I was going to try to find an art quote, but screw it.
Story: Kurahashi Eiri is just like any other young man out there. Well, except for two things:
1. He has a fancy glass goblet with some gothic loli... ta... cons in it.
2. He has a bunch of women who love him for some reason.
The former is probably more important, especially since that's basically the gist of it. Cossette (really? She has a last name?) is a young doll-girl with blonde hair and pale skin who, somehow, ends up befriending/S&Ming Eiri. Yep, you saw it coming: Absolutely nil is explained properly in "Le Portrait de Petit Cossette."
I don't know if that's the fault of the length (or lack thereof) or the director, but it doesn't help. And instead of taking the route of the abstract or mindf*ck, this anime tries to be a psychological horror. Uh, no. Sure, "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni" could get away with not explaining anything until waaaaaaaaay later, but you cannot.
Is this a big problem? Well, yes. It's a pretty glaring issue.
Animation: I'm not going to lie--this anime looks beautiful. Gothic paintings reminiscent of those in "Umineko no Naku Koro ni," fast cuts like those used in "Bakemonogat"--never mind. Don't confuse the two anime. Color schemes are used almost as perfectly as in "Kigeki." I want to say, "It's stunning! It's gorgeous! No complaints on this front!" except that I can't. There is one complaint, and that's usage. The art doesn't seem to hold any meaning. Maybe it's just me, but while the religious symbolism probably has a purpose, it is just... there. The shock-value-like scenes? There's a purpose, I'm 79.8% sure of it, but I don't know what the purpose is. There's another issue, and that's the fact that very few risks are taken, but that is perhaps more petty. None of the artistic ideas strike any new ground; they're pretty, but uninspired.
But they're still pretty.
Sound: The haunting melody during one of the first scenes is gorgeous, but a lot of the other music almost sounds like dubstep. (Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to roll into the fetal position and weep.) The voice acting, on the other hand, is quite good, but I can't bring myself to praise it further. Dubbing... I don't know. (But since Johnny Yong Bosch is in it, it can't be that bad, right?)
And one other thing--I can't get past the pronunciation of Cossette's name. Co-zett-oh doesn't sound right.
Characters: 'Tis a three-episode OVA, critics.
All the photos are of Cossette, so hasta la vista to that idea. (Wait, never mind. I think I saw L from "Death Note." Seriously?)
Kurahashi Eiri: While he's not the blandest protagonist of all time, he's certainly not the greatest. A plaything of Cossette's, this invertebrate managed to both annoy and fascinate me. I'm sure somebody disagrees, but is he really THAT strong?
Cossette D'Auvergne: A lolita loli (gosh, I love that phrase!) with an Eiri complex. She seems just as weak as him (and not just because Eiri says so) and can't really carry the series on her tiny shoulders.
All of Eiri's bitchy lovers: Especially one in particular. I believe "bitchy" describes them perfectly. Here are a few other names for them:
And yeah, I'm done. Those are the only characters worth a mention.
Overall: A nice concept, but poor execution. Plus, to you horror fans: This isn't scary! It's more of a gothic drama!