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Michiko & Hatchin: The Complete Series – Part Two (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 30, 2013 by  



“Michiko & Hatchin” is an anime series that is unique, action-packed and a type of series that you rarely see released in Japan, let alone being brought to America.  If you are looking for a more mature, violent type of anime series with a fascinating story, “Michiko & Hatchin” is recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2013 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Michiko Hatchin: The Complete Series – Part Two

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2008-2009

DURATION: Episodes 12-22 (320 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080i High Definition, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATING: M

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Directed by Sayo Yamamoto

Script by Takashi Ujita

Music by Kassin

Character Design by Hiroshi Shimizu

Art Director: Seiki Tamura

Anime Production: Studio Manglobe

Featuring the following voice talent:

Suzuka Ohgo/Jad Saxton as Hana “Hatchin” Morenos

Yoko Maki/Monica Rial as Michiko Malandro

Masaki Miura/Akron Watson as Satoshi Batista

Ken Mitsuishi/Brandon Potter as Ricardo Solo

Kanji Tsuda/Christopher Bevins as Hiroshi Morenos

Maki Sakai/Sametria Ewunes as Atsuko Jackson

Jun Murakami/Scott Freeman as Shinsuke Sasse Rodrigues

Every bend in the road hides an ambush as Michiko and Hatchin continue their mad dash to track down Hiroshi: a man from their past that could hold the key to their future. Hit men, kidnappers, and sadistic gangbangers fill their rearview mirror as these ladies on the lam burn rubber across the Latin landscape.

With the throttle wide open and their motorcycle pointed toward the ocean, Michiko and Hatchin defy fate by living freer than they’ve ever lived before. New friendships are forged, young love blooms, and the partners in crime inch ever closer to the man they seek. But just as the long-awaited reunion is about to become reality, the law closes in on them – leaving Michiko to face an agonizing decision that will change both of their lives forever.

The search for Hiroshi continues as Michiko continues to find her old flame, while Hatchin will be reunited with the father she never met.

But the road to finding Hiroshi has not been easy as others have been looking for him as well.

Will the two meet their goal of finding Hiroshi?  Find out in the conclusion of the series is in “Michiko & Hatchin – The Complete Series – Part Two”.

What is “Michiko & Hatchin” all about?

In 2008, the 22-episode anime series “Michiko & Hatchin” was aired on Fuji TV.

The original series is produced by studio Manglobe instead of hiring voice actresses, hired two film actresses, Yoko Maki (“The Grudge” and Suzuka Ohgo (“Memoirs of a Geisha”) to do the voices for the series.

The series is directed by Sayo Yamamoto (“Ergo Proxy”, “Texhnolyze”, “Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine”), screenplay by Takashi Ujita, music by Kassin, character designs by Hiroshi Shimizu (“Bakmumatsu Gijinden Roman”, Kemonozume”, “Magic Tree House”) and art backgrounds by Seiki Tamura (“Attack on the Titan”, “Guilty Crown”, “K-ON!”, “Clannad”).

And now the series will be released in two parts on Blu-ray/DVD combo-pack courtesy of FUNimation.

“Michiko & Hatchin” is a series that takes place in a fictional country (a blend of Japan/Brazil).

The series begins with Michiko Malandro escaping from one of the most heavily guarded prisons.

We are first introduced to Hana “Hatchin” Morenos, a young girl who lives with a foster family. While one would think that living in a home for a pastor would be a good environment for Hatchin, the truth is that she is abused at home by the parents, her foster sister and foster brother. She doesn’t fight back, nor does she defend herself in worries that she won’t have a place to live, but her foster siblings are very cruel to her. She dreams that one day, her father will come back for her.

One day, Hatchin’s foster family receives a call from Michiko pretending to be her mother and that she would be arriving the next day to pick her up. Michiko ends up crashing into the home with her cycle and taking Hatchin and thus begins the story of “Michiko & Hatchin”.

The second part of “Michiko & Hatchin: The Complete Series” features the final eleven episodes. Here is a brief spoilerless summary of each episode:

  • EPISODE 12 – Michiko is sick and Hatchin tries to find someone who can treat her?
  • EPISODE 13 – Atsuko is demoted and reassigned to Ilha Azul and meets a girl named Vanessa Lee who reminds her of herself when she was young.
  • EPISODE 14 – Satoshi hires assassins to kill  Michiko, Atsuko and Shinsuke.
  • EPISODE 15 – What happens when Hatchin meets a boy who is unable to retain any short-term memory?
  • EPISODE 16 – Michiko and Hatchin reach a tomato plant in hopes to find Hiroshi.
  • EPISODE 17 – Hatchin is missing and Michiko goes to look for her.
  • EPISODE 18 – Michiko and Hatchin are in Sao Paraiso to visit a business associate of Hiroshi.
  • EPISODE 19 – Michiko and Hatchin take a freight train to Goinia in hopes of finding Hiroshi.  Meanwhile, Satoshi is not far behind.
  • EPISODE 20 – Satoshi tells Hatchin more about Hiroshi.
  • EPISODE 21 – Satoshi tries to get help from crime boss, Juninho in trying to find Hiroshi, but Juninho is also after Hiroshi.
  • EPISODE 22 – The conclusion of “Michiko & Hatchin” as the police closes in on the duo.

“Michiko & Hatchin” features the following characters:

  • Michiko Malandro – A woman who escaped prison and abducts Hana. She reveals to Hana that she knows her father Hiroshi and had fallen in love with him. She is searching for Hiroshi who supposedly died in a bus accident but she feels he is very much alive.
  • Hana “Hatchin” Morenos – A victim of abuse by her foster parents, she is hesitant to trust anyone and wished that someday someone would rescue her from the abusive home that she lived in. But when Michiko saves her, she has no idea who this woman is.
  • Hiroshi Morenos – Hana’s father and Michiko’s lover from the past. He is believed to be dead but Michiko believes he is alive. He shares a tattoo that Michiko has and Hana is supposedly to have as well on their stomachs.
  • Atsuko Jackson – Grew up with Michiko in the orphanage and is now a police officer responsible for arresting Michiko and putting her in prison 12 years ago. Is she an antagonist or a friend?
  • Satoshi Batista – A friend of Hiroshi who controls the crime syndicate “Monstro Preto”.

VIDEO:

“Michiko & Hatchin: The Complete Series – Part Two” is presented in 1080p High Definition. For the most part Studio Manglobe’s animation style with cool character design, well-shaded characters but also wonderfully detailed art backgrounds. Good use of CG for mechanical designs and overall a stylish series created in 2008-2009. I emphasize those years because I tend to have a timeline that anime series created after 2010, studios were much more serious about their series in HD from 2010 and on. So, there is a bit of softness in this series, but a lot of TV anime series do exhibit a bit of softness, so it’s OK. There is also some banding but once again, these things are typically evident in older series especially before 2010. cThe series is colorful, I like the use of environments, crashed vehicles and use of buildings in this fictional country that resembles Brazil.

But considering this is a 2008-2009 anime series, I’m content with the Blu-ray presentation.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Michiko & Hatchin: The Complete Series – Part Two” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The Japanese soundtrack is well-done and considering that the Japanese used real film actresses versus voice actresses was an interesting decision, but it no doubt brought attention to the series in Japan. Great acting when it comes to the more emotional scenes by the Japanese voice talent. But with that being said, the English dialogue has more of a rawness due to the characters. You expect a lot of profanity, you also expect better dynamic range due to the 5.1 soundtrack and that is where the English dub does sound better. The jazzy soundtrack and the dialogue are crystal clear and great use of the surround channels as well. But for the most part, both are well-acted and I have to say, this is probably the first time where I have heard Monica Rial playing a character with a lower voice versus the high-pitched voices that we have seen of her for many other series.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Michiko & Hatchin: The Complete Series – Part Two” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Episode 20 – Chris George (ADR Engineer) with Akron Watson (voice of Satoshi) and Jad Saxton (voice of Hatchin).
  • Audio Commentary – Episode 22 – Voice Director Christopher Bevins (and also voice of Hiroshi), Monica Rial (voice of Michiko) and Jad Saxton (voice of Hatchin).
  • Hatchin: The Girl We all Love – (15:53) Jad Saxton talks about her character Hatchin.
  • Special Interview(7:04) A special interview with  Suzuka Ohgo and Yoko Maki.
  • Original Commercials – Featuring the original Japanese TV commercials
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation theatrical trailer.
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • Trailers – FUNimation trailers

Unique, different and action-packed, “Michiko & Hatchin” is an anime series that is rarely released in Japan.

And now “Michiko & Hatchin” concludes with the second part Blu-ray release courtesy of FUNimation.

Featuring an independent, strong and potty-mouth protagonist with a young child accompanying her, instead of going through a banal route of adult trying to protect the young all the time, both Michiko & Hatchin for the first half of the series are like oil and water.  But we saw them go through a lot of trouble and eventually, slowly they start to learn how much they had needed each other as they search for Hiroshi.

And now they are getting closer to finding Hiroshi, that is until his old buddy Satoshi puts a target on Michiko’s back and meanwhile Atsuko and the police are after them as well.  So, the search for Hiroshi is not necessarily going to be easy.

As Michiko tries to search for clues of Hiroshi and to see if he still loves her, Hatchin only hears stories about her father, as he was never around when she was younger.

But does she care if she sees her father?  Or does she care more about her time with Michiko who has been the motherly figure in their short time together, and a person who appears to give a damn about her.

Picture quality is good on Blu-ray but considering it’s an older 2008-2009 series, it does have softness and banding. As for the special features, you get two solid audio commentaries plus featurettes with Jad Saxton and a special interview with the Japanese cast and more. It’s also important to note that if this Blu-ray release came with any extra features, I am unable to comment as the version I am reviewing are the discs that FUNimation supplied to us.

But the final half of “Michiko & Hatchin” was no doubt a wild ride.  The series remained consistent of having an adult edge but also quite a bit of violence as well, as we get to see how sadistic Satoshi can be but also seeing some of the past revolving around Atsuko and how deadly things are going to be as Hiroshi is a wanted man and people are hoping Michiko or Hatchin will lead them to him.

For the most part, I’m quite content with how this series ended.  What was important was that it kept its consistency with humor, violence, music but also this storyline of the unknown as Michiko and Hatchin are on adventure to find Hiroshi but in this situation, they are mixed up with some major crime bosses and it has been a wild and crazy ride, but I respect this series for being unique and different from other anime series out there.

“Michiko & Hatchin” is an anime series that is unique, action-packed and a type of series that you rarely see released in Japan, let alone being brought to America.  If you are looking for a more mature, violent type of anime series with a fascinating story, “Michiko & Hatchin” is recommended!

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