Kanashimi no Belladonna also known as "The Tragedy of Belladonna" is an art house animation feature animated film produced in 1973 by Mushi Production. Directed and co-written by Eiichi Yamamoto and inspired by Jules Michelet's non-fiction book Satanism and Witchcraft, it is the third and final film in the Animerama trilogy and the only one to be neither written nor directed by Osamu Tezuka (he left Mushi Production during the film's early stages to concentrate on his comics and his conceptual-stage contribution is uncredited).
It was unusual on several counts: First off, it was an X-rated erotic Fantasia-esque feature length animation produced by by Mushi Production. Mushi Pro is the studio responsible for classic childrens fare like Astroboy and Kimba the White Lion. It’s easy to make the case that Osamu Tezuka, the company’s founder, should be regarded as the Walt Disney of Japan. In fact, it was Tezuka’s wide-eyed way of drawing characters that influenced Anime profoundly. Although Tezuka had already stepped down from the company three years earlier, it’s still not easy to imagine Disney producing soft porn cartoons just a few years after Uncle Walt’s passing…
Based kinda/sorta/somewhat on the Joan D’Arc story, Belladonna of Sadness also incorporates vampires and orgies into her tale (?!?!). Butterflies that take flight in the shape of a vagina and other things. As I have never seen a copy with English subtitles, it is rather difficult for me to say exactly what is going on in Belladonna of Sadness, although I can report that that Kuni Fukai’s stunning visuals (reminiscent of the work of Gustav Klimt and Aubrey Beardsley) are quite incredible eye candy and unlike anything else I’ve seen.