Monday, July 25, 2011

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation 04: Believing in promises.

ikoku meiro no croisee, ikoku meiro, yune, alice blanche
Oh dear, poor Yune.

I'm not sure which is cuter, Yune's dedicated friendship with the Claudel's or Rin and Daikichi from Usagi Drop. Both shows are so adorable and enjoyable in their own unique ways, but one thing they do share are extremely likable characters. Even Alice Blanche, who last week I was a little mean to, became a lot more likable this episode. Also this week I think we can get a slightly clearer picture of where this show is taking us.

I've noticed the differences between Japanese culture and French culture have become a major theme in every episode. In the beginning I thought it would move on from that after the first or second episode and focus on other things, but I'm glad it has remained an important part of developing Yune and Claude. What I'm most happy about though is that it never becomes boring. We're not listening to long speeches and lessons about trivial things, but instead we get to watch Yune and Claude interact with the differences and get better understandings of each other in the process.

ikoku meiro no croisee, ikoku meiro, yune, alice blanche
She's a crafty one.

So, Alice. Where do I start? I hate her and love her at the same time, she's annoying, bratty, and is the manifestation of all the character qualities I normally hate, but she's slowly becoming a lot more interesting. I'm really curious to see how she'll handle the gallery situation, especially with the obvious distaste the store-owners have towards her, and whether or not she'll help improve the gallery, or let it die.

And while I'm on the topic of characters, Claude has proven to be a very strong lead, which is something I feel has been lacking this year in most of the shows I've seen. The lead can make or break a show and if they don't have the right hook everything else will crumble around them, since they're basically the centerfold of all the events that happen. He's witty, likable, entertaining, and every week we see him developing now that Yune has entered the picture.

ikoku meiro no croisee, ikoku meiro, yune, claude claudel
That should be obvious by now, Claude.

So far the show doesn't seem to have any important plots, and that's one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. One week it goes from eating different types of food, and then the next we're walking around Paris learning more about the culture. With the freedom to go anywhere each week the show doesn't become predictable or dependent on certain plot developments. It's like going on an adventure without a map, you never know what you'll see. Dumb analogies aside, it's also nice that there are still one or two small overarching plots (like the kimono) that aren't used to advance a twelve episode story, but rather to develop the characters and their relationships.

It seems next we'll be learning more about that blonde haired boy from a couple episodes ago that way staring in through the glass. It seems like it will be a nice side-story and hopefully it will give us some more perspective on the setting as well. With each passing week I'm getting a stronger desire to watch Aria since it's supposedly just as relaxing and interesting as Ikoku Meiro, so maybe I'll check that out soon!

What did you think of the episode? What do you think of the series so far?

ikoku meiro no croisee, ikoku meiro, yune, claude claudel
Yune's distorted faces are so cute.


  1. This has been a great series so far. I've loved every episode. Yune is certainly adorable, but as you mentioned, Claude is interesting as well, and I like all the cultural tidbits we learn from each of them.
    A lot of people might not like Alice, but I think she's pretty hilarious.

    And Aria is a great series. I've only seen the first season, but it also has a positive, relaxing atmosphere to it. Plus there's an old European feel there as well, with the setting a reconstruction of Venice.

  2. Thanks for the comment! (= I've been noticing from the many blogs I lurk around that Alice seems to be generally disliked, but like you, I don't think she's that bad. I think she serves as an important part in the story too. Claude and Alice represent the contrasting sides of a major conflict, one is part of the poorer, hardworking gallerie du roy community and the other is a beneficiary of the wealthy department store. So their relationship is really interesting, and Yune is in the middle of it all.

    I've added Aria to the long list of series I want to marathon this Summer, so I think I'll start it soon! I love shows with relaxing atmospheres.