Petite Cossette Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Writer/Artist:Cossette House/Aniplex / Asuka Katsura
Translated by:Aska Yoshizu
Adapted by:Gina Ferenzi
What They Say
As Eiri drifts into a dream, he witnesses the murder of Cossette through the eyes of her killer. Eiri is warned that helping Cossette will lead to his death, and he is caught between fear and love - and life and death. Eiri must decide how much Cossette means to him. Will he enter Cossette's world or let her go forever?
Le Portrait de Petite Cossette concludes with this second volume and, to put it bluntly, it is a disappointment. Why? Because unlike its anime counterpart, the manga version of Petite Cossette is not really a tale of Gothic Lolita redemption, but of despair.
Eiri, having faced down some demons already in his encounters with Cossette, now relives the final days of Cossette's life in the person of her killer - a perspective he finds only too familiar. It is at this late point that Eiri begins to learn just what kind of restitution Cossette plans to demand of him. Being the ordinary sort of guy he is in the manga, Eiri recoils at this requirement of his death once all Cossette's possessions are gathered.
But here is where the manga lays out its theme. To Cossette, who has existed for over a hundred years with no one to notice her and no hope of escape from being bound to her vengeful objects, all hope in joy is lost. She instructs Eiri not to fear death, because "there is only one feeling that can last forever. It's melancholy." Then, however, she presents him with the ritual - the one requiring his death - that exists beyond death and the human desire for answers; somehow, it will be the means to their eternal union.
This might be all well and good if the manga proves Cossette wrong, not with a neatly tied ending, but at least one to suggest that hope in an eternal joy - rather than sorrow - could be more than a bedtime story. Instead, it portrays Eiri willing to endure the hard part of the ritual and sacrifice himself . . . until he and Cossette must pass through a vague, dreamlike world together. The result is an almost arbitrary failure on Eiri's part that hardly reflects his otherwise upright character; more importantly, this cheap plot construct is expected to teach us a strange object lesson: don't bother trusting anybody.
The first volume's summary calls Petite Cossette a tale of redemption, but that can only be true when there is redemption involved! Besides, if a beautiful little ghost bumps me off, then asks who would be willing to sacrifice his life for her, I might rethink our relationship.
Mania Grade: C-
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Orientation: Right to Left