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Dated 5 April 2004: My-HiME

Well, I bought the April 2004 issue of Animage. It comes with a promotional DVD containing previews of a number of spring shows. Here's the catch: The God damned thing is region coded.

So I burned up one of my limited Region code changes to view it. But who in the Hell region codes promotional DVDs, for Christ's sake?

It included a rather lackluster looking show called My Hime. I've been informed that the kanji used for "my" translates to "dancing," so I guess that means the title can also be read as Dancing Princess.

My Hime
My Hime, possibly A.K.A. Dancing Princess

Whatever. It appears to be about schoolgirls—with swords—and possibly magic. And the dark-haired character depicted above packs heat. If you look past her ass for a minute, you can see that she's cleaning one of her pistols.

In any case, the music is by Yuki Kajiura, so the soundtrack will kick ass at least.

But I really need to get around to region hacking my damn DVD players or something. This is horseshit.

Dated 1 October 2004: My-HiME

The first episode of Mai Hime has aired. The music is by Yuki Kajiura, and it has a pretty nice cast, including Inoue Kikuko, Sanae Kobayashi, Mamiko Noto, Ai Shimizu (Minawa from Mahoromatic) and Naomi Shindoh (the voice of Cagalli from Gundam SEED).

My Hime
Scan of My Hime poster from Megami. 850x1200 24-bit PNG, 1.45MB.

From what I could gather from the preview and from Momotato's take on it, it seems to be about magikal girls alternating between fighting each other and engaging in schoolyard hijinks. Eh, it's probably not going to be the greatest thing ever, but I'm on board as long as it's watchable.

P.S. It has "TEEEEEEE!!!"

Dated 4 October 2004: My-HiME

The first episode of Mai HiME has been subbed. As near as I can determine, the official English title is My-HiME, which is a bit of a pun on the lead character's name. HiME apparently stands for Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment. Oh, those wacky Japanese-type folks.

The first episode is quite a blast. It has good-looking animation, excellent music, and high-energy fight scenes. It also introduces us to (presumably) the three primary leads in My-HiME's large cast. All three are a bit different than regular folks: They can see a bright red star that normal people can't see. And, oh yeah, they also have MAGIC POWERS.

Mai
Mai

First, there's Mai, a transfer student taking a boat to her new school. Mai spots an unconscious young girl in the water and helps resuscitate her. This girl, Mikoto, is later attacked by a mysterious gun-toting motorcycle-leather-clad blue-haired girl, Natsuki. Natsuki's motives are unclear at this point, but she does warn Mai not to attend her new school.

Mikoto
Mikoto

The first episode also introduced a few other characters, but none of them are as interesting as the above trio—mostly because they don't seem to have MAGIC POWERS and didn't spend half their time kicking the shit out of each other.

Natsuki
Natsuki

Mikoto's weapon of choice is a huge black magic sword. It's way too big for her, so she wields it with both hands and rapidly spins around in circles dragging the tip on the ground, creating huge showers of sparks, until she generates enough speed to swipe it at her target. (It really looks a lot cooler than it sounds.) Here's a 37-second clip from Natsuki and Mikoto's big fight scene. (6.4 MB, 640x480, XVID. No subtitles.) [Update: File removed to save bandwidth.]

Anyway, it's a good start for a high-profile show. Best information to date suggests it will have a 26-episode run. Hopefully the quality will remain high. For now, it's got me looking forward to the next episode, but in all honesty, they had me at "magikal girls kicking the shit out of each other."

One final note: Saeko Chiba is unrecognizable as Natsuki. Or at least she is to people like me who are only familiar with her Azmaria voice from Chrno Crusade. Her Natsuki voice has a pissed-off, direct quality that works well here.

Dated 30 December 2004: My-HiME

Kuga Natsuki
Kuga Natsuki

My-HiME is wonderful. Magikal girls kicking the shit out of each other with a unique variety of powers to a Yuki Kajiura soundtrack with superlovelycharacterdesign is an anime GAME-BREAKING HOME RUN.

Dated 5 January 2005: My-HiME

Mai
Mai

My-HiME is pretty awesome, but it is pretty easy to forget how curious any given episode must appear to non-anime fans. For one thing, it made me realize how desensitized I've become to Recurring Lesbian Subtext, although admittedly this particular theme is not uncommon in regular television programming nowadays either.

Dated 5 January 2005: My-HiME

My HiME episode 15

Whoa. Shit hits the fan in My-HiME 15.

Dated 23 February 2005: My-HiME

Sister Yukariko
Sister Yukariko at a crossroads of faith. And how.

My-HiME episode 18 was sacrilicious.

Dated 15 March 2005: My-HiME

Mai
Mai

Natsuki
Natsuki

My-HiME is all about the magikal girls kicking the shit out of each other and the wailing to Yuki Kajiura music as loved ones die.