Yuri Anime: My HiME, Volume 7 (English)

November 2nd, 2007

Nothing like finally wrapping up a review of a series I first reviewed 2 years ago. Such a sense of accomplishment, I tell ya. Thanks to Ted for not only making this review possible, but for the nifty gift box, as well! (Daniel, Ted’s ahead of you now – quick buy me more stuff to catch up! LOL) Here’s a link to the nifty box version, if you, dear reader, decide that you want one too. The picture is linked to the DVD-only version. And btw, Bandai – I think the nifty box for the last DVD makes a lot more sense than for the first.

I watched this DVD on the plane. I figured that after sitting through an episode of Baccano my rowmates would be thrilled to have something so tame. lol It kind of had all the bells and whistles people who are not anime fans expect from anime – gratuitous service, bloodless violence, colorful battle scenes and lots and lots of tears.

Yes, this volume covers the final, dramatic battles between the HiME, the Obsidian Prince revealing another absurd plot to create a new world, and all the other stuff we were supposed to care about. But since we really only cared about Natsuki and Shizuru, I’ll jump to that.

I’m not a ShizNat fan, but I really think Natsuki stepped up here. It was the right thing to do and the right way to do it. I’m never going to be happy at Shizuru’s behavior, as logical as it wasn’t. Crazy people are crazy, so her “Since I think you’re rejecting me, I’ll just have to kill you” scans pretty much as what one would expect. But, bleah. I did like the Kiyohime reference with the bell. That was a nice touch. One of the few in this volume. Also, I note that the translaton made Natsuki come down on the Yuri side of the equation, which was different than how I heard it originally – more on the, thanks, I’m happy you felt that way, but I can’t love you that way. I’m fine with this version of it.

In episodes 24 and 25, most of the characters undergo some serious self-reflection. That part was very good. And much of the rest was just typical fighting anime blah blah blah. I was extremely disappointed that, when Reito tells Mai that she won’t be able to call her Child anymore, she didn’t say that she could because the most important person to her now was herself. That *had* been where all the stuff that came before was leading, it was what Takumi said to her and Tate, and it seemed like a REALLY big ball to drop.

I found the “HiME sentai” team unforgivable for three reasons:

1) They were pointless. At least in Otome, they did a thing. In this, they basically rush off to land and watch Mai cry.

2) The loss of an incredible opportunity for Shizuru to restablish her sanity and apologize deeply to everyone for the horror she put them through. Instead the cute face and false apology made me want to scream.

3) Natsuki called them a sentai team. Right.

The MOST pointless thing was the final scene between Mai and Mikoto, where Mai is emotionally brutalized for no good fucking reason whatsoever. I was so livid at that, that I had a hard time not putting my fist through the computer screen.

And the final thing that was simply unforgivable throughout were the eyebrows. WTH was going on with their eyebrows? They were horrible.

The epilogue begins off okay, but quickly devolves to the reset that so bugged me and most of my friends. So much character development had occurred in 24 and 25, that to sort of ignore all that and move right back to the same people behaving the same reeked of pathological denial.

The final moments of the series were sweet, as Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki – all smiling – run off to do something fun for a change and a girl from the middle school walks by with a clueless look. We’ll get to see a lot more of that clueless look in Otome since the girl is Arika. And the epilogue was as disturbing in places as it was cute in others. I thought Haruka and Yukino’s moment was great, and I was particularly fond of Akira slicing the apple at Takumi’s bedside. Miyu and Nao as nuns was just cosplay to set up a gag.

The extras were re-visits with the three stars of the series, Natsuki, Mai and Mikoto, with bump-up in the Yuri for Natsuki, and nice self-recognition for Mai and Mikoto. All about love. No other extras, except for the nifty box.

Ratings:

Art – 7, except for those eyebrows
Story – 7, with points off for all those balls on the floor so 5
Characters – 7, with points off for the step back at reset, 6
Yuri – 6
Service – 6 (My seatmate on the left looked up just as naked Natsuki appeared on screen. She laughed. The guy on my right was as turned far in his seat away from me as physically possible. lol)

Overall – 7, but honestly, it was rife with lost opportunity

I think, if I had to pick one thing I really liked about this final volume, it would be the fights between Childs. They were shiny and colorful.

Oh, and by the way – Daniel, I’m only joking!

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2 Responses

  1. ippikiookami says:

    Glad you thought the Mai Hime box was nifty *phew*…not easy to design.

    I wonder what people thought about the Mai Otome v.1 Collector box? It’s pretty much the same box as we wanted to keep with consistency…plus it made my life easier since the manufacturer kept the same projection mold.

    Anyhow, it would be great to get some feedback on some more Bandai titles. Not sure if you’re a Lucky Star fan but we just released a PR for that series and I’m killing my creative brain trying to come up with a box design *sigh* LOL and still stay within the ridiculous Best Buy and Transworld retail shelf specifications…grrrr…so much for creative freedom LOL! Just got done with the Code Geass box design so crossing my fingers that people will accept it once it hits street. *gulp*

    Anyhow, love your site hahaha!

    Oh yeah…I read a comment from one of your past post. Not sure if it was you or some other poster. But anyway here’s the deal with the My Hime title and why we had to use “My” instead of “Mai” LOL.

    Sunrise actually created that logo for us and thought it was better to make it in a ‘possessive’ sense. Somehow they just thought that using the Kanji for the show was too foreign for the US audience and leaving it as the romanji spelling of “Mai” would make the next series a bit more restrictive since Mai herself would not be the main part of the next incarnations.

    I suppose they could have done the “Irresponsible Captain Tylor” treatment…LOL..Remember those? Captain had a bunch of OVA’s and none of them actually featured him but they kept the title because it was the “World” of Captain Tylor….which Sunrise was trying to pull off with the whole “Project Hime” thing. Gah…now I’m just babbling…sorry…long day at work.^_^;;

  2. ippi – Thanks so much for the comment! I am not a box set person myself, my own shelf space here is so extremely limited. But I did find the design for this appealing…if impossible to shelve. lol

    I appreciate the comments about the title. I so strongly disagree with the Japanese contingent. I have this weird belief that if simple things are explained at least some people will understand. For instance – that “Mai” also means dance and in the case of Mai Otome, is what they call the mock battles. I kind of look at it like this – if I can figure it out, so can other people. I’m no genius. :-)

    Unfortunately there aren’t that many Bandai titles I like. I tried to sit through Lucky Star once, but it hurt my ears. :-) If you want to throw a review copy my way, though I’ll be glad to give it a serious look. I try to be fair for all my reviews.

    Thanks for the kind words – and the great comment. I love to get that kind f feedback, and learn the “why” of a decision to use or not use a thing.

    Keep up the great work!

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