Friday, August 05, 2011

Michiko to Hatchin revisited

My glowing summary of Michiko to Hatchin still stands. In fact, I think it's even better than what I said -- the flaws are trivial compared to the outstanding work by the variety of animators brought in to the project, all directed by the vision of Sayo Yamamoto (who sadly hasn't been seen since. And I really mean sadly, as I weep at her absence).

My rewatching has only reinforced -- no, superseded! -- the fact that I think this is a tremendously well-done work. That it's built of outstanding components, that it's telling a grand and universal story, that it's got the art direction and animation of a world-class offering... And yet it's gotten nowhere.

I really can't fathom why. In the "golden" era of anime licensing, I'm pretty sure this would have been snatched up, and I'm sure the producers were counting on that. But it mainly disappeared from view. A couple of European countries picked it up, but otherwise *poof*... gone. And I'm physically hurt by that fact.

There are tremendous and unique things going on in this show. The expressions, the consistency, the characterizations -- they're fun and friendly and so very much a break from the usual anime cliche dreck, that I am profoundly disappointed in the US anime import community for totally neglecting it. The crash in the economics of importation is a big factor, and maybe there were some drastic price differentials that I'm not privy to, but the result is still something that breaks my heart, especially considering some of the drek that did make it through the pipeline.

Add to that the fact that Ms. Yamamoto hasn't had another substantial project since this, and I'm so greatly saddened that I just can't express it adequately.

I've been a bit stingy with my purchasing lately (I should really buy Eden of the East and the Casshern reboot), but if this were to show up, I'd buy it instantly at full retail if I could. It's definitely in my new top-5 (whatever those shows are) and may very well be a timeless favorite when all is said and done.

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