Full Series Review: My-HiME/Mai-HiME

Updated on March 13, 2018
RachaelLefler profile image

I've studied anime, manga, and Japan for over a decade. My favorite anime/manga are sci-fi and seinen (mature).

Intro & Summary

Mai-HiME is a blend of the action and magical girl genres. It's kind of every genre, every imaginable anime trope, and every character type, all at once.

Mai is a typical (boring) high school girl, going to an elite sparkly anime school. She finds out she's a thing called a HiME, which is sort of like a magical girl. I say 'sort of', because, while other magical girls fight their battles with rainbows and hearts, these girls can summon weapons and mechanical monsters. She teams up with other girls with the same powers, as you do. One is always pissed off, and the other is as dumb as a box of rocks, in a way that's supposed to be cute and endearing. But that's in the eye of the beholder. And there's like a million other characters, all even more boring and even less fleshed out than the main trio.

Anyway, for a while a formula is established where something bad happens, the dumb one can sense it and takes off, running on all fours like an animal, embarassing Mai. Mai or one of the other HiME (there's a total of 12, because there's a prophesy, because of course there is). Then that formula is given up for a "battle royale" arc at episode 15. The HiMEs all have to fight each others' monsters. Problem is, when a HiME loses her monster (which is called a Child), the person most precious to her dies. So this particular "battle royale" is not about fighting for one's own life, like it is in most other anime of this genre, but it is about fighting for the lives of people you love.

Of course, Mai wants to avoid fighting and make sure innocent lives aren't lost, but of course, since that would make the show rather boring, the HiME can't help but fight each other. Plus it's in the prophesy, yo!


My-HiME (aka Mai-HiME)
Source Material:
None - Anime First
Action, Drama, Romance, Battle Royale, Fantasy
Additional Material:
DVD shorts, 'Mai Otome' spinoff, manga


When an Anime News Network article and TV Tropes praised this anime, I sincerely wondered if they had actually watched it. Sure, it seems promising to have a 'magical girl' show where the girls do stuff that's a little more edgy and less babyfied.

But here's the thing; all these girls are still infantile and cutesy, with the most tired, unnecessary fanservice. They're all character types or character clichés rather than feeling like real people. You have enough brother-sister incest to make George R.R. Martin uncomfortable. The infantile and fetishized way the "strong" female characters are presented misses the "girl power" mark they're trying to hit, by a lot.

The show borrows stylistically from CLAMP and Evangelion, without getting quite close to the elegance of either style, and having nothing original in terms of character design. Anime fans will find familiar tropes everywhere.

TV Tropes calls it a 'deconstruction', and I get that it subverts the expectations set by more flowery shoujo shows, but I don't think it deconstructs anything. To really be a "deconstruction", a work has to question or show the full, realistic consequences of a trope or tropes. For example, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a deconstruction of magical girl stories. Magical girl stories (the classic kind) are about fantasy wish fulfilment for elementary to high-school-age girls. They're about friendship, love, and miraculous acts of heroism. But Madoka questions, defies, and challenges the tropes of that genre by making a system where magic comes at a terrible cost, and being a magical girl is a burden, not unlike being a soldier in the real world. My-HiME does not question or challenge its own clichés, which are numerous. It seems to relish in them instead. That's not enough to make it bad, by itself, but it's no deconstruction.

Mainly, the show has a problem with failed promise. It seems exciting, but fights are dragged out with flashbacks and perspective switches so much that they become less interesting. Characters are, for the most part, static, predictable, and defined by the type of anime character they are, in a box they rarely emerge from. Magical bullshit means none of the "gritty" sacrifices are real, and you know they won't be real. If you've seen at least one other anime series to completion, you can probably safely predict how My-HiME will play out.

Nothing is well explained. I couldn't even remember what HiME stood for, it's some kind of elaborate acronym, a play on the word "hime" meaning "princess" in Japanese, but they always block it out with characters' heads when they show it in the opening, and I'm not going to bother to look it up. Without reading TV Tropes, I doubt I would have kept all the characters straight, let alone all their powers and identities. The fact that HiME have special marks on their bodies is mentioned, then not important later in the story at all. The fact that loose monsters are called "Orphans" and monsters bonded to a HiME are called "Childs" is only mentioned a few times. And no, there is no interesting reveal that the monsters are literally children, or that "Orphans" can become bonded to HiME, or anything cool like that. Don't get your hopes up.

If I were to describe My-HiME in a few words, it would be, "incoherent blob of anime clichés trying to make a story".

Rating for 'My Hi-ME': 5/10

Questions & Answers


    Submit a Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)