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Le Portrait de Petit Cossette: Something with a French title that doesn’t fail!

Posted on January 26, 2007 at 6:00 am by ()
Post Categories: Live Actions/Doramas/Movies
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Comments: 3

Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. I don’t know why But I had never watched it up until yesterday afternoon. A number of people had told me to check it out, for like, a year, it was on a Recommended Viewing tab at Anime News Network. Yet I never bothered to look into it that much. I feel a bit foolish for waiting all this time. Just the other day I found myself at Suncoast Video for the first time in about a year. After sifting through a literal maze of pocky and Naruto headbands I came up on the anime section. Now, The reason why I ventured into such a hell hole like Suncoast was simple, I had a $25 gift certificate from Christmas, and I figured I would buy 1 DVD with it, or at least pay off most of one, considering the amount of price gouging that Suncoast does. Seriously, why do people shop there? Oh right, they don’t know any better.

To my surprise though I saw a big sign there that said “ALL GENEON TITLES: BUY ONE GET ONE FREE” I figured, hell yeah score, I could get two DVD’s for free or very near it now. Five minutes later after sifting through the Geneon section I realized that they almost only license shoujo and shit. Seriously, god damn. Then down towards the bottom shined a light, and that light was the Hellsing Ultimate OVA and Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. I had decided that I wanted to try out Cossette and I knew Hellsing’s OVA was awesome, so my purchase was made, after much arguing with the clerk that I did NOT want to order Naruto’s next DVD and that I wanted him to die. Later on in the day I popped in Cossette’s DVD and got down to business.

For those who haven’t heard of Petite Cossette, it’s the story of a young girl who’s life was cut short over 250 years ago, when her Fiancee, a talented artist by the name of Marcello suddenly murdered her family and then Cossette. The household objects around them at the time bore witness to it all as they saw their beloved Cossette murdered and placed a curse upon Marcello’s soul. Unfortunately for Cossette, Marcello lived his life and died before ever repenting to the cursed objects, with the objects affection towards Cossette and hatred towards Marcello not dying, both of their souls were trapped within the world of the living, unable to move on.

That’s how it all started, 250 years ago. The cursed objects are really just that, household objects; glasses, plates, clocks, dolls, those types of inanimate objects are what carried the heavy grudge against Marcello for his sin. The story really begins with Eiri, your average college student, he works over at an antique shop to help pay his way through school. A week prior the owner of the shop sent back an assortment of antiques and glassware to be sold, within that collection was a very nice Venetian glass, which immediately caught Eiris eye. It’s said that all objects contain a soul or at the least a fragment of one, and this glass contained the trapped soul of Cossette. Somehow he was able to see Cossette and her memories within that glass and fell in love with her almost instantly.

However it was just a glass. He began to spend more and more time with the glass, thinking about the glass. He cut college, stayed at the shop over night, and shoved people away to be with it. He became obsessive and protective, not wanting anybody to touch it, fearing they may harm Cossette. Finally, late one Night Eiri had a vision, he saw Cossette and her last moments of life. He bore witness to her terror, screaming to the murderer that she loved him and begged him to stop, only to see her stabbed through the chest, and then he saw the murderer’s face, it was himself.

Through horrible mental turmoil he managed to see the real world around him, the glass filling with blood until it overflowed and formed a pool in the shop. When all finally seemed to calm down, the form of Cossette appeared before him, holding the venetian glass which filled itself with blood, she had Eiri drink it, thus completing a blood contract, which placed Marcello’s soul within him. Eiri would repent for Marcello to the 8 cursed objects, once the repentance was complete Cossette’s soul could finally move on.

That’s probably as clear as I can make it, I’m not going to get into any more of the story, but it really keeps improving and impressing from there right up until the end. The repenting scenes feature Eiri being hoisted up and tormented by the objects, literal flood of blood spew forth from his chest as Marcello’s soul is ripped into. Eiri’s form takes that of a demon while this all occurs as Marcello feeds off of the torture (damn masochist). While all this goes on You see Cossette wearing nothing but a very loose black hooded robe which blows around in the wind a lot (yes, near naked loli). She basically works to extract the impurities that defile Eiri. I really enjoyed seeing the torture scenes, not often that you see so many fun things like blood, guts, monsters and naked lolis at once.
The atmosphere that Cossette has is very dark (obviously), a you can see the signs of life all around but it’s as if nobody is living. Eiri has a number of friends and acquaintances, yet once Cossette appears they become obstacles to him and he tends to try avoiding them. The weather outside is almost always raining or very dark and gloomy, setting a low tone for Eiri as he deals with the constant torment, having only Cossette around him to keep him going. Yuki Kajiura does the soundtrack for Cossette, which honestly surprised me when I first heard as it seems to be a big departure from her usual style of compositions which I’ve heard in other shows, I have to say I like it though. The music perfectly complements the mood and feelings of each scene that a track plays, bringing forth the characters to an even higher level.
Since I got the DVD, which had an english track I just started off on that. While I never heard the japanese dubbing, the english dub did just fine. Excellent performances and voices all around to be honest. Major props especially to to Michelle Ruff, who played the role of Cossette. She was able to put forth an excellent voice, which had the tones of a very lonely, but mature little girl, it suited Cossette’s appearance extremely well. Overall it was pretty far above the average, if you haven’t given it a chance it, you should try to listen to it in your native language (assuming english is your native language)

I think at this point I’ve ranted on long enough about Cossette. In case you didn’t get what I was implying, I fell in love with this OVA. I’m about to hunt down the manga, and over at my growing list of anime I’ve seen at ANN, it’s been listed in a little column I call “Masterpieces.”

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3 Responses »

  1. 1. kacpy

    January 26, 2007,7:37 am

    my #1 favorite show from my anime watching days so far…

  2. 2. DiGiKerot

    January 26, 2007,12:28 pm

    This (along with The Soultaker) is one of the reasons I point and laugh every time someone says the animation direction in Negima!? is particularly fresh or interesting – Shinbo has been doing exactly the same thing for years.

    Its also the reason why I cry every time Shinbo is attached to yet another loli-tastic comedy show – that guy REALLY needs to be directing supernatural horror shows.

    BTW, what the HELL is with this new theme? Its practically unusable on anything other than an uber-high-resolution display – the inner frame thing simply doesn’t work. The scrollbar doesn’t even render in a visable fashion in IE! Urgh!

  3. 3. Caliburn

    January 26, 2007,2:22 pm

    @Digi: Yeah Dragon kinda sprung it on us too, we’re trying to get it fixed, I personally hate the whole scroll box within a scroll box bit we have going on now

    I gotta agree with you about Akiyuki Shinbo. While I do love the directing that he did in shows like Pani Poni Dash and Negima, after seeing Cossette I think it’s obvious that he should be getting into more dark, horror anime, he’s got a talent for it.

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