Michiko & Hatchin, Episode 22 Recap: “Run As You Are”

Toonami Airdate: December 12th, 2015

The end of the line.

 

The episode opens on a familiar visual: a grown woman making an omelette and trying to pick out an eggshell that accidentally fell in.

Cut back to where we left off last episode, with the police having cornered Michiko and Hatchin in the city of Goinia. One of the officers tosses a gun to Michiko, and the chief expects her to use it, which would allow the police to use the situation to clear their names of wrongdoing. Michiko asks the police officers to take care of Hatchin, giving her the comforting assurance that the two of them will get out of this situation. The police escort Hatchin away, but a few seconds later she runs back and swears that they have to find Hiroshi together and also telling her she found him. Hatchin then proceeds to fight off the officers, pouncing on the face of the police chief. The other officers struggle to pull Hatchin off, but she manages to resist their efforts as well. Michiko runs to save Hatchin, fighting through the officers in her way, and she eventually manages to separate the chief from Hatchin. The two steal an empty police care and make their escape, with the rest of the police force in fast pursuit.

The chief sends one of his officers to retrieve his gun, and in his search he ends up finding two, unsure of which one is the real one. During the chase, a couple of pursuing officers manage to crash into Michiko’s hijacked car and stop her. Michiko asks where Hatchin saw Hiroshi, and she answers before the police finally call her out.Officers prepared to shoot Michiko The police chief and his fellow officers all have their guns aimed at Michiko ready to kill her, but the plan backfires as the chief’s gun turns out to be empty. It appears the officer from early mistakenly grabbed the empty gun they tried to slip to Michiko. She takes this opportunity to escape yet again, and before the chief can give chase himself, Ricardo suddenly shows up claiming that he’s taking custody of Michiko and requests a detailed report about the carnival incident. Mchiko and Hatchin continue their escape only to be cut off by a car, and when they turn around to back where they came, Ricardo shows up and promptly arrests Michiko. During the arrest, he kicks her into the side of the car obstructing her potential escape path, and the driver of the car is revealed to be Atsuko, talking to Michiko as if the two had never met before. Despite this, Michiko tries to make some kind of bargain with her. The police hold Hatchin back from escaping again, but Atsuko commands them to let her go free.

Michiko and Hatchin are seen making their way to the train station, eventually arriving at the waiting terminal and finally encounter the man they’ve been hunting down for so long: Hiroshi Morenos. Michiko immediately runs up to him and grabs him by the collar, and Hiroshi seems happy that she still remembers him, lovingly embracing her in his arms.Michiko and Hiroshi The two of them go to Hatchin so Hiroshi can introduce himself to her, but she seems unenthusiastic about this.

The three of them head out to some unknown house where Michiko starts pounding on the door. The man who greets them says that he can’t help them until the morning, so they have to stay at his house overnight. Whatever service he’s offering, Michiko says it’s only for two: Hiroshi and Hatchin. They wait around in the house until the sun rises. In the morning, Michiko cooks breakfast for them, and Hatchin offers to help. She offers Hatchin a bite of her scrambled eggs, but she refuses. Hatchin is upset that she’s being forced to travel with Hiroshi, but Michiko promises that this isn’t the end for them and that she’ll see her again. A plane arrives outside the house to take Hiroshi and Hatchin to some unspecified location, and Michiko says her farewell before they board. As the plane takes off into the sky, Hatchin looks down and notices Michiko driving along the runway and following them until they fly off into the horizon.Sunset

Adult HatchinWe then cut to an unspecified time in the future (research tells me it’s 7 years later, but that could be wrong), and we now see Hatchin as full-grown woman. She has a steady job cooking for a restaurant/market, and she even has a baby boy now. She spends her free time at the beach with her son, and apparently whoever the father was only lasted about three months in the relationship. Recently, she’s been receiving packages from an unknown sender: six in the span of two weeks. The first of these is some tacky-looking bras and panties that are too big for her. The scene cuts to Hatchin as a child watching a news report about Michiko’s arrest before Hiroshi hands her a fake passport and the two of them cross the border together. We then learn that Hiroshi (of course) ended up running off with another woman, despite his professing of loyalty to family and all that jazz. The adult Hatchin suddenly gets the idea to send a letter to Michiko, but she gets a letter back saying her original letter could not be sent because Michiko no longer lives at the specified address, at least from what she can make out (the handwriting is somewhat sloppy).

The path to Michiko
No, Hatchin! Didn’t you watch The Giant Claw? The path is supposed to be a spiral!

Later that night, Hatchin has an epiphany about the sloppy handwriting. The writing on the letter is the same as the writing on the packages she’s been receiving. She pulls out a map and begins marking down a path based on the information she can piece together from the packages, starting from the city of Tsavorite and ending in the city of Perola. Hatchin suddenly feels a burst of inspiration and gets on her motorcycle in the middle of the night to ride off to her destination, taking her son with her. The credits begin to roll as Hatchin drives, with her motorcycle breaking down at some point. She hitches a ride with a man who graciously lets her borrow his truck, and she eventually makes her way to a long deserted stretch of road, waiting around until a vehicle approaches. The episode and the series end with the reveal that the vehicle was Michiko’s motorcycle, and our two leads embrace each other’s company once more.Michiko and Hatchin reunited

So we have at last arrived at the conclusion of the story, and… it’s definitely somewhat bittersweet. If there’s any big disappointment to be had, it’s with the inevitable encounter with Hiroshi. I feel like this moment should have been played with a higher degree of either drama or ceremoniousness, but instead it’s not treated with a whole lot of dramatic wait. The entire thing also seems to be undercut with the reveal that Hiroshi later abandoned Hatchin to be with another woman, although to be fair this was kind of obvious from the start. Ever since the hunt for Hiroshi was introduced in the series, the show and its cast constantly telegraphed that Michiko’s idealism-fueled pursuit would ultimately be for naught, and it turns out they were right. I’m also a little bugged by some of the loose ends that seem to be left hanging regarding Hiroshi’s relationship to Satoshi as well as some the show’s miscellaneous one-off characters, but like I said, the series always strongly suggested that the whole Hiroshi thing would ultimately be some form of a red herring, and thankfully it didn’t end with some really harsh fate for Hatchin. Quite the contrary: it seems she’s managed to make a decent life for herself as an adult following the intense journeys she had across Diamandra. Despite the trouble she got into with the law as a child due to her association with Michiko, it appears that, for the most part, she’s managed to avoid going down a life of crime. In a way, it also helps put a decent capstone on Michiko’s overall character arc. The main recurring arc for her character was for her need to let go of the past and ultimately take responsibility for her actions, and we finally see that happen, allowing Hatchin to live a good life.

It’s a mixed but uplifting ending considering much of the bitter harshness that had been present across the entire run of the series. It is an ending that, much like the whole show, has its highs, lows, and somewhat off moments, but ultimately is fairly satisfying to watch, and I’m glad I saw the show through to the end. That’s it for now, but stay tuned as I will be doing weekly recaps/reviews of Toonami’s next series, the modern classic Samurai Champloo.

 

Michiko & Hatchin is licensed by FUNimation and was produced by Studio Manglobe.

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