Miss Hokusai

3 stars (out of 4)

Released 2015

Going by the trailer, I was somewhat wary that this biographical film about a famous painter’s daughter might not have much of a plot. I expected that there would be a lot of fantastic eye candy in the form of gorgeous Edo-era scenery, though. And that was pretty much what I got.

The film followed O-Ei’s various experiences, showing her encounters with her fragmented family and with acquaintances in her and her father’s line of work. These anecdotes successfully portrayed our lead character’s charming personality.

Miss Hokusai was very much a slice of life story. While certainly the events were affecting and enjoyable to watch, I didn’t feel that they came together in any unifying theme in the end.

I attended the Miss Hokusai screening with family and we had mixed feelings about the film’s soundtrack. I kind of liked the unexpected use of blues and rock music along with classical piano pieces (not unlike the eclectic soundtrack of another period-setting anime, GARO: Crimson Moon), but my sister would have preferred more traditional instrumentation to accompany the seemingly faithful historical images.