MISS HOKUSAI Art, artifice and anime
released OUT NOW! 2015 | 12 | Blu- ray & DVD ( dual format)/ DVD
Director Keiichi Hara Cast Anne Watanabe, Yutaka Matsushige, Kumiko Asô
Here in the West, if we know anything about 18th/ 19th century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai it’s the iconic “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”, and maybe his woodblock print series “Thirty- Six Views Of Mount Fuji”. If you watch this anime you’ll be left little the wiser.
This is no biopic. This is an elegant, fanciful, fantasy- tinged snapshot of a period of Hokusai’s life, when his daughter, O- Ei, is attempting to gain a reputation as an artist too. But her work lacks passion. As that changes, she becomes good enough to anonymously fulfil some of her father’s commissions. At least, that’s what the film imagines; little is actually known about O- Ei.
It looks stunning and there are some beautiful moments of subtlety, mystical interludes, and clever use of the artform to savour. It is, however, almost completely plotless. It’s more like visiting an art gallery of moving vignettes. Worth a watch for its artistry, but ultimately a little unsatisfying.
Extras Nothing on the standard edition, but the dual- format version ( rated) boasts a 120- minute Making Of and an interview with director Hara, and comes with art cards and an art book. Dave Golder
The logo used by the surfy clothing company Quiksilver was inspired by “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”.
“Can’t you just draw a cock and balls?”