distinctive personalities of each of the characters. In addition, there is a high level of consistency with the characters actions when things get intense in the 2nd half, which is where My-Hime really shines.
The 2nd half features some of the most powerful moments in all of anime. Even now I’m hard pressed to think of any arc in any anime that was as emotionally intense as the 2nd arc of My-Hime. This is because of the highly fleshed out characters and relationships between the characters. I could go on and on but I’ll let the unspoiled viewer see first hand. This is how Battle Royal (movie) should have been done, yes I found it tragic, but it was not emotionally involving as I didn’t know the characters or their relationships.
Accompanying the intense action/drama of the 2nd half is nothing less than the music of Yuki Kajiura. The pieces were appropriately haunting/sad when needed and happy/upbeat during the more comedic parts. I consider this to be Yuki Kajiura’s best work to date. Voice work was equally as impressive, as it should considering the number of well known voice actors/actresses were cast in My-Hime. For example, Mai Nakahara, Tomokazu Seki, and Saeko Chiba. Animation is excellent, as evident of the amazing action scenes as well as the high level of consistency in character design. Although, I wasn’t too fond of the characters designs, in particular Haruka’s eye shadow and Yukino’s hair.
However, My-Hime is far from perfect, my majors complaints would be the lack of direction in the first half and the ending. Most of the first half was dedicated to introducing the characters but it felt like they were introducing characters for the sake of introducing more characters. In addition, there were a few filler episodes that didn’t serve any purpose. I felt that the writers didn’t have the full story planned out from the beginning and was testing to see how popular My-Hime was to gauge how long it would be. As evidence, My-Hime was originally planned to be 13 episodes (or at least that’s what everyone thought at the time) and due to its popularity it was made into 26 episodes. Similar to Code Geass, originally planned to be 25 and ended up with 50.
My 2nd and perhaps more critical complaint would be the ending. Since this is extremely spoilerish and is something that I cannot leave out, the rest of this section will be hidden.
I’m not opposed to happy endings (contrary to what most of my real life friends would say), I’m opposed to poorly done happy endings. Around ep 16 the series became much more darker and serious. However, half way through the last episode they decide to pull a 180. All of a sudden the tone shifted to light and happy and all the previous conflicts were magically resolved (ex, Haruka and Shizuno). In addition, all the hime’s coming back was done in such a cheesy way, it was almost painful to watch. This was not a dues ex machina as the “beloved one” being revived was mentioned and was a major part of Midori’s role. It was the reset, sudden shift in tone, and the poor execution that pissed me off. Also, some of it made no sense what so ever, for example, Alyssa died of a gunshot not because of the child of her “beloved one” was defeated. I think the creators were so dead intent on a happy ending they forgot about everything else, especially in making a well executed ending.
I have one more minor complaint, I wish they had changed the OP and ED to reflect the tone of the 2nd half. It felt awkward when an upbeat song is used as the OP for a series where things are extremely dark and serious. Besides that I can’t think of anything else to complain about.
My-Hime features a fun and lighthearted 1st half with extremely likable characters. In addition, the characters are all fleshed out, which is quite impressive considering the number of characters. The 2nd half is the payoff of the character building of the 1st half, featuring one of the most intense and emotionally draining arcs of any anime I’ve seen. However, My-Hime is not without its faults. The first half lacked a bit of direction and the ending is poorly done which forces me to drop the final score. However, this doesn’t change the fact that My-Hime is a fun yet emotionally intense anime series with a great cast of characters. read more
Jun 21, 2008
Mai-HiME is a peculiar show in that it consists of two distinct halves: thirteen episodes of slice-of-life, followed by thirteen episodes of more serious business and some pretty heavy drama. A mediocre first half and an supposedly "amazing" second half. Let's start off with the first thirteen episodes.
Easily the most enjoyable episode in the first half of the series is the very first. Everything about the show is still fresh, new and spectacular, though a bit ridiculous. Though not particulary promising, I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the fist episode.
The bad thing is: the twelve episodes that follow are much, much worse. You'd think that after getting to know the characters and some of the lore, you'd grow to understand more of what exactly is going on and you'd be much more upset if a character, for example, died. Well surprisingly, that's not the case. The first half of Mai-HiME is so incredibly uninspired and, most of all, boring, you'd wish some of the characters would just die to move the plot along. But they don't. They keep on being the same generic anime character they were the episode before, they keep showing off their panties, making wordjokes and being generally unfunny, to a point where I dropped the show. I couldn't go on. A friend of mine recommended the show to me and he told me that come episode 13, things would have a turn for the better. I was at episode 12 and yet I could not reach the second half. In the end, I skipped episode 12 entirely, hoping I hadn't missed out on anything. Looking back now, I don't think I have either.
Now don't get me wrong. I use the word "slice-of-life" as if it's something satanic, but that's not my point. I've been through 100 episodes of Naruto filler and Azumanga Daioh and Minami-ke are still some of my favourite shows. Slice-of-life (the genre we've all been referring to for half of our anime since Wikipedia told us this is the correct word) is fine with me. It's just that the first 13 episodes of Mai-HiME were worse than probably any anime I'd ever seen. I was annoyed by the characters (I'm looking at you, Mikotoy), annoyed by the generic and predictable plot, annoyed to a point where I was screaming in front of my PC. Torture is the word. Yet, I rate the show a 5 ("average"). I've think I've kind of gotten my point across for the first half of the show, so now let's move on to the better stuff, shall we?
In episode 13, something happened indeed. What exactly happened I'm not willing to spoil, but the show took a turn for the better. For the first time in the series I saw some characters evolve, interact like human beings. The characters are what is supposed to carry Mai-HiME as a whole, and had so far really disappointed me, so I was really glad to see this happen. The most enjoyable aspect of the episodes that followed were still the battles which took place, the action scenes, but come episode 19 the show reached a new high. In this episode, Mai had finally evolved into something which could be considered a "strong" character. She finally made me feel her pain, even if just a little, and at that point I thought: this has potential.
What I also thought was: what took them so long!? Was all the slice-of-life bogus really necessary? Did Sunrise think I'd grow to love the characters more after seeing Mikoto bitch about food for the gazillionth time? Imagine this: In a second season of Azumanga Daioh/Minami-ke/Love Hina, all the girls gain special powers to fight off random monsters. And then the directors expect you to feel bad when Osaka/Kana/Naru dies after an overly dramatic battle sequence. Mai-HiME is kinda like that.
Still, for some reason, by episode 19, I cared for (some of) the characters, I wanted to know where they came from, what they'd been through to get here, I was interested in their story. That's right, I was psyched to further discover the world this anime took place in. I kept searching for answers in the 7 episodes that were left, I wanted to know what drove these characters, what their motives actually were. And by Steven Seagall, did those episode leave a lot to be desired.
It's as if Sunrise said: "Motives? Motives are for losers."
Allright, so Mai had a motive. Sort of. Natsuki Kuga had a motive, too. But that's it. The aforementioned Mikoto for example, didn't really seem to have a history at all. She just acted like a preschooler and so her motive was: "I'm a preschooler, this is how preschoolers act." A character perhaps even worse than Mikoto was Shiho-chan, a psycho loli with special powers who wanted Mai dead for supposedly falling in love with her "Nii-san." Apparently she thought this matter was more important than the fate of humanity. I guess there are sometimes characters like that, but from my point of view it just didn't make sense at all. As for another character (naming her would be a spoiler), Sunrise didn't even bother. This character turned out to be an absolute psycho with no values or reason whatsoever. Motives? "I'm a psycho. Now I will kill you."
Never have I seen a show with so many cheap, unrealistic characters who just fight because the story asks for it. And hey, that's fine. Same goes for Dragonball Z. But if the characters don't carry the show, what's left? You can't count on the story here, either. Enjoyment? The only thing I got out of the show was utter frustration.
As for the last episode: kill me. Compared to this, the End of Evangelion made perfect sense and Akagi's ending was particularly satisfying. It was all the more proof Sunrise themselves never had any idea where they were taking this story to begin with and thus it all ended in a horrible fashion.
So, let's discuss the technical aspects of the show. The art in Mai-HiME was so-so, the animation had no noticeable flaws but really didn't really break any new ground. The music is supposed to be one of the high points of the show, but I can't say I agree. The only background music I can still remember was rather annoying and the OP is just laughable. On the other hand, sometimes when the drama sets in, I do remember the music setting the tone pretty nicely and I admit I have the ED stored on my harddrive. Finally, the voice-acting here is pretty much standard fare. Though a bit too typical for my tastes at times, it really did suit the show. In the end, the best things about Mai-HiME are its sound and visuals.
Long story short: Mai-HiME can do nothing but disappoint the viewer. If you don't have really low standards or someone forcing you to watch, there's no saying if you'll even make it through the first half of the show. When you do arrive at episode 19 and finally get drawn into the story, the ending will definitely disappoint you once again, leaving you with hundreds of questions which are never answered, not even in the following seasons. After having read this, you should already know that I'm being nice by rating Mai-HiME a 5. Then again, maybe it's just me. There are definitely people who enjoyed this show. As a hater, all I can say is that even if you'd be the person who could enjoy Mai-HiME, there is still an endless list of anime you'd enjoy even more. I really do advise you not to waste your time.
P.S.: Do not, under any circumstance, watch Mai-Otome. Even fans agree. It's a disgrace to a disgrace. read more
Sep 5, 2013
Story – 8/10
Despite its start filled with comedic school life and some action packed drama, Mai-Hime’s real strength in its story lies later on with its numerous and exciting plot twists as well as its romantic and psychological drama.
The story begins with Tokiha Mai and her brother, Takumi, on a cruise ship bound for their new school. Takumi has problems with his heart and is always being cared for by his older sister. They meet several other people who are attending their school before they notice a girl floating face down in the water. The girl is rescued and given CPR by Mai, but it turns out she was being chased by another girl, Kuga Natsuki, who has mysterious powers. The two girls who both have powers begin fighting on the ship and end up destroying it as everyone else aside from Mai escapes into lifeboats. And, of course being the main character, it turns out Mai isn’t so normal either. Afterwards Mai and the girl who was being chased, Minagi Mikoto, somehow end up waking up outside of their new school in the morning as everyone arrives for the first day of classes with a long burnt trail in the grass behind them. Mai and the other girls who have mysterious powers and partners are called “Hime.”
There’s really not much more I can talk about that wouldn’t give away spoilers, but the show just slowly keeps getting better and better as more and more secrets are revealed. There were some things I felt the show kept hidden for too long and some things (like the First District) were never really explained much at all, but for the most part I felt the show timed its twists and turns well (especially after Episode 15). At the end there are a few things that I realized were kind of pointless or a little strange, but nothing that really ruined the flow of the story (well the cake making part was weird).
Sound – 10/10
By far the best part of the show. The Japanese voice actors (especially Mai’s) all fit their roles perfectly. Even before I knew that the music was done by Yuki Kajiura I thought it sounded very similar to the soundtrack from Madoka Magica. The music really helps convey the emotions of the dramatic scenes in a way that not many anime can. Most of the music involved a hard rock orchestra and a soprano choir to give it a very supernatural and intense feeling. As the show progresses it gets more and more psychological (especially for Mai who gets into situations that resemble the dementia filled Evangelion at points) and the music especially works to bring out her inner emotions and her conflicts with the many characters in this show. About the only song I didn't “love” (an important word in this anime), was the opening theme. It was fine at first, but as the show became more dramatic it stopped fitting in and I started skipping it. It is also played during the final episode and maybe one other time during the series.
Art – 9/10
Remember that this show is from 2004-2005, so I am judging based on the art of the time (so this is the one category in which I cannot compare Mai-Hime to Madoka Magica). For the time, the art is actually very good. With such a large character cast, I find it amazing that they actually made every single character look unique and memorable. Even when it comes to facial structures, while many shows copy and paste faces with new hair and eye colors to make characters look different, Mai-Hime genuinely makes no character look like any other.
The fantastical backgrounds especially later on and the fight scenes are all magnificently animated. Each girl has unique weapons and fighting skills which give each of the action scenes their own personal value (even though the drama is usually more important than the action).
Character – 8/10
Not the best part of the show, but still very good. With such a large character cast, some of the characters were introduced a little too quickly and not given enough time. However, that may be true for the lesser important characters, but for the important 10 or so magical girls, they are given amazing development throughout the series despite the large cast.
Mai is by far my favorite character. Her development is the greatest and most of the drama in the series centers around her. Despite seeming cheerful at first and enjoying her new school life, later on, Mai goes through one of the most psychologically challenging trials I have ever seen a character go through. Everything crashes down on her faster than she ever could have imagined. I love psychological anime and the characters in them, and this is one of the main reasons I like Mai. She goes through a lot of similar things to what Kaname Madoka goes through, and they both try to deal with their problems in similar ways by trying to avoid them as long as they can.
The other two main characters are Natsuki, the headstrong lone wolf, and Mikoto, the childish girl who is searching for her older brother. Mikoto quickly becomes best friends with Mai. While Natsuki stops trying to kill Mikoto, she still does not get along well with either of the other girls. In addition, there is Yuuichi, a boy in her grade who Mai met on the ship, Shiho, Yuuichi’s childhood friend who is in love with him, Takumi, Mai’s frail younger brother, and many other “Hime” as well as some other normal and not so normal characters. The cast is too long for me to describe them all and saying much about them would spoil them anyway, though this is the only show I can think of where there is more than one yandere girl (one more obvious than the other).
Enjoyment – 8/10
I originally found out about this anime through an AMV at Otakon (fortunately I forgot anything that would have spoiled it before I started it), and I am really glad I watched it. It’s really a great twist on the magical girl genre as well as being a great dramatic and psychological thriller at times. I recommend this if you like things like Madoka Magica or Evangelion which break out of the normal confines of their genres and explore new ideas.
-------Overall---8.6/10------- read more
Oct 25, 2008
We are given the story of pretentious Mai Tokiha, who goes to a school she can barely afford so that she can mope and pretend to be a loving, hard-working sister who takes care of her terminally ill brother (who should just die, since he has no purpose whatsoever other than to be paedo-yaoi fodder). There in the illustrious Fuka Academy, she meets the ultra-loser Tate, who is a pervert with bipolar tendencies and suffers from a chronic case of 'no personality'. She learns she is a HiME, thus she is given awesome power to control a giant robot that she cannot unfortunately ride in. She meets other HiMEs who also have giant robo creatures under their control. Unfortunately, they don't all combine to create a MegaZord. Then the Obsidian Lord stirs up trouble, Mai's boobs bounce a lot, her tsundere compatriot Natsuki is half-nude a lot and the other little feral girl runs around and does nothing.
So basically, yes, it's 90201 with robot monsters.
The art was sloppy, the sound was abysmal, the characters were all stereotypes and offensive.
I only liked it because Shizuru gets it on. Sort of. And Tate gets what's coming to him. Other than those two pay-offs, this anime was totally unfabulous. It seriously sets girl power back another century. It would certainly disappoint the Spice Girls, because it was a-zig-a-zig awful. read more
Jun 25, 2010
I eventually did reconsider, mostly for the sake of my friend, and I decided to give it a shot. After watching just the first episode, I was already curious to find out more about the story. Mai-HiME picks up speed as it goes along, which kept me wanting to watch more. By the time I was finished, I was completely blown away! I found that it was easily one of the best I'd ever watched.
Let me break it down for you:
Story (8/10)- This anime is backed by a surprisingly good story. This won't be apparent for the first few episodes, as you'll get caught up in a lot of silly/funny moments that ultimately don't do much to advance the plot. Even so, such moments are still fun, and good for a couple of laughs. But around episode 7ish, the deeper aspects of the plot become apparent. The setting is light and happy at first, but the show gets some darker, more intense themes as things progress.
Things open up pretty calmly, where a wide variety of students have been brought to a very prestigious, student-governed school. The focus is on a group of girls called "HiME's", which apparently is an acronym for "Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment" (though this is only shown in the title sequence and never in the actual show) who attend the school. Not all of the girls know that they are HiME's at the outset, and quite a few discover their abilities as the plot progresses. Unbeknown to them, many of the girls were recruited to the school because of their powers. As the name suggests, the "HiME's" have the ability to summon weapons of different sorts. They can also summon a "child", which is basically a large creature that fights alongside them. The HiME's don't know it, but there are some distinct risks to using their "childs"...
I won't spoil the whole story for you, but there are some pretty intense fights as things really gets thick toward the end. Not only that, but the fights are very emotionally charged as well. You'll begin to wonder if any of your beloved characters are safe during the last several eps. I was brought to tears once or twice as one of my favorite characters was put through some rather strong emotional torment.
Overall, I loved the story. It wasn't the strongest point of the show, but there weren't any gaping plot-holes to be tiptoed around, or any super cheesy moments that made me raise my eyebrows. Solid story that will keep you hooked until the end.
Art (9/10) - The art isn't the best I've ever seen, but it's definitely quite good. There were some pretty cool effects with the different creatures and surprising number of explosions for a show about a bunch of girls. You probably won't sit back and gawk at the art, but it's more than good enough to suit me. No glaring instances of short-cutting, or blandly drawn characters keeps the art up to scratch.
Sound (10/10) - Excellent soundtrack! The opening theme is one of the most addicting openings I've heard, and I often found it stuck in my head throughout the day. The anime is rather short (26 episodes) so you won't get tired of hearing the same music throughout the series. The music during the more intense battle sequences fit the mood perfectly, and the slow, sad singing during the emotional parts will bring you to tears. One of the strongest points of the show.
Characters (9/10) - The character development was outstanding throughout this show. The main character (Mai) is one of the most lovable and charming protagonists I've ever encountered. I may be biased, because she reminded me of someone I know, but regardless, I really grew attached to Mai as the plot went on. There are many other memorable characters too, many of which you'll grow rather attached to in addition to Mai.
Now, if the characters were so great, why did I only give it a 9? Simply because there was one character who made some lifestyle choices that I really didn't care for. I cannot say who or what, because of spoilers, but I found it annoying, nonetheless. Despite what I thought was one blemish on the cast, the rest were enjoyable, fun, dynamic, and fit their roles perfectly. Be prepared to cry as these poor characters are put through a whole lot of hurting.
Enjoyment (10/10) - If it's not obvious by now, I absolutely loved this anime! I would probably call it my second or third favorite of all time. One of the few reasons I only gave it 9/10 is that I wished it would have been longer. It seemed to me like much more could have been done with the characters and story. I was still satisfied with the ending, but it left me wishing for more.
Overall (10/10) - Aside from a very select few shortcomings, I was extremely surprised with this anime. I'm glad I gave it a chance, as it's now one of my favorites. Anyone still doubting should give it a shot; you won't be disappointed.
Mar 25, 2009
After watching the first two episode I was most likely to drop it, for real...and, well, now Mai Hime is probably my favourite anime.
Well...I'm not even questioning if I should start from bad or good points, because even if I overthink I can't find Mai Hime bad sides...
I should probably make a short analysis...
Let's just say that it's possible that this shows has the best characters ever.
I've never watched before an anime (but a movie too) where all, and when I say all I mean all, the characters, including secondary ones, are depicted in such an accurate way. Their characterisation is part of what makes Mai Hime great as it is.
Not one character is anonymous or lacks on personality or everything else. Just everyone has its depth and the viewer can see that very clearly.
(You can recognize the character's depth even in their child - for the ones that have one - that is not meaningful but somehow reflects the character itself and that's a great element for me.
Then, another element that I think makes this show a masterpiece, is its ability( and no..it's not something that just every anime has) to make the viewer feel true emotions while watching it. To make the viewer get excited, or moved. Mai Hime can do both. And it is extraordinary how this anime can make you laugh and cry, and this really is a key point for Mai Hime real value.
Of course, this element just now, it's almast entirely possible because of the presence of two base elements and to one in addiction.
The first is the characterisation of the cast, and I already wrote about that.
The second is the plot that starts slowly, it doesn't even seem interesting in the beginning and then in a bunch of minutes it just sucks the viewer in.
After you get involved, you can't help but watch and enjoy every single minute waiting for what's next to happen. You kind of feel like you would divore the anime(and that, of course, is a very good point too).
The third element that close the circle is a really important one in anime, and in Mai Hime does its job just perfectly. I'm talking about sound.
Just the name: Kajiura Yuki. This woman's probably a genius, her music is heavenly, I've never heard something like that before. And somehow I particulary like every anime she composed the soundtrack for.
It's not so silly to think that maybe, some of the merit is just hers.
Her music for Mai Hime are spectacular. Such strong, intense, sometimes sad, or energetic, or even dramatic sounds only Kajiura Yuki could compose.
The soundtrack really help you getting involved with Mai Hime universe, and the music itself can sometimes move you. Of course, when it's related to the plot or the characters, the feelings are so much stronger, and in Mai Hime the music is very well integrated..
The more I talk or think about it, the more I understand how this anime is fabulous. But maybe, just for you, I'll be able to find a bad point..or something like that.
If I really should say something...I'd say that, well, the drawings, that sometimes are very well made, are, some other times(very rarely tough) really poor and it can be a little annoying if you consider the general technical quality of the anime. Although the drawings has its ups and downs, the animations, on the other hand, are superb, and some of them are even more than superb.
I guess that's alla I wanted to say about Mai Hime.
To me, this anime is just a masterpiece, an anime that every anime lover should watch(or at least give a try to). I really wish it was more known than it actually is, but, well, maybe the future will give it the prestige it deserves.
Ps: Please forgive my english, since it's not my mother language ^.^ read more
Nov 12, 2008
The plot is amazingly well-done, thought-out, and has just enough twists and revelations to keep you interested without confusing or frustrating you, since the viewer does know more about what’s going on that most of the characters. Only qualm I have with the plot is how it’s kind of divided into two arcs, but in the end the story development turned out to really flow. This second part is introduced with a plot device that sounds too obviously like a plot device, but that’s forgivable because it worked and because at that point, each of the characters had become such integral parts of the story that the thought of any one of them being killed off or otherwise removed was unfathomable.
Which brings me to what’s really attractive about Mai-HiME: the characters. Three-dimensional and each possessing their own distinct background story and personality, it’s hard to not find anyone you like or sympathize with. The HiMEs are all identifiable by their weapons and Childs, large robotic animals that remind me of why I ever liked mecha (and apparently, most of them are based of mythology of some sort – pretty neat if you’re into references like that, still neat if you aren’t). Best part is that no one character hogs all the screentime, and none of them are boring, so you get an interesting mix, even if you have some grudge against a certain character. Character development is splendid, since our characters got stuck in situations that commanded sympathy, and were forced to make some difficult choices. And of course, there are some very complex interpersonal relationships. But trust me; it’s worth trying to remember everyone’s names and who’s who to whom. Background characters are used properly too, because they do bring out the main ones without being overly dull.
The background music is simply ingenious. That’s a completely unbiased statement, since I didn’t know that the composer was Yuki Kajiura until around episode 20. Of course, she never fails to impress. The way she manages to express emotion in her soundtracks is amazing. The script was great, of course, but what really got to me and brought me close to tears was the music. The OP is rather average, with anime clichés such as when characters just sit around with the wind blowing around them, but it features a likable song(unfortunately doesn’t fit the second half of the anime though… just a bit too upbeat for the angst I expected and received). The ED is rather average too, but it contains some amazing artwork. The animation is great and consistent throughout the whole show. Colours are bright and creative, but it all blends together smoothly so it’s nice to look at.
What can be said about the comedic aspects of the show: they're actually funny. No excessive hilarity that leaves you gasping for breath, but no annoying awkward facepalm moments either. Mikoto’s naivety is played on quite a bit, and Shizuru says the oddest things. This touch of light-heartedness balances perfectly with the overall tone of the anime, and keeps it from becoming one of those shows that takes itself too seriously. There’s a very broad emotional range.
And finally: Yes, this is a magical girl anime, but it incorporates so many different elements from so many different genres that I can easily recommend it to people who don’t normally like this type of thing. :)
Aug 11, 2008
During the anime, it progresses quite well, and with important details revealed in the right moments.
An 8 in this aspect.
Art (8.8) - Art is pretty good. The design itself is very nice, the animations are great and very well done, background details are also nicely done.
Sound (9.3) - Sound is fantastic. Opening and ed are good, and the background music fits very well every situation. The timing of thebackground music is very good, you can easily distinguish between happy moments and sad moments. The quality of the sound is also impressive, much better in my opinion than many other anime.
The voices are also nicely done and so i give a 9 here.
Character (8.3) - Well develloped, each one of them has a role in the story, there are many characters right, but surprisingly most of them are very good and well develloped. The characters surely gave something more to the story, i would say something like a special touch.
Enjoyment (8.4) - A nice action-romance anime. With moments from happy, to sad, from laugh to action, has a bit of everything. The interesting plot and the characters surely give something to this anime, as well as music and art are really enjoyable.
overall (8.7) - A surprising good show in my opinion. I didnt expect it to be this good. I will not repeat what i said before,but to end, i just wanna say that it is a balanced anime and i recommend ;) read more
Oct 12, 2010
Just the first few episodes should be enough to alert you to the kind of show this is. The anime wastes no time in introducing its bullshit "HiME" concept. In case you're wondering, "HiME" stands for "Highly Advanced Materialising Equipment". Now, I don't know about you, but to me, that abbreviates to "HAME", or at least "HiAME". If you haven't guessed already, this is essentially an attempt to describe, in a "cool" way, "flashy, robotic guardian monsters that gets summoned out of thin air"... it's almost as laughable as the anime itself. Just where do these digimo... er, I mean HAME, come from? Were they built by some mad scientist perhaps? Some kind of experiment maybe? You'll be disappointed if you're hoping to find answers to such "irrelevant" questions. Despite being "highly advanced equipment", their existence seems more mythical than mechanical. Either that, or the explanation went right over my head (my brain switched off after the first 5 minutes or so) along with a bunch of other extremely flimsy explanations that serve only as token gestures to help you swallow the totally ridiculous settings. My guess is, these HAME's are just there cos they seem like a "cool" idea.
After dispensing with the sketchy concept, "Mai-HAME" soon launches into a series of mindless battles. Despite the highly polished animation, the action sequences in "Mai-HAME" feels kind of flat to me. This is partly because I don't really care much about any of the characters, so none of the battles carries much emotional weight, and partly because the execution just isn't that spectacular... there's nothing in here that can compete with the likes of some of the exhilarating Gundam battles from "Gundam Seed" or some of the more memorable fighting scenes from "Rurouni Kenshin", for example.
"Mai-HAME" has a cast of even more forgettable characters to go with the forgettable action. For starters, the size of the cast is about 742, and in fact, during a scene where yet another group of previously fringed characters came into focus, I distinctly remember hearing sniggering around the room (I was watching this at my local anime soc, in case you've forgotten), along with whispers of "who are they again?!" Many anime have tried to have a large set of characters, and the difficulty in juggling the storyline between them all as well as developing them properly means that most of them ends up having virtually zero impact. "Mai-HAME" is no exception, with the only difference being it probably managed to cram in more characters than any other, with none of them managing to score much higher than "bland" on my scale.
I have to give this anime some credit - it can be considered an epic achievement that the story of "Mai-HAME" manages to stand out within all this chaos... but it stands out in the wrong way of course. As crappy as the rest of it is, the story really takes the biscuit with its bizarre mash up of cliches and head-scratching-worthy plot twists. While the first half doesn't really do much other than introducing the over used monster guardian concept, the plot truly takes off in the second half. I can't really say that the plot doesn't go anywhere, because it does. In fact it goes really far... just not to a place I can follow. Twist after twist just seems to come out of no where - rather like the HAME themselves - and putting them together gets you a plot so ridiculous it's hard to take it seriously. Especially when half way through, the plot starts to take on characteristics that seem inspired by reality TV shows. Character development goes the same way, as characters previously lurking in the background suddenly comes into the foreground to display facets of their personalities that wasn't even hinted at before, but nevertheless has an impact on the plot (mind you, considering the hashed up attempt at developing the central characters, more screen time for the fringe characters probably wouldn't have helped this cause). On the other hand, other aspects of the characters that are supposed to be more hidden are alarmingly obvious. For example, you can tell who most of the villains are within a couple of moments of their introduction, and a certain piece of info that one of the characters tried to keep from the others has gotta be one of the worst kept secrets ever.
Towards the end, the anime gets quite ruthless with killing off its characters, with the excellent, hauntingly beautiful melodies of the BGM written by Yuki Kajiura doing its best to make those moments more dramatic. But it's all in vain - since I couldn't really give a toss about those characters, just about the only thing I can remember feeling was detachment. And the ending... dear Jebus! Let's just say that all that drama in the last few episodes of the series were undone in a single stroke. It's so jaw dropping bad that it makes me shudder just thinking about it.
If you have any fragment of doubt remaining over the nature of this show after watching it, then the DVD specials should lay them to rest. I don't know what the hell the committee members were thinking when they showed them - they are basically short clips fanservice in its inexcusably purest form (it's bordering on pr0n)... there's just no other way to describe them. When you take all these things into account - the fanservice, the pokemon/digimon rip off, the popular school settings, the reality TV show elements, and even the random appearance of ninjas (yeah they really do appear, I kid you not) etc, it's pretty clear that "Mai-HAME" is nothing but an extremely shallow title that's looking to pick up cheap points by throwing a bunch of popular concepts together. Avoid this unless you just want eye candy or a kick ass OST. Or if you just want to point and laugh at it. read more
Mar 9, 2011
I don’t mind watching high school themed anime. However, Mai-Hime doesn’t show interesting themes, like growing up and making friends. It shows clichéd themes and settings (school festivals, beach episode, cooking exam, maid outfits) and clichéd characters (sick younger brother/sister, psychopathic little girls, cross-dressing characters and more). It never gets personal or emotional. Instead, it shows forced humor, stupid fanservice moments and some random monsters popping from time to time.
Past episode 13 follows a supposedly darker part of the story, with violence, drama and two generic villainous organizations with mysterious goals, pulling the strings from the shadows. It is revealed that all “Hime” girls should fight each other or world will end… but here is one fight every two episodes and the fights are unimpressive. The story still drags a lot until episode 24. I am not even sure if Mai (the main character) actually defeated anyone by that time. Unfortunately the big story twist is nothing special. The way too happy ending is absurd, decreases the overall quality of the anime and actually destroys the darker atmosphere they were trying to establish. Or maybe they weren’t going for dark atmosphere at all? There is no blood, gore or explicit nudity.
What makes Mai-Hime a mediocre show is the lack of focus. Is it an action anime, or a tragedy? Is it horror/angst or a comedy? I would say it is closer to a soap opera, with all those tears and artificially created drama, but that’s just me. With weak characters, plot and ending, watching this anime is a boring experience. Even more frustration is caused by the fact that the important story points weren’t actually explained. Well, you might actually give it a try. It has “Zords” (from the Power Rangers franchise), girls in school uniforms, and some “yuri”.
May 10, 2013
The story revolves around a female protagonist Mai Tokiha. She and her brother have been granted scholarships to Fuka Academy. Her brother Takumi has a fatal heart disease that has made their life thus far a struggle. Upon arriving at the school Mai is thrown into a viscous battle between two mysterious girls, Natsuki Kuga and Mikoto Minagi. In this battle Mai discovers that she possesses great power similar to these strange girls. She is told she is a Hime, an Ancient Warrior who possesses great power to do what ever she wishes with. With one rule, you cannot fight other Hime.
The story is just jaw dropping. With some high up beat moments to some ball your eyes out moments this anime will keep you intrigued.
There are two downsides though; the character development is sometimes slow but always picks up, (quite dramatically if I do say so) and the other downside is the anime is two short. In all honesty I felt they could have explained this anime so much more. There where alot of queries about the obsidian prince and Mai's future. All we can hope is that in the future they release some form of sequal be it a film or new series.
Raise Your Head Wabisuke
Dec 30, 2007
The story line is great but personally the reason why I didn't give this show a perfect score was because of the main character, Mai. Even though the show is still basically a masterpiece she really got on my nerves. She's a good person and I'd probably be very good friends with her in real life but she acted as if everything was her fault and that no one else could ever possibly understand(like her own brother)Personally I think the story could have been better if Nao(in the beginning I really didn't like her but as the series went on I came to really get to understand her character she really is someone to relate to when it comes to teen drama and the wrong way to handle it.They could have had it be as if she was showing us in way from her life of how to learn from your mistakes and overall if you give her chance you'll learn to like her,hell I did)or Natsuki were the the main character of the story anyways the story itself is great I mean it will really make you think about taking things for granted and the problems one small mistake can impact your life.
The animation is done very well with much detail or overall appearance
I love the soundtrack the music is always fitting the scene especially in the big fight scenes
There's so many that you'll relate to at least someone.All of the characters have a different way of doing things and sometimes it can be unpredictable which makes you even more addicted to it, because you will get confused(maybe you won't but I sure did at times)Also some of them may get on your nerves(*cough Mai, Shiho and Myu cough*)Another thing that makes you really grow to love the characters is if you get the dvds there will be a short extra naratted by one of the characters telling his/her story or personal feeling about someone or something.
Do you have to ask you.will.love.it.or at least like it the drama of it all will make you cry and even laugh at times A LOT take it from me this show will have some kind of an impact on you and if not then you missed it(watch again if this happens when your willing to give it a chance)
I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND HOPE YOU WILL LOVE IT TO!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 2, 2011
The show largely succeeds in emotionally involving the audience through the quality of the characters. In particular, the protagonist Mai is just extremely likable and human. Admittedly, she has rather tsundere moments from time to time but it never becomes annoying. Her considerable assets along with those of Natsuki, the awesome badass-biker ice-queen tsundere, seem to indicate that lots of unnecessary fanservice is going to occur. There is some, in particular of the yuri variety with Mikoto x Mai, but it doesn't eclipse the show's story and I didn't find it as absurdly excessive and inappropriate as other Sunrise productions. I'm looking at you, Code Geass.
As you would expect from Yuki Kajiura, the soundtrack is great and always apt. My favourite theme would probably be, Mezame, which always makes me think of Xenosaga for some reason and is usually playing during one of the many cool action sequences.
In conclusion, if you're searching for an exciting fantasy story with lots of action, strong female leads and a mostly decent story, Mai-HiME might be worth checking out. I do feel the ending let the show down, but I still enjoyed the ride.
Nov 16, 2009
If nothing else, you have to praise the visual and audio aspects of the series. It has lovely art and very good animation, the character designs (the faces, short skirts, big breasts and super model female cast) and bright colours unsurprisingly reminding me of Code Geass. The soundtrack is mostly stellar, too, with the music Goddess known as Yuki Kajiura pulling out one of her overall weaker (compared to her best work) but by no means poor collections of music. Even the English voice acting impressed me, Mai's voice fitting her fiery yet loveable and cute personality like a glove... However, where My-HiME falls short, and what makes me class it as a trainwreck, is its story.
Put simply, the story is about a group of twelve girls and their loved ones. Each of the twelve girls (referred to as 'HiME') has a different power, some being elemental and others being the ability to use weapons, and each can summon a mecha/monster (referred to as a 'Child' if it obeys a human and an 'Orphan' if it doesn't) to fight with them. Mai, the female lead, moves to the prestigious Fuka Academy (which accommodates elementary-high school ages, and has dormitories for both genders), along with her younger brother at the start, and there she meets and interacts with the other girls with powers and her new classmates.
Sadly, there isn't much actual plot covered in the 26 episodes. The first half focuses heavily on characterization, fan service and comical goings on. The second half focuses on characterization and battles, each battle resulting in a new death. In between all of this, not a lot beyond the basic premise of the story gets a look in. This resulted in very little of the plot making sense, and the final episode was a failure (partly) because of this.
Why were the 'Child' and 'Orphan' creatures in existence? How could they be summoned by certain people? What was the character reminiscent of Kaoru from Evangelion (Naji)? Why did the HiME ritual occur every 300 years?
None of the above questions, or numerous others I have, receive answers within the series. When the final episode rolled around and the world was saved from destruction in predictable fashion, I was left with a blank expression on my face, reflecting on the many questions without answers and with disappointment in the place of the answers I desired.
Apart from its production values, what saved My-HiME, for me at least, was the quality of its characterization. Over the course of the series, you learn all about Mai. Her relationship with her brother is explored and plays a major role, and as a result of an involving love quadruple I came to care about her as a person, as well as her likeable main love interest. And, though the other cast members didn't get anywhere near as much time because of the amount of them - the number reminding me of Negima's never-ending character list to begin with - enough of the personalities and back-stories of those that mattered got covered for me to become emotionally involved with many of them. The characters laughed and cried, and I was able to feel their emotions; never feeling disconnected.
But, switching back to the story, the final episode almost ruined the good that came before. If you're the sort of person that cringes when you see deus ex machina twists, your face won't be a pretty sight after finishing the anime because it's practically non-stop deus ex machina in the last episode. Without wanting to spoil too much, what happened at the end of My-HiME is equivalent to every emotional, heart-wrenching moment of a story being made worthless, destroying any attachment one has to the many moving scenes included. Even though I enjoyed what came before immensely, I felt like time slowed down at the end - it was a sad way to end such an absorbing title.
To sum it up, Sunrise know how to please anime fans; men/otaku in particular. They keep the skirts high, the chests large, the comedy amusing and are masters at pulling away at the heart strings of viewers with dramatic action, or just plain old fashioned drama. They know how to make up for what would normally by anime ruining flaws. If not for the poor excuse of a story and even worse attempt at an ending, if only for enjoyment alone, I'd be rating it higher, but it wasn't to be. Instead, I'll give it a solid 8/10, thinking of it as something of a guilty pleasure. read more
Oct 14, 2011
Jun 26, 2009
Every once in a while, as an anime viewer, you happen to watch a show that surprises you. A show you watch because you really have nothing better to do,and your probably not really expecting much. You don't expect the show to touch you, to actually make you care about what happens on the screen.
Mai-Hime was exactly this kind of show for me. I happened to run across it several months ago and, while I thought the first episode was good, I didn't really care about the prospect of watching High school girls fight each other with giant monsters. I just wasn't into that kind of thing, at the time.
Then I picked the show back up and, while some of the earlier episodes are a little to comedic for my tastes, this show has turned into a personal favorite of mine.
The very first episode is fast paced and it raises several questions. But, don't worry these questions do get answered by the end. The first half of Mai-Hime is mostly character development and light hearted in nature. The second half, however, is dark and is when some of the best moments of the series come to the fore. One thing you will have to be prepared for is the fact that people will die, and alot of them to.
This would have been an easy nine, if not for the ending. Which, thankfully, is foreshadowed. So, at least it didn't come out of nowhere.
You don't ever have to worry about telling characters apart because, from the main characters all the way down to the lowliest characters; everyone has their own unique design. Some of the enemy monsters are sort of generic looking, however. All the Child's look unique with Mai and Nao's being my personal favorite design.
Facial expressions are well done, as well. And the battle scenes are well animated, yet there are better looking anime out there.
The Music for Mai-Hime is fantastic, especially the battle music. The Seiyuu are very talented, Mai's in particular. Her seiyuu had to demonstrate range, as Mai goes through several different emotions throughout the course of the series. If I had to say one bad thing about the music, it would be that the intro music may mislead you.
Mai Hime has an exceptionally large cast, probably one of the largest i've seen in any entertainment medium. You may think that there would be no way possible to juggle a cast pushing the thirty's, but Mai Hime does an exceptional job.
To be honest not every one gets as much attention as others, but just enough screen time to establish there personalities.
That said, Mai Tokiha is the main character and gets by far the most screen time. She is, in my opinion, the lifeblood of Mai Hime. In my opinion, no show will ever truly "work" unless the protagonist is well done. Fortunately, Mai is a fully realized character who goes through many different emotions throughout the course of the series.
In a word the series is worth watching just because of her. You may be fooled into believing she is just like any other female in an anime but, believe me, that is not the case.
The Show starts out slow, and those people who want constant battle may not enjoy that element of the series. But, know this: there is always a reason for the fights in this show and the after effects of the battles are just as important as the fights themselves, if not more so.
With great music, realized characters, and an incredibly enjoyable second half; this show would have been an easy ten. If not for the slow start, that I understand some people will not enjoy, and a less than satisfying ending.
That said: The journey to the end is more than worth it.