Ross founded the UK Anime Network back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world, while also working across Asia and the US as an export ambassador for the UK textile industry... among other things.
Portrait de Petite Cossette
This was an interesting one. When it arrived, it was bundled with a folded A3 flyer asking the question "Do you remember when Paranoia Agent landed on your desk?" As it happens I do, but whilst Cossette does contain elements of mindbending surrealism, it's a far darker journey than PA ever was, and as such the similarities are ended abruptly - Cossette is a very, very dark anime.
Cossette begins with a young artist and antique store owner, Arie, finding an enchanted glass, within which lives the spirit of a young girl who was brutally murdered - and if her spirit is ever to rest, another must take her place.
It would be foolish to say that Cossette charts a descent into insanity - Arie is obsessed, not insane. In order to prove his love, he has to endure terrible torture as Cossette's "beloved objects" which witnessed her murder seek revenge, as the spirit of Cossette's murderer is implanted into Arie, and attacked in brutal fashion.
This isn't an anime that will suit a wide audience. Paranoia Agent had elements of humour and could poke fun at itself whilst it tried to confuse you - Cossette is po-faced and anything but "fun". It's an arthouse piece first and foremost, and as such it accomplishes it's primary aim of establishing lush, surreal images across the screen with some considerable flair. It truly is unlike anything you've seen, but what it offers isn't pleasant, and as spellbinding as Cossette's world can become, it isn't a place you'll wander frequently.
This is strictly for those who appreciate animation as a medium, and a good study in creative film making, but it's also depressing, confusing and at times, overwhelming. A film to be studied perhaps, but unlikely to be enjoyed.
A wealth of extras including storyboards, interviews with the creative team and the original promotional material make this disc very well-rounded.