Friday, March 27, 2009

Final Thoughts: Michiko to Hatchin and Toradora!

Just some quick final thoughts on...

For a while there, I was afraid that the series was heading towards trainwreck territory. Episodes 23 and 24 were especially bad experiences for me, worse because they were supposed to be the climax episodes and I think the whole thing was just handled rather poorly. Good thing that Episode 25 was so nicely executed I think it redeemed the whole series for me.

is a series that I didn't expect much from. I mean, my exact words were that it's the 'obligatory romantic title' on the list. On my first impression, I even said that it was typical romantic-comedy and highly predictable. In a way, Toradora! is rather typical and predictable but what puts it on a level above other typical, predictable romantic-comedy titles out there is its surprising capacity for depth on certain points. Ultimately for me, the series is about friendship and growing up and self-identity. Sure, the romance is there (and I think it's totally adorable) but that is not even the main focus nor the main draw.

The show offers a nice window into the past or future (depending on your age group) that is often insightful and entertaining. Toradora! is a show that I would recommend if you're looking for a light series that still has some depth.

Michiko to Hatchin

For a show that I just randomly picked up, Michiko to Hatchin certainly surprised me. It's probably one of my favorite shows from the fall season because it is such a solid series: plot, character development, setting, animation, art and music -- the whole gamut.

Admittedly, the first episode did not draw me in right away, mainly because it started out so much like soap opera it made me grit my teeth and just decide to wait for it to finish. And in the end, I'm glad I stuck with that decision because halfway through the episode, Michiko showed up and suddenly, Hatchin's world is turned upside-down and everything exploded.

The best thing about Michiko to Hatchin is that it begins from a very simple premise: An ex-convict runs up to an orphan girl and the two of them go on adventures together. But the series turned out to be something MORE. I like to think of it as the basic travel-adventure idea of Samurai Champloo done right. Even the ending was satisfying and did not leave the audience hanging despite the fact that it did kinda end with a beginning. Personally, I think that's the best kind. Hatchin's open-ended question at the end suggested that even though the series is over, the story of Hatchin and Michiko are far from over. And because character development was another aspect of the series that was done very well, we, the viewers, actually care that their story continues and will probably continue for so long as people care. In that regard, Michiko to Hatchin is effective.

So in sum, Michiko to Hatchin is great series and I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking for something new and interesting to add to their collection.