Michiko to Hatchin (ミチコとハッチン)
Genre: Comedy, drama, action
Director: Sayo Yamamoto
Running Time: 23 minutes per episode
Number of Episodes: 22
Aired: 15 October 2008 – 18 March 2009
Hatchin is a girl raised by strict foster parents who has long given up her dreams of freedom. Michiko is a sexy criminal who escapes from a supposedly inescapable prison. When she suddenly enters Hana’s life, these two very different women set off on a journey across a lawless land in search of a missing man from both their pasts.
I am a Shinichirō Watanabe fan, some of his most notable works include; Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Macross Plus. Needless to say I was quite pleased to hear that he had a hand in Michiko to Hatchin as the music producer. The musical scores he incorporates into the projects he works on has always been brilliant, from the jazz & blues themes of Cowboy Bebop to the hip hop beats of Samurai Champloo (who else but Watanabe, would think to use hip hop for a samurai show and manage to pull it off). Michiko to Hatchin is no exception, having a jazzy theme throughout the series, including the wonderful opening theme by Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, a Tokyo-based club jazz band.
Michiko to Hatchin marks the directorial debut of Sayo Yamamoto, and she has done a brilliant job indeed. The series is pretty fast-paced, throwing you into the action from the first episode as Michiko escapes from an ‘inescapable’ prison in order to rescue her ‘supposed’ daughter Hana, from abusive foster parents and track down Hiroshi, Hana’s father and the man Michiko loves. Michiko is a sultry, Latino woman who generally spends the entire duration of the show getting into trouble, kicking ass (much to Hana’s distaste) and getting her own tail whipped although Michiko is as hard as nails and is generally able to take whatever abuse she is dealt. The artwork is also of note, detailed characters and backdrops, including the various fictional towns that seem to be based on Brazil, create a vivid and detailed world. The series is set in a standard format of twenty-two episodes and thankfully there isn’t a ‘recap’ episode (I detest them), the show stays interesting, with each episode being ‘continued’ adding suspense to the series as fans will be anxious to find out what happens next.
Plenty of action, brilliant animation, a sexy protagonist and great music; this combination makes for a great anime series, and fairly unique in that I don’t ever recall watching a ‘Latino’ anime. While I wouldn’t call Michiko to Hatchin ‘essential viewing’, it is an entertaining series and one that I’m sure anime fans will enjoy.