DVD REVIEW: MICHIKO AND HATCHIN / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: SAYO YAMAMOTO / SCREENPLAY: TAKASHI UJITA / STARRING: YÔKO MAKI, SUZUKA OHGO, TERRI DOTY, TORU KUSANO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Michiko and Hatchin is a Japanese anime set in a fictional South American country that seems to be a hybrid of Japan and Brazil. Michiko is a free-willed diva who, after escaping a heavily guarded prison, rescues her apparent daughter Hatchin from her abusive foster family. The two are about as opposite as they come, but turn into partners in crime as they search for Hatchin's father and attempt to evade both the police and Hatchin's foster parents. Along the way, they get involved with fortune-tellers, bullfighters, circus performers and lots of shooting…
The brilliantly animated series is different from many others in that it has two strong leading female characters. As voice actor Monica Rial, who plays Michiko in the English dub, points out in the extras, Michiko starts out as a “Loud, obnoxious character” but “We learn that she is sweet as we go along”. The fun of the series is watching the relationship between the two title characters grow. In the beginning, Michiko is only interested in Hatchin as a means of finding her lost love, but over the course of the episodes that changes to being more of a mother-daughter relationship. Although amusingly, it is the 11-year-old Hatchin who is the responsible one, finding a job working in a restaurant and often tells the older Michiko off for stealing and violent bad temper.
The two-disc DVD set includes the first eleven episodes from the stylish escape caper, if you don't like bad language, however, you might prefer the original Japanese language version to the English dub, which is also included. There are also DVD commentaries and interviews with the cast.