Review:Ikoku Meiro no Croisée

Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth 

Alex: Set in mid 19th Century France, this one follows the life of one Yune, a Japanese girl who comes over to Paris in order to learn more about the world. And thus, as you’d expect, the anime is born.

To be painfully blunt, this anime is what you’d call “Good Moe”. It’s got a plot and a story, but when you strip everything away, it’s about a cute girl doing cute things, accompanied by Claude, who is somewhat of a tsundere, and more bratty companions who join along the way. I’ll be honest and say that I stopped “properly” watching the anime around Episode 8, when it ran out of tricks. This isn’t K-On!!, or anything like that…it’s got a limited bag of tricks which it exhausts rather quickly, and is reduced to milking the same premise to pad the episodes out.

The feature which does stop it from turning into an average taste is the way it uses culture. You see, since Yune is Japanese, and the rest of the cast is French, there are bound to be some large differences  between the two cultures and races. The anime uses several of these features to help create something that’s actually rather enjoyable to watch at places.

Ultimately, if Slice-Of-Life or Moe is up your ally, you should at least try a few episodes, just to see if you can get along with the anime.Just…don’t expect something drastically unique or different, because that isn’t what you’ll get most of the time. The majority of the anime is good moe, followed by the occasional cultural reference  to help liven things up and keep it interesting.

    

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Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Episode 8 & 9

Child’s Room
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Secret Garden

Alex: Now that the initial shock of how amazingly cute Yune is has passed, the only thing that’s kept me watching it is the Claude x Camillia undertones, and these episodes really build on them. Especially with the flashbacks that are going on lately.

In some of the flashbacks from these two episodes, you start to wonder just who Camille is. The looks she gives Claude makes you wonder if she ever saw him as more than his plaything, but then on occasion she gives him looks which you reserve for your loved ones.

The series is actually starting to get a little bit old and stale now…we’ve gotten over all the big things that it had to set itself apart at the start, and to be honest, it’s turning into a bit of a drag to get through. I’m gonna drop this from the blog and do one final review at the end of the series.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Episode 4.5

Recital

Alex: Huh. This is actually a really good example of how to do a bonus episode. Whilst this one didn’t tell a story that’s never been told or touched upon before or anything like that, it used the theme of music to tie Yune together with everyone else, featuring songs from people who i’m assuming to be popular artists.

It also hints more at a relationship between Claude and Camille. But just like every other episode, it’s something which…well…which you need to watch to appreciate. It’s the mood and the atmosphere that they’ve created in the episode which make it special, and it’s impossible to speak about.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Episodes 6 & 7

Birdcage

Skylight

Alex: Yeah, double posting this series works best for me. Whilst episode 6 was just more Alice antics, even though the older sister was very interesting to watch and intrigued me to find out more, if I was to speak about that episode i’d just be complaining even more about how annoying Alice is, and how back in the day I can’t imagine that girls like that existed. Shouldn’t they all be like the older sister, refined and dignified?

Episode 7, sadly, was where Yune fell ill from a cold. Back in the day, colds were a big thing and they were serious deals among the lower class, I didn’t like this episode.Whilst it was nice to see Yune slowly trying to understand the thief child, it’s like the creators tried too hard to portray Claude as an ass, yelling at her and telling her not to talk to strangers and so forth. I’d rather see her talk to strangers and come off worse because of it than see Claude yelling at her.

But, like always, the series was refreshing, charming and enjoyable.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Episodes 4 & 5

Water and Lights
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A Lost Child 

 

Alex: This is a much easier way to handle blogging this show…since i’d only be able to come up with around two sentences for the previous episodes, double posting them should help me to have some substance to this.

Sadly, episode 4 was actually a serious step back in this series. Alice is a walking combination of the most annoying character traits in anime. Not only was all the screentime with her in it utterly infuriating, her character has nothing remotely decent to the franchise and actually derails what was a really relaxing show into something which frustrates you.

Much to my relief, Alice had disappeared during Episode 5, hopefully never to return (I wish ><) and it went back to what it does best: Showing the cultural differences between Yune and Claude, especially the attention to detail they had in customer service and freedom. The best part has to be the part where Yune got stolen from and was lost outside on a rainy day in Paris. The fact that that child who had been peering through the shop window all this time was only doing that to figure out if it’ll be easy to steal from Yune was a really well made part xD

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Episode 3

Labyrinth of Japan

Alex:I think that the start of this episode was probably the best part of the episode for us Europeans. I’ll admit, my reaction was very much like Claude’s when I heard what the Japs eat, sleep on and that their houses are made out of paper. But that part aside, the one thing I hated was the inclusion of that rich snob. This series DID NOT need an anime cliché to just come walking in and steal the spotlight, diverting what was a pretty damn good show so that it could try to sell more DVD’s. –sigh-

Im having a real dilemma here, actually. I’m not able to type more than a paragraph for this series, but Sacred Seven seems to be going up and down like it’s just a miniature roller-coaster. I want to try to have faith in it, what with Sunrise producing the amazing Tiger&Bunny, but it’s so hard D: Do I keep blogging this one, even though I hardly have anything to say?

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Episode 2

Cheese

Alex: So, yeah. This episode spends its time doing what it does best: being adorable. It shows the french customs of bread and cheese for breakfast, and how Yune doesn’t like nor understand the taste of cheese and coffee. So the entire episode is focused around her slowly adjusting to french customs, and Claude being more accepting of her Japanese customs, like that clappy think Japanese people do before eating to say thank you for the food, and similar things.  Claude also finds the time to take Yune to one of the famous french markets, and although it served no real purpose, it was nice to see some real detail to the French…though I was kinda hoping for more detail on cheeses, and maybe a cheese market.

Anyway…I wonder if this show is going to turn its hand to drama anytime soon? Or is it just gonna stay as a cute Japanese girl in Paris…