16th century Firenze, Italy. One girl, One ARTistic ambition! The birthplace of the renaissance era, where art is thriving. In one small corner of this vast city, one sheltered girl’s journey begins. She dreams of becoming an artist, an impossible career for a girl born into a noble family. In those days, art was an exclusively male profession, with woman facing strong discrimination. In spite of these challenges, Arte perseveres with hard work and a positive attitude!
Source: North Star Pictures
In a Nutshell Based on the manga by Kei Ohkubo, Arte feels like a shoujo story. 16th century Florence, Italy. Arte is a noblewoman, who dreams of becoming an artist. While it is an impossible career choice for a female born in a noble family, she is even ready to give up on her status only to become an artist. Will her whole-life-dream translate into reality? More About Story The story of Arte takes place in the early sixteenth century in Florence, Italy. Arte is a young noblewoman, who dreams of being an artist, which is an unthinkable desire for any high-status-women at that time to have; her mother does not want her to waste even a second of her time on this, as she describes it, useless hobby that will not bring any profit. And it is understandable, Arte’s father dies and for Arte’s mother to stay cashed up, she wants her daughter to marry a rich nobleman, to give birth to 4 children and live happily ever after. Arte is not ready to give up on her all life’s dream and does not want to follow her mother’s ideals that involve everything, but not Arte; Arte sets out into the city with her portfolio to seek a master artist to apprentice under. Of course, not a single person wants to do anything with a girl, which you should understand, if you were not asleep during your history classes. Thankfully, Arte meets always- grumbling-Leo, who unwillingly accepts Arte as his apprentice, only to prove her-- a girl she is will never succeed. Animation Does not Reflect Sixteenth Century While the animation is nothing special, the artistry is bright and attractive, with plenty of detail on clothing and decorations, and even art, because the series pays so much attention to the process of drawing, which is very time-consuming and interesting to observe. However, my only complaint is that the series looks ‘way too bright’, for a drama. Do Not Give Up On Your Dreams Arte is the main protagonist of the series. She is a brave, cheerful and very energetic young lady, who will never give up on her dreams no matter what other people may think. She does not want to rely on her mother’s plan for her to find a rich nobleman to marry, she wants to pursue her own dreams and to draw; she does not want to be a caged bird. Her determination and love for art is the reason Leo accepts her as his apprentice. However, Arte is a bit too hasty, when it comes to decision making, which always causes her and Leo troubles. With that being said, characters are quite interesting to follow. Leo gives his reasons, why he wants to prove Arte that she will never succeed as an artist and Arte’s love for Art is quite understandable. I do admit that I would love to see more development on Arte’s part, she acts way too childish, but what can I expect from a child? She is a child and acts like a child. Criticism/Fun Fact Given the series' and character's name, it is quite obvious that Arte is ARTEmisia Gentileschi. However, the problem is that many facts about what she was in real life and how the mangaka decided to depict her, were quite different, to say the least. Maybe, just maybe, Artemisia’s life is something a mangaka would not want to depict true to fact for some known reasons, I do not know, but I was hoping that the mangaka would have made a better research. Do not get me wrong, I do appreciate the mangaka’s work and that their work is a great tribute Artemisia Gentileschi, who had, let us say, not that easy life. All in all, while I do not hide the fact that if I were the creator of Arte, I would make things different, I still, however, highly appreciate this tribute to Artemisia Gentileschi, which was somewhat enjoyable to watch. Would I recommend this series to anyone? Of course, and do google Artemisia Gentileschi paintings and biography, when you finish watching the series. It is worth it.
I feel like the author was trying to be pretty optimistic given the setting in Arte. But at the same time the themes for Arte regarding women empowerment felt heavy if I'm being honest. While I honestly agree with that, in the setting provided, that is not true. True Renaissance era life would not allow this sort of story. Unfortunately, there was less focus on the setting than on the women's power storyline. Arte was less "historical" and more "fantasy" in this sense. The author also choose to base Arte off of a real life figure, Artemisia Gentileschi, who had a very different life in comparison. The author probably didn't want to show true to life facts for those specific reasons. Still, I would love to see a true anime adaption of Artemisia Gentileschi's life. It feels gritty in a way, like Berserk. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/oct/05/artemisia-gentileshi-painter-beyond-caravaggio Other than for the themes, the characters come off as boring. Even the drama surrounding Katarina ends up feeling cheap. Leo's old client Ubertino has the least screen time amongst the five characters but he makes a great contribution to Arte's development in bargaining. And since the best thing about this show is Arte's development, he manages to be a memorable character despite low screen time. Arte wasn't a very good protagonist in regards to how she acted like an airhead and in how she responded to the sexism in the show. Putting in the hard work towards becoming an artist isn't going to change the opinions of others that easily. If that were the case, then life would feel an awful lot like a shounen manga, but this show isn't even shounen to begin with. Even though animations are not really bad, quality of visuals for both of character models and background drawings are poor. Plus I can't say the soundtracks were good, cause most of the soundtracks are plain and boring. The irony of an anime being called Arte. I can't even say I enjoyed it as much as I wanted to. At the end of the day this wasn't a good historical anime, being one of my favorite genres. Series I would recommend would be The Rose of Versailles and Golden Kamuy. Both have female protagonists in historical settings that feel awesome and don't have you tearing your hair out in frustration.
About the setting, it is not the most reliable picture of the history (16th century) and there's a lot of overlooked issues or how things are in that time period where the anime choose to take place. It was delivered so lightly, doesn't give the "how things are from that time" rather it is in a "fantasy" viewpoint, so it is acceptable. But about the story line of the protagonist itself, it gives a classic tale of a noble wanting to break free on their own. It's a good anime without the thrill or anticipation to turn for what next will happen, rather a good fantacy drama. About Arte's hardship and the relationship she established along with other characters like Leo, Angelo, Veronica and soon how she was impressed by Yuri. But there's little development or beneficial transition of the characters hand in hand to Arte. Example of her way to Venice, where there Katarina plays a part for Arte (development), but it was so light almost like for sake of 8th episode to have something to look forward whether Arte will come back to Leo and continue as an apprentice or to stay to Venice. But leaves a gap almost imbalace to her supposedly choices since her relationship with Yuri or Katarina was rather little sudden or hurried. But I like the ceiling painting. It was a memorable accomplishment for all of them. And the scene where Arte's mother show up. It's a nice story nonetheless to watch.
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