So I was bitching rather genially about My-Hime, Volume 4 on Facebook and Twitter and got an email in reply from writer/editor/manga expert and all-around fun guy Jason Thompson.
He agreed vehemently that this was a dreadful example of manga and went so far as to graciously allow me to use his description of this series from as yet unpublished, Manga: The Complete Guide materials. I therefore offer up to you as our latest guest reviewer, the pithy thoughts of Mr. Jason Thompson:
MY-HIME (Mai-HiME, “Dancing Girl/My Princess”) （舞-HiME) • Noboru Kimura (story), Sato Ken-etsu (art) • TokyoPop (2006-2008) • Akita Shoten (Weekly Shônen Champion, 2004-2005) • Shônen Sci-Fi Battle • 18+ (language, graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations)
Adaptation of the anime series. Yuuichi transfers to a special school where certain girls possess an awesome power: the ability to summon a “child,” a big mechanical monster, when in the presence of the right boy, called the “key.” Yuuichi turns out to be the “key” of not one but two hime girls, Mai and Natsuki, who bicker over him in endless superpowered catfights. Sloppily drawn and crammed with too many female characters to keep track of, My-Hime—hime is Japanese for “princess” but here stands for “Highly Advanced Materializing Equipment”—is a tedious manga adaptation of a cynical “high-concept” anime, mixing “harem” romantic comedies and battle manga about people who team up with mecha or monsters. Characters we don’t care about fight one another, make passes at Yuuichi and tear up the landscape, leading up to an incoherent climactic fight with the aliens from the “Princess Star” which is the origin of the himes. The books are padded out with interviews with the anime staff, one of whom tells the reader “Reading My-Hime isn’t enough, so go for the anime, the figures, and radio and become a My-Hime Ph.D!” The worst feature of the art is the slack-jawed inexpressive faces.
.5 (HALF A STAR! -_- )
Thank you Jason for stabbing taking a stab at this series. Your brevity should have been matched by the series itself. Despite the craptasticness of the manga, I would like to thank Okazu Hero Elaine B. for bravely wading in and sponsoring today’s review!