Anime Review: Hakumei to Mikochi (2018)

Updated: Sep 27, 2018



Full Title: Hakumei & Mikochi, Tiny Little Life in the Woods

Series: 12 Episodes | Complete

Language: Japanese (English subtitles)

Genre: Slice of Life, Iyashikei


This quiet fantasy series with low drama & low conflict asks the viewer to slow down and indulge while watching each episode.


Set in a woodland realm populated by tiny people, talking animals, curious bugs, and reanimated skeletons, this anime is charming in a way that others just don't manage to achieve.



Hakumei to Mikochi is a iyashikei, Japanese for healing story.  An iyashikei has the same goal as a young children's cartoon -- think Franklin the Turtle or Little Bear -- aimed at distracting and soothing children while they watch, but instead Hakumei to Mikochi aims to soothing adults.


If you can quiet down enough to watch it, you can't help but feel relaxed by scenes of the two women cherishing a slow paced life in incredible comfort, while cherishing the little things.  


  • Working together

  • Problem solving

  • Evening leisure

  • Weekend Trips

  • Good food & drinks

  • Good friends



Even though this series is low on conflict, things do tend to go wrong for our main characters, giving them plenty of opportunity to show emotional depth, and range of ability.


Hakumei can be boisterous and impulsive, while Mikochi is much more seriously introverted -- but opposites attract. And balance out the plots quite well.


Life is truly celebrated for exactly how it is in this story ... even if say you accidentally blow up your home & then need to rebuild it.  


Or it rains during your fishing trip.  

The walled city our protagonists live outside of has a bustling market, plenty of taverns, & festivals, so we get a whole cast of side characters and always something to do.




The only complaint I have seen from those who did not enjoy it is it's slowness -- which there is no getting around.  Slowing down to enjoy life is the major theme that Hakumei to Mikochi plays with.


The animation reinforces this by pulling panels out of the scene and pausing them on screen. Both reminding us to pause & citing the manga origins of this story.



I loved this anime, but I know I can only recommend it to those of you who enjoy stories which slip into the meditative state.



Would be perfect for lovers of fantasy settings, and whimsical woodland realms!


What other iyashikei's have you watched?

Thanks for reading,

Amanda

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