Who said "The OVA is dead"? Truthfully, I don't know if anybody came right out and said it, but you were all thinking it, weren't you?... Weren't you! Well anyway, last year brought us the straight-to-video anime Macross Zero, Tenchi 3, and GunBuster 2... All of which sucked; but 2004 also brought us the not-much-talked-about OVALe Portrait de Petit Cossette (which is French for "The Portrait of Petite Cossette"). And it was... Well, I enjoyed it, but damn was it weird. Trippy, but cool: Unlike the recent Melody of Oblivion which was "trippy, but SHITTY." Cossette is filled, from start to finish, with dreamlike visuals and camera angles that will take your breath away and make you say "daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn, whore!" But it also has a plot that is really very interesting. This plot is somewhat convoluted for the first 3/4ths of the story, but once the final piece is put into the flipped-out animated puzzle EVERYthing makes sense. Well, almost everything. Let's just say that enough things then make sense for you to enjoy the trip.
So Petit starts out in modern day Tokyo, in some dinky little antique shop. Eiri, a late-teens college guy, is running it for the shop's owner, who is traveling the world buying more crap to sell (Seriously, why do people buy antiques in the first fucking place? They're just old crap that you can't even use anymore unless you want it to break or disintegrate. Antique chairs? Can't sit in them. Antique tables? Can't place more than 2 feathers on them before they collapse. Antique glasses? Can't use them because you can't wash them or they'd shatter... Complete bullshit. The reason antiques are even popular in the first place is because in the Great Depression all the rich people [who owned lots of old, worthless junk], wanted to be able to afford new shit, so they sold all of their old crappola to finance their purchases of new, usable furniture and stuff... Then the poor saps of the time, who wanted to at least FEEL rich despite the fact that they had to eat dirt for three meals a day, bought all the rich people's old, useless shit and said, "Hey! Look, Mabel, I have an old table that I can't use. Just like the richies!" Read my lips, morons! Antiques are CRAP. They're shitty investments too. Stop buying them and they'll go away... And why the hell do idiots ruin brand new good furniture by making it look old? You just spent $1500 on a brand new wardrobe! Why scrape paint off it and make it look like it's over 200 years old?!). One day, while minding the store, Eiri picks up an old champagne glass and has a really realistic vision of a young French chick who says that she's been waiting centuries for someone who could see and hear her. That's when all the weird shit starts flying around, like the books in the library basement in the beginning of the first Ghostbusters movie. Eiri starts talking to Cossette (the Frenchette), and begins to think that she's somehow connected to a fancy bunch of furniture and table settings that his boss purchased in Europe. Cossette gets into Eiri's head pretty quickly, and informs him that his and her destinies are entwined like two snakes doing the nasty. Soon Eiri's having trouble telling vision from reality, and his friend (some chick who'd like to be more than friends with him) begins to get a little concerned... Especially since he's started drawing a 12 year-old French girl over and over and over and over again in his sketchbook. Seriously, that's just creepy and sick on so many levels even if a person really is being haunted by a 12 year-old French girl.
Anyway, people then commence dying, stuff gets set on fire, souls get tormented, and infatuation takes hold of Eiri by his balls. And then it gets crazy. But, as stated before, a good kind of crazy. The viewer is kept right where the director wants him to be. I personally was engrossed by the whole affair. The art and animation was so deep and smooth that I simply wanted to see what they'd draw next. Lots of cool zooming and panning effects (like the great "zooming" shots in RahXephon only on a grander scale), and the colors used made everything pop out even more than it would have had a hack (like whoever did Melody of Oblivion) been placed in charge of art direction. I got so absorbed by the look of the animation that I missed a couple of key conversations, and found that I had to rewind and pay strict attention again. This is feature length film quality blow here.
Now, I will be frank: Petit Cossette is not for everybody. Some will find it pointless and stomp away after only watching the first episode. Fuck them. Their idea of artsy anime is Crayon Shin-chan (which although Shin-chan kicks ass, he's like Japan's version of Aqua Teen Hunger Force... Except without giant, talking, food products and Carl... I have no idea where that reference was going, sorry). Don't be scared off from trying Petit though. It's not half as existential and open to personal interpretation as Angel's Egg is. It's not like you have to figure out what the "egg" represents in Petit. Not that there's a giant egg in Petit, there's just a painting of Cossette. And you kind of know right away that... Oh fuck it, just watch the fucking thing! It won't hurt you! You might even be able to figure out the ending with a half hour left of the storytelling, but it's still very rewarding. Petit is a love story at heart, but it's also a tale of revenge. Revenge for love scorned. So that's kind of cool. And it's got a moral to tell: Girls, if some crazy guy approaches you with a giant fucking knife the size of a sword... Even if you think that you love him -- RUN! Run the fuck away and never look back. Trust me, that's a damn good lesson that you don't want to learn the hard way.
Ah remember the first time Ah had my portrait painted by my psycho artiste lover who then butchered my family and then tried to stab me through the heart with a large knife... Good times. Though, Ah was a bit younger than Cossette in this here movie when it all happened to me.
Johnny Robbie Coltraine was a kind and gentle man at first. He took every arrest and jail sentence thrown at him (for touchin' me when Ah was illegal and all) with a knowing smile, and a wink to me in the back of the courtroom as they dragged his sorry ass away. But then, after his 4th breakout from prison, something changed. When he'd then paint me he'd curse at the canvas, and then he'd start slashing the incomplete painting with whatever sharp object was nearby. Then one afternoon when Ah came back from whore school (as taught by Ms. Wanda Ramones out of her trailer up on Cedar Possum Way), Ah saw that my family's mansion was on fire!... Well, that plywood ranch was the equivalent of a mansion in my home town, sugar. A gal kin dream, can't she? Anyway, Johnny-boy had set fire to my place, killed 6 out of 18 of my brothers and sisters, cut off my daddy's penis (probably for the best), kicked 10 of our dogs and stepped on 27 of our cats, and then sliced up 4 of my ex-stepmommas who was still livin' with us. But he was waitin' for me, so he didn't run or nothin' after all that previous carnage.
He then approached me as Ah stared at the blaze, and told me that he did all this for us, so that we could die together and then be reborn in the future, in another time and place, where we could then love eachother with no restrictions or nothin'. To tell y'all the truth, Ah was kind of thinkin' that maybe he was on to something there, but then something hit me just as he raised the knife above his head for the attack. Ah told the fucker to "Stop right there, retard!" 'Cause, what if we're like born again separate? Like what if Ah was then born as a princess and he was a lowly bull masturbator? Ah surely wouldn't let him place any bull-semen stained hands on my princessy bod. And what if we were born again in some shithole like the gutters of Calcutta or Detroit? "Fuck that!" Then Ah kicked him in the nuts, grabbed his knife, shoved it up his ass and pushed him right into the shanty fire. Boy must've been concealin' a whoooole lot of fat under some sort of girdle... He was sizzlin' like a lard-filled cut of pork for somthin' like 45 minutes after his ass started burnin'. Just goes to prove that men are pigs.
This was some funky sheeyat. I didn't know whether this anime was coming or going half the time, my homies. It did kind of remind me of this dream I had one time. I was meeting this older chick I used to know over on Cedar Possum Way (ooooh man, was that bitch hot for my ass!), when I tripped and fell and hit my head on a huge ass rock. My vision then got all red and blurry, and space coyotes and ants started talking to me. And then I had sex with a tree. It all seemed so real. So real that my bitch, later on that night, kept saying that my pecker was a bit too rough, like a pine cone... And when I looked down, I noticed the slut wasn't far off. How those pieces of bark and acorns became taped to my manhood will alway mystify me, G.