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Mai Tokiha

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Mai Tokiha (鴇羽 舞衣 Tokiha Mai?) is a character from the My-HiME and My-Otome anime and manga series. She is voiced by Mai Nakahara in Japanese and Carol-Anne Day in English.

Common characteristics

Mai is depicted with short red hair and a rather large bust. She is typically cast as a sisterly friend of Mikoto, the guardian of her brother Takumi Tokiha, a close friend to Natsuki Kuga but usually at odds with her, and a potential love interest of Yuuichi Tate and Reito Kanzaki. She is associated with fire, and in all series wields 4 large golden rings with magatama as weapons. She also uses a mitsu tomoe as her symbol. Running gags include Mikoto burying her face in Mai's chest or Mikoto otherwise being possessive of her, Mai's bust size, and her cooking abilities.

My-HiME anime

Mai is the protagonist of the My-HiME anime series. She is portrayed as a self-reliant person, hesitant to tell others about her problems. She is a first-year high school student, and her roommate is Mikoto Minagi. Her stated hobbies are working part-time jobs and taking care of Takumi.[1]

In episode 1, Mai and her brother Takumi take a ferry to their new school, Fuka Academy. On the trip, Mai meets Yuichi Tate, with whom she begins a love-hate relationship. Mai resuscitates a girl who was found in the river, Mikoto Minagi. Mikoto and a mysterious attacker (later shown to be Natsuki Kuga) battle on the ferry, revealing magical powers; during this battle, Mai finds out she has powers similar to the two.

Mai meets and befriends many other students, including Mikoto and Natsuki, in episodes 2 and 3. Being informed by Nagi Homura that her brother is in a nearby forest, she finds him under attack by an Orphan. Mai's materializes her Elements for the first time and also acquires her Child, Kagutsuchi, which she uses to defeat the Orphan.

In the following episodes, Mai continues to fight Orphans along with Mikoto and Natsuki, becoming especially close to Mikoto. Mai picks up a part-time job at the Lindem Baum restaurant, where she works with her future teacher Midori Sugiura. She begins a romantic relationship with Reito Kanzaki, whom she reveals her HiME powers to in episode 8. In episodes 14 and 15 Mai joins with the other known HiME in freeing Fuka Academy from Searrs' control. Mai and Kagutsuchi block Alyssa Searrs' attack and defeat her Child.

Beginning with episode 17, Mai becomes more unsure of her desires; she cannot decide between Yuichi and Reito, and she feels abandoned when Takumi starts to be more independent. Mai attempts to stop the fighting between HiME and instructs Mikoto not to fight. She later becomes enraged at Mikoto when in episode 20 it appears the latter is responsible for the death/disappearance of Takumi, although Mai herself feels responsible as well.

Mai becomes increasing attracted to Yuichi, leading up to episode 24 when Yuichi saves her from defeat at Yukariko Sanada's hands. A phantom HiME who had been attacking Mai in previous episodes reveals herself to be Shiho Munakata, Yuichi's childhood friend and Mai's romantic rival. Shiho's defeat by Mikoto leads to the death of Yuichi, driving Mai into despair.

In episode 25 she resolves to stop the Obsidian Lord, who is behind the carnival. Nagi leads her to the Obsidian Palace where the Obsidian Lord (in Reito's body) and Mikoto are waiting. In her battle with Mikoto in episode 26, she declares her love for Mikoto, breaking the Obsidian Lord's control over her. Mai later defeats the Obsidian Lord with Kagutsuchi, returning school life to normal.

Element and Child

Mai tokiha with her Element and Child

Mai tokiha with her Element and Child

In the anime, Mai's elements are a set of 4 golden rings around her arms and legs. The rings allow her to use fiery attacks and levitate. Mai also is capable of creating a barrier around herself to block attacks. Mai's HiME mark is located on her right breast,[2] which is said to be controlled by Cancer, her Zodiac sign.

Her Child is Kagutsuchi, a dragonlike creature capable of spitting destructive fiery balls. It also is capable of melee fighting, and has a jet mode which allows it to travel at high speeds.[3] The sword in its head, the Sword of Sealing, made by the Obsidian Lord, acts as a seal on its powers, allowing the Obsidian Lord to surpress it when needed. During the final battle, the HiME's attack on the HiME star weakens the Obsidian Lord and destroys the sword, loosening the control and allows Mai to kill Obsidian Lord.

In the manga, she starts of with her trademark rings but is already fairly skilled at fighting. Her Key is Yuuichi Tate, and her Child is Kagutsuchi.

When she becomes a QUEEN, she becomes more powerful and is able to summon a darker Kagutsuchi without the use of a Key. She gains two larger rings floating behind her back, in addition to her standard 4 rings.[4]

In the final battle, Kagutsuchi draws itself into the sword stuck in its head, creating the Sword of Kagutsuchi which Mai, Yuuichi and Natsuki wield.

My-HiME manga

In the My-HiME manga series, Mai is still a hardworking person who fusses over Takumi and is reluctant to tell others of her troubles. She is a current student at Fuuka Academy and part of the Anti-Orphan Squad. She and Natsuki are fierce rivals, each one despising the other's attitude.

Mai first appears in chapter 1, crying and passing by Yuuichi. She later is seen in a battle with Natsuki, during which Mai learns that Yuuichi is her (and Natsuki's) Key. Mai, Tate and Natsuki quickly form a love triangle.

Although Mai initially pushes Yuuichi away, they become closer while fighting off Orphans and the Ori-HiME Team in the following chapters. In chapter 22, Mai and Yuuichi kiss while she is recovering in the infirmary, a fact which other characters seemingly know about and later causes emotional stress for Natsuki.

When Mai learns of the link between Childs and Keys in chapter 26, she pushes Yuuichi away so as not to risk getting him killed. She almost becomes a PRINCESS, but instead joins with the Anti-Orphan Squad in chapter 28 to prevent Searrs from opening the Gate to the HiME Star. She and Yuuichi defeat Mikoto and Shiho and make it to the Gate just before Saeko Kuga opens it in chapter 35.

While the Anti-Orphan Squad decides what to do in chapter 36, Mai finds out that Takumi has died from his illness. In the next chapter, Mai once again pushes Yuuichi away from her and falls into depression. She stays at the hospital and is witness to her brother's awakening as the Obsidian Lord. Mai joins her brother's side and becomes the last of the QUEENs.

QUEEN Mai is confronted by Yuuichi and Natsuki in chapter 39, and after a battle is convinced to stop her brother. They confront Takumi, but he is absorbed by the HiME Star and used to create the Star's Child in chapter 43. Mai, Yuuichi, and Natsuki defeat the Child and saved Takumi by using the Sword of Kagutsuchi.

My-Otome Anime

In the My-Otome anime series, Mai Tohika is a much more relaxed and carefree person (to Natsuki's consternation), but still has good cooking skills. Despite her attitude, she is knowledgeable about Otome and political affairs, due to her status as a princess.[5]

Mai appears as a silhouette and in pictures in My-Otome episodes before her onscreen appearance, being referenced as the legendary "Tragic Meister" by other characters. It is not until episode 23 that she finally shows her face onscreen when Arika, Mashiro, and Miyu arrive in the Black Valley. Mai lives there and serves as the Otome to Mikoto the Cat Goddess.

While Arika trains with Mikoto, Mai teaches Mashiro to become a better queen, due to the former position as royalty and Otome. Also, as a fellow Otome, Mai gives her teachings and supports to Arika whenever and whatever possible. Mai and Mikoto escort Arika and Mashiro back to Windbloom, and Mai does battle against Nagi's forces.

In the first episode of the My-Otome Zwei OVA, Mai has set up a ramen shop in the Cat God Mountain Park, which Mashiro visits for food and advice. After a huge Slave appears, Mai and Arika do battle against it, combining their attacks to defeat it. However, before the two can celebrate, a shadowy being knocks Mai into the roof of a building and the Mountain vanishes. The next episode reveals that Mai and Mashiro have been missing since the incident. In the third episode shows that they have been relocated to an island somewhere otherwise unharmed.

In the 4th and final episode of My-Otome Zwei OVA, Mai's Child, Kagutsuchi, from the My-HiME Series, makes a surprise cross-over appearance having been summoned/created by the Founder of Garderobe, Fumi Himeno, and battles Mai (at one point, Mai is seen trapped between Kagutsushi's jaws while keeping herself from being crushed). She eventually defeats Kagutsuchi in an ironic twist by tearing out the sword embedded in its head (for the My-HiME incarnation, the sword acts as a seal to Kagutsuchi's powers), which results in Kagutsuchi being turned into a (very docile) small white kitten with a bandage on its forehead and wings on its back.

The 8th My-Otome DVD omake reveals the truth behind the "Tragic Meister" legend.

Gem

Mai's Elements are rings are similar to their My-HiME incarnations. She can also project a huge ring from her belt which she uses to accelerate and perform a fiery aerial attack. In My-Otome Zwei, she allows Arika to dash through the large ring to form a potable combo attack. On a funnier note, she also cooks by using her rings as portable stoves.

Mai's GEM is the Fire Stirring Ruby (炎綬の紅玉 Enju no Kōgyoku?) (spelled Fire Starring Ruby in her My-Otome Zwei and My-Otome PS2 game materialization sequences). Mikoto the Cat Goddess swallowed the Gem's ring, making her Mai's master. During her materialization sequence, Mai's GEM displays "Unknown" as her contract.[5]

My-Otome manga

In the My-Otome manga series, Mai first appears at the end of chapter 31, the first of the HiMEs to be revived by Fumi. Sergay calls her the strongest HiME from the legend of "Seven Days of Flame" who burnt the world to the ground, citing her as an example of the superiority of the original HiMEs over the modern 乙–type HiMEs.[6]

This Mai has a bitter, nihilistic attitude. She becomes infuriated when Mashiro Blan de Windbloom's attitude reminds her of Yuuichi. She is defeated by Mashiro in chapter 42 and reunited with the spirit of Yuuichi.

The photograph held by the real Mashiro in chapter 42 reveals that her mother, the Empress of Windbloom, strongly resembles Mai. However, no information about her is given.

Powers

The resurrected Mai displays the same powers as her My-HiME manga counterpart, having a strong resemblance to her QUEEN form. Her Kagutsuchi similarly resembles the dark Kagutsuchi from the My-HiME manga.

Name origins

Mai is the titular lead of My-HiME. The series' title can be interpreted as "My Princess", "Princess Mai", "Dancing Princess", or simply as "HiME Mai". The different meanings of My-HiME are used throughout the various series.

Kagutsuchi is named after Kagu-tsuchi, the Japanese god of fire. Its story of burning up its mother relates to Mai's story in the My-HiME anime, and the sword in its head is a reference to Kagu-tsuchi's beheading.

References

  1. My-HiME anime, episode 19
  2. My-HiME anime, episode 1
  3. My-HiME anime, episode 15
  4. My-HiME manga, chapter 39, page 19
  5. 5.0 5.1 My-Otome anime, episode 23
  6. My-Otome manga, chapter 32, page 5

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