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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/04/2005 Archived Entry: "Le Portrait de Petite Cossette - DVD Review"

Le Portrait de Petite Cossette
Distributed by Geneon Animation

Reviewed by Kathryn Ramage

Cossette is, or was, a young French girl who lived in the 18th century and was painted by an Italian artist named Marcello. They fell in love, but when Cossette began to grow up and change, Marcello felt that his paintings were the true representation of her beauty, the true Cossette, and not she. The relationship ended badly.

And, after her death, Cossette's soul became somehow imprisoned in a piece of Venetian glassware, until someone who loves her enough to die for her can free her.

In modern-day Tokyo, a boy named Eiri works in an antique shop. He's an art student, and has a few friends and a Tarot-reading psychic sister, but no girlfriend (although there is this hysterical, whiny girl who works nearby and has a rather demanding crush on him). When Eiri finds the Venetian glass in his shop, he begins to see flashes of the lovely Cossette's life--and her death, as if he were killing her. He questions his sanity, but he can't help being drawn more deeply into her world with each vision, until Cossette appears before him. She tells him that he has Marcello's soul, and must be punished for his love.

This bizarre love-story-through-time is told in 3 episodes on one DVD. The story itself is fascinating, with some interesting things to say about the nature of art and reality, love and sacrifice, and some of the images are striking and wonderfully surreal. On the other hand, much of the animation seems oddly static, with minimal movement, as if it were a photographed graphic novel, showing panel after panel on a page (some of the taller images are even shot sideways, appearing horizontally across the screen).

Although the original episodes were in Japanese, the DVD is in English, which results in some amusing quirks in the translated dialog; a few of the lines made me laugh out loud. For example, Cossette describes her relationship with Marcello: "What I believed to be pure white sugar was a rotten clump of meat."

Special Features on the DVD include cast interviews and a music video.

Replies: 1 Comment

i saw this movie at a friend's house, and it kind of freaked me out at first. But as i got more and more into the story, i found myself being sucked into the romance, drama, horror, confusion, and beautiful gothic art style of this unique and intriging anime.

Posted by cryptin @ 01/01/2006 07:42 PM PST

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