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Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/12/2005

Eiri is a budding young artist who works in an antique shop in his spare time. Now one particular item in the shop calls out to him -- an elegant Venetian goblet on which he sees images of a pretty blonde girl. Eiri later finds out that she is Cossette d'Auvergne, the daughter of a wealthy French family from more than two centuries ago. Scenes from Cossette's life keep playing out before Eiri's eyes, up to the time she is murdered by her lover. Soon Eiri becomes obsessed with Cossette... but Cossette will never truly be free unless someone sacrifices his life for her.
I was intrigued by Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. The cover artwork was striking, the description interesting, and best of all of the episodes are on a single DVD. It was a winning combination, or so it seemed.
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette actually has a very simple plot. A young man named Eiri is haunted by images of a prepubescent blonde girl who by all merits is a full-fledged gothic lolita. Her name is Cossette, and Eiri sees her every time he looks at an antique Venetian goblet. The line between what's real and what's imagined blurs from here on, since Eiri can now be seen in the same room with Cossette, holding conversations with her as if she were just the girl next door. After much riddling talk and baffling imagery, we find out that Eiri is sort of like the reincarnation of Marcelo -- a talented artist who was both Cossette's lover and murderer. Cossette wants revenge and redemption, and Eiri is prepared to suffer through anything for her sake.
What I despised about Le Portrait de Petit Cossette was its excruciatingly slow pace and messed-up storytelling style. Short of slapping myself, I really had to struggle to stay awake in order to finish an episode. It took me more than two weeks to watch all three episodes because it was so tedious. I would later find out that Le Portrait de Petit Cossette is from the people who created The Soultaker, which is quite possibly one of the most torturously presented anime series of all time. Soultaker's exaggerated use of shadows, shapes, colors, and religious symbolisms are evident in Cossette. Thank goodness though that Cossette is somewhat easier to understand, albeit you can count on the Soultaker people to make it as convoluted as possible just so we all have a hell of a time making sense of what happened.
The art and animation are superb. Character designs are perfect, and I really liked the attention paid to detail in terms of the settings. The alley wherein the antique shop is located seemed so real that I could've sworn I passed by such a place when I was in Tokyo. The music also enhanced the series' overall ambience nicely. The English dubbing is excellent to boot.
Even after all the negative points I brought up regarding Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, I still feel rather regretful about giving it a lower-than-average rating. The series' premise was outright intriguing, and the characters had enough substance to make you want to know what was going to happen to them next. Perhaps if the project was given to another group instead of the Soultaker staff, perhaps we'd have a more evenly paced, down-to-earth, and comprehensible piece that's easier to appreciate. I just hate anime that try too hard to be profound.
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette is made up of three episodes.

Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
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Review Title:
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
110 Minutes
General Rating:
2.5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Drama, Horror, Magic,
Psychological, Romance, Supernatural
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