Michiko to Hatchin [Review/Rant]

April 6, 2009

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I’ll be honest, the one thing that attracted me to this anime was the simple fact that the main cast of characters are of color, I probably would have still enjoyed this series had they not been, but then again not as much. I wanted to see where they planned to take this and if they would be able to pull it off in a realistic way. They did and then some. I want to complain before I start my review of this series about the fact that this anime didn’t take off at all and is going to become one of those buried treasure anime’s that no one cares about. I mean it is all about what suits your fancy, but even I go outside of my comfort zone every once in a while, such as when I delve into mecha anime or card-game or whatever such based anime. I mean you can’t knock it till you’ve tried it and unfortunately no one is going to try this, what a shame to, this is one great anime.

Its very Cowboy Bebop-esque, which is to be expected since I believe this comes from the director of said anime series. I mean I got that vibe right from the beginning with the funky and soulful theme that I hate just as much as I hate Cowboy Bebop‘s frantic and Jazzy theme song. The anime starts off with Michiko escaping from a supposedly un-escape able prison (sure…) and then it switches to Hatchin a ten year old mixed girl whose living with some truly cruel people. I mean wow, I don’t condone violence, but I really wanted to beat the shit out of these people. Then just to add further insult to injury, the father of the house is a freaking Priest, who only took Hatchin in so that him and his greedy and hateful family could reap the benefits, what a bastard!

Ah, luckily Michiko busts in through the wall on her motorcycle and whisks Hatchin away. Why? Because apparently she’s Hiroshi’s daughter who he doesn’t give a shit about, or knows about I would think? Michiko’s on a mission to find him, because I guess he’s the love of her life and she wants to be with him, for some reason that is beyond me, but I’ll just say its because dammnit you can’t help who you love even if they’re no good.

The characters in this series are really quite real, even the side and minor characters that we come across throughout the series; each carries a sadness inside of them that is tangible and raw, so it allows you the viewer to relate, which in turn makes this anime quite the experience. I’ll start with Michiko, whose dark-skinned, reckless and very much so hot, I mean even when she gets beat to an inch of her life (which is a lot in this series) she still carries such a beauty that isn’t artificial at all, but natural. I’ll have to say out of all the characters in this series I felt the closest connection to her, because Michiko wants so bad to be that tough girl, but she’s weak and its so incredible to watch her progression throughout the show. I mean she was such a girl in the beginning, but by the end she really became a woman.

Jumbo (that’s her nick name, her real names Atsuko) was a recurring character in the series whose connection with Michiko is the fact that she’s her childhood friend. An what makes her so interesting is that even though she detests Michiko for being Michiko she can’t help but admire her at the same time. I thought she was such a bitch in the beginning, but by the end of the series I gained such a respect for her, because she really redeemed herself by honestly cutting Michiko some much needed slack and stepping back and letting her be her. I mean despite the grudge she holds against her childhood friend, she does really care about her and I’d have to say she loves her to and I say that because honestly when she cried for Michiko at the end of the train escape episode it was really quite emotional and makes me glad that they came to some sort of compromise by the end of the series.

Satoshi another recurring character that I thought they showed too much of, was also real in a villainous kind of way. He’s the shows main antagonist and him and Hiroshi were childhood friends. He grew up to become one of the most feared men in the fictional town of whatever. I mean I’m not sure why he’s such an asshole as an adult, but I guess it could stem from the fact that some of us in life get led astray. I mean you’d think this man was inhumane because he displays no emotion outside of indifference and does nothing but use and instill fear in others, plus he’s a fucking callous murderer. Though just when I couldn’t wait for someone to blow his head off, he by the end showed that he was indeed human and that was through his memories of Hiroshi. I did feel a bit sorry for him when he was killed, a bit anyways.

Hiroshi is by far my least liked character of the series, because all he seems to do is run. Its like what are you running for/from? He was a weak coward and I’m glad in the end Michiko and Hatchin found each other and stopped worrying about him. I mean if Hatchin didn’t look so much like him I’d have a hard time believing she was his daughter, they’re polar opposites of each other. I honestly wonder who her mother was?

The character with the most growth and my favorite is definitely Hatchin, what a great heroine, she grew so much throughout the show and I just felt so many emotions towards her and just really wanted her to find happiness in the end. I mean she had everything that Michiko lacked, though they were one in the same. It seemed like no matter how many times she got knocked down or cheated she just dusted herself off and tried all over again; harder, she never gave up, till the very end she stood on her own two feet and fought for what she believed in. I love her character and in the end I found I was very proud of her.

I thought the dynamics between all the characters was just so raw and real (despite how dirty this anime was), to the point that you could feel it and they tugged at the strings of my heart more than a few times. I mean besides Michiko’s interactions with Jumbo I also adored Michiko and Hatchin, who would have thought these two would grow to depend on and need each other so much? I mean by the end I really wished that Michiko was her mother, because she was the only constant in Hatchin’s life, the only person who didn’t leave or stay gone and I guess the same could be said about Michiko. I mean no matter how many times they got mad at each other or separated, they always found their way back to one another and their relationship just touched me like nothing else.

Of course they managed to find Hiroshi and he apologized for being a douche, but I guess he was apologizing for not being strong enough or a reliable person. I mean I wanted them to find him so bad and was kind a relieved when they did, but I realized ‘what was the point?’ I’d go for closure. Michiko turned herself in and Hatchin ended up with her father, though she rightfully couldn’t stand him; how can you feel anything for a stranger, someone who gave you up, was never there for you and is right in front of you and isn’t even trying and didn’t try, because the loser ended up running off again. It broke my heart when Michiko and Hatchin had to separate and Michiko followed their plane on her motorcycle and Hatchin started crying and begging them to let her off; I mean can you blame her for wanting to be with the one person who cares about her?

Hatchin ended up with a baby of her own, which I thought was such a neat twist and her and Michiko reunited in the end which I thought was great. I mean now they can be together, no strings attached.

This was such a good anime and I’m actually rather glad its going to remain relatively unknown, its just one of those quiet shows no one really notices, but its one of the best shows you’ll ever see. I wish they could have continued it, but I’m glad they ended it the way they did. Michiko to Hatchin was such an enjoyable and different anime, I don’t think there will ever be another quite like it again.

-GRADE: A

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