The action-adventure series Michiko & Hatchin
(2008) received considerable attention when it debuted in Japan because the voices of the main characters were provided by prominent film actresses Yōko Maki (The Grudge
) and Suzuka Ohgo (Memoirs of a Geisha
). Tough as press-on nails Michiko escapes from prison and tears off on a motorcycle to collect Hatchin, a child who may be her daughter, but who's being raised by an abusive, venal priest and his wife (!). Michiko is searching for her ex-lover, Hiroshi, who may be Hatchin's father. She careens from town to town in a country that resembles Brazil, drinking, raising hell, getting in fights, and stealing. But if Michiko is a foul-mouthed thug whose main talent is cramming her figure into microscopic shorts and a miniscule top, Hatchin is a self-righteous prig who fusses endlessly. First-time director Sayo Yamamoto leaves big chunks of the story unresolved, and the elaborate tracking shots of the racing motorcycle in the first episodes quickly give way to holds on static artwork. Yamamoto clearly blew the budget early in the production and had to patch together the later shows on what was left. Billing this haphazard series as "from the creators of Cowboy Bebop
and Samurai Champloo
" is stretching a point at best. Bebop
director Shinichiro Watanabe produced the soundtrack, which was composed by the Brazilian musician Alexandre Kassin. But Yamamoto displays none of Watanabe's skill at creating intriguing stories and sympathetic characters. The misogynistic brutality would earn Michiko & Hatchin
a hard "R" rating, if not an "X," in America. (Rated TV MA, but suitable for viewers 17 and older: graphic violence; violence against women and children; extensive profanity; nudity; child abuse; ethnic stereotypes; offensive religious imagery; risqué and toilet humor; alcohol, drug, and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
(1. Goodbye Heartless Paradise! 2. Brown Sugar on the Run from the Law, 3. Like a Desperate Pinball Machine, 4. Stray Cat's Milky Way, 5. The Homesick Idiots, Part 1, 6. The Homesick Idiots, Part 2, 7. The Monotone of Falling Rain, 8. Black Noise and a Dope Game, 9. Passionate Chocolate Girl, 10. The Carnival of Hyenas, 11. Starting Line for the Downpour)
After escaping from prison, the sexy criminal Michiko rescues an abused girl known as Hatchin. On the run from the police, their fates become intertwined through the connection of a man from their pasts they are both searching for.
The limited edition sku comes in a collectible art box.