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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Some suspect that Shizuru was not herself during her Psycho Lesbian phase, especially considering that immediately after being resurrected, she breaks down crying, begging for Natsuki's forgiveness.
    • Going even further, there's a theory that everyone (HiME and human) is being gradually affected by the HiME star. Most characters aren't outright going crazy, but emotions are getting raw, tensions are increasing... the star wants a battle royale, so it's pushing everyone into doing things they'd never do normally. If this is true, and the characters ultimately realize it, then the happy, all-is-forgiven ending makes more sense.
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: Italian Mai-HiME fans hate Shizuru after she destroyed Yukino's Child, killing Haruka.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Obsidian Lord goes down in one attack after the Himes destroy the Hime Star.
  • Awesome Music: It's by Yuki Kajiura, what else can you expect?
  • Base-Breaking Character: Shizuru. She has many fans who appreciate her complexity as a character and devotion to Natsuki, but people who are fans of her victims often hate her. It's hard to find anyone who's indifferent.
  • Broken Base: The second half of the show, particularly the outbreak of violence between the HiMEs, some specific characters' actions and personality shifts, and the ending are controversial.
  • Complete Monster: The Obsidian Lord/Prince, the will of the HiME Star itself, is a maniac with a desire to wipe out humanity in both versions:
    • Anime: The Obsidian Lord/Prince is the leader of District 1/the First District. Long before his awakening, he had Mikoto Minagi and Reito Kanzaki raised in a cult, making Mikoto kill her own grandfather and eventually possessing Reito. After using Nagi Homura to create the monster Orphans and manipulate the heroines into destroying the rival Searrs Foundation, getting scores of people killed as a result, he forces the heroines into the HiME Carnival/Festival, a Deadly Game in which they must destroy each other's CHILD, which will result in the person they love most dying, under the threat of destroying the world via Colony Drop if they refuse. Having held these bloodbaths numerous times in the past, he, as Reito, manipulates Mikoto, Shiho Munakata, and Mai Tokiha into fighting each other, deliberately getting Takumi Tokiha and Yuuichi Tate killed to break Mai. He also takes the victims of the battles and traps them in pillars to use the souls as power. When Mashiro Kazahana confronts him, he restrains her and puts her maid, Fumi Himeno, under mind control to serve him. Finally, he reveals that he intends to make Mai, the winner, into his bride, and have her kill Mikoto before using her to birth his new, "perfect" race to replace humanity after he kills them all.
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    • Manga: The Obsidian Lord/Prince is the mastermind behind the monster Orphans who seeks to destroy humans after having nearly done so in the past. Having possessed the bedridden Takumi Tokiha, he orders Nagi Homura to create the Orphans and cause chaos, while also manipulating the rival Searrs Foundation into attacking. He has Nagi transform Pochi, an Orphan that Mikoto Minagi has been caring for, into a monster that attacks the heroines and is forced to kill itself to save them. He later uses the Star to corrupt Shiho Munakata, turning her into a possessive maniac who kidnaps Yuuichi Tate. Revealing himself to Mai Tokiha, he uses her love for Takumi to turn her into his minion and bride, then broadcasts his plan to the world and, to show he is serious, obliterates Washington DC. When the other heroes infiltrate his lair, he has Mai and his creations, the Great Cosmo Beauties, brutally beat them. Finally, he betrays the Cosmo Beauties by absorbing them into his CHILD form, and tries to use the HiME Star to wipe out humanity.
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  • Crack Pairing: In-series (well, in-series-extra) example — the Omake for episode 21 seems to be suggesting Mai/Midori!
  • Die for Our Ship: Shizuru x Natsuki fans bash Nao. Nao x Natsuki fans bash Shizuru. Mai x anyone else fans (Mai x Mikoto fans in particular) bash Yuuichi. In the manga, fans of Shizuru x Natsuki bash Yuuichi because in that version, Natsuki is attracted to him instead.
  • Draco in Leather Pants
    • Nao is quite popular, despite luring in and robbing men via Enjo Kosai as a means of getting revenge, and kidnapping Takumi, indirectly leading to his death, and later attacking Natsuki a few times in revenge for her eye being put out.
    • Shizuru's fans tend to overlook her actions, including killing Yukino's child, leading to Haruka's death, killing Nao's child, leading to her mother's death, and destroying the First District Headquarters. What exactly happened with Natsuki in the incident Yukino witnessed is less clear, though.
    • Interestingly enough, some of Shizuru's haters actually forget the First District's real goals when calling her destruction of its headquarters her Moral Event Horizon. It's arguable how much the Mooks knew about the plans or how necessary killing them was, but trying to pass off the leaders as victims clearly falls into this trope.
  • Ending Aversion: Opinions vary on the ending. Is it the happy ending that the characters deserve after everything they went through, or is it a betrayal of the series' tone?
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Of the side characters, Shizuru and Haruka tend to be the most popular, which is ironic given their (mostly one-sided) rivalry.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Shizuru and Natsuki, also known as ShizNat, overwhelmingly so. The Mai-HiME section of has more Shizuru×Natsuki fanfics than there are all other stories combined.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Reito jokes about it being "dangerous" to leave Shizuru to tend to a sick Natsuki by herself in the audio dramas. Shizuru later kisses Natsuki while she's asleep (and might have gone further slightly before that), and also angsts quite a bit about her feelings being improper, which at least one other person (Haruka) also agrees with. One could see it as a case of Reito being more on the mark than he might have realized, and/or that the joke helps reinforce Shizuru's belief that it's wrong for her to love Natsuki.
    • In the prototype trailer, Mikoto performs a Dynamic Entry on Shiho, kicking her away from Mai as they're engaged in a tussle. In the actual show, when Shiho attacks Mai with her Child, Mikoto intervenes to save Mai, destroying Shiho's Child and thus killing Yuuichi, the boy Shiho and Mai love, in the process.
  • Growing the Beard: Arguably the eighth episode.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In early episode, some of Mai's yaoi fangirl friends imagine a romance between them because they find both of them cute (not knowing that Akira is a girl), before Mai tells them to keep her brother out of their Crack Pairings. And later in the series, Akira and Takumi do seem to be romantically involved.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Nao. She's bitter, hostile toward most people, goes to great lengths to avenge her losing an eye and robs perverts for fun because her father was killed and her mother went into a coma during a robbery.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Shizuru is the show's "crown princess of yuri", who probably has been paired with any named female character close to her age, though most fans prefer to ship her with Natsuki.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Naturally given the number of lesbian characters.
  • Les Yay: Mikoto's behavior toward Mai, naturally giving way to plenty of Ship Tease moments between the two. In reality, Mai feels more comfortable being Mikoto's Cool Big Sis, though it's rather blatantly implied that Mikoto wants more than that.
    • Especially notable when Shiho glomps Mai:
      Mikoto: (* grabs Shiho's hair* ) Those are my melons. (* tosses her aside, glomps Mai herself, and starts nuzzling Mai's chest* }
    • Not only does Shizuru have her very close friendship with and romantic feelings for Natuski, but in one of the sound dramas, "Lingerie Rhapsody," she's very pleased to check Mai's bra size (including even putting the bra on her), and notes that she's quite attractive. Natsuki implies that Mai is inwardly enjoying it all.
    • There's also Yukino's obvious attraction to Haruka.
  • Memetic Molester: Shizuru, thanks to the Drama CD.
  • Memetic Troll: Shizuru Fujino, mainly in her pre-Face–Heel Turn, Student Council President days.
  • Moe: Mikoto, she's extremely cute and her childish behavior makes her even cuter, notable examples include a scene where she grabs onto Mai and clings to her for the better part of a day, and Mai isn't even particularly bothered by it, having apparently gotten used to her acting this way by that point in the series.
  • Narm: John Smith's name is quite amusing because it seems to be an obvious pseudonym and sounds strange when the characters try to say it in the Japanese version. It gets even funnier if you're familiar with Haruhi Suzumiya.
  • Paranoia Fuel: So many characters are not what they appear to be, in a negative sense, whether their positions in the school are a cover for their true roles, or they're hiding secrets about themselves, including having deadly supernatural powers. Are you sure you really know them, or just who they're pretending to be?
  • Periphery Demographic: Aside from the normal lovers of Magical Girl series, Mai-HiME gained a surprising amount of interest from lesbians, mostly thanks to the draw of the Natsuki x Shizuru pairing. This was embraced by the writers, and expanded upon in the supplemental materials, and then made canon in Mai-Otome, along with various other couples and hinted same-sex crushes.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Fans have accused Akira of Chickification for wearing girlier clothes towards the end of the story (in the manga, there's a scene in the ending in which she's trying on a girl's middle school uniform). Not only it ignores that several of the HiMe are actually rather feminine girls (Shizuru is a Lady of War, Natsuki is a Gunslinger who wears her hair very long and loves collecting lingerie, Mai herself is kinda motherly and a Supreme Chef, etc.), but also "forget" that the main reason Akira dressed up as a guy is that she was trying to hide the fact that she was a HiMe in the first place, thus she started wearing skirts only when her mission was over and she had no real reason to hide her gender. Girliness Upgrade, yeah; Chickification, uhm, no.
    • Interestingly enough, Akira is still using the highly masculine "ore" to refer to herself.
  • Replacement Scrappy: One of the main criticisms of Haruka being a Hime in the manga is that she is one instead of Shizuru. With that said, this does not apply for the fans who despise Shizuru, who see this move as a Take That, Scrappy! and poetic justice given what Shizuru did to Haruka in the anime.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap or Creator's Pet: Yuuichi gets a noticeably larger role in the manga than in the anime, to the extent where he's the manga's protagonist, as well as several of his more questionable aspects from the anime being removed or diluted. Whether this makes him a better or worse character is highly contested.
  • The Scrappy: Two of them, to varying degrees: Yuuichi (Non-Action Guy and Die for Our Ship effects) and Shiho (Clingy Jealous Girl who wants to take Yuuichi away from Mai, and even kills Takumi out of spite).
  • Stoic Woobie: Natsuki has become fairly bitter and lonely after her mother's death and her father abandoning her, but hardly ever shows it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A dark and tragic universe where Magical Girls are given their powers as part of some ritual and are forced to kill each other to protect the ones they love could have made for an amazing story... if it had actually started with that plot instead of having it randomly hijack a completely different show after nearly two-thirds of the episodes had been carefully built up as a scientific deconstruction of the Magical Girl genre. Sunrise themselves apparently agreed with this assessment, considering they made EXA.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Some fans are critical of the ending for undoing the deaths and character traumas.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Haruka is relatively well-liked by the fanbase, while in the anime, most of the characters besides Yukino find her annoying. When she went up against Shizuru in the election, she lost, getting twelve votes while Shizuru got over eight hundred. While Shizuru is highly divisive, negative opinions on Haruka are rarer, which might have contributed to Haruka being made a Hime in the manga rather than Shizuru.
  • What an Idiot!: Yuuichi. His attraction to Mai becomes increasingly obvious halfway through the story, and while his desire to help is commendable, he breaks his promises to Shiho twice in doing so, eventually leading her to attack Mai after Nagi manipulates her some more.
    • Joseph Greer fatally shoots Alyssa in front of her Robot Girl companion Miyu, who not only is extremely protective of her, but no longer takes his orders, and doesn't even bother fleeing the scene afterwards. He's swiftly and mercilessly dispatched, becoming the only human character who stays dead.
  • The Woobie:
    • Akane, especially considering her mental breakdown after the death of her boyfriend, Kazuya.
    • Mai. She blames herself for a childhood tragedy in which her mother died and her brother's heart was weakened. She's forced to fight against her friends in the Carnival, and loses two of her most important people. The toll these tragedies take on her becomes increasingly evident over time.


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