[[quoteright:218:[[PowerTrio http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cit_mai-hime_trio.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:218:Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki]]

When Mai Tokiha and her little brother Takumi take up residence at Fuuka Gakuen, their new boarding school, Mai discovers that the prestigious academy is the center of some very disturbing paranormal events. Mai also discovers that she is a [=HiME=] -- supernaturally gifted with the ability to summon her "Element" (a set of strange artifacts that grant her great powers) and also bonded to a strange mecha-like creature called a CHILD. Mai realizes instinctively that the price of her new power is [[ComesGreatResponsibility responsibility]] -- but there's an additional, far more terrible price as well.

At least she's not alone -- a [[TheMenInBlack secret organization]] called the First District has been gathering [=HiMEs=] to Fuuka Gakuen, at least nine of them; it seems the [=HiMEs=] are part of an ancient myth with a special destiny the First District wants to make sure comes to pass. But a powerful conspiracy based in America thinks it deserves to control their powers, and takes steps to make the [=HiMEs=] its own. And just when the [=HiMEs=] seem poised to become a unified force for good, an even deeper, darker secret about their purpose is revealed, completely and irrevocably altering the burgeoning connections between the girls.

One of the better anime to appear on Japanese television in the 2004-2005 season, ''[=Mai-HiME=]'' is well-written and is lushly and beautifully animated. Like ''FutariWaPrettyCure'', it seems intent on bringing a [[PostModernism Post Modern]] sensibility to the aging MagicalGirl trope. This it does with a sly misdirection, by first presenting what appears to be an "ordinary" {{magical girl}} show stripped of some of the trope's more "fairy tale" characteristics. (There are no fancy costumes or over-the-top speeches, no real transformation sequences, surprisingly few pieces of StockFootage, and from the beginning, matters are significantly darker than the genre normally allows them to get.)

But once you've settled in to what appears to be just an unusual Magical Girl show, the tables are abruptly turned and everything you expected is changed. The true purpose of the [=HiMEs=], the role of the Orphans, the very reason for their powers and what they have to do with them -- is nothing like what you expected. And unlike so many other Magical Girls, the [=HiME=] and what they do are not InvisibleToNormals; some are in fact being influenced or manipulated by agents of the "mundane" organizations around them.

As one by one the [=HiME=] fall, the monstrous orchestrators of the carnival finally appear on the stage, leading to an apocalyptic final confrontation.

''[=Mai-HiME=]'' was conceived as a multimedia project, spanning anime, manga and video game editions, all produced independently of each other with each one following a different continuity. The anime turned out to be by far the most popular imagining, but the [[Manga/{{Mai-HiME}} manga]] has its followers. The video game, a DatingSim created by the people behind ''DaCapo'', was never released outside of Japan.

Followed in the 2005-2006 season by ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', a completely separate series which still contains connections back to ''[=Mai-HiME=]''. Another disparate series is ''[=Mai-HiME Destiny=]'' light novel series, which not only shifts the action to Hokkaido, but replaces Mai with a shiny new protagonist named Mayo Kagura and the [=HiME=] with [=MiKOs=] -- so, strictly speaking, it's neither "Mai" nor "[=HiME=]"...

In late spring 2005 it was licensed for release in North America. As of summer 2006, it can be found in retail outlets in the US under the title ''[=My-HiME=]''.

For more information on the characters within the series, check out the [[Characters/MaiHime character sheet]].

----
!!This program provides examples of:

* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil: It's explicitly stated that ''they'', not the director, Mashiro, run the school.
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Mikoto's sword can cut through an armored vehicle.
* AdventurerArchaeologist: what Midori ''wants'' to be, and [[spoiler:who her "most important person" ''is''.]]
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Alyssa's death. She's too cute to die, and too covertly evil to let get away, but it's still so damn ''sad'' to watch her go.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: A considerable amount of information about characters' backstories can be found in their specials, the audio dramas and "Natsuki no Prelude," a story that discusses Natsuki's past, including when she became a [=HiME=].
* AlternateContinuity: ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', ''[=Mai-HiME=] Destiny''
* AlmostKiss: Mai and Reito at the festival in Episode 13.
* AlwaysSaveTheGirl: Even the Himes that don't necessarily turn antagonistic tend to put more focus on protecting those close to them than saving the world.
* AncientConspiracy: At least two of them!
* AndYourLittleDogToo
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Shiho does this to Yuichi... but he's sleeping at the time. Whoops.
** Shizuru has one of these with Natsuki, after her secret desire is exposed by Haruka and Yukino. She informs Natsuki that she never wanted her to know about her "wicked love" that she felt could never be returned. [[spoiler:Natsuki later tells Shizuru that she doesn't feel quite the same way that Shizuru wants her to, but she's happy Shizuru loves her and also loves her in her own way]].
* AnimalStereotypes: Mikoto is blatantly feline in her behavior.
* AnimeAccentAbsence
* AnimeCatholicism
* AnyoneCanDie
* AssKickingPose: A few of the Himes take them, especially Shizuru's stance in which she holds her naginata behind her, the blade pointing toward the ground at an angle.
* AudioAdaptation: [[https://sites.google.com/site/translationcd/home/my-hime-drama-cd-vol-1 Sound]] [[https://sites.google.com/site/translationcd/home/my-hime-drama-cd-vol-2 Drama]] tell some often light-hearted stories that take place between episodes.
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Miyu]].
** [[spoiler:Alyssa]] too. Whether or not [[spoiler:the victims of the Carnival]] count depends on where you draw the line between OnlyMostlyDead and FinalDeath.
* BadassAdorable: Mai, so much. Mikoto and Midori also fit this perfectly.
* BadassNormal: Haruka. Oh, Haruka. Has no abilities, doesn't even know kung fu, but picks a fight with a battle tank. For a moment, appears to about to succeed in trash-talking a [=HiME=] into submission while held at swordpoint by said [=HiME=]. Finally ''literally bitch-slaps'' Fate itself when faced with death.
* BadAssCrew: The [=HiME's=] when working together.
* BadGuyBar: Natsuki visits one to get information.
* BandageBabe: [[spoiler:Miyu, upon her resurrection.]]
* BarehandedBladeBlock: [[spoiler:Miyu again]].
** In one of the side art pieces, Haruka does this with Miyu's sword arm in what appears to be a game of "split the watermelon".
* BecauseDestinySaysSo
* BelligerentSexualTension: Mai and Yuuichi. She realizes the Lotus Eater Machine is a fake in part because they're ''not'' fighting in it.
* BerserkButton: Every single girl has a "Most Important Person" whom you should ''never'' mess with.
** When [[spoiler: Mikoto (in reality, Shiho, but Mai doesn't realize this at the time)]] inadvertently kills [[spoiler: Takumi]], in episode 20 Mai's gets smashed. She gets [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge really, really pissed off by it.]]
** Insulting a girl's most important person is another. Shizuru does not take kindly to Natsuki being insulted, and Yukino and Haruka each feel the same way about the other being insulted.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: The nicer the girl, the more horror she unleashes when she snaps.
* BigSisterAttraction: Takumi is accused of this
* BigDamnHeroes: The main PowerTrio does this mutually on different occasions.
* BigEater: Mikoto.
* BigNo: Several in dramatic and comedic situations.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Natsuki on a few Searrs troops.
* BloodlessCarnage: ...except for the EyeScream incident below. Interestingly enough, in battles involving or between Himes, the Childs take most of the damage.
* BloodstainedGlassWindows: [[spoiler: Shizuru and Natsuki fight in one of these in Episode 25]].
* BlowYouAway: Midori.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: [[spoiler:Mikoto]], in the last few episodes.
* BreakTheCutie: ''Where do we even start?!''
* BulletTime: Used in at least one scene where [[spoiler: Miyu cuts through the shells Duran just fired at her.]]
* CallingYourAttacks: Natsuki and Midori.
* CatScare: Akira draws her Element when Mai and Mikoto are eavesdropping on her conversation with Takumi, leading them to think she's noticed them, but it turns out to be this. In the process, Akira exposes the fact that she's a Hime and thus a girl.
* CherryBlossoms: Present in the latter half of the final episode.
* ClarkKenting: Akira; spoofed mercilessly.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Shiho.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Midori, but [[spoiler: in a [[Main/{{ObfuscatingStupidity}} less genuine sense]].]]
* CooldownHug: [[spoiler:Mai on Mikoto in the final battle]].
** [[spoiler:Natsuki kissing Shizuru immediately after she draws her into a hug during their last battle]].
* ComedicSociopathy: Midori follows Mai to the temple (despite promising to work), leaving Akane to toil solo in the restaurant.
** In the Blu-Ray special, Mai lies to Reito about having lost interest in Yuuichi and goes to the beach with him in order to bury him in the sand and force-feed him extremely spicy food along with the other [=HiMEs=] [[spoiler:in revenge for what the Obsidian Lord did]].
* ComesGreatResponsibility
* ConspicuouslyLightPatch
* ConspicuousCG: The large bell that's pulverized [[spoiler: by Shizuru to capture Natsuki who was trapped in it]] in one of the last episodes breaks into a few dozen particles, which are all perfectly triangular polygons.
* ContinuityCameo: Nina Wang is a member of Mai's class but is named "Chun Mei" in this series. Arika Yumemiya's brief appearance in the last moments of the last episode.
* ConvenientlyTimedGuard: Subverted in two ways: first, Mikoto triggers the alarm before Mai and Natsuki even manage to get into the (abandoned) facility, and second, when the guards arrive just as the girls are leaving, Mai persuades the other two to surrender despite their readiness to fight. They later escape anyway, with the help of a conveniently-timed ambush.
* CookingDuel: An entire ''IronChef''-style episode.
* CPRCleanPrettyReliable: Mai, in the first episode.
* CrashIntoHello
* CrossPoppingVeins: Several characters, but Haruka's are the most pronounced.
* CrucifiedHeroShot: Natsuki.
* CustomUniform: The higher-ranking members of the student council have their own unique uniforms.
* DarkMagicalGirl: Nao, though she's largely an IneffectualLoner; and also, surprisingly, [[spoiler:Mikoto]].
* DatePeepers: In the last episode, Yuuichi and Mai are about to kiss when Mai withdraws, having noticed [[ClingyJealousGirl Shiho]], Akane, Kazuya, [[ThoseTwoGuys Aoi and Chie]]
* {{Deconstruction}}: The series could be considered a deconstruction of the MagicalGirl genre. However, a few of the common tropes (flashy transformations, powers that are InvisibleToNormals) are left out, so it may be too far of a shift to count.
** {{Reconstruction}}, then; showing that the genre works just as well without those tropes.
* DemonicInvaders: The Orphans.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Defeat of [[spoiler:the Obsidian Lord]].
* DisneyDeath: Even the ones that don't even have Phlebotinum to stand on.
* DissonantSerenity: [[spoiler:[[PsychoLesbian Villain]]!Shizuru]]
* DoesNotLikeMen: Nao hates men ever since [[spoiler: a gang killed her father and left her mother and Key comatose]]
* DudeShesLikeInAComa: Shizuru kisses Natsuki while she's sleeping, and some (Haruka and Yukino) believe that she's [[RapeIsLove doing something else entirely]].
** There's some fandom discussion about this on the discussion page.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Mai (and pretty much everyone else) has to really work hard for this.
* EasilyForgiven: Nobody holds ''anyone'' responsible for their actions during the Carnival, up to and including rape and murder.
* EasterEgg: Two of them. In episode 2, Mai's classmate directly next to her and in front of Yuuichi is Chun Mei, who looks almost exactly like Nina Wang from ''{{Mai-Otome}}''. At the very end of the last episode, an orange-haired girl runs across the screen and looks at the camera just as Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki leave -- and she looks exactly like Arika Yumemiya, the central character of ''Mai-Otome''. They're very brief, but you can see them.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The Obsidian Shrine that the [=HiMEs=] hide from Searrs in.
* ElaborateUniversityHigh: Fuuka Academy is quite large, and the features it has
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt
* {{Engrish}}: The supposedly American Alyssa singing "It's only a fairytale". While it sounds beautiful, it's pretty obvious that the lyrics were written in Japanese and [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment blunt force trauma]] translated, assuming you realize it's supposed to be English at all.
* EnjoKosai: This is Nao's favored night activity, with a twist. [[spoiler: She actually makes the guys think she's gonna service them, but then she uses her CHILD to rob them]]
* EpilogueLetter: By Takumi to Mai, with some added notes from Akira.
* EveryEpisodeEnding: the closing theme song fading in.
* EveryoneIsBi: In a similar vein to ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', just about every character gets absolutely slathered with some level of both homosexual and heterosexual subtext, and in many cases text.
* EvilVersusEvil: [[spoiler:Nao vs. PsychoLesbian Shizuru. Neither is entirely without sympathetic traits, but by their second fight, both are considered antagonists.]]
** While [[spoiler: Miyu]] wasn't necessarily a villain anymore, her offscreen fight with [[spoiler: Nagi]] can be considered this.
* ExactTimeToFailure: Subverted when [[spoiler:Artemis lines up to fire more quickly than expected]].
-->'''Alyssa''': Just because [[spoiler:it's a satellite]], that doesn't mean it travels at a constant speed.
* {{Expy}}: From ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''; one character is a very transparent Rei Ayanami clone (cute, but [[CreepyChild creepy]]). Another is a blatant Kaworu Nagisa. His name? Nagi. Last but not least: they have the same [[Main/{{AkiraIshida}} seiyuu]].
** Akira is a scream-out to Akira Touya from ''Manga/HikaruNoGo''. Same name, same green hair, and they're both {{Bishonen}}. [[spoiler: The Akira from ''Mai-Hime'', however, is actually [[SweetPollyOliver a girl passing for a guy, instead of a guy looking like a girl]].]]
* EyeScream: [[spoiler:Nao gets stabbed in the eye by a stinger from her own CHILD. ''Ouch''.]]
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Mikoto, largely after Mai constantly rejects her help, and decides to go help her [[BigBad brother]] instead.]]
** [[spoiler:Nao goes from a reluctant ally to full-fledged enemy after accidentally losing an eye in a confrontation over whether she attacked Yukariko]].
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: [[ButtMonkey Takeda]] has two goals throughout the series: get Yuuichi back on the kendo team and get Natsuki to fall for him. He succeeds at neither.
** Subverted on that first one in the DirectorsCut of the last episode: Yuuichi mentions obliquely that he's back on the team.
* FanService: ''Lots'' of it.
* FestivalEpisode: Two of them.
* FilleFatale: Nao; See EnjoKosai, above.
* FingerLickinEvil: Nao's claws.
* FirebreathingDiner: Mikoto in episode 2.
* FirstKiss: Mai gives up hers to Mikoto via CPR, but she insists ThatDidntHappen.
** Shiho forces Tate to give her one in epiosde 19. [[spoiler: Unbeknownst to him, Mai was sitting on a swing in a playground below where they were at, and he does it right in full view of her. Unlike when Mai [[AlmostKiss nearly kissed]] Reito, she doesn't stop him, but he hears her getting off the swing in time to realize the trap Shiho forced him in.]]
* FollowYourNose: Mikoto in episode 2.
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: Bells often punctuate surprising or emotional moments.
* TheFourLoves: Present in the Himes' bonds with their Most Important People
** Storge: Mai->Takumi, Mikoto->her brother [[spoiler:Reito]], [[spoiler:Nao->her mother]], and Alyssa->her father.
** Phileo: Yukino->Haruka
** Eros: Mai and Shiho->Yuuichi, Yukariko->Ishigami, Shizuru->Natsuki (and possibly vice versa), Akane->Kazuya
* FreakOut: This happens a lot.
* FromBadToWorse: This accurately describes every episode in the second half of the series, minus the last one.
* FunWithAcronyms: [="HiME"=] stands for '''Hi'''ghly-advanced '''M'''aterializing '''E'''quipment.
** Let us not forget [[spoiler:Miyu Greer: '''M'''ultiple '''I'''ntelligencial '''[[NorseMythology Y]]'''[[NorseMythology ggdrasil]] '''U'''nit]].
* {{Gainaxing}}: On Mai, though interestingly ''Haruka'' actually has the largest bust of any female character (88cm) and mostly avoids this treatment.
** Maybe her bust is the biggest, but her cup size is obviously significantly smaller than Mai's. In fact, Yukariko the ''nun'' has the largest bust measurement (89 cm), but she's not as busty as Mai.
* GambitPileup: There are two separate groups of [[AncientConspiracy Illuminati]] involved, just for starters. [[spoiler: One such group is in the middle of a power struggle between two {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, has one human [[TheStarscream Starscream]] with his own pet [=HiME=], has one DefectorFromDecadence independently working with Natsuki to bring the whole thing down, and ''had'' another member who tried to defect to the other side. The other group is more or less taken off the board in the middle of the series, but still works with Natsuki to trade information, and the immortal cyborg superweapon they lost control of proves key to stopping the BigBad.]]
* GenreBlindness: Many characters in the "vampire" episode.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: While Mai is [[HeroicBSOD remembering her promise to their mother about protecting Takumi]], [[spoiler:and despairing as Takumi is not only once again in danger, but seemingly drifting away from her]] Natsuki gives her a big slap.
* GilliganCut: In episode 15, Midori attempts to form a Hime protection group. Both Nao and Natsuki both claim they're not interested. In the very next scene, Midori is giving her speech about it, and both girls are there, albeit against their will and tied up, with the implication that Midori knocked them out and brought them there.
* TheGlomp: Mikoto -> Mai, a lot; likewise Shiho -> Yuuichi.
** [[spoiler: Shizuru -> Natsuki]] in the ending.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Mikoto (gold), Nao (red), and Shizuru (both).
** Shizuru, as she dumps Nao into the drink.
* GoldfishScoopingGame
* GrandFinale
* GratuitousEnglish: Natsuki and Duran's [[CallingYourAttacks called shots]].
* {{Hachimaki}}
* HairColorSpoiler: [[spoiler:Reito and Mikoto]] being related isn't very surprising since they have identical hair and eye colors.
* HardLight: [[spoiler:the "ghost Mashiros" in the finale]]
* HeavySleeper
* HermeticMagic: The sigils on Mikoto's sword. Also [[spoiler:Miyu's Platinum Dress, as she's powering up to break the seal on the pillars.]]
* HeroicBSOD: This happens a lot, too. Half the examples are due to an AppliedPhlebotinum effect, though, rendering the girls nearly catatonic.
** Mai [[spoiler: suffers a particularly brutal one in episode 19 after accidentally overhearing her brother mention that he didn't want to burden her anymore, and then seeing Shiho force Tate to kiss her shortly afterwards. She snaps out of it briefly when Nao gloats to tell her she's going to attack Takumi, then falls into it again when Takumi disappears in front of her.]]
** Natsuki has one when she [[spoiler:learns that her mother was going to sell her before she died. She loses the ability to use her Element or Child, and is thus no longer able or willing to fight back against Nao before Shizuru shows up. Shizuru's actions for the sake of "helping" Natsuki push her further into it, but she eventually recovers and regains her powers]]
* HeroicSacrifice: Done twice, and subverted both times: [[spoiler:Mai shielding her friends from Artemis' laser beam with Kagutsuchi and then flying out to space to destroy it]], and [[spoiler:Yuuichi ordering Mai to take out Shiho's Yatagarasu, ''knowing'' that it will kill him. Mikoto jumps in and does it for Mai]]. [[UnexplainedRecovery They get better]].
* HiddenEyes: [[spoiler:Shizuru, right before she challenges Haruka and Yukino]].
* HollywoodToneDeaf: Natsuki and Nao are terrible singers, although their seiyuus do much better jobs at their image songs.
* {{Homage}}: Episode ten's CookingDuel, which is an extended parody of ''IronChef''.
* HonorBeforeReason: Subverted and reaffirmed: Shizuru and ''especially'' Shiho would gladly let the world burn for the people they love, and Mai ''heroically'' refuses the offer to become the goddess-wife of the BigBad, remake a world where her brother is happy and healthy, and chose to fight his tyranny with almost no ''apparent'' hope of victory.
* IHaveTheHighGround: Is there a time when Nagi's ''not'' hovering above everyone?
** Several times in relation to the headmaster, and a few more to the Obsidian Prince. Makes sense, since these are the only people he might consider his equals.
* IllGirl: The best categorization for Takumi is a GenderFlip of this character.
* {{Immortality}}: [[spoiler:Tokiha Mai gets blown up at least once, possibly twice; this counts as the result of an ImmortalityInducer or ResurrectiveImmortality depending on who you ask. She doesn't seem to realize, and is almost certainly depowered at the end.]]
** TheAgeless: The BigBad is of course unaging, but he's also [[spoiler:an EldritchAbomination]].
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Natsuki shoots several [[FlechetteStorm magical darts]] out of the air with her pistols.
* IncestSubtext: Mai and Takumi are quite a bit closer than you'd expect out of siblings, which gets furiously [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] at several points. Tate and Akira both accuse him of having [[BrotherSisterIncest a sister complex]]. Mai takes it quite hard when Takumi decides to [[spoiler:go to America for surgery alone]] as a way of becoming independent from Mai, although it's a matter of interpretation whether this reduces the subtext on Takumi's, adds to the subtext on Mai's end, or both.
* InstantBandages
* InstantSeiza: Mai does this when seeing Reito one time.
* InTheNameOfTheMoon: Midori.
* InvisibleToNormals, subverted: [[spoiler:Yukino's]] CHILD can do this, but people still see the collateral damage.
** And between [[spoiler: the Searrs-attack and Mai's BerserkButton being pressed]], along with several other incidents, it gets bad enough that all the normals flee the school near the end of the anime.
* JapanesePronouns: Natsuki uses ''kisama'' on Nao. [[spoiler:Akira]] uses ''ore'' while pretending to be a boy.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot
* JourneyToFindOneself: [[spoiler:Natsuki]] after the finale, but she's rebuffed when [[spoiler:her MysteriousInformant tells her she needs to make up for all the time she's missed class]].
* KansaiRegionalAccent: Shizuru speaks ''Kyoto-ben''. The dub has her speaking in a Southern accent, and viewers are divided over whether it's a close approximation to her clearly different way of speaking or completely ridiculous.
* KaraokeBox: Appears in Episode 16 and the ending. Mai apparently enjoys this greatly, but has to go last the first time.
* {{Keigo}}
* KendoTeamCaptain: Takeda.
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:Joseph Greer and the Obsidian Lord]] won't be coming back.
* KillSat: Artemis, a gigantic orbiting ''mon''.
* LaserHallway: Subverted -- Mikoto jumps into the laser grid at the abandoned First District Lab before Natsuki can formulate a plan to infiltrate it. The guards don't immediately come after them, anyway.
* LastKiss: Yukariko and Ishigami, then Mai and Yuuichi, in the ''same episode''. The first one is played straight, but the second one is a near-miss, as [[spoiler:Mai's lips just barely touch as Yuuichi is dissolving. The series ends without them having kissed at all.]]
* LastNameBasis: Mai and Yuuichi often call each other by their last names. [[spoiler: In St. Vlas's LotusEaterMachine, and at the end of the series, this shifts to FirstNameBasis]].
* LethalChef: It's not clear whether Mikoto, Nao, or Natsuki is responsible, but their cake not only sends the judges (almost every significant male character in the series!) to the hospital, it makes an ''Orphan'' sick to it's ... whatever it uses to digest food.
** The team with Haruka, Yukino, Shizuru and Youko made the mistake of heating the chocolate directly, which causes it to explode outward and might have made the cake inedible even before Haruka dropped it on the floor.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The core cast consists of twelve Magical Girls, as well as a bunch of other named characters associated with the school, including staff members. About 25 cast members are introduced within the first four episodes... and there are still 22 more to go after that.
* LoomingSilhouetteOfRage: Shizuru.
* LotusEaterMachine: Mai gets one of these. We already know she's in one from the start, though.
* LoveHurts: Several chracters go through this in the anime.
** Tate can't stand watching Reito [[AlmostKiss nearly give]] Mai a kiss in episode 13, and manages to stop it by screaming her name.
** [[ClingyJealousGirl Shiho]], who was with him during that incident, is not happy about this, and the next day she appears very upset as she walks to school with him. In an earlier episode Shiho asked Mai not to pursue Tate, and Mai assured her that she wasn't interested in him. Then [[LoveEpiphany things happened...]]
** Shiho gets back at Mai later in episode 19 when she is being walked in her wheelchair by Tate and then notices Mai sitting on a swing in the playground below where they are. She guilt trips Tate to give her a kiss, in full view of Mai, and Tate was unaware that Mai was around until she gasped in horror at them kissing.
* LoveMakesYouEvil:
** Shiho and Shizuru. The former targets her romantic rival Mai, and Shizuru attacks all of Natsuki's enemies.
** In a non-romantic sense, Nao is motivated by a desire to avenge what happened to her parents..
** Don't forget [[spoiler:Sister Yukariko.]] Mai even calls her out on the fact that everything bad that happens in the last ten or so episodes is pretty much directly her fault, and she did it because her boyfriend told her to.
* LovableTraitor: Nagi
* LoveDodecahedron: ''Everyone'' wants Mai, and many of her pursuers are the vertexes of their own [[LoveTriangle love triangles]] or worse, all with absolutely no regard for gender.
* LoveTriangle
* LoveYouAndEverybody: Mikoto at the FestivalEpisode.
* [[spoiler: TheMagicGoesAway]]: [[spoiler:With the Obsidian Lord's defeat and the [=HiME=] Star's destruction, all the [=HiME=]'s Elements, Childs, and birthmarks vanish]].
* MagicalGirl: The premise, duh; plus, one character ([[spoiler: Midori]]) seems to think she's Franchise/SailorMoon. Or maybe the [[SuperSentai Red Ranger]].
* MagicalGirlWarrior
* {{Malaproper}}: Haruka.
* ManipulativeBastard: Nagi, [[spoiler:Ishigami... hell, most of the male characters... except probably Takeda, Takumi, and Kazuya]].
* MarshmallowHell: Mikoto likes to force herself on Mai a lot this way as well.
* MasterOfIllusion: St. Vlas' (Yukariko's CHILD) ability.
* {{Meaningful Name}}: [=Mai-HiME=]. My princess? Dancing Princess? Princess Mai?
** [[MathematiciansAnswer Yes.]]
* {{Meganekko}}: Yukino.
* {{Meido}}: Fumi the pink-haired caretaker.
* TheMenInBlack: the First District.
* MindControlEyes: Fumi the {{Meido}}, which makes her even ''creepier'' than she already unintentionally was.
** Mai, under the influence of [[spoiler:Yukariko's]] [=CHILD=].
* MiniatureSeniorCitizens: Shiho's grandfather.
* MistakenForMurderer: Yukariko is found standing over an injured Aoi with her Element in hand, and gets interrogated by the student council. The next episode reveals that an Orphan injured Aoi.
* MoeMoe: [[invoked]] On the first episode's [[OnTheNext next episode teaser]], Mai asked "Isn't this supposed to be a school kid's story and have lots of moe in it?" There is [[KillItWithFire moe]], but not always the kind she's looking for. [[spoiler: [[DontExplainTheJoke This is a pun on "moe" being a homonym for "fire" in Japanese.]]]]
* {{Mons}}: The CHILD of each [=HiME=].
* MoodWhiplash: Invoked deliberately in Episode 16, which was written so as to lull the audience into a sense of security before dropping a plot bombshell on them. Also arguably the big reason why [[spoiler: a lot of people had issues with the [[HappyEnding ending]]]].
** In the last episode, the battle concludes with [[spoiler:what appears to be a death scene for Mikoto, and when she seems to pass on, Mai looks, and sees that she's merely extremely hungry, with WingdingEyes. The scene then transitions to the lighter-hearted ending]].
** Also invoked in Episode 8. After [[spoiler:Akane watches Kazuya die and has a mental breakdown]], the last shots of the episode are everyone else enjoying the festival as normal. The following episode makes it clear that no one knows what really happened, and most of the cast remains ignorant for some time.
* MotorcycleOnTheCoastRoad: Just to make sure you know Natsuki's a rebel.
* {{Mukokuseki}}: Most of the cast. In "Natsuki's Prelude," though, it's noted that Natsuki is suspicious of Yamada because he doesn't look Japanese, and suspects that it isn't his real name.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: The Orphan in the ''sixth'' episode, with... surprise, surprise... ''six'' arms.
** So what is it called when the Orphan [[spoiler: Akane fights]] in the eighth episode has eight legs?
* MurderTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler:Attempted by Shiho, but Yuuichi sees through it]].
* MusicalAssassin: Shiho's Element is a flute.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Mikoto breaks down when [[spoiler:she realizes she struck down Akira's CHILD and killed off Mai's brother Takumi. She was aiming for Yatagarasu, Shiho's CHILD that had attacked Mai earlier, but her [[BrainwashedAndCrazy conditioning took over]] and caused her to attack the first thing she saw, which unfortunately happened to be Gennai. A flashback immediately following that event shows that she was also responsible for killing her grandfather.]]
** Later somewhat subverted and then reinforced when [[spoiler: it turns out it was in fact Yatagarasu that struck the fatal blow against Gennai. Before realizing this however, Mikoto defeats both Fumi and Midori and still invokes the trope.]]
-->'''Mikoto''': It wasn't me? Then... ''(realizes what she '''had''' done)''
* MysteriousInformant: Natsuki keeps meeting him for exposition purposes.
* NGOSuperpower: Searrs.
* NamesToKnowInAnime: Kikuko Inoue (''Manga/AhMyGoddess'') provides the voice of Sister Yukariko.
* NeutralFemale: {{Gender Flip}}ped with Yuuichi.
* {{Ninja}}: Akira's from a whole clan of them, apparently.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Bonus points for actually including a {{Ninja}} and a [[RobotGirl Robot]].
* NoBodyLeftBehind: Anyone who dies as a result of a Hime's defeat disintegrates into green sparks [[spoiler:and reappears in the GrandFinale, whether in the location they died or elsewhere (Kazuya dies in the forest and reappears in Akane's mental hospital room)]].
* NonActionGuy: Yuuichi, a former kendo expert who had to give up his sport due to an injury.
* TheNosebleed: Natsuki gives Takeda these, to both their horrors.
* NoSocialSkills: Mikoto.
* NotSoDifferent: Natsuki realizes that she, like Nao, was once bitter and refused to trust anyone after her mother died, and so [[spoiler:saves Nao from Shizuru]].
* NotThatTheresAnythingWrongWithThat / SorryToInterrupt: Mai, to Natsuki, in episode 9.
* NunsAreMikos: Yukariko Sanada aka Sister Yukariko. Joseph works at the church along with her, but [[spoiler:he's also a Searrs agent]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: You may conclude early on that [[spoiler: Midori]] is really as dumb as she seems, but later episodes paint her very, very differently.
* {{Ojou}}: Shizuru
* OlderSidekick: Miyu, to Alyssa (though, [[spoiler:Miyu being a RobotGirl, she's actually ''younger'' than Alyssa]].
* {{Omake}}: Dozens of them on the Japanese and English DVD releases.
* OminousLatinChanting: Mezame's broken Italian, but eh, close enough.
* OminousMultipleScreens: The Obsidian Shrine EUB.
* OneWomanWail: Whenever Duran is summoned.
* OracularUrchin: Nagi.
* OriginsEpisode: The side story "Natsuki's Prelude" tells about how Natsuki gained her powers, and some of her early interactions with Shizuru, such as how Shizuru ran for the student council and won in order to help Natsuki.
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent: Kazuya, Akane's boyfriend, has a perfectly average life at school and working with Mai and Akane at the dinner. [[spoiler:He's also the first person in the series to die.]]
* PantyThief: An Orphan in an early episode.
* ParentalAbandonment: Several characters are missing parents when the series begins, and it is not taken lightly, at ''all''.
* PartlyCloudyWithAChanceOfDeath: A lover's face AgainstTheSettingSun in place of the clouds.
* PerpetualMolt
* PersonalityPowers: Hot-blooded {{Red Headed Hero}}ine? Fire. No-nonsense DefrostingIceQueen {{sidekick}}? Ice. [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Breezy and hyper-enthusiastic]] teacher/archaeologist? Wind... and so on.
* PhenotypeStereotype: While Japanese characters have all kinds of unreal eye and hair colours (see the illustration above), the {{Tykebomb}} made by an American secret society has blond hair and green eyes, which are most likely intended to be her "real" appearance. Other characters aligned with the same organisation have similar appearances.
* PillarOfLight: Artemis' laser.
* PlayingWithFire: Mai.
* PointDefenseless: Prominent when Midori and Mai are attacking the Searrs ships.
* PoorCommunicationKills: The BigBad's primary plan is helped along at multiple instances by his [[TheDragon Dragon's]] selective omission of information and other characters' outright deceptions, and one of the most bloody rampages of the show is caused by [[spoiler:Shizuru not telling Haruka her reasons for leaving the school and the latter's suspicion-fueled digging up of all Shizuru's dirty secrets.]]
** Natsuki cares for Shizuru significantly more than she lets on, and admitting the extent of her feelings might have averted some of the problems.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: The show's {{Mons}} are powered by [[spoiler:the love that the [[KidWithTheLeash [=HiME=] ]] has for their Most Important Person.]]
* ThePowerOfLove / ThePowerOfFriendship: [[DeconstructedTrope Used quite literally]] throughout most of the series, but played straight in the finale, as [[spoiler:Mai's mutual admirations for Yuuichi and Mikoto helps her overcome her problems and defeat the BigBad]].
** In a more conventional sense, Natsuki says in the 25th special, that Shizuru, Mai, and Mikoto helped her to open up, and that Shizuru's feelings for her and Mai and Yuuichi's feelings for each other helped her realize that people cannot live alone.
* PowerTrio: Mai, Natsuki, and Mikoto as Ego, Superego, and Id respectively.
* PsychoLesbian: [[spoiler: Shizuru]], later in the series.
* PuppyDogEyes: Mikoto
* RailingKill: Subverted in Natsuki's use against Nagi.
* RazorFloss: Nao has some, which can cut through trees and steel beams.
* RealTrailerFakeMovie: There is a trailer for a MaiHime movie with Arika as the main antagonist, which is apparently set to be released ''in almost eighteen millennia''.
* RedemptionEarnsLife: [[spoiler: Inverted. Even the utterly selfish Nao and the PsychoLesbian Shizuru [[BigDamnGunship come charging in from the sky]] after all the Childs and [=MIPs=] are resurrected.]]
* RepeatCut
* RevengeByProxy: After Nao loses one of her eyes, she decides to get revenge on Mai by attacking Takumi.
* ReverseMole: [[spoiler:Miyu, after being rebooted by Midori]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Mai really loses it when [[spoiler: Mikoto]] inadvertently kills [[spoiler: Takumi, by defeating Gennai, Akira's child. She's wrong about Mikoto being to blame, but doesn't realize this until later.]]
* RobotGirl: Miyu.
* {{Sarashi}}: Akira.
* SarcasticClapping: Nagi, after TheReveal in Episode 16.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Ishigami as the "scary" type, Yukino as the "hiding something" type.
* SchoolgirlLesbians: Some fans argue that Shizuru represents a {{Deconstruction}} of this character type; others a simple PsychoLesbian. Yukino might be a straight example; [[spoiler: Haruka is her Key (in the manga) and Most Special Person, so she may be in love with her.]]
* SecondYearProtagonist: Averted. Several of the high schoolers are first years and several more are third years, but none of the characters are in the year in between.
* ScrewDestiny: Midori's goal in the second-half episodes and general life philosophy.
* {{Sentai}}: Parodied, as Midori attempts to form such a team.
* {{Shapeshifter}}
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Both Tate and Mai claim they don't care about the other, which causes a lot of issues later on with Reito and Shiho.
* ShipSinking: Natsuki no Prelude completely sinks Natsuki x Takeda by noting that Natsuki sent Takeda a letter [[spoiler:around the time the school shut down]] saying that she doesn't have feelings for him.
* ShoutOut: Natsuki's and Shizuru's last battle with each other has a giant bell falling; just like in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiyohime legend.]]
* ShowSomeLeg: Natsuki trying to use her femininity to get a car home in episode 9. HilarityEnsues.
* SickEpisode: The two-part audio drama, "Demonic Uproar" and "Natsuki's Desperations", in which Natsuki becomes sick after the events of Episode 9.
* SlowMotionPassBy
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: [[http://web.archive.org/web/20070311211648/http://www.wizarduniverse.com/magazine/anime/002818592.cfm Director-claimed]] deliberate inversion.
* SnowMeansLove
* SparklingStreamOfTears: Mai, in the opening.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''{{Mai-Otome}}''.
* SpotOfTea: Shizuru and Reito are avid tea drinkers, and Haruka nicknames Shizuru the "[[{{Malaproper}} bubuzuke]] woman" as a result.
* SqueakyEyes
* StandingInTheHall: During Mai's LotusEaterMachine dream.
* StealthHiBye: Multiple characters do this from time to time. It always shocks the person when they show up.
* StockFootage: Various CHILD sequences early in the series.
* StopHelpingMe: {{Invoked}} In universe, Mai chides Mikoto a few times when the former tries to save her in episode 19 a couple of times (once against an unknown assailant who turns out to be [[spoiler:Shiho, whose Child's destruction means Yuuichi's death]], and another who is [[spoiler:Yukino, one of Mikoto and Mai's other friends]]), since she's still trying to keep the situation from declining any more than it already has.
* [[StraightManAndWiseGuy StraightWomanAndWiseGal]]: Haruka and Yukino, respectively.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Mild example: Midori usually wears a tight-fitting tube top that reveals cleavage and quite a bit of midriff. Even while ''teaching in class''.
** And then there's some of the outfits from the Karaoke episode, including Nao's Showgirl outfit and Mai's decidedly non-regulation police outfit.
* StudentCouncilPresident: Shizuru.
* StupidEvil: Alyssa and Searrs seem to prefer making a bunch of threats the other hime basically amounting to telling them to stay out of their way to bring about the "golden age" and never bother even explaining what the "golden age" even is, as opposed to trying to win any of them over.
* SuddenlySexuality: Some viewers see Natsuki's pursuit of Yuuichi in the manga despite having no interest in boys in the anime as an example of this.
* SuicidalGotcha: Mai pulls one to punctuate a very emphatic, angry ItsNotYouItsMe. [[spoiler:She's got her own dragon, though, so she'll be okay]].
* SuperpowerLottery: Mai's elements allow her to shield herself, fly, and hurl flame. Natsuki's are well, just pistols. Her Child is also one of the strongest of the lot, capable of sub-orbital flight, massive bombardment and is simply fricking huge compared to most of the other Childs. {{Lampshaded}} by Nao when the Carnival starts, as she vocally wonders if any of them would stand a chance against Mai if she were truly serious.
** This may be justified, however, since the Childs are powered by the love that the [=HiME=] feels for most important person. Natsuki, at least initally, denies that she even has someone she cares about that much. When she finally admits how she feels about Shizuru, Duran becomes enormous as any of the other Childs for their final confrontation.
* SwirlingDust: Certain summoning sequences.
* SwordDrag / SwordSparks: Mikoto.
* {{Synchronization}}: See the PoweredByAForsakenChild entry.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:Natsuki does this to Shizuru; as they are each other's most important person, destroying either of their Childs will trigger both their deaths.]]
* TeamShot: The opening.
* ThereCanBeOnlyOne: The [=HiME=] Carnival. It turns out, however, that [[spoiler:with the presence of Alyssa the artificial [=HiME=], the requirements for completion can be fulfilled with two [=HiME=] left standing]].
* ThisAndThat: Haruka doesn't even know what it means.
* ThisIsMySide: Akira and Takumi's dorm room.
* ThoseTwoGirls: Chie and Aoi
* ThwartedEscape: Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki, when infiltrating a secret base. Mai decides to surrender, to prevent someone seeing their Elements should they fight their way out.
* TokenYuriGirls:
** Shizuru and her obsessive love for one of the main characters, Natsuki. Fandom has rewarded this with a series of doujinshi, the tamest of which explore Shizuru's more publishable fantasies. The more extreme, well... let's just say that Shizuru is a very ''imaginative'' individual. One of the [[AllThereInTheManual artbooks]] states that they "find happiness" at Natsuki's graduation. Shizuru's popularity in this series likely led to her ''{{Mai-Otome}}'' incarnation [[OfficialCouple actually hooking up]] with that universe's Natsuki.
** Speaking of ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', there appear to be quite a few of them there, too, since most of the story takes place in the all-girls' Garderobe Academy. Chie, in particular, appears to have out-Chizuru'd ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'''s Chizuru in the "openly flirty" department. Furthermore, the SchizoTech that gives the girls their super powers is destroyed by sperm, and neither condoms nor vasectomies exist.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler: Father Joseph. He sneaks up on a now-powerless toddler and her incredibly powerful and loyal robotic bodyguard (that he built but knew he could no longer control). He kills the former first, and then starts bragging about it to the latter's face. That ends pretty much as you'd expect.]]
** Arguably [[spoiler:Haruka refusing to run away and continuing to taunt Shizuru despite Yukino's insisting while Shizuru points her Element at her]].
* TookALevelInBadass: Yuichi's sword-using in episode 26, although there were at least allusions to him having championship-level kendo talent beforehand.
** Also note that it was still played believably: the immortal swordsman disarmed him pretty quick.
* TransferStudentUniforms: Reito's clothing is all-black, as opposed to the outfits of everyone else, which are most often brown vests or blazers and skirts or pants with white dress shirts.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: At the end of Episode 15, [[spoiler:Mai seemingly dies while destroying Artemis]]. In the preview for the next episode, [[spoiler:you can see her in the background while Yukino's ordering food]].
* TrailerSpoof
* TransformationSequence: Mostly subverted -- the girls do all of their fighting in their regular clothes -- but the activation of Elements and the summoning of Childs often get the full treatment.
* TraumaCongaLine: All the poor girls of the cast, but Mai, Mikoto, and Natsuki in particular.
* TraumaSwing: Mai in episode 19. And this is ''before'' it got worse.
* {{Tsundere}}: Mai, though her "tsun" side is a little less violent than others. Surprisingly, so are [[spoiler:Natsuki and Akira]].
* {{Tykebomb}}: At least two [[spoiler:(Alyssa and Mikoto)]], plus a failed attempt at a third [[spoiler:(Natsuki)]].
* UncannyValleyGirl: [[spoiler: Two of them: Miyu and Alyssa]].
* UnknownRival: Haruka, to Shizuru.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Shiho. [[{{Yandere}} And she does NOT like it.]]
* UnstoppableRage: Mai after... well, that would be telling.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: Searrs' ultimate goal is to bring about a "golden age" by harnessing the power of the [=HiME=] Star. Exactly what said "golden age" is is never explained.
* VillainPedigree: It starts with natural Orphans, progresses to Searrs-made ones, then the Searrs forces themselves, followed by [[spoiler: each other]].
* VomitDiscretionShot: Subverted. Midori pukes offscreen after a night of partying, but you can still see the aftermath and hear Nao ''scream'' because of that.
* WaifProphet: The [[spoiler:apparently]] 11-year-old Director, Mashiro.
* WeCanRuleTogether: The last episode. In an inverted parallel of ''StarWars'', [[spoiler: the BigBad offers Mai the place of TheDragon, Mikoto, who undergoes a HeelFaceTurn because Mai is her parent/big sister figure, instead of the other way around. Mai says "no", twice, and then destroys the [=HiME=] Star with a little help from her friends]].
* WeirdMoon: Besides appearing enormous, notice that the moon is somehow always full throughout the series.
* WhamEpisode: Episodes 8 and 16. The former reveals that [[spoiler:when a Hime's Child is destroyed, the person most important to her dies]]. The latter reveals that [[spoiler:the Himes are now going to fight each other]].
* WhamLine: When Shiho yells that Mai [[spoiler:should let her Child be destroyed just like the toad was, confirming that she, not Mikoto, was the one responsible for destroying Akira's Child and killing Takumi]].
* WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove: Mikoto struggles with this a great deal.
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: Poor Yukino is pretty much relegated to a supporting role.
** Although it is arguable whether Yukino qualifies for this trope, as her role is effectively to provide intelligence and communication for the other, combat-oriented [=HiMEs=]. [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower A very valuable role in real life]], but less so when the other Himes aren't on her side.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Akira.
* WolverineClaws: Nao's Element is turning her hands into metal claws, complete with RazorFloss extending from the tips.
* XMeetsY: ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' meets ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}''.
* {{Yandere}}: [[spoiler: Shiho]] turns into one later in the series.
** Shizuru has that [[DullEyesOfUnhappiness look]] on her face when she's "protecting" Natsuki.
* YouCantFightFate
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Most of the twelve [=HiMEs=] (and the foreign Alyssa) have plausible hair colors, but some of them are much lighter than what would be normally seen on an actual Japanese person - Mai has bright red hair, and Haruka is a blonde. The most realistic colors are Yukino's brown hair, Mikoto's black hair, and Shizuru's auburn hair. [[spoiler:The three characters with crazy-colored hair are all supernatural -]] Nagi has white hair, Mashiro has lavender hair, and Miyu has light blue hair.
** Natsuki's blue hair is never commented on, and in the "prototype" trailer, it's black.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Do not intern with Searrs, kids.
* YouKilledMyFather: A large part of Natsuki's beef with the First District. [[spoiler: But with her mother instead of her father.]]
* YouNeedToGetLaid: One of the students mentions that Haruka needs a boyfriend while she was throwing one of her fits.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Nao, and (perhaps unexpectedly,) Haruka.

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