Anime: Michiko & Hatchin

Michiko & Hatchin

"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 , Studio Gainaxnote , and Xebecnote . FUNimation has licensed the show alongside The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and both are available for viewing on Hulu. It was released in the US in September 2013. The show also joined [adult swim]'s Toonami block on June 20th, 2015.

Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Or abusive step family, in Hana's case.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Michiko, frequently.
  • Ascended To Carnivorism: Episode 6 briefly features a fighting bull gobbling a steak made from an ex-bull.
  • Aerith and Bob: Michiko, Hiroshi — Maria, Pedro... Also, Hatchin's actual name is "Hana", which can be both Japanese and Western.
    • Subverted due to Brazil having the highest concentration of Japanese people in a single country. Besides Japan, of course.
  • Ambiguously Lesbian: It's implied that Atsuko may have romantic feelings for Michiko, despite being tasked with bringing her in. In one particular episode, Michiko implies that as a child, Atsuko would become aroused whenever Michiko would beat her up.
  • Anachronism Stew: Vehicles from the seventies, TV broadcasts with an eighties-nineties style, every building and infrastructure looking run-down... it's a bit difficult to figure a proper time period.
  • Anime Accent Absence: Averted, since some characters have vaguely Latin-American accents.
    • A character in the third episode also has a vaguely Chinese accent.
  • Artistic License Geography: In the finale, Hana checks a country map that looks like a mix of Brazil and Mexico.
  • Asshole Victim: Shinsuke and to some degree Satoshi.
  • Baby Ever After: During the Distant Finale we find out Hatchin got knocked up by a man who ditched her after three months. She seems happy with her daughter though.
  • Badass Adorable: Hana is a cute young girl, but has her moments. At one point, she actually fought back against her abusive siblings in the first episode.
  • Badass and Child Duo: A rare female version.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: In the bullfight episode.
  • Barefoot Poverty: Hatchin briefly does a self-imposed version of this in "Like a Frantic Pinball," when she refuses to wear a pair of stolen shoes until she can properly pay for them.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Michiko likes to show off her tattoo that way.
  • Bifauxnen: Hana is androgynous enough to look like a boy.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Malandro means "Scoundrel" in Portuguese.
    • Morenos means "blacks" or "dark-haired ones" in Spanish.
  • Biker Babe: Michiko is this with a scooter.
  • Bishounen: Hiroshi.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted, since Michiko gets beaten up quite often.
  • 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.
  • Book Ends: The cooking of omelettes.
  • Brand X
  • Camp Gay: Ivan.
  • Circus Brat: Rita.
  • Conspicuous CG: Surprisingly not used for the cars. Moving backgrounds on the other hand...
  • Contrived Coincidence: Quite a few moments, usually involving Michiko spotting Hatchin.
  • Cooldown Hug: Michiko does this to Hatchin after the latter goes through a painful, first heartbreak.
  • Crapsack World
  • Daddy Didn't Show
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Atsuko. Pepe Lima is also a more downplayed version.
  • Deadly Game: Shinsuke's plan to meet up with Michiko and Davi is have them trolley jump their way to an unknown locale while avoiding gunfire.
  • Do You Think I Cant Feel?: Hatchin to Maria as she finally snaps at her.
  • Distant Finale
  • 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.
  • Easy Amnesia: Lenine appears to suffer from that one.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Michiko loves to call Atsuko "Jambo" (a Portuguese word for a dark-skinned person) to annoy her.
  • Enfant Terrible: It's not so much that Gabriel and Maria are terrible. It's more the fact they're even more sadistically psychotic than their parents.
  • Extreme Doormat: Hana to her abusive foster family.
  • The Fagin: Rico.
  • Flashback: Lots of them.
  • Fostering for Profit: The only reason Hatchin's foster parents took her in. Getting a free slave was just a side benefit.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Hatchin's adoptive family is a quartet of bespectacled bastards.
  • Freak Out: Hatchin in Episode 7, combined shortly after with Took a Level in Badass.
  • 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.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Most depicted kids are quite adult in their reasoning.
  • Gangsterland: Although in this case it's a stand-in for Brazil, not the USA.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Played with Michiko. She does love Hatchin, but her lifestyle does put the girl's life in danger.
    • Played straight with Hatchin and her daughter.
  • Gratuitous English
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Implied to have been the relationship between a Michiko and Atsuko.
    • In a mother-daughter sense, Michiko and Hatchin gradually, but surely become this.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Pepe Lima is instead a Stripper With A Heart Of Gold
  • Honorifics: Which are apparently very important in Latin America.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Despite several clues that Hiroshi is not the thoughtful and good person she thinks he is, Michiko still believes he's still in love with her. Most of the other characters see right through him.
    • Satoshi is guilty of this too, with the same character. Even Hatchin, who's never met Hiroshi up to that point, is able to get his personality better than his former best friend.
  • Idiot Hero: Michiko, sort of. She isn't the brightest bulb in the box, but she makes up for it with lots of bravado and street smarts.
  • Important Haircut: Hatchin hacks off her Girlish Pigtails pretty shortly after joining up with Michiko.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Daniela Carneiro. Yes, he's a guy. He is extremely obnoxious, but turns out to be right about the circus.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Michiko Menezes.
  • Jerkass: The father of his and Hatchin's daughter. He left after three months. Doesn't even bother to even visit his own kid.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The reporter who was trying to frame the circus for child abuse turned out to be startlingly close to the truth; they were selling off any kids who didn't prove to be useful.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Hiroshi.
  • Little Miss Badass: Hatchin all the way.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Shinsuke.
  • Meaningful Name: A common translation for Michiko's name is "child of the road." She and Hatchin spend the series on the run.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Hatchin's tattoo on her stomach, which is similar to Michiko's.
  • Multiethnic Name: Endemic in the series, with the two title characters as the most obvious examples. Most names seem to fit the Japanese First Name + Portuguese/Spanish Last Name pattern.
  • Mugged for Disguise: In one episode, Michiko mugs a matador for his outfit in order to rescue Hatchin.
  • Name and Name
  • No Name Given: Hatchin's birth mother.
    • Hatchin's baby daughter.
    • Going with the above, who was the father?!
  • Nose Bleed: Michiko gets one when she feels that she is close to Hiroshi.
    • And Hatchin gets one in the distant finale, when she figures out that Michiko is heading in her direction.
    • Hiroshi gets one too in episode 5. Although he got one naturally after being hit on his nose, he gets another when Michiko is close to him.
  • Now That's Using Your Teeth: Michiko, combining it with a crowning moment of awesome.
  • Nun Too Holy: Hatchin's foster father is a greedy S.O.B. He only took her in for the child support and was more than happy to kill her for insurance money when Michiko took her.
  • Odd Couple: Michiko and Hatchin. Really.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The above-mentioned tattoos.
  • Parental Abandonment: Hatchin, but also Michiko when she was a kid.
  • Parental Favoritism: Hatchin's step-parents idolize their own kids and mistreat her. A lot.
  • Parental Substitute: Michiko becomes a mother/Cool Aunt figure for Hatchin. Even after being reunited with her birth father, Hatchin prefers to be with Michiko.
  • Plucky Girl: Michiko. Try to stop her. Just try.
  • Precocious Crush: One episode is about Hatchin making a friend suffering from a Precocious Crush.
  • Psycho for Hire: Shinsuke.
  • 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.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hatchin is the Blue and Michiko is the Red.
  • Roof Hopping: On a motor scooter, no less.
  • 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.
  • Slasher Smile: Satoshi.
  • Smoking Is Cool
  • Soft Water
  • South of the Border
  • Spicy Latina: Michiko.
  • The Starscream: Shinsuke becomes this to Satoshi.
  • Statuesque Stunner: The vast majority of grown women and teen girls are drawn this way, with the exception of a few portly ladies here and there.
  • Stern Chase
  • Stockholm Syndrome: In a more cynical view, this might be what causes Hatchin to bond with Michiko. Then again, anything would have been better than Hatchin's life with her foster family.
  • Stripperific: Most anything Michiko wears, which might not be the smartest move when you're on the run and want to avert attention.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Hatchin is the small, female version of her dad, Hiroshi.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Michiko and Atsuko.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Atsuko.
  • Take My Hand
  • Teenage Wasteland/Kids Are Cruel: Brazil, for the most part, is crowded with gangs that are made up of or led by children.
  • Terrible Artist: Michiko, and how! Just like Luffy, she doesn't even realize she can't draw at all.
  • Title Characters
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Michiko and Hatchin can switch between these at time.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted. Michiko appears to be very resilient when hit by a dart from a tranquilizer gun. Twice.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour
  • Try Not to Die: Used almost ad verbatim.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Most of Michiko's and Hatchin's wear is likely stolen. Atsuko also comes in several outfits.
  • Villain Protagonist: Michiko.
  • 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 
    • The tattoos never get an explanation.
    • Just who is Hatchin's mother?
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Bebel in episode 17.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Michiko.
  • Wicked Stepmother
  • Witch Doctor: "Deus" is something between this and a phony psychic.
  • With My Hands Tied: Combined with the above mentioned crowning moment of awesome.


Alternative Title(s):

Michiko To Hatchin
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