- Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
- Format: Dolby, Color, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Anamorphic
- Language: English, Japanese
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Geneon Entertainment USA
- Release Date: Sept. 13 2005
- Run Time: 111 minutes
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- ASIN: B0009ESTE6
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,163 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Le Portrait de Petite Cossette
Eiri, the art student-hero of the Gothic OVA Le Portrait de Petite Cossette ("The Portrait of Little Cossette," 2004), falls in love with the mysterious image of a girl he sees within a Venetian glass goblet. As his fascination grows, he learns that Cossette was murdered 250 years ago by her artist-fiancé Marcelo. The spirits of the objects that witnessed her murder have been seeking revenge, and they torture Eiri, who may be the reincarnation of Marcelo. While this mayhem is taking place in an alternate reality, a modern girl who loves Eiri attempts to rescue him. Director Akiyuki Shinbo fills the gaps in Mayori Sekijima's muddled screenplay with collages of images that suggest bargain-basement Salvador Dali: butterflies, ruins, dolls, clocks, crescent moons, gears, and crucifixes, all awash in a sea of blood. But the pretentious visuals and artsy camera angles can't disguise the feeble storyline and underdeveloped characters. (Rated 16 and older: violence, grotesque imagery, brief nudity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Eiri is a talented Japanese art student who works part-time in his uncle's Tokyo antique shop. Eiri finds an antique Venetian glass from 18th century France and when he looks inside it, he sees played out for him the life of a very young French girl who is ultimately murdered by her fiancee, an up-and-coming artist in Renaissance France.
The objects in the room that witness her murder determine to seek revenge on the soul of Cossette's murderer that has been reincarnated in Eiri. As Eiri falls in love with Cossette, he submits to brutal tortures brought upon him by the objects so the soul of Cossette can eventually find peace.
However, there are complications as Eiri will most likely die from his fanatic devotion to the 250-year-old ghost girl forcing his friends to intervene on his behalf.
There are several reasons westerners struggle with the story line. First, Cossette is a Japanese interpretation of 18th century France which goes against what westerners know of how people lived and behaved during that time period. There is a lot of artistic license to accept here.
Secondly, the advertising gives the impression Le Portrait de Petite Cossette is primarily a love story and it is not. It is primarily a horror story with enough gore to make most cinematic bloodbaths tame in comparison. There is a lot of blood in this picture and both Eiri and Cossette bleed fountains of it. This DVD is not necessarily meal time viewing.
Also, western sensibilities toward gothic lolicon, a Japanese cultural fad centering on the artistic glorification of young girls, would make most westerners uneasy. Eiri is a young man romantically involved with a prepubescent girl even though ghost she may be. By the bye, the nudity warning on the film is inconsequential as it is in outline and washed out.
Finally, the world view of the film is one of Shintoism, the national folk religion of Japan, so the tropes are different from the Judeo-Christian world view the west is familiar with which explains the story line's view on reincarnation and why the objects that witnessed Cossette's murder have individual spirits themselves.
If you are willing to take the story on its own terms, Le Portrait de Petite Cossette has its rewards for the anime fan in the arenas of art and music, and people interested in Japanese culture will find much to consider.
For me, the movie deals with concepts like obsession with beauty, love of art, and misguided vengeance...the other reviews do a decent job explaining the type of things that happen, so I won't repeat them here. It is however, worth repeating that this particular movie has some of the most beautifully rendered animation I've ever seen. Strange camera angles, heavy shadows and contrasts, otherworldly backgrounds, and a large quantity of blood are all present here, lovingly constructed in such a way that fans of expressionist and artistic films should love it.
Five stars by my rating for exquisite animation, symbolic and complex plot elements that require multiple viewings, and because yes, I enjoy gothic and dark movies like this. It's not straightforward horror-goth, I repeat, it's an acquired taste like most other artistic films. I hope this review helps to alleviate any doubts the other reviews may have given you.
Your best bet would be to rent it if possible and I know....Not much a review but there is not alot here. Cossette's spirit is attached to a glass that only he can see. He falls in love with her and the story continues from there.
This could have been awesome but it falls short.