|7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 98, 99|
|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
After reading all the great reviews and the promising synopsis, I picked this one up with my fingers crossed. Man, what a catch!|
Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork and animation was about average and par with most other anime. It seemed at times however that the frame rate would drop a bit here and there but hardly noticeable. As for character designs, well done but sometimes the facial and bodily designs would seem a bit bland... lack of details that is.
The OP was an alternative-pop piece that was actually sorta catchy. It wasn't too bad. The rest of the soundtrack were light hearted, almost "elevator" pieces. But then, at times during the battle scenes, it would pick up and get seriously... erm, serious! We got some seriously dramatic pieces with powerful orchestras and opera-like, gregorian chants. The ED was pretty nice as well.
Series and Episode Story
There were so many characters in this series, I had a tough time keeping track of everyone. Yet, somehow, I managed and thoroughly fell in love with nearly every uber cute girl. Aside from the amazing set of characters, the plot itself was short of amazing! The 1st episode just stunned me, the first battle. It was so riveting and powerful coupled with the dramatic music. There were so many plot twists, subplots and amazing dynamics between characters that I was glued from beginning to end with a few nights of marathon inbetween. Some of the battle scenes are just fascinating and fun to watch.
Overall, with a powerful large cast, amazing story and a seriously involving tale of emmense porportions, this is a winner!
Last updated Monday, November 30 2009. Created Monday, November 30 2009.
Mai-Hime was quite a rush for me. A lot was going on and there were plenty of characters to keep track of. Fortunately, the series doesn't lose track of who it introduces you to. With each character, you have different personalities and attitudes they have for one another from those like the cat-like and naive Mikoto, level-headed Natsuki, the carefree and easygoing Midori-sensei, and the mysterious Nagi. Character chemistry was a major strength of the series, especially with all the battles and events that are taking place throughout the island where Fuka Academy occupies.|
Such chemistry also plays into the premise of the series. Yes, we have over a dozen girls given special abilities and their own monsters to control against other monsters known as Orphans. But, this isn't an ordinary approach. The Orphan battles only occur throughout the first half of this series. Once the second half kicks in, things go on quite a roller coaster ride. First, the school gets raided by a secret organization out to rule the world by exploiting the power of the Himes. It's been done before. But, it helps shift the plot to something more serious and this only lasts a couple episodes. Then after a comedy filler to cool things down, the real drama begins. The Himes are forced into battles with one another unaware that someone is pulling the strings behind the tensions of each one. And it isn't their lives that are on the line with battling. It's the lives of those who they are most intimate with in their relationship. This changes the mentalities of some of the characters as they either go rogue to guard their loved ones or get caught up in the manipulations of the main villian of the story. Others like Mai and Natsuki try keeping a level head throughout the whole mess only to come face-to-face with their own hardships to overcome as a result of the battles. The fact the series even foreshadowed the presence of upcoming Himes and other elements of the storyline in earlier episodes shown some great plotting for this series.
There are just a couple elements to this series that did hamper its presentation for me. The comedy scenes, while okay to ease the intensity during points of the series, were a bit cliched during a number of occasions which I couldn't find myself going with. In addition, the finale to the series felt a bit too happy for me regarding the resolutions to certain characters. Some settled tensions with each other too easily after all that took place and the villian was taken out in quite a cliched way.
Artwork and character designs had good detail and colors, especially with the designs of the Childs of the Himes. Action scenes were decent as movements were smoothly animated. The soundtrack had nothing noteworthy that stood out for me. But, it did well to flow well with the mood of this series.
Putting aside the few problems I have, Mai Hime makes for a worthwhile look. With some interesting plot twists and plenty of characters to admire, this is quite a roller coaster ride of a series.
Last updated Wednesday, December 31 2008. Created Wednesday, December 31 2008.
Last updated Friday, November 14 2008. Created Friday, November 14 2008.
wow. this is an amazing series with an amazing cast. the main character is mai, but the story's not entirely centered around her. i don't think i disliked one character. and considering the amount of characters central to the story, they did a great job giving you enough to really know the character and their motivations, but didn't go too indepth. the series is extremely drama-intensive but it has some really nice moments of humor in which i actually laughed. there's fan service of course but nothing excessive. the action is almost non stop and the fighting style is unique to say the least. it's all very nicely spaced out and balanced. by the end of the series i loved every single character (even the villains!) so much i was afraid of how it might end. the animation is fluid and the music is on par with the likes of noir, angsty melodies that really get the water works going in some places. i like that they resolved one problem first and then got on with the main one. i wouldn't have liked it as much if they just all threw it together in one big finale. this way there's more focus and character madness--er drama. i was okay with the ending (i was actually happy for it). it's a character driven show really, and i didn't really care too much for the whyfors and wherehows so long as there was a conclusion reached. a great series, and well worth a buy.
Last updated Saturday, September 23 2006. Created Saturday, September 23 2006.
Picture a series of desperate fights-to-the-death among teenage girls who have somehow been endowed with fantastic powers--except that it's not actually the loser who dies, but rather someone else, someone they are intimately attached to. The girls, or "HiMEs", are essentially forced to gamble with other people's lives. This strange twist is the basic premise of Mai HiME, and the show does a superb job of using it in every which way possible to create a gripping and fascinating story. I actually took the unusual approach of watching the sequel, Mai-Otome, first, largely because I'd heard this series got overly angsty in the second half. I enjoyed Mai Otome and decided to watch Mai HiME as well. I quickly became very impressed by this series--as much as I liked it, Mai Otome seems like a children's version of Mai HiME now. Furthermore, the plot of Mai HiME is much easier to follow (at least until the final episode, but more about that later). Many secrets are definitely kept from the viewer for quite a while, but they are eventually revealed in a skillful and exciting manner, whereas I never was able to make much sense of the countless subplots of Mai Otome. I'm continually amazed as unexpected powers, identities, and relationships (which I never saw coming) pop up seemingly out of nowhere--it's fast and furious! In the supposedly "angsty" second half the plot remains intriguing and each episode is ended with a clever cliffhanger that left me wanting more. I liked Nagi's smartass attitude--there aren't enough smartasses in anime in general (I blame Japan's polite-to-a-fault culture), so when they do show up, they're original and hilarious. Mikoto's personality is fun too, at least early on. Also surprising is the comedy that this serious story manages to retain (at least during the first half or so)--the karaoke episode cracked me up! Anime is notorious/beloved for confusing conclusions in which the viewer must decide for his- or herself what exactly has happened. Sometimes I wonder if even a series' makers themselves knew what they were doing as they brought it to it's end; in this case, as I neared the end I felt that although I may not completely understand why things are working out the way they are, I'm confident that somebody understood, and I like it. And then there was the final episode... basically, it was a confusing, nay, inexplicable brief climax followed by an overextended series of feel-good postscripts. Things are turned completely upside down, but I'm at a loss to explain how. The tone seemed distinctly different than the grim, deadly mood which the remainder of the series had laboriously built up to. It reminded me of the much less serious conclusion of Mai Otome, which was disappointing--I was confident that the good girls would win out in the end, but I wanted it to be handled with the same finesse as the remainder of the series. It wasn't a total disaster, but definitely not what I was hoping for. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Mai HiME so thoroughly that I wouldn't have minded too much if there hadn't been any conclusion at all. There's never a thorough explanation of how HiMEs came to exist, or why they are expected to duel against each other, but as long as the basic rules of the game are apparent, that was okay with me as I soaked up the first-rate mystery and suspense which this show provides. Whereas I struggled to understand the convoluted plot of Evangelion, and still came away feeling like I'd been kicked in the nuts for my troubles, I never really intended to try to understand every nuance of Mai HiME. I didn't need to--I still came away from almost every episode surprised and impressed at the slick way in which the various elements came together, and feeling that this was one of the coolest G-----n shows I'd ever seen!|
I'm rewatching Mai-HiME a second time. On the one hand, already knowing who will turn out to be a HiME takes a lot out of the show. But on the other, I would say there was so much in the show to begin with--so much that I didn't catch the first time around--that there is still plenty of entertainment to be had. This show is so cleverly thought out that you almost have to watch it twice to get everything. The conclusion didn't bother me as much this time, probably because I had a much better (though still not absolutely complete) idea of what had happened. At any rate, I was grinning at the end. Usually when I'm rewatching a show I do it while I'm eating supper, and don't pay as much attention as usual. But when things got serious I found that this show was still worthy of (and demanded) my complete attention. Indeed, I would say that a re-run of Mai-HiME is more fun than all-new episodes of most of the new series that are currently running.
Last updated Sunday, June 01 2008. Created Saturday, June 10 2006.
My~HiME is one of my all time favorite series. While not completely perfect it's still a rather amazing series over all. It manages to focus on multiple characters (Over a dozen) very well and in only 26 episodes. In any case the good and bad of the series. First let's get the bad out of the way.|
HiME wise some characters are shafted. Their roles as HiME is not as good as I had hoped. It's more or less that they needed more screentime as HiME. Also while I do like the fact battles are used sparingly. It's kind of annoying how several battles take place off screen. I wish they had shown more of the fights. Finally the show feels like it should have at least 30 episodes instead of 26 sometimes. That's the negative aspect. Now for the positive side.
The cast is the best aspect of the show. Almost if not every character has a strong personality. The series also shows multiple character interaction over the course of the series. Often times characters play off each other which helps make certain personalities even stronger. For example Haruka and Shizuru play off each other sometimes. The progress and pacing of the story allows things to be surprising yet makes it clear that everything in the series is planned out. One just has to read between the lines. Also there is no filler in the series. Even episodes that may seem like filler serve a plot purpose. Also since character intereaction is extremely important to the series many episodes in the first arc are used to give us an idea of how various characters interact with each other.
Over all while the series does not need a major improvement with battles and some HiME needed more screen time as HiME in the end is still an amazing series. An extremely strong cast with a well paced story makes this winner. Plus the music fits perfectly with theme and feel of the show which makes things even better. Well okay the opening song sometimes feels out of place. However that's another story.
Last updated Sunday, October 23 2005. Created Sunday, October 23 2005.
I had heard a lot about Mai-HiME when it came out, but I waited for the entire series to air before watching it. At first, the series doesn't seem anything special. Sure, the battles and "magic" mecha were cool and having Mai has the lead made this for a unique shounen series, but it still felt like a shounen series with some shoujo elements thrown in just to grab the shoujo crowd. Oh, but soon this turned into something much, much more.
Since there are 12 HiME characters not to mention a host of support characters, the cast is one of the biggest I've ever seen. With a cast this large, it is surprising that characters get as much development as they do. Obviously some lesser characters don't get as much developing and I would have wanted to know more about the Student Council President, the young director, and the "boy", but for the most part, the main players are developed quite a bit for the audience to develop feelings for for them and really care about their well-being. This is aided by good seiyuu work, something I'm afraid the American version will lose.
The story appears to draw from several different religions such as Greek mythology, Japanese beliefs on the begining of the world, and even from Christianity (Catholic since the Japanese have a long history with them). Knowing these things aren't required to enjoy the series, but it does explain some things about the characters and the "Child" mecha units they command. Thanks to Static-Subs for the excellent translator notes on this subject!
As I mentioned earlier, the series starts out like a very shounen title with a shoujo twist. There are monsters (called "Orphans") to be fought, cute girls to be seen in seifuku, romance, humor, and more. But then a character dies and from then on, it is "game on" time. Through episode 15, things build to a climax and then episode 16 seems to be an aftermath episode. But with ten more episodes to go, you know that can't be the case. Sure enough, as in real life, plans go astray and the beings responsible for bringing the HiME to this place now get their plans back ontrack with episode 17. From here, it is a real roller-coaster of a series as we just don't know what the heck is going to happen. At the same time, the dark, depressed feeling of the series grows as the humor aspects of the series are abandoned. I've heard the ending irritated some people, but I liked it.
HolyAjora told me that there are clues throughout the series as to how the series will go, and sure enough, looking back I see all of the foreshadowing. That is a credit to the writers of this series and I wanted to mention that.Bottom line: starts of typical, but eventually becomes something more. Well worth purchasing (too bad Bandai has it since I doubt they will have ANB-approved subtitles).
Last updated Monday, October 17 2005. Created Sunday, October 09 2005.
|Rent 4||9||9||7||9||5||9||Devil Doll||[series:866#752]|
[Score: 76% = Rent. Recommended Supernatural Conflict animes: Silent Mobius, Kannazuki no Miko]
This is a nice high-fantasy scenario, funny and dramatic at the same time, entertaining as well as thrilling; for me it had to compete with Shin Seiki Evangelion (whose parallel narration style it shares during the crucial episodes) and Silent Mobius (listing all the parallels between these series would be a bucketful of huge spoilers). Consequently I was watching it with high expectations.
Art and Animation are excellent, especially during the battles (episode 1 is absolutely breathtaking, a flood of sound and colors) and the action looks seriously cool during the battles against the Oufans. In later episodes the battles become a minor matter compared to the plot development, and some of them are actually handled off-screen - which is kind of annoying for the audience.
The Music they use for the battles is one of the highlights in this show - bombastic church choirs of angelic voices mixed with hard techno beats and howling electric guitars! I also like both the peppy OP (Shining Days by Kuribayashi Minami who was already shining in OP&ED for Kimi ga Nozomu Eien) and the atmospheric slow-rock ED song (Kimi ga Sora Datta by Misato Aki) as well as the Mai HiME Promotion BGM.
Most of the funny elements aren't of the embarrassing type - this show provides a reasonable mix of dramatic scenes with silly stuff from schoolgirls' everyday life... Elfen Lied or Aquarian Age come to mind as similar setups. Aside from the typical double triangle scenario Mai HiME adds some bouncing boobs and innuendos to the mix (with strong lesbian undertones in a number of episodes, and the shoujo-ai component even becomes an important plot element later on). Then again I consider this amount of Fan-service still acceptable (except for episode 4, that is), as it doesn't take anything away from the story or the characters.
The quality of the individual Episodes shows strong statistical spread during the first half of the series: Episodes 1 (ferry), 5 (bus), 8 (first casualty) and 15 (satellite) are quite powerful, episode 4 (undergarment) and 16 (karaoke) are horrible (lots of fanservice and silliness) at first sight, the rest is basically the HiME of the week revelation during the early stage. Halfway through the series we get a significant climax for the scenario - and not until you believe the main arc is over the real story begins, with the mood getting significantly gloomier.
Note that the series doesn't have a single filler episode - the silly parts (yes, even the Victoria's Secret Parade of episode 4) are all necessary for the plot as you will learn in time. You have to focus on each and every detail as to get the many hints laid out during the first episodes already; as such, the composition of the plot development is fine for most of the series. The audience is given more and more information (including a fair share of red herrings).
For me the most interesting aspect about watching this series was the Mystery element. So my advice to you would be to keep a checklist: What are the names of all the HiMEs, what are their respective goals, whom do they like, and how much does each one of them know about what's going on (plus one more column whose headline would be a spoiler)?
With that knowledge base at hand I had quite some fun coming up with theories about possible developments in forthcoming episodes, such as potential deadlocks in the scenario (which finally made episode 25 fly in the face of logic so much due to the inevitable cyclical dependencies there - I could see that coming a couple of episodes before it happened).
The number of named Characters is extraordinary, more than 20 of them with significant importance to the story - that's why the aforementioned bookkeeping is really necessary, and rewatching the series may be quite helpful. Despite many of them being kind of stereotypical I found most of them interesting and substantial to the show. Some of the characters don't act consistently at times but that's more a general storyline problem (see below).
I like Mai, the narrator character (a younger version of Silent Mobius's Katsumi Liqueur), which is most helpful for feeling involved in the course of events. What's best about the characters is the way they are defined by their interactions, and during the last third of the series some characters were plausibly developing in a direction I didn't see coming (most notably Natsuki, Chisuru and Sister).
Then again, Mikoto is fun but embarrassingly stupid - and that's a problem during the final episodes because the development relies on that fact: With a half decent brain she should have noticed how she was tricked into doing something absolutely horrible - but being the idiot she is, Mikoto still remains loyal to that person.
So all could have been well... if only the ending would be not that idiotic! You get no explanation what actually happened (and why). While even in Ikki Tousen the mythological background was at least consistent in a way, the awesome notes by the StaticSubs fansubbers (who invested a lot of work into it - thanks!) show that the characters for this series have obviously been taken randomly from mythology (Japanese, Celtic, Scandinavian, Greek), literature (the Cthulhu mythos, Anne of Green Gables), religion (Buddhism, Christianity) and history (two individuals). Consequently everything looks exotic and "cool", but that's about it.
Then they broke a major rule after consistently playing by the rules so long - the final battle shouldn't even have been possible, given the requirements for being a HiME (that we were taught over and over again). From here on nothing makes sense any more. But the worst thing is that the series used the cheap-shot of all endings, the dreaded reset switch - and thus provides a silly non-solution in the end. Argh!!
According to the skillful plot construction this could have been a "10" for Series Story. But at the end of the day all that remains is another Aquarian Age variant, a lite teenager version of something that could have become really great. It's not exactly as flat as Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, it's a good one-time mystery watch for 24 episodes... before it all crumbles to dust. What a pity.
Last updated Friday, June 06 2008. Created Thursday, September 01 2005.
(Up to 24 Episodes)|
Drama : Med
Action : High
Comedy : Med
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Low
Probably my most favorite anime that is currently running (And more than Negima which I thought I would love the best) Too bad this is comedy because I'm partial to comedy and that gives it a few free points. It's not Elfen Lied or Gundam Seed where I love it for just the story. Mai Hime is a good blend. (Though Comedy stopped around 19).
Nice little Adventure type Anime. Very well done and funny.
After #14 a certain event happens (look at the episode spoiler) and this series turns very dark. It's still extremely good but as this series comes to a screaming finish (24 reveals who is the final hime) and the Hime battles are fast and furious and with lots of angst I am watching this raw just because I can't wait to see how the next episode turns out.
So far it's very interesting and I love discovering the Hime of the Week.
Note : Hime of the week is now over and it's pure battles from now on.
Note 2: Hime of the week is NOT over, there are 12.5 Himes (Watch to understand the .5) and Episode 21 reveals the 12th and final hime and SHE IS A DOOZY! (Now Hime of the week is over!)
2 Episodes to go till the end.
Last updated Monday, March 21 2005. Created Sunday, November 28 2004.
Magic, mystery, school and meccha. Boy if this isn't anime. And don't forget a fresh can of monsters to fight.|
It all seems a bit standard, I guess that happens when watching an awful lot of anime for the last year or so, but the characters are likable and some parts are quite funny. The fight scenes so far look good, especially when Mikoto is tracking sparks as she wields her sword. Ofcourse, Mai turns out to be a natural HiMe but at the same time she knows nothing of what is going on at the school.
So far I've seen 4 episodes and it seems the story is starting to make pace. More later
Last updated Wednesday, October 27 2004. Created Wednesday, October 27 2004.