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This beautifully animated tale offers a window into the world of Japan at the end of the Edo period by use of the unconventional and odd artist O-Ei, giving us perspective from the art, the attitudes, the gender struggles, and religious perspectives in a way I haven’t seen captured so wonderfully. Miss Hokusai is split into individual vignettes which could have hampered the experience, but instead give the film a unique quality, able to weave ongoing relationships and stand-alone stories in ninety minutes without feeling rushed or bloated. The only detractor I can find is that with the emphasis on the culture and the world of Japan in the Edo period, I feel the filmmaker had many missed opportunites with O-Ei herself, who is portrayed well but not explored to the depth that I would’ve liked, especially as an unconventional female artist at that time.

 

8/10

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