Monday, July 2, 2012

Le Portrait de Petite Cossette Anime Review

Le Portrait de Petite Cossette
Complete Collection - 1 disc
111 mins. - 3 episodes
$29.98 (2005)
$19.98 (2010)
ISBN 013023259294
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Akiyuki Shinbo
Studio - Daume

Synopsis: Eiri Kurahashi is a talented art student who works at an antiques shop for his uncle where he appreciates many of the fine works.  One work in particular has captured his full attention - a beautiful 18th century ornate glass.  He is shocked and amazed to discover the reflection of an enchanting young girl within the glass itself. 

Her name is Cossette and she was brutally murdered by someone she cared for. Now Eiri is uncontrollably drawn to Cossette and her existence consumes his every waking moment.  She died in a horrible state of betrayal and the objects close to her became filled with vengeful spirits.  They are now dangerous antiques which can cause serious harm to the living.
Eiri becomes obsessed with the image emanating
from this ornate, antique glass
Eiri's obsession threatens to destroy him, but his friends and many female admirers (he's popular with the ladies) notice his absence.  They search him out to help him although it may be too late judging from the his distressed state.  What link does he have with Cossette's murderer and why does he love her so devotedly?  
Cossette appears and snares Eiri's heart
Shoko is his best friend and secretly in love with him, but Eiri callously shuns her well-meaning (if jealous) help.  Several other women come to his aid including a doctor, a psychic, and a priestess.  They vow to stop whatever is afflicting Eiri, but it may be too powerful for them to defeat.  
Shoko comes to the shop to check on Eiri and finds him
in a state of deep melancholy
Cossette is not merely a pretty spirit - she has an agenda for Eiri and it may involve eternal torment.  Can his friends stop the poisonous relationship with Cossette before he is forever lost?
Eiri paints a chilling portrait in blood!
Pros: Some nice animation/visuals - very surreal/art house style, bit creepy, more mature than your typical action/mecha/ninja anime, nice twist at the end, tons of cool extras including cast interviews, trailers, and a music video
The psychic senses a massing of malevolent forces
Cons: Eiri was not a likable protagonist, his love with Cossette was slightly annoying, odd story and very slow, music was bland (sorry to those who actually enjoyed it), relatively short despite the slow story progression (maybe it felt short because the story didn't move along very much), a lot of confusing bits, some mild "lolicon" - the Japanese version of the Lolita Complex where underage girls are portrayed in sexually suggestive poses, clothing or situations
Cossette is a fetching ghost
Mike Tells It Straight: Le Portrait de Petite Cossette is a dark, moody show with some neat animation and a creepy storyline.  I liked a lot of the visuals although they often became too abstract.  Loved the scene where some foreground reeds blowing in the wind slowly transformed into forked snake tongues.  The creators put a lot of effort into making a modern tale of obsession centered around a gothic lolita.  
Cossette soon haunts Eiri in every reflective surface he sees
with no escape in sight
The main characters were not so endearing (Eiri and Cossette) and their discussions were boring.  Mostly the obsessed Eiri pining after Cossette who strings him along.  Kinda glad the show was only three episodes.  I liked Eiri's harem of women who tried to save him more than the main characters.  
I'm not sure what's going down here, but it
can't be good for Eiri or the world of the living
I was expecting a little more drama and coherent story from this show, but it fell into a weird anime trap with monsters screaming and a bunch of weird visuals.  A little alternative for my tastes, but I probably would have dug it more back when I listened to KMFDM and NIN in high school.  
Cossette toys with Eiri's fragile heart to get her way
Overall a very slick visual story with a lot of potential, but I feel it went a bit over-the-top on surreal horror scenes.  Worth a watch if you're into haunting tales of love-obsession and abstract artwork, but not really a keeper.  

TO BUY and Recommendations: