DVD Review: Michiko & Hatchin – Part 2
19/02/2015 Leave a comment
The cat and mouse series that is Michiko & Hatchin continues in this second instalment; but is it any better than the first half? Not really it’s pretty much the same fiasco as before but at least this time the infamous man known as Hiroshi makes his appearance.
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.
This second instalment, which consists of another eleven episodes spread across two DVD discs, continues the journey of Michiko and Hatchin as they attempt to track down Hiroshi, a man who is believed to be Hatchin’s farther and an ex-lover of Michiko, while avoiding the police and local gang members. Just like before each episode of this instalment features its own stand-a-lone story with only small snippets of information, such as details about a characters background or profession, passing on from one episode to the next; and while this is the case most of these episodes have that ‘been there done that’ approach to past episodes and it steadily becomes a bit boring.
It’s not all bad though as some episodes tend to break away from the norm, such as an episode which sees Hatchin being fussed over by a boy and another episode which feels very reminiscence to the Cowboy Bebop ‘Mushroom Samba’ episode, although this time it’s only Michiko that becomes deluded so it’s up to Hatchin to save the day.
It’s not until the later stages of this instalment where things start to become different and a bit more entertaining. For starters the leader of Monstro Preto, a gang which has constantly been mentioned throughout the series, finally makes long on-screen appearences and attempts to formulate a plan to kill Michiko and capture Hatchin; meanwhile Michiko has her own plans and tries to wipe out the group. This confrontation ends up taking place over the entire city and leads to some interesting gunfights and chases with Hatchin caught in the middle of it all.
There is of course Hatchin, who just wants to find her place in the world, and ends up doing something daring by going off with Satoshi – much to the annoyance of Michiko. Of course that’s not the end of the story; as the final confrontation between old friends – and potential enemies – bring the series to its rather long-winded but satisfying conclusion.
When it comes to bonus materials then the bar was set quite high in the first instalment and fortunately for us that ‘high standard’ has been met on this second instalment as not only are familiar bonus features included, such as commentaries and textless songs, but a fair amount of new ones have also been added; such as character interviews.
The real attraction to these bonus materials is of course the ‘Hatchin: Girl we All Love’ and ‘Special Interview’ featurettes. The ‘Hatchin: Girl we All Love’ featurette sees Jad Saxton, who plays the English voice for Hatchin, share her thoughts and feelings about the character and what her intentions are within the series. The Second featurette, which was presumably available in the Japanese release, sees Yoko Maki (voice of Michiko) and Suzuka Ohgo (voice of Hatchin) provide their own thoughts on the characters they portrayed in the anime. Both featurettes are quite interesting and give a closer insight into what the actors thought of their character.
The English Cast Commentary on the other hand provides a ‘un-informative’ but fun overview of what it was like working on the series and the characters they portrayed; if you ever seen any previous FUNimation English Cast commentary then its business as usual but just a different series.
The final selection of content is none other than a selection of textless songs and trailers, with trailers including Kamisama Kiss, Rosario & Vampire and Battle Girls: Time Paradox – all of which are currently available in the UK via MVM Entertainment.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:10:06 (Disc 1), 1:48:41 (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
When all is said and done this second half of Michiko & Hatchin brings the series to its conclusion. It’s been an interesting journey but the entertainment has not been had with its story or the events that led upto it’s conclusion; it was infact the characters and the relationship between each other that brought the most enjoyment out of it. For instance Seeing Michiko go from a self-centered woman to a caring sisterly/motherly figure is something you don’t always see – the same can be said for Hatchin who transforms from a shy timid girl to someone who can stand on her own two feet and fight for what she believes in. Like I said; the cat and mouse going nowhere approach for a story did nothing for me, infact I found it to be rather dull, but the relationship between Michiko and Hatchin, as well as the unique artstyle of the series, is what kept me hooked and its definitely worth checking out.
Of course when it comes to this second instalment then its pretty much the same as it was in the first half, a new episode a new location and new goal with tiny pieces of information flowing into the main storyline. Usually I’m not bothered by stand-a-lone episodes forming a bigger picture but when the series doesn’t seem to go anywhere, that is until the very end, I start to loose focus and become bored. It’s a similar story here, but fortunately the final selection of episodes which sees everyone lay down their ideals for one final chase more than makes-up for it.
While the events of the series left me feeling slightly bored it’s the quality of this DVD Release, and it’s bonus content, that receives much of the praise. For starters everything that was included in the original American (and Australian) releases is here and the included bonus contents are definitely worth checking out if you found yourself being entertained with the show – especially the Special Interview with Japanese actors. Theres no real qualms to be had with this release, as everything operates as it should with clear dialogue, clear subtitles and standard visual quality.
The episodes found within Michiko & Hatchin – Part 2 can be considered a similar experience to that of the previous instalment, but what the episode content lacks the relationship, character development and ending more than make-up for it. In regards to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then everything is as you’d expect it to be; although you could’nt help but wonder if a Blu-ray release would’ve benefitted the series – which I say it would have.
Michiko & Hatchin – Part 2 will be available on DVD from the 23rd February 2015 within the UK.