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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mai-HiME (NOT MY-HIME)

I don't know, looking back, i seem to be watching all these anime that are like 1-4 years old. Maybe I'm just slow, or maybe time is distorted and by the time I watch an anime, years have passed between me clicking on it and the computer opening the file... whatever.

Also known as "My-HiME" Mai-Hime is an anime that that falls under Romance, Shoujo, and maybe action? Let's just say it falls under Romance/Action and leave it at that, because fused genres are better than single ones. ANYWAYS....

Mai-HiME is a 26 episode anime that's about two years or so old. Taking place in Japan, Tokiha Mai and her younger brother Takumi transfer to Fuka Acadamy. However, Mai and a few other girls at the acadamy can see something that others can't. A red star next to the moon. Known as the HiME Star, it grants those who see it the ability to materialize weapons and summon a Child, a beast that fights alongside them. What was the purpose in being granted this power? To fight Orphans, monsters that appear from the shadows and attack the world.

This anime doesn't really fit in with the general 26 episoder however. In fact, it's different in the way that I believe it consists of two parts. More or less split 13-13 with two mini seasons. This belief is mostly due to the fact that the story changes quite drastically from the end of the first mini season and doesn't link with the second half.

What's good about it:
Well, the general plot isn't as linear as one would think. It takes quite a few turns and decides to drive off a cliff for a while. Cutting the analogy, this story starts off at a decently flowing pace, picks up and climaxes at the middle and then stays there for about the rest of the way till the last 4 minutes where it's a wrap up. As usual, music was nicely orchestrated and gave characters a sort of "theme" to them. While there were no specific character themes, you would expect a certain genre of music to be played in relation to the character. What sticks out as the most deciding factor on how good this anime was the art. In my history of watching anime, this has one of those unique styles that makes an artist want to study it. With somewhat more solid outlines and face expressions that are very akin to actuality rather than anime-style the art is definately something to look at, especially the eyes and hands.

What's bad about it:


*Spoiler*

Well, the general plot that exists is that more or less everyone dies and then comes back to life at the end. It's a real letdown on that part, though it did make a good ending.

* End Spoiler*

The lack of character development for a few major characters left you thinking that they were just another normal student at the school, then again it could be for story effect where it gives you that sense instead of some complicated, crazy background. The first half of "villans" lacked depth as well as you end up forgetting about their general existance except for their name which pops up every so often. The transition between mini seasons and the introduction of other characters that see the red moon was also quite rushed.


Overall: I loved this anime, however it definately left you staring at the screen wondering what the hell just happened for the last 7 or so episodes. A must-see this anime should be bought just to show support.
Once again, this anime has been licensed and therefore is also known as "My-HiME" which supposedly only has 13 episodes. I can see why though, some characters are quite...eccentric and require a more mature audience than what's shown on adult swim, maybe.
If you do happen to see the original Japanese version, congratulations.

9/10


side note: There is a reason HiME is capitalized in such a way. It's technically an acronym for Highly advanced Materializing Equipment. The "hime" suffix is also used in many of the puns and references to other parts of the story.