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Anime / Michiko & Hatchin

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"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!"

Michiko & Hatchin is an anime series produced by Manglobe; it marked Sayo Yamamoto's directing debut. Yamamoto's colleague, legendary director Shinichiro Watanabe, handled the music direction for the series.

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 a hellish high-security prison, and literally crashes into Hana's life on a scooter. With nothing in common but a seemingly deceased man named Hiroshi Morenos, who's Michiko's former lover and Hana's father, the two embark on a wild trip through the countryside to find him. Traveling through a fictional South American country based on Brazil, they evade Gangbangers like the infamous Satoshi Batista and cops like the persistent Atsuko Jackson, and learn to appreciate each other—just a little bit.

Several episodes were done in conjunction with Studio Bones,note  Studio Gainax,note  and Xebec.note  Funimation has licensed the series as Finding Paradiso. It was released in the U.S. in September 2013. The series also aired on [adult swim]'s Toonami block from June 20 to December 12, 2015.

Tropes in this anime include:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Not used for the vehicles, but is used heavily for moving backgrounds during the chase scenes.
  • Abusive Parents: Or abusive foster family, in Hana's case.
  • Adults Are Useless: The visitation officer is friendly with Hana's fosters instead of being strictly there on business, which allows them to easily cover up their abuse of Hana. Hana doesn't bother trying to tell him what's really going on because of this, which will only result in more abuse after he doesn't do anything.
  • Aerith and Bob: Japanese names like Michiko and Hiroshi, as well as Latin names like Maria and Pedro... Also, Hatchin's actual name is "Hana", which can be both Japanese and Western. This is justified due to the country's source of inspiration, Brazil, having the highest concentration of Japanese people in a single country besides Japan.
  • Anachronism Stew: Vehicles from the 1970s, TV broadcasts with an '80s/'90s style, and every building and infrastructure looking 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, Michiko, for some reason, 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: 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.note 
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: Episode 6 briefly features a fighting bull gobbling a steak made from an ex-bull.
  • Badass and Child Duo: A rare female version between the title characters.
  • Big Bad: Satoshi Batista is the former friend of Hiroshi who took over his crime syndicate, Monstro Preto, after he left. Although the plot is driven by the titular heroines’ struggle to find Hiroshi, Satoshi is the leader of Monstro Preto, the biggest gang that opposes them. His obsession with killing Michiko (as he blames her for Hiroshi leaving), combined with his vast connections, establishes him as their biggest obstacle. It becomes a Big Bad Ensemble when his right-hand man, Shinsuke Saci Rodriguez, betrays him and takes control of the gang, but Satoshi comes out on top.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Malandro, the surname of the infamous criminal Anti Heroine Michiko, means "scoundrel" in Portuguese.
    • Morenos means "dark-skinned ones" or "dark-haired ones" in Portuguese and Spanish. This is an Ironic Name as the holders of this surname are light-skinned with blond hair.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The series ends with Hiroshi running off with another woman, and the father of Hatchin's baby abandoning both Hatchin and their son. 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.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: None of the characters in this series have perfect moral purity. Even Hatchin, the most innocent of the main characters, engages in felonies like breaking and entering and assault of police officers in different episodes; heck, the beginning of the series shows her giving a nasty beatdown to her foster sister (though, she had it coming for her abuse of Hatchin), and that's before she meets Michiko. Still, while characters like Michiko, Atsuko and Satoshi are shown to at least have some moral complexity despite being jerks at best, many others, especially one-shot characters, prove to be bad people, plain and simple.
  • Book Ends:
    • The cooking of omelettes. Hatchin cooks omelettes for her foster family at the beginning, then cooks for her baby at the end.
    • In the first episode, Hatchin briefly runs away from home into the middle of nowhere and imagines crossing paths with a truck, whose driver is her birth father Hiroshi come to rescue her and whisk her away. In the last episode, Hatchin decides to meet Michiko in the middle of nowhere, driving to her destination with a truck, wanting to travel with her surrogate mother again.
  • Censored Child Death: Unlike her older sister, Lulu was (possibly) killed offscreen and so was Satoshi's enemy's young son (assuming he did kill the boy).
  • Circus Episode: There is a two-parter episode where a circus girl named Rita 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 that the circus was really smuggling children and selling them as slaves. Luckily, Michiko comes along and saves Hatchin. Afterwards, Rita and Hatchin part ways.
  • 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 upon realizing that the boy she liked will lose all memory for her because of an accident he suffered.
  • Crapsack World: Their home 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 how 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.
  • Criminal Found Family: The title characters offind family in each other after Michiko breaks out of prison and technically kidnaps Hatchin from her abusive foster family, being abandoned by her biological father, and they end up on the run trying to find Hatchin's biological father, before finding each other again in an epilogue and coming together as family does.
  • 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.
  • Deadly Game: Shinsuke's plan to meet up with Michiko and Davi is to have them trolley jump their way to an unknown locale while avoiding gunfire.
  • Distant Finale: Episode 22 takes place during a Time Skip where Hatchin's a single mother working as cook, years after she and Michiko separated.
  • Easy Amnesia: Lenine appears to suffer from this when he meets Hatchin.
  • Enfant Terrible: Gabriel and Maria are even more sadistically psychotic towards their adopted sister Hana than their Abusive Parents are to her.
  • The Fagin: Rico, who recruits children for his criminal activities.
  • Flashback: Lots of them, most of which involve Michiko's past.
  • 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 foster family is a quartet of bespectacled abusers.
  • 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.
  • Gangbangers: All members of Fantasma and Monstro Preto, including Satoshi, Hiroshi, Shinsuke, Kirill, and Vasiliy. Additionally, there are a number of unnamed gangs, such as Rico's collection of child bangers.
  • Gangsterland: Although in this case it's a stand-in for Brazil, not the USA.
  • Glamorous Single Mother:
    • Played with in regards to Michiko. She does love her (essentially adopted) daughter Hatchin, but her criminal lifestyle does often put the girl's life in danger.
    • Played straight with Hatchin and her baby, after -the father runs out on them.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Implied to have been once been the relationship between Michiko and Atsuko, before they ended up on opposite sides of the law.
    • In a mother-daughter sense, Michiko and Hatchin gradually become this.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Michiko Menezes was more attractive years ago before she grew to be overweight and clownish looking, as a photo shows.
  • Intentional Mess Making: Joanna, Hatchin's foster mother, does this as a Kick the Dog moment during the first episode. During the breakfast scene, in response to learning that Hatchin burned the omelette she was trying to make for her, she dumps the omelette and the rest of her plate right onto the floor, before then ordering the poor girl to not only cook her another omelette, but clean up the mess that Joanna has just made. And this is only a small part of the abuse and bullying that Hatchin has to deal with from her entire foster family.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Male example with Daniela Carneiro. He is extremely obnoxious, but turns out to be right about the circus.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Daniela Carneiro, the reporter who was trying to frame the circus for child slavery, turned out to be startlingly close to the truth; they were selling off any kids who didn't prove to be useful.
  • The Mafiya: Fantasma is a Russian gang operating under the control of Kirill. Later, after Kirill is killed, it is absorbed into Monstro under the control of Satoshi Batista.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: 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.
  • Melting-Pot Nomenclature: 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. Furthermore, the characters are addressed with honorifics, which are apparently very important in Latin America.
  • Mushroom Samba: Michiko goes through one as a result of catching a fever. It doesn't help that the doctor they go to is a scam artist who uses magic tricks instead of actual treatment.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Three boys from a bajou who bullied Hatchin regret their actions when Hana nearly drowns while trying to retrieve her shoes that they stole from her from the bottom of a river. The boys rescue her and, while they didn't completely carry through with their end of the bet and give her their boat, give her back her shoes as well as the leader's blanket that she asked for if she won their bet and asked a man at her inn to apologize to her on their behalf.
  • Name and Name: The series' title.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Hana gives one to her abusive foster sister Maria after she's kicked out of the house by the latter.
  • No Name Given:
    • Hatchin's birth mother.
    • The identity of Hatchin's baby's father is never revealed.
  • Nose Bleed:
    • Hiroshi gets one in episode 5. Although he got one naturally after being hit on his nose, he gets another when Michiko is close to him.
    • 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.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Hatchin comments that Michiko is just like Pepe Lima. However, Michiko later disagrees heavily to Pepe about that resemblance, Michiko citing their key difference as being that Michiko will never give up on her friends while Pepe feels that she can't rely on anyone. Ironically, when Pepe asks Michiko to help her look for Lulu, Michiko refuses, letting Pepe go to her death, before cursing herself for not helping the woman in need.
  • 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, as the former can be childish and ditzy, on top of being a criminal, while the latter is more mature and competent, along with being honest, for the most part.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, as in addition to the anti-heroine protagonist, there is also a circus worker with the first angel Michiko.
  • Parental Abandonment: Hatchin, and Michiko when she was a kid. The two of them spend the series looking for Hatchin’s Disappeared Dad Hiroshi.
  • Parental Favoritism: Hatchin's foster parents appear to love their own children, but mistreat Hana a lot.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Michiko (the 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.
  • 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 one considers 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. Still, from a certain point of view, it was all worth it, as the bond and friendship between the two women is also the main theme of the series, and is reinforced when they meet after the Time Skip at the end.
  • Shirtless Scene: It's hard to tell but a rare female example happens in the TV opening with Hatchin of all people. It's stylistically shaded so no "naughty bits" can be seen.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The library from episode 15 is full of copies of the Vincent Law book from Ergo Proxy, another Manglobe production.
    • In episode 21, Michiko does the Kaneda bike skid.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Sits firmly on Humans Are Bastards and seems reluctant to budge.
  • Smoking Is Cool: There is plenty of smoking featured in the series, and Michiko rarely goes a single episode without a cigarette.
  • 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, taking place in a combo of Central America and Brazil.
  • 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.
  • Step Servant: This is Hana Morenos' situation at the start. She lives with a foster family who are nothing but assholes to her, and not only has to endure bullying from both her foster brother and her foster sister but is also made to do all the chores by the parents, including one asshole moment where the foster mother dumps the omelette that Hana cooked for her on the floor with the rest of her plate because she'd burned the underside of it and orders her not only to cook another one but also to clean up the mess the mother just made! And when Michiko, who becomes one half of the Badass and Child Duo of the series, kidnaps Hana, the father decides to try to out and out murder her for the insurance money.
  • Stern Chase: Throughout Michiko and Hatchin's search for Hiroshi, they are being pursued by cop Atsuko, who has been tasked with returning the escaped Michiko to prison. Several times she comes close to catching them, causing them to flee town and continue on the run.
  • Teenage Wasteland: The whole country, for the most part, is crowded with gangs that are made up of or led by children.
  • Theme Music Abandonment: The final episode does not play the opening theme.
  • 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.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: Little kids casually owning guns and using said guns is commonplace.
  • Try Not to Die: Used almost ad verbatim since Michiko and Hatchin are constantly in the presence of gangs and violent criminals.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Most of Michiko's and Hatchin's wear is likely stolen. Atsuko also comes in several outfits.
  • 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 was last seen taking Michiko to her destination and promising another round.
    • 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 go on their journey 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 Missing Mom?
  • Witch Doctor: "Deus" is something between this and a Phony Psychic.

Where will we go next, Michiko?


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Michiko To Hatchin, Finding Paradiso


Michiko and Hatchin

Hatchin gets drunk off of orange juice.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrunkOnMilk

Media sources: