Anime Review: Ikoku Meiro Episode 5

Anime Review:
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee Episode 5

What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.

Series Premise: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, or “Croisee in the Foreign Labyrinth”, is a weekly televised anime series started in July 2011, based on a manga by the same name. Yune, a young Japanese girl, follows a French businessman back to nineteenth century Paris where he introduces her to Claude, who runs a struggling ironworking shop, where she has to adapt to a totally different culture, while he also tries to understand her.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Episode Summary: Yune is scolded by Claude for being too friendly, and when she tries to help out a young ‘customer’, he steals a candlestick. Yune chases after him, but gets lost in the gallery. Suspicious at everyone, she wanders around until Claude finds her.

My Impressions: Okay, okay, you know the drill: it’s Round Five of AWWWWWWWW LOOK HOW CUTE YUNE IS!

Here’s the thing — I get that Ikoku Meiro is really all about the mood and the setting, and it’s not some grand-sweeping story of plot-driven series. There’s not anything specifically wrong about that per se, but I guess I’m looking for something more from a show than the same thing over and over again. It’s inoffensive and cute and largely substance-free. As far as I can tell, between episode one and episode five, there really hasn’t been much of anything substantive in terms of story progression or character growth.

I suppose I’m wondering what’ the point in watching if there’s nothing new from one episode to the next? I can understand the appeal of the show (Yune is undeniably cute, after all), but I’m wanting something more than “just cute”. So here’s my ultimatum: I’ll give it one more episode to see if we have a hint of conflict, tension or character growth. Otherwise I’ll focus on other shows as well (since I have so many other shows to catch up on, I’m so far behind schedule!)

Oh, and by the way, exactly how old is Yune, anyway? She looks and acts like she’s just a little kid, but looks and cultural differences can be deceiving. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the “jokes” is that she’s actually older than Claude.

PS – I’m also a bit dubious at Claude’s scolding of Yune because she is being “too nice”, leading to a fairly large chasm on how people treat strangers between the two cultures. I’m not so sure that his view of the world is exactly representative of Western culture as a whole, no more than I am sure that Yune’s overeagerness is representative of Japan. Easier to see it as a difference of opinions between two individuals rather than a clash of cultures. But then again, that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, and my nit-pick with the series is broader, as outlined above.

The verdict: – Uhhhhh, okay….I guess?

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “One of the marvels of Ikoku Meiro is the way it explores the cultural divide without a bit of judgement or condescension towards either side, something rare in anime and indeed anywhere.” – Lost in America
  • “This was quite the interesting episode. For one, Alice made no appearance whatsoever, so the creators aren’t trying to overuse her, but this episode also went another step further in its analysis of the cultural differences between France and Japan. Previously it discussed things like different foods and climate,but this time it really looked at the people: how they act towards each other and strangers.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
  • “I liked the lost in a foreign country theme of this episode. Had a bit more substance than just Yune being cute (but seriously…how cute is she?).” – Marth’s Anime Blog
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One Response to Anime Review: Ikoku Meiro Episode 5

  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee Episode 6 | This Euphoria!

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