The original Mai HiME anime was good. It has some clear areas of strength – shiny, colorful action and strong, likeable characters. The intense dramatic angst could be seen as either a positive or negative depending your particular interest, but for the moment I’ll reckon it as a positive, because it definitely worked. Significantly negative for me was the fact that the ending made all my (and the characters’) emotional strain irrelevant. And, again for me, the service got pretty tiring pretty fast. I’m sure there’s someone out there for whom the implication that Natsuki has no underwear on is utterly thrilling.
The plot of Mai HiME was not simple, but it was not hideously complex. in traditional battle manga style, when one enemy was neutralized, another, greater enemy was realized and, in typical fashion, the bad guys are always one step ahead of the good guys. The plot was a weakness, but not one I hold against it, since it’s typical of it’s kind.
In stark contrast, the My-HIME manga is full of an inexplicable, overcomplicated and insensible plot, unlikeable characters and overdrawn action. Above all, it’s greatest weakness is that the dialogue frequently makes no sense at all. Sure, with time and effort, you can kind of figure out what’s going on…but screw that. *You’re* the storyteller. You tell me what I need to know, don’t make me go hunting for key pieces of information hidden in the babble.
In fact, the impression I get from My-Hime, Volume 3 is this:
Person A: I will use my super power to do something amazing and stupid!
Person B: Yes, thanks, I will have the tuna salad for lunch.
Time after time, I stare at the pages and say, “Whah?”
And before you ask – no, it is not the translation. I read the original and it was just as bad. In fact, props to the translator and adaptor who probably were forced to drink heavily to get through the constipation that passes for dialogue in this series.
There is no Yuri in this volume. Shizuru appears on – maybe – two or three pages and Haruka and Yukino barely appear either. As they are the more Yuri couple in this series, a chapter without them is a sad and lonely chapter.
So. What exactly happens in this volume? Honestly…I’m not sure. A random hot springs nudity scene suddenly turns into a cave-in and everyone runs around screaming. This is folowed by the “Mai does too much” plot side-by-side with the “Tate’s birthday” plot. The end of the manga brings a shift of focus. Mai learns that if a Child is defeated, the Key is destroyed, so she tells Tate to leave. The Searrs Foundation (and thus Alyssa and Miyu) show up, as do Shiho, importuning Tate to leave with her. Natsuki’s mother mysteriously returns as a part cyborg HiME, from ten years long absence. The Searrs Foundation stop the Orphans, Nagi is beheaded (woo-hoo! best part of the volume.) All of this followed by a completey random bathing suit service page.
You wanna know what happened, really? You read it and tell me.
Art – 6
Story – 5
Characters – 5
Yuri – 0
Service – 5
Overall – 5
Completely accidentally, today we must again thank Okazu Hero Elaine B for her contribution to our collective confusion. Thanks Elaine for sponsoring today’s review!