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Anime: Mai-HiME
aka: Mai-Hi ME
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 responsibility — but there's an additional, far more terrible price as well.

At least she's not alone — a 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 Futari wa Pretty Cure, it seems intent on bringing a Post Modern sensibility to the aging Magical Girl 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 Stock Footage, 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 Invisible to Normals; 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 has its followers. The video game, a Dating Sim created by the people behind Da Capo, 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 character sheet.


This program provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: It's explicitly stated that they, not the director, Mashiro, run the school.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Mikoto's sword can cut through an armored vehicle.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: what Midori wants to be, and who her "most important person" is.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: 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.
  • All There in the Manual: 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.
  • Alternate Continuity: Mai-Otome, Mai-HiME Destiny
  • Almost Kiss: Mai and Reito at the festival in Episode 13.
  • Always Save the Girl: Even the Himes that don't necessarily turn antagonistic tend to put more focus on protecting those close to them than saving the world.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: At least two of them!
  • And Your Little Dog Too
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: 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. 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.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Mikoto is blatantly feline in her behavior.
  • Anime Accent Absence
  • Anime Catholicism
  • Anyone Can Die
  • Ass Kicking Pose: 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.
  • Audio Adaptation: Sound Drama tell some often light-hearted stories that take place between episodes.
  • Back from the Dead: Miyu.
    • Alyssa too. Whether or not the victims of the Carnival count depends on where you draw the line between Only Mostly Dead and Final Death.
  • Badass Adorable: Mai, so much. Mikoto and Midori also fit this perfectly.
  • Badass Normal: 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.
  • Bad Ass Crew: The HiME's when working together.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Natsuki visits one to get information.
  • Bandage Babe: Miyu, upon her resurrection.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: 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".
  • Because Destiny Says So
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Mai and Yuuichi. She realizes the Lotus Eater Machine is a fake in part because they're not fighting in it.
  • Berserk Button: Every single girl has a "Most Important Person" whom you should never mess with.
    • When Mikoto (in reality, Shiho, but Mai doesn't realize this at the time) inadvertently kills Takumi, in episode 20 Mai's gets smashed. She gets 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The nicer the girl, the more horror she unleashes when she snaps.
  • Big Sister Attraction: Takumi is accused of this
  • Big Damn Heroes: The main Power Trio does this mutually on different occasions.
  • Big Eater: Mikoto.
  • Big "NO!": Several in dramatic and comedic situations.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Natsuki on a few Searrs troops.
  • Bloodless Carnage: ...except for the Eye Scream incident below. Interestingly enough, in battles involving or between Himes, the Childs take most of the damage.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Shizuru and Natsuki fight in one of these in Episode 25.
  • Blow You Away: Midori.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Mikoto, in the last few episodes.
  • Break the Cutie: Where do we even start?!
  • Bullet Time: Used in at least one scene where Miyu cuts through the shells Duran just fired at her.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Natsuki and Midori.
  • Cat Scare: 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.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Present in the latter half of the final episode.
  • Clark Kenting: Akira; spoofed mercilessly.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Shiho.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Midori, but in a less genuine sense.
  • Cooldown Hug: Mai on Mikoto in the final battle.
    • Natsuki kissing Shizuru immediately after she draws her into a hug during their last battle.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: 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 in revenge for what the Obsidian Lord did.
  • Comes Great Responsibility
  • Conspicuously Light Patch
  • Conspicuous CG: The large bell that's pulverized 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.
  • Continuity Cameo: 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.
  • Conveniently Timed Guard: 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.
  • Cooking Duel: An entire Iron Chef-style episode.
  • CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable): Mai, in the first episode.
  • Crash into Hello
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Several characters, but Haruka's are the most pronounced.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Natsuki.
  • Custom Uniform: The higher-ranking members of the student council have their own unique uniforms.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Nao, though she's largely an Ineffectual Loner; and also, surprisingly, Mikoto.
  • Date Peepers: In the last episode, Yuuichi and Mai are about to kiss when Mai withdraws, having noticed Shiho, Akane, Kazuya, Aoi and Chie
  • Deconstruction: The series could be considered a deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre. However, a few of the common tropes (flashy transformations, powers that are Invisible to Normals) 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.
  • Demonic Invaders: The Orphans.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Defeat of the Obsidian Lord.
  • Disney Death: Even the ones that don't even have Phlebotinum to stand on.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Villain!Shizuru
  • Does Not Like Men: Nao hates men ever since a gang killed her father and left her mother and Key comatose
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Shizuru kisses Natsuki while she's sleeping, and some (Haruka and Yukino) believe that she's doing something else entirely.
    • There's some fandom discussion about this on the discussion page.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Mai (and pretty much everyone else) has to really work hard for this.
  • Easily Forgiven: Nobody holds anyone responsible for their actions during the Carnival, up to and including rape and murder.
  • Easter Egg: 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.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Obsidian Shrine that the HiMEs hide from Searrs in.
  • Elaborate University High: Fuuka Academy is quite large, and the features it has
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • 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 blunt force trauma translated, assuming you realize it's supposed to be English at all.
  • Enjo Kosai: This is Nao's favored night activity, with a twist. She actually makes the guys think she's gonna service them, but then she uses her CHILD to rob them
  • Epilogue Letter: By Takumi to Mai, with some added notes from Akira.
  • Every Episode Ending: the closing theme song fading in.
  • Everyone Is Bi: In a similar vein to Revolutionary Girl Utena, just about every character gets absolutely slathered with some level of both homosexual and heterosexual subtext, and in many cases text.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Nao vs. Psycho Lesbian Shizuru. Neither is entirely without sympathetic traits, but by their second fight, both are considered antagonists.
    • While Miyu wasn't necessarily a villain anymore, her offscreen fight with Nagi can be considered this.
  • Exact Time to Failure: Subverted when Artemis lines up to fire more quickly than expected.
    Alyssa: Just because it's a satellite, that doesn't mean it travels at a constant speed.
  • Expy: From Neon Genesis Evangelion; one character is a very transparent Rei Ayanami clone (cute, but creepy). Another is a blatant Kaworu Nagisa. His name? Nagi. Last but not least: they have the same seiyuu.
  • Eye Scream: Nao gets stabbed in the eye by a stinger from her own CHILD. Ouch.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Mikoto, largely after Mai constantly rejects her help, and decides to go help her brother instead.
    • Nao goes from a reluctant ally to full-fledged enemy after accidentally losing an eye in a confrontation over whether she attacked Yukariko.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: 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 Director's Cut of the last episode: Yuuichi mentions obliquely that he's back on the team.
  • Fanservice: Lots of it.
  • Festival Episode: Two of them.
  • Fille Fatale: Nao; See Enjo Kosai, above.
  • Finger-Lickin' Evil: Nao's claws.
  • Firebreathing Diner: Mikoto in episode 2.
  • First Kiss: Mai gives up hers to Mikoto via CPR, but she insists That Didn't Happen.
    • Shiho forces Tate to give her one in epiosde 19. 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 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.
  • Follow Your Nose: Mikoto in episode 2.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Bells often punctuate surprising or emotional moments.
  • The Four Loves: Present in the Himes' bonds with their Most Important People
    • Storge: Mai->Takumi, Mikoto->her brother Reito, Nao->her mother, and Alyssa->her father.
    • Phileo: Yukino->Haruka
    • Eros: Mai and Shiho->Yuuichi, Yukariko->Ishigami, Shizuru->Natsuki (and possibly visa versa), Akane->Kazuya
  • Freak Out: This happens a lot.
  • From Bad to Worse: This accurately describes every episode in the second half of the series, minus the last one.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "HiME" stands for Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment.
    • Let us not forget Miyu Greer: Multiple Intelligencial Yggdrasil Unit.
  • 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.
  • Gambit Pileup: There are two separate groups of Illuminati involved, just for starters. One such group is in the middle of a power struggle between two Eldritch Abominations, has one human Starscream with his own pet HiME, has one Defector from Decadence 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 Big Bad.
  • Genre Blindness: Many characters in the "vampire" episode.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: While Mai is remembering her promise to their mother about protecting Takumi, and despairing as Takumi is not only once again in danger, but seemingly drifting away from her Natsuki gives her a big slap.
  • Gilligan Cut: 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.
  • The Glomp: Mikoto -> Mai, a lot; likewise Shiho -> Yuuichi.
    • Shizuru -> Natsuki in the ending.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Mikoto (gold), Nao (red), and Shizuru (both).
    • Shizuru, as she dumps Nao into the drink.
  • Goldfish Scooping Game
  • Grand Finale
  • Gratuitous English: Natsuki and Duran's called shots.
  • Hachimaki
  • Hair Color Spoiler: Reito and Mikoto being related isn't very surprising since they have identical hair and eye colors.
  • Hard Light: the "ghost Mashiros" in the finale
  • Heavy Sleeper
  • Hermetic Magic: The sigils on Mikoto's sword. Also Miyu's Platinum Dress, as she's powering up to break the seal on the pillars.
  • Heroic BSOD: This happens a lot, too. Half the examples are due to an Applied Phlebotinum effect, though, rendering the girls nearly catatonic.
    • Mai 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 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
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Done twice, and subverted both times: Mai shielding her friends from Artemis' laser beam with Kagutsuchi and then flying out to space to destroy it, and Yuuichi ordering Mai to take out Shiho's Yatagarasu, knowing that it will kill him. Mikoto jumps in and does it for Mai. They get better.
  • Hidden Eyes: Shizuru, right before she challenges Haruka and Yukino.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Natsuki and Nao are terrible singers, although their seiyuus do much better jobs at their image songs.
  • Homage: Episode ten's Cooking Duel, which is an extended parody of Iron Chef.
  • Honor Before Reason: 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 Big Bad, remake a world where her brother is happy and healthy, and chose to fight his tyranny with almost no apparent hope of victory.
  • I Have the High Ground: 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.
  • Ill Girl: The best categorization for Takumi is a Gender Flip of this character.
  • Immortality: Tokiha Mai gets blown up at least once, possibly twice; this counts as the result of an Immortality Inducer or Resurrective Immortality depending on who you ask. She doesn't seem to realize, and is almost certainly depowered at the end.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Natsuki shoots several magical darts out of the air with her pistols.
  • Incest Subtext: Mai and Takumi are quite a bit closer than you'd expect out of siblings, which gets furiously lampshaded at several points. Tate and Akira both accuse him of having a sister complex. Mai takes it quite hard when Takumi decides to 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.
  • Instant Bandages
  • Instant Seiza: Mai does this when seeing Reito one time.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Midori.
  • Invisible to Normals, subverted: Yukino's CHILD can do this, but people still see the collateral damage.
    • And between the Searrs-attack and Mai's Berserk Button being pressed, along with several other incidents, it gets bad enough that all the normals flee the school near the end of the anime.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Natsuki uses kisama on Nao. Akira uses ore while pretending to be a boy.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
  • Journey to Find Oneself: Natsuki after the finale, but she's rebuffed when her Mysterious Informant tells her she needs to make up for all the time she's missed class.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: 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.
  • Karaoke Box: Appears in Episode 16 and the ending. Mai apparently enjoys this greatly, but has to go last the first time.
  • Keigo
  • Kendo Team Captain: Takeda.
  • Killed Off for Real: Joseph Greer and the Obsidian Lord won't be coming back.
  • Kill Sat: Artemis, a gigantic orbiting mon.
  • Laser Hallway: 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.
  • Last Kiss: 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 Mai's lips just barely touch as Yuuichi is dissolving. The series ends without them having kissed at all.
  • Last Name Basis: Mai and Yuuichi often call each other by their last names. In St. Vlas's Lotus-Eater Machine, and at the end of the series, this shifts to First Name Basis.
  • Lethal Chef: 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.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: 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.
  • Looming Silhouette of Rage: Shizuru.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Mai gets one of these. We already know she's in one from the start, though.
  • Love Hurts: Several chracters go through this in the anime.
    • Tate can't stand watching Reito nearly give Mai a kiss in episode 13, and manages to stop it by screaming her name.
    • 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 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.
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • 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 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.
  • Lovable Traitor: Nagi
  • Love Dodecahedron: Everyone wants Mai, and many of her pursuers are the vertexes of their own love triangles or worse, all with absolutely no regard for gender.
  • Love Triangle
  • Love You and Everybody: Mikoto at the Festival Episode.
  • The Magic Goes Away: With the Obsidian Lord's defeat and the HiME Star's destruction, all the HiME's Elements, Childs, and birthmarks vanish.
  • Magical Girl: The premise, duh; plus, one character ( Midori) seems to think she's Sailor Moon. Or maybe the Red Ranger.
  • Magical Girl Warrior
  • Malaproper: Haruka.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Nagi, Ishigami... hell, most of the male characters... except probably Takeda, Takumi, and Kazuya.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Mikoto likes to force herself on Mai a lot this way as well.
  • Master of Illusion: St. Vlas' (Yukariko's CHILD) ability.
  • Meaningful Name: Mai-HiME. My princess? Dancing Princess? Princess Mai?
  • Meganekko: Yukino.
  • Meido: Fumi the pink-haired caretaker.
  • The Men in Black: the First District.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Fumi the Meido, which makes her even creepier than she already unintentionally was.
    • Mai, under the influence of Yukariko's CHILD.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Shiho's grandfather.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: 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.
  • Moe Moe: invoked On the first episode's 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 moe, but not always the kind she's looking for. This is a pun on "moe" being a homonym for "fire" in Japanese.
  • Mons: The CHILD of each HiME.
  • Mood Whiplash: 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 a lot of people had issues with the ending.
    • In the last episode, the battle concludes with 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 Wingding Eyes. The scene then transitions to the lighter-hearted ending.
    • Also invoked in Episode 8. After 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.
  • Motorcycle On The Coast Road: 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.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: The Orphan in the sixth episode, with... surprise, surprise... six arms.
    • So what is it called when the Orphan Akane fights in the eighth episode has eight legs?
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Attempted by Shiho, but Yuuichi sees through it.
  • Musical Assassin: Shiho's Element is a flute.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mikoto breaks down when 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 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 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)
  • Mysterious Informant: Natsuki keeps meeting him for exposition purposes.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: Searrs.
  • Names to Know in Anime: Kikuko Inoue (Ah! My Goddess) provides the voice of Sister Yukariko.
  • Neutral Female: Gender Flipped with Yuuichi.
  • Ninja: Akira's from a whole clan of them, apparently.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Bonus points for actually including a Ninja and a Robot.
  • No Body Left Behind: Anyone who dies as a result of a Hime's defeat disintegrates into green sparks and reappears in the Grand Finale, whether in the location they died or elsewhere (Kazuya dies in the forest and reappears in Akane's mental hospital room).
  • Non-Action Guy: Yuuichi, a former kendo expert who had to give up his sport due to an injury.
  • The Nosebleed: Natsuki gives Takeda these, to both their horrors.
  • No Social Skills: Mikoto.
  • Not So Different: Natsuki realizes that she, like Nao, was once bitter and refused to trust anyone after her mother died, and so saves Nao from Shizuru.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That / Sorry to Interrupt: Mai, to Natsuki, in episode 9.
  • Nuns Are Mikos: Yukariko Sanada aka Sister Yukariko. Joseph works at the church along with her, but he's also a Searrs agent.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: You may conclude early on that Midori is really as dumb as she seems, but later episodes paint her very, very differently.
  • Ojou: Shizuru
  • Older Sidekick: Miyu, to Alyssa (though, Miyu being a Robot Girl, she's actually younger than Alyssa.
  • Omake: Dozens of them on the Japanese and English DVD releases.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Mezame's broken Italian, but eh, close enough.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: The Obsidian Shrine EUB.
  • One-Woman Wail: Whenever Duran is summoned.
  • Oracular Urchin: Nagi.
  • Origins Episode: 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.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Kazuya, Akane's boyfriend, has a perfectly average life at school and working with Mai and Akane at the dinner. He's also the first person in the series to die.
  • Panty Thief: An Orphan in an early episode.
  • Parental Abandonment: Several characters are missing parents when the series begins, and it is not taken lightly, at all.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: A lover's face Against the Setting Sun in place of the clouds.
  • Perpetual Molt
  • Personality Powers: Hot-blooded Red Headed Heroine? Fire. No-nonsense Defrosting Ice Queen sidekick? Ice. Breezy and hyper-enthusiastic teacher/archaeologist? Wind... and so on.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: 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.
  • Pillar of Light: Artemis' laser.
  • Playing with Fire: Mai.
  • Point Defenseless: Prominent when Midori and Mai are attacking the Searrs ships.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Big Bad's primary plan is helped along at multiple instances by his Dragon's selective omission of information and other characters' outright deceptions, and one of the most bloody rampages of the show is caused by 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.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The show's Mons are powered by the love that the HiME has for their Most Important Person.
  • The Power of Love / The Power of Friendship: Used quite literally throughout most of the series, but played straight in the finale, as Mai's mutual admirations for Yuuichi and Mikoto helps her overcome her problems and defeat the Big Bad.
    • 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.
  • Power Trio: Mai, Natsuki, and Mikoto as Ego, Superego, and Id respectively.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Shizuru, later in the series.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Mikoto
  • Railing Kill: Subverted in Natsuki's use against Nagi.
  • Razor Floss: Nao has some, which can cut through trees and steel beams.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: There is a trailer for a Mai-HiME movie with Arika as the main antagonist, which is apparently set to be released in almost eighteen millennia.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Inverted. Even the utterly selfish Nao and the Psycho Lesbian Shizuru come charging in from the sky after all the Childs and MIPs are resurrected.
  • Repeat Cut
  • Revenge by Proxy: After Nao loses one of her eyes, she decides to get revenge on Mai by attacking Takumi.
  • Reverse Mole: Miyu, after being rebooted by Midori.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Mai really loses it when Mikoto inadvertently kills Takumi, by defeating Gennai, Akira's child. She's wrong about Mikoto being to blame, but doesn't realize this until later.
  • Robot Girl: Miyu.
  • Sarashi: Akira.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Nagi, after The Reveal in Episode 16.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Ishigami as the "scary" type, Yukino as the "hiding something" type.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Some fans argue that Shizuru represents a Deconstruction of this character type; others a simple Psycho Lesbian. Yukino might be a straight example; Haruka is her Key (in the manga) and Most Special Person, so she may be in love with her.
  • Second Year Protagonist: 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.
  • Screw Destiny: Midori's goal in the second-half episodes and general life philosophy.
  • Sentai: Parodied, as Midori attempts to form such a team.
  • Shapeshifter
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Both Tate and Mai claim they don't care about the other, which causes a lot of issues later on with Reito and Shiho.
  • Ship Sinking: Natsuki no Prelude completely sinks Natsuki x Takeda by noting that Natsuki sent Takeda a letter around the time the school shut down saying that she doesn't have feelings for him.
  • Shout-Out: Natsuki's and Shizuru's last battle with each other has a giant bell falling; just like in the legend.
  • Show Some Leg: Natsuki trying to use her femininity to get a car home in episode 9. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Sick Episode: The two-part audio drama, "Demonic Uproar" and "Natsuki's Desperations", in which Natsuki becomes sick after the events of Episode 9.
  • Slow Motion Pass By
  • The Smurfette Principle: Director-claimed deliberate inversion.
  • Snow Means Love
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Mai, in the opening.
  • Spiritual Successor: Mai-Otome.
  • Spot of Tea: Shizuru and Reito are avid tea drinkers, and Haruka nicknames Shizuru the "bubuzuke woman" as a result.
  • Squeaky Eyes
  • Standing in the Hall: During Mai's Lotus-Eater Machine dream.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Multiple characters do this from time to time. It always shocks the person when they show up.
  • Stock Footage: Various CHILD sequences early in the series.
  • Stop Helping Me!: 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 Shiho, whose Child's destruction means Yuuichi's death, and another who is 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.
  • 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.
  • Student Council President: Shizuru.
  • Stupid Evil: 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.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: 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.
  • Suicidal Gotcha: Mai pulls one to punctuate a very emphatic, angry It's Not You, It's Me. She's got her own dragon, though, so she'll be okay.
  • Superpower Lottery: 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.
  • Swirling Dust: Certain summoning sequences.
  • Sword Drag / Sword Sparks: Mikoto.
  • Synchronization: See the Powered by a Forsaken Child entry.
  • Taking You with Me: Natsuki does this to Shizuru; as they are each other's most important person, destroying either of their Childs will trigger both their deaths.
  • Team Shot: The opening.
  • There Can Be Only One: The HiME Carnival. It turns out, however, that with the presence of Alyssa the artificial HiME, the requirements for completion can be fulfilled with two HiME left standing.
  • This and That: Haruka doesn't even know what it means.
  • This Is My Side: Akira and Takumi's dorm room.
  • Those Two Girls: Chie and Aoi
  • Thwarted Escape: 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.
  • Token Yuri Girls:
    • 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 artbooks states that they "find happiness" at Natsuki's graduation. Shizuru's popularity in this series likely led to her Mai-Otome incarnation 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 Bleach's Chizuru in the "openly flirty" department. Furthermore, the Schizo Tech that gives the girls their super powers is destroyed by sperm, and neither condoms nor vasectomies exist.
  • Too Dumb to Live: 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 Haruka refusing to run away and continuing to taunt Shizuru despite Yukino's insisting while Shizuru points her Element at her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: 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.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: 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.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: At the end of Episode 15, Mai seemingly dies while destroying Artemis. In the preview for the next episode, you can see her in the background while Yukino's ordering food.
  • Trailer Spoof
  • Transformation Sequence: 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.
  • Trauma Conga Line: All the poor girls of the cast, but Mai, Mikoto, and Natsuki in particular.
  • Trauma Swing: 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 Natsuki and Akira.
  • Tykebomb: At least two (Alyssa and Mikoto), plus a failed attempt at a third (Natsuki).
  • Uncanny Valley Girl: Two of them: Miyu and Alyssa.
  • Unknown Rival: Haruka, to Shizuru.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Shiho. And she does NOT like it.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Mai after... well, that would be telling.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: 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.
  • Villain Pedigree: It starts with natural Orphans, progresses to Searrs-made ones, then the Searrs forces themselves, followed by each other.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Subverted. Midori pukes offscreen after a night of partying, but you can still see the aftermath and hear Nao scream because of that.
  • Waif Prophet: The apparently 11-year-old Director, Mashiro.
  • We Can Rule Together: The last episode. In an inverted parallel of Star Wars, the Big Bad offers Mai the place of The Dragon, Mikoto, who undergoes a Heel-Face Turn 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.
  • Weird Moon: Besides appearing enormous, notice that the moon is somehow always full throughout the series.
  • Wham Episode: Episodes 8 and 16. The former reveals that when a Hime's Child is destroyed, the person most important to her dies. The latter reveals that the Himes are now going to fight each other.
  • Wham Line: When Shiho yells that Mai 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.
  • What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Mikoto struggles with this a great deal.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: 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. A very valuable role in real life, but less so when the other Himes aren't on her side.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Akira.
  • Wolverine Claws: Nao's Element is turning her hands into metal claws, complete with Razor Floss extending from the tips.
  • X Meets Y: Jo Jos Bizzare Adventure meets Highlander.
  • Yandere: Shiho turns into one later in the series.
    • Shizuru has that look on her face when she's "protecting" Natsuki.
  • You Can't Fight Fate
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: 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. 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.
  • You Have Failed Me: Do not intern with Searrs, kids.
  • You Killed My Father: A large part of Natsuki's beef with the First District. But with her mother instead of her father.
  • You Need to Get Laid: One of the students mentions that Haruka needs a boyfriend while she was throwing one of her fits.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Nao, and (perhaps unexpectedly,) Haruka.


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alternative title(s): Mai Hime; Mai-Hi ME; My Hi ME; Mai-Hi ME
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