"Someone is going to come for me. It's what I've wished for all this time. On the morning of March 17th, a person came.
The only problem...I have no idea who she is!"
Hana Morenos is nine, miserable, and abused by her foster parents and step-siblings. She does all the chores, puts up with bullying and beatings, and daydreams about getting away....Enter Michiko Malandro, who recently escaped from Diamandra, a hellish high-security prison, and literally crashes into Hana's life on a scooter. With nothing in common but a man who may be dead named Hiroshi, who's Michiko's former lover and possibly Hana's father, the two embark on a wild trip through the countryside. Traveling through a South America/Brazil pastiche where everyone has Japanese given names, they encounter gangs, are pursued by the police, and learn to appreciate each other—just a little bit.The show, released in 2008, was produced by studio Manglobe; it marked Sayo Yamamoto's directing debut, which she followed with 2012's Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. Coincidentally or not, legendary director Shinichiro Watanabe handled the music direction for both series.Several episodes were done in conjunction with Studio Bonesnote Episode 3, Studio Gainaxnote Episode 8, and Xebecnote Episodes 7 & 9. Funimation has licensed the show alongside The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and both are available for viewing on Hulu. It will be released in the US in September 2013.
Berserk Button: Don't call Atsuko "Jambo" if you don't want to get hurt.
Beware the Nice Ones / The Dog Bites Back: Hatchin has suffered her foster family's abuse for a fair chunk of her life. It took her face being nearly ironed and then being literally kicked out of the house by Maria for her to snap and pummel the crap out of her.
Boobs of Steel: Michiko's well-endowed, and takes (and gives) punches with the best of them. Other characters tend to be armed with guns.
Drunk on Milk: Hatchin at one point drinks some juice, which makes her very drunk. Michiko lampshades it when she realizes this. Falls into Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror when you realize that due to the neglect Hatchin has never had juice or sugar and her body can't handle it.
Michiko: You're ridiculous. You're drunk on juice.
Free-Range Children: Hatchin goes off by herself and is left alone by Michiko constantly. The same can be said for all the other children who are encountered, as they are mainly seen without adults. Played with in that they rarely do this for enjoyment, but rather out of necessity.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Michiko—a statuesque woman who works at the circus, not the title character—treats the kids who wind up working for her relatively well and doesn't take any crap from a crooked journalist who wants to make her look bad in order to get a scoop. Subverted when you find out she's selling the kids who aren't useful.
Shorter Means Smarter: Hatchin is considerably more rational and observant than the hot-headed, impulsive Michiko.
Shout-Out: The library from episode 15 is full of copies of the Vincent Law book from Ergo Proxy, another Manglobe production.
Sick Episode: Episode 12. Michiko collapses while driving her scooter, and then tries to shrug off her fever by claiming she just has a very "hot body". The rest of the episode is about Hatchin taking care of her.
Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Michiko is the adult and is prone to violence, tantrums, and getting into fights, Hatchin is more calm, takes care of the former when she's drunk and/or sick, and tries to use peaceful negotiations.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Several characters, but most importantly the old dude in episode 14 who was set on a job to assassinate Michiko. He is never mentioned again even though he took Michiko with his car.
Hiroshi, who doesn't seem so important in the end, although he was the main plot and thus the reason why Michiko and Hatchin do all the stuff in the series in the first place. He doesn't seem to give a shit about Hatchin, just takes her with him and Hatchin tells us in the narration that he ran off with another woman.note Truth in Television — some deadbeat dads act exactly like Hiroshi.
The tattoos never get an explanation.
Just who is Hatchin's mother?
Let's face it, the ending really leaves a lot of threads loose and a lot of questions unanswered