Main cast of My-HiME
|Genre||Action, Fantasy, Romantic comedy, Sentai, Yuri|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masakazu Obara|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Yoshino|
|Music by||Yuki Kajiura|
|Network||TV Tokyo, Animax|
|Original run||September 30, 2004 – March 31, 2005|
|Episodes||26 + 26 DVD only shorts cuts|
|Original video animation|
|Released||January 27, 2010|
My-HiME (舞-HiME Mai-HiME?) is an anime series, created by Sunrise. Directed by Masakazu Obara and written by Hiroyuki Yoshino, the series originally premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo from September 2004 to March 2005. The show is a comedy-drama focusing on the lives of HiMEs—girls with the capacity to materialize photons—gathered at Fuka Academy for a secret purpose.
The series was licensed for North American distribution by Bandai Entertainment and European distribution by Bandai's European subsidiary, Beez, with the first American DVD released at the end of March 2006. Bandai released the Complete Collection DVD set in America on October 7, 2008. It is also shown on Anime Selects On Demand but only for a limited time. At Otakon 2013, Funimation Entertainment had announced that they have rescued all of the My-Hime Project anime and will be re-released in 2014. 
The story centers on Mai Tokiha, a seemingly ordinary high-school girl who has recently transferred to the Fuuka Academy with her sickly younger brother, Takumi. The elite Fuuka Academy harbors a number of mysteries, involving both fellow students and staff. Very soon after arriving at the Academy, Mai finds herself bound to a Child, a part-spiritual, part-mecha creature, that can only be summoned and controlled by girls with the HiME mark.
Mai is told that there are other girls who are similarly marked, and that they must use their powers to protect the unwitting populace from Orphans, monstrous creatures with abilities similar to the HiME's Children. Mai is very reluctant to become involved at first, because of her protective role towards her brother. However, other HiME begin to manifest around her, each with very different motivations and goals for using (or not using) her powers. As the Orphans become more numerous and more aggressive, even Mai is drawn into the conflict.
However, even before all of the HiME have revealed themselves, the major twist in the series is revealed - rather than fighting Orphans, the true purpose of the HiME is to fight each other for power, akin to Highlander. Many of the girls/women reject this scheme at first, having formed tight bonds of friendship, or at least allegiance. But several people and organizations seek to control the power of the last HiME standing, and so begins a tragic cycle of manipulation and willful destruction - a HiME battle royal.
Adding to the tragedy is the fact that defeated HiME are not necessarily killed, but instead they must sacrifice the person most dear to them. In most cases this is a lover or sibling, but the close relationships among the Academy HiME cause quite a bit of criss-crossing. In a few notable cases, one HiME defeats another, only to find that the loser's "special someone" is dear to them as well.
By the end of the series, Mai has become the last HiME, but she is emotionally devastated by the brutal events leading up to that point. This leaves her somewhat ill-prepared to face the ultimate enemy of the HiME, the Obsidian Prince, a supernatural being in human form. His emergence always parallels the rise of the HiME, and at least one interpretation of the series holds that the Prince is a final temptation trial for the HiME.
The TV series has two alternate endings. In one, all of the defeated HiME emerge to support Mai against the Obsidian Prince, and after the Prince's defeat, all of the victims of the HiME battles are restored to life, seemingly unaware of the events leading to their deaths. In the alternate version, included on the DVD release as an incomplete scene, Mai seems ready to succumb to the Prince's seduction, only to regain herself after remembering the sacrifices of the other HiME. She defeats the Prince, but it is implied that the dead will remain dead.
The show's cast of characters is mostly composed of students and staff at Fuuka Academy, with the emphasis on the female cast. Although most of the cast is already introduced by the second episode, only a few characters are disclosed as HiMEs; the other characters' abilities and alignments are revealed throughout the rest of the series.
The main characters are the hardworking, caring Mai Tokiha, the cold beauty Natsuki Kuga, and the catlike Mikoto Minagi. Other characters are shown with a wide range of personalities and relationships. Director Masakazu Obara, states that he "wanted to reverse the roles that men and women usually play," placing females in the lead roles.
A My-Hime manga series was developed by Sunrise. It was first serialized in Akita Shoten's Shōnen Champion and later published in North America by TOKYOPOP. It follows an alternate storyline at Fuka Academy where Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki become roommates.
An anime spin-off, entitled My-Otome (舞-乙HiME?), premiered in Japan from October 2005 to March 2006. This series contains many characters with the same (first) name and similar appearance as the characters of My-HiME, but it is set in a far future timeline.
A PlayStation 2 video game, Mai-HiME: Unmei no Keitōju (舞-HiME 運命の系統樹 Mai-HiME: Unmei no Keitōju?, lit. Family Tree of Fate) was developed by Marvelous Interactive and released in Japan on June 30, 2005. This adventure game follows a storyline different from the anime and manga series. A remake, Mai-Hime - Unmei no Keitouju Shura, was released for the PC.
Two PlayStation Portable fighting games, Mai-HiME Bakuretsu! Fuuka Gakuen Gekitoushi?! (舞-HiME 爆裂!風華学園激闘史?!?) and Mai-HiME Senretsu! Shin Fuuka Gakuen Gekitoushi!! (舞-HiME 鮮烈!真風華学園激闘史!!?), both developed by Sunrise Interactive, were also released.
A trailer for a Mai-Hime movie was included in the first DVD of Mai-Otome, with the title Fuuka Wars or The Great Battle of Fuuka. However this trailer was revealed to be a fake, with a release date of 20006[sic]. Fan response to the trailer was positive.
- Opening themes
- Ending themes
- Insert songs
- When a Small Star Falls (小さな星が降りる時 chiisana hoshi ga oriru toki?) by Minami Kuribayashi (ep. 15 and 26)
- It's only the fairy tale by Yuko Miyamura (ep. 7, 8, 11 and 15)
- Flower by the Lake (水辺の花 mizube no hana?) by Saeko Chiba (ep. 16)
- Sword of the Heart (ココロの剣 kokoro no ken?) by Ai Shimizu (ep. 16)
- Lovely Intersection (愛しさの交差点 itoshisa no kousaten?) by Mai Nakahara (ep. 16)
- Parade (off vocal) (ep. 10 and 16)
- Fuuka Academy School Song ~Crystal's protection~ (off vocal) (私立風華学園校歌〜水晶の守り〜 (off vocal) shiritsu fuuka gakuen kouka ~suishou no mamori~ (off vocal)?) (ep. 26)
- last moment by Yōsei Teikoku (My-HiME PlayStation 2 Game Unmei no Keitoju)
- Fortuna by Yōsei Teikoku (My-HiME PlayStation 2 Game Unmei no Keitoju)
- "Funimation Adds Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Outlaw Star, More". Anime News Network. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- Dong, Bamboo. "Kicking Class", Anime Insider, January 11, 2007. Retrieved on April 18, 2007.
- "My-Hime: a gennaio in arrivo un nuovo manga, My-Hime EXA" (in Italian).
- (Japanese) Official My-Hime website
- (Japanese) TV Tokyo's My-Hime website
- My-HiME (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia