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Petite Cossette

3.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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(Sep 13, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews


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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009ESTE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,307 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Le Portrait de Petite Cossette (The Picture of Little Cossette) has two very positive qualities for anime. First, the animation is the most exquisite I have ever seen in anime and almost each frame is beautifully and artistically composed. Secondly, the soundtrack is sublime and fortunately available as a CD as of this writing. However, excellent animation and beautiful music does not make an anime a guaranteed best seller in the west, but first, a synopsis:

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.
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My mind is still whirling from this one. La Portrait de Petite Cossette in the most general terms is a gothic ghost story with an anime twist. But that hardly describes what the viewers are getting themselves into. For anyone who thinks anime encompasses animation quality like the drek seen on TV in Pokemon, I'd love to show them something like this, where the animation is nothing less than a work of art. A bloody, twisted and sometimes dizzying work of art, but amazing nonetheless.

The story focuses on the protagonist, a young man named Eiri, who works in his uncle's antique shop. When he encounters a luminescent glass goblet, he begins to see the life of a girl from another time and place. These visions continue to haunt him, pulling him deeper and deeper into the world of Cossette, and away from the everyday world. For 250 years, Cossette has been trapped in the crystal goblet, now Eiri will do whatever it takes to help her. Over the three episodes of this storyline, the truth takes shape and the drama plays out to its powerful and bittersweet conclusion. Now, I'm a fan of the Japanese culture and the twisting, often puzzling jumps of storyline that are the subject of so many anime movies, but I have to admit this one was a little more difficult to grasp than most. Revelations and explanations come piecemeal and don't always seem obvious. The gothic themes tied in with Japanese shintoism and yet employing Christian symbols as well make the underlying messages a bit hard to determine. But I was prepared for that. What didn't work for me were the group of female characters that interact and attempt to help Eiri.
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When I first picked up Le Portrait De Petite Cossete I was a half afraid that I had picked up a French translation of the movie. Fortunately that is not the case. How to describe the OAV, well combine Samurai X, Soul Taker and Perfect Blue and I think you would get something like Le Portrait De Petite Corssete. Le Portrait De Petite Cossete is a very dark and serious series, there are no jokes, no funny business and no fan fair. In other words if you want a happy happy laugh laugh show keeping going `cause you'll hate this one. This is a deeply philosophical that explores obsession the nature of beauty, eternal love, reincarnation and each object having a spirit and soul. Very heavy stuff.

The story is about a boy named Airwe whose family runs antique shop where he stumbles upon a possessed goblet. The goblet is possessed by the spirit of a beautiful young girl how was murdered two hundred years ago. Soon he begins to have delusions or so he thinks they are of course about the young girl. At first he tries to stop himself, telling himself it's all in his head. Soon however he gives in and loses himself in the madness of the spiritual. The story goes from there as he seeks to learn more about the girl and how to free her.

This series is not for the light hearted nor for the inattentive. If you don't pay attention you'll find yourself completely lost in a few minutes. If you're the type that has to know exactly what's going on all the time, you'll be highly irritated by this one as like Soul Taker it has an abstract way of presenting scenery that doesn't always make sense, at first. More then once you'll find yourself confused but if you stay with it everything makes complete sense by the end of the series.
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