HiME refers to the ability to create solid objects from photons, as well as the females who wield this ability. It stands for Highly-advanced Materializing Equipment. It is a backronym of hime, the Japanese word for princess. All HiMEs have an identical birthmark shaped like the HiME symbol on various points of their bodies, usually the part of their bodies governed by their astrological sign. HiMEs typically are associated with a classical element or some other theme.
In the anime, only a few HiMEs are initially revealed. They are dependent on their most important people for their Childs. There are 13 HiMEs: Natsuki Kuga, Mikoto Minagi, Mai Tokiha, Akane Higurashi, Midori Sugiura, Nao Yuuki, Akira Okuzaki, Yukariko Sanada, Yukino Kikukawa, Alyssa Searrs, Shiho Munakata, Fumi Himeno, and Shizuru Fujino. Of the 13, Alyssa is the only artificially created HiME.
In the manga, HiMEs are public knowledge, with students cheering on battles. HiMEs require Keys to summon their Childs. There are 16 ordinary HiMEs, though it was hinted there might be others in the world: Mai Tokiha, Natsuki Kuga, Yoko Sagisawa, Mikoto Minagi, Akane Higurashi, Haruka Suzushiro, Yukino Kikukawa, Nao Yuuki, Akira Okuzaki, the Three Scale Sisters, Midori Sugiura, Saeko Kuga, Mashiro Kazahana, and Fumi Himeno. In addition to the regular HiMEs, PRINCESSes and QUEENs are also HiMEs but have different characteristics. Unlike in the anime, the HiME in the manga still retain their abilities even after the HiME star has been destroyed.
Element is the name for the objects the HiMEs can create. Most take the form of some kind of weapon, but a couple have non-combat functions such as Yukino's mirrors. All natural HiMEs wield Elements, while artificial HiMEs cannot. As shown in the manga, even if a HiME's element is destroyed, it can simply be reconstituted, though this takes up a notable amount of energy on the HiME's part to do so.
A Child is a creature summoned for battle by a HiME. Most have some origin in mythological beasts or deities. In addition, they seem to be bio-mechanical, as parts of their bodies resemble machinery (e.g. Durran's cannons) while other parts seem to be real flesh (e.g. Kagutsuchi's head).
In the anime, Childs can be summoned anytime after a HiME has accepted her Child. They are linked to a HiME's most important person; when the Child dies, the HiME's most important person also dies, and the HiME loses her powers.
In the manga, a HiME summons a Child by touching her Element to her Key. The death of a Child results in the death of the Key, but the HiME does not lose her powers, and can even acquire a new Key in order to summon her Child again. PRINCESSes and QUEENs do not need Keys to summon their Childs.
In general, the manga Childs are significantly stronger than their anime counterparts, as evident by their much larger size and significantly stronger attacks. This is due to some of the differences between the two stories; in particular, the mortality of the Childs plays a significant role in the anime, whereas in the manga the Childs are intended to be superpowers. In addition, unlike in the anime, where the end of the HiME star meant the HiMEs no longer had abilities or childs, the HiME in the manga retain both their use of elements and the ability to call their respective childs.
Fuka Academy is the private school at which all of the HiMEs are gathered. It has 3 buildings for grade school, middle school, and high school, which are all connected by the Crystal Shrine. Its chairwoman is Mashiro Kazahana. In the original series Fuka Academy had no specific geographical location, other than that it was near a forest and a lake; in My-HiME Destiny it is located in an isolated area of Hokkaidō.
The Fuka Academy Student Council holds more power than typical student councils; they are in charge of student discipline and are partly responsible for school funding. Its president is Shizuru Fujino. In the anime, Reito Kanzaki is the vice president.
The HiME Star is a glowing red object in the sky, located to the lower-right of the moon. It is encircled by a rocky structure similar in shape to the HiME symbol. The HiMEs' powers originate from the Star.
In the anime, only the HiMEs and the First District can see the Star. The Obsidian Prince states in the final episode that the Star is the source of his powers. Its subsequent destruction weakens the Obsidian Lord, allowing him to be destroyed.
In the manga, the HiME Star is visible by all. During the final chapters of the series, it becomes the Obsidian Palace.
An Oufan is a creature the HiMEs fight. They typically have a monstrous form. Nagi Homura is the one generally responsible for summoning Oufans.
In the anime, Alyssa Searrs can also summon Oufans to carry out missions for the Searrs Foundation. Oufans are described the same as Childs, but with a distinct difference - they lack the capability to resonate with the soul of a HiME, and instead are attracted to the emotions at Fuka Academy. In addition, it seems that some human techniques may have some effect on them, as a large, deity shaped Oufan had been sealed in the Fuka Shrine (called a raging god at the time) for about 500 years. It was subsequently released in episode 6 when the seal was accidentally removed and the doors knocked down, though it was quickly destroyed by Midori Sugiura (who was responsible for its release) and her Child, Gakutenou. However, it is possible that the seal was simply a lingering effect of a previous HiME's Element or Child.
In the manga, Mikoto Minagi keeps an Oufan as a pet, which is the focus of chapter 20.
Interestingly, unlike Childs, Oufans appear biological, rather than the biomechanical appearance of other similar creatures (Childs of Mai Hime and Slaves of Mai Otome).
The Searrs Foundation is an ancient organization disguised as an American corporation. They seek to take the powers of the HiMEs for themselves with the help of technology. Alyssa Searrs and Miyu Greer work for Searrs.
In the anime, Searrs uses Alyssa, Miyu, and Father Greer to observe the HiMEs. In episode 14, Searrs sends its private military to take over the school. The coup fails, and Searrs later sends John Smith to make amends with the Obsidian Lord and deal with Miyu.
In the manga, Searrs owns a private school, the Searrs Female Institute, which sends Saeko Kuga and a delegation of PRINCESSes to take over Fuka Academy and open the HiME Star's gate. Searrs later retracts its orders, but the HiME Star is opened anyway.
The Obsidian Prince is a being who is the main antagonist of the series, using the powers of the HiMEs to his own ends. The Obsidian Prince possesses one of the characters, but is not revealed until the final parts of the series. He seeks to recreate the world to his own desires by using the powers of the strongest HiME. In the anime, Reito Kanzaki is the vessel for the Obsidian Prince, while Takumi Tokiha is the vessel in the manga.
District 1 is the organization responsible for gathering the HiMEs at Fuka Academy. They cover up Oufan incidents by controlling the media and erasing the memories of victims. In episode 21, they are shown to work for the Obsidian Lord. Kaiji Sakomizu and Wataru Ishigami, teachers at Fuka Academy, are shown to work for District 1. We are told that the organization was mostly destroyed by Shizuru, who then said that there were 'a few pieces left, here and there'. It is most certainly clear that the three primary heads of the organization, shown talking to Mashiro in an earlier episode, were slain.
This shrine is located in the mountains and has some relationship with Fuka Academy. It is run by Shiho Munakata's grandfather; Shiho herself works there part-time as a miko.
A Key is a being who enables a HiME to summon her Child by touching her Element to the Key. After the Child is summoned, the Key must stay within a certain distance of the HiME or the Child will disappear. That distance is variable with the affections the HiME and her Key feel for each other; the stronger the connection, the greater the distance. Similar to the anime a key may be shared in the same matter as the most important person being shared such is the case for Yuuichi Tate being both Mai Tokiha's and Shiho's key. When the Child dies, the Key dies also; however, unlike in the anime, the HiME retains the ability to materialize her Element, and if she can obtain another Key, she can even regain the ability to summon her Child.
These are artificial HiMEs made by the Searrs Foundation. This acronym stands for Perfect realization of independent access. They can summon Childs without a Key but lack Elements. Their powers come from fragments of the HiME Star worn on their left ears as earrings. Later in the series they become mentally unstable due to the effects of the HiME Star. The PRINCESSes are Shiho Munakata, Alyssa Searrs, Yukariko Sanada, and Saeko Kuga.
These are powerful HiMEs enhanced by the power of the Obsidian Prince. This acronym stands for Quaint Elemental Enchantress. The three QUEENs in the manga are Marie Antoinette, Yang Guifei and Mai Tokiha.
- ↑ My-HiME anime DVD special 16