Katsushika Hokusai was among the most celebrated and prolific Japanese painters of ukiyo-e (“pictures of the floating world”), and bound volumes of his woodblock prints were best-sellers in 19th-century Japan and Europe. Obsessive, selfish, untidy, and indifferent to money, he cuts a wide swath through this evocative and poignant anime (2015), but the central character is his 23-year-old daughter and production assistant, who completed his unfinished works and tackled genres, like images of beautiful courtesans, that were not his forte. Adapted from the manga Sarusuberi, the movie traces the heroine’s artistic development and personal awakening through a series of vignettes that feature her father’s motifs—bridges, street life, dragons, the spirit world. Director Keiichi Hara achieves a balance between earthiness and aestheticism, suggesting a Japan on the cusp of modernity.