Michiko & Hatchin: Complete Series S.A.V.E.
When anime fans hear the name Shinichirō Watanabe, their immediate thought goes to Cowboy Bebop, or for more selective fans, Samurai Champloo. But the projects he’s chosen to produce often turn out amazing results that can compete with his directorial works. Case in point: Michiko & Hatchin, the tale of a convicted criminal who escapes from a Brazilian women’s prison, hellbent on finding her daughter taken at birth and the man at the center of both their lives. The first episode alone is intense, gut-wrenching and beautifully crafted to bring you into this universe and immediately connect with both the leading women. As a whole, the series feels dirty as if every piece of digital animation was somehow sprinkled with sand and dirt, giving it a gritty texture that you don’t get in many polished anime series today. It’s the kind of show that will make you come back for a second viewing, just so you can relive the experience again—a quality that seems to be lacking in a lot of animated shows currently. This was fully appreciated from the moment Michiko escapes to her final standoff with the police. This series is a must-buy for those looking for substance in a genre currently filled with too much flash. –Gavin Sheehan