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Akane Higurashi (日暮あかね, Higurashi Akane?) is a fictional character in the anime and manga series My-HiME. In the alternate universe sequel My-Otome and its manga series she is known as Akane Soir. She is voiced by Junko Iwao in Japanese and Morgan Partridge in English.
Akane is a hardworking, bashful girl with short brown hair and light brown eyes. She is very close to Kazuya, and her character tends to have an association with tigers and the element of wind.
My-HiMEIn My-HiME Akane is a classmate of Natsuki Kuga and works part-time as a waitress with Mai Tokiha and Midori Sugiura at the Linden Baum diner. She is shown to be dating Kazuya Kurauchi, Mai's classmate, who also works at the diner. She is also seen text messaging Kazuya during class with her cellphone. It is implied by Chie that Kazuya and Akane have difficult family lives, though this is not elaborated on.
In episode 5 an Orphan attacks the bus she is riding on, though Akane manages to escape mostly unharmed. She is timid around Miyu Greer, who was also present at the accident, though the exact reason is not revealed immediately. In episode 8 during the Founder's Day festival Akane takes Kazuya into the woods to tell him something, but is interrupted by Miyu, who asks Akane to help her against an Orphan. Akane then reluctantly summons her Element, a pair of tonfa and her Child - a tiger-like creature named Hari - and defeats the Orphan. She asks Kazuya to forgive her and is afraid that he will be terrified, only to learn that he accepts her, and the two share a kiss.
However, Miyu reveals herself to be a cyborg sent to gather information on the HiME, and proceeds to kill Hari in front of a screaming Akane. Kazuya then collapses and dissolves into green sparks in Akane's arms, and Nagi Homura appears to tell Akane that the true price of being a HiME is losing a loved one if defeated. Rumors begin circulating that she and Kazuya have eloped, and it is through this mistaken impression that Mai begins to wonder about her feelings for Reito Kanzaki.
Akane is later seen in a mental institution screaming for Kazuya by Natsuki Kuga, who eventually rescues her and puts her in a safe place. When the HiME and their loved ones are revived by Mashiro Kazahana, Akane is reunited with Kazuya and fights the final battle. At the end of the series she and Kazuya are seen together.
In the manga, Akane is introduced as a HiME much earlier. Kazuya is her Key, meaning that she needs physical contact with him to summon her Child, though she is too shy to do this for the most part. She rescues Mikoto Minagi during part of the manga, though this occurs "off screen". Unlike her anime counterpart, Akane retains her powers until the very end. During the manga's rendition of the final battle, she serves as the defense of Fuuka Academy and eventually uses her Child to block a beam attack from the HiME Star intended to kill the entire student body, much in the vein of Mwu La Flaga of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.
Element and ChildAkane wields a pair of tonfa with both and upper and lower part to them as her Element that allow her to manipulate wind currents and slice foes with them. Her Child, Hari, resembles a tiger and is able to manipulate wind currents to slash at enemies before drawing them into a vacuum to crush them. Her HiME mark is located on her left upper back near her shoulder blade.
In My-Otome Akane Soir is the leader of the Trias, the top students at Garderobe, and hails from Cardair. Erstin Ho and Irina Woods are her room attendants and she is in a relationship with Kazuya Krau-xeku, one of the princes of Cardair. She is cautious about going too far physically with him, and becomes conflicted between her dream of becoming a Meister and her love for him. When the King of Florence, Charles Guinel Roy d'Florince VIII, comes seeking a new Otome Akane is assigned, and nearly becomes his Otome before Kazuya arrives at the ceremony and elopes with her.
It is later shown that Kazuya was taken by Cardair guards right before he and Akane could consummate their relationship, and that Akane was arrested by the 5th Column Mahya Blythe in episode 24 and forcefully contracted to Kazuya, the new king of Cardair, with Mahya declaring that she will not let the couple do anything "H" (essentially meaning not allowing them to have sex).
Akane returns in My-Otome Zwei as one of the Otome involved in Operation Meteor Breaker in a non-speaking role, and features in Episode 3 with several other Otome in a bathhouse in Artai while the SOLT is taking place. King Kazuya (wearing a chastity belt) is with her where it revealed that they haven't given up on their relationship, despite Mahya's repeated foiling of their plans to have sex.
In the manga she is still one of the Pearls and one quarter of the Trias. She temporarily leaves Garderobe in an attempt to find the missing Kazuya, and was willing to give up her Otome-hood (virginity) to be with him. She changes her mind after learning that he is a member of Schwarz and proceeds to "deal with him" after he attacks Arika and attempts to mate with her using a tentacled SLAVE. She eventually gained the Robe of her anime counterpart, although how this came about was unexplained.
Akane's GEM, the Pure Heart Malachite (清恋の孔雀石, Seiren no Kujakuishi?), gives her a Robe that resembles a cat girl. Unlike the Meister forms of the other returning HiME characters, the robe's design appears to be based loosely on KibaRanger from Gosei Sentai Dairanger rather than the Child of Akane's HiME counterpart. This continues the trend of tokusatsu parodies found throughout My-HiME and My-Otome.
Although the exact capabilities of this robe have not been shown in any major work, the PS2 My-Otome game depicts Akane with some sort of beam-generated tonfa (a direct reference to her original Element) capable of creating dangerous wind storms.
- She shares her first name "Akane" with Akane Tendo, the lead female of Ranma ½, and her surname "Higurashi" with Kagome Higurashi, the lead female of Inuyasha. Both Ranma ½ and Inuyasha are manga by Rumiko Takahashi.
- Akane's Otome surname of "Soir" references the kanji in her My-HiME incarnation's name, as both mean "evening" in their respective languages of French and Japanese.
- Her Child Hari's name is believed to be derived from Harimau, the Indonesian word for Tiger.
Popular Culture References
- For the majority of the original series, Akane is the first character to demonstrate the mysterious mentally damaged state a HiME is left in after being defeated. Her bumbling characteristics seem to mirror the condition Kamille Bidan was left in at the end of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, another popular Sunrise series that My-HiME and My-Otome often parody.
- Kazuya is also the first character to depict the "greensparkle" death effect, which is a direct reference to the green Newtype power effects shown in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack.