My-HiME Vol. #6 - Mania.com



Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

0 Comments | Add

 

Rate & Share:

 

Related Links:

 

Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: Beez
  • MSRP: 19.99‚
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: My-Hime

My-HiME Vol. #6

By Bryan Morton     February 01, 2008
Release Date: October 22, 2007


My-HiME Vol. #6
© Beez


What They Say
While the red star causes worldwide terror and destruction, the battle royale between the HiME is in full swing with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. The HiME will choose which side they will fight on, some out of fear… some out of hatred... and some out of love. As the death-toll rises, Mai wonders why their destiny is so cruel and decides to seek out the Obsidian Prince, the source of the cycle of misery the HiME are forced to endure. The end of times is upon us. What would you sacrifice to break your curse?

Episodes Comprise
22 – Collapse
23 – Love & Friendship, Heartlessness
24 – Love is as Battle
25 – The Moment of Destiny
26 – Shining Days

The Review!
Every so often you come across a series whose ending would be perfect if you could just cut out one or two little things – and there's nothing quite as frustrating as watching something come so close and still miss out on greatness. My-HiME is sadly one of those shows – but there's still plenty of fun to be had with it…

Audio:
Plenty of language options here, as usual for a Beez release, with Japanese, English and French 2.0 tracks available. I stuck to the Japanese track for this release. There's good use made of the sound stage for effects and background sound, particularly during action scenes, while dialogue for the most part is fixed to the centre channel. Music tends to feature quite heavily during battle scenes and adds to the atmosphere without getting to the point where it drowns out other sounds. There were no obvious problems.

Video:
Originally released in 2004, this is a 1.33:1 full-frame series. As for most Sunrise series, production values are quite high and the show mostly just looks great, with plenty of vibrant colours, background detail and fluid animation. The transfer seems to be free of any problems.

Packaging:
My-HiME continues its run of decent cover images, with Mikoto, Mai and Natsuki featuring in an image that looks like their everyday school life – far different from what's on this disc. The rear cover has the usual promotional paragraph, along with some images from the show and the disc's technical information.

Menu:
Menus are available in English, French, and Dutch, selectable when the disc loads. I used the English version. The main screen is a static image of Kanzaki and Tate, back-to-back in the Obsidian Prince's cave and looking very unhappy, with a series of clips from the show running alongside. An instrumental version of the opening theme plays throughout. Submenus are provided for episode selection, language setup and extras – there's a rather long transition animation whenever you select a main menu option which soon gets annoying, but apart from that it all works as you'd expect.

Extras:
Following the trend set by the previous volumes, there are five more mini-episodes (featuring 2 of Natsuki, Mikoto, Mai, and Question Box Part 2: the Secret of Fuka, as explained by Midori). As with the last volume, these are a bit more serious than usual, reflecting the show's tone across these episodes. There's also a production art slideshow, and creditless versions of the show's opening and closing credits.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
While her classmates wonder about what's going on around them, Mai has a choice to make: she can either fight the remaining HiME, or she can try and free the girls from their destiny by defeating the Obsidian Prince - although as yet, she doesn't know who that is, or how she's going to defeat him. Tate's been growing ever more concerned about Mai, and tries to track her down and see how she is - but having lost Takumi already, she's not in any frame of mind for allowing anyone else to get close to her. Natsuki, meanwhile, takes time out with Shizuru to recover from her near-defeat at Nao's hands (although Shizuru's obession with Natsuki is beginning to reach worrying levels of intensity), while Midori sets about resolving matters in her own way...

Circumstances have dictated that There Shall Be Only One, and so we get five episodes of almost wall-to-wall confrontation – and not all of the combatants are the people you'd expect to see. While fighting has been a big part of My-HiME from the start, we haven't had it on quite this scale before, and the animators have really pulled out all the stops to make the big scenes look suitably impressive. If you like your action with lots of whizz, bang and other eye- and ear-candy, then this volume delivers on all counts.

They've even managed to keep most of the story aspects intact, too, with several relationship issues resolved for better or worse, and plenty of heartache to go around as HiME are defeated and their loved ones pay the resulting price. Given that at this point there's something like 10 HiME still in the game, you can probably work out that the story moves forward at speed, with very little time taken for characters to have a breath and the action fast & furious. It certainly does no harm to the disc's watchability, and there are a few surprises & no-win situations along the way to keep you on the toes. Could you fight the person who loves you most, knowing that winning will cost you your life? Or stand on the sidelines of another battle knowing that whoever wins, you lose? It's that sort of dilemma that makes parts of this disc so watchable.

But it's not all perfect. The Obsidian Prince may be back on the scene, but there no indication of what he's here for – all this fighting and mayhem, and we're never any the wiser as to what it's all about. Here's a cycle which has been repeating for hundreds of years or longer – you would think there would be some sort of mythology that the audience could be filled in on, but no. It Just Is – accept that it's happening and move on. To me, that's cheating.

Also cheating is the use of the big red Reset Button to make sure that Mai's not alone when the time for the final confrontation finally comes – and so rather than getting a suitably epic confrontation to round things out, we get the odds heavily tilted in Mai's favour and a lot of the suspense and drama taken right out of the show's climax – and I get just a little bit riled at things that have happened being undone.

I can live with it, though. Across the series as a whole, My-HiME has been consistently entertaining, with an almost perfect balance of comedy and more serious moments. I've been watching anime long enough to know that nothing's perfect – you can't quite turn a blind eye to the show's flaws, but you can certainly forgive them simply because the show is so entertaining.

In summary:
This volume of My-HiME does really well up until the final episode, where the urge to go for the happy ending just got too much for the writers – but it's hardly the first show to do that and won't be the last. For the most part, we get an all-action finale with the resolutions of some good character stories thrown in for good measure, and it's thoroughly enjoyable throughout. A suitably good ending for a very enjoyable series.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,French Language 2.0,English Subtitles,French Subtitles,Dutch Subtitles,Mini-episodes 22-26,Production Sketches,Textless Opening & Closing Sequences

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES



Be the first to add a comment to this article!


ADD A COMMENT

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.

POPULAR TOPICS