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Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki

"The Festival is about to commence! Now the time has come. If you have someone residing in your heart, then come, accept the challenge and descend upon the cursed land of Fuka! Mai-HiME!"
Nagi
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Mai Tokiha is a normal girl with a normal life. When she 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 District 1/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. However, the leader of the District, Nagi Homura, is creating monsters called Orphans to cause chaos, and the HiMEs must team up to stop him. At the same time, a powerful conspiracy based in America, the Searrs Foundation, thinks it deserves to control their powers, and takes steps to make the HiMEs its own.

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

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 postmodern 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.)

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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.

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 My-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:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: 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.
  • 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. And Shizuru's naginata cleanly cuts through a sea cliff.
  • 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 overtly 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.
  • Almost Kiss: Mai and Reito at the festival in Episode 13.
  • Alternate Continuity: My-Otome, Mai-HiME Destiny
  • 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! On the one hand, you have District One, and organization set up since ancient times by and to serve The Obsidian Prince. They observe HiME battles and deal with witnesses. Sakomizu tells Natsuki at one point that there's no need to conceal anything after a certain point, because by the time of the next Festival, three-hundred years down the road, the events of today will be a fairy tale or legend. On the other hand is the Searrs Foundation, said to have so much power, they can pick and choose U.S. Presidents. Alyssa Searrs is their combatant looking to seize the power of the Star, with Miyu as her protector and back-up. When they fail, Jospeh Greer is ordered to eliminate Alyssa, and comments by Natsuki suggest that the soldiers working for Searrs were wiped out by the missile barrage.
  • 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 Catholicism: Only priests can hear confessions. And as Nao is only fifteen by the series' end, there's no legitimate way that she can serve as a nun in a real Catholic Church.
  • Anyone Can Die: Let's see. Yuuichi was the Love Interest of two HiME, so there was no way he was walking away. Mai's little brother Takumi dies early on in the Festival, seeing as how Akira was triple-teamed by Nao, Mikoto, and Shiho. Natsuki, one of the Power Trio for the series, is the object of love for a HiME, and that HiME is her own most precious person, so it ends up a case of Taking You with Me. Kazuya is the first love interest to go. Nao's mother, the professor that Midori loves, and Haruka are all taken out by the defeat of the people who love them. Sister Yukariko does a Lover's Suicide with Ishigami. Joseph Greeer shoots Alyssa, and is subsequently Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by his robot daughter, Miyu. And Shizuru pretty much slaughters all of District One. With the exception of D1 and Greer, though, They all get better, in the end.
  • 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.
  • Badass Adorable: Mai, so much. Mikoto and Midori also fit this perfectly.
  • Badass Crew: The HiMEs when working together. Towit, in the battle againsts Searrs, Mai, Natssuki, Mikoto, Midori, and Nao, with Yukino acting as coordinator, take out several well armed ships and soldiers. In the Finale, eleven of the HiME take out the Star, while Mai and Kagutsuchi take out the Obsidian Prince.
  • 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-Guy Bar: Rorschach, the bar where Natsuki meets her informant, Yamada, is so smoke filled that viewers can probably smell it. Leering faces are everywhere. And no one seeems to care about carding Natsuki when she goes in, despite her only being seventeen. We never see her drinking in the bar, but no one questions her presence there, not even in "Natsku's Prelude", when she was only sixteen.
  • Bandage Babe: Miyu, upon her resurrection. she emerges covered head to toe in bandage that cover her just barely.
  • 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".
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Mai and Yuuichi. She realizes a 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.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted HARD. Nao loses an eye. Mai at one point bites her lip in rage so hard she draws blood, and Shizuru ends up bruised, bloody, and sporting Empty Eyes after her confrontation with Haruka.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The nicer the girl, the more horror she unleashes when she snaps.
  • Big Bad: Nagi Homura is the acting leader of District 1/the First District who creates the Orphans that the HiMEs must fight and seeks to awaken his master, the enigmatic Obsidian Lord/Prince. Then Alyssa Searrs takes the role by leading the Searrs Foundation attack to capture the HiMEs. After her defeat, the Obsidian Lord/Prince, aka the HiME Star, awakens and takes direct control, possessing Reito Kanzaki, forcing the girls into the HiME Carnival/Festival, and attempting to Kill All Humans via Colony Drop.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The main trio does this mutually on different occasions.
    • Yuuichi actually gets a moment to shine, racing in at the last second to block Reito/The Obsidian Prince from delivering a killing blow to Mai, using the anti-materialization sword that Miyu used to shatter the pillars.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Episode 25. Shizuru catches Natsuki in the coils of her Whip Sword and reels her in. Natsuki brushes a lock of Shizuru's hair aside, leans in, and, to Shizuru's obvious surprise, kisses her. It's so powerful, it snaps her out of her Psycho Lesbian phase and back into sanity.
    • Averted for poor Mai, who never gets to kiss Yuuichi in the series (not even in the finale), and the closest she gets to a kiss is performing CPR on Mikoto.
  • Big Eater: Mikoto is always eating. Her initial reason for becoming friends with Mai is because Mai feeds her. And when Chie and Aoi lead her away from Mai's date with Reito, it takes a plethora of carnival food to draw her attention.
  • Big "NO!": Several in dramatic and comedic situations.
    • In episode 9, Played for Laughs, Natsuki cries out with a Big "NO!" after being forced to Show Some Leg, only for the car she flagged down to be occupied by two teachers, Yohko and Midori, as well as her best friend (and [secretly pining for Natsuki), Shizuru, as well as Reito Kanzaki.
    • Natsuki has a much more dramatic moment in episode 22, when she has just overheard that Shizuru did something to her in her sleep the night before, as well as kissing her in her sleep a moment ago. Shizuru reaches out to touch Natsuki's face, only for Natsuki to shrink back in fear, crying out. It is at that precise moment that Shizuru snaps.
  • Blaming the Victim: Yukino accuses Shizuru of doing something to Natsuki in her sleep. Haruka declares that relationships between women are disgusting, and that both Shizuru and Natsuki are filthy, despite clearly having heard Yukino say that Shizuru did it "while Natsuki was sleeping". What's more, Haruka had just witnessed Shizuru kissing an unconscious Natsuki, earlier. In a rare case of the perpetrator defending the victim, Shizuru speaks up, declaring, "What happened was something that I did to her. I will not allow you to insult Natsuki."
  • 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's CHILD has a wind attack that shatters a stone Orphan.
  • Bookends: The first and the last time Kagutsuchi attacks use the same animation, only difference is the enemy it is about to vaporize, and Kagutsuchi being freed at last from the sword sealing its mouth after the Hime squad attacks the Hime star.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Mikoto, in the last few episodes. The charm she wears around her neck starts glowing, and she acquires Glowing Eyes of Doom anytime she tries to resist the orders of the Obsidian Prince.
  • Break the Cutie: Where do we even start?!
    • First, poor Akane watches Kazuya die in front of her.
    • Mai learns that being a Hime means that Searrs is after them for unspecified reasons. Then, when the Festival begins, her brother dies. And then Yuuichi does, as well.
    • Alyssa is raised as a Tyke Bomb, and when she fails in her mission, she's shot to death by her handler, though this is more breaking for poor Miyu.
    • Shiho learns that her love for Yuuichi is not only unrequited, but that a girl who promised to support her is the object of his affections.
    • Shizuru, who believes herself to be wicked for loving Natsuki, learns that Natsuki is going to die if Shizuru is defeated. And she knows there can be only one Hime left standing, so even if she wins, Natsuki will have lost someone close to her.
    • Natsuki learns in short order that her late mother may have betrayed her, causing a loss of her powers. Then she's attacked by Nao, and doesn't even react as Nao prepares to gouge out her eye. Then she's rescued by Shizuru, learns Shizuru is a Hime, then learns Shizuru is in love with her. She learns this by finding out that Shizuru kissed her in her sleep, and overhears that it may have gone further than that.
    • Nao's father is dead and her mother in a coma due to a home invasion. She wound up in an Orphanage. Then, she finds out she has power, and decided to use it to punish perverts, only to be rejected and spurned by the other Hime. Then she's framed for an attack on Sister Yukariko, loses an eye, and then ends up in not one, but two [1]s with Shizuru, on the losing end both times, and with the second loss resulting in the death of her mother.
  • 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. In Natsuki's case, it's because Duran has a variety of attacks to choose from, Chrome, Silver, and Flash Cartridge. Midori, on the other hand, seems to think she's in a Sentai show, and responds accordingly.
  • 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.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The show starts off fairly comedic with only a few dramatic elements dropped in. That doesn't last long...
  • Character Development: Mai and Natsuki get the most. Mai learns to let go and not put the weight of the world on her shoulders. She can care for Takumi and Mikoto without sacrificing the things she wants for herself. And Natsuki goes from a cold, closed off person to someone who can openly smile and care for her friends and let go of the past.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Present in the latter half of the final episode.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Shiho wants Yuuichi. Yuuichi sees her more as a little sister. Shiho insists on clinging to him, becomes hostile to Mai as she realizes that Mai likes Yuuichi and that he reciprocates, and even goes so far as to try to Murder the Hypotenuse.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Midori, but in a less genuine sense.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Cooldown Hug: Mai on Mikoto in the final battle.
    • Natsuki kissing Shizuru immediately after she draws her into a hug during their last battle.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Mai, in the first episode, has to perform CPR on an unconscious Mikoto. She is quickly able to revive Mikoto, and spends more time worrying about whether or not it counted as a First Kiss than about the seawater Mikoto would have regurgitated.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Several characters. Natsuki has them in Ep. 9, "Cake Wars", when she fails to crack an egg. Haruka has them from time to time when she's been thwarted in her efforts to show up Shizuru.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Natsuki is captured by Miyu when she attempts to confront the Searrs team on campus during the Vampire incident. She is tied up in the crucified pose as bait for Mai and Mikoto. Later on, after Natsuki has lost her power, Nao lay in wait for her in her apartment, and has Julia web Natsuki up in a crucified pose as bait for Shizuru.
  • Custom Uniform: The higher-ranking members of the student council have their own unique uniforms.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Oh so many.
    • Mai, in a moment of childhood neglect, left Takumi alone by the side of a river, which causes her to feel indirectly responsible for his heart condition and their mother's death.
    • Natsuki's mother died trying to get her away from District One, and may have been planning to sell her to a rival group. Natsuki spent nearly a year in recovery for the same car wreck. And while she was comatose, her father ran off with another woman, leaving her to her own devices. She was all of eight.
    • Rounding out our Power Trio, Mikoto was raised as a killing machine, and her final test before she was sent to serve the Obsidian Prince was to kill her Grandfather.
    • Like Natsuki, Nao lost her family to violence, and her mother was left comatose. She was dumped in an orphanage and left to fend for herself.
  • 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.
    • A darker version occurs when Haruka and Yukino witness Shizuru kiss an exhausted, unconscious Natsuki. Their subsequent confrontation leads to the moment when Shizuru snaps.
  • 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?: The defeat of the Obsidian Lord.
  • Disney Death: Even the ones that don't even have Phlebotinum to stand on.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Villain!Shizuru
  • Divided into Disaster: Episode 10, "Cake Battle". The teams Midori chooses seem almost meant to be counterproductive. Haruka and Shizuru on one team? Natsuki and Nao on another, alongside Mikoto. And Mai teamed up with her romantic rival, Shiho?
  • 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. This is lampshaded during the final battle.
    Nao: Fujino! You... *angry glare*
    Yukino: Miss Fujino...
    Shizuru: Uh... Forgive me, girls!
    Nao and Yukino: WHA?!
  • 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 My-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.
  • Empty Eyes: Happens to Shizuru after she defeats Yukino's CHILD.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Nagi informs the girls that if there isn't just one Hime left standing by the time the HiME Star fell to Earth, then it would destroy the world.
  • 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.
  • Every Pizza Is Pepperoni: In episode 16, "Parade", the girls are doing a Karaoke Party to celebrate the creation of the HiME Force (HiME Sentai in the original Japanese), to protect each other from further Orphan attacks or more threats from The Searrs Foundation. Mikoto is seen eating a pizza with pepperoni and bell peppers.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Downplayed. Nao initially appears in black thighhighs in episode 2. She's then in white thighhighs in subsequent appearances...until she loses her eye and goes after Natsuki for revenge. At that point, she's in black thighhighs again. When the Big Bad is defeated and everyone is reconciled, she's back in white thighhighs.
  • 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, Miyu, 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.
    • Shizuru goes from calm tea-sipping Student Council President to a Psycho Lesbian who slaughters the First District, and casually takes out Nao and Yukino's respective CHILDs, killing Nao's mother and Haruka, and possibly raping Natsuki in her sleep.
  • 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.
    • Since Natsuki had already informed Mai that she had no interest in "romance" while investigating her Mother's killers, one can assume that the kiss Shizuru laid on her while she slept was her First Kiss, and unfortunately, non-consensual at that.
  • Flirty Voice Ploy: Nao is adept at using a flirty voice to draw in her "clients"/victims.
  • Follow Your Nose: Mikoto in episode 2.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Bells often punctuate surprising or emotional moments.
  • Foreshadowing: Nagi tells Mashiro that he's preparing everything for the Festival/Carnival, then vanishes from the limo, leaving his book behind, a copy of Lord of the Flies.
    • Shizuru plays with a sleeping Natsuki's hair in the Student Council Room. Another incident would rise between them when Natsuki was asleep and in Shizuru's care.
    • In one episode, Natsuki is reflecting on what Nagi said about the Festival/Carnival and repeats the phrase "My most important person". We cut immediately to Shizuru looking out a window.
  • 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 vice versa), Akane->Kazuya
  • Freudian Trio: Mai, Natsuki, and Mikoto as Ego, Superego, and Id respectively.
  • 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. Among the HiMEs, Natsuki is the one most active in fighting and investigating the conspiracies because she's the daughter of the First District defector, but Shizuru is ultimately responsible for tipping over the chessboard and destroying the First District, at Nagi's instigation. Phew!
  • 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.
  • God Before Dogma: Yukariko gives up being a nun at the end of the series so that she can marry Ishigami, though she is still shown as being very religious.
  • Going Commando: Natsuki had to go commando once because all of her underwear was stolen. Then a Dramatic Wind blew when she was talking to Takeda...
  • 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.
  • Heartfelt Apology: Shizuru breaks down crying after she and Natsuki are resurrected, crying out, "I'm sorry, Natsuki!" Natsuki puts a hand on her shoulder softly and tells her it's okay, offering up a tender smile.
  • 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.
  • Hitchhiker's Leg: In episode 9 the three heroines is stranded by the roadside. Natsuki loses the draw. Hilarity Ensues as she is trying to use her femininity to get a car to stop.
  • 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.
  • I Have Your Wife: Played for laughs. Chie and Aoi decide that Mai's date with Reito isn't going anywhere while they have Mikoto in tow. So, they lure her away with food and then text Mai, telling her that if she wants Mikoto back, she has to enjoy her date.
  • 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 Seiza: Mai does this when seeing Reito one time.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Midori initially comes off as Wrong Genre Savvy, seeming to believe that she's a warrior for "justice". Later zig-zagged, as it turns out Midori knows a bit more of the truth than she lets on, but that doesn't stop her from getting upset when Natsuki steals her thunder in the final battle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: Joseph Greer and the Obsidian Lord won't be coming back.
  • Kill Sat: Artemis, a gigantic orbiting CHILD.
  • 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.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: A dark version. When Shizuru shows up to confront Nao for the first time, Nao, weilding her Element in front of a seemingly ordinary person, tells Shizuru that she doesn't understand the situation she's in. There's a subtle shift of Shizuru's eyes, and she makes a Declaration of Protection regarding Natsuki, summoning her own Element and revealing herself for the first time to be a HiME. Nao attempts to use her Razor Floss attack to immobilize Shizuru's weapon, only for Shizuru to calmly summon Kiyohime, a CHILD that easily dwarfs Nao's own, and probably every other CHILD to date, save Kagutzuchi.
  • 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 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 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.
    • Natsuki goes into a Heroic BSoD after believing that her beloved mother was going to sell her to Searrs. This is only reinfoced by the way she learns of Shizuru's love for her. As she listens to Sakomizu tell her about how Shizuru slaughtered all of District One, she flat out says that she never wants to know love if it can make people do things like that.
  • 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.
    • The standout exception is Natsuki, who notes in an Omake that the friendship of Shizuru, Mai, and Mikoto, as well as the love of Mai and Yuuichi made her realize that she couldn't continue to remain shut up and alone in her life.
  • Lovable Traitor: Nagi.
  • Love Triangle
  • Love You and Everybody: Mikoto at the Festival Episode.
  • Luminescent Blush: Natsuki Kuga in the fourth episode. She shamefully turns beet red in the face after the wind blows up her skirt and exposes her as bottomless. She has a similar moment of turning beet red in episode 9, after being forced to Show Some Leg. And Shizuru can get her to blush easily with a ribald joke.
    • Natsuki finally gets to turn the tables on Shizuru, when, in episode 25, she is able to say, without blushing, "I love you, Shizuru, I really do." which gets Shizuru to blush, instead.
  • 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.
  • Malaproper: Haruka is constantly using the wrong word or phrase for something, resulting in Yukino constantly having to correct her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Nagi, Ishigami... hell, most of the male characters... except probably Takeda, Takumi, and Kazuya.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Natsuki in the fourth episode. And she wasn't wearing panties.
  • 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 is shown wearing a pair of glasses, and is the only HiME who does so regularly.
  • Meido: Fumi the pink-haired caretaker, who serves as Mashiro's maid, and wears the traditional outfit as part of her job.
  • The Men in Black: The First District employs a few of these, such as the men who escort the girls to Mashiro's underground base, or Natsuki's flashback to the men who blocked the road on the night of her mother's death.
  • 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 is at least a head shorter than his granddaughter, herself one of the shorter HiME
  • Mirror Character: Natsuki and Nao. Both are HiME. Both lost their mothers at a young age to violence. Both were abandonded by their surviving relatives, afterwords. Both set out on a quest for revenge. But in Natsuki's first year of middle-school, she caught the eye of Shizuru Fujino, who made a concentrated effort to bring Natsuki out of her isolated shell, causing her to slowly open up to others. Nao, on the other hand, had no one looking out for her but herself, and became jaded, bitter, and cynical. After Natsuki suffers a Psychosomatic Superpower Outage, a comment from Nao about how love and relationships were meaningless made Natsuki realize that it was Shizuru's love that kept her from becoming like Nao. That knowledge restores her powers, and she intervenes to prevent Shizuru from killing Nao. When the Big Bad is defeated and the dust settles, the two are on much friendlier terms.
  • 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.
  • Modesty Shorts: Natsuki, after the skirt-blowing, panty-less incident.
  • 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.
  • The Mole: Miyu, after being rebooted by Midori.
  • Mons: The CHILD of each HiME.
  • Monster of the Week: Orphans serve this purpose early in the story, while HiMEs and their CHILDs become this on the second half.
  • 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.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Kagutzuchi, and many of the Orphans.
  • 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]
    • Shizuru has this reaction when she's resurrected, begging Forgiveness. Natsuki reassures her that she's forgiven.
  • Mysterious Informant: Natsuki keeps meeting one for exposition purposes.
  • 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).
  • No "Police" Option: In episode 2, Mai confronts Natsuki, who was partly responsible for sinking the cruise ship in episode 1. Mai threatens to go to the cops. Natsuki scoffs, telling her that there's nothing the police can do about the powers lurking in the shadows of their school. Mai quickly learns that she's right, though by that time they become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Non-Action Guy: Yuuichi, a former kendo expert who had to give up his sport due to an injury.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Shizuru pulls this in Episode 10, "Cake Wars", when a minor tilt of her head is all it takes to avoid the boiling hot chocolate that bursts out of the pot. Then she just calmly sips her tea.
  • The Nosebleed: Natsuki gives Takeda these, to both their horrors.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: 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 So Stoic: Nagi. For a kid who normally likes to just hang around in precariously high spots and Chessmaster the heroes, he's surprisingly easy to knock off his guard. As Natsuki shows, just hang him over a railing.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That / Sorry to Interrupt: Mai, to Natsuki, in episode 9. After hearing a scream from the beach, Mai runs over to the safety rail, and sees Takeda on top of Natsuki, her riding leathers unzipped and her face blushing. Mai apologizes for interrupting as she runs off, clearly thinking she's interrupted something intimate. After Natsuki beats Takeda unconscious, she catches up with Mai, who then says that since Natsuki never shows interest in guys, she was beginning to think other things about her, adding that there wasn't anything wrong with it in her view.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Episode 9. Mai hears a scream from the beach and runs to find Takeda sitting atop Natsuki, both of them blushing and Natsuki's motorcycle outfit half open. Mai runs off, apologizing for interrupting the intimate couple. Except that Takeda had fallen off a rock and landed on Natsuki when she'd been preparing to change clothes for her recon of a former District One facility. Takeda is subsequently beaten unconscious with his own shinai.
  • 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.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lots, but a standout example is in episode 20. Ishigami thinks killing Takumi will remove two Hime from the playing field, Akira and Mai. Then, to his horror, Mai turns on Mikoto, whom she mistakenly believes is responsible for Takumi's death. She calls out "KAGUTSUCHI!" Cue a wall of flame and Ishigami realizing that he's made a serious miscalculation.
  • 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 Army: Many of the Hime. Let us count the ways.
    • Mai is the standout example, and her Element allows her to Kill It with Fire on a massive scale, and her CHILD can take out battleships and KillSats.
    • Shizuru and Kiyohime utterly slaughter District One, and she makes short work of two other Hime.
    • Midori takes out a battleship just by ramming it at top speed.
    • Natsuki takes out a squad of armed soldiers, impressively enough, by relying on her hand to hand skills more than her powers. And she holds her own against Mikoto.
    • Mikoto's skills with melee weapons is top flight, and her sword, Miroku, can stand up to the punishment she subjects it to. Including slicing through tanks.
  • One-Woman Wail: Whenever Duran is summoned.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: At one point, Yamada tells Natsuki that he's had Akane transferred to a normal hospital. Natsuki quietly tells him that she appreciates it, which causes him to pause and take notice. Natsuki had never shown any interest in anything but getting revenge, nor shown any appreciation beyond paying him for his services before. It's an indicator of her Character Development.
  • Playing with Fire: Mai's Element and CHILD both use fire as their means of attack.
  • 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, who are shown together in both the opening and closing credits, and who initially take on Orphans together in the initial episodes.
  • Preserve Your Gays: Gay couple Shizuru and Natsuki die at the end of their fight with each other, as a result of Natsuki using an attack that destroys both their Childs, killing each other, as they are each other's Most Important People. Everyone is fighting, they are the last to die... and then the first to get resurrected in the next episode.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Shizuru, later in the series.
  • Revenge by Proxy: After Nao loses one of her eyes, she decides to get revenge on Mai by attacking Takumi.
  • 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 binds her chest in order to disguise her identity as a girl. Undoing her sarashi to check on her development is actually what gets her discovered by Takumi.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease: Several of the relationships are given a Tease by the writers, even ones they would later Sink.
    • Believe it or not, there is a bit of a tease of Natsuki/Takeda in Episode 9, when he falls on top of her from his rock perch. The two of them are like that for awhile without moving, and Natsuki's expression is initially more of surprise and mild embarrassment rather than anger...at least until Mai thinks they're making out and tells them Sorry to Interrupt. Only then did Natsuki lash out at Takeda and beat him with his own shinai.
  • Shout-Out: Natsuki's and Shizuru's last battle with each other has a giant bell falling; just like in the legend.
  • Sick Episode: The two-part audio drama, "Demonic Uproar" and "Natsuki's Desperations", in which Natsuki becomes sick after the events of Episode 9.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: All over the place.
    • Shiho is Tate-sexual(unfortunately for her, he doesn't reciprocate).
    • Yukino only has eyes for Haruka (But if Haruka's speech to Shizuru is any indication, it's a case of Incompatible Orientation).
    • Midori only has eyes for her professor (And may have succeeded by the finale)
    • Once Natsuki acknowledges any romantic inclinations at all, they're solely for Shizuru (possibly a case of being her Closet Key)
    • Surprisingly averted with Shizuru herself, as the audio dramas and promotional art often show her groping other girls. That being said, Natsuki is still clearly her favorite.
    • Takeda is Natsuki-sexual, and it started back in the prequel, "Natsuki's Prelude", where he showed up out of the blue to her class and offered her a bouquet. His interest in her never wanes, but right before her final battle with Shizuru, she sends him a letter thanking him for his feelings, but stating that she couldn't return them, as there was someone else she had to acknowledge.
  • Slow-Motion Pass-By
  • Slow Walk: Shizuru strolls calmly and casually after the old women of the First District as they attempt to flee her wrath.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: John Smith has two scenes in twenty-six episodes. He tells Natsuki her mother was planning to sell her to Searrs, which causes her Psychosomatic Superpower Outage, which leaves her vulnerable to Nao, which puts her in Shizuru's care, which causes Shizuru to give in to temptation and kiss Natsuki unawares, which Haruka and Yukino witness, which leads to Shizuru's breakdown, which leads to the utter slaughter of District One. That was just the result of Smith's first scene. For his second, he tells The Obsidian Prince about the Vortex weapon that Saeko Kuga developed for Miyu, causing Mikoto to get sicced on Midori, which results in her defeat and the death of her most important person.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Director-claimed deliberate inversion.
  • 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.
  • Straight Woman and Wise Gal: 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 to 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.
  • 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.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Akira.
  • 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.
  • Targeted to Hurt the Hero: It's a noted tactic to target a Hi ME's loved ones, as the love a HiME feels for her most beloved person is the very source of her powers, and eliminating that person eliminates those powers. It's also worth noting that the death of a HiME or her CHILD will result in the death of said loved one.
    • After the loss of her eye, Nao makes it a point to call Mai on the phone and inform her that she intends to kill Mai's little brother, Takumi, as retribution. Ironically, Takumi does die to hurt Mai, but not because of Nao. It is Shiho who kills him.
    • Later, Nao, who also has a beef with Natsuki over the lost eye, targets her more directly. However, Natsuki is saved by Shizuru, revealing Shizuru's status as a Hi ME for the first time. Because of the humiliating defeat she suffered the first round, Nao lays in wait for Natsuki in her apartment, tying her up. Only now, she's targeting Natsuki to draw out Shizuru for a rematch.
    • Yukino gets an anonymous text over her phone from Ishigami telling her that if she doesn't kill Mai Tokiha, then her best friend, Haruka Suzushiro, will be killed.
  • Team Shot: The opening.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Natsuki: Emerald Green. Nao: Lime Green. Shizuru: Crimson. Mai: Lavender. Haruka: Violet. Miyu: Red. Nagi: Pink. Mikoto and Reito: Yellow.
  • 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 Is My Side: Akira and Takumi's dorm room.
  • 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.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Quite a few examples, actually. In the Power Trio, Mai firmly holds the Girly-Girl status to Natsuki and Mikoto's Tomboy status. Natsuki is actually a Girly-Girl to Mikoto's Tomboy, but returns to Tomboy status when compared to her love-interest Shizuru's decidedly Girly-Girl status. Midori is a Tomboy to Yohko's Girly-girl status (unless Yohko is behind the wheel.) You would think Yukino, with her Boyish Short Hair would be the Tomboy, but her Shrinking Violet tendencies actually make her the Girly-Girl to the bombastic Haruka, who's boistrous attitude and willingness to kick tanks, challenge a Hi ME with her element out, and headbutt Hi ME and armed soldiers alike make her the Tomboy of the pair.
  • 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.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Natsuki has an old photograph, partially burned, of her as a young child with her pet dog, Duran.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tyke-Bomb: 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, especially after Takumi's death.
  • Unwanted Assistance: 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.
  • 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. The First District pursues a similar goal.
  • 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.
    • Possibly justified. The events take place over several months, The audio dramas put the events of Episode 9 in July, and the events of Episode 21 in October.
  • 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.
  • Wistful Smile:Natsuki gives a faint smile when Tate races off to find Mai after realizing that Mai loves him, but she's also still reeling from the revelations about her mother's betrayal and Shizuru's madness, and it shows.
    • Tate's death as well. He's in very real pain, and, as he observes, dying is scary. But with his death, Mai and Shiho won't be fighting each other any more, and he manages to find comfort in that and smile.
  • Wolverine Claws: Nao's Element is turning her hands into metal claws, complete with Razor Floss extending from the tips.
  • 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.


Alternative Title(s): Mai Hime

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