A show starring little women living together who might as well be a married couple. That alone was enough to grab my attention. Question is whether it is worth checking out or not. Let us find out as we take a look at Hakumei and Mikochi.
- Hakmumei and Mikochi: Tiny Little Life in the Woods
- Hakumei to Mikochi (Japanese)
Genres: Slice of Life, Fantasy, Iyashikei
Number of Episodes: 12 + OVA
Plot Summary: While Hakumei is cheerful, outgoing and prefers to be outside, Mikochi is more introverted and prefers to stay indoors. These differences will set the tone for their friendship. Riding on insects and birds, creating tools from the forest and living their normal lives, day to day chores can be the biggest adventure in a small world full of wonders.
Put simply HakuMiko is the story of the daily lives of two women living together who could be mistaken for a married couple yet might as well be seen as such. The first catch is the duo, along with other human like characters in the show are about 9 cm tall, shorter than even mice. Speaking of mice, the other catch is that besides little people there are also other animals and insects living alongside them in the little world they inhabit from the aforementioned mice along with weasels and beetles to name a few of the other citizens out heroines interact with.
The show is like any run of the mill iyashikei anime where the viewer can sit back, relax and take in what is going in at a steady pace, most of the time. What usually happens on the show is Hakumei and Mikochi or one of the two hang out with friends to go shopping or chat, work on their respective jobs or hang out together doing whatever they feel like doing. Sometimes they wind up on cracker jack adventures such as getting involved in a (kind of) gang war or go on an underwater expedition inside a zombie submarine. Basically, more often than not the ladies go about their days but there are times they get themselves into extraordinary predicaments. This is another one of those shows where the world is just as important of a character as the main cast for its inhabitants and locales have their own stories to tell every episode. During the ED there are extra tidbits about the place our heroines visited or the people they met. Make sure to not skip them and pay attention to the timer because sometimes there is an extra episode after the ED. See, the twelve episodes are split into three mini episodes so if it feels like viewers only saw two that means a third one is coming up after the ED.
Having said that it does not mean the ordinary is not interesting. After all the setting is a small world where animals that seems small to regular humans are quite large to our heroines and others of their kind. Also it is fun seeing talking animals wearing human clothing and working on repairing walls or at a restaurant. Though nothing new it is still a fun sight. Another interesting tidbit is not all the animals communicate using words.
The animation is interesting. On its own it looks really good with the little people and animal designs all being really good and the environment as beautiful as it needs to be in an iyashikei show. After all, if the vistas were not pleasant to look at then the animators are not doing a good job. Alongside that there is an additional animation style that (because the internet) is considered controversial by some. What do I mean? Throughout episodes panels are used comic book/manga style. It kind of reminded me of the Sin City movies and a more recent anime example URAHARA where there are closeups of the characters or other things that require great emphasis. Personally I saw it as a neat artistic style. The same goes for the simplistic fade to the next screen effect. After all, it works for the Star Wars franchise. The soundtrack is a mixture of forest, meadow and jungle tunes which fit the setting perfectly. The OP and ED are the chillest of the Winter 2018 season and in my top 5 songs of said season.
As far as our leading ladies go Hakumei (redhead) is the more energetic of the two. She is a tomboy and skilled with carpentry, sharpening iron and other physical labors. Mikochi is more laid back and not as physically capable as Hakumei but she does her best to keep up during their outings. She specializes in textile (sewing, mending and the like) and does the cooking. She runs her own freelance business selling her fabric. When not working they gladly help friends and neighbors using their respective skills or going out shopping.
Our heroines meet up with many animals and people from Hakumei’s master, Sen the necromancer and personal favorite Konju the songstress to name a few. The ones mentioned are some of the recurring characters but even one-shot characters have neat stories to tell as I mentioned earlier. Konju is 2nd best girl for obvious reasons whereas Mikochi makes me happy every time she is on screen.
Overall Hakumei and Mikochi is a simple show that has a lot to offer but does not go out of its way to wow audiences with moe, hilarity or epic situations, instead going for a laid back approach with occasionally bigger adventures. It has a delightful cast of characters led by a duo who could wed sometime in the future. It is a great choice for people looking for a show to sit back and have a relaxed viewing after a hard day’s work.