Miss Hokusai

The animation featured in Keiichi Hara’s anime Miss Hokusai is terrific.  A single cell has the ability to represent the humility and emotion of its characters, along with the imagination the film can achieve.  What’s peculiar and disappointing is how these images don’t make a cohesive film when edited together.

Hara’s semi-fantastical film is missing the necessary weight behind its biographical story about renowned Japanese artist Tetsuzo.  As a character-driven piece led by Tatsuzo’s daughter O-Ei, it stands as a rarity – a unique approach to tap into a subject’s personal life from an outsider’s point-of-view.  However, the misplaced bursts of fantasy along with awkward and inappropriate music (most notably the random and awkward rock tunes) detract from meatier content about Tetsuzo and O-Ei’s life.  Miss Hokusai, for some reason, wants the audience to keep their distance, and hopes to compensate by offering lots of pretty pictures.

As a feature-length visual art piece, Miss Hokusai delivers.  Otherwise, it’s a let down.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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