Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 16 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 110
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Petite Cossette
By Chris Beveridge
June 24, 2005
Release Date: September 13, 2005
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
"Who loves me so much that he would forsake his own dear life... Is it you?"
Eiri, a talented art student, works part-time in an antique shop in a quiet part of town. One afternoon, he uncovers a delicate Venetian glass holding a startling secret within. When Eiri peers into the glass, he can see a young blond girl, her life playing out like a movie solely for him to see. Curious, he stares into the glass, hoping to learn more about the enchanting girl inside.
This is Cossette, a mysterious beauty haunting the glass, waiting 250 years for someone to finally see her, and set her free. Eiri is soon obsessed with Cossette, determined to do anything he can to help her. Will Eiri see past all the illusions and discover the tragic truth about Cossette, or will he be consumed by anguish and obsession?The Review!
A tragic love that seeks closure, Cossette's finally found a man who may die for her.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The disc sports three separate audio tracks, an English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1 mix but also a Japanese DTS 5.1 mix. We went with the Japanese DTS 5.1 mix for this viewing and were quite well provided with a very immersive mix at key times throughout the show. The rear speakers got a healthy workout with this show, and it's one that deserves to be watched from the sweet spot in the dark because each of the rear speakers features excellent moments that uses music, sound effects and dialogue to great placement. There's a lot of well placed directionality for this show and the overall soundstage is very well done. Dialogue was clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
Originally released to video in 2004, the transfer for this three part OVA series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The visuals in this show are such a huge part of things that a good transfer isn't just a basic requirement but a huge requirement. The materials here are simply gorgeous and the amount of detail visible just adds to the atmosphere of the show. There's such a strong sense of style here that it runs the gamut of colors and looks, from the dark interiors to the beautiful outdoors in snow or to cathedral style windows. Each scene simply looks fantastic and the transfer comes across essentially as flawless. The ending sequence retains the Japanese credits for each episode and the final episode is followed-up by a separate English language scroll. The logo isn't changed from the original Petit either but is soft subtitled below with the proper French spelling.Packaging:
None was available for this early review.Menu:
The Nightjar folks went much more subtle than usual this time but they've mixed in some beautiful pieces of artwork and scenes from the show to produce a very eye-catching and appealing main menu from the start with the framed border and all the pieces inside of it. It's set to some of the instrumental music from the show and it's one of those pieces that you really don't mind letting stay on loop for awhile. Access times are nice and fast and the navigation is quick and easy. Especially nice is the language setup which lists along the bottom what is currently selected so you can see if your changes actually took. The disc read our players' language presets without issue and played appropriately.Extras:
By all appearances, Geneon managed to get all the extras from the "Volume 0" release of the series. The big extra is the twenty minute behind the scenes piece which covers various aspects of the production from what they wanted to make, the actors impressions of the show, the world the show lives in and the music with some good material by Kajiura and her approach to it. In addition, there are a number of commercials included, the original Japanese trailer and the US trailer. My favorite extra here is the music video for the show which is pretty lengthy and is one of the better ones done out there for an anime show. Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Le Petite de Cossette is an interesting three part OVA series that's very complete in and of itself. Prior to sitting down and watching it, I knew next to nothing about it other than the visual of the painted cover image of Cossette. It gives so little away that there's no way to tell what it's going to be about. While some people only want to get things they already know they love and enjoy, it's this undiscovered gems that come out of left field that remind me just why I enjoy this stuff so much. While I'll be talking about the show, if you have any interest in it at all based just on the imagery, I'd say skip the content review and just go into it blind and do the discovery thing.
For the rest of you, well, read on.
Love stories have all sorts of ways to be told and often they can be covered up and twisted in such interesting ways that you don't even realize it's a love story at first. This tale of love slips into the supernatural and I wouldn't be surprised to see a live action movie made about it. Set in the present day in a rather affluent looking shopping district, we're introduced to a young man named Eiri who has been sort of disconnected from things lately with his friends. His uncle owns a high class antique shop in one of the prime locations of the district but spends his time traveling through Europe and sending back things in massive crates and letting Eiri unpack and manage the store from there.
Some time earlier, one large crate came in from his uncle that contained a number of interesting items from a particular family that had died out some time ago in France. Inside of the case was a gorgeous selection of Venetian glasses. One of them seemed to draw Eri much more than the others and he's kept it inside his desk close to him so he could pull it out any time and look at it. In the short time that he's had it, he's started to see an image of a beautiful young blonde woman in lavish clothing. He's begun to change his own art style and his sketches have been of her and what he believes to be places she's lived and played in. It's become slowly all consuming and has led to a point where things just aren't right anymore and his friends have noticed.
In particular, his friend Mataki who obviously wants a romantic relationship with him but he's become oblivious to most things now. Another person who has begun to notice things wrong is a local psychic/fortune-teller type who has noticed something evil afoot in the shopping district and follows it as starts to makes Eiri its focus. Mataki tries to enlist the help of her and Eri's friends in getting to the root of things but the apathy of youth is abound and the general belief that Eri's like he is because he's got a girlfriend which can radically change a person. The amusing thing is that Eiri really is seeing another woman as Cossette has become real to him now and has started a sequence of events that will truly change him.
At a time when he's alone in the shop, she comes to him and from the glass, gets him to drink the flowing blood from it. The blood is that of her former love, Marcelo, the man who also killed her in her youth. She reveals that Eiri actually has the reincarnated soul of Marcelo and that the only way to free her from the prison she's been trapped in for the past two hundred and fifty years is for him to take on the pain of his past sins and suffer through them. Her death had been watched over by various items in the room and they've taken on an obsessive life of their own over time while she's been in this state and they must purge themselves through someone who is willing to die for Cossette. Eiri's mind is so irrational now and his love for her so strong that he takes on this massively painful role for her even though it may kill him first.
Over the course of the episodes we see some of these items come into play and the kind of suffering that Eiri must go through. His taking on of the sins of the past tortures his body and transforms it into a monster that he's unable to control. These scenes are so visually spectacular and gripping that you wish there were more of them, even as bloody as they are. Cossette's ability to heal the wounds once the sin is taken in helps mitigate the situation but the pain of it all is quite strong and Eiri suffers for this in a truly tragic way, hauled up on chains, blood pouring forth and more. The story moves forward in dealing with these things and how Cossette's love of the reincarnated Marcelo has to be resolved while at the same time falling for the man who is willing to die for her. It reaches a truly tragic crescendo as the events build up and those that care for Eiri try to understand what he's going through.
Visually, this is a beautiful piece of work. This is one of those shows where you truly appreciate the work of the production designer and art director in creating something so realistic and detailed. An OVA series like this almost has me resenting the trend of shows becoming longer running TV series instead because you forget what we lose instead in terms of overall quality. This is a lush and lavish production. Just the attention to the detail in the tiled – tiled! – street outside of the antique shop is amazing. Combined with the numerous antiques, the lighting style used and the mix of colors, it's all just a top notch production and allows everything else to really come alive. The only area where it occasionally gets weak is in some of the CG integration but that's easily forgiven when it also provides such gorgeous pieces as the Venetian glass at the beginning.
Another area that complements things beautifully is the music. While it's definitely easy to say Yuki Kajiura has a very noticeable style, it's one that tends to work really well for the shows that she's on. With Petite Cossette, the style once again is something we've heard before but it works extremely well with the visuals and the mood. The mix of the straight instrumental pieces and the ones with the choral numbers really accentuates the scenes perfectly and helps elevate the visuals up. Some of her more subtle pieces in this show come across better than in some of her other series as well, though they may not hold up as well on its own away from the show, but within the context of the show they're quite good. The end song, done with the lead voice actress, is also a really beautiful and haunting piece that just captures what it's all about.In Summary:
Petite Cossette is something that's actually become fairly rare in the last few years, more so than before. A short three part OVA series that tells a story with lavish animation and is self contained. Going into the show with no knowledge of it, it won me over fairly early on with how it looked and the way it was telling its tale. At the end of it, it had won me over completely with its brutal way of showing a tragic love across the centuries and the kind of redemption someone had to go through to free someone. Love stories tend to be clichéd, especially since we typically only see the TV series simple romances these days, but this one reaches for something more and on a lot of levels I think it really succeeds. With it being a one-time pick-up, it's definitely an easy recommendation for those looking for something more mature from their anime.
Japanese DD 5.1 Language,Japanese DTS 5.1 Language,English DD 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Behind the Scenes,Original Trailer,US Trailer,TV Commercial Collection,Music Video
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.