Anime / Michiko & Hatchin

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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 family. 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 Morenos— 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 Bones,note  Studio Gainax,note  and Xebec.note  FUNimation has licensed the show alongside The Woman Called Fujiko Mine and both are available for viewing on Hulu. It was released in the U.S. in September 2013. The show also joined [adult swim]'s Toonami block on June 20, 2015.

Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Or abusive foster 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. This is subverted due to Brazil having the highest concentration of Japanese people in a single country. Besides Japan, of course.
  • All Just a Dream: It turns out that the scene where Hatchin fought back against her abusive foster siblings was this.
  • Ambiguously Gay: It's heavily 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 1970s, TV broadcasts with an '80s/'90s style, and every building and infrastructure looks run-down. It's a bit difficult to figure a proper time period.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the very end of the Distant Finale, Hatchin reunites with Michiko and they begin another journey. After reuniting, the former asks "How far are we going to go this time?"
  • Anime Accent Absence:
    • Averted, since some characters have vaguely Latin American accents.
    • A character in the third episode also has a vaguely Chinese accent.
    • Dub-wise, for some reason, Michiko speaks with something of a New-Yorkish sort of accent.
  • Artistic License Geography: In the finale, Hana checks a country map that looks like a mix of Brazil and Mexico.
  • Artistic License Religion / Anime Catholicism: Hana's foster father, Pedro, seems to be a Catholic priest and he has a wife and children. In real life, Catholic priests can't marry or have children for many theological and canonical reasons.
  • Asshole Victim: Shinsuke and, to some degree, Satoshi.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: A young girl name Rita once referred to Hatchin as her boyfriend, and almost kissed Hatchin, when the latter was wearing more masculine clothing.
  • Babies Ever After: During the Distant Finale, it is revealed that Hatchin got knocked up by a man who ditched her after three months. She seems happy with her son though.
  • Badass Adorable: Hana is a cute young girl but she has her moments. For example, she knocked two adults unconscious by kicking the fat Michiko lady on her face.
  • 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 this way.
  • 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: 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.
  • Bifauxnen: Hana is androgynous enough to look like a boy.
  • Biker Babe: Michiko is this with a scooter.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Malandro means "scoundrel" in Portuguese.
    • Moreno's means "blacks" or "dark-haired ones" in Spanish.
  • Bishounen: Hiroshi.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The series ends with Hiroshi running off with another woman, and Hatchin's husband abandoning her, leaving her to raise her infant son alone. However, Hatchin doesn't seem too bothered about it. At least at the end, Michiko is either released from prison or escapes again, and reunites with Hatchin.
  • 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.
  • Brain Bleach: Hatchin's reaction whenever Michiko starts talking about sex.
  • Brand X
  • Camp Gay: Ivan.
  • Circus Brat: Rita.
  • Circus Episode: There is a two-parter episode where a circus girl mistakes Hatchin for a boy and falls for her. Even after Hatchin reveals her gender, they become friends and she stays with Rita. In the second episode, it turns out the circus was really smuggling children and selling them as slaves. Luckily Michiko comes along and saves Hatchin. Afterwards, Rita and Hatchin part ways.
  • 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: Diamandra is an incredibly unforgivable country. Most people tend to live in squalor or rely on crime and violence to make ends meet, children are hurt and taken advantage of like it's normal, and the average citizen tends to be a Jerkass, or much, much worse. Sometimes it feels like Michiko and Hatchin's journey is more of a 22 episode lesson in Humans Are Bastards. It says something about how awful everything is when Michiko's completely incompetent and borderline abusive attempts to be a mother for Hatchin are heartwarming by comparison to everything else that happens.
  • Daddy Didn't Show:
    • Michiko and Hatchin spends the entire series looking for Hiroshi. After they finally find him, he claims that he wants to be a part of Hatchin's life. It's revealed that sometime after Hiroshi and Hatchin left together, he ran off with another woman.
    • The father of Hatchin's baby abandoned them after three months.
  • 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.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Hatchin does this to Maria when she finally snaps at her.
  • Distant Finale: Episode 22 takes place during this time period.
  • 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 son.
  • Gratuitous English
  • Groin Attack: Used rather liberally by Michiko whenever male law officials are taking her on (i.e. pretty much every officer in the show who's not Atsuko). Though to be fair, she only tends to use it as a pragmatic defense tactic (which it is), rather than just to be malicious.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Implied to have been the relationship between Michiko and Atsuko.
    • In a mother-daughter sense, Michiko and Hatchin gradually, but surely become this.
  • Honorifics: Which are apparently very important in Latin America.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Pepe Lima is actually a stripper with a heart of gold.
  • 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 also guilty of this concerning Hiroshi. 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.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Michiko, she often wears clothes that show off a lot of her skin and not to mention the many moments of her shirtless.
  • 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 son. Futhermore, the identity of the father isn't revealed.
  • Nose Bleed:
    • Michiko gets one when she feels that she is close to Hiroshi.
    • 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 foster 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. This is subverted when it's revealed that she's selling the kids who aren't useful.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Hatchin is the Blue and Michiko is the Red.
  • Rock Theme Naming: The country is called Diamandra, as in 'diamond', and the cities are named after other gemstones.
  • Roof Hopping: On a motor scooter, no less.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: The whole Hiroshi search has a very anti-climatic end, especially when you consider that this plot drives the entire anime. Michiko's whole goal was to find Hiroshi again and give him his daughter, and since she proclaims her love for him for a good part of the series, possibly also get her Happy Ending by meeting him again. When the three of them meet, Michiko has experienced enough to know that her sole mission was to simply deliver Hatchin to her father. Hatchin, who wasn't exactly excited about meeting the guy in the first place, is abandoned by him again after a few months, when he runs away with another woman (Genre Savvy viewers would've seen this one coming as soon as the clues that Hiroshi was far from an upstanding guy started coming up). Still, from a certain point of view, it was all worth it, as the bond and friendship between the two girls is also the main theme of the series, and is reinforced when they meet after the Time Skip at the end.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Sits firmly on one end and seems reluctant to budge. The setting is so unpleasant, it can be hard to watch.
  • Smoking Is Cool: There is plenty of smoking featured in the series.
  • Soft Water: Michiko safely lands in the sea after falling out a hot air balloon. This is after she has been tranquilized twice.
  • South of the Border: The overall vibe of the series.
  • Spicy Latina: Michiko.
  • Spiritual Successor: The show has become Toonami's successor to Black Lagoon. It's also acting as this to Cowboy Bebop, now that said show's other successor has stopped airing.
  • 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: Michiko does this to Hatchin several times in the series.
  • 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 switch between these at times, making the line blurred. Michiko dresses in a extremely bold manner and often wears a lot of jewelry (and is, after all, the one who is looking for the man she loves, lending her a somewhat romantic outlook). However, she is abrasive and borderline violent. In contrast, perceptive and quiet Hatchin could be mistaken for a boy in appearance.
  • Tranquillizer Dart: Subverted. Michiko appears to be very resilient when hit by a dart from a tranquilizer gun. Twice.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Little kids casually owning guns and using said guns is commonplace.
  • 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.
  • The Un-Reveal: The significance of Michiko and Hatchin's tattoos isn't revealed.
  • 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 Jair, the old man in episode 14 who attempted to assassinate Michiko. He is never mentioned again even though he last seen taking Michiko to her destination after calling for a truce.
    • Hiroshi, who doesn't seem so important in the end, although he was the main plot point 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. After they leave together, Hatchin reveals that at some point, he ran off with another woman.note 
    • Just who is Hatchin's mother?
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Bebel in episode 17.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Michiko.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Hatchin's foster mother.
  • Witch Doctor: "Deus" is something between this and a phony psychic.
  • With My Hands Tied: Combined with the above mentioned crowning moment of awesome.
  • X Meets Y:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/MichikoToHatchin