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Anime / Michiko & Hatchin

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Michiko and 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!"

Michiko & Hatchin is an anime series produced by Manglobe; it marked Sayo Yamamoto's directing debut, which she followed with 2012's Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine. Yamamoto's colleague, legendary director Shinichiro Watanabe, handled the music direction for both 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 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 fictional South American country based on Brazil, where they encounter gangs, are pursued by the police, 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 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 aired on [adult swim]'s Toonami block from June 20, 2015 to December 12, 2015.

Tropes in this anime include:

  • 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.
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  • 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 the country's source of inspiration, Brazil, having the highest concentration of Japanese people in a single country besides Japan, of course.
  • 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, 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.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Malandro means "scoundrel" in Portuguese.
    • Morenos means "dark-skinned ones" or "dark-haired ones" in Portuguese and Spanish.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The series ends with Hiroshi running off with another woman, and the father of Hatchin's baby abandoning them. 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.
  • 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 father 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.
  • 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: 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Distant Finale: Episode 22 takes place during this time period.
  • Easy Amnesia: Lenine appears to suffer from that one.
  • 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.
  • 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 bastards.
  • 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.
  • Gang Bangers: All members of Fantasma and Monstro Preto, including Satoshi, Hiroshi, Shinsuke, Kirill, and Vasiliy. Additionally, 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 Michiko. She does love Hatchin, but her lifestyle does put the girl's life in danger.
    • Played straight with Hatchin and her baby.
  • Gratuitous English
  • 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.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Michiko Menezes was more attractive years ago before she grew too be overweight and clownish looking, as a photo would show.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Daniela Carneiro. Yes, he's a guy. He is extremely obnoxious, but turns out to be right about the circus.
  • Jerkass: The father of his and Hatchin's baby. He left after three months.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Name and Name: The series' title.
  • The Name's The Same: invoked There's a circus worker who is also named Michiko.
  • 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.
    • Hatchin's baby. Furthermore, the identity of the father isn't 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.
  • 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..
  • Parental Abandonment: Hatchin, but also Michiko when she was a kid.
  • Parental Favoritism: Hatchin's foster parents appear to love their own children, but mistreat Hana. A lot.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series became Toonami's successor to Black Lagoon.
  • 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: 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 Atsuko comes close to catching them, causing them to flee town and continue on the run.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Title Character: Actually two of them.
  • 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.
  • 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 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?
  • Witch Doctor: "Deus" is something between this and a phony psychic.

Where will we go next, Michiko?

Alternative Title(s): Michiko And Hatchin


Example of: