Ah, time to review one of my favourites of the past season. Manglobe always manages to come with some fun, interesting and innovative series, and this one’s no different. While Samurai Champloo had its action, Ergo Proxy had its plot, Michiko e Hatchin stands out in its characters. But like the other two, it really has so much more to like about it.
I often criticise anime for taking place too much in Japan, while there are much more interesting sites in the world to explore. This series does that exactly, giving an incredibly accurate portrayal of Brazil in the 1980s to work with. From the police driving in beetles to the busy cities, everything just screams “Brazil” throughout the entire series. The only other series that I can think of that play out somewhere in south America are more than twenty-five years old by now.
And like mentioned above: the characters are the true highlight of this series. While at first this seems like your average strong character travels together with weak character, it soon becomes clear that the relationship between Michiko and Hatchin is much, much different. Michiko is a sleezebag, she constantly causes trouble and knows nothing about raising children. Hatchin is neat, tidy and ordered, but hates laziness with passion. The personalities between the two constantly clash, and it actually takes a very, very long time for the two of them to get used to each other, but when they do, they really complement their own weaknesses. Especially Hatchin grows into an awesome character, who is constantly fun to watch.
This series can also boast one of the best villains out there in a long, long time. Satoshi doesn’t appear on the screen a lot, but when he does, you instantly know that this guy is incredibly dangerous, and yet at the same time he stands so far away from your standard “Muaha, I’m going to destroy the world because I’m evil!” that you seem to see in nearly every anime nowadays.
What also made this into such a great show is that it’s incredibly varied. It’s a show with many different faces, rather than just one general tone that keeps up for the entire series. One episode may be fun and full of comedy, while the next is an incredibly dark one about the inner clashes of street gangs, while the next may turn into a fun action-game sequence. You’ll never know what the series is going to focus on next, but it’s always going to be fresh and interesting.
Right now, I’m trying to think of a big flaw in this series, but all I can think of is some tiny flaws, like how for some characters the introduction seems to be missing, so you’re often thrown into the blue, or how the ending doesn’t answer all of the questions that you might have gathered through the series, but those are just mere details.
The thing is, that Michiko e Hatchin is an awesome, stylish and mature series and it excels at just about everything that it does. There is a fantastic dynamic between the characters, and never once does it feel childish or anything, despite Hatchin being a 10 year old and all. It’s really got a bit of everything, and it’s my personal favourite series of a studio that had already a record of putting down the most amazing series.