Posted by psgels on 30 October 2008 with categories: Michiko e Hatchin



Short Synopsis: Obviously, the police isn’t going to let Michiko get away without a fight.
Highlights: Surprisingly genuine.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Well, since Michiko e Hatchin’s second episode took so long to come out, it’s taken me quite a while to finalize my blogging schedule, but here it is (note that the days correspond to the days in which I can expect to get my hands on them, rather then their actual airdates)
Monday: Blade of the Immortal*
Tuesday: Nope
Wednesday: Mouryou no Hako, Kurozuka, Porfy no Nagai Tabi, Michiko e Hatchin**
Thursday: Shikabane Hime, Casshern Sins, Bonen no Xamdou***
Friday: Tytania
Saturday: Telepathy Shoujo Ran, Jigoku Shoujo
Sunday: Mobile Suit Gundam 00
*airs bi-weekly
**could move to thursday at this pace
***seems to be on a hiatus for about a month

Like always, the good shows seem to have concentrated themselves on two or three days, rather than spreading evenly, so Wednesday and Thursday are going to be pretty busy, while Monday and Tuesday will be quiet.

In any case, I’ve decided to blog this. The first episode could have been better, but there’s definitely potential here. Manglobe is a unique animation company, in the way that they only release a series every two years or so. This is a very risky strategy, because if the sales disappoint, they’re screwed, but this way it does allow them to put extra effort into developing their series, and making everything come out right. In Samurai Champloo’s case, it enabled them to create some really awesome fight-scenes, Ergo Proxy did this with its plot, and Michiko to Hatchin seems to be doing this with its characters.

The fight are not amazing, and neither the plot is very complicated, but the characters so far are feeling much more genuine than with Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy’s case. If given time, I can really see Michiko and Hatchin develop into an excellent duo, which makes up for their own weaknesses. At first sight, they may seem like a standard “Strong and Weak person who Travel”-series, but I’ve yet to see such a series where the strong person is such an irresponsible person as Michiko is. And yet, she does show that she can take responsibility, just as how Hatchin is a strong girl, but can just as easily collapse, since she’s still only nine years old.

I just wonder… why are there two people called Michiko and Hana, walking around in Brazil? They don’t really strike me as typical Portuguese names or something. Still, I do have to admit that I really appreciate it that the creators have chosen such an original settings. There are so many different countries out there, with so many different cultures and potential for juicy stories, and yet 90% of all anime plays in Japan, 5% in a fantasy world, and 4% somewhere either in Europe or the United States (okay, so these numbers are way from exact, but you get the picture). It’s awesome to see a series that attempts to screw conventions and go with something completely different.

14 Responses

  1. Woldouby says:

    There is a very important japanese community in Brasil :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Brazilian

  2. Kim says:

    Awesome, I am really glad to hear you plan to blog this. :)

  3. Sapphire says:

    I’m Portuguese and Michiko and Hana really aren’t Portuguese names. If they chose Brazil as the background, at least they could’ve chosen appropriate names.

    I also think that it’s nice to see other countries being portrayed in anime. One of the things I liked about “Victorian Romance Emma” was the overwhelmingly detailed portrayal of the 19th century England. It was wonderful.

  4. Kurisu says:

    With pedantic comments like this here and elsewhere I’m not surprised that Anime rarely uses other settings than Japan, space or alternative universes. Do you think Blassreiter portrays German realistically? In MONSTER they used a blue(!) traffic light instead of a green one and almost everyone had really big noses. Then again, how many anime characters look like Japanese people?

    How the heck can you know that Emma was a realistic portray? Did you live in England back then? Well, let’s assume Emma was flawless. There are anime where the setting is just sugar but entirely replaceable and there are others which aim for realism albeit the latter are fairly rare.

    We don’t even know whether they aren’t immigrants or whatever. There are people with Japanese names all over the world and some of them don’t look Japanese at all. At one time, people cry about stereotypism and the next time they complain when it’s not stereotypical. Ohe well…

  5. Keikei says:

    No need to get your knickers in a twist Kurisu. It’s a valid argument to make. If a production company has been putting a lot of effort into making a quality anime, then perhaps there is a particular reason they have Japanese names, or are Japanese living in Brazil.

    The link that Woldouby posted seems pretty interesting too.

  6. olivia says:

    “*airs bi-weekly
    **could move to thursday at this pace
    ***seems to be on a hiatus for about a month”

    Why?

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Kurisu: my problems with the names weren’t really the stereotypes, but rather that out of all the name styles the creators could have chosen, they just went with the Japanese ones. Sure, it could happen in practice, but it’s a bit lazy, especially considering the unique setting. Although I agree that the story about the Japanese immigrants in Brazil makes sense.

    Olivia: *simply because it does **I got this episode from Veoh, and I’m not sure whether I feel like watching this series at low quality every tie, and ***seems to do something with letting the Japanese version catch up with the English one.

  8. BlueYoshi says:

    Glad to see you blogging the show.

    Also, I assume that the second episode of Chaos Head might have disappointed you, meaning that Shikabane Hime stays?

  9. psgels psgels says:

    Yeah, Shikabane Hime stays. It’s not really that Chaos Head disappointed so far, but rather that I’m not convinced yet that it’s not going to fall apart in its second half.

  10. AlexS says:

    Well, I’m also Portuguese and I visited Brazil: I must say I’m really impressed by the quality of the setting characterization. It really looks like Brazil (the north-east part of it, Nordeste), with some arrangements here and there (the police doesn’t use Beetles, for instance), which make it even more memorable. I appreciate the use of a lot of portuguese language (“a continuar” instead of to “be continued”). Even if there are a few mistakes here and there it’s actually quite good.

    As for the names, Michiko and Yamada don’t sound portuguese, but as mentioned there are large japanese communities in Brazil, so it would not be impossible (not to name that Brazilians are very liberal with names, contrary to the Portuguese which are forced by law to chose their names among a defined list). Moreover Hatchin could just be a nickname that mean sneezing ( ^^).

    I’m specially happy to see lot’s of black and mixed people in the anime, they are quite uncommon in animes, unfortunately.

    All in all, a very refreshing anime, I just hope that the characters and story will be on par with the rest of this anime’s quality.

    Also, the anime opening is very cool and brazilian, the creators must have watched some “novelas” (brazilian soaps) ^^

  11. AlexS says:

    Aaargh! I definitely can’t criticize the anime language standards, considering the atrocious spelling and grammar of my last post ( 9_9)

  12. MarcoG says:

    I’m Brazilian and old enough to remember it in the late 70’s and early 80’s, which is exactly what is depicted here: the Police did drive beetles, their standard uniforms looked just like in the anime, and so did pretty much everything else. Whether they watched a lot of Brazilian series/movies from the period as research or have an advisor on staff I can’t say. As for the names, I think it is intentional, many characters have Japanese first names and Brazilian last names (Hana’s father’s name, according to Michiko, is Hiroshi Morenos), and some names come with a twist or hidden meaning: Michiko’s last name, “Malandro”, loosely translates to “wily, cunning, mischievous or outlaw” in English.

  13. Alex says:

    Well, it’s relatively obvious that Michiko is a Japanese name and I’d think, considering it’s an anime – that it’s not such a stretch that Japanese people be juxtaposed in a latin country (Brazil in this case?). Also as many people have mentioned, there are Japanese communities in South America.

  14. Joelma Maçae Yassumoto says:

    I’m really glad to see an anime that shows a country like Brazil. I am brazilian and my grand parents were japanese, I have a brazilian/japanese name, and in the southern part of Brazil that’s a normal thing. It’s sad to know how little people from other countries know about our country. You must go to Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Santa Catarina to know that Brazil it is not just Rio, Amazonia, mulatas and samba. Hope this anime can show a little more about it. I do confirm with what MarcoG wotre, I also can remember the bettles (my own father was a military police officer in the 70’s), and I liked the hidden meaning names, it’s something that a brazilian can easly identify. I’m now living in Italy and they had just started to show it in the MTV channel here. Sorry for my english. Beijos.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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