Cover of first volume of Miss Hokusai, reprinted in 1992
|Written by||Hinako Sugiura|
|Published by||Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha|
|Magazine||Weekly Manga Sunday|
|Original run||1983 – 1987|
|Directed by||Keiichi Hara|
|Written by||Miho Maruo|
|Music by||Harumi Fuki, Yo Tsuji|
|Released||May 9, 2015|
Miss Hokusai (百日紅 Sarusuberi) is a Japanese historical manga series written and illustrated by Hinako Sugiura, telling the story of Katsushika Ōi who worked in the shadow of her father Hokusai. It was adapted into an anime film, Miss Hokusai, directed by Keiichi Hara, that was released in 2015.
The manga story consists of episodes which are not necessarily connected to each other. They feature O-Ei and her life in Edo, as she works in the studio of her father. The younger sister appears in one of the episodes.
The anime story begins in Edo in 1814, during the Edo period. O-Ei is one of the four daughters of the painter Tetsuzo, who later became known as Hokusai. The film takes place at the moment when O-Ei reaches adulthood, while her father, aged about fifty, is already a recognized artist in his country. The studio in which they both work is completely cluttered, she goes to her mother's place to eat but spends the night in the studio. Tetsuzo is known for his famous painting skills, such as painting the Great Daruma or two sparrows on a grain of rice. O-Ei has the talent and obstinacy from her father. She paints often at her desk, without signing her work, in order to complete the orders. She does not get any recognition for her talent.
The film alternates episodes of the life of O-Ei and her father and the painters that visit, especially Zenjirō Ikeda (Keisai Eisen), who later became known for his bijin-ga, and Kuninao Utagawa. Several scenes feature Japanese mythology and Buddhism. After accidentally damaging a Japanese dragon painting that her father had to deliver the next day, O-Ei had to repaint the dragon herself. During the night, a heavy storm breaks out and the dragon descends from the clouds. This could be the story from the Tang period, according to which there is a technique for capturing a dragon in a painting. The topic of ikiryō is also depicted, such as when Tetsuzo's astral hands fly, or when they investigate rumours about a famous oiran in the Yoshiwara district, whose astral head tries to leave her body during the night. The Amitābha Pure Land Buddha is also a theme, such as when the wife of a patron is losing her mind because of a painting of jigoku (Buddhist hell) by O-Ei. Tetsuzo realizes that O-Ei did "not finish" the painting and he completes it by adding the image of the Amitābha, which finally gives the wife peace. The Buddha makes another appearance with two Bodhisattvas in a dream sequence.
The film also evokes the relationship between O-Ei, Tetsuzo and the half-sister of O-Nao, from her father's first marriage. She is a blind little girl by birth, but Tetsuzo, who is afraid of death and disease and hates the sick, does not visit her. It is O-Ei who takes care of her by taking her to Ryōgoku Bridge, describing the landscapes and making her touch, listen and feel the world. At the same time, O-Ei remains single and is not interested in romantic relationships. But her father entrusts her with orders for erotic shunga prints, and customers reproach O-Ei's drawings for being too coldly executed. She is intrigued by seduction, but ultimately is not interested.
When O-Ei's younger sister falls ill, she convinces her father to finally visit, and he even paints a picture of a protective deity. But the little girl does not recover and passes away. She enters the studio in the form a strong gust of wind, leaving behind on the floor a single tsubaki flower her older sister once gave her.
The film ends by indicating with a text displayed on the screen the fates of the main characters. Tetsuzo, who became Hokusai, died at the age of 90. On his deathbed, he humbly lamented, if only had lived for 5-10 more years, he might have become a great artist. Zenjiro gained some fame from painting women. He died a year before Tetsuzo. O-Ei got married, but it didn't work out. She returned to Tetsuzo's workshop, surviving him by nine years. One summer's day in 1857, she went for a walk and disappeared. The exact circumstances and place of her death are unknown.
- Voiced by: Anne Watanabe (Japanese); Erica Lindbeck (English)
- Katsushika Hokusai
- Voiced by: Yutaka Matsushige (Japanese); Richard Epcar (English)
- Ikeda Zenjiro
- Voiced by: Gaku Hamada (Japanese); Ezra Weisz (English)
- Utagawa Kuninao
- Voiced by: Kengo Kora (Japanese); Robbie Daymond (English)
- Voiced by: Jun Miho (Japanese); Barbara Goodson (English)
- Voiced by: Shion Shimizu (Japanese); E. Courtney Chu (English)
- Iwakubo Hatsugoro
- Voiced by: Michitaka Tsutsui (Japanese); Marc Diraison (English)
- Voiced by: Miyu Irino (Japanese); Kevin T. Collins (English)
Hinako Sugiura started the manga when she was 25 years old. She was one of the very few female manga artists at that time. The figure of O-Ei is regarded by director Keiichi Hara as the avatar of the creator. The manga story consists of episodes which are not necessarily connected to each other. The anime story is based on the manga.
In producing the adaptation Hara chose to focus on the character of O-Ei due to how her role becomes more important as the original manga progressed. Original sequences were added during the middle and end of the movie. The role of the blind younger sister, O-Nao, was also expanded.
The film opened in Japan on May 9, 2015. It received its North American premier at the Fantasia International Film Festival between July 12 and August 5, 2015. Anime Limited screened the film in the United Kingdom, with the premiere On October 10, 2015, with Hara in attendance.
The film won the Jury Award at the 39th Annecy International Animated Film Festival. At the Fantasia International Film Festival it won three awards. Keiichi Hara won the Asiagraph 2015 Tsumugi Prize for the film. At the 19th Fantasia International Film Festival, it won the Gold Audience Award for best animated feature film, the Satoshi Kon Award for best animated feature film and the Séquences Award for best Asian feature film. It won the Best Animation Film Award at the 70th Mainichi Film Awards.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Annie Awards||February 4, 2017||Best Animated Feature—Independent||Miss Hokusai||Nominated|||
|Satellite Awards||February 19, 2017||Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature||Miss Hokusai||Nominated|||
- "I.G & Colorful's Keiichi Hara Make Historical Anime Miss Hokusai". Anime News Network. April 24, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- "MISS HOKUSAI: KEIICHI HARA INTERVIEW". Anime Limited. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "Director Keiichi Hara Wins Asiagraph 2015 Tsumugi Prize for Miss Hokusai Film". Anime News Network. August 11, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- "Miss Hokusai". Glasgow Film]]. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Boyd van Hoeij (October 30, 2015). "'Miss Hokusai' ('Sarusuberi: Misu Hokusai'): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
- "Miss Hokusai Wins 3 Awards at Fantasia Int'l Film Festival". Anime News Network. August 11, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Miss Hokusai Anime Film Wins at 70th Mainichi Film Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- "44th Annie Award Nominees". International Animated Film Society. November 28, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- Kilday, Gregg (November 29, 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2016.