DVD Review: Michiko & Hatchin – Part 1
05/01/2015 Leave a comment
MVM Entertainment’s first release of 2015 is none-other-than the first half of Michiko & Hatchin; but what can you expect from this release and what did we think of it? Find out in our DVD Review of Michiko & Hatchin – Part 1.
Michiko is a stunning escaped convict with lethal looks and a deadly disrespect for the lawmen trying to hunt her down. Hatchin is a hapless orphan pushed to the breaking point by the sadistic spawn of her fiendish foster parents. On their own, these chicas are nothing more than a Yin searching for its Yang, but when fate – in the form of a mysterious hombre from their past – brings them together, the world better watch out!
With the future dead-ahead and la policia hot on their heels, Michiko and Hatchin burn rubber through exotic locals where danger lurks around every corner. It’s two against the world in this sun-soaked, Latin-tinged tale of partners in crime who won’t stop running till they chase down a dream.
Michiko & Hatchin, or Michiko to Hatchin as it’s also known as, is one of those rare shows that attempt’s to be different by offering realistic distinctive locations and intriguing characters, but at the same time if you’ve seen Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and to an extent The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, then it will all feel oddly familiar. This is probably due to Shinichirō Watanabe involvement with the series, but even then you are still in for a wild ride.
The story itself follows the unlikely duo Michiko, a recently escaped convict, and Hatchin, a runaway orphan, as they attempt to find a man known as Hiroshi; but along the way get into all sorts of trouble that result in any number of different situations. It’s an unlikely alliance, a full grown woman and a young girl, but it’s one that brings plenty of entertaining stories; but why exactly are Michiko & Hatchin looking for Hiroshi? Well Hiroshi is Hatchin’s real farther, and as such Hatchin wants to find him so that she can have a normal family life, meanwhile Michiko just wants to be reunited with her love and prove her innocence to the police.
This single goal is what brings Michiko & Hatchin together, albeit through a comical window smashing entrance onto a dinner table from Michiko, but it’s also the single objective of this series; finding Horishi. Amusingly while this objective is considered the ‘hot topic’ of the series it is easily overshadowed by the topics found within each individual episode; for instance early episodes in this Part 1 instalment see Hatchin take-up jobs in resturants and intermingle with locals in order to make money, while in another episode we see Michiko become sexually attracted with another man – much to the annoyance of Hatchin. This ‘progressive’ way of getting the story across reminds me of Samurai Champloo; as the main objective of that series was, yet again, to find a certain person but each episode would see another story being told – and it’s the a similar situation here. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it allows extensive character development to be had, but you do wish the story would get a move on.
Mind you there is another story being told in addition to the individual stories and the main plot; as Atsuko, who is an old acquaintance of Michiko and currently a police officer, is constantly hunting Michiko down in order to return her to prison. At first it’s a simple ‘cat and mouse’ chase but as the series progresses it turns into empathy with various deals and bargains being made between the two characters. Character development is one of the real attractions to Michiko & Hatchin, that is in addition to few fistfights and car chases, as each main character within these episodes evolve out of their pre-determined shells. For instance Hatchin is dubbed as an obedient child, but then later rebels, while Akatsuko goes from devious cop to helpful friend. In retrospect there is quite a bit taking place; you just don’t exactly see it being portrayed on screen as that timeframe is left to the constant bickering between characters.
Whether you like, or loathe, the episodic content found within Michiko or Hatchin you will not doubt praise MVM Entertaining for including all of the bonus materials. Everything that was present in the American release, albeit with alterations to English trailers, are included here in this UK release and because there is so much of it they are evenly separated across the two DVD discs.
- Episode 1 English Cast Commentary
- Episode 2 English Cast Commentary
- Michiko: The Woman Behind It All
- Unveiling Press Conference
- Live Action Promo Video
- Anime Promo Video
- Textless Opening
- Textless Closing
The first DVD discs sees the inclusion of English Cast Commentary for the first two episodes, whereby cast and crew, such as Christopher Bevins (Hiroshi), Monica Rial (Michiko), and Jad Saxton (Hatchin) on Episode 1, and Bevins, Rial, and Sametria Ewunes (Atsuko) on Episode 2, speak about their impressions of the film and what it was like to work on. It’s the traditional ‘FUNimation’ styled commentary so don’t expect anything juicy or detailed but it’s always a nice inclusion to have.
It’s the second DVD disc where majority of the bonus content is located; including an English exclusive featurette, titled Michiko: The Woman Behind It All, which sees Monica Rial give her impressions and views about Michiko. It’s basically an outsiders, or in this case a voice actor, view of what Michiko is like as a person. The other piece of ‘informative’ bonus content is the Unveiling Press Conference, a piece of content which was originally made for the Japanese DVD and Blu-ray release and sees Michiko and Hatchin being unveiled to the Japanese Press for the firs time – as you’d expect this is only available in Japanese and features the usual mixture of clips and interviews with production staff.
To round out the selection of bonus content that is related to Michiko & Hatchin is of course the original Japanese promotional materials, which come in the form of live-action and animated, as well as textless songs. This being an MVM Entertainment release we are also treated to a selection of trailers for other anime series; in this case Kamisama Kiss, Rosario & Vampire and Battle Girls: Time Paradox – all of which are currently licensed by MVM Entertainment for release within the UK.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:10:06 (Disc 1), 1:48:25 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448kbps (English) & Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
The first half of Michiko & Hatchin is the start of a troubled relationship between two unlikely candidates; a female adult with love for a man who’s mysteriously disappeared and a young girl seeking a farther. This common goal of finding the same person brings them together and over the course of the next eleven episodes we see their friendship, if you can call it that, tested to the extreme. Fist fights, Police chases, arguments and gang disputes are all just talking points that forshadow the real objective of finding the man they both love; Hiroshi.
Let’s be clear this is not a love story; it’s a story about two characters attempting to find someone that everyone else considers dead; this is their first half of the journey and we just have to six back and watch the madness happen.
When it comes to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then not a lot can really be said other than a wealth of postivies. For starters this DVD set retains all of the original bonus content that was included with the original American Blu-ray and DVD releases, such as Cast Commentaries and Japanese Promotional materials, and despite being a standard definition DVD it still retains a high quality picture for the most part. In regards to audio then yet again both the Japanese and English audio tracks are clearly presented; and just like with most FUNimation Dubs I found myself favouring that due to some of the ‘interesting’ vocal talent and the 5.1 Surround track.
Overall Michiko & Hatchin – Part 1 is a pretty solid release; it has a unique and interesting story that slowly comes to fruition throughout the eleven episodes but it’s the inclusion of all over the bonus content, and a strong English dub, that make it a worthwhile purchase. If you previously enjoyed Samurai Champloo then Michiko & Hatchin is definitely worth checking out – although you won’t find any Samurais or Japanese related Edo periods within this anime.
Michiko & Hatchin – Part 1 is now available on DVD within the UK.