High School Hijinks
Take Sailor Moon and cross it with Digimon and you get Mai HiME. High school hasn't ever been this much fun!
Tokiha Mai was on her way with her brother to a new school, on a scholarship to attend a very prestigious school. They believed they were going to begin a great school year. New school, new friends, and a new future are what they hoped for. What Mai did not know is her acceptance has less to do with education and more to do with the powers she holds within herself. On her ride to the island where the school is located she spots a girl floating in the sea clutching a long sword. When the crew rescues the girl, Maiís life will change forever with this fated encounter.
The rescued girl, Mikoto, is a young child who is in search of her lost brother. Clues of his whereabouts have led her to the school but her pursuit is blocked by an unknown girl named Natsuki, who demands Mikoto return to her homeland. A battle ensures and Mai is caught in the middle. During this fight, Mai learns the power of a HiME as Natsuki calls forth a mechanical-looking dog with two guns attached to its side named Duran. Shocked at what she is witnessing Mai attempts to stop the two and reveals a power that was locked up inside of her.
After the battle Mai and Mikoto awaken in front of the school but with a huge crop circle burned into the front of the building. Mai is questioned by the student council on how she got in front of the school and why Mikoto was carrying a big sword. Mai is introduced to many new faces such as the handsome Reito, a third year student who is very popular among the girls, the loud mouthed Haruka, her sidekick Yukino, the mysterious president of the council Shizuru, and Yuuichi Tate who she met during her boat ride to the school.
A HiME (Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment) are specialized girls who can see a red star clearly in the night sky. They all also have a star shaped tattoo located in various places of their body, which marks them as a HiME. Each girlís powers vary. Some have elemental powers and some have powers that are not destructive, like Yukino whose power is stealth.
There is a total of twelve girls who posses this power. Each has a sidekick or child who when called forth supports the user, but there is a catch. Each HiME has to designate a person as their most important person. That personís soul is bound to the child. So essentially if the child falls, so does the most important person. This stipulation brings forth very intense emotions from each of the twelve girls who possess the power of a HiME.
The story revolves mainly around three characters; Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki. Throughout the show each of the remaining nine HiMEs are revealed and with their powers comes a brief flashback on how they learned of their powers. Mai, who possess the power of fire, does not learn of her power until she meets Nagi. Nagi is a mysterious boy who seems to know why Mai has her powers and what the HiMEs' purpose are. He guides Mai to welcome her powers when her brother life is threatened by monsters called Orphans. Mai unleashes her child and unleasheds a devastating blast that not only destroys the Orphans but also levels half the surrounding forest around her.
Mai, confused on the events that just occurred, meets with the president of the school, Mashiro. Mashiro tells Mai the main reason for her scholarship is not for education but to bring her here for her powers of a HiME. Mai decides to think it over and keeps her powers secert from her ailing brother. Mai's powers are unleashed again when another attack is brought to her, but not just her, but to another, the mysterious Reito. After dealing with the monster Reito promises to keep her secret safe and to not bring it up when around her.
Mai HiME is presented in two arcs. The first arc which are the first thirteen episodes are about each of the twelve HiME females and the remaining thirteen are about the true reason for possessing the power of the HiME. Mai, Mikoto, and Natsuki believe that the fights with the Orphans were their only purpose, but the real purpose of being a HiME they soon find out.
Mai HiME is a very interesting series as in the beginning of the show itís all ecchi slap stick comedy with some action here and there. Later on though, the tone of the series shifts into a more serious nature as the characters are formally introduced with some past memories revealed. The character development is very deep and each of the remaining nine HiME stories are introduced in great detail.
The most intriguing character is Mai. She has enormous pressure because she has the responsibility of her brother and the love triangle she is entangled with. Mai shows many emotions from anger to happiness to being totally lifeless. What makes the show good is how the emotional parts are delivered and the reaction that it leaves to the viewer. The viewer can feel total hatred for one character but then feel total sadness toward the same character later on in the show.
The music in the show is very good. The opening theme song of Shining Days is a very upbeat song and has a nice cute vibe to it. The ending theme Kimi ga sora datta is slower and has a more emotional vibe to it. The background music varies from upbeat dance type music usually during the fight scenes but has some slower paced ones for the more emotional moments.
Mai HiME is twenty six episodes and recently just finished up. Good news is there is a second season in the works and there is also a video game that is currently available. What makes Mai HiME enjoyable is you can re-watch the show for any minor details missed and also you can have a different perspective for a character. The story has many twists and turns that makes it more addictive. Mai HiME has everything for all the different type of anime fans. It has action, school girls, monsters, comedy, tear jerking moments, mecha, ecchi, romance, and mix in some conspiracy acts. What more can you ask for? The show is already out in nine DVDs in Japan and includes omakes with each dvd. Donít expect this show to be unlicensed for a long period of time. Hopefully it will be licensed this year by one of the American companies and brought over. Also look forward to the second season that is currently in development.