I’m confused. What is she aspiring to be?
I’m joking obviously. I know Arte (Mikako Komatsu) aspires to be an artist. But come on, that name (and by extension, the show’s title) is way too cheeky. That’s SpongeBob levels of obvious, coincidental naming.
Anyway, Arte feels less of a period piece and more a modern anime that just so happens to take place in the Italian Renaissance. Yes, it was extremely hard for women to become artists during that time period. So moments such as Arte’s mother cracking down on her career path after the father dies and the montage of artists refusing to teach her is perfectly plausible. Still, the modernness of Arte‘s story line feels apparent. Arte acts more akin to the genki archetype than a person of her time. I can buy Leo (Katsuyuki Konishi) being that rare individual who didn’t care about gender roles but his reluctance to take Arte as his student because of her social class feels more in line with modern day politics than that of the Reinsurance era. Some scenes are complete head scratchers given the setting. Like, would any commoner really dare physically pushing Arte, a noble, to the ground without thinking twice of the potential consequences? I find that hard to believe.
But I digress. I still find Arte pretty enjoyable. As out of place the titular girl herself might feel, she’s still quite the charmer with her determination and fair share of comedy (love the silly faces she makes). Meanwhile, Leo is looking to be a very interesting mentor character in his own right. I like how he holds his end of the bargain upon realizing that Arte’s struggle is not too dissimilar from his own past as a beggar who only had his skills to work with. There’s a strong thematic statement to him forcing Arte to live in the run downed shack on his rooftop. He’ll provide the means but it’s up to Arte to make the best use of them and carve her path with them. Together, the two characters’ personalities perfectly contrast each other and it makes for some fun banter, as evident when Arte’s goofiness does manage to elicit a laugh out of Leo or when Arte is stunned that Leo is leaving her with the shack.
So long as the story is good, I can look past the somewhat loose utilization of the setting. It’s not like the anime is based on any real person anyway. And so far, so good as far as the show is overall concerned.
OP: “Clover by Maaya Sakamoto
ED: “Hare Moyou” by Kiyono Yasuno
Thanks for reading!