In Volume 1, as you may remember Tate, the least interesting character since Tenchi learned that a peaceful life will never be his, with his magical ability to call disaster and calamity from the heavens down upon himself and everyone around him. By which I mean he’s the most important person in the story.
After formally introducing Nao, Mikoto and Akane, an inexplicable duel pops up between Natsuki and Haruka in which they are each meant to represent their own team of HiMEs but is, in some more nefarious way, the by-product of Chairwoman Mashiro’s meddling. Nagi appears, has his name spelled two different ways, is waved over everyone’s head as a threat, then disappears. And finally, with a lot of sound and fury, Midori arrives.
(Thanks god for Akane, who remains the closest to a normal human. It’s good to know that at least one HiME isn’t completely broken.)
Shizuru’s affection for Natsuki is set on the back burner of the story, taken out only to provide a light Yuri coating to the two panels they spend in each other’s company.
But the big fight between Haruka and Natsuki offers a pleasant dollop of implied Yuri, when it quickly becomes a battle between Natsuki and Mai, who can’t play nice and share Tate, and Haruka and her own beloved key and another HiME in her own right, Yukino. Since we’ve already seen some less-than-subtle sexual implication about HiMEs and keys, we can draw our own conclusion about Haruka and Yukino. I’m sure you all know what my conclusion is. ^_^
In a few places in this volume, I found myself completely befuddled by either the story or the translation of the story but, after a moment, when I realized that I really honestly don’t care at *all* what the story itself is, it was a fine volume. Good luck if you do actually care what’s going on. My takeaway was that the writer didn’t really know what was going on, either and was making it up as he went along. ^_^ (My wife says, “Good for him for filling a book with derivative fluff!”)
Art – 6
Story – 6
Characters – 6
Yuri – 3
Service – 5
Overall – 6
Many thanks to today’s sponsor and brand new Okazu Hero, Katherine H.! Your heroic efforts will be eternally memorialized on the Okazu Hero Roll – and email me for your very own Okazu Hero Badge!