Animation Production – Manglobe, Caliente Latino
Director – Sayo Yamamoto
Stylish Action Packed Drama; think a more realistic Black Lagoon set in Brazil-like environments.
22 episode original animated television series produced by Manglobe (Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy) and first time director Sayo Yamamoto (storyboard and episode director credits for Eureka Seven, Samurai Champloo and Death Note). Starring Japanese movie and drama actresses Yoko Maki (Michiko) and Suzuka Ohgo (Hatchin) with music produced by Shinichiro Wantanabe (Cowboy Bebop) and brazilian band Kassin + 2.
The concept behind the show is simple, escaped high security prisoner Michiko Malandro is determined to reunite the orphaned Hatchin with the former gang leader and father Hiroshi Morenos. This sets the show up for plenty of confrontations with the police and gangs underlined with archetypal drama. The typical plot is made more interesting by being set in a South American/ Brazil environment, a lessor used setting for Japanese animation.
The draw of the show is action. It is fast paced and stylish with mostly hand to hand combat and pistols. The action scenes are full of unexpected moves and are cinematic with the music kicking in at appropriate points. The music plays an important part in setting the mood and makes the action scenes much more enjoyable.
A key common trait of good anime is that there are a lot of side episodes that are just as or even more fun to watch than the main plot episodes. In Michiko to Hatchin there are all sorts of weird, absurb and funny side episodes that could be seen stand alone. They are near to the quality of the side episodes in Cowboy Bebop.
The only think stopping Michiko to Hatchin from being a classic is the not so great underlying story. It is a definite watch for the action genre fans.
Rating – A –
Genre – Action, Drama Length – 22 Episode series Year – 2008-09