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Michiko & Hatchin: Parts 1 and 2 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Reviews

Michiko and Hatchin Part 1 Blu-ray Michiko and Hatchin Part 2 Blu-ray

“Michiko & Hatchin” doesn’t quite work as a 22 episode series.

“Michiko & Hatchin” begins with the buxom and wild Michiko escaping prison. While out on the road (with her trusty motorcycle), she does her best to evade the law. The story then cuts to a little girl named Hana (AKA Hathcin) who is an orphan that lives with a very cruel and unpleasant family. They essentially treat her as a slave and only keep her for child support payments. The two main characters and storylines collide when Hana runs away with Michiko. The plot further thickens when Hatchin learns that Michiko is in love with her real father (Hiroshi). Together, the two set out to find Hiroshi.

In the first 11 episodes (part 1), other key subplots involve a police officer (Atsuko) pursuing Michiko, Michiko engaging in various criminal activities, Hatchin being kidnapped by gangster named Vastly, Michiko falling for a man named Bruno, Satoshi (a crime syndicate leader), and Hatchin befriending a circus girl named Rita.

In episodes 12-22 (part 2), the second half of the series finds Michiko and Hatchin continuing their search for Hiroshi as Atsuko (and other law enforcement officials) close in on capturing Michiko. In addition to that, viewers can expect stories about Michiko becoming ill, Satoshi hiring assassins to kill Michiko, Satoshi and Shinsuke (a henchmen of Satoshi), and Satoshi facing off against Shinsuke (you’ll see why).

While watching the first episode of “Michiko & Hatchin,” I found myself pleasantly surprised by what I describe as a cross between a Quentin Tarantino film and the anime series “Casa de la Bruja.” It appeared to be a very fresh, intense, and fast paced series, but alas, that feeling soon wore off as the show’s shortcomings soon became apparent.

While the show’s intentionally flawed characters are well developed and interesting (which goes a long way for any show), ‘Michiko’ suffers from a meandering storyline that hampers the overall series. Now, I’m all for a road trip series that has a clear goal/destination waiting for viewers at the end, but there’s no reason that the limited premise needs to be drug out for 22 episodes. ‘Michiko’ is the type of anime series that would have greatly benefited from being 12-13 episodes at the most. Not only would that amount of episodes have cut back on the filler episodes (see “Graffiti In Vain”) and the countless number of scenes of characters wandering around town after town, but it also would have tightened up the pacing. Had the series had more of a story that didn’t just involve searching for a character and running into trouble, 22 episodes would have been sufficient. As is, there’s just not enough material here for that number of episodes.

On the plus side, the story does have heart. As I mentioned above, this is a character centric series and the character drama moments (mostly between Michiko and Hatchin) prove to be effective. Even when the story may not be moving forward, there is always a character moment (or perhaps more than one) in each episode that will grab the viewer’s interest and or heartstrings. In case you are wondering, the story does have some closure. The ending may not be ideal or even plausible, but it’s true to the characters.


Presented in widescreen 1080p, “Michiko and Hatchin” is simply a beautifully animated series. This is not some thrown together, cheap looking anime series as every frame is stylish, colorful, and unique looking. The character models, environments, and everyday household objects in rooms are incredibly detailed and it’s clear a lot of work went into making this series. Also, this is far and away one of the best hi-def Funimation releases on the market.

These sets contain English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 audio tracks. The English track is positively brimming with life and is easily one of Funimation’s best dubs to date. The Japanese track is also worthy of acclaim.

Part 1 Extras:
* Trailers for “Lupin The Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine,” “Last Exile-Fam-The Silver Wing,” “Eureka Seven AO,” “Sakura Wars,” “Blood-C,” “Is This A Zombie? Of The Dead,” “One Piece,” “High School DxD,” “Appleseed XIII,” and Funimation.com.
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* Live action promo video and an anime promo vid.
* Commentary on episode 1 by voice director/actor Christopher Bevins and voice actresses Monica Rial and Jad Saxton. An average joke-filled commentary track filled with some character discussions here and there.
* Commentary on episode 2 by Christopher Bevins, Monica Rial and Sametria Ewunes. More of the same.
* “Unveiling Press Conference”-11 minutes of footage of the press conference of the series featuring director Sayo Yamamoto and Japanese voice actresses Yoko Maki, Suzuka Ohgo, and Maki Sakai.
* “Michiko: The Woman Behind It All”- Monica Rial (who does the English dub of Michiko) talks about the character she voices in the series. It’s nice to see Funimation trying new things in terms of extra features so this 15 minute interview/discussion proved to be a welcome surprise.

Part 2 Extras:
* Trailers for “Eureka Seven AO,” “Guilty Crown,” “Black Lagoon,” “The Future Diary,” “Lupin The Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine,” “Sankarea,” “We Without Wings,” ‘Haganai,” “Appleseed XIII,” and Funimation.com.
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* A U.S. trailer and 2 original commercials for “Michiko and Hatchin.”
* A 7 minute interview with voice actresses Yoko Maki (Michiko) and Suzuka Ohgo (Hatchin).
* “Hatchin: The Girl We All Love”- Voice actress Jad Saxton (who plays Hatchin for the English dub) gives an in-depth chat about the character of Hatchin.
* A forgettable commentary on episode 20 by Cris George, Akron Watson, and Jad Saxton.
* Commentary on episode 22 by Christopher Bevins, Monica Rial, and Jad Saxton. It’s nice to see that these 3 seem to be attached to this show as opposed to it just being work.

Overall Thoughts: Despite strong characters, the story of “Michiko & Hatchin” can’t sustain a whole series.

December 2, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , ,

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