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[Le Portrait de Petit Cossette R2 DVD box art]
AKA: コゼットの肖像 (Cossette no Shouzou)
Genre: Gothic fantasy / romance
Length: OAV series, 3 episodes, 38 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks
Content Rating: 17+ (adult situations, Lolita complex, graphic violence)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Rozen Maiden

Le Portrait de Petit Cossette


[Rock the cradle of love ...]

Kurahashi Eiri, the proprietor of an antique shop, has recently acquired a fascinating wineglass. It becomes his constant obsession and he spends increasing amount of time looking at it and talking to it. There is more to meet the eye (obviously!) as a young lady named Cossette resides within it. Her demise is closely related to Eiri, and uncovering the secret will eventually bring about his demise.


[Not exactly Alice in Wonderland.]

One should start having bad vibes about an anime when, five minutes after viewing the show, the reviewer cannot recall the name of the main character.

Before we get to the review, I have one major gripe about the show - the character design for Cossette is ugly! Maybe gothic shows are just not for me, but how else would you describe inconsistent character designs? At certain angles, she is tolerable, but most of the time, she is plain scary. She is like one of those ghostly little girls skipping rope that you see in horror flicks, that urge you to play with them.

The plot of the show is simple enough to follow. Basically, there is this crazed artist that killed Cossette even though they were supposed to be so much in love (a little love is a dangerous thing), and has been reincarnated in Eiri, the main character (remember?!). Grudges apparently follow the mathematical formula of "carry forward", and we watch Eiri deal with angst as he uncovers the truth behind the murder and deal with the guilt and regrets. The plus point was the unexpected twist the creators threw in at the last part of the confrontation.

I do have a serious problem with this anime. The crazed artist must be suffering (other than insanity) from a Lolita complex. I mean, Cossette is barely twelve years old from the looks of it, and they are in love?! Give me a break. Folks, I apologize, but I do NOT like characters that go after minors, for whatever reason. It's just plain wrong.

Technically, this anime is a mixed bag. Sometimes, the animation is really flawless, with breathtaking scenery and cinematography. But the animators must have periodic fits of inspiration from Spriggan, and a huge discount on red paint. That is the only conclusion one can arrive at, if the last portrait is done in blood! It is also the point where we reach for the barf-bag and call for the bio-hazard disposal unit.

And music! The music is good! Seriously! Especially the ending theme, "Houseki". But it seems recently, I'm perpetually getting cheated by Kajiura Yuki-san into watching crappy anime. Madlax and .hack//SIGN come to mind and I will have to add Le Portrait to the list too.

Perhaps the runtime was too short to examine the plot properly. Character development has just scratched the surface, and the creators have added one too many secondary characters which did not contribute to the plot. We have to watch them because to drop them suddenly would be a terrible waste.

Le Portrait could be summed-up with one word: awkward. It would be best left on the easel, preferably covered with a canvas.

Add one star if you like Gothic art. — Diane Tiu

Recommended Audience: Mature teens, I guess. Younger folks would probably be bored to tears. Rolling credits are an immense relief.

Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Full (3/3)
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette © 2003 Cossette House / Aniplex
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