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My HiME Review

Genres: Drama Romance Action All
Series' Year of Release: 2004
Number of Episodes: 26
Review Date: 11-3-2009
Review Language: Dub
Review DVD Region: R4 Available in Australia
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Review By: Bradley Beeck

The story of My-HiME centers around a group of girls with special powers who must fight to protect the thing that's most precious to them. The three main characters are Mia Tokia, Mikoto Minagi and Natsuki Kuga. HiME stands for Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment.

my_hime008My-HiME is a show that exudes raw teenage energy. It goes without saying that this includes a lot of angst which, despite the some what light hearted beginning, dramatically increases as the story progresses. The central thrust of the story is the conflicts and tragedies that result from the girls protecting their most precious thing. Each of the My-HiME has a Child, a mechanical like creature that fights alongside them, in addition to wielding a weapon. However you shouldnít go thinking the series focuses on fighting because it doesnít, it focuses on drama/romance. Battles do happen periodically but a lot of them are short and unsatisfying. Itís not until the last third of the series that the fights get interesting although they still arenít very long.

my_hime013The showís characters mostly manage to avoid the typical anime clichťs, which is pretty good considering the number of characters is vast. Unsurprisingly not all of them get the exposition they need, for instance itís never explained where most of the HiME get their children from. The central characters of Mai, Mikoto, and Natsuki are strong, out going, sassy even. Though I never liked Mai, she came off as confrontational, indecisive, and pretty emotional to me. Her romance story also felt forced to be angsty when it really shouldnít have been. On the other hand her brotherís was much more natural which is strange given the circumstances around it. I should also point that a few of the characters are lesbians. One character whoís guaranteed to annoy is Nagi; an omnipresent narrator/manipulator. His identity is never fully explained and after a while I just felt like beating him over the head with one of his books. Itís actually worth rewatching the series once you know the characterís secrets because you can see them right from the start.

my_hime010My-HiMEís story is heavily character driven. Itís about their drama, joys, loves, past and tears. The series is light on specific background detail on the overarching reason why the girls must fight. The girls are pretty easily controlled by others and to begin with go along with it without much argument. The issue of the HiMEís Child is somewhat explained by one of the Character Features that are included on the DVD release but it really doesnít jive with how Mia acquires her child. Speaking of the Character Features theyíre almost entirely fanservice but occasional have character insights. Fanservice is something this series has a lot of. Something I noticed after a while is how often characterís just happen to be passing by or miraculously turn up at the right time. Also the story has one of the cheesiest endings of all time; it basically undoes all the drama in the last episode. There are a few boring filler episodes but these have story points sprinkled in them so youíre forced to watch them.

my_hime029The voice acting Ė dub wise Ė is very good with only Shizuruís voice being irritating. Itís done in an American southern accent which felt out of place. The music is quite good and is real mix ranging from choral for the dramatic moments, to wind instruments for the light hearted, and piano for the tragic. My favourite track is Irasshaimase! Famires he! (Welcome to the Family Restaurant) itís just so upbeat and catchy. The OP song Shinning Days by Minami Kuribayashi is reasonable and the ED song Kimi ga Sora Datta by Aki Misato gets the usual skip. Thereís only one OP and ED song which play the entire series except for one episode where thereís a different ED. The animation getís no complaints from me but Iíll give special mention to the flame filled scenes with Maiís Child.

My-HiME is a series thatís high in character drama, romance and fanservice but light in satisfying action. Its story is tragic which provides ample opportunity for angst but itís completely undone by an incredibly cheesy ending. Itís a good show but it sometimes felt like a chore to watch especially towards the end where everyone is an emotional wreck.