Kochi Uehara is a fourth grade student living in the suburb of Tokyo. One day he picks up a large stone which turns out to be a fossil of a baby "Kappa" (a mythical Japanese water creature)... See full summary »
1941. France asleep in the nineteenth century, governed by steam and Napoleon V, where scientists vanish mysteriously. Avril (Marion Cotillard), a teenage girl, goes in search of her missing scientist parents.
After her parents separate, 14 year-old Tetsuko (who will soon be nick-named Alice) moves with her mother to a new town in what she calls "The Boonies" and must enroll as a transfer student... See full summary »
Set in 1814, Miss Hokusai focuses on O-Ei, the daughter of famed artist Tetsuzo, better known by his pen name Hokusai, as she tries to navigate the various aspects of her life. O-Ei spends the bulk of her time assisting her divorced father who cares about his art and not much else. Written by
Ukiyo-e, or "pictures of the floating world", was a popular art genre in Japan during the Edo Period (1603-1868). By using woodblock printing, depictions of folk tales, landscapes, kabuki theatre scenes and erotica, were widely spread throughout Japan. See more »
Miss Hokusai is a "slice of life" animation, it portrays the characters' at their daily lives in briskly light mood. It may set in one of the most romanticized eras, yet it's mostly a few short stories about artists, especially the heroine Oei, woven together. This is a tribute to Japanese classic painting ukiyo-e, the tumultuous time told in different light and appreciation of the artists themselves.
Oei is the daughter of talented painter Hokusai, who has a knack for painting herself. She can be crude at times, but she gives of warm subtle kindness, especially with her drawings. There's no great dilemma or adventure, although it presents a few strange mysteries. The animation is more of a method to appreciate the art as it changes constantly when the characters do narrative or monologue.
It uses classic touches on the tales, which can seem supernatural yet bizarrely fitting for that particular era. The setting is made with great care, details like the street corner or dimmed room with faint light of candles provide fine atmosphere for these characters to play in. Occasionally, they would talk in vague words, it's not a drama where people yell at each other frequently, there's a restrained on their mannerisms.
Miss Hokusai is a nice homage to early art works, celebrated by modern Japanese animation, it's quaint, unimposing and warmly colorful.
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