Arte

It feels like only a few folks are talking about Arte (or I’m just missing the discussions) but I’m glad I stumbled across this show! (I’ve been watching episodes of Arte between Black Lagoon stints, and the contrast is vivid :D)

Arte 2020

Arte is a seinen series that should appeal to folks who like historical fiction too and coming of age themes in any other genre, but also visual artists themselves. Obviously, setting a show in Florence during the 16th century means (High) Renaissance but in Arte it’s not a drama about the masters, but a coming of age story that focuses on apprentices – chiefly Arte herself, of course.

And she’s an endearing heroine whom I wanted to succeed, kind and determined, classic seinen stuff. Having been extremely lucky to have once visited Florence (and Venice) I was enthralled by the setting as much as the storyline, due to the beautiful detail. [As a side note, I did also like seeing the canals so clear and sparkling in the anime :)]

Arte isn’t an episodic anime, as it is building to two key moments that do pay off, and while the individual storylines and characters were definitely enjoyable for me, I think the mentor stuff around Arte and Leo were my favourite aspects, aside from learning more about the specific labour that went into the art world back then.

I only had one gripe, which was the amount of time the story spent in Venice, though that wasn’t because things suddenly became worse, but more because I wanted to see her grow more under Leo’s guidance and he wasn’t in those eps, lol.

On the extremely low chance of a future season, I guess that could still happen. The manga certainly has plenty of issues available for Seven Arcs to draw from 🙂

Part of me wants to say ‘5 Stars’ because I enjoyed so much about the show but I think it’s a fairly niche series in some ways, so I don’t want to potentially mislead anyone reading this. However, if you like the visual arts or the genre, or historical Italy, then I think you’ll enjoy this a good deal indeed.

4 Stars

Katarina has quite the introductory episode
Perhaps the only time Leo smiles from memory
I should have tried harder to find more pictures like these

Published by ashleycapes

Ashley is an Australian poet, novelist and teacher. He's currently running a casual review blog called "The Review Heap" focusing film, anime, games, books and music - and (very) occasionally other stuff too. He is the author of half a dozen poetry collections and a few novels, some published traditionally and some self-published. He also occasionally publishes other folks too.

8 thoughts on “Arte

  1. Interesting. When I watched the series weekly I loved Arte’s development more when she came to Venice. The first few episodes were a bit too repetitive since it’s her being looked down upon for being a woman in the world of art. I’m like: I get it. Leo’s a good mentor to her though at times he can be too stubborn. And he did make a good move for letting her having the opportunity to have her biggest work.

    One thing I won’t forgive is the fact of cutting screentime for one character who only popped up: Darcia. Her appearance in the show was out of place and it was when Arte was about to go to Venice. There could’ve been more time to get to know her aside from being Arte’s student in reading and her job as a seamstress.

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    1. Yes! They should have introduced her earlier – I feel like a got to know the maid in Venice better than I did Darcia.

      And that’s a really good point re: the repetitive nature of Arte having to prove herself so much in the begininng. Maybe it was because Yuri was a bit of an arrogant fop that I didn’t enjoy Venice in the same way 😀 (although, I really liked the Catalina storyline as it progressed).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course. I don’t know too much about art anime besides Miss Hokusai or what little I’ve seen about Honey & Clover a long time ago. Emma was another historical period piece that takes place in England if memory serves me correctly.

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        1. I’ll have to check ‘Honey & Clover’ cool – and I didn’t realise there was an anime adaption of Emma, interesting!

          I was thinking of seeking out ‘Bakuman’ as well, as that might be close (just without the historical angle).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sure. I only saw the first few episodes and I didn’t remember much of it. Yes, an Emma anime exists and it was animated by Pierrot of all studios even though it doesn’t look like it with the art and animation style.

            That’s one anime I should check out as well. I wonder how much it was inspired by Otaku no Video and Comic Party for example. Bakuman is even from the creators of Death Note and Hikaru no Go (okay, Obata for the latter, but he was involved with all three).

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, that is interesting about ‘Pierrot’, cool. Have been seeing their name pop up a lot, lately, having just watched ‘Lily CAT’ and started ‘Dallos’ 🙂

    Lemme know if you beat me to ‘Bakuman’ as I’d be keen to see what you reckon

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