Naheal Reviews: Mai-HiME

Naheal reviews
Mai-HiME

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Genre: Magical Girl with a twist
Release Date: American: October 2008
English release name: My-HiME
Reviewed language: Japanese, English subs

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Magical girls, summoned creatures with heavy hints towards a technical background, and an emphasis on character development. In a nutshell, that's the best way that I can describe Mai-HiME, but it goes even deeper than that. At it's core, Mai-HiME is a nearly enthralling anime that's centered around Mai, a young high school student who's recently transferred to Fuka Academy, and her struggle to both live and support her younger brother. Before even getting to the Academy, Mai finds herself in the middle of a struggle between a pair of combatants tearing apart the very ferry that she's using to get to the academy.

Though it feels that, once you start getting introduced to the story, you're jumping in the middle of everything, they fix this very quickly, as various key elements are introduced as the story progresses. The backstory becomes a jigsaw puzzle as individuals are forced to cope with their individual pasts while they progress with their individual powers. The story gives you long enough to both get to know and start to become attached to individual characters before the action and story begin to crescendo.

After the first episode, it feels as though the story both slows down and become juvenile. The focus remains on the individual characters and their motivations maintained by a background of fairly silly events, ranging from a pantie thief to a cooking contest, and a fair amount of a monster of the week style set up for the first half of the story. Hints are dropped, however, indicating a very grave price for the power that each of these girls has. This becomes brutally apparent as the story progresses.

Once you meet the second half of the story, there's a sort of mood whiplash as the story turns from somewhat happy-go-lucky with some hints to deadpan serious to almost tragic. Without hitting spoilers, I can't go into to many details, but, suffice to say that psychological trauma is induced as the series progresses.

Overall, the animation was done exceedingly well. Action scenes are so well done that you can see details of fire and ice. Sequences are intense and make you want to continue watching. Combat is both enthralling and carries a sense of dire consequences if the characters should fail, and, indeed, some can and will fail.

The characters of Mai-HiME are perhaps the strongest point to the anime. Every character is well developed and multi-faceted. Individual relationships are both apparent when the show begins, but also carry subtle nuances that are rarely even hinted at until later in the series. Individuals themselves develop as the series progresses to the point, even some change against their will.

The voice acting and soundtrack was very well done. Yukari Tamura (Nanoha, MSL Nanoha; Mei Sunohara, Clannad) and Mai Nakahara (Nagisa Furukawa, Clannad; Teana, MSL Nanoha Strikers) make an excellent team once again as their characters both compliment and end up strikingly different from one another. It should be noted that some jokes (such as the title itself, which is a bilingual pun) will not translate well, if at all, to English. The soundtrack itself was contains some of greatest anime music that I've heard. Linked to the left is a main combat theme that's heard throughout the series, composed by Yuki Kajiura, who's worked on various anime and game soundtracks, including Xenosaga, Mai-HiME and Mai-Otome (review coming later). The music is both enthralling and strangely fitting as the series progresses, providing a sense of grandeur that is not always included in anime of this genre.

Though it gets a little fan-service-y at times, there is little actual nudity in the show itself. It's not incredibly bloody, but the themes presented show that it would be fitting for a mid-to-late teen audience. If you go into this show and expect a show similar to Sailor Moon or Cardcaptors Sakura, you will be disappointed.

Bottom Line: This series comes with a high recommendation from me. Even if you don't enjoy the Magical Girl genre, you'll enjoy this anime.

Sounds kind of like what NGE did, but with Magical Girls...

That music is amazing, and listening to it while reading your review has pretty much completely convinced me. I guess I'll be adding another anime to my all-too-large list.

Was wondering where your avatar was from...

Seen this title mentioned before in various places, but I'd never had any incentive to look up what it's about or if it's any good. That's changed, now. Wonder if Netflix has it...

Holy Hand Puppet in a Sausage factory..a crazy anime such as this with well developed characters?!?

I think I might blow my brains out! No seriously Now I just want to find where I can watch these episodes along with Highschool of the Dead

Wow, that's a really well written and laid out review.

Nice work.

Naheal:

Naheal reviews
Mai-HiME

Bottom Line: This series comes with a high recommendation from me. Even if you don't enjoy the Magical Girl genre, you'll enjoy this anime.

Any place you know that would stream these episodes?

Oh and strangely enough I like this idea for the anime, it's got a bit of a Soul Eater vibe to it. And God himself knows I loved that series to death

Hey, I remember this show. It was pretty good from what I can remember.

Madara XIII:

Naheal:

Naheal reviews
Mai-HiME

Bottom Line: This series comes with a high recommendation from me. Even if you don't enjoy the Magical Girl genre, you'll enjoy this anime.

Any place you know that would stream these episodes?

Oh and strangely enough I like this idea for the anime, it's got a bit of a Soul Eater vibe to it. And God himself knows I loved that series to death

Are you looking for subs or dubs? I only reviewed the subbed anime. Youtube or Megavideo should have them.

Pirate Kitty:
Wow, that's a really well written and laid out review.

Nice work.

Thank you. I plan on doing another fairly soon (probably gonna do one on the Nanoha seasons eventually).

That song is so incredibly awesome, i might just watch the anime just for it.
A bit reluctant to, though - how much japanese comedy did you say it has, exactly?

poiumty:
That song is so incredibly awesome, i might just watch the anime just for it.
A bit reluctant to, though - how much japanese comedy did you say it has, exactly?

Eh... There isn't quite enough to turn away. It's mostly just a linguistics thing that I picked up on while watching the show, mostly having to do with slightly mispronounced (Missed a long vowel or a long consonant in a word to completely change the meaning of the sentence) words. A good sub will generally include what the person actually said and not what they meant to say.

Hmmm, seems interesting, and that music was awesome. I've actually been looking at the manga for this for a while now, but I've never actually bothered with doing anything other than looking at it and going, "Yep, someday I'll pick this up...."
I'll probably have to pick this up soon then, when I get around to finishing off my ever-growing pile of anime/manga that I buy. The pile....it's so freakishly large...

As for the review itself, it's pretty well written. Just one mistake I noticed:

The soundtrack itself was contains some of greatest anime music that I've heard.

That aside, have you had a chance to look into Escaflowne yet?

Steppin Razor:
Hmmm, seems interesting, and that music was awesome. I've actually been looking at the manga for this for a while now, but I've never actually bothered with doing anything other than looking at it and going, "Yep, someday I'll pick this up...."
I'll probably have to pick this up soon then, when I get around to finishing off my ever-growing pile of anime/manga that I buy. The pile....it's so freakishly large...

As for the review itself, it's pretty well written. Just one mistake I noticed:

The soundtrack itself was contains some of greatest anime music that I've heard.

Whoops! I'll fix that for my next review.

That aside, have you had a chance to look into Escaflowne yet?

Not as of yet. I'll probably look into it at a later date.

 

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