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A forced series with a bad ending
When watching My-Hime, you see talent (which shows up in the next series My-Otome), but you also see a series where no one can figure out how to get from point A to point B. They try to connect First District and Searrs Foundation but none of the connections really matter at the end outside of the fact that Searrs created Miyu and Allysa. They try to setup this battle between Hime but even admit that there's really no sane reason for all these people to be fighting each other just because some white hair kid told them too. The result is that several characters simply go insane for no real reason, Yukariko is raped and falls in love with her rapist becoming his slave (a cliche from hentai), and Shiho and Shizuru become insane because of love. Fans try to justify this by claiming that the Princess Star is causing this but this isn't backed up by the series (the only person that this actually happens to is Reito, and Mikoto). Also none of the villains seem to care, Searrs just plans to wait another three hundred years, and Nagi spends most of the series on his back reading a book. First district is the same letting their members do whatever they want. This means that any meetings between heroes and villains (and there's a lot) have no tension to them.

The worst part though is the ending, which is simply the worst ending any anime has ever had. In it anyone who died during the course of the series magically come back to life, and all of the problems caused such as insanity is instantly healed. By the half point of the final episode they began to mock what happened before such as Shizuru going on a killing rampage. Since Yukariko was raped she can no longer be a nun so Nao and Miyu replace her (because apparently they find it funny). Yukariko is still with her rapist as well because apparently rape is love.Nearly all relationships are left open because they clearly didn't want to piss off anyone. If the Director and Writer didn't give a crap about what happened why do they think I would?

On the plus side, the animation is always consistent, and above average, while the music while not Yuki Kaijura's best work is still quite good. There are also some scenes that are really well done, and at times the series is suspenseful. This seems to be a trend for Sunrise in the last 10 years. Maybe they need to hire some new writers.
To balance out the above review: I love this series, though I do agree with many of your criticisms. The mystery surrounding the First District keeps up the suspense and intrigue nicely on first viewing, but it is disappointing that it doesn't really lead anywhere and not very much is answered. (Still, this does leave a lot of room for fan fiction.) I don't completely agree that "none of the villains seem to care" — they had a stated goal, opening the door to Valhalla — but unfortunately it was never explained what this meant, so in effect the viewer was just asked to trust that they had a purpose.

Motivations are understated and open to interpretation (for one, I don't believe that Yukariko was raped, but since there's no definitive answer I'd rather not argue about it). This can be frustrating — I'd rather the series had been twice the length so that more time could be taken to explore everyone's motivations, but to me the characters feel consistent enough that I would rather call it "somewhat rushed" than "forced". Similarly, with the ending, while I loved the moment itself, it did leave me wondering how exactly they were all going to come to terms with what they'd done to each other — as well as the point you mentioned, most relationships being left open. One can see why they did this — resolving all this would be a drawn-out anticlimax after the final battle, unless they made it into an entire new story arc with new battles. So, again, the series feels incomplete in itself and in need of a good fan fiction to round it off (for which I would strongly recommend Mai Hime: Future from the TT Fanfic Recommendations page, though sadly it's not been updated for a long time at present....)

I thought the music was incredible and a perfect match for the mood of the series, but I can't judge whether it's Kajiura's best work or not as I haven't heard any of her others.
comment #7923 Vilui 4th Jun 11
The part about Yukariko getting together with her rapist bugged me, not just because of Rape Is Love, but because shortly before her death, she called him "despicable", allowed Mai to escape and forced him to stay as the burning church collapsed on them and killed them.

The ending already lasts about half of the final episode (in contrast to Mai Otome, which has an ending that lasts around 5 minutes), but it might have been nice to see some more information in audio dramas after the series about what happened to the characters, since some time passes between the Obsidian Lord's defeat and the conclusion.

As for forgiveness, one possibility is that the HiMEs realize that the Carnival, with the implication that only one person would make it out with their most important person and manipulation by outside forces placed a strain on everyone involved and made them do things that they might not have done had they been entirely rational. The fact that the Himes have their Most Important People back and some of the HiME seem to sincerely regret their actions (Shizuru breaks down crying after coming back to life, and Shiho asks if it's all right for her to be among those heading for the final showdown) presumably also helps.
comment #8798 Valiona 21st Jul 11
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