|My-HiME's version of Mai Tokiha|
Mai is depicted with short red/orange 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. She has a fear of spiders in both anime and manga. 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.
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.
In episode 1, Mai and her brother Takumi take a ferry to their new school, Fuka Academy. On the trip, Mai meets Yuuichi 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 Yuuichi 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 disappearance of Takumi, although Mai herself feels responsible as well.
Initially, Mai and Yuuichi did not get along well, though they softened towards each other somewhat following episode 5, when Mai breaks down and is comforted by Yuuichi. Later, Mai becomes increasingly attracted to Yuuichi. She tries to distance herself from him, to spare him the fate of being a HiME's most important person. Despite this, in episode 24, Yuuichi 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, Yuuichi's childhood friend and Mai's romantic rival. Shiho's defeat by Mikoto leads to the death of Yuuichi, 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. The Obsidian Lord offers Mai a chance to be the Eve to his Adam, but she refuses. The Obsidian Lord says she can't fight because she's lost Yuuichi, but Mai proves otherwise and summons Kagutsuchi. She says that Yuuichi might be gone, but her feelings for him remain. In her battle with Mikoto in episode 26, she declares her love (in a sisterly context) for Mikoto, breaking the Obsidian Lord's control over her. Yuuichi is revived and rescues Mai during the battle with the Obsidian Lord. Yuuichi confesses his love for Mai, much to her pleasant surprise. Mai later defeats the Obsidian Lord with Kagutsuchi, returning school life to normal.
Element and Child
In the anime, Mai's elements are a set of 4 golden rings with magatama around her wrists and ankles. The rings allow her to use fire-based attacks and the power of flight. Mai also is capable of creating barriers around herself to block attacks. Mai's HiME mark is located on her right breast, which is said to be controlled by Cancer, her Zodiac sign.
Her Child is Kagutsuchi, a dragon-like creature capable of expelling destructive fire balls and laser-like thermal blasts. Named after a Japanese god of the same name, it is also somewhat associated with whales and dolphins (hence the fin-like protrusions on its face and the sounds which it communicates with). Another obvious reference is the legendary bird phoenix as Kagutsuchi is shown to be able to be reborn from fire (the fiery feathers it shed on an occasion and the general connection to fire further confirm that). Kagutsuchi also is capable of melee fighting, and has a jet mode which allows it to travel at high speeds. 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 suppress 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 Kagutsuchi full access to all its power to destroy the Obsidian Lord within Reito.
In the beginning of the series, Kagutsuchi appears to be by far the strongest Child among other HiME's childs. Toward the end of the series, when stronger Childs appear (e.g. Shizuru's Kiyohime and Mikoto's real Miroku), Kagutsuchi's power is challenged. However, when its seal is finally removed, it is doubtful that there is any Child that can come close to its power. Interestingly, Kagustuchi is also the only child shown to actually resist death; once, when Alyssa attacked Mai and her friends with Artemis' Golden Lightning, Mai sacrificed herself by flying herself and Kagutsuchi into the path of the lightning, protecting everyone while incinerating herself and Kagutsuchi. However, Kagutsuchi merely reformed into its jet form, Mai regenerating on top of its head and, without Mai's command or consent, flew into space, dodging all of Atremis' subsequent attacks and destroying the other child. Though Mai seemingly died (again) in the explosion, she was shown alive and well the very next day..
In the manga, she starts off with her trademark rings already as a HiME and is fairly skilled at fighting. Her Key is Yuuichi Tate, and her Child is Kagutsuchi.
When she becomes a QUEEN, she becomes even more powerful and is able to summon a darker Kagutsuchi without the use of a Key. She gains two larger rings of fire floating behind her back, in addition to her standard 4 rings.
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 to bring down the HiME STAR CHILD that had absorbed her brother. However, unlike in the anime, Kagutsuchi remains after the HiME star is destroyed, as the CHILD is the product of the HiME and the Key rather than on the HiME Star itself, and is no longer in its sword form.
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 - so much so that she and Yuuichi can't even touch, let alone summon.
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 a deep depression. She stays at the hospital and is witness to her brother's awakening as the Obsidian Lord. Mai eventually 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 against Natsuki's powered up Duran, Yuuichi convinces her to help 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.
At the end of the manga, Mai and Natsuki continue to fight each other over Yuuichi although the two have become friends in all other matters.
In the My-Otome anime series, Mai Tohika is a much more relaxed and carefree person (much 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.
Nobody knew of this since she herself had left her homeland without anyone's knowledge. Keeping it a secret while trying to get admitted into Garderobe, she was luckily found by a wealthy family in the area, who agreed to also sponsor her tuition. She was given the rank of #1 Coral and was roomed alongside the #2 Coral - Natsuki Kruger, who explained much of the Otome system to Mai. The two became fast friends during their time together, with Mai noticeably helping Natsuki become the Room Attendant of Shizuru Viola, the #1 Pearl at that time, despite the stiff competition for that particular role. In battle, she was nearly undefeatable, a streak that continued well into her Pearl year.
When she became Pearl #1, Mai claimed the young Sara Gallagher as her Room Attendant. At graduation, she faced a dilemma that rapidly multiplied itself when the family that was sponsoring her made their desire known that they wanted her to come work as their family's Otome. She agreed on the spot but she was then told that she was chosen, along with Natsuki, to become one of the Five Columns of Garderobe. She also remembered the real reason why she wanted to become an Otome was to help her younger brother, Takumi, who was to become the leader of Zipang. Not knowing what else to do, she took an insanely long 'walk to clear her head' and fell into one of Mikoto's traps, where her GEM was eaten and formed an unofficial contract between them.
Mai first 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. However, when the interior of Backstage, a shop for die-hard Otome fans, was shown, a poster that depicted Mai in her #1 Pearl Uniform was briefly seen. She is also alluded to when Natsuki speaks of her own 'rival' when discussing the Arika/Nina rivalry, and when Prince Takumi Tokiha comes to visit Windbloom. 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 an experienced Senior Meister Otome, Mai shares her experience, cooking skills, knowledge and strength with Arika, and treats her dearly like her younger sister, whenever and whatever possible. Mai and Mikoto escort Arika and Mashiro back to Windbloom, and Mai does battle against Nagi's forces, destroying much of the fleet by herself.
In the 1st 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 3rd episode, it 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, after having been summoned/created by the Founder of Garderobe, Fumi Himeno, and battles Mai fairly evenly power for power (at one point, Mai is seen being pressed between Kagutsushi's jaws and a cliff, trying 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 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. It seems that the origin of the legend stemmed from Natsuki herself in trying to explain Mai's sudden disappearance.
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. Apparently Mai does not need Mikoto's permission, but rather just a kiss on the GEM.
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.
This Mai has a bitter, nihilistic attitude. She becomes infuriated when Mashiro Blan de Windbloom's attitude reminds her of Yuuichi when even he stood up against her despite the prone bodies of several HiME (Mikoto, Midori, etc) that she had already defeated. She eventually is defeated by Mashiro with the help of a spirit by summoning the 'Sword of gakutski' to pierce Mai from a distance in chapter 42. With her spirit released, she reunites with the spirit of her husband and of Mikoto. Before she disappears, she turns to Mashiro, who quickly looks away from the eyes of her mother with a guilt-stricken expression, causing Mai to sorrowfully turn away. Mai is angry at Yuuichi Tate because of what he did to her, although this is later revealed to be a product of 'distorted memories'. She has a very strong power that can destroy the entire city, but became sad when she realized that the only thing she wanted is to destroy the Otomes with her dark flame.
The photograph held by the real Mashiro in chapter 42 reveals that her mother, the Empress of Windbloom, strongly resembles Mai in every way. However, no other information about her is given.
The resurrected 'Dark' Mai displays the same powers, if not stronger and more verstile control, as her My-HiME manga counterpart, having a very strong resemblance to her QUEEN form. She easily defeated both Nina and Arika the first time they met. Also, her Kagutsuchi likewise resembles the 'Dark Kagutsuchi' from the My-HiME manga. With Mikoto tagging along, the two began to systematically destroying any and all resistance to them as they did during the 'Seven Days of Flame'.
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.
- My-HiME anime, episode 19
- My-HiME anime, episode 1
- My-HiME anime, episode 15
- My-HiME manga, chapter 39, page 19
- My-Otome anime, episode 23
- My-Otome manga, chapter 32, page 5