Alternate names: Michiko e Hatchin, Michiko and Hatchin
Hana lives with her abusive foster family who treat her worse than a servant. Michiko just recently escaped from prison and from there goes to abduct Hana. The two have someone from their past in common. Fugitives from the law, the two go from town to town in search of Hiroshi, Hana's father and Michiko's love interest. Michiko and Hana make an odd pair. Hana is a kid but she's practical, patient and polite. Michiko is hot-headed, impulsive and not very logical. Yet Michiko still has some adult traits and Hana is still a kid. Later, stories relating to lesser characters like Jumbo and Shinsuke develop and progress as background stories.
The names of the different characters (their first names) are very geographically anomalous, if that's the correct way of putting it. Their first names are Japanese (Hiroshi, Atsuko, Michiko) while their second names remind one of Latin America (Malandaro, Batista, Morenos).
Michiko e Hatchin also reminds me of City of God a lot which is a very good Brazilian movie. City of God took place in Brazil while Michiko e Hatchin takes place in a fictional place closely resembling Brazil. I should go to Brazil. Michiko e Hatchin reminds me of Cowboy Bebop too. The music isn't by Yoko Kanno so it cannot receive the same standing, but it's still quite good nonetheless. Or I might be misled because of the use of blaring trumpets in the opening and because the opening looks very funky indeed.
The viewers are given a few flashbacks and some memory fragments regarding what relationship Michiko had with Hiroshi. One can always make assumptions as to the nature, which isn't hard to guess. The events which transpired, however, remain a mystery.
This anime is much darker than it would seem at first glance, unexpectedly so. We get to see the gang side of things through Michiko and the members of Monstro while Hana lets us see it through the eyes of a child and a street urchin. It never becomes too dark to bear though, because of the part Hana plays. Ulterior motives, manipulation and other things adults do are present and portrayed in this Chihuahua eat Chihuahua world. Why does MS Word capitalise Chihuahua? Was there ever a guy named Chihuahua? Perhaps a really short Mexican general with no fat or hair on his body… but I digress.
Michiko e Hatchin is something you can start watching, take a long break and come back to later with no negative effects. It is artsy and will, on occasion, have notable background music. This anime portrays something unique -- how we perceive others, particularly those close to us, to be perfect, when they are far from it. At least, that's the message I got from it. I doubt whether that's the message they were trying to send. I personally think this would be much better off as a book, but then I probably wouldn't have come across it.