Belladonna of Sadness, the final film in the adult-oriented Animerama trilogy, is one of the great forgotten masterpieces of Japanese anime. Loosely inspired by La Sorcière, Jules Michelet’s 1862 history of witchcraft and the occult, Belladonna of Sadness tells the story of a young woman who makes a pact with the devil to exact revenge after being raped and driven from her home. This brief synopsis, however, does no justice to the visual spectacle of the film, which proceeds as a series of still images flashing onscreen. Spectacular watercolor paintings by Kuni Fukai marry the art nouveau artifice of artists like Aubrey Beardsley to ’60s psychedelia; the film’s North American distributor, Cinelicious Pics, describes it as “equal parts J.R.R. Tolkien and gorgeous, explicit Gustav Klimt-influenced eroticism.” A legendary cult classic, Belladonna of Sadness has never been officially released in the United States―until now. This publication accompanies the restored film’s North American release.
Beautifully produced in a colorful, large-format edition, this volume provides an indispensable companion to this incredible animated masterpiece, including script outtakes, stills and other ephemera from the film, a text about the film’s painstaking restoration and interviews conducted with the film’s illustrator, composer, and director Eiichi Yamamoto.
The first printing of the book will include a Blu-ray disc of the 4k restored version of the feature film, with bonus features including interviews with the director, composer and illustrator of the film, original trailer and more. Once the first printing of the book is sold out, the Blu-ray will not be included with any future printings.