So… this is my first attempt at reviewing an anime. I’m not an avid watcher of anime, but I fell in love with this one hard. I was inspired enough to try and spread the love with a review. I’ve tried my best to keep spoilers out. Ah, and this blog is dedicated to Japanese learning, so of course this review is for the sub. However, I think my opinions would still apply to the dub. Enjoy!
Genre: Josei, Action
Starring: Yoko Maki as Michiko Malandro, Suzuka Ogo as Hatchin Morenos
Summary: Young orphan Hana Morenos lives a terrible existence in the care of her abusive foster family until she’s one day rescued by a mysterious woman named Michiko who’s on the run from the law and claims to know her father.
Review: I had been searching for a good josei since I realized the genre had appealed to me the most when I watched anime back when I started learning Japanese. I would definitely consider myself a casual viewer and I find it difficult to find new anime to watch. I wouldn’t have chosen Michiko to Hatchin for myself, but my roommate promised I would love it and I was hooked right from the first episode.
I am not a big action fan, but the story is both action-packed and full of heart. It takes place in a fictional Latin-Japanese city, more than likely inspired by modern-day Brazil. The plot was unique and perfectly-paced, but I think what kept me completely captivated were the added bonuses of great animation and an amazing soundtrack. All these elements together helped this anime beat out others whose stories might have been more compelling.
I’m always a fan of flawed, but balanced characters, and the writers deliver. Michiko can be a total badass one moment, and then be pathetic and irresponsible in the next. The antagonists are also given their backstories and good qualities, which is always appreciated. Hatchin is probably the easiest character to root for, but even she isn’t written to be a saint.
As for the plot itself, I wasn’t the biggest fan of where the story ended up. Even then, I think the writers make it clear that it was never about the destination but the journey itself. If you can accept that, then you can still enjoy this anime. The main draw is the relationship that slowly develops between the two title characters and was definitely the most rewarding aspect for me. This anime can definitely get gritty and violent, but the heart is what shines and was worth it to me.
I would recommend this anime to both anime lovers and casual viewers alike. The setting and premise are unique to the medium. The animation is colorful and good quality while the soundtrack just kicks ass (biased fan of Brazilian music here). It’s unlike anything I’ve personally seen before and I’m left thirsting for more. I’ve heard the animes Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo have similar styles, so maybe I’ll be checking those out soon.
Have you watched Michiko to Hatchin? Was it as good as I make it sound? 😉