Thursday, 13 December 2012

Anime review: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee

Title: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee (The first e is actually an accent e)

Year: 2011

What is it about: A little Japanese girl who somehow ended up living and working in Paris... and she speaks French yo! (technically)

Review: I have no idea what Croisee means, but I'm sure it's not a bread. I think it is fair to say this is also among the best animes there are. That is if you are not a fan of anything at the very least violent.

This anime revolves around a little Japanese girl named Yune (Little is right. Look how short she is). Yune is Nao Toyama at her loliest! So Yune volunteered to work in a metal craft shop called something Du Roy located in Paris. Apparently she loves Paris so much that she taught herself French language to the point that she has mastered it, though she didn't really teach herself French culture. Note: If you are to watch this anime, you have to pretend that throughout the entire anime (other than Yune's flashbacks), everyone is speaking in French.

Most of the time, the story divides between Yune trying to learn the French culture and Yune tries to make friends with Claude the metal craft shop owner. Then it's the rivalry between the small craft shop and a huge departmental store. At this point the story makes you think as if Paris is incredibly small, and that the characters have never been out of Paris for their lives. Why? Because apparently the elder sister of the owner of the departmental store is an ex-lover of Claude. We are talking about a childhood love between the very rich and the very poor. It didn't work out for them, and hence the awkward moment every time they meet. Poor Yune was victimized  by the grudge Claude held towards the store (not because of the love story. In this anime, there's not much of a single mature love story.) because Claude always try to keep Yune away from the store, even though Yune shares a very good relationship with the store's owner.

This anime is not bad story-wise. First we are introduced to France, Paris in particular. Then we get to see French culture. Then all the drama begins with Yune's over-kindness and clumsiness by getting lost et cetera, to Claude's annoyance. On the other hand, Claude is a pretty short-tempered guy. Don't worry though, he doesn't scream. Then again, who in the world could possibly scream at a cute little Japanese girl? This is the power of loli. Also, we have Oscar the Santa Clause (She brought Yune to the shop from Japan as a "present". Lol.) who always keep an eye on Yune and tries to cool off Claude's hot head. Then things get a little emo with Yune's reminiscence about her sickly sister back in their hometown in Nagasaki.

Unfortunately tough, things ended pretty abruptly. This anime only has 12 episodes, and in the final episode it just felt like we're actually somewhere in the middle of the anime. The ending is too plain, and there's nothing special about it. I could easily think of more storyline that they could have continued from the final episode, but perhaps this anime is meant to be a short one and not a long-winded one. There are s quite a few unanswered questions, but I guess the anime production team believes in the simple yet profound concept.

In conclusion, I think anime does gave us an introduction to the peaceful lifestyle of France in the late 19th century. It's commendable how they actually hire a French as a narrator in the opening of every episode. Don't worry, Japanese subs are provided, and English too if you turn the subs on. However, don't expect to see the Eiffel Tower.

Rating (out of 10): 7

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