Likable and unlikable supporting characters

I have a limited amount of engagement with Michiko to Hatchin. For the most part it strikes me as an exercise in Sledgehammer Wangst.

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A recurring theme is that being a little kid sucks. For both Hatchin and the pictured supporting character, they are dealing not just with the general angst of being a child, but also the unlovely conflicts of being genuinely below the poverty line in a less-developed country.

Charles Dickens wrote damn well, and that was absolutely necessary, because he wrote about likable characters in the revolting condition of poverty. If any writer of less skill had tried to write Dickens’ stories, all potential readers would have thrown the book across the room and said, “Forget it, I’m depressed enough without this misery tourism.” Wangst is a subset of misery tourism with fictional misery instead of real misery. Reading about poverty is not fun for most people. We need a hell of a lot of likable characters and even some hope to keep us engaged with the story.

El Cazador de la Bruja comes off as a sanitized little picnic outing by comparison, but at least it has likable characters.

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Episode 10 pulls the same “Writer On Board” tricks as earlier episodes – that is, it shows the audience some supporting characters and then has the main characters draw parallels between the extras and themselves. It feels like an unintentional breakage of the “fourth wall.”

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Remember that meaningless supporting character in the silver mine, and how she existed only to shed light on the blonde girl?
Well, now we have even more supporting characters to do the same thing, but these ones are more convincingly portrayed!

likeable

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It’s almost like we’re not watching a story, we’re watching the team of writers justifying their script proposals to a producer.

And yet it’s still more watchable than Michiko to Hatchin. I suppose a reasonable reader might ask why I bother watching these shows instead of dropping them, but I’m somehow determined to see both of these series through to their ends – bitter or bittersweet, as the case may be. This is what anime addiction looks like, kids.

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