Michiko to Hatchin: From Out of Nowhere

m+hLet’s begin with a hypothetical:  Would you buy Guilty Crown on bluray or DVD. Most of you would likely say no, as the series was widely panned, given its lack of plot. Of course, it was pretty. Still, even if it was pretty, it only had a rating of 7.89 on MAL. Now, let’s assume for a second that there was a series that had the exact same rating as Guilty Crown, but wasn’t anywhere near as pretty. One would assume it has a somewhat better plot, but, on average, people thought of it the same.

Well ladies and gentleman, I present Michiko to Hatchin, circa 2008-2009, with a 7.90 rating on MAL. It was a magical time in anime land with Toradora! capturing everyone’s hearts, and had After Story and Kannagi making waves, among many other series. Beyond the rating, it wasn’t even that popular of a show. Using Random Curiosity’s year end voting for 2009, it fell behind the Haruhi’s Endless Eight debacle and Kampfer. Nothing against Kampfer, but that is as niche as it gets.

Thus, it was interesting to see this past holiday season as this rather obscure, 5 year old anime got a bluray/DVD release. Interesting in that it just didn’t make any sense. It seemed like this anime was marketed as a rarity in that it didn’t occur in Japan. I mean, I guess, but that doesn’t make it good. It only makes it different. Still, this thing was everywhere (See pop-up ads). When I went to Best Buy during the holiday season, this series was one of the few recent releases out there. Why? I mean, think about it, people who saw the series through in 2009, didn’t think that highly of it, and yet, those of us who skipped it for the plethora of stuff that was better, are now supposed to go back to it, just because. Nobody has time for that. Even more to the point, what about people who weren’t watching anime in 2008-2009. Are they supposed to move this series to the top of their list because its a more recent release. Clearly, that defies logic. I mean look at all the series people thought were better in 2009. To all the kids out there, if you watch this series before you at least try watching some of the Top 10 from 2009, you’re doing it wrong.

Of course, I’m not in charge of anime distribution at Funimation, so maybe I’m just talking out of my ass. And maybe Funimation made a profit on this series. If they did, or eventually will, all power to them. The person in charge deserves a promotion and 72 virgins. That said, those of you who did buy it, I can’t help but wonder why. If you liked the series back in 2008-9 and bought it because of that, all power to you. But I doubt many did. Instead, I think it is highly likely that some people bought this series because we were told it was what we wanted to buy. So if you did buy this series, I wonder if you’ve tore up that plastic wrap, or is it still sitting on your shelf or in the back corner of a drawer? Because, at the end of the day, there is a lot of sucky anime out there and all I know is that if I’m going to watch sucky anime, I’ll do it for free. For those who did buy it – both parts – I  wonder, was that really the best way to spend 70 dollars?

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7 thoughts on “Michiko to Hatchin: From Out of Nowhere

  1. I think you make a good argument against why FUNi should not have licensed that show. Good, in that it neatly sidesteps every reason why they should license it and give it good marketing budget.

    That said, looking at the RandomC top 10 list… what is painfully clear is that what sells has almost got nothing to do with the top 10 list. Maybe the top 5 list?

    • Yeah, I did sidestep that by congratulating the job by whoever did the marketing job and whoever had the initial idea, assuming the project is profitable. Quite frankly, I had forget the series had even existed and yet I’ve seen it everywhere the past few months.

      Yeah, I know the Top 10 list is not a good approximation of what sells, but I still think that in the 30ish anime ranked above it (both in terms of Random C and MAL, or any other site you want to choose), there are better watches, and certainly better purchases.

      • You are right about there are better watches and purchases, but the question is are those shows already licensed? I think so, at least any of the ones that makes money sense.

    • Your second post raises a good point in that everything better is already out there. It begs the question as to how deep into the barrel they can go.

  2. Are you seriously trying to assert that the value of a series correlates with its MAL rating (or RandomC rank) and nothing else?

    Have you actually watched Michiko to Hatchin, or are you basing these comments only on looking at comments and numbers on a couple of websites?

    Notwithstanding whether or not promoting Michiko to Hatchin was a good investment on Funimation’s part, Michiko to Hatchin happens to be a fantastic series from a young director who, with any luck, will someday be a famous and renowned one. If Funimation is only promoting the show as a “passion” project of one of its executives, trying to stir up interest in a great, under-appreciated anime that, as you note, flew under many people’s radars when it was released half a decade ago, they should be APPLAUDED and not scorned as you have here.

    Michiko to Hatchin is a vibrant, gorgeously animated picaresque tale of a woman bonding with an orphan child, while trying to find the little girl’s long lost father. Kudos to Funimation for promoting something excellent and unusual instead of just another high school harem or incest story. And shame on you for posting a snarky item that implies people who purchase something good (or even just that they like) are somehow stupid.

    • I very well understand that MAL and most other sites have no correlation. Of course, I’m not privy to popularity data places like Funimatipn have, so I go with the best proxies available, as is common practice in a lot of industries.

      The implication at the end of my post was not deriding anyone, but it instead posed a question.

      I hope it did succeed, but using the best objective data I could conjur, I thought it unlikely.

      As for the show, you are right in assuming I haven’t watched it. However, I laid out my reasons for not doing so. Of course, some people may like the show, and it seems you do too, which is great.

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