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Main cast of Mai-HiME
|Genre||Action, Fantasy, Comedy-Drama, Sentai, Romance|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masakazu Obara|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Yoshino|
|Music by||Yuki Kajiura|
|Original network||TV Tokyo, Animax|
|Original run||September 30, 2004 – March 31, 2005|
|Episodes||26 + 26 DVD-only shorts|
|Original video animation|
|My-HiME: The Black Dance/The Last Supper|
|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 My-HiME, along with a handful of other former BEI titles.
The story centers on Mai Tokiha, a seemingly ordinary high-school girl who has recently transferred to the prestigious Fuuka Academy with her sickly younger brother, Takumi Tokiha. 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-mechanical 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 human 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 and her friends are drawn into the conflict.
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.
- Mai is the protagonist of the Mai-Hime anime series. She is portrayed as a self-reliant person, hesitant to tell others about her problems. She is a first-year high school student, and her roommate is Mikoto Minagi.
- Natsuki is typically portrayed as a serious, rational blue-haired female, as a foil to the lighthearted Mai Tokiha. She usually has Shizuru Fujino as a close friend. Initially, Natsuki doesn't want to work with Mikoto or Mai, but as the series progresses the three fight off the various Orphans at the academy, they become friends.
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.
- "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).