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Anime / Le Portrait de Petite Cossette

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An art student in modern Japan becomes obsessed with a set of antiques, reflected in which he sees a little girl in Elegant Gothic Lolita dress. This leads him to down a dark path connected to a tragedy from centuries ago.

Taking tropes from the Gothic Horror genre, this three-part OVA was directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, and dubbed into English by Geneon.

This work provides examples of:

  • Artifact of Doom: All of the objects that were splashed with Cossette's blood the night she died; a mirror, a piano, a clock, a bisque doll and a glass cup. After her death they became cursed with a deep grudge against her murderer, and kill all of their subsequent owners.
  • The Atoner: Eiri is forced by Cossette to become this, bearing the punishment and pain for what Marcello did to her simply because he can see her spirit and, like Marcello, fell in love with her. He eventually grows to accept this, at which point she begins to regret it due to seeing Eiri for who he really is.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: See for yourself. Makes the scene in which Cosette hugs a naked Eiri while not wearing anything except for a cape a little bit less squicky.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Cossette is an aristocrat's daughter, and quite a vision of loveliness.
  • Blood Magic: Eiri is first bound to Cossette when he is made to drink a glass full of her blood. And in the final act, he uses his own blood to paint a portrait of the real Cossette, driving Marcello's vision of her away.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: A relatively mild example in Shoko, who has feelings for Eiri and shows shades of insecurity when she thinks that he may have a girlfriend.
  • Creepy Child: Cossette has her moments. And her false doppelganger as well, once Eiri uncovers the truth.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Happens to Eiri a few times during the scenes where he is forced to bear the pain for Marcello's crime.
  • Dark Reprise: Listen closely to Silent Ceremony. It's a darker and creepier version of The Main Theme.
  • Death by Adaptation: Eiri's fate in the manga.
  • Dies Wide Open: Cossette, yet again.
  • Downer Ending: In the manga, Eiri is hit by a truck and killed. Cossette is left behind to somberly wait for another chance at redemption.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: A few of Cossette's outfits, most notably the blue dress she was murdered in.
  • Enfant Terrible: The false Cossette, as envisioned by Marcello Orlando's paintings.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the manga, Eiri must die to free Cossette's soul. He runs back at the last moment and lives, but as he leaves the hospital, a truck hits and kills him. Cossette then shows up and implies it happened because he didn't love her enough to die for her, and now she must wander the world in search for his next reincarnation.
  • Fortune Teller: Michiru frequently borrows space in Eiri's antique shop to do tarot card readings.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: In the manga, Eiri must find Cossette's cursed furniture to make the ritual to free her soul.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: They fit more under this trope while she was alive. She even retrospectively laments her childish naivete at one point.
  • In the Hood: Cossette shows up in this occasionally, carrying a candle with a blue flame.
  • Look Both Ways: In the manga, Eiri dies after being hit by a truck.
  • Mad Artist: Marcello Orlando. He became obsessed with Cossette's beauty, to the point of eventually murdering her in order to preserve it.
  • May–December Romance: There's a bit of an age gap between Cossette and Eiri. And an even bigger gap between Cossette and her former fiance, Marcello.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Cossette comes to greatly regret the pain she causes Eiri, and the third OVA begins with her farewell to him before she apparently crosses over. Unfortunately, her departure only makes things worse...
  • Never Say That Again: Cossette's attitude immediately sours when Eiri brings up Marcello's name for the first time, and she warns him never to say it again. Later, she reveals Marcello was the one who killed her.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: In 'Kajiuran' language that is unique to Yuki Kajiura's music.
  • Reincarnation Romance:
    • Eiri is Marchello's reincarnation and falls for Cossette's spirit.
    • in the OVA, Cossette gets to reincarnate in Shoko.
  • Ret-Gone: In the manga, Eiri's existence is slowly disappearing as the night of the ritual to free Cossette gets closer, because he's still willing to join her in death. Once he escapes from Cossette dragging him to hell (actually from a church on fire), everything goes back to normal.
  • Sadistic Choice: In the manga, Eiri finds out that saving Cossette will result in his own death. Caught between fear and love - and life and death - he must make up his mind about whether or not he loves her enough to sacrifice his life for her.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Marcello murdered her in order to keep her young and beautiful, the perfect model for his paintings.
  • Together in Death: In the manga, the only way to free Cossette's soul from her painting is for Marchello's reincarnation (Eiri) to kill himself in a ritualistic way and join Cossette's soul in hell.

Alternative Title(s): Le Portrait De Petite Cossette