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Ginko: Michiko and Hatchin

Discussion in 'Anime Reviews' started by Ginko, May 3, 2017.

  1. Ginko

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    Cinco de Mayo is coming up this week, so why not celebrate with an anime that has some Latin flair?

    On my search for mature anime (ie: main character is an adult and acts like one), I came across this little number. It's very different from a lot of anime, namely because of the setting and nationality of its characters. It asks one very important life question: how far are you willing to go for someone you care about?

    Synopsis

    Michiko Malandro is something of an escape artist. Specifically, she breaks out of jail a lot. Her story picks up on her fourth break-out, embarking on a journey to find her estranged lover Hiroshi, and she's not going alone.

    Her first clue in tracking him down comes in the form of a young girl living in foster care who is supposed to be Hiroshi's daughter. The girl in question, named Hana, isn't living in the best of conditions as she's tormented by her abusive adopted family. All that's about to change as Michiko crashes through the window of her home on a stolen motorcycle and kidnaps her.

    As her captive / partner, Hana helps Michiko evade police, deal with gangs, and exploiters that want favors in exchange for information on Hiroshi. The two often clash over moral choices and harsh realities as they cross South America looking for Michiko's long lost lover.


    Analysis & Impressions

    It's uncommon in anime to put this much focus on the narrative. It's also uncommon to have that narrative driven by character development. That is to say the story doesn't move forward without some revelation about the characters or their motivations, which in this case is Michiko's main squeeze Hiroshi. There are filler episodes, but they're few and far between.

    Despite much of the series taking place in sun-bleached cities and bleak environments, they never look bland or empty. The run-down parts of poor suburbs are littered with old buildings, churches, and well, litter. It gives these settings a life of their own.

    The character dynamics are a large part of this anime. Michiko is a fiercely independent woman that gives exactly zero fucks, and I mean none. She does things her way, and if you don't like it, tough. Opposite to her is Hana, who does her best to keep Michiko in check and from doing anything too reckless. Their personal values differ greatly, causing a lot of conflict, but at the end of the day they know they need each other. This forces Michiko to soften her positions and compromise, even if just a little.

    I give mad props to Monica Rial on this one. For once, she's not playing a little kid. Plus, she plays a Latin woman whose voice is much lower than her speaking voice. Honestly, if you listen to her Michiko voice and her natural speaking voice side-by-side, you couldn't tell it was her. For that reason alone, I would insist on watching the English dub, even if you decide to watch the subtitled version too.

    Who is it for?
    If you fancy an anime of intrigue where characters go on a crazy, wild goose chase in the name of love, check it out. It's a journey worth taking.

    Availability
    Michiko and Hatchin is 22 episodes and available to stream on JustDubs.
     

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