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Main cast of Mai-HiME
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masakazu Obara|
|Produced by||Hisanori Kunisaki|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Yoshino|
|Music by||Yuki Kajiura|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|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 focuses 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 iaTV in the mid-2000s and on Comcast’s 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. They also announced at the 2017 New York Comic Con that they will release My-HiMe, My-Otome, and a My-Otome Zwei + My-Otome 0: S.ifr pack, all on Blu-Ray + DVD combo packs on January 8, 2018.
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 twelve 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, the 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, but Mai and the other HiME soon find out the Orphans are not the only kind of enemy they have to fight, and as the cause of all of this is revealed, they find themselves facing the dark secret about their destiny.
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 catlike Mikoto Minagi, and the cold beauty Natsuki Kuga. 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. Her stated hobbies are working part-time jobs and taking care of Takumi.
- Mikoto is a third-grade middle school student who behaves a lot like a cat. She loves to be with Mai, often at her side or clinging to her. She also has a problem with spicy food, and consuming it often sends her into rampages while looking for water.
- Natsuki is typically portrayed as a serious, rational blue-haired female. 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, and 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), aired 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 parody 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 with a release date of 20006[sic].
- "Funimation Adds Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne, Outlaw Star, More". Anime News Network. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "Funimation's My-Hime, My-Otome Home Video Releases Slated for January". Anime News Network. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Dong, Bamboo. "Kicking Class Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine", Anime Insider, January 11, 2007. Retrieved on April 18, 2007.
- "舞-HiME・舞-乙HiMEシリーズ公式ＨＰ". www.my-zhime.net. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- "My-Hime EXA Manga to Launch in January". Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- "My-Hime: a gennaio in arrivo un nuovo manga, My-Hime EXA" (in Italian).