"this Anime is both a hidden gem and a rusted pearl." - probably the most concise way I’ve seen someone describe this show I just got into yesterday, Michiko to Hatchin. Here are my impressions after 9 episodes in.
Michiko is an Afro-Latina gangster who busts out of jail, hoping to find her old flame, who she discovers fathered a child 10 years back. Michiko tracks down the child, Hana, and kidnaps her from her abusive foster family. The two set off across a Brazilian-themed fictional urbanscape in the hopes of finding Michiko’s old lover, who is also Hana’s biological father.
The show has a lot of down-to-earth moments, emotional drama, and a very intriguing mother/daughter tension, made all the more interesting by the fact that Hana is fairly mature for her age and very polite and respectful, while Michiko is a brash, violent, childish adult.
Also of note is the fact that it is perhaps the most ethnically expressive anime I’ve ever seen, presenting all kinds of characters with ethnicities implied by their appearances and accents, all living in a South-American inspired world of gang violence where even children are gang members, evoking a very different part of the world than a typical anime (or western cartoon, for that matter) dares to explore. It also incorporates female sexuality/perspective into its narrative without it ever feeling distasteful or “fanservicey” (so far, I’m 9 eps in).
It is produced by manglobe, the same folks behind Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy, and was released in 2008, but only recently was brought to the states.
In a word, it is fascinating.
I am not even halfway through it, but I can highly recommend it as an animated program intended for a mature audience, but in the good ways, rather than the standard nudity/sex/gore kind of ways. It does have some violence and implied sexuality, but they all work toward exploring more complicated narratives than your average cartoon — or really, just your average TV show.
It has the potential to be one of my all-time favorite series, so I’m excited to continue watching more of it.