The 4th and final part of the 4-part watchalong of Michiko & Hatchin with Amelia, Vrai, and special guests Lizzie Visitante and Jacqueline-Elizabeth Cottrell! They look back on the series in light of its finale, dissect its portrayal of police brutality in the modern climate, and discuss the series’ importance to WOC.
Content Warning: This series contains depictions of racism, colorism, domestic partner abuse, queerphobia, police brutality, gang violence, child abuse and implied sexual abuse of adults and children; the hosts will discuss these issues as they arise.
Date Recorded: Sunday 29th April 2018
Hosts: Amelia, Vrai
Guests: Lizzie Visitante, Jacqueline-Elizabeth Cottrell
0:01:33 Final impressions
0:14:00 The Yamamoto twist
0:21:00 Female relationships
0:38:22 Police brutality
0:58:45 How do you pitch M&H?
1:04:11 Lizzie’s list of creators
VRAI: Hello, and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime Feminist podcast. My name is Vrai Kaiser. I’m an editor and contributor at Anime Feminist. You can find me on the internet on Twitter @WriterVrai or the other podcast I cohost @trashpod. And with me today are Amelia, Lizzie, and Jax. If you guys want to introduce yourselves…
AMELIA: Hi, I’m Amelia. I’m the editor-in-chief of Anime Feminist, and you can find me on Twitter @ActuallyAmelia.
LIZZIE: Hi, my name is Lizzie. You know me on Twitter as ThatNerdyBoliviane, @LizzieVisitante. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram with the same name. I used to write for Anime Complexium. It has since shut down. You can find some of my old work republished on ShojoPower.com and my newer stuff on Black Girl Nerds and Anime Feminist.
JAX: Hi, everybody. My name is Jacqueline Cottrell, or better known as Jax. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter as @jaxjaxattaxx. And I am an entertainment media representative and spokesmodel for Noir Caesar. I write comics. I discuss heavy topics that have everything to do with the overlap of Black culture and compare it to what we do in anime and manga. And we’re all about representation. So, you can check us out @NoirCaesar.
VRAI: Rad. And this week, we are wrapping up our watchalong of Michiko & Hatchin. We watched the last five episodes, 19 to 24, and we’re also going to be, as per usual, going over our feelings about the series as the whole. So, I just want to check in with you all, especially you, Amelia and Jax, since this is your first viewing. How are we feeling?
JAX: I mean, just the sigh was perfect, because I just had to go like, “Oh, God.” It was way more intense than I was expecting it to. This was such a triggering series for me because of certain themes that I wasn’t expecting. Everybody had been talking about it for years, and I felt like, okay, as a Black woman, I have an obligation to watch this, because it was mostly POC people talking about this.
So, I loved watching it. I loved watching through it. I loved the discussions that we’ve been having about it. I loved reading in between the lines and really dissecting what the series has done. Emotionally, mentally, I’m still a little bit bruised from certain parts if I think back to it.
But for the most part, I would honestly recommend this anime because I like that it makes me uncomfortable because then it makes me examine a lot of the stuff that made me uncomfortable with this series and things that I actually loved about this series. So, I enjoyed it.
VRAI: How about you, Amelia? How are you feeling?
AMELIA: I’m glad I watched it, and there was a lot I appreciated about it, but I feel similarly towards it as I feel towards Cowboy Bebop, I think, where it doesn’t tick the boxes that I want for a show that I’m gonna rewatch and that I’m gonna fall in love with. For those things, an unambiguously happy ending is pretty essential, and while Michiko & Hatchin has a positive ending, I’m not sure “happy ending” is the right way to put it.
And it’s a complicated series, and I’ve really enjoyed it. But yeah, those last few episodes in particular were quite full on. And actually, the last few episodes were probably my favorites because that’s where it gets really linear and focused, which I usually much prefer than jumping around more. But there was something about it that was just really bittersweet, and I always really struggle with the bittersweet. But I was happy with how it ended. It felt really appropriate, I think.
VRAI: How about you, Lizzie? This is your second time through the series, right?
LIZZIE: Yeah. I had a lot of feelings. I remember some of the feelings I had afterwards, where I felt very bittersweet. We’ve been through a long ride with the show, and you go through a lot of feelings. In the end of the day, I guess, my initial thoughts were I hoped for the best for Michiko and Hatchin, considering they were in a world that was unkind to them.
And upon the second viewing, I feel like my original feelings haven’t changed much. But if anything, there’s a lot more things I think I did appreciate a lot more this time around, like I got to really pay attention to other secondary characters that I didn’t get a chance to as much the first time, like Atsuko and Satoshi. I feel like I was able to really look at them and really feel a lot of feelings towards them, especially for Atsuko.
So, yeah, it was bittersweet. It’s definitely not a show where you can just easily put it in your computer or whatever to rewatch, because it’s a tough watch. It’s not something where you have a hard day at work and you just want to watch something that makes you feel good. It’s a show you have to pay attention to.
VRAI: Which is so interesting because I think Yamamoto described it once… She was like, “I want to make this show for working women who want to come home and have a beer.”
VRAI: And that was the audience she had in mind.
JAX: [crosstalk] Whoops.
AMELIA: Yeah. I can see how Michiko & Hatchin would go well with beer, to be honest.
LIZZIE: Yes, and fried chicken.
LIZZIE: I remember that interview, too. I think she went to Brazil and just had that inspiration about what kind of show she wanted to create out of that, something that mostly working women can relate to and identify with. And I think she did a good job in capturing a lot of nuanced layers of the women in this show.
VRAI: Yeah. Actually, I wanted to start with that idea of… This is something our commenters have mentioned and something that I did a little bit of googling on. Lizzie, if I’m wrong, please, please correct me, but this idea that Michiko’s last name, Malandro, is connected to this idea of a free-spirited, badass folk hero sort of character, and it feels like there’s an attempt to create that here and with that ending and the idea of: “This is sort of an omnipresent folk hero, always journeying across not-fantasy Brazil.” I guess I just wanna talk about that ending a little bit.
LIZZIE: Yeah, I can definitely talk about that. I actually know the comment you’re addressing because I did read some of the comments. Since I’m not from Brazil, I can’t speak on that much, but I definitely think it’s an interesting way to look at Michiko’s character. And the overall feeling I got watching the finale of the show… I might as well just go to my notes because I thought we were gonna talk about this last.
LIZZIE: The relationship between our women and elders. When I see Michiko and adult Hatchin with her own child, I’m just often reminded of our elders. And I’m using “elders” here to be a catchall for our women and trans and nonbinary elders, who are often the ones who take care of our families and community. And when I saw that moment, they’re often the pinnacles of our strength in order to keep going in a world that’s not very kind to marginalized folks like us.
So, I still really love that moment because in the end of the day, what the show shows us is that we live in a really, really fucked-up world that’s cisheteronormative-patriarchal, but in the end we have each other’s back, and it’s thanks to folks like Michiko—and hopefully Hatchin would be to her own child—they give us the tools to navigate the world, and we hold space for each other, even if no one else will.
And I like the idea of Michiko having to be that folk hero in a way, because that tells me how much she’s very loving and how much she’s done for Hatchin, who she now sees as family and way more important than whatever her crappy relationship was with Hiroshi. We’ll get to Hiroshi later. Trust me. I have a lot of intense feelings for him.
AMELIA: That ending, it did feel very unreal. Not in the sense that it wasn’t real, but in the sense of… It cuts to black. We see this silhouette of her in the distance. From what we can tell, she’s wearing the same clothes as she was wearing before she went into prison ten years earlier or something, so she’s still in the hot pants and things like that.
She hasn’t aged at all, and we don’t get to see an image of a more mature Michiko. We don’t get to see the aftermath, and it almost felt a bit romanticized because Michiko, right throughout the series, is not a romanticized character. She’s very flawed. She’s very problematic. That’s why she’s such a great character. And the fact that at the very end, she’s almost rose-tinted in a way, like suddenly we’ve built her up into this kind of heroic figure. And she does good things for Hatchin, but she’s not a hero.
And I was trying to think of… I say, “trying to think of it.” It wasn’t even an effort. I was automatically thinking, “Well, how is she gonna fit into Hana’s life now?” She’s got this completely developed life. She’s completely fine on her own. Fitting Michiko into it will actually probably be a challenge for her, and we don’t see any of that. And that’s fine. That’s not the story that they’re telling here. But it makes perfect sense with the idea that she’s built up into this more mythical figure, almost, than the real human that we spent 20-odd episodes getting to know.
JAX: I don’t know. It felt weird to see Michiko and Hana’s interaction at the end. It felt kind of… I don’t wanna say it felt forced. Like you guys said, it’s kind of bittersweet, but at the same time you know she’ll be okay on her own. So, I really don’t know.
I like the analogy to the Cowboy Bebop ending, where it’s like, “Well, what now, I guess?” You can’t be happy the series is over, but at the same time you still feel kind of shafted, so now you’re left with these feelings. You’re just like, “Okay, well, how do I look at this in a way where I don’t quite feel so shafted? Because it really did feel like Cowboy Bebop all over again!”
The ending. It’s that uncertainty. And I don’t like the uncertainty. And like Amelia said, I don’t do good with bittersweet either. I like absolute resolution or as close to an absolute resolution as possible, and I feel like this just didn’t give it. So, that’s where my feelings are at this point.
LIZZIE: I think with that, I see that Hatchin felt very empty in her life. I mean, she was fully okay. She has a job. She’s secured. But she just didn’t feel that complete in the end. I mean, she has a kid. And she doesn’t really have any very high view of the men in her life either.
The father of her child bounced in like three months. Her dad left her pretty young from what we can tell. The only stable thing in her life was Michiko, and I guess I found it, in a way, sweet that she decided to sit down one day and write her a letter to update her about what’s gone on with her life since then.
AMELIA: Yeah, I agree with that. I really appreciated the relationship they built. That is true found family. And the fact that they spend this whole series in pursuit of a guy, and then they get him, and then he’s not even worth it, but they still have each other because of that journey to find him, that was really meaningful and that felt like a really positive ending.
But I completely feel the way Jax did, I think, where you get to the end and you’re like, “I wanted something a bit more substantial,” but, again, that’s not necessarily the story they were telling. That’s just the story I personally like to see. So, it did feel like it got to the end and then it was dead stop. And the things that you might find rewarding are not gonna be there.
But I appreciated that we actually got to see Hana a little bit older, though. We got to see that she grows up and she is okay. And I’m not sure that I agree with you that she’s not got anyone or anything. I don’t think she shows us a lonely life. I think she shows us a capable, competent life. Yes, it would be improved by having Michiko in it, because Michiko’s the only family she has now.
LIZZIE: Yeah, you said everything I wanted to say about Hiroshi, which is not much to begin with. In my notes—
AMELIA: [laughs] He doesn’t deserve much.
LIZZIE: In my notes here, I just literally wrote, “He was trash. Let’s move on.” [laughs]
LIZZIE: That’s all I have to say about him. I have nothing smart. [laughs]
VRAI: I love this shit. I love this shit. I love this shit. I think a thing that I’m discovering watching Yamamoto’s series with other people is that her work tends to be a little bit alienating if you’re not super jazzed about the structural plays that she’s doing. This happened when we did the Fujiko Mine retrospective, where Dee ended up in the position you and Jax are in, Amelia, where she said, “I can appreciate what the series is doing, but emotionally it leaves me a little bit cold because of X, Y, and Z.”
And I think that is fair there and here, but also, I’m just so busy being in love with the thing that she does in basically all of her shows where in the late-stage game, there is always, always, always some major revelation moment that causes a twist and makes you rethink a character relationship or a character’s role in the story.
In Fujiko Mine, it’s the finale. In Yuri on Ice, it’s the banquet scene. And here, it’s meeting Hiroshi, but at the same time, the series has been telling you all along that he was trash objectively, if you’re paying attention.
But also, Michiko is so hellbent on following this romantic narrative that it doesn’t sink in for her. And I think a lot of the viewing populace might be tempted to follow along with the romantic narrative that that’s how these things go and expect him to really be okay in the end. And no, no, the details were there all along. He was always trash.
AMELIA: I totally expected him to turn over a new leaf. I totally expected him to be there for Hana. I was totally surprised when a minute later she’s like, “Yeah, he was gone.” [laughs]
VRAI: And she doesn’t—
LIZZIE: Yeah. She was not even invested. Hatchin was not even invested in that whole thing with Hiroshi. I really love that moment when she’s traveling with Satoshi for a bit, where Satoshi… We’ll get to him in a bit, but he’s reminiscing about his friendship with Hiroshi, and she breaks it to him like, “No, Hiroshi is not the guy you and Michiko think he is. In fact, he never gave a shit about any of you.”
And I was like, “Yes! Finally, somebody said this. I mean, you can’t say it to Michiko for reasons, because I know you care, but still.” I love that Hatchin is the one that said it.
AMELIA: She gets it.
LIZZIE: Especially to Satoshi, too, because he also holds Hiroshi up to a pinnacle the way Michiko does. But we’ll get to Satoshi eventually.
JAX: I was gonna say, it’s just very interesting that you brought up Michiko’s refusal to shift from her romantic perspective in pursuing him, because I think you just touched upon what bothers me most about her, at least with this fool that she’s so enamored with, is that it can be very hard—and, I mean, just speaking from experience—to let a trash man go.
You know he’s trash. You know he belonged in the dumpster 2, 3, 4, 12 years ago, but it’s just like you can’t quite force yourself to shift that. I don’t know if that’s because Michiko just has this almost savior adoration of him where she can’t quite let him go.
Meanwhile, then you’ve got Hana, who’s just like, “No, my dad’s trash, and I’m aware of this fact that he is trash, and I’m trying to tell you that he is trash.” And to be perfectly honest with you, the reason that they have that type of relationship and why I can respect Hana so much for that is because I have a stepmom and I have a dad whose relationship isn’t always the best. And so, it’s just like, “Listen, stepmom, Sheila—I guess, Michiko—I really appreciate everything you’re doing. But do yourself a favor and just stop because he’s trash.” And it’s interesting because Hana’s always the one who calls it out.
And you’re right: it plays up he’s trash, he’s trash, he’s trash. This episode, he’s still trash. This episode, still trash. This one, maybe not so much trash, but still overall trash, like “Bye!” And then it gets to the end, and you really are shocked. You wanna have hope for him that he’ll be better and there’ll be something that will trigger it, just that one little hope, and then it’s just like, “Well, shit.”
And you can’t be mad because, like you said, the signs were there from the get-go. So, it’s such a hard pill to swallow, but at the same time the signs were kind of there. It’s just we didn’t want to pay any heed to them. We kinda hoped things would get better, and they didn’t.
And I think that’s pretty much how Michiko’s relationship with this idiot played out the entire series. She had that hope, and despite the obvious signs, even the ones from the direct descendant of this trash, she was just like, “Nope, I’m just gonna hope for the best.” So, it’s that one little hope that I can’t hate Michiko for it because I know that feeling.
LIZZIE: And you know what, to bounce off of that, I really like how thoughtful Hatchin is, because she said it herself, that in a way Michiko and Satoshi are a lot alike because the reason they both appreciate Hiroshi in their life is because he was the only one that was kind to them and to some extent even listened to them in environments where nothing was essentially kind to them.
And the fact that they both hold on to that so tightly, it’s so sad, but Hatchin had to be the one to break it, if not to Michiko directly, it was vicariously through Satoshi. But even then, he didn’t really believe her.
It impresses me how much Hatchin— I mean, she knows her dad’s crap, but she goes so out of her way, too, to try to keep her hoping, too. Like, in the earlier episodes, when she broke into Feliciano’s apartment, the actor, and tried to force him to feed Michiko this lie that Hiroshi does think about her and says all these nice things about her.
That was a moment I genuinely— I had a lot of feelings about it, but to some extent I thought it was sweet that she saw Michiko’s reaction when some total stranger pretty much gave her the reality check, but he’s not the person I wanted Michiko to hear that from. And Hatchin really went out of her way to keep her hoping. And I thought, wow, she needed to hear it, but it wasn’t from this random stranger. She needed to hear it from Atsuko, which we’ll get to that later, and I’m glad that comes back later.
But I just thought it was so incredibly sweet, to some extent, that Hatchin did that for Michiko, because she didn’t have to. I mean, I can’t believe she outbeat chasing after a car, but she did it.
VRAI: I kind of love that scene because there’s this recurrent theme throughout the series of the disjunction between fantasy narratives and real life, which is in some ways tied to this idea of “Men will fucking let you down, and relationships with women will sustain you.”
This is the guy who is on the soap opera that has been shoving down this narrative of “Stand by your man and he’ll come back to you,” and it’s all very tragic and romantic. But then, Hatchin is able to repurpose this guy in a way that she knows will be this sustaining fantasy, because sometimes we need fantasies. They sustain us in a terrible world.
But when Hatchin does it and it’s this motivation of one woman to another, that becomes this thing that keeps her going until she can face up to that truth. And I have a lot of feelings about the back half of this show!
LIZZIE: Yeah. I’m so glad you touched on that, because one of the things I really liked in that episode, they used the theme of carnavales. I can’t pronounce it in English. I mean, I could but the image that comes to mind for carnivals in English is different to when I say carnavales in Spanish.
But I like that the backdrop was there for that because the history of carnavales is really… Depending on where you go in Latin America and the Caribbean, it’s different, depending on where you look into. But some carnavales date back to the Inca Empire, and some of those festivities were a tribute to Andean spirits, particularly Pachamama. And there’s the whole festivity behind it that I always found super fascinating.
In the context of Brazil, I noted the origins of carnavales in Brazil is different in some accounts, but one of the things that I do like [is] that it highlights it’s a mixture of Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, Black and Portuguese Catholic traditions. And in those ways, carnavales were used as a form to talk back, especially for Black folks, against the rich, white Portuguese class.
And the reason I’m bringing this up is because the whole point of carnavales is a celebration of dreams and different cultures and spirituality. And like Vrai said, we talk a lot about dreaming and especially dreaming for a better and safer world than our current reality. So, I really like that this was in the whole backdrop on that episode that we’re talking about, because there’s a whole narrative about the anticipation for carnavales, which really correlates to our own excitement and optimism for the future.
And I think that’s the theme that we’ve talked about a lot. We have to have some kind of dream or fantasy to give us hope for our own personal futures. And I just love it. There’s this anticipation there for it, all the time.
I mean, I have issues with carnavales in general, on another thing entirely in terms of a lot of it can be anti-Black as hell, appropriative of Indigenous clothing, depending on where you’re looking into in Latin America. In my neck of the woods, there’s a lot of blackface and… Oh, god, it’s a mess.
Carnavales can be a hot mess when you really look into it, but I like that this was there to really highlight Michiko’s feelings of joy and hope in the end while everyone was celebrating carnavales around her, especially after Hatchin did the thing with Feliciano in order to give her that hope and something to look forward to. I think I got off topic, but yeah.
VRAI: No, no, no, this is all good and interesting context. I didn’t want to interrupt you. [laughs]
LIZZIE: [laughs] Yeah. Honestly, if you even look into carnavales, there’s music dedicated to the anticipation for when the arrival of carnivals will happen. It’s such a thing. Folks really look forward to that, to want to be part of festivities where it’s dreamlike, especially when maybe you don’t have a lot of things going for you in your life and you want those festivities to be around so they can give you hope for tomorrow or something.
VRAI: Yeah, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Satoshi, who is this character characterized by intense pragmatism, but also at the same time he’s just like Michiko but along a different life path. They’re very strong foils of one another.
LIZZIE: Oh, Satoshi. God, where do we begin? Where do I begin with him? [sighs] I have feelings.
VRAI: Motherfucker was also in love with Hiroshi, but toxic masculinity… is my reading of the day.
LIZZIE: Honestly, since we’re talking about [him], how I originally felt about him hasn’t changed much in the sense that his death never sat well with me. The way he died never really ever sat well with me.
But this time around I really liked seeing in these last couple of episodes we got to see a more vulnerable side to him than we did in the earlier parts of the episodes. I appreciated that aspect of him in the end, because we saw so much of his toxic masculinity throughout the show that it was nice to have those quiet moments that he had with Hatchin.
VRAI: The contrast of his arc in the back half really fascinates me as far as the parallels they draw between Satoshi’s relationship with Shinsuke, and Michiko and Atsuko. Because one ends in mutual respect, and Michiko eventually turns herself in and does things right because she respects Atsuko and her position and all the things she’s gone through, and the other one ends in violence and murder and that line of “What happened?” And I’m just, “You’re all assholes, but now I’m having feelings! How dare you!”
AMELIA: One thing that I really appreciated about Michiko & Hatchin as a series is that it doesn’t shy away from people feeling genuinely dangerous. And I think Satoshi is one of the most dangerous-feeling characters—Satoshi and Shinsuke, between them, there’s a genuine threat to them. They would quite happily kill Michiko. They would quite happily kill Hana. It wouldn’t bother either of them.
So, in that sense, I appreciated Satoshi’s presence. It was good for Hana to be around somebody who would actually be a threat to—I say “good for her.” Obviously, it’s terrible for her, but as a viewer, it’s nice that Hatchin doesn’t get to just be the spunky child who just gets away with anything. She’s genuinely in positions of danger. And the fact that you have characters like Satoshi really makes that feel grounded in a way that some series don’t manage, where the child feels invincible. And that’s not the case, I think, in Michiko & Hatchin.
However, you’ve got this whole story, this childhood story of Michiko and Atsuko and Hiroshi and Satoshi. And Satoshi is the really weak link there, I think, because I feel like we get a sense of the fuller story of the other three. And, yeah, Hiroshi’s story is that he’s actually trash and people think more highly of him than he deserves. That’s fine. That’s legitimate. We don’t really get anything that major from Satoshi. Right till the end, he feels a bit 2D to me.
AMELIA: So, that’s something I would have liked to have seen, a bit more depth to him, I think.
VRAI: Okay, I was joking but I’m not. I do think he was in love with Hiroshi but he can’t admit it because of the toxic masculine system he’s locked into, because they hammer so hard about… even fading in Michiko’s face over his as he speaks the exact same lines about this guy.
LIZZIE: Yeah. Gosh.
VRAI: Maybe I’m imposing a reading and that gives me a little bit more sympathy for him, despite the fact that he is a genuinely fuck-awful person.
AMELIA: I mean, that moment where Hana hears him talking and is like, “No, this is exactly what Michiko says about him,” that moment, that made me think, “Oh, Hiroshi’s really just a con artist. He’s actually manipulative. He uses the same lines with lots of people.”
So, I didn’t think about it in the same way you did, but that’s not to say that that’s because it wasn’t there. We know that Yamamoto’s texts are often queer as hell, and I absolutely don’t want to say that that’s not an issue here, but that’s just not what came to me when I was watching it. It was more like, “Oh, he’s a manipulative—”
VRAI: I think it can be both.
AMELIA: [deadpan] He can be a manipulative queer guy. Wow! [laughs] All these options opening up!
VRAI: No, no, no, no, I mean specifically… I don’t think they ever got together. I think Hiroshi rolled with whatever the fuck was happening at any given time because he had lines.
LIZZIE: Yeah. Oh, God. Hiroshi did not give a shit. He’s literally that fucking Casanova. He just goes with the flow.
AMELIA: But I kind of wish, if that had been Satoshi’s story, if that’s it, I wish they’d leaned into that, because that would have made him so much more interesting to me. It just felt to the end that he was kinda cardboard cutout villain, and, yeah, genuinely threatening villain, and that was good, but that was it.
And for somebody who’d been a childhood friend to the main characters in this whole thing, that felt like it was a bit lacking. So, if he was actually in love with Hiroshi, I wish we’d seen more of that, actually.
VRAI: I would have loved to see more of his relationship with Atsuko, too, because clearly they had an ongoing correspondence in the background.
AMELIA: Which is incredible because Atsuko’s this senior police officer. And we talked about how unfairly she was treated, but at the same time, she’s maintaining this correspondence with a guy who’s incredibly shady and she’s getting tips from him. She’s not above reproach here. I think she deserves, maybe, some criticism for maintaining those contacts, especially since they didn’t really help her.
AMELIA: So, that’s something—you’re absolutely right—I wish we had seen more of.
VRAI: I can’t, though, because I’m too busy wanting to give her a hug.
LIZZIE: Oh, my gosh, since we’re on Atsuko, I feel like I wish we got a more definitive ending with her. We’re just left with questions. And I still stand by the fact I really want her to have her own spinoff.
LIZZIE: I do, because the last time we see her is—aside from helping Michiko—she’s crying her eyes out, and I’m like, “No! Come into my weak arms! I’ll give you a hug.”
AMELIA: That last episode, in general, that bit where Atsuko sees Michiko and Michiko’s like, “I want a word with you,” and then from then on, it spirals out into whatever Michiko wants it be, and I kept waiting for it to be a dream sequence because I was like, “You can’t talk your way out of this, not at this point in the series!” And it was all true! And it just felt so bizarre and out of nowhere to me. It felt really disjointed from the rest of the series.
LIZZIE: Oh, God. I mentioned earlier that I wanted Michiko to get a reality check from someone that actually matters. Yes, I like that it was from Atsuko. Atsuko told her straight-up: “You’re just afraid to admit the truth, that Hiroshi really did leave your ass and he left Hatchin behind. And honestly, there is no sense in you chasing after a man that is not worth it.”
And I’m like, “Thank you! Thank you! I wanted for her to get this reality check from you, because you give a shit about—” Because, yeah, Atsuko gives a shit about Michiko, and honestly, she projects all my frustrations with Michiko really well. Just watching her, this really cool-ass woman, fucking chase after a man that’s not worth it… It’s just like, “Why?” Even helping you get out of this fucking situation… I was like, “Aw.” I’m mad. I want a better ending for Atsuko. She didn’t deserve that ending.
JAX: Oh, right! I just wanted to play up what Lizzie had said, because Atsuko is that outside perspective of “Why are you bothering with this fool? Really, why are you bothering?” You’d think she’d take the advice from somebody, despite their tumultuous relationship, somebody that she had grown up with. So, I can see how Atsuko is a perfect reflection of everybody’s frustrations with Michiko. That was it.
VRAI: Yeah, I always feel so bad about the train derailing episode because it’s so important and it’s the most Manglobe episode, because Manglobe is sadly closed now. They went bankrupt. Makes me sad because they used to greenlight a lot of really weird, interesting projects like this and House of Five Leaves and Samurai Flamenco and Gangsta and a bunch of really unique stuff. But they always had budget issues, and oh, my God, some of the animation in that episode… It’s not perhaps worthy of the incredibly dramatic revelations going on there.
LIZZIE: Oh, gosh. And it doesn’t help… the music that plays in the background when Atsuko is crying her eyes out… Portuguese and Spanish, they’re different languages, but they’re kinda similar, but the song was so sad. I was able to understand it. It was essentially a song singing about solitude, and I was just like, “Ah! Stop!” I was like, “Stop! I know she’s lonely and sad right now, but you don’t need to scream ‘Solitude’ in the background to make me feel any sadder.” [laughs] I was just like, “Stop! No!” I’m still mad. I really want a better ending for her, but okay. [sighs]
VRAI: I mean, I, too, would like more closure for Atsuko. I’m okay with it, I guess, because a lot of her frustrations were about figuring out this balance between her relationship with Michiko and her professional issues, so the fact that she agrees to help Michiko and then Michiko turns herself in willingly at the end is kind of what she wanted, but also there was so much character there that we could’ve got into.
LIZZIE: Yeah, we could’ve.
AMELIA: I was kind of okay with Atsuko’s ending. This is probably the one I didn’t have an issue with, because it felt, as you said, that what she wanted the entire time she’s pursuing her quarry, which was Michiko.
But also, right before she actually gets what she wants, she gets a little bit of separation. She gets a little bit of emotional distance, and that felt to me like the conclusion of that arc, in a way, was where she was able to give herself that distance, which is much healthier for her.
She kind of grieved losing Michiko. She grieved the loss of what their relationship had been or could’ve been, et cetera, and then she was able to get back to her job, and she ended up in a positive place with Michiko, too, and that felt like a really good conclusion for her, because we don’t see anything else of her life. We just see her job and her relationship with Michiko. And I felt they were both rounded off pretty well. Unpopular opinion, I think.
VRAI: I just love her so much that I want to spend more time with her.
AMELIA: I would watch an Atsuko spinoff series in a heartbeat.
LIZZIE: Yes, please. I need this. The anime gods need to listen to this podcast.
VRAI: I mean, again, Manglobe is closed now, and it’s been literally ten years since this series came out!
JAX: I don’t understand how a company such as Manglobe could have gone under when they just have produced anime unlike anything I have ever seen. I hate it. It’s like reading a one-shot fanfiction that you never see the ending to, even though you know there’s so much perspective for it. Bring Manglobe back! Oh, my God, I’m in mourning!
VRAI: It’s like CMX, the US manga distributor that wound up closing their doors because they brought over really fucking great classic shoujo, but only like six of us were buying them, so they couldn’t keep it up.
JAX: Exactly! [laughs mournfully]
VRAI: It’s a problem.
LIZZIE: Oh, gosh. That’s so sad. I mean, what else is there to talk about?
VRAI: You mentioned on the notes that you wanted to talk about the police brutality element, which is… whoof!
AMELIA: I think I wrote that, actually. But I’m sure that both Lizzie and Jax will have things to say on this. My point was just, in the episode where Michiko’s on the run and the police are chasing her and the police shoot someone, thinking it’s Michiko… And it’s just a junior police officer, and he’s scared out of his mind. He sees someone running towards him. He shoots without thinking. It’s not Michiko. It’s an innocent civilian.
And his boss is like, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll say it was her. Not a problem.” And then later on, there’s the scene where he basically goes to execute Michiko and Hatchin in front of all these police officers and is like, “It’s such a shame that you were trying to run away and we had to stop you by force.”
That hits really hard in a Black Lives Matter world. That hits so hard now in a way that I’m not sure it would have ten years ago, because obviously corrupt police officers have been a thing forever, but at the moment there is such a focus on it in international mainstream media that I assume there wasn’t at the time. And those moments hit really hard, I thought, but I’m not a Black American, so I would love to know if you guys felt the same when you were watching it.
JAX: Oh, I guess this is where I’ll come in. Okay. Honestly, to be perfectly frank with you, like you said, a lot of the police brutality in this show was one of the biggest hurdles for me, particularly because as a Black American I’m just so used to it. Seeing it against a woman of color is just extremely difficult. I mean, I can’t stress that, because every day I wake up there is some kind of police brutality in my face. And I mean that: in my face! And it’s like, “Well, great.”
Okay, you know what, I’m just gonna read off a couple of notes, because that’s what I was looking for. I had sent notes over when I thought I wouldn’t be able to make the ending show, so I just want to read from these notes because I feel like they convey my feelings a lot better towards how I feel with the police brutality and the corruption of the police in this show.
And that is: “Regarding the Black Lives Matter portion, I wanted to say that the connection between this show and the violence against Black women by police was a very easy and triggering one for me to make. I cannot stress the extreme level of distrust I have for police officers, even to help me when my life be at risk. Inviting police into my space means I just may be the one who’s shot instead of the assailant. And even if I do get just a smidgen angry, I’m likely to be killed for being a threat because it’s all my fault, even when I’m in the right, but the cops would rather silence Black women than continue to let them speak the truth about what actually happened in that scenario.”
And this is where I’m gonna hold off right now, only because just seeing that junior idiot cop, no, just seeing the cop basically say, “We can blame her for it,” that pissed me off to no end. I got hot and angry. I really did, because I’m not surprised it happens. I’m aware that it happens. This is in my face every single day. But just to see it in just such a frank and blatant way when I already knew that these cops aren’t shit, point blank, it was just like, “Wow! Are you kidding!”
And it really just blew me away because— I don’t know, maybe it’s just my genuine distrust of cops, but… I’m gonna go back to my notes: Because it’s the exact same thinking Michiko has to endure with the punk-ass cop, and it’s very hard to sit there and know that if Michiko had been gunned down, society would have been first turning the blame on her while supporting the cop.
Michiko has no “out” here. That’s what I started to originally think. She had no out with the cops. I was honestly expecting her to die by gunfire. That was one of my predictions for the end of this show, because that’s my reality of it. You have a wily brown woman who is constantly on the run from the cops, and you see it every single day. I didn’t expect her to make it to the end, to be honest with you, to be perfectly honest with you.
Like I said, I have a lot of feelings on this, but I will say that when it comes to the current times that it was the interaction with the police that continued to stay under my lens while watching this show. So, I would definitely say any interaction with the cops, especially towards the end of the series, was just really emotionally and mentally overwhelming, and there were a couple times I actually had to walk away because I’m just like, “I can’t deal with this right now. I really cannot deal with this right now.”
And you would think, “Oh, my God, it’s fiction! Why are you so—” I’ll go ahead and just use this word because I hate when people use it jokingly. Like, “Why are you so triggered? It’s just a cartoon.” Like, “No, this is my fucking reality! This is something that’s bothering me! I just saw something similar to a Black woman dying on Facebook like ten minutes before I got into this episode. It’s inescapable.”
So, after those particular episodes and confrontations, I have to take a step back. If I don’t, I’m going to continue to compartmentalize how I feel about this and let it reflect my overall view on this show, when really this show did a fantastic job of displaying the police corruption, particularly in Brazil.
I’m literally watching something on Netflix that has to do with that, and I just found this by complete coincidence. It didn’t even dawn on me that, hey, maybe I could tie to this watchalong. And they were interviewing the actual cops in Brazil and talking about the police corruption and yadda yadda yadda and how the bodies are always constantly piling up.
So, while at the same time paying attention to Michiko & Hatchin and how the police interact in this lawless world where they are supposed to the law, but they’re just as bad if not often worse than the people actually breaking the law. So, it’s like, where do you stand in line for this?
You want to cheer for Michiko… I wanted to cheer for Michiko, because “Oh, my God. Get away, girl! The police ain’t shit. Whatever you did, fine, whatever. The police have done ten times worse.” But at the same time, there is no law in this world, and it just reminds me that, point blank, the justice system in 24 quotation marks, “justice system,” is extremely flawed. And it continues to fail Black and brown women, point blank.
LIZZIE: I can agree on all fronts of what you’re saying. Oh, God, I have a lot to say about the police violence, because I grew up in New York City, so growing up in a neighborhood that was predominately marginalized… It’s uncomfortable to say this, but I’m so used to being overpoliced, because the police are everywhere in neighborhoods of color in New York City. And every day, growing up, I used to hear stories about young folks, particularly young Black and Afro-Latino folks, get shot by the cops.
And there’s no trust with them. I am always genuinely uncomfortable being around the cops, and now more than ever, when I know, hearing from my mom—because I live in Toronto now—how militarized New York City has become in a lot of areas… I’ve heard from friends that they use a lot of really creative ways in how to keep each other safe, especially now under this asshole’s America. I’m not saying his name, because I want to feel good today.
LIZZIE: How he also uses ICE in order to break into undocumented homes and break apart families and send them back to Central America or Mexico and whatnot. So, for me personally, I’ve never felt safe with any of that.
And having visited family in Bolivia, even there, there’s a very high level of distrust with the police. They’re not even around! They’re not even around. They only show up whenever protests are happening, and when that happens, they’re dressed up in military gear, ready to throw gas, or they have the shields ready. And I’m just like, “What the hell are you guys using that shit for?” People are just genuinely protesting for basic human rights. You see freaking tanks!
Oh, gosh, my mother grew up in La Paz under dictatorship, and she would tell me stories about going home and she’d see military tanks outside of her home and planes fly—and this is why I have issues with air shows and stuff, because they make noise, and whenever she hears that noise, she knows that a coup is going to happen. There’s so much high level of distrust with… and genuinely so, both in America and down in Latin America and the Caribbean. The corruption that exists in the police system and their close relationship with the military is high. Nobody feels safe.
Even now in the context of Brazil, post-Marielle Franco, I know Rio de Janeiro— I think a couple of months ago, the president of Brazil passed a law saying that essentially the city will be militarized. And what areas are going to be militarized? The favelas. There’s been stories of them breaking into a lot of homes and doing such awful things there.
And when I see that moment with Michiko and the police force, it was so disgusting to see how— I know it is a thing, but it bothers me how normalized it is, because they know they have power. They could spin the narrative and the media in a way that makes it look like they had no other choice but to use brute force in order to silence a whole group of communities.
And it frustrates me when I see this because I think of so many things when it comes to the police. And they might as well be called the military at this point because they’re often the ones that brutalize the communities. And a lot of folks are getting deported back to Central America in particular.
There’s a lot of unrest there, and oftentimes it’s the police-slash-military are the ones that cause the most violence in communities. And it’s just a mess, so that’s why I don’t like being in spaces when police are mentioned, because they often don’t do shit for us.
In the context of Toronto, shit, there was a high level of men of color that were killed in Toronto. Our communities rallied, saying, “You guys gotta do something.” It wasn’t until they finally moved their asses after many more men of color were disappearing that they found that it was a serial killer doing—
AMELIA: Oh, my goodness.
LIZZIE: Yeah. And currently in Toronto… it’s not a huge surprise, but none of us have a good relationship with the police, and that’s justifiably so. Oftentimes we’re the ones that have to take care of ourselves.
When these queer men were missing, we used our own resources to keep each other safe. There was a map I saw shared on Facebook about where you should go to keep each other safe and “We’ve heard this is the area where disappearances are happening. If you’re there, call a friend. Do an e-transfer to send money for transportation so you can be in a safer place.”
So, yeah, I do feel like I’m going on a tangent, but there’s so much intricacies that’s sanctioned by police state violence that I personally don’t feel safe because of all the stuff and what I see done in my communities. I don’t feel safe with them. It’s funny because police say that they’re the protectors of the communities, but they’re often the ones doing the most killings and the ones who don’t give a shit the most.
JAX: Mm-hm. No, I completely and fully agree with you. Just listening to this gave me chills because everything you said was perfect.
VRAI: I don’t know how to transition back from that very serious subject.
AMELIA: [laughs] Quick segue!
VRAI: [moans as if distressed]
LIZZIE: Yeah, sorry. That was—
VRAI: No, it’s good and important, and this is the kind of stuff that I’m very, very glad that we’re able to discuss on this podcast. I kind of do hope that Yamamoto does a more— I know she’s very happy and fulfilled with doing Yuri on Ice…
LIZZIE: [laughs] ‘Cause it’s so intricate. Because, oh, God, I’m also coming from a place where I have friends—I have a lot of friends who are children of refugees, and I’ve heard stories about when Pinochet, with the support of the United States, brought down Salvador Allende and how that was like living under a dictatorship. And I have friends from El Salvador, and the civil war that happened there that was also funded by the United States, too. And now happening with Honduras—oh, God.
So, it’s tough because there’s never been a relationship with police and the military ever in the context of Latin America and the Caribbean. Anyone who tells you otherwise are probably folks who benefited from the blood and deaths of others.
VRAI: I think, of anime directors, Yamamoto is somebody that I’d like to do something serious again at some point, because police corruption comes up here and in Fujiko Mine. And there’s not really space for it in Yuri on Ice because they created this very positive universe where homophobia is not a thing, I guess, which is nice sometimes.
AMELIA: It’s very convenient, isn’t it?
LIZZIE: Honestly, we need narratives like that. You want to envision that, because we talked about this show, about dreaming, and I like that Yuri on Ice exists because that show makes me feel like this world doesn’t have to be a dream, living a world free of homophobia, transphobia, and everything.
We can have this space where who we love and our identities and whatnot can be accepted and embraced by everyone. We need narratives like that because everything we’ve talked about in Michiko up to this point has been very true to life, and we need an escape from that and something that gives us hope and optimism.
VRAI: And in the end, I do think this is kind of an optimistic series, because at the end there is this very strong bond that has been forged all this time and is finally being recognized as way more important than the heterosexual romantic bond. And it fills me with feelings, and I maybe cried twice during the last episode.
AMELIA: I’m not sure “optimistic” is the right word. I know what you mean. It does feel like a positive, heartwarming ending, but “optimistic” sort of suggests hope for the future, and I think that’s the bit that’s kind of lacking here. We see Hana kind of repeat the mistakes of her elder. She falls for a guy who’s no good, and she ends up in a position where she’s got a bit less freedom as a result of it.
VRAI: Well, yeah, but I think Yamamoto is all about incremental change. Because, yeah, she falls for a dude who’s an asshole and dumps her three months in, but she doesn’t go chasing after him. She realizes, “Yeah, fuck that guy.” And she raises the kid on her own and has this job and this steady life.
AMELIA: It’s a very low bar. I think she’s also not being abused by the end of the series, but I’m not sure I’d consider that optimistic just because that changes there.
AMELIA: I do know what you mean, and I don’t want to diminish that, because I’m with Jax: I totally thought Michiko was dead. I was so sure she wasn’t coming back, especially when she’s doing this whole thing where she’s saying to Hana, “This isn’t goodbye. I’m going to see you again.” and I was like, “She’s doomed.”
JAX: [crosstalk] She’s doomed! Right! You never say that, not in a series like this.
AMELIA: So, it is actually— [laughs]
LIZZIE: You know what’s funny? I—
AMELIA: It totally felt set up for that, didn’t it, but that’s not how it goes.
LIZZIE: I kind of question how she got out of prison. I imagine all the charges laid against her should have put her away for life. I kind of question the end, like, “Wait, how did you get—? You know what, I don’t give a shit.” [laughs]
VRAI: My headcanon was that Atsuko probably negotiated for her for turning herself in and good behavior.
LIZZIE: Yeah, I like that. I wish I would’ve seen that, though. I was like, “How…?”
AMELIA: They would’ve had to get her cleared of the murder charge. That’s the only thing.
LIZZIE: That’s true.
AMELIA: But that just means that they managed, because there’s no way she would’ve got out of jail after ten years if she’d actually killed someone while being chased by the police, right?
LIZZIE: Wouldn’t she have been charged more, too, after multiple attempts of escape? But I don’t care. She’s out of jail and they have their…
AMELIA: She’s out of jail. It’s fine.
VRAI: [crosstalk] Fucking, it’s happy!
LIZZIE: They have a happy ending. [laughs]
AMELIA: We’re all very happy to see her.
LIZZIE: I know. I guess that moment… Even though I know folks want more from it, and that’s totally valid, but I like that in the end Michiko and Hatchin, they’re there for each other. They’ll hold space for each other in this world that’s not very kind to them.
AMELIA: That feels complete, and even though I said that afterwards I was thinking, “Well, how’s it gonna be when Michiko is actually there in Hana’s home and there’s not enough space,” even as I was thinking that, I was like, “That won’t be a dealbreaker for them. They’re gonna figure it out because they have this bond now, and that is more important than anything else.” And she’s gonna be like a grandma to Hana’s baby. [laughs] The thought of Michiko as a grandma is just too weird.
LIZZIE: I need that, though.
AMELIA: It feels like a lifelong bond, and it feels like that’s not gonna break; that’s not gonna end. They are committed to each other, and that was a beautiful note to end the series on, especially when I expected death. [laughs]
LIZZIE: Yeah. I had no idea how this was originally going to end when I first watched it, and to get this ending was like, “Okay. I like this.”
AMELIA: [laughs] “This is okay.”
LIZZIE: “This is okay. I’m not totally shattered. That’s good.”
AMELIA: Yeah. I did expect more of a Cowboy Bebop ending, which is more final and it is more tragic, and that’s where I thought this was going. And I am pleased that it didn’t do that. So, I have my preferences for the type of ending that I would have liked to have seen, but I think this is perfectly satisfactory, and I think it’s completely in keeping with the rest of the series.
LIZZIE: I’m so curious to see what Yamamoto will do after she’s officially… I’m always gonna be happy to get more Yuri on Ice, but I wanna see what new projects she might have in mind in the future.
AMELIA: This might be it now. She seems to like hanging out in Yuri’s world, and I don’t blame her.
JAX: [crosstalk] It’s a beautiful place to be.
LIZZIE: It’s such a nice world.
VRAI: It’s a nice place with nice people.
LIZZIE: It’s a beautiful world.
VRAI: I guess, to bring this in for a landing, how do you guys think you will… I mean, I don’t think anybody has come to the end of this watchalong not having seen the series. If you did, what are you doing? But I guess I’m curious how you guys would talk about this series to people: what you’d discuss, how you would pitch it or couch it, or where you think it fits as far as talking about it to interested feminist anime fans.
LIZZIE: [pondering] Oh!
AMELIA: I think I would draw the comparison to Cowboy Bebop. That’s felt consistent to me from the very beginning, where it has this almost episodic nature while following a more linear story. It has these characters who each have a very rich individual life while also coexisting. And the ending completely felt in keeping with Bebop’s ending. And I think if people liked Cowboy Bebop and they said that, then I’d suggest Michiko & Hatchin as a recommendation to them.
And I would mention the fact that it has these female leads, a diverse female cast, and I would absolutely mention the fact that it is a brown cast. And that’s still so rare, and that’s something that I never stopped appreciating, watching it right through, just seeing characters who look a little bit like me. That’s rare and pleasant, and I thoroughly enjoyed it right the way through.
LIZZIE: Funny enough, I was actually having a conversation [with] my niece the other day about this, “How would I pitch to her?” type of thing, because she knows about the podcast. And I was like, “Hm. This is tough because I know the kind of stuff she likes.”
But I definitely would say the show is very character-based. It does have action. It does have all these cool hijinks that you would expect. But I found that the show is very personal in a lot of ways. The show is about Michiko and Hatchin, and you get to know them as characters and grow closer together. And in the end, you really feel like you really like them. They’re complicated characters, but you really come to like them in the end, and I highly recommend it.
And plus, this is one of the very rare shows where you get to see Black, black-brown, and brown characters, especially women characters, at the forefront. And I think it does really well on that front. And there’s definitely a lot of things to talk about in terms of queerness in the show, as well, that I think a lot of folks would value.
JAX: I would pitch the show as— Okay, let me think about this, because I was really trying to “Okay, if I could pitch the show to somebody who is, say, a fan of—” Actually, you know what, I’d pitch this show as a foil to what’s going on in our world right now. So, if you can’t quite handle what’s going on in the real world right now, maybe a fictional version of this will help you cope with what’s going on.
I would pitch this story, though, to definitely my older girlfriends or older people in general. I wouldn’t let any of my nieces or nephews under the age of 12 watch this show. Maybe 16. I feel like that’s pushing it. And I would definitely say all women of color need to watch this show, at least once. For however it may make you feel, I just feel like this is one of those shows where, yes, you don’t get the experience of seeing brown and Black women and women of color and a woman is a power force, while also seeing that there’s some kind of… How do I phrase this? [groans, frustrated] I’m so bad at summarizing.
TL;DR: I would recommend this series to anybody who wanted to see something very different, something very unique, something that you can connect to the here and now, something that has just about everything, for better or for worse, and something that makes you think. If you want to think, then this is definitely a show for you, and if you want to feel, this is a show for you, but you gotta open yourself to those feelings and then examine why this show gave you the feels.
But I would probably recommend this show probably not as big as I would some of my other favorites, but if somebody were to ask me about it, I’d give them an honest response about it as far as saying, “Yeah, it’s interesting to watch. Here are these points about this show. This is the character development so far. If this is your kind of thing, then go for it. Just really don’t go into it expecting a fall-out happy ending, because that is not where this show goes.”
VRAI: And quite a few content warnings, as well, I think. This show can be rough!
LIZZIE: Yeah, definitely go into this show with a lot of trigger warnings. This podcast is an indicator of everything we talked about. And also, in the end, since there were Afro-Latina voices missing in the discussion, I wanna give a shoutout to creators for folks to follow on Twitter and Instagram, if we have time for that in the end.
VRAI: Yeah, go ahead.
LIZZIE: Okay. For folks who are interested in following Afro-Latina creators, you can check out Janel Martinez @janelmwrites. She’s the creator of Ain’t I Latina? You can check that out @aintilatina. There’s Kayla Marie @maria__giesela. She is a wonderful social communication curator who has done amazing work, and she’s looking for a job. Hire her. There’s Yung Abuela @arianathepoet, Angry Alien @MigrantScribble. And this one is in particular for Brazilian artists. There’s Karol Conka @Karolconka.
And I tried looking for Brazilian creators in terms of manga, animation, but I couldn’t find much, but the two I did [find] that you should check out is Jarid Arraes @jaridarraes. She’s a writer of a book for Afro-Brazilian heroines. And then there’s Marcelo D’Salete @marcelodsalete. He wrote a comic about the story of Angola, “The History of Palmares,” so you should check that out.
And other places to follow is Afro-Latino Fest New York City @FestivalAfrolat. And there’s also a really great roundtable discussion done by Afro-Latinas on Essence, which you can check out, as well. And if folks listening to the podcast know any Afro-Brazilian indie creators who do animation, write comics or manga, please link it because let’s show support. Let’s support their work.
AMELIA: And I want to say, as well… I know we have some Brazilian readers. We have South American readers, in general, but there have been specifically a few people commenting, saying, “Hey, I’m from Brazil. I’m really pleased you’re watching this show.” So, we would particularly love to hear from you, and if you’ve got strong feelings about what we’ve said here, let us know. We’d love to showcase your thoughts to go alongside ours, absolutely.
We really did want to have ideally Afro-Latine participants. We really wanted to have more voices, and potentially it’s something we could come back to in the future with new guests, saying, “Hey, what did you think of this series?” So, please, get in touch. Tell us what you thought. We’d love to know.
VRAI: But I do want to really say again, thank you to you, Lizzie and Jacqueline. I’ve just been so pleased with this entire watchalong, and a lot of that has been the really great insight that you two have brought. So, thank you so much for agreeing.
LIZZIE: And thank you, Amelia and Vrai, for creating this space to have Jacqueline and I to come in and talk. This is so needed in the anime community, so I’m glad that we can have really deep, critical discussion on stuff that we like.
JAX: [crosstalk] Yeah, thank you, guys, so much for having us.
AMELIA: It’s a pleasure to listen to them, so we’re really grateful for you making the time. And, again, this is no small commitment. We meet four consecutive weekends, essentially. And it’s quite a lot of time for you to take out of your schedules, and we’re very conscious of that, and we really, really appreciate it, so thank you so much.
VRAI: And thank you so much, listeners, for following along on this series. I’d love to have you guys back sometime. We’ve had discussions, and as always, listeners, we want to know what you thought of this watchalong and, as Amelia said, particularly those of you who are Brazilian, South American, we’d especially love to hear your thoughts on the series.
And I think that wraps us up. So, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. If you liked this episode, you can find more of watchalongs and retrospectives and [mid-season] check-ins and season wrap-ups on our Soundcloud. You can find us on patreon.com/animefeminist. That’s the one that pays the bills. We are very close to finally being able to break even with our funds, which is—
AMELIA: I think we will have done it by the time this podcast comes out, I’m delighted to say, but we do still need to give ourselves a little buffer, so please don’t take that as “We’re dropping all calls for funding.” We still would like to have more funding, pay more people, do more work.
VRAI: Yes! We’d love to be able to put out more content and pay our writers more money. And it would be great. I know a lot of people think $1 a month isn’t much, but ten people giving $1 a month is really the kind of thing we appreciate, and those are the people that stick around and form the bedrock of what we’ve been able to do with this site, so thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you want to find us on social media, you can find us on Facebook at facebook.com/AnimeFem. You can find us on Tumblr at animefeminist.tumblr.com. I run that one. It’s gay. And you can find us on Twitter at twitter.com/AnimeFeminist. And we’ll see you next time, AniFam. Take care.