My-Hime Vol. #1 (also w/box) - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • Region: 4 - Australia / South America
  • Released By: Madman Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.98/39.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: My-Hime

My-Hime Vol. #1 (also w/box)

By John Eriani     September 06, 2006
Release Date: July 26, 2006


My-Hime Vol. #1 (also w/box)
© Madman Entertainment


What They Say
Before coming to the Fuka Academy, all Mai Tokiha wanted was to live an ordinary high school life, but that's the last thing she's going to get. It turns out that Mai is a HiME, one of twelve girls with super-natural powers that are gathered at this school. A secret organization has other plans for the HiME than just demon-busting and Mai and the other HiME will have to risk something precious to protect the ones they love.


The Review!
Fan service, lots of characters and a darker story behind it all makes My HiME a rather interesting show.

Audio:
I watched the show in its original Japanese 2.0 language, it is a pretty simple stereo mix and I wasn't expecting a lot of directionality but everything comes through really well especially during the action sequences. I spot checked the English dub and everything was pretty much the same there as well. I didn't have any issues with dropouts or distortion

Video:
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 the show looks really clear and colourful. Unfortunately it is another NSTC to PAL transfer that results in ghosting; I also noticed some slight shimmering on outside shots with lots of white such as in the first episode on the ferry around window pains etc. Otherwise everything looks really clean and the animation stands up really well even with the above issues.

Packaging:
The front cover for this release is basically the same as the region 1 version with Mai Mikoto and Natsuki in school uniform walking to class. The back has a few shots of the show with a brief synopsis and the Madman technical grid below. The spine and the image underneath the back cover is that of the top half of a Fuka academy uniform which is a nice touch. The OFLC classification is easily removed with the reversible cover.

There is also a Volume 1 plus Art box version available.

Menu:
The main menu takes the same image from the cover with Mai, Mikoto and Natsuki. Wind chimes and outdoor noise is played in the background while animated petals float by, it's a rather calming introduction to the disc. There is no scene index but each episode can be selected from the main menu to play indiviually. All other menus are static images from the show. Everything was easy to access without issue.

Extras:
The extras for volume one are pretty basic with a small gallery of shots from the show, Madman trailers and a promo clip about the show which is un-subtitled. This is pretty much the same as the region 1 release. The character featurettes that are listed as an extra actually play out after each episode; most of these are extra fan service although one was information about Fuka Academy.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I wasn't really familiar with My HiME so when I sat down to watch it I was unsure of what kind of show it was. . While the first episode didn't wow me there were some interesting elements that had peaked my interest.

The first episode introduces us to Mai Tohika and her younger brother Takumi, they are on their way to a new school via ferry and as they travel a girl is found floating in the water, from then on Mai and her brother are thrown into danger at every turn. Their ferry is attacked later that night and another girl comes aboard searching for the first. A battle ensues and we get to see a rather exciting fight between the young girl who was in the water wielding a large sword and this new assailant who is aided by a silver wolf named Duran.

The next episode introduces Fuka Academy and Mai makes quite an entrance continuing on from the end of episode one. The school itself is basically run by the students with teachers only present during classes. We also learn that the young girl that attacked the ferry is named Natsuki Kuga and she also goes to the same school but she doesn't show up to class very much if ever. Natsuki wants to stop girls like Mai and the young girl from the ferry named Mikoto coming to this school.

Mai, Natsuki and Mikoto all posses odd birth marks and the ability to see a red star just below the moon in the sky. The girls are called HiMe's which stands for Highly-Advanced Materializing Equipment and this refers to their ability to call forth weapons and such from pretty much thin air. Mai doesn't know any of this at first but finds out from the head master and later Natsuki. The head master who appears to be a rather young girl herself knew that Mai was a HiME and that was the reason she gave Mai and her brother a scholarship in the first place.

The HiMe are being called to Fuka academy to fight ORPHANS, which appear to be demons of some sort that only the HiMe can fight with their varied powers. Mai doesn't know of her powers but when her brother is threatened by an ORPHAN she summons her element of four gold rings that surround her wrists and ankles. These allow her to float and create fireballs as well as some kind of protective barrier. The fight that ensues was what made the show for me. Mai also gains what is known as a CHILD a creature that bonds with a HiME and helps destroy the Orphans, Duran the wolf in episode one is Natsuki's CHILD and Mikoto's is most likely her sword although it doesn't disappear when not in use but comes to her whenever its name is called. Mai's CHILD is a large white dragon like creature with a sword stuck in its head and is almost overwhelmingly powerful.

Natsuki believes that there is another reason for the HiME being gathered at the school besides fighting ORPHANS and this is why she was trying to stop others. Eventually she accepts that Mai and Mikoto are not going away and she will wait to see what happens. While this is all going on there is the normal school life being led by Mai's new friends and her brother. There are a lot of characters that appear in the opening and while most do appear in these four episodes some are still in the background for the moment.

The show gradually drew me into the story and by the end of episode four I wanted more. The animation and character designs are really fantastic with attractive girls and fan service in every episode. The girls all have an individual look without being the same but with different hair styles. There is plenty of humour in the show as well with Natsuki being the butt of a rather hilarious joke. There does seem to be a more serious story beneath it all and I am looking forward to seeing where the show will take it. The music during the fight scenes works well with a mix of techno beats and operatic singing and is just that little bit different.

In Summary:
School girls who kick ass with lots of fan service and a story that isn't an excuse for T&A what more could you ask for? My HIME was something I wasn't initially drawn to but after the first two episodes I was interested and by episode four I was hooked. I just hope the show can continue to keep my interest and suggest anyone who has thought about checking this show out to do so as soon as possible, its great fun.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language ,English Subtitles ,Character Featurettes,Promo Clip,Trailers

Review Equipment
LG 32LX2D 32" HD LCD TV, Sony DVP-NS50P Progressive scan region free DVD player, Monster component cable, Yamaha TSS-15 Home Theatre Sound System

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