12 years ago in Vermelha, a few actors were rehearsing inside a quiet bar while a movie was being filmed nearby. A much younger Michiko walks in the front door looking for Kiril of the “Phantasma” Group, which appears to be the resident gang with a tough boss. Michiko came to take a bit of revenge for the “Monstro” Group, and so Kiril offers to give it to her with a blade. Denying that she’s here on Satoshi’s behalf, Kiril admits to Michiko that he hates Monstro, but he’d like to keep things tidy if possible. He sends a blonde guy to offer her a star fruit that he elegantly sliced up, but she knocks the tray out of his hands. Insulted by Kiril’s words and attitude, she struts towards the bar but is interrupted by a chair crashing into her back by the blonde young man behind her. Kiril offers her the chance to leave while she picks herself up off the floor, but she answers by launching into the air and strangling him with her legs. Reaching for the knife he dropped, things almost go her way but he overpowers her down onto the bar. Pulling out his gun, he tells her that she’s pretty spoiled for having such a pretty face. Following the sentiments of the young actress he just pissed off, he gives Michiko 4 seconds to take herself out or be taken out.

12 years later in present day, Michiko and Hatchin arrive in Vermelha on a rainy day, and Hatchin seems to be in high spirits, teasing Michiko about her big sunglasses. In an orphanage nearby, Liliana Amar is helping one of the children give an interview to prospective parents. Liliana receives a large amount of cash from the transaction, and stores it away in a drawer. While taking a cigarette break a bit later, a young black boy comes into her office demanding to know where the young girl disappeared to. She tells him she went to a good place but he doesn’t believe her.

That night, Michiko and Hatchin pull up on her motorcycle in front of a small café and are greeted by a flamboyant young man with an afro and hot pants. Inside, they watch a show about the local bullfight going on in town and gossip about the matadors. He’s shocked to find out Hatchin is Hiroshi’s son, and takes Michiko into the kitchen for a private conversation. She says she’s come back to meet with Satoshi. He tells her it’s too dangerous, because Satoshi is now the leader of the Monstro group. When she tells him her goal is to find Hiroshi, he’s shocked – Hiroshi reportedly died years ago in a bus accident. Unfazed and in complete denial, Michiko doesn’t believe that at all. That’s why she needs to find Satoshi, since he was a childhood friend, and should have some information that could help her find Hiroshi.

He tells her that because of the trouble she started 12 years ago, Phantasma and Monstro got into a devastating gang war, killing gang members and innocent people alike. What makes her think that she’ll be safe when she meets Satoshi? If Kiril finds her again, he’ll also definitely have her killed. Telling him that surely Kiril would have forgotten her face by now, Michiko strongly denies that she’s in any real danger. The mood darkens, and her friend tells her that there is no Hiroshi here. There’s only Monstra and Phantasma. She asks where Satoshi is, and he repeats that there’s no one here but the two gangs, and they’ll be out to kill her as soon as they find out she’s lurking around, so please get out immediately. He doesn’t want to see her face in here again…

Finding her way into a dark room with a solitary lighter, Michiko introduces Hatchin to an old abandoned apartment where she lived many years ago. She tells Hatchin she grew up in this town, and that her father was here, too. A flashback takes us back to two armed men breaking in on a topless, beer drinking, cigarette smoking Michiko in the exact same apartment. Hiroshi offers her a chance to put on a shirt, and even offers his own after unwrapping the one that was disguising his face and tossing it to her, but she drops it to the ground. While Michiko walks forward unabashedly and steadily, Hiroshi looks like a deer caught in headlights and suffers a stunning head-but while his partner escapes in fear. He looks up to find his own gun pointed at his face. Pitifully surrendering, Hiroshi is startled when Michiko leans in to wipe the blood from his nose. Taken aback by her actions, it looks like he’s just fallen in love as his nose begins bleeding from both sides.

In the apartment, Hatchin is cleaning up when she spots some photos in a drawer. One is of her father when he was a kid, next to a boy (presumably Satoshi). The other is of Hiroshi and Michiko looking like a happy couple. Michiko walks in and snatches the photo away, but confirms that the man was her father. Talking to herself, Hatchin thinks her dad has a weird face.

The next day, Michiko brings Hatchin to the front of the local orphanage on her bike and hands her a letter and the old photo of her father. Michiko is going to search for Satoshi alone, and will come pick up Hatchin when she’s finished. Hatchin wants to go too, but she refuses because it’s dangerous and she’ll just get in the way. Hatchin becomes furious at this rejection and begins hitting Michiko in the stomach. Michiko slaps her to stop the tantrum. Hatchin says she doesn’t believe that Michiko will stand by her word, and harshly says it’s fine if she stays at the orphanage after all. Michiko throws a nostalgic smile and picks up only the photo after a moment of thought. Mounting her bike, Michiko leaves a worried Hatchin behind as a man on a 2-way radio notifies his boss that Michiko has been spotted back in town with a child. The obese sweaty blonde man on the other end of the line doesn’t seem pleased.

In the blonde man’s flashback, he remembers Kiril discussing the consequences of releasing Michiko, and deciding what the gang’s next move would be. In the kitchen while sharpening his knife, Kiril asks Sasha (the skinny blonde guy) what he thinks, but Sasha doesn’t have an answer. He wants to go too, but Kiril says he’ll be fine, because it’s his job to protect him. Back in the spa, the now much larger Sasha says he understands that taking care of Michiko is his job, too.

Reading the letter full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, Liliana grills Hatchin about what a miserable situation she’s in. Without even bringing money and only offering a single-page letter, Liliana thinks it’s a bit too unreasonable for her to accept the forlorn Hatchin, and kicks her back out onto the streets. Outside, Hatchin paces and rants furiously, bitter about being hit by Michiko and runs off into the city determined to get even.

On top of a building overlooking the city, Michiko daydreams about another flashback of Hiroshi. Talking in her apartment the same day as the robbery attempt (now with a shirt on), she confirms his story about saving a hostage and asks if he’s going on his mission alone, even if he’s in great danger. He’ll go alone, because it’s alright if he dies, as long as a lot of people are saved in the process. If he has no choice, Michiko thinks it’s better if he quits, but unable to say anything, Hiroshi just sulks on her couch. Michiko says she hates the rain, and cheerfully invites him to eat something with her. She’ll go with him to Kiril’s.

Sitting alone in a small bar, Liliana has a back and forth with the bartender about how she spends all her saved money on liquor. He says she has a duty to care for the children, but she asks who cares for her. And besides, she hates the annoying, dirty, cheeky kids that roam the streets here.

Alone in Michiko’s apartment, a grumpy Hatchin looks surprised to hear a car pull up, but pretty soon three armed men break in and search the house, drugging Hatchin with a needle in the process. With no Michiko in sight, they are ordered to kidnap the now helpless Hatchin, and her last blurry vision is a man spray painting a message on Michiko’s wall as they carry her out the door.


Thoughts spilled over from Episode 4:

Well, What I thought was the most shocking cliffhanger ever was actually just the most devastatingly abrupt and sad ending to an arc I’ve ever seen. Don’t worry, it’s my own fault for being so naive as to think they would come back in episode 5 with guns blazing to save the day. As it turns out, this is not that kind of show. God forbid I take the words “A Continuar” seriously next time…

However, the sudden true understanding of Pepe’s sad ending has led to a deeper appreciation for what actually happened. Not only did Pepe die without regaining the trust in friends (that the writers were dangling in front of her so cruelly), but it proved she would face her death head-on if it meant saving Lulu. The only reason Michiko didn’t go with her to help was because she has an obligation to Hatchin that is too important to throw her life away in a dangerous situation before she reaches her goal. But the simile has been drawn – If it were Michiko instead of Pepe, I think it’s been made clear that she would have made the same choice.

What you should be asking yourself is why the writers chose such an ending. They could have pulled a Sunrise and made everything all better, but they chose this bitter ending for a reason. It really stuck with me… (even a week later. I really liked Pepe and Lulu.)

First Thoughts:

This week Michiko really upset Hatchin by dumping her off at the orphanage after all that talk about protecting her and doing this for her sake. Feeling abandoned, and subsequently denied access to the orphanage by the old lady running the place, she must have felt incredibly lonely. What she doesn’t realize yet (and possibly the viewer as well) is exactly how dangerous the group Michiko is fighting really is. Michiko is showing tough and responsible judgment to protect Hatchin above all else. There are two possibilities for this: 1) She’s doing it for Hiroshi, or 2) She’s doing it because she genuinely cares for Hatchin. More likely is that the original reason was for Hiroshi, but her affection for Hatchin is catching up steadily, and now it’s a good combination of both.

Michiko brought up Satoshi’s name last week but immediately dismissed the idea of talking to him. He was an acquaintance of Hiroshi’s, but he’s such a dangerous guy that she really didn’t want to come to this town and find him unless it was her last and only option. Her friend with the afro told her that Hiroshi died in a bus crash, but Michiko absolutely refuses to believe it. I don’t know if this is her being obstinately blind, or if she has better reasoning behind her strong belief.

I wanted to save Episode 5 until I had a larger resolution for screen shots, but no one is putting it out there. Episode 6 is already out as well (they aired M&H twice this week) but please give me a little time to play catch up. Out in this place called real life, I have a very daunting 2-kyuu JLPT test in 2 weeks, so please forgive me if I’m a bit more irregular than I’d like to be. However, I won’t stop writing here, because – and I’m sure many of you may understand the sentiment – I crave distractions and procrastination in times of high stress.


  1. about trillian , i don’t care about your pathetic life. just write or don’t write stop bithin. everybody is saying that like it’s a new hype or something. in every chapter its “yea but i got a life so.. , bla bla” i don’t care! imagine shit like that in the newspaper, a reporter going like “i will finish this article tomorrow about osama bin , cause i got a life so, i gotta feed my insects and have my dental floss.” – don’t care dno’t care ! what the hell is 2kyee jpt test anway , who knows that ? is it like an msn test? su2,lol,lmfao,wtf, whatever don’t care !

    kat tun kartoon
  2. Disregarding the nonsense ‘someone’ is spouting, great analysis once again, Trillian. The thing that distresses me is the fact that such a lackluster amount of attention is directed towards this refreshing, intense anime blending so many elements in one. It certainly surpasses a number of generic shows this season. It’s great to see a person take this show as seriously as Trillian has. Great stuff.

  3. I wasn’t saying “real life” to be insulting or complain. That just happens to be where the test is…

    I plan on adding the summary soon – I just wanted to explain for those of you who might be sitting on the edges of your seats waiting for the next episode to air, like me. Thanks of course to those who understand what I was really trying to say : )

  4. kat tun kartoon needs to get away from the monitor,out of the bedroom ask moomy for some pocket money and go into the real world where people do things. Id say im surprised by a comment like that but thats the RC crowd for ya. No other blog comes close to some of the posting zealots. Hope you realize why OMNI can’t keep his bloggers!

    ark noir
  5. After 5 episodes I’m finding this show too much like Black Lagoon. The narration seems clunky (or the translation is messy) and I’m not interested in watching a show with nothing but asshole characters killing each other. I get enough of that from the news.

  6. ask noir:
    I would say that reader expectations are definitely high here, but I found that personal expectations in terms of writing standards (posting something worth reading) and timeliness only compounded the “work”. Depending on how committed a blogger is, it can really start to feel like a second job at times. Personally, I wasn’t going to let quality slip due to real-life commitments, so I figured it would be better for someone with more time to take over.

    I’m with you on that one. If I could quit my day job and earn at least the same amount of money blogging (which is highly unlikely), I’d be all for it. =)

    kat tun kartoon:
    Hmm, I noticed that you posted fairly “civilized” comments in the past (albeit under another alias), so what’s with all the blatant trolling nowadays? I sense a lot of built up anger for some reason or another…

    Good luck on JLPT 2. 頑張れ!

  7. d-d-divine? it’s realy you? does this mean you’re back? are you going to blog all those series you said you would?
    i’m not angry or anything, i’m a calm person really, i just read stuff and then comment to it the way i feel, just kinda the way you put your thoughts into a summary.
    and i know you can see the ip adress of us all so, does that make you feel powerfull?
    admin: please don’t delete my comment again i can’t answer to people that way when they have questions

    kat tun kartoon
  8. kat tun kartoon:
    Hmm, I wouldn’t say I’m “back” or anything, as I’m merely commenting here.

    As for your IP, I don’t think anyone’s purposely blocking it or using it against you, so this isn’t a matter of feeling “almighty”. It’s just something I noticed before. Your comments are probably being caught by the spam filter for some reason.

  9. Well, f*** the person who doesn’t understand.

    While I may not blog anything, I post up online novels, but I disappear from times to times if college works get overwhelming because I can’t let something of a lesser importance ruin my life (it isn’t that I don’t think dedication to readers or my novels isn’t important, but I am no pro-writer. I am not paid for it, and it is hardly a good reason worth screwing my college life over. AND IT TAKES GODDAMN TIMES TO WRITE A DECENT PIECE OF WORK) I also don’t want to post a half-ass chapter just for the sake of updating.

    Since from times to times I got some people bitching “Update frequently or don’t write at all!” stuff… I can kinda relate here (even though my novels are hardly as popular as this site, so I don’t have nearly 1/100 as much bitching and complaining) RC is my most appreciated blog because of the frequent, quality update, and I can totally see how this is no easy job to do while keeping up with all the real life stuff.

    And… Well kat tun kartoon, don’t compare the whole thing with the reporter what so ever because BLOGGINGS AREN’T THEIR REAL JOBS!!! The goddamn reporter’s main job is a paid reporter and he better does a good job of it (since he can’t tell his boss that he hasn’t finished it since he spent all his night blogging). Onmi, Divine, Trillian may blog this site (for free, I may add), but their main jobs are something else.

    I know this dude is a (stupid) troll, but I can’t help myself with this…

  10. @kat tun kartoon
    I use that as a reference and I already have my readers so no thank. Actually, I did think that you will say this when I wrote about my novel. Sigh… I don’t know if that is pathetically predictable or what.

    Have a great time trolling since you probably don’t have a life or productive hobby. I know that you are secretly envy of me but is just too shy to admit 🙂

  11. I know this might seem harsh, but I’d really like to keep the discussion in the comments section related to Michiko and Hatchin instead of backlash at my apparently offensive personal remarks in my post, and the subsequent one-man troll show. Double standards are awful, I know, but this series deserves better.

    Also, it’s possible that there will be no episode airing next week, so I’ll update episode 6 that was double aired this week as soon as I can.

    Thanks! 頑張らないと… : )

  12. I really like this series. Something is very refreshing about the setting NOT being in a high school which lets face it majority of anime is based in high school.

    It will be interesting to see how this series turns out.

    BTW can someone who’s a wiki wh0re please update the wikipedia page about this anime with more information.

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