published in Empire No.70, Sydney
In the early 80s when the OVA explosion was unleashed, Japanese animators and artists experimented in many ways that fostered the general direction of contemporary anime as we now know it. Recently, one-off or small-size OVA anime have gone through a similar cycle thanks to digital production. Petite Cossette advances sophisticated hybrid techniques, mixing photos, stills and sketches with traditional drawing and digital compositing. And as with recent experiments in this trend, the storylines have been allowed to become similarly hybridised and multi-dimensional.
Petite Cossette follows young Eiri who works at an antique shop, and who encounters the spirit of a girl trapped in a beautiful Venetian glass for over two centuries. Or so it seems. Maybe Eiri is simply loosing his mind. Or maybe this Cossette is not a spirit but the contained negative energy of a series of drawings and paintings done of her by a psychotic painter who eventually murdered the real Cossette. The distortions, cracks and reflections in Eiri and Cossette’s sanity truly become a hall of mirrors, making Petite Cossette a heady excavation of the psyche. Not technically a feature and more a 3-part story, Petite Cossette is dedicated to being lost in the psychological netherworld of Eiri – which is where you may be trapped after watching this amazing anime.