One of the Hime has to have her Child destroyed to demonstrate what happens, and Akane, being friends with Mai, has a connection that someone would notice her absence, but it wouldn't have as much impact as killing off someone like Takumi, who could be saved for later in the plot. Akane serves that purpose well, although it's a bit odd that she's defeated so early compared to the others.
Shizuru doesn't give a crap about Natsuki, despite how hard the writers try to convey she just suffers from misunderstood love. She doesn't care about Natsuki's feelings. She doesn't care about Natsuki's objections. She doesn't care Natsuki obviously doesn't want her to go around committing murders in her name. Yeah, she has some initial regret for taking Natsuki by force... but she doesn't hang onto it for long. She openly admits she sees Natsuki as nothing more than property. She doesn't fight to protect Natsuki; she fights to protect her own selfish, self-proclaimed ownership of Natsuki.
And then Natsuki decides she's cool with it and admits her own returned "love" for Shizuru. What. the. Hell? The closest thing I can compare to is if Misery ended with James Caan confessing his undying love to Kathy Bates, or if Perfect Blue ended with Mima happily putting out for Mr. Stalker Attempted Rapist Guy. And it's not even handled with any sort of dignity. It's passed off as true love rather than Stockholm syndrome. Did Stephenie Meyer have something to do with this?
Natsuki is essentially responding to Shizuru's belief that her love is improper and must be kept inside by saying that when she couldn't trust anyone else, Shizuru's kindness toward her helped her open up again, and she thus considers it a good thing, regardless of how socially "proper" it is, and thus is very fond of Shizuru because she did something so significant for her. It thus essentially solves the problem weighing on Shizuru of whether her love could be returned or if she should even admit it.
Shizuru was arguably sane until Natsuki rejected her; she mostly killed Orphans and blocked one attack from Miroku in Mai's fight against Mikoto as a way of helping Natsuki without Natsuki feeling as though she's imposing on Shizuru, and as "As The Cherry Blossoms Bloom" points out, tried to content herself with helping and being friends with Natsuki. Shizuru even doesn't try to finish off Nao when she rescues Natsuki the first time, and her killing Nao's child then trying to kill Nao the second time is presumably the result of her descent into insanity.
Why is Miyu sent to terminate Akane, and then nobody else? Seems like just another nonsensical plot device for creating cheap tragedy.
Why is it when Natsuki is caught sneaking around Searrs's base and Father Grear orders Miyu to get rid of her (Natsuki is helplessly sprawled across the ground in an unconscious state during this entire exchange, by the way), Miyu blatantly refuses the order under the pretense of "It's pointless to eliminate a Valkyrie when her powers aren't active"? Gee, that conveniently-timed attack of morality would have helped in Akane's case.
Akane's powers were active though. Note Miyu didn't kill her, just her Child. So that is consistent, although I agree it is never made clear what exactly Sears needs to do for their plan. The same could be said of the all 3 evil plans, and the one good plan from Mashiro BTW: It's reasonably stated what each wants, but not how their actions will achieve that goal. And since said actions are all about manipulating the magical powers involved in the hime's there's not way for us to know and it's never explained either. I'm actualy curious if the physics of the powers here are derived from Japanese folklore or something, so that the show's intended audience was expected to get all the logic behind the powers without explanation, leaving forgein viewers scratching their heads (case in point: Why does everyone seems to take for granted that killing the MIP will prevent summoning the Child, when only the reverse is ever stated by Nagi?)
Ishigami planned to kill Akira's child to eliminate both her and Mai, but that seems to have failed, if only because Yuuichi became most important to Mai. Mai's summoning her Child after Shiho's child's destruction killed Yuuichi is thought to be a special case, or proof that Mikoto is her new MIP. The answer seems to be that it's never conclusively proven to the characters that killing an MIP does not result in the Child's death.
She had all the data she needed from that one 'experiment'.
The whole second half is an Idiot Plot : Several characters are simultaneously driven into homicidal insanity shortly after the starting villains are ousted.
On the other hand, the tension between them is fairly well built up in the first half, and they don't actually go into "homicidal insanity" until The Plan is put into place. And even then, the only "homicidal" ones are Mind-controlled Mikoto, Psycho Lesbian Shizuru, and Delinquent Nao. Clingy Jealous Girl Shiho is pretty much just out for Mai's blood, and she was never shown to be all that 'evenly-balanced' anyways, and Love Makes You Crazy Yukariko is basically being manipulated by a deceitful bastard. The other six remaining HiME (Mai, Natsuki, Yukino, Akira, Midori, and Fumi) are pretty much neutral, or even fighting to stop the madness.
Aforementioned plan works by threatening the girls' lives and their loved ones' lives with a Kill Sat; the very same plot device they had defeated in the previous episode.
This troper might have missed something, but the Kill Sat being referenced was Artemis, which was targeting the school. While the HiME star was causing major disturbances to Earth's geological and atmospheric stability. How was it the very same, again? That both were plot devices threatening a broad array of people?
The Hi ME Star causes... what? Where are you getting this from? We're shown Midori looking at a newspaper clipping about Mt. Fuji having increased volcanic activity. Problem is, we're looking at one case here and there's never any established connection between the Hi ME Star and this event. It never goes beyond the random coincidence phase. Midori comes off as a mindless crackpot reaching for a reason to trust Nagi when there's no reason she should be compelled to believe anything he says after all the bull he's already pulled (regularly lying about what "Most Important Thing" meant to keep them motivated; hiding Akane from the other girls; etc). Where are the concrete establishing shots of Nagi or Reito, say, pointing toward the sky at the Hi ME Star and causing an actual earthquake or volcanic eruption on cue? When is there a single instance of one of the girls declining Nagi's orders and forcing him to brew up some decent-sized natural disaster to demonstrate his point? Artemis is AT LEAST physically shown to be a viable weapon. On the contrary, the Hi ME star is such a non-issue that barely more than a dozen schoolgirls and their mentors notice it even exists. The very urgency of the plot in the Festival arc is NEVER properly validated, and the girls go head over heels believing all of Nagi's threats at face value for no discernible reason. They kill themselves like lemmings to create artificial drama and allegedly prevent something that the evidence states never would have happened in the first place. That makes it an Idiot Plot.
The star was stated to be approaching the earth and at least strongly implied to the the cause of multiple disturbances around the world.
Quite a few of the problems could have been resolved or at least prevented from escalating into killing if the characters had taken simple measures to deal with them.
Instead of taking Yukariko's accusing Nao of attacking her at face value, they should have asked Nao about it and investigated further. Considering that her story unravels when Mai finds out that she's never been to the infirmary until just before she goes to confront her, it wouldn't have been too difficult to find out the truth.
They didn't have much reason to doubt it. Yukariko had previously seemed much more friendly and reliable than Nao. Plus, just before Natsuki gets to Nao, Nagi pulls a trick to make Nao think she's been shot at. When Natsuki arives, she does try to talk to Nao, but Nao only sees someone who never liked her and uses guns and is acting threating towards her. So she decides Natsuki attacked her and is then unwilling to talk to any of the Himes, even though they try.
Here's the basic problem with the above troper's argument: The reason behind Yukariko manipulating and lying the other girls is to advance Ishigami's plan. The problem is, Ishigami's aspirations for world power come out nowhere and occur only because that point of the story required someone to play the villain, no matter how forced of a villain they may be. Where the hell was this supposed criminal mastermind when Searrs were trying to infiltrate the school and he could VERY easily sell out the other Hi ME to his own benefit? Arguing over anything that resulted from the Genre Shift, regardless of how well you may think those events are written, is a moot point. It's a plot built on a foundation of nonsense.
If Shizuru had just called Haruka and stayed in touch to offer advice concerning running the school in the crisis, she would not have reacted as strongly (or at least, might not have been there in person and gotten killed). Haruka also didn't help matters by unnecessarily accusing Natsuki along with Shizuru. Then again, even if this and the situation with Nao above had been averted, the destruction of the First District most likely would not have been (But I in general find Shizuru's Psycho Lesbian side to be a case of Not Herself, given the lack of buildup for it in the anime).
Actually Shizuru's obession with Natsuki was hinted at in the earlier episodes, and it was implied that it was in fact Shizuru who was the silent hand protecting Natsuki in the earlier episodes. Besides that Shizuru and Haruka at that time were not shown to be friends, and even if Shizuru did give Haruka instructions on how to run the school is there any guarantee that Haruka with her ego would have taken Shizuru's advice? Plus Raito who was closer to Shizuru than Haruka ever was, was the one manipulating her so yeah...
Exceeept Shizuru's characterization in the second half of the show still makes no sense. If the viewer is supposed to accept Shizuru was always a psychological timebomb waiting to pull a 180 and go on a rape and killing spree at the first perceived threat to Natsuki's life, where was she when Alyssa was pointing an interplanetary gun at Natsuki's head and explicitly stating "I will shoot you if you don't listen to me"? Once again, you have a character randomly spinning off into a psychotic caricature of themself for no reason other than forcing the plot in a tragic direction.
Yuuichi also didn't do a very good job of admitting his feelings for Mai, especially considering that it was in the middle of a "date" with Shiho. Mai was also partly to blame for falling for him after promising to root for Shiho's love for him, thus causing Shiho to think she betrayed her.
When Mai promised that, she didn't realize (or didn't want to admit) that she liked Yuuichi. Shiho explicitly asked Mai to root for her, saying 'no' at that point would have certainly seemed rude (and she obviously wasn't into it, she stammers and blushes while making the promise).
Plus even if Yuuichi did admit to loving Mai, is there any guarantee that Shiho still wouldn't have tried to kill Mai, because even though Yuuichi did make it make it clear to Shiho many times in the series that he wasn't interested in her like that (even though he didn't like Mai yet) it still didn't stop Shiho from chasing after him.
Everyone seems rather unwilling to admit to their most special people that they are Himes, even though the people in question take it well, and don't inform them about what will happen to them if their Child dies.
A: They might take it less well if they are informed about the whole dying thing. B) There aren't that many without justification. Three were found out before the dying-deal was discovered (Mai,Yukariko, Akane), two were themselves himes (Natsuki,Shizuru), two weren't around (Nao,Midori), of two we don't know who it was (Mikoto,Fumi), Akira had been told not to tell anyone (even to hide her gender), and Shiho didn't know she was one. That leaves Yukino, who was extermely timid.
The remaining characters are "forced" into eliminating each other when Nagi makes purely verbal threats that the HiME Star will destroy the planet if they don't cooperate, and no one thinks of addressing that, one, the guy was already a habitual liar for covering up the purpose of each HiME's important person for half of the show and, two, they had just proven themselves capable of defeating a Kill Sat with no casualties. Not surprisingly, it turns out the star has no destructive capabilities whatsoever when it lands on Earth in the finale anyway, and this is after it's fully energized from absorbing the emotions and willpower from eleven (including Alyssa) defeated HiME.
On the other hand, It never actually lands so we don't know what would have happened, and given that if a meteor "the size of EPCOT Center" hit the earth, the results would be fairly cataclysmic, we can be fairly certain the results wouldn't be pretty. Plus, Nagi didn't actually "lie", he just wasn't telling the whole truth. Additionally, several of the HiME were willing to try and find another solution, or at least stay out of the way. So, none of Nagi's threats actually mattered. It wasn't until The Plan played by Ishigami (via a nun, the one person everyone's supposed to be able to trust), and by the Obsidian Prince (via crazy-powerful Mikoto) are really what started the carnage (Shizuru going bat-sh** insane didn't help, either; she did have the second highest "kill" count).
This is just incorrect through and through. spoiler: Nagi is a documented liar. Natsuki calls him out on the spot in front of the major cast for deliberately trying to start the festival without telling the HiME the full extent of their actions ("You only have to defeat each other's Childs. *smirk*") The star very much so lands on Earth. The gathered HiME are shown physically flying up to it and damaging it to remove Kagutsuchi's limiters, allowing Mai to kill Obsidian Lord and end the entire cycle forever in a single targeted attack. Also, Ishigami's plan hinged solely on the lie that a victorious HiME directly absorbed the powers of her opponents. On top the facts that Ishigami is supposed to be an attentive schemer in his own right and none of this is ever supported anywhere in the series after the murders begin, who sold him this misinformation? Nagi. Whoops. The HiME who would have had nothing to do with the festival are ultimately pulled into by, you guessed it, an atmosphere of gross paranoia leading straight back to Nagi's influence.
Oopsies, a couple problems with that last comment. "The star very much so lands on Earth." vs. "The gathered HiME are shown physically flying up to it." These seem to be mutually exclusive statements. How can it have landed if the HiME fly up to it? The original comment appears accurate. The star never fully "landed" so we never truly know what would have happened. But, given the Obsidian Prince's demeanor, it's not far fetched to say there weren't nice times in store for the people of the earth. And regarding: "who sold him [Ishigami] this misinformation? Nagi." Nagi causes chaos, that's who he is. Ishigami is the one who plays his plan. Nagi might have helped set him up for a fall, but it was his own ambition that blinded him. Happens to quite a few people in the real world too. "...leading straight back to Nagi's influence." Yes, Nagi was a trickster and influenced things. But was it an Idiot Plot for his machinations to have some effect, considering how everything else was intertwined? The HiME were set up by clever manipulation from numerous sources (Mashiro, Ishigami, Nagi, Reito, First District, Searss), not because they were idiots. The entire point of this "Idiot Plot" tag is that several characters had to be morons for the whole plot to work, and that just doesn't really pan out. Could it all have been a lie? Sure, but the HiME weren't idiots for following the path laid out to them, considering their choices at each moment.
First off, the Hi ME know for a fact Nagi is lying to them and manipulating them, yet continue to take his threats as fact without hesitation. The moment Natsuki reveals Nagi has been lying about what "Most Important Thing" meant for well over half of the story, everyone is consciously aware he's full of it and nothing he says should be trusted. Later on in the series, we find out the Hi ME Star actually gains its powers from sorrowful emotions generated from the Hi ME losing their most important person, and is not the omnipotent death weapon Nagi (not surprisingly) lies about in episode 17. With no Festival, Obsidian Lord would have had little to no actual power, and the girls were only screwing themselves over and helping him when THEY HAD NO REASON TO LISTEN TO NAGI in the first place. Yes, they ARE complete idiots for following the path laid out for them. Then there's Nagi and OL themselves, with plans that desperately depend on manipulation a small child would be able to see through, and it only works because OL is lucky enough the writers forced the entire Hi ME Team to suddenly start acting like complete fools the moment the Carnival Arc hits. Ishigami's Evil Genius status comes into question the moment you consider HIS entire plan revolved on the concept that each time a Hi ME is defeated, her powers are absorbed by the winning Hi ME in some direct Quickening-like process. Yeah, he had no problems buying Nagi's bull, either. And it only gets worse when he never considers for a second that this is a proven lie when it's obviously debunked by Akira's defeat. There's being blinded by your ambition, and then there's being absolutely oblivious to the basic events happening around you. This isn't even considering his Evil Genius persona comes out of nowhere for the Carnival Arc, since it's never brought up once in the Searrs Arc. Never does he even remotely try to interact with Searrs and, say, try to pull their strings to sell out the other Hi ME in exchange for immunity for himself and Yukariko (and don't tell me a coherently written Evil Genius wouldn't do something like that). Lastly, there's Mashiro. She knows the absolute truth about the Carnival through first-hand knowledge, and her very reason for being there was to mess things up all along. She reserves magical Nagi-jamming powers for herself (see: her second conversation with Midori), she trains a bodyguard Hi ME and instructs her NOT to take part in the Carnival, and flashbacks show you she rejected OL at the end of the last Carnival just like Mai rejected him in this one. She could have stepped in at any second, informed the Hi ME what was really going on, and stopped the entire process from the first episode of the series. There's no serious way a fully-informed viewer can say she's NOT there to screw things up from the start, yet the show plays her as a sympathetic character who regrettably allows the Carnival to happen for some mindboggling reason. So, yes, the Carnival Arc was a desired plot direction that only worked because virtually the entire collective cast suddenly started acting like total idiots. That's the very definition of an Idiot Plot
Again not exactly what Nagi was saying may have had a ring of truth to it, he just didn't tell them the full story. Besides that you're forgetting one major point, the girls don't immediately decide to fight each other. They were essentially manipulated into doing so by outside forces. Yukariko; a trusted figure to all of the girls who was basically a very innocent young woman who gets flustered easily and who was in love with Ishigami. Ishigami wanted to use her power for his own gain but in order to do so he'd have to get rid of the other HiME, and so he used her love for him to manipulate her into pretending that Nao; who was antagonistic towards other girls and one who could basically be described as untrustworthy and not at all reliable, had injured her. Of course the other girls took Yukariko's word for it but still tried to talk to Nao to get an understanding of what going on, however Nao thought that they were out to get her, which was not helped by Nagi who staged an attack on Nao and injured her even though no one saw him which then led to both Natsuki and Nao blaming the attack on Natsuki because she uses projectiles. This in turn made Nao desire for revenge on Natsuki and thus instigated a fight with her. That then led to Nao instigating a fight with Shizuru by proxy due to her being in love with Natsuki. Shizuru was in contact with Reito, who she was closer to than Haruka, and had no reason to doubt. Reito used both Shizuru's trust him him and her love for Natsuki to get Shizuru to fight Nao, and also destroy the First District. This also led to problems with Haruka who already had in in for Shizuru and was looking for a fight. Then after Natsuki was injured and then put in a state of BSOD due to her finding out that her mother was trying to sell her for money, this then lead to Natsuki temporarily losing her powers, with Nao still after her. Shizuru then saved Natsuki and was nursing her which lead to Shizuru skipping school. With Reito and Shizuru missing this put Haruka in charge who could not handle the situation despite wanting the job, this lead to her wanting to find out where Shizuru was and Yukino being in love with Haruka and wanting to help her found Shizuru for her. However, their timing was bad, and Haruka's subsequent anger even though justified couldn't have been at a worse time this lead to Shizuru fighting and beating Yukino. With Mikoto it was already established that she was searching for her brother, who was basically raised to love only him (granted he did kill anyone who she loved more than him- except for Mai). This in turn put Mikoto against the interests of the team due to Reito wanting to make them all fight. Shiho did not know Nagi was a liar and wasn't even aware of the fact she was HiME, she also couldn't take no for an answer nor could she accept the fact that Tate didn't love her like she wanted him to. This in turn lead to Shiho deciding to take up Nagi's suggestion and Murder the Hypotenuse without knowing that if she killed Mai's Child then Tate would have most likely died as well. Midori basically kept of the fight having no one for Nagi to manipulate getting her to fight. Basically Nagi only manipulated one of the Hi ME to fight and it was one who wasn't around to know that he was a habitual liar, he manipulated Ishigami who like Shiho had no reason to doubt Nagi, and he was working for Reito. So, basically the above argument Nagi did not in fact directly manipulate them into fighting.
Mashiro, who obviously knows that the HiME are capable of defeating the Big Bad as a group, deliberately allows the killings to occur and even attacks Midori for trying to prevent them. For the final battle, Mashiro literally resets the entire cast to their physical/mental status as of episode 16 (episode 7, in Akane's case) to accomplish her goals, effectively illustrating how pointless the Highlander storyline was.
On the other hand, it's implied that she could only act when all of the crystals were charged and not until then. So when they all were powered up (remember Alyssa was a HiME so the crystals were all raised even though Mikoto was still "alive" as shown when Mai went to face Reito), the Crystal Princess (ie. the REAL Mashiro) was awakened, but chained (again, as was stated in one of the last episodes). And when Miyu freed her, Mashiro was able to work her powers to bring the HiME back to full force, but she couldn't do anything as a mere doll (which is what her body was as Fumi's child, as stated by Fumi, Mashiro, and Nagi), and Nagi knew it (as he bluntly implied when he crushed the doll in front of her earlier).
The Pillars theory is nonsensical. It is stated and depicted on-screen that the Pillars are manifestations of the energy from each HiME's dead VIP, which in turn get soaked up to increase the power of the HiME Star. Mashiro is simply returning the same amount of power the girls started with, as everyone's CHILD returns to their exact pre-defeat status quo (with the exception of Natsuki's case, where her Mid-Season Upgrade actually helped the chances of defeating Obsidian Lord and Mashiro allowed her to lose it in the exchange; this troper remains puzzled on which party that whole incident was supposed to benefit). Explaining why the HiME Star retains its bloated form on Earth with its whole power source gone before the HiME Sentai even attack it is an issue in and of itself.
This comment introduces some good questions as to the "physics" of the series, but does that really make for an "Idiot Plot"? Also, which Mid-Season Upgrade is this referring to? Natsuki's bigger Duran? When does Mashiro "allow" her to lose that. I thought Natsuki willingly goes to stop Shizuru in a double-KO. The whole thing with Natsuki's bigger Duran was kind of a "huh?" moment in and of itself. Aside from that, the reset doesn't bring them back to before the festival as the root comment indicated, it just brings them back to how they were before defeat. And it doesn't reset "mental status", as several of the HiME and the VIPs had much different opinions after their death (reference Tate's line to Reito about "that" Tate being dead).
To be fair to Mashiro, she, on several occasions, including her special, expresses regret over what is happening and wonders if the Himes hate her. She probably knew the events were necessary for the best outcome, but still felt guilty over allowing them to happen.
How is that fair? Yeah, the script has Mashiro talking to Fumi like she's regretful, but why doesn't she ACT like it? Why doesn't she TRY to stop the festival? Why does she talk down to Midori and punish her for being the lone voice of reason and looking for a way to stop the festival? Why Mashiro HAVE to allow the pillars to be raised before enacting her plan? If she had simply came clean from the very start of the series, why would she even have to worry about having to restore anyone's powers in the first place? If she had taken an active role in telling the Hi ME NOT to fight each other and told Akane "oh, by the way, look out for the oddly-acting android spies I already know about," all of the tragedy would have been averted. Her choice of (in)action makes no sense whatsoever, and there's no reason for the Festival to even happen.
In the second to final episode, Natsuki reveals that a CHILD grows stronger when a Hi ME is more committed to her important person, so where the hell did at least Akane's and Akira's character development go? Both very blatantly became more deeply involved with their important person over time.
Miyu shanked Akane's Child just after the relationship upgrade, and Akira was getting triple teamed by Yukariko, Shiho and Mikoto. Neither one really had much of a chance.
When was it ever implied it takes an additional amount of time after the confession for the upgrade to come into effect? You seem to be defending this with some nasty recursive logic, since you're saying it's okay for Akane and Akira to be defeated before the emotional upgrade when the entire reason they were defeated was because they inexplicably lacked the upgrade.
Then again, one strange part is that after Yuuichi replaces Takumi as Mai's most important person, Kagutsuchi doesn't seem to get any larger.
Or weaker. Or display any kind of effect relating to any of Mai's emotional connections. Thankfully, the EXA manga corrects this.
Who is Nagi? How old is he? What species is he? Why is he at the side of the Obsidian Lord?
He was hired from an evil minion placement service.
I thought he was stated at one point to be one of the Obsidian Lord's Childs along with Miroku. Since the Obsidian Lord is in fact a giant eyeball, him having a non monstrous Child could make sense.
One theory I have often heard espoused is that he is the Obsidian Lord's previous host just as Mashiro is the previous Suishou Hime.
What is the door that Nagi and Mashiro enter in the end?
The door to Valhalla mentioned earlier in the series would be my bet.
What constitutes a "most important person"? What things can be a most important person? Can Miyu be one, for instance?
For that matter, what's a life-force? What things have it? Animals? Plants? Viruses? Shiho? Miyu? Miyu when deactivated? How many of them do people with split personality have? What about conjoined twins?
And maybe I'm reading too much into the Obsidian Lord's powers, but why would it be a good idea for Natsuki and Shizuru's Most Important People to be each other? IT's kind of like with poor Tate - Somehow or other, they're all going down. If one of those two was the most powerful, and would be the "winner", she can't be, because she's dead.
More to the point, at the end he is pitting Mikoto and Mai against each other, and they are almost certainly each other's most precious person by that stage (if only due to the elimination of everyone else). Unless that is the point - to end up with no hime left and thus gain full access to the power of the hime star or some such.
That was most definitely not his plan. It completely contradicts how he rigs the festival so Mai never has to run the risk of being defeated and Brainwashed and Crazy Mikoto does all the work bodyguarding her. It wouldn't make any sense if he wanted the Hi ME Star for himself all along and wasn't intentionally trying to preserve Mai to be his wife.
As far as I could tell, while they were fighting each other Tate was Mai's most important person, and Reito/OL was Mikoto's. It's only when Mai and Mikoto realise how important they are to each other that they stop fighting.
Then again, "most important people" can change over time, as Natsuki notes that Takumi used to be Mai's most important person, but it changed to Yuuichi at some point before Takumi's death.
Why does Mikoto always carry around her sword, even though she can summon it from anywhere? Most importantly, why does she carry around her sword while sitting on Mai's back?
Because it's part of the Obsidian Lord; and she's been trained from birth to unknowingly be his herald.
In Mai-HiME EXA (a manga that basically places the Festival story arc in its own separate universe), there's a flashback that explicitly explains the Miroku sword is Obsidian Lord's temporary physical container until he chooses his human host. Mikoto carries it around everywhere because she's charged with protecting it / Obsidian Lord with her own life. If Mikoto is defeated in combat, the terms of her unique contract mean she basically serves as her own most important person and is the one who gets greensparkled no matter who she actually cares about. This explains why Obsidian Lord isn't too worried about Mai and Mikoto becoming each other's most important person and apparently running the risk of mutually destroying each other in the final battle. And that's just one of the many, MANY things EXA handles better than the anime.
It should be pointed out, though, that in the anime continuity (I'm not sure about the manga), Mai's final attack with Kagutsuchi destroys both the Obsidian Lord and Miroku, yet nothing happens as a result of Mai doing so.
Why does Mai run when the plot demands that she should arrive late, even when nobody is watching, instead of using the rings to fly really fast? Does she forget about them?
Probably because people might see it, and from what we can see none of the HiME stuff is Invisible to Normals, so it's necessary not to use them unless there's actual danger.
That's probably also the same reason Mai tried to stop Natsuki from using her gun when the guards spotted them at the D1/Searrs lab. If one of their guards saw them, it might give them cause to speed up their mission.
Maybe because she's only been able to fly for several months but has had 16 years getting used to having to walk everwhere and just forgot to fly.
A form of Weirdness Censor? Perhaps the mundanes are influenced by one or more of the parties involved.
The school has been "cloaked" at least once that I can remember, and someone (probably District One) prevented any form of news coverage.
Given that Robot Girl Miyu was designed by Joseph Glear (or however you spell his name) to act as a guardian and companion to Tyke Bomb Alyssa, why did he give her the appearance of being mongoloid? Generic Cuteness and Hair Colors makes it hard to be sure, but she and Midori seem to be the only main characters that have almond-shaped eyes.
This may have something to do with the fact that she is Rei Ayanami with the serial numbers filed off.
Why are the manga and anime so different from each other? I can't even seem to find a good trope to describe it (Alternate Continuity seems good, but something about it seems... wrong. And yes, I know Mai-HiME is on that page) because of both the extent of the differences and the fact that they debuted around the same time.
Yeah, but... something about it still seems wrong to me somehow - possibly due to that it was (or seems) a very intentional alternate continuity. And the anime was only barely first.
Mai-hime was created by way of the Mai-hime Project which created both the anime, and manga. Since both Anime, and Manga came out about the same time, they where completely different. That's all their is too it.
In Episode Five, near the end, after Mai rejects Yuuichi's offer of an umbrella, she says "umbrellas are..." (or something close) and starts crying, then runs out into the rain. WTF?
She's just feeling emo about all the issues highlighted in that episode (you know, lonliness, her relationship with Yuuichi, etc)
The entire last episode... in its entirety. This despite having really enjoyed the rest of the show unlike the troper above...
The final episode is pure genius to someone who hated the show's attempt to be Darker and Edgier and felt it needed to be obliterated from canon to have any hope of putting things back on the right track. If the Festival arc had actually been a good tragedy and didn't come off like it was written by a 12-year-old, then yeah, the anime ending would have been a huge disappointment.
This troper didn't entirely mind most of it, since technically the people revived didn't actually die. And then you see Alyssa...
To paraphrase Homestar Runner, what's there to understand? Miyu's vortex exploded the pillars, and that crystal HiME did a tiny, tiny dance. ...by which I mean she jacked the Star's power and undid all of the defeats. Granted, that still doesn't really explain Alyssa.
Or the other people who died of causes unrelated to Child destruction, like Alyssa (shot) Ishigami and Yukariko (crushed and possibly burned alive), or why Nao's eye came back.
This troper loved the show and loved the last episode, but the one that Just Bugs Me is Reito's resurrection. As far as I can work out, he wasn't a pre-existing person who was "taken over" a la Hotaru Tomoe; his entire existence was a lie. Yet he returns seemingly as a normal person, but with his memory of the things he did while pretending to be a normal person intact. Those should not be separable; the only memories he would have would be memories of what it felt like to do those things while pretending. So he'd either have to lose his memories, or he'd need some serious therapy.
His special, (Episode 13, I think) indicates that he was aware of a separate presence within him (The Obsidian Lord, even though he didn't know who it was). He notes that being with Mai helped give him the strength he needed to fight it, but realizes that at some point, the Obsidian Lord also became attracted to Mai, which indicates that the two are separate individuals.
How come when Artemis is defeated, some random guy at Searrs dissolves, instead of Miyu? The flashbacks and Alyssa's last words strongly suggest that Miyu was the only person that was nice to her and didn't treat her like a tool...
Because Alyssa is an artificial Hi ME. She was bonded from birth to her "father", the Searrs president.
Miyu is a robot. She may simply not count as a "person" as far as the bond enforcement system is concerned.
Special 15 provides some information on this, as it appears Alyssa loves her "father" first and foremost.
Alyssa: If my father loves me, I can do anything. That's why Miyu... my irreplaceable companion... I can't label you as my "most precious" or any other phrase. You are my other half.
The Obsidian Prince, the leaders of the First District, and others talk about how the HIME battles will help make Japan into a "powerful and prosperous nation". So, Japan is a weak and poor nation? Umm, don't these people read the papers?
Not powerful and prosperous enough, apparently. They were leaning more toward "world superpower" at the least.
Japan is still forbidden (via threats of UN sanction) from having a standing army of over 100,000 (not sure if that's the precise number though). Straight after WWII they weren't allowed to have an army at all. There are quite a few other military restrictions in effect as well. It's kinda ridiculous at this stage, but maybe someone saw Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and feared the consequences of letting them have a full-sized army. Lost my train of thought, but yeah, that's what it is.
Most of Japan's military restrictions are self-imposed, actually. The US occupation force had a heavy hand in the Japanese constitution, making the nation "give up the right" to declare war. The US also promised to provide sufficient defensive support (against communism) until Japan was a democracy with a proper military force again. In the first 10 years after the occupation ended, the Diet passed laws first banning the development of a military and para-military past the level of police and basic self defense forces and then banning related things like nuclear weaponry never being allowed on Japanese soil (even by the American forces). After they made it so that the US could never pull its forces back out, the Diet started paying for the bases (paying for the soldiers themselves makes them mercenaries, which is not alright, apparently) once the Japanese economy was second only to the US in the 80's, to quell American resentment of Japan's crafty moves that earned them almost complete immunity from a military budget without sacrificing a military. No lasting UN sanctions, no lasting US laws; the Japanese shot themselves in the foot so that American support would never go away. Of note is the fact that this plan worked better than ever expected; all the strategists had nothing to do with the military, but instead with the financial world... business, investment, and employment policies were run like a military and it worked damn well. They could be referring to an end to the Japanese recession, but there's really no such thing. Japan's targeted economic growth led to annual growth on the order of 10% or more for decades, then there was a market crash, which they recovered from in a few years, and growth has remained relatively slow since. Keyword is "relatively"; economists will tell you 10% is not maintainable for more than a short time, Japan having the longest run ever, so a return to that level is not likely, but Japan's growth during the "recession" still outpaces the world's normal 2% per year growth, which itself isn't meant to be matched by a single country indefinitely.
Maybe I focus too much on the little things, but should Linden Baum not have some adult employees as well? Running entirely on teenage staff from a nearby high school should limit its operating hours severely - and who would be the owner then? Yet if there are adults in place, there is no reason why Akane should have been so overtaxed in episode six when both Mai and Midori were not in.
I always just thought that the adult employees were likely managers and such, and thus didn't deign to act as waitresses even when Akane is overtaxed. Go to any given restaurant and you're likely to see it populated by a bunch of 16-year-olds and maybe one or two people over 25 running the show.
Managers still step in during a crisis, since they usually worked their way up from that position in the past and are both sympathetic to the situation and capable of helping; plus it's cheaper than calling a backup waitress, since the manager has to be there, getting paid, already and can do the same work.
I think you mean, managers are supposed to step up during a crisis and supposed to be sympathetic to the situation.
The fact that Mai was able to summon her Child after Yuuichi's death based on the fact that she "still has lots of love in her heart for Yuuichi." I mean, what the hell. Did the other Himes all stop loving their most important people after they died or what?
I think it's due to her being a special case, as her Most Important Person didn't die as a result of her child being destroyed, but as a result of Shiho's Child being destroyed- her Child probably still exists. All the other "most important people" died as a result of the Child being destroyed (which would likely prevent the Hime from summoning the Child). The only exception is Ishigami, but since Yukariko also got killed when the church was destroyed, we don't know if she could summon her Child without him.
Then they should have said that. Alternatively, her 'most important person' could have been not Yuuichi but Mikoto, who was still around, or they could have been co-Important People, either way. But phrasing it that way is pretty damn insulting to all the other Himes who lost their loved ones.
Another possibility is that all the other defeated Himes, having lost the person most important to them, whom they wanted to protect, also lost their will to fight. Mai, on the other hand, had reasons to persist and keep fighting even after Takumi and Yuuichi died, which might have enabled her to summon her Child.
Why does everyone suggest that the ending is a Karma Houdini, and what would they consider appropriate punishment for some of the offenders? I can understand why people are upset about Nagi getting off without any punishment, but quite a few of the other people's actions led to their dying or suffering significant loss. Granted, the Reset Button undid those losses, but also undid the consequences of their actions, and the people in question understand and regret what they've done. The only Karma Houdinis that truly bother me are when villains completely get away with their crimes without showing regret of any sort (like Nagi).
The school is apparently mainly run by the student council rather than by administrators. The adults have hardly any idea what's going on, and the most they do is close down the school toward the end.
Yukino's powers are excellent for recon and subterfuge, but the weakest in combat. When she received threats against her most-important-person unless she attack Mai. It would have been much easier, more pleasant, and effective to keep an eye of Haruka using her powers, and ask Mai or others for help in case of any attack. And she repeats the mistake when confronting Shizuru, bringing out her Child and fighting when she knows what the consequence of losing will be, instead of cloaking and running, or just plain running.
You're suggesting that Yukino maintain 24 hour surveillance on Haruka by herself for the remainder of the festival. There aren't enough energy drinks in the world to maintain that kind of vigil — and Yukino would still have to eliminate anyone who tried to harm Haruka, which again plays into her weaknesses. The situation with Mai actually was playing to her strengths: Yukino found an opportunity to kill Mai when she was weak and defenseless, and there's no saying that Yukino wouldn't have succeeded if Mikoto hadn't intervened. As for the confrontation with Shizuru...it seems to be a running theme that the insecurities and emotions of the teenage schoolgirl factor a great deal into the stupid or reckless decisions that are made during the series.
In the battle against Shizuru, Yukino's initial plan, upon finding out that Shizuru was a Hime, was to either defuse the situation or get Haruka out of there (since Shizuru was primarily angry with Haruka). When both failed, as Haruka refused to run and got even more disgusted with Shizuru, Yukino brought out her Child, presumably not knowing how strong Shizuru is, since she'd never seen her fight before, but presumably knowing that if she doesn't do something, Haruka will die anyway.
The end of the Sears arc seems laughable.
Of course it does. It was rushed to all hell in favor of having just enough episodes left to throw in the completely random and unwarranted Festival arc.
First, Alyssa asks them to surrender, or she will kill their friends. Ok. But they don't agree within the next five seconds, so Alyssa prepares to shoot Artemis at ALL their friends, which would eliminate any leverage she could use on them, and probably remove all the of the Childs that Sears wanted so badly.
This issue applies to many I Have Your Wife situations; the villains are obviously more at an advantage by having the heroes comply with their demands than by carrying out the threat (mainly executing and thus sacrificing the leverage, as well as potentially other advantages), and when the heroes or hostages realize this, they can fight back. Alyssa probably thought that the Himes 1)wanted to protect the school and their friends more than they wanted her and Miyu dead, 2)didn't think they had any means of going into space, and 3)wouldn't try any strategy to attack them that wouldn't guarantee that Artemis is stopped.
In most I Have Your Wife scenarios the bad guy indeed has more benefit from compliance than from actually killing the hostage. The threat comes from the fact that attacking the bad guy is difficult and/or won't save the hostage, and that the bad guy has a lot less to lose by killing the hostage than the husband. There are several problems with this scenario:
A) The students weren't used as a human shield, or hidden in a place where only Alyssa could save them from, and Alyssa was in front of them. Killing her was possible and would have saved the students instantly.
B) They couldn't have known about Mai being able to hit Artemis, but they did know the Hime's had the firepower to hit Alyssa in the 15 seconds or so it took Alyssa to shoot Artemis. The Hime's didn't want to kill her, but at this point they could (should?) have in order to save their friends. Not 100% guaranteed that it would work, but when Alyssa was preparing to shoot anyway...
C) Alyssa was very eager to kill the students. None of the Hime's had said they'd refuse. They were in shock, reasonable enough, but Alyssa prepared to shoot before they'd even had a chance to think it over.
D) Among the students and teachers were about half of the 'most precious persons' of the Hime's, and although it never happens in that order, everyone seems to think that killing that person prevents the Hime from summoning their child, ever again. I'm a bit vague on Sears' exact plan, but losing a large number of the Childs was probably not a part of it. (They could've waited a bit if that's what they wanted.)
The Himes, for their part, seem to forget the posibility of just nuking Alyssa and Miyu, despite having them surrounded and even Miyu couldn't block all of them at once. It would certainly be hard for Alyssa to control Artemis that way (and how did she know where to aim it, she couldn't see the students)
Instead, Mai flies up, manages to position herself directly between a satalite she couldn't see and her friends she also couldn't see, gets hit, looks like she dies, pops back with a transformed Child (no others did that), goes to space, blows up Artemis, seemingly dying AGAIN, and turning up alive later without ANY explanation.
And in the end, Miyu and Alissa (who also survived a missile barrage right on top of them without any explanation) end up at a lake, Miyu walks away, and Father Joseph sneaks up on them. He then decides to kill the nearly unconcious, powerless Alyssa, and then brag about it. He built Miyu, he knows how deadly she is, he knows she's fiercly protective of Alyssa, and he knows he can't control her. Shouldn't he have used the element of surprise to take Miyu out first, or at least immediately after hitting Alyssa? How did he think this was going to end well for him?
One possibility is that he believed that he could force Miyu into submission, but then again, she stopped listening to his orders around the time Alyssa took charge (although the Searrs higher-ups could have given him back control for the cleanup job). Another is that his assignment was only for Alyssa, and that Searrs still needed Miyu around, but he should have realized how protective Miyu was of Alyssa and waited until she wasn't looking before shooting her and running (or even seeing if she would die on her own).
And it ends with crying out what a kind person Alyssa was. It's fine if you like her Miyu, and she was probably trained this way, but emotionlessly preparing to nuke a school of children just to get at some other children (all of which she met in school herself) is NOT nice. Who exactly was she kind to, except for Miyu herself? Unreliable Narrator?
Apart from the quasi-Unholy Matrimony the two share, in which Alyssa, presumably unlike everyone else at Searrs, treats her as a human and close companion, Alyssa believed that what they were doing would bring about a Golden Era for humanity. As mentioned above, Alyssa may have preferred not to carry out the threat (if only for pragmatic reasons), so this may be why Miyu thought of Alyssa as someone who cares for her, loves her father and cares for the good of the world.
And the final act/blackmail attempt of the real big bad has another case of Fridge logic. If Mai doesn't kill Mikoto and become his 'bride', he'll order Mikoto to kill Mai and take her as 'bride'. Of the people still alive, Mai definately cared about Mikoto the most. Mikoto either cared most about the big bad's avatar, or perhaps Mai (despite following the orders of the big bad, she does miss Mai). So... if Mai dies, so does Mikoto and perhaps the big bad. If Mikoto dies, either the big bad goes with her, or Mai does. So assuming he survives, he'll be left without any bride regardless of who kills who. And he just killed of his own First District, so his chances getting the next carnival in 300 years running have also taken nose dive. Great plan?
The above discussion seems to indicate that Takumi was Mai's first MIP, then it shifted to Yuuichi at some point before Takumi's death. There are also indicators that people can care for others quite a bit without their being their most important person, such as Alyssa -> Miyu(Alyssa's MIP is her father, while she would be Miyu's MIP if she had one), Natsuki<—>Mai and this seems to be the case with Mai <—> Mikoto. It's thus possible to kill Mai without affecting Mikoto, and as Mikoto values her brother rather than the Obsidian Lord within him, it's possible that Reito's body would be destroyed but the Obsidian Lord would somehow live on.
It struck me on review of the Searrs episodes that they were using Hollywood Tactics: Despite knowing that the HiMEs have at least one flier in their midst, they don't have any aircraft in the air, much less explicitly on combat air patrol. Their Point Defenseless is... astounding (see article). Plus seemingly no attempt is made to find and eliminate the Elaborate Underground Base; even if the HiMEs aren't reliant on the base for network-centric C4IS(TA)R, learning that it has been taken over or destroyed alongside with all inside could have caused a decisive morale drop. Okay, maybe I am a technothriller buff who expects too much.
The Sears might not have known where to find the base. But otherwise, yes, it was poor performance. You got to wonder what the carrier was even for, as not a single plane or helicopter is seen at any moment. The ground troops were even worse though. It already looked unrealistic that the first 3 soldiers Natsuki knocked out didn't try to retaliate, but she and Mikoto just waded into a group of at least a hundred, and none are shown shooting, even though neither Mikoto nor Natsuki are protected against gunfire, nor are they THAT fast. Say what you want about the Imperial Stormtroopers, but at least they TRIED to shoot their enemies. And it ends with all the soldiers knocked out next to their guns, and the HiMEs leaving them like that. At least the A team still had guns aimed at the enemies heads, to prevent them from just picking up their weapons and trying again.
I won't deny that it would be very tedious to ask infantry to recce the island, but with modern technology they (should) have an alternative: "Our UAV is online!" If Searrs had up-to-date maps of Fuuka Island they should be able to plan the UAV recon routes for islandwide coverage. Nothing is explicitly said about whether the launching tunnel is cooled, but once Kagutsuchi emerges from the base someone should have noticed the thermal signature, nevermind that it/he's coloured in such a way that even Mark I Eyeball should be able to spot it. Then transmit the coordinates so the bunker-buster (cruise) missile(s) can come in, and All Your Base Are Belong to Us.
Who exactly is Fumi's Most Important Person if it's not Mashiro? In the Fumi/Mashiro special, Fumi speaks of Mashiro reverently, expresses her gratitude toward Mashiro for taking her in and pledges her loyalty, but when she's defeated, Mashiro doesn't die.
Is it true that the reason Yuuichi doesn't appear in Mai Otome or any future supplemental works was because Tomokazu Seki got into trouble with Sunrise? I heard about this before but I forgot the sources.
Yuuichi shows up for a very brief appearance toward the end of the Mai Otome manga, which, since it's not voice-acted, could suggest that his complete absence from the Mai Otome anime is because of the voice actor.
Who exactly was the show aimed at? It feels like it switched target audiences in the last arc.
It's hard to say what they were intending, since most theories on this matter are little more than guesses, but I suspect that, like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, it started out as a darker version of the Magical Girl genre, and then was plotted to switc to full-on deconstruction. Then again, it took longer to establish this, taking until episode 16 out of 26 (or arguably 8), rather than late in episode 3 out of 12.
Haruka, after hearing from Yukino that Shizuru did something to Natsuki while she was asleep (although Yukino doesn't seem to use the word "rape"), why does Haruka take it as proof that Shizuru and Natsuki (emphasis hers) are disgusting? If it was indeed Shizuru raping Natsuki while she was asleep, Natsuki would not only have been unwilling, but unable to do anything about Shizuru. Furthermore, Yukino asks Shizuru how she could do something like that to Natsuki, who trusted her, with Haruka listening to the conversation (and given that it's based on Diana's observation, Haruka likely had no information to suggest anything contrary to what Yukino said she sawnote Some say Yukino is an Unreliable Expositor but that's another issue entirely).
In the final chapter, life is shown returning to normal at Fuuka Academy. Everyone is alive and well, including: NAGI AND THE TWO GREATEST YOUNG BEAUTIES! How did all of them survived the destruction of the Princess Star (Marie is especially noteworthy, as she was blown away by the HiMEs, not absorbed like Nagi and Xiangli, or even Takumi). Even then, why would Mashiro even let them live considering the harm that they've done to not only the HiMEs, but the world at large (mass murder in the girl's case), and they did it of their own free will!
Wow, I actually had to re-read the last chapter to spot their 'blink and you'll miss it' appearance, but yeah, that's them all right. I could see Mashiro letting them live, as you could easily make the argument that they, like Takumi, were being influenced by the Princess Star and not really responsible for their actions (Nagi in particular, as a child of the star, may have not had any free will whatsoever until it was destroyed). As for Marie surviving being blown up, well... everybody else lived through that explosion, even the parakeet. Might as well make it a full set.
Does the Key system work differently than the MI Ps in the anime in terms of who is assigned as a Hime's key? Natsuki gets Yuuichi as her Key almost immediately after meeting, disregarding her friendship with Shizuru and her mother still being alive in the manga. The same goes with Mai, as Yuuichi immediately becomes her most important person, in contrast to the anime, when it took over half the show and Takumi developing a desire to be independent of Mai for it to happen. Similarly, Nao (whose comatose mother couldn't accompany her into battle, effectively preventing her from using her Child), is able to switch to a new key after losing her first one.