The funny part is that lil’ Hatchin’s experience working as unpaid server at the Japanese restaurant is exactly the sort of scenario that somehow seems to lead to somebody becoming a wildly successful restaurant tycoon eventually. Like, I can just picture her at 35, musing about her humble beginnings and stubborn insistency as she reviews absurd quarterly profit reports from her hibachi empire or some such. Maybe it’s actually unfortunate that her mom comes to whisk her off at the end when she should have just gone back to the restaurant.
I don’t think I’ve ever commented on the fashion presented in anime, but the outfits Michiko wears here do warrant comment since they really do seem like the garb of real-life fashionista instead of generalized outfits cooked up by animators. Once again, I’m impressed by the amount of authenticity in this show. It really does seem like the crew actually went out and took a mountain of reference photos in Rio de Janeiro. The level of verisimilitude is at a level that makes me forget I’m watching anime a lot of the time, actually.
Hell, that goes for the design and personality of the characters, as well. Even secondary characters like the chef and the fortune teller have the sort of square peg complexity you’d expect out of - - I don’t know - - a Nat Geo profile, instead of a roster of shonen or shojo archetypes.
I was especially fascinated by how the fortune teller’s various predications were handled. It all brought to mind the various descriptions of “practical magic” I’d read about in a Comparing Religions class in college once. Michiko’s waxing and waning trust in the crone’s advice really does seem authentic to the attitudes those who'd choose to believe in all these cobbled-together rituals as if they were tips from a bookie.
Maybe is isn’t quite the CITY OF GOD of anime, but there really isn’t anything else that’s quite like this show…