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Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

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Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:24 pm

Discussion thread for Mai HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event.

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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:47 pm

bump



Ah, the episode that started it all. Mai-HiME Episode 1 was my first ever episode for the series. Most fans were introduced to Mai-HiME via AMVs (blame ShizNat!); I was lame and started from the beginning without any spoiler research. In retrospect, I'm glad I did because the series would eventually stick to my side like super glue.

Episode one, titled "A Girl's most important event!", immediately introduces us to Takumi Tokiha and the main protagonist of the series, Mai Tokiha. Both are excited about heading to their new school by boat, inhaling some fresh air in the process and just having a pleasant time. Suddenly, a shiny red star appears next to the moon, which Mai can only see. Takumi then spots a girl floating in the distance with a sword in hand (who we eventually discover is Mikoto Minagi after her fight with Natsuki in *Natsuki no Prelude.

* Read here:

http://shiznat.webs.com/natsukinopreludeeng.htm )

After recovering the mysterious girl, Mai performs CPR (poorly, according to our moderator ookamidesu...) on the girl. During this, Mai and Takumi casually meet up with Tate Yuuichi and Shiho Munakata, two students also on their way to Fuka Academy. In a more proper meeting together, Takumi reveals that he is entering his first year of middle school. Tate and Mai happen to be first year students in High School and Shiho is in second year of middle school. Mai wonders why the hyperactive Shiho calls Tate her "Big Brother". Tate explains that him and Shiho have been childhood friends, making him kind of an official brother to Shiho.

Later on, Mai and Tate get some time alone and share some very amusing chemistry. Mai accuses the guy of sexual harassment and being a lousy player. LOL! After this exchange, another mysterious girl (Natsuki Kuga) decked out in a biker suit shows up. She introduces herself by kneeing Tate in the gut, following it up with a vicious double axe handle. Now that's how you make an entrance! Natsuki grabs Mai and demands to know where the girl with the sword is. What happens after in a series of amazing fights between both girls and the reveal of Duran, the mecha wolf. Because of the on-going chaos, everyone evacuates except for Mai who tries desperately to escape the ship. Instead, Mai runs into the two mysterious girls fighting each other. In an attempt to protect herself from Duran, Mai unleashes her HiME powers. Natsuki knows what this power is and warns Mai to stay away from Fuka Academy or else she'll die. As the ship sinks, Mai and the mystery girl appear to have drowned...OR NOT! They both wash up ashore on Fuka Academy grounds with the entire school staring at them both. The look on Haruka Suzushiro's face is priceless, setting up for the opening of the second episode.

Mai-HiME Episode 1 kicked off the series really strong. Our protagonist Mai Tokiha is already presented as likable, cares for brother and is willing to save lives of people she doesn't know. Not much is known about Natsuki and Mikoto at this time, but the fights were a great way to sell the action sequences we would soon expect from the series. Natsuki and Mikoto had a tremendous battle here with swords, guns, Duran use, and hair pulling (poor Natsuki! LOL). The best part was watching Mikoto splitting the ship in half with her trademark attack, so bad ass. Great to start to an amazing series and we're not done yet!



+ Likable main character
+ Fun side characters
+ AWESOME FIGHT!
+ Air of mystery surrounding the HiME Star, Fuka Academy and the HiME in general.
-/+ After reading Natsuki no Prelude, Episode 1 should of had flashbacks or even mentions of Natsuki and Mikoto's previous encounter. Then again, Natsuki no Prelude was written after the fact, so it's not really Sunrise's fault.

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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by Kuga Natsuki on Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:14 pm

Hum... Where do I start? o.o Um... I remember being (accidentally) introduced to Mai-HiME (Damn you, ShizNat!)

Spoiler:
I can recall the feeling I felt when I saw the first episode. The first frame of the beginning and the music immediately had gotten my attention. That then I knew the show was going to be good, but I had gotten more than I asked for. The Mikoto encounter, the characters, the very first fight scene - I knew I was completely sold. I was seriously mind-blown when I first saw the fight scene. I just knew the show was going to be awesome. I was not once disappointed Shiho Huit

Amievendoinitrite? Akira Okuzaki
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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:20 pm

Nymphetamine wrote:
Amievendoinitrite? Akira Okuzaki

Yes you are, Nymph. Rewatch month calls for commentary, a review or just overall thoughts on the episode and possibly new things you haven't noticed before. Arika Yumemiya

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When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.
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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by GoldenSun13 on Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:03 am

I'm a day behind, but oh well. I can't quite remember when I first watched this episode; I think I was 17 and was not only discovering my sexuality, but also a lot of yuri anime.

What I do remember is not particularly liking Natsuki at first ^^; Oh how that changed rather quickly. In fact, I've tried many attempts of re-watching Mai Hime that have all failed because I can't get passed episode one and I think that might be the reason. (Whereas I have re-watched Mai Otome over and over again).
Actually, now that I've started watching epi 1, it's because of Tate and Shiho. They piss me off so much Natsuki Kuga I think I cheered when Natsuki did a number on Tate after the second boob incident. When I ignore them though, it's clear that this episode explains the main character, Mai and her brother quite well. It also shows us what is too come with an intense battle, but still leaves us in the dark wanting more.

I wonder if the "irony" of Natsuki's element being ice and the ship sinking like the titanic was purposely done?

I really feel sorry for Natsuki this time round. She was really trying to stop the carnival from happening, but it is inevitable. I didn't really feel this way until quite a ways into the anime for obvious reasons.

...and that's the end of the episode. Now that I know everyone's faces, I really enjoyed the little circle of people surrounding Mai and Mikoto's circle of fire.
ON TO THE NEXT EPISODE!
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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by PostoronnimV on Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:59 am

Well, I started watching Mai-series in the wrong order, I first watched Mai-Otome and I did not really like it... Therefore I was skeptical about Mai-Hime...

But I can say that this first episode did what Mai-Otome failed to, it had caught my interest and very strongly...

Ah, also I remember when I watched this episode for the first time, in the battle between Natsuki and Mikoto, I was so strongly rooting for Mikoto, cuz in Mai-Otome I kinda couldn't (and still can't) stand Natsuki Kruger Natsuki Kruger2 ... I even find it a bit ironic, cuz Natsuki Kuga has ended up as my favorite character, not only in Mai-Hime, but in general... =)
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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by Akamanto on Thu May 18, 2017 10:07 pm

Episode 01! The main players are introduced, and we get a quick preview of their personalities and what their interpersonal dynamics will be like across the show, as well as some nice contrasts for potential development (and potential conflict...). We also get to see the HiME star, some beautifully animated battle scenes, and hints towards some of the more supernatural elements of the plot.

General comments...

I still remember when I first watched this series... I was interested, but I had no idea how much I'd come to love this show, to the point where I'd still love it ~7 years later! ( ͡ᵔ ͜ʖ ͡ᵔ)

I also never noticed some of the details... Like Miroku's hilt, and like Duran's little tail flags.


On the story... ‿︵‿︵‿︵‿ヽ(°□° )ノ︵‿︵‿︵‿︵

I love the pacing. It opens with Mai and Takumi discussing their transfer to a new school, and their dynamic is established as early as the first few seconds of the show. Mikoto appears floating in the water with a magical sword before the intro opening even starts playing, and there's some shenanigans happening with her summoning it from the Depths.

We also see the HiME star and its connection to the cast immediately (complete with a scare chord); we know it's something suspicious, because it's invisible to Takumi, and Natsuki's reaction tells us a lot about the importance of its visibility. It's also panned up to it whenever something plot-relevant occurs, and when we saw the birthmarks, which gives us the common thread that links who we later know to be the HiME.

I do dislike the prevalence of some of the more "anime" scenes, though; Tate is pretty creepy during the CPR scene, and I was glad Shiho stopped that from going on. I also wasn't too fond of Tate getting caught up in the gravitational pull of Mai's admittedly planetary chest, but I definitely sympathise.


On the characters...

There's some good beginnings of what we'll see later evident in the episode, Mai and Takumi especially. They're clearly close, with Takumi being quite shy and reserved, and Mai being overly concerned about him (with due reason, given his habit of forgetting his medicine!). You can sense their affection for each other in every scene, which is nice. I love seeing strong sibling bonds in fiction.

As for Mai, there are some hints towards her general character: she's responsible towards Takumi, perhaps even overly so, and yet she shows reluctance in getting involved with saving Mikoto's life. Some nods towards her being the "mom friend", too, like asking Tate how much waitresses earn, taking care of Takumi's medicine for him, learning CPR... (Part of me wonders if she knows CPR and is so reluctant to get involved because of how her mother died - through trauma related to drowning. I dunno if that's me reading too much into it, though...)

She's extremely relatable, as well. A lot of anime protagonists are "nice", but almost a caricature of niceness, to the point where I can't actually see them as being believable characters. "Nice" and "friendly" becomes their entire personality trait. Here, Mai is totally a bit defensive and rude towards someone she initially dislikes, being quite sarcastic, despite her being otherwise a friendly person. I also like that her response to all this weird stuff happening is a delayed freakout, where she clearly has trouble processing all that's going on.

Some nice juxtapositions with later in the series, where Mai attempts to dismiss all outside pressures because she just wants to take care of him, but ultimately ends up getting involved regardless. The scene where she walks away in a trance with the sprinkler system on is a nice parallel with the latter half of the series, where she's also struggling to come to terms with ongoing events.

I did laugh when Mai was like, "I have no choice but to wear this uniform!" - Don't lie, Tokiha! We know you just love playing dress-up. You couldn't wait to get into that police officer getup during the episode 16 karaoke. I see right through you. ( o˘◡˘o)

As for Natsuki, well... You can see this girl is badass, capable, and has an agenda she's fulfilling. Even though she's clearly in the most antagonistic role so far, what with attacking Mikoto and Mai towards the end, you can tell she's pursuing something and it's not out of malice. It's also fun to be introduced to the outfit she spends 90% of her time throughout the rest of the show wearing, and it's a funny tonal dissonance to have Mai and Tate bickering only for her to come in and knee him in the stomach! And the reaction to her hair being pulled... Very cute. (°∀°;; )

Don't have many detailed thoughts on the others. Although I don't like loli characters, I have to admit that I am somewhat fond of Shiho, and I do feel very sorry for what she goes through in the series. Tate is a bit of a jerk, and I wasn't sold on him at this point when I first watched. I get that it's accidentally perversion as a symptom of being an Anime Male Love Interest, and, having watched it already, I do like Tate's and Mai's friendship dynamic, but still...

I do appreciate that Tate is very obviously positioned in a supporting role, though! It's nice to see prominent male characters that don't completely usurp the plot or spotlight from the main females.


On the aesthetics...

The fight scenes were exciting, the animation is solid, and, for the most part, the style itself is done pretty well, even if it is pretty dated by now. I'm writing this from watching a 1080p HD rip from the Blu-ray, but even when I saw it first, the production values were high.

The design of the CHILDs and the elements remains awesome, although we only get to see Duran and Miroku as a sword here. I also love the design of the characters; they're simple, but they work pretty well. I'm fairly certain that Natsuki was the one who kicked off my love of ice users in fantasy fiction, urban or otherwise...

I shouldn't even need to mention the soundtrack, right? This show kicked off my love for Kajiura, and, from it, my love of FictionJunction and Kalafina. In short, the soundtrack is great!

Same goes for the voice acting. We don't hear much from Mikoto yet, and Tate can be a little wobbly, and loli voices grate on me a little, but overall... Fantastic. Chiba Saeko (Natsuki) and Nakahara Mai (Mai) stand out to me here, to the surprise of nobody. Some really great acting to start off, and it only gets better as the series goes on.


Some screenshots...

I went a little overboard (haha) here, but...

Characters: Mai and Takumi, Tate succumbing to the passions of youth, Mai wanting to dress up, Mai teasing Tate, Natsuki's first explosive introduction, Mikoto, Mai (post-battle), Natsuki's forced hair loss, Mai's escape, Nagi. And here's some of the crew!
Miscellaneous: Miroku, Natsuki's guns, Duran (front), Duran (back), Fuka shot.

For all the screenshots, see here. I take so many per episode that it seems a shame to not share them all.


On the preview and special...

I wasn't sure whether to include comments on this, since they're short, more on the joking side, or just expository, but I decided it can't hurt to give my brief thoughts!

For the episode preview: I like this one a lot. I'm also using this to further my headcanon that Natsuki is lowkey really into bad puns, and frequently tries them out on Shizuru. Although Shizuru doesn't find them that funny in and of themselves, she laughs anyway because she thinks it's cute that Natsuki makes them. (¬‿¬)

For the special: While this is definitely prioritising the fanservice, it still has some nice comments on Mai's character and her situation. It's definitely difficult to confront the maturation into adulthood even when you have a healthy home life, and Mai's reluctance to acknowledge the physical evidence of that shift is actually kinda sad. I mean, she doesn't want to grow up without her mom, and she's jealous that other girls get to go through the symbolic rite of passage with their parents and she doesn't.


Last edited by Akamanto on Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:33 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added a link to all of my episode screenshots.)
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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by Luu Sky Sapphire on Mon May 22, 2017 10:51 pm

Loved your rundown of Mai-HiME Episode 1, Akamanto! You exploited how much detail the episode contained, and how much character we the audience have to work with for future episodes. We don't know exactly why Natsuki is after Mikoto, but it's pretty damn important. In fact, we are Mai Tokiha in episode 1. Wondering what the hell is going on!? Episode 2 is the start of the slow burner unraveling~ Mai-HiME is only 26 episodes, but because every episode is so well paced, nothing ever felt rushed. The Orphan Arc gives us enough to know about the HiME, without revealing true motives in store for the Carnival Arc...

I'D LIKE TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER REWATCH IN THE FUTURE! WITH LIVE COMMENTARY ON SKYPE! BUT FIRST, FUNIMATION HAS TO RELEASE THE BLU RAYS. I INSIST ON OWNING THE SERIES IN 1080p quality before starting a group commentary~ It's my own personal celebration of our beloved show getting a proper home video release~

Akamanto wrote:
For the special: While this is definitely prioritising the fanservice, it still has some nice comments on Mai's character and her situation. It's definitely difficult to confront the maturation into adulthood even when you have a healthy home life, and Mai's reluctance to acknowledge the physical evidence of that shift is actually kinda sad. I mean, she doesn't want to grow up without her mom, and she's jealous that other girls get to go through the symbolic rite of passage with their parents and she doesn't.

It was clever of Sunrise staff to express Mai's plight through fanservice. Her impressive chest does symbolize adulthood in spades! ruby

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When Shizuru said "Ara" for the first time, the "Ara" broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies.
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Re: Mai-HiME Episode 1: A Girl's Most Important Event

Post by Akamanto on Tue May 23, 2017 4:17 pm

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:Loved your rundown of Mai-HiME Episode 1, Akamanto! You exploited how much detail the episode contained, and how much character we the audience have to work with for future episodes.
Haha, hopefully it wasn't too literary. I can get very "let's analyse why the curtains are blue!" when it comes to things I really like, so I can read way too much from way too little.

It's fun, though.  (´-ω-`)

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:In fact, we are Mai Tokiha in episode 1.
That's another good thing! Mai works as a super cool audience surrogate, but with her own personality. A lot of the time, surrogates end up pretty vapid so most people can relate to them and superimpose their own reactions onto the character, but Mai stands out as her own person while still being effective.

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:The Orphan Arc gives us enough to know about the HiME, without revealing true motives in store for the Carnival Arc...
Yeah! I love that it gave us 16 episodes to get used to these characters and how they interact with each other before hitting them with the Pain Train™️. I got so attached to everyone goofing off and bonding with each other, so those bonds eventually unravelling... Dang. It hit me so hard.

But! ฅ(•ㅅ•❀)ฅ It also makes rewatching the first ~16 eps that much more rewarding. I love seeing them be so light-hearted and bonding all over again.

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:I'D LIKE TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER REWATCH IN THE FUTURE! WITH LIVE COMMENTARY ON SKYPE! BUT FIRST, FUNIMATION HAS TO RELEASE THE BLU RAYS. I INSIST  ON OWNING THE SERIES IN 1080p quality before starting a group commentary~ It's my own personal celebration of our beloved show getting a proper home video release~
Oooh! Another rewatch! Σ!(◎ ͜ʖ├┬┴┬┴ And with live commentary! How enticing.

I really hope they release a blu-ray in the west! It's so expensive to buy any CDs from Japan, let alone the cost of shipping and importing. Hell, I'm still saving up for Otome on DVD.

Luu Sky Sapphire wrote:It was clever of Sunrise staff to express Mai's plight through fanservice. Her impressive chest does symbolize adulthood in spades! ruby
You could even say that her characterisation is... robust. Right? ☆⌒(≧▽​° ) Hahahaha.


Last edited by Akamanto on Wed May 24, 2017 11:43 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo.)
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