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MICHIKO & HATCHIN #1 - - Special Review

How'd this stylish, gorgeous caper slip under so many radars?

I’ve never been the biggest Harry Potter fan, but I’ve always found it pretty funny how the flicks played the “poor Cinderella’s cruel step family” card to such a cartoonish degree. Can’t get much more absurdly mean than forcing a kid to sleep in a closet, right?

Well, there’s always a bigger fish, as they say, and here’s a new latter-day Cinderella to make Harry’s home life look easy. Again, it feels a bit silly to wax on believability whilst discussing a show where somebody ollies a motorcycle through a window and right on a dinner table… but, as weird as it sounds, I think this avoids getting overwrought in its grab for sympathy points by getting detailed in acts of cruelty. There’s something about the step-brother specificity making Hana swim and bob for breath to get her fruit which feels authentic to how real children go about being petty.

Why’d I pick this show for my 2013 catch-up? Well, out of all the titles in Hulu’s roster of available anime, this one had the most intriguing promo art. It actually didn’t even have its title on there - - just a dynamic image of this mother & daughter outlaw duo hauling it on an airborne hog. In a field that can very easily make you numb to even the most expensive animation, I’m a little speechless over how much style and production value’s on display here. I guess this really just had to be a labor-of-love pet project for somebody high up on the staff, because my mind balks over how this level could be maintained throughout a 22-episode run.

Answering my own question, I guess it really just comes down to love then. There’s the kind of love of a recently escaped convict for her long-lost, put-upon daughter, and then there’s the love of animation director who’s always wanted to capture Brazil (right?) in an anime. Among this show’s many great qualities, one of the most astounding is how it really doesn’t look like any other anime (by virtue of how much it looks like an exotic real-world locale).

Only four episodes are currently available on Hulu, but apparently this is a full series. And that’s frustrating. I’d much prefer to see this startling original creation through than watch more of FMA.

Watch this episode, "Farewell, Cruel Paradise!" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

zaldaron Jan. 2, 2013 at 5:21 p.m.

Can we get more info on the plot and characters? Its stylish ok but does it have any substance...?

Kino88on Jan. 2, 2013 at 6:07 p.m.

that's pretty much how I felt about Madoka Magica sooooo pretty,

also Brazil is an amazing movie! so I may have to catch this one before it "fly's away"

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:42 p.m.

I'm not sure how it slipped under the radar either, especially considering that the Cowboy Bebop dude was a part of its production. Funimation is releasing sometime this year so hopefully more people will finally be made aware of it.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:54 p.m.

Will have to check this out . Seems i got this mixed up with El Cazador de la Bruja

which i also have not watched yet..Probly because i have seen Noir but not Madlax all the way threw.So in short i blame the Mayans!

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 3, 2013 at 6:57 a.m.

You're beating me to One Piece, and now you've shamed me for not watching M & H, as its rotting in my Hulu queue? I must make a new years resolution not to dawdle!

AURON570on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.

I agree the art is pretty fantastic! If the entire series was available for free online (via legal streaming services) I would have watched it a long time ago. ;D

DocHauson Jan. 3, 2013 at 3:29 p.m.

Well Funi did say they were going to release this stateside in 2013. Though it came out years ago in Japan I'm just glad it's finally getting released. And yes the Director of Cowboy Bebop himself signed on as the Music Director of this show. This is the anime that turned me on to Soil & Pimp Sessions (the band that does the OP). All of you should watch this thing at the earliest opportunity, not like this season's going to be that good.

@zaldar said:

Can we get more info on the plot and characters? Its stylish ok but does it have any substance...?

Here's a quick summary of the plot: Somewhere in Brazil, Michiko Malandro breaks out of a women's prison because she believes that her husband and daughter are still alive. She quickly tracks down the daughter Hana ("Hatchin") and the two of them journey across Brazil to find her father, Hiroshi Morenos. Along the way they have to deal with child soldiers, strippers, drug runners, crazy hustlers and a policewoman named Atsuko Jackson trying to track Michiko down.

@Marshal Victory: El Cazador is more Mexico than Brazil. In any case I just found Bee Train's "girls with guns" anime trilogy boring, but hey you might find it different.

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 3, 2013 at 8 p.m.

I checked out the first episode, and it's SO AWESOME! Just full of style, and the abuse of the poor kid was horrifying. I really felt it, and even when there was a turn later on, I still felt bad. Very effective.

I wonder how I'm going to feel about Michiko. She's a bad, bad mama. Not a totally likeable human being.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:56 p.m.

@DocHaus: Well so far noir was long an took more than 15 episodes to get rolling. Madlax is oddly paced it seems.Tho graficly animation wise i will agree both seem boring .. for action thats not a good thing.Id say both are average ish least noir was. an Madlax is so far for me.Maybe it was the discription that put me in mind of El Cazador de la Bruja or Madlax or even Noir /shrug.

I do know a live action Noir ove action Starz put on hold it was suposed to be out last summer to.Maybe they watched it an said man this got boring.

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 4, 2013 at 1:23 p.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

Maybe it was the discription that put me in mind of El Cazador de la Bruja or Madlax or even Noir /shrug.

I'm a bit confused as to whether or not this refers to Michiko or not, but it's not like Madlax or Noir other than that they are about a woman and a girl. The setup is that a gang member (Michiko) fell in love with this dude who up and disappeared one day. Years later she finds his daughter while searching for him and the two go on this Thelma and Louise-esque coming of age self discovery adventure to find him. The structure is a lot like Samurai Champloo where there is a main plot always there but they get into a bunch of craziness along the way.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:35 p.m.

@sickVisionz: yeah most its gril an woman with guns. amnesia is in their some where .At a glance for me it sorta looked that way.Then again atm sinus infection from hell atm every thing at a glance seems famailr.pretty sure it was discription on hulu i may have confused it with another.

My mistake tho totaly.But in my defence atm im so broke i cant pay atention.Was just trying to focus on the end episodes of the last anime season.Ended up with way more titles than normal this last season to watch.when i finish the last of those ill start on this.

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 6, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Just because a female has a gun doesn't make it part of the girls with guns subgenre, especially since this is a woman, and her having a gun is not really a big part of her character.

Marshal Victoryon Jan. 6, 2013 at 7:26 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: Well in all fairness i cant think of many characters where the gun is the character.Well tehir was that one in http://www.screened.com/search/?q=planet terror that had the gun for a leg i belive .

But no Michiko to Hatchin is not the same as the others i mentioned. just saying when looked at the series on hulu it had a discription that made me think of them.If i had watched to the 1st comerical break one could tell its not because theirs more action their than some episodes of the other guns with girls series.Sub gene or not the discirption i read or misread made me think of the 3.Actualy to the point of i thought it was one of them with a difrent title.The bike pic was not up then.

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 7, 2013 at 5:04 p.m.

Gunslinger Girls is definitely girls with guns, and I think that Noir and Madlax are as well. Najica Blitz is more of a girls with panties than a girls with guns anime. ;)

How I see what defines girls with guns is that they are not operating freely. Either they're working for some government, or they're pretty much a blank slate, or they were programmed into being killing machines. Also, it's usually actual girls, who are too young to be shooting firearms.

Dig Deeper into Michiko to Hatchin

A free-spirited sexy diva and an abused foster child try to escape from their past lives in what appears to be Brazil.

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