English: Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth ~ The Animation
Synonyms: Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation, Ikoku Meiro No Croisee The Animation, La croisée dans un labyrinthe étranger Special
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 4, 2011 to Sep 19, 2011
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: G - All AgesL represents licensing company
Score: 7.511 (scored by 11791 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Oct 3, 2011
The setting is late nineteenth century, France. If you're interested in European art, then I strongly recommend this anime, as the backgrounds and clothing are all very realistic. Many times, I was captured by the scenery and it is a very strong suit Croisée has that many anime simply leave out.
Immediately, the characters are what will jump out at you. There's an old man, a boy in his late teens, and a young girl. Now this set up could have gone horribly wrong and turned into something perverse and offensive, but it did not. The old man, Oscar, was one of my favorite characters in the show. He's an important father figure to both Claude and Yune, and he brings interesting wisdom, making the show worthwhile to think on even after finishing. Claude Claudel is the protagonist of the series alongside the small Japonaise, Yune. The show is about how Yune adapts to her new environment and how Claude adapts to a foreigner living with him in his deceased father's failing sign shop. The characters work off of each other very interestingly, and I felt it was very easy to sympathize with both of them as their problems were more mundane than extreme. This may lead some to think that the show is very melodramatic, but it is in fact the opposite. The execution here is done very well , and all problems are solved in a way that develops the characters in a believable manner.
There are two other characters that are very much the opposite of our protagonists though, Alice and Camille. They are part of one of the richest families in Paris at this time, and they both have unique relationships with Yune and Claude respectively. Alice is very obsessive with the Japanese culture, which at the time, was highly intriguing to the people of Paris. Her relationship with Yune is somewhat one-sided but very interesting and even complex as the show completely unfolds. Camille's relationship with Claude was very interesting as well, but I do not wish to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet.
I digress but I must include this. Alice supplies an anachronism - the only one in the show - and whilst it was unnecessary, I don't think it should soil the reputation of the show. Alice says "moe" despite the show being set more than one-hundred years before the word came into history. This joke is used more as a 4th wall joke in my opinion, so it shouldn't be too heavily stressed upon.
The sound contributes greatly to the setting and I found it adding to an already wonderful experience. Even the opening is an instrumental piece. The show could have abused the setting and sound to create a very pop soundtrack to sell to the masses, but it didn't and I have great respect for that. The one thing I regret this anime did not do, was include more French words into the script. Though that is understandable, as there is a large challenge in overcoming linguistic barriers. Luckily, as a side-effect, choking strange words down the audiences throat is not what happens either.
Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth is a piece resistant to much of the failings that can be found in both historical and slice-of-life anime. There's not an over-abundance of fanservice yet it is still incredibly enjoyable to watch. Yune is not sold as sexual, and unlike many shows focusing around little girls, she has great characterization, as does the rest of the cast.
The show is slow, but if you're willing to try out a new experience then this may be a good place to start. If you're hesitant to pick this anime up, then I hope this review has encouraged you to do so. I was too, hesitant to continue this show beyond it's first episode, but I am glad that I did, as it became a very memorable anime. It is certainly worth watching, especially since it is very short.
If you enjoyed any of these anime, then you might also enjoy Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth: Victorian Romance Emma, Usagi Drop, and Aria the Animation. read more
Dec 22, 2011
Another method was for a person to be "sponsored" by a citizen of another nation, and while this allowed them to live and work in that country, they also had to abide by certain strict "rules". Like any system it was open to abuse, but many people were also granted a better start in life than they would have had in their homeland. The biggest difference between this method and emigration though, was the perception of the native populace. Many of those who were sponsored didn't live as part of an existing ethnic community, and because of this they were often tolerated as novelties rather than a threat.
Okay, that's a bit of a heavy beginning for a light-hearted slice of life anime, but a bit of context may help with certain aspects of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée.
Based on the manga by Takeda Hinata, the story follows the lives of Claude Claudel - an ironmonger living and working in Paris, and Yune - a young Japanese girl who has been sponsored by Claude's grandfather, Oscar, to come and live with them for a time. Unfortunately they have very little understanding of each other's cultures or histories, so every day is an opportunity to learn something new ...
Now many people will immediately pass this series off as nothing more than inane, lighthearted fluff with no real story, and in all honesty that's a pretty fair assessment. The episodic plot is rather straightforward and progresses in the relaxed manner that is so common in slice-of-life shows. In addition to this, there's an element of whimsy to the narrative that can make it difficult to take certain events seriously, and the whole show can often seem like it's trying very hard decide what it should be.
That said, there is a charm to proceedings that comes from a cast of surprisingly earnest characters, and there are flashes of a much deeper story hidden within the sugar-coated exterior. Unfortunately these undertones are rarely allowed to surface, but when they do, the series gains an intensity that can sometimes be at odds with the relaxed atmosphere, and it can often seem as though there is a purposeful avoidance of certain topics.
As far as appearances go, there's a nice uniformity to the predominantly European design, and everything from the buildings to the clothing are reflective of the period. Unfortunately there's also one glaring irregularity that may have been purposeful, but seems rather unnecessary, and that is Yune. The major problem is that she has been designed to be petite and tooth-achingly cute, and it's because of her looks that people automatically assume that the series is nothing more than a big ball of moe fluff. It's probable that this was an attempt to highlight just how different she looks to everyone around her, but there's an element of tastelessness to it - even though it does fit the 19th Century European vision of a typical girl/woman from the Far East.
That said, the characters are surprisingly expressive, both facially and in their behaviour, and the show makes good use of this factor. In addition to this the animation is pretty decent throughout, but it's also rather placid, which is why the art style sometimes changes for events that are meant to be charmingly amusing. In a very real sense it's a visual form of the much hated "canned laughter", and while it's supposed to "encourage" viewers to chuckle, thankfully it's not used enough for it to become anything more than a diversion.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée has a rather interesting set of characters that can sometimes play very well off each other, but because this is a slice-of-life tale the focus is less on developing them as individuals, and more on nurturing their bonds with the people around them. Now it may seem like splitting hairs, but it's actually a rather important distinction as this type of growth rarely occurs in other genres. Although the series isn't on the same level as Aria in this department, it does manage to hold its own for the majority of the show, and Yune's earnest habits and mannerisms may cause some viewers to make comparisons between her and Mizunashi Akari or Binchou-tan.
Now while there's a lack of obvious development, there are attempts to add definition to the characters and explain why they think and behave the way they do. Although the reasons are often retrospective, they're also logical and fit into the class system of the period, but viewers may sometimes find themselves frustrated by the fact that they ultimately don't lead anywhere.
Because this is a "Stranger in a Strange Land" type of story, the script takes a simpler, more explanatory approach than normal. Surprisingly, this seems to have allowed the voice actors more freedom rather than restricting them, and much of the dialogue is delivered with the kind of warmth and sensitivity one would expect from a slice-of-life show. Touyama Nao manages to capture Yune's shy earnestness rather well, and her performance is balanced by Kondo Takashi's seriousness as Claude, and Yuuki Aoi's rather madcap portrayal of the show's resident Japanophile - Alice Blanche.
The opening theme, "Sekai wa Odoru yo, Kimi to" by Youmou to Ohana, is a rather cheerful song with a continental flavour that fits very well with the accompanying animation showing Yune, Claude and Oscar on a day out in Paris. Strangely, the ending sequence features Yune waking up on a bed in the middle of a forested park (how this fits into the show is anybody's guess), while Touyama Nao sings "Koko Kara Hajimaru Monogatari", a slightly melancholy ballad that doesn't quite fit her breathy, high-pitched voice. There are also two additional closing songs, "Tooku Kimi e" by Nakajima Megumi and Touyama Nao, and "Tomorrow's Smile" by A.m.u.. Both are very similar to the main ending theme in terms of emotion, but neither has a dedicated animated sequence, instead using the episode itself to give context to the track.
The background music ranges from sombre to the more common lighthearted pieces, but there's a surprising subtlety to it that may not be obvious at first. As the series progresses, it gradually becomes apparent that different primary instruments (violins, pianos, harps, clarinets, etc), have been used throughout in order to add dimension to particular scenes, and enhance the overall tone of the anime.
Although the series does have its problems, Ikoku Meiro no Croisée also retains a fair amount of entertainment value. Much of this comes from the relationship between Yune, Claude and Oscar, but one can't deny that some of Alice's ideas about Japanese clothes and objects can be worth a chuckle. The series maintains a lighthearted atmosphere for the majority of the story, and although there is a banality about particular events, it's not really enough to discourage those who enjoy this type of anime. On the other hand, while the undercurrent of tension between certain characters can sometimes shed new light on the relationship dynamics, it can also place an unnecessary burden on the narrative as the issues beg to be explored, but very few are actually resolved.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée tries very hard to avoid being categorised as nothing more than 19th Century moe fluff, and in several small ways it manages to achieve its goal. Unfortunately the rest of the show is a bit too sugary-sweet, and while it can be charming, it studiously avoids addressing any of the real issues that someone in Yune's position would have faced.
It's idealistic escapism, which is okay up to a point, but it's also far too nice for its own good. read more
Sep 7, 2011
STORY: Ah France, quite the lovely country isn't it? Famous for many things, their gourmet food, the Palace of Versailles, the Mona Lisa, their classic literature, and... a little Japanese girl who lives in a sign shop... Wait that last one is pure fiction, but it does offer an interesting perspective for an anime to take, if for only the first couple of episodes unfortunately.
Yes, initially, one would have thought this anime was going to be interesting story about a foreigner learning about the different customs she's not used to, and tries to learn them... but of course this is anime, and those stories don't fly because the real money is at otaku pondering and brainless moe, and the anime industry knows that way too well and Ikoku Meiro No Croisee is disappointingly another one of those. And you know it's true when one of the characters actually speaks the word moe in a sentence... in 19th century Paris... That character is also quite the japanophile... Makes sense, it does not.
But, it isn't a terrible show, in fact, it's a pretty decent show actually, but there is so much wasted potential in this one. The story is about a little Japanese girl named Yune, who along with an older french man (Insert the a lame pedophile joke, or not, the grandchild of the man already beat you to the punch) return back the man's home in Paris, a sign shop run by his grandson and main male character, Claude. The episodes start off by having Yune being intrigued by several customs, foods, etc, and Claude being put off by the the customs Yune explains that are in Japan, rinse and repeat, but it's actually entertaining and amusing.
Of course the story evolves into a more character driven story, which also introduces one of the biggest nominees for most annoying character that otaku and moe enthusiasts love to love despite how over used the character is in anime, Alice, a little rich girl, who loves anything and everything Japanese (An animated Wapanese girl in a way).
I know I'm straining on that character quite a bit (Even before I said who it is), but as the story changes into character stories, it also takes up (wastes) your time with plenty of "Oh my god, your so damn cute it hurts blergeehhh," moments with Alice and Yune. Most of the time, it's Alice showing Yune how much she wastes her time on Japanese things with Yune showing her more Japanese ways of being Japanese, then it's dress up time as Yune wears something else besides kimonos, and Alice and every other moe fan melts at her cuteness... My god, I think I've said enough for anyone to get the point.
Yes it's quite the ponderous outing, but it doesn't shove moe in your face as much I'm trying shove it to you that's it does indeed shove moe in your face. At least in this anime, the objectified moe figurine girl, Yune, is a very likable, sweet and innocent, and very tolerate girl for her age that is open minded enough to try even the weirdest of things (Okay she's more like a curious kitten than anything else), who is just the right amount of sugary sweet cuteness that will not give you diabetes right away for one anime, but throwing in Alice, and you got type 2 diabetes baby.
Okay, to be fair, Alice's introduction in the anime was actually a part of nicely written story bit (She would've been a whole different trope, but the anime avoids that and takes a different route instead), but it's what she insists on doing with Yune after that will truly annoy you about her.
Overall the anime is nice slow paced story, that starts out as a promising cross culture story that turns into yet another otaku catering show, but it's definitely a whole lot better than the garbage dump of otaku moe-blob shows out there.
ANIMATION: The production values are quite nice, everything is detailed and clean looking, the character models are a bit bland, but that's not a big deal at all. Though, it looks like every other moe anime out there, and it definitely doesn't give a damn, no matter how tired you are of same old designs. The anime looks very good in general, and it definitely should be since it's showcasing a beautiful city in the first place.
SOUND: The background music is very nice, ranging from beautiful and calming music, though quite reused a lot though. The voice acting is adequate enough, Yune sounds as cute as she looks, and Alice sounds as annoying as her character unfortunately is. The theme music is also quite soothing. Though the most interesting audio piece is the little introduction it does in the beginning of every episode, as it is spoken in french rather than Japanese, and I'm hoping that a french dub would get made for this show specificity, so that the anime would becomes more authentic than it actually is.
+ A cute slow paced story about a Japanese girl living in Paris.
+ Nice looking animation.
+ Peaceful audio.
- Disappointingly derails from an interesting story to become more of the same over inflated moe anime out there.
- Alice, and her annoying Wapanese ways.
- Overuse of, "Holy shit you're so damn adorable!" moments.
Damn, I talked more about Alice than the actual main characters, but they are not that interesting anyway. read more
Dec 16, 2011
This category is generally the hardest one for me to score given my usual lack of attention to fine, artistic details in the animation. Anyhow, the animation is on par with today's standards which, in my opinion, is enough to satisfy the mass majority of the audience. I also appreciated the fact that foreigners (i.e. the Parisians) were not shown to be "different" in terms of physical appearance. Since I haven't been to Paris, I can't really say anything about the accuracy, but I must say that the buildings and surroundings are quite detailed.
Right from the start, it was obvious that character development would largely focus on Yune, the Japanese girl adjusting to life in Paris. Although she was not used to living the life of a Parisian at first, as time went on, it was evident that she learned to accept and adapt to her new surroundings. In turn, the other Parisians also got to know her better and worked on accepting this unique girl into their family. The difference between Yune's interactions with the people in the first and last episode is truly astounding. But aside from Yune, the other characters were more or less poorly developed (e.g. Even after the whole series, Oscar didn't really change that much).
A slightly upbeat, country-style OP to ready you for an episode and a calm, soothing ED to end it - a great combination for a show of this genre. BGM was average and fit in well, though none of the soundtracks were particularly memorable. And even though there weren't any big-name seiyūs involved, the voice acting was done quite well. Don't expect anything grand and you'll be satisfied.
The story is honestly quite interesting. Although it seemed a bit slow (and slightly confusing) for the first two-thirds of the series, the last third picked up the pace and tied up all the loose ends, making the series as a whole enjoyable to say the least. The idea of a young girl travelling to and living in a foreign country by herself is intriguing, and is what caught my attention when looking through the plethora of anime series for Summer 2011. Although, at first, she faced many difficulties, most obvious of which was the transition from Japanese to French culture, Yune was soon able to enjoy her new life with the help of the other residents. Looking back, it is truly heartwarming to see how she came lonely and empty-handed but ended being so deeply cared for by others.
While Ikoku Meiro no Croisée does appeal to a wide audience, it is not for everyone. Those who enjoy slice-of-life anime would most likely be more entertained by this than those who look for action-packed or psychological anime, for example. Nonetheless, it doesn't hurt to give this series a try; I'm glad I did. As a whole, it's not particularly outstanding but the story and characters make it a worthwhile watch. read more
Sep 30, 2011
A tiny teenage Japanese girl in the 1900s leaves her home and sails away to Paris to live with two grown men and keep house for them. Now, at first this sounds like it was written by Pedobear but nothing could be further from the truth. There is no fanservice and no pervy stuff, which can only be counted as a blessing. The story deals mainly with culture shock on both sides of the equation and comes to the inevitable conclusion that no matter how different we seem to be we can still find common ground. Don't read any romance into this, there is none. In general, the story is refreshingly innocent and all sorts of sweet.
Yune is the diminutive Japanese expatriate. She is a sweet presence and in a miraculous manner she has been saved from the moe-tard stain. She may be soft-spoken but she's not an airhead and she has a will of her own. She is infinitely more charming this way and she does not need any cutesy antics to make us like her. I do wish more anime paid attention to this carefully balanced female character creation.
Claude is one part of the French host family. He is a good sort of guy, if a little too broody at times. He is abrupt and outspoken and these elements play off nicely against Yune’s more reserved and polite Japanese nature.
Oscar is the other part of the French host family and Claude’s grandfather. Always in the grip of wanderlust and a total flirt, he is nevertheless the sort of grandfather anyone would want. Kind, insightful and gentle. He is a sort of bridge between the two worlds, France and Japan.
Alice is a spoiled rich brat with a fetish for Japan and determined to make Yune into her pet. A truly obnoxious character but who nevertheless adds an extra layer of comparison for Yune. There is the French-Japanese and then there is the rich-poor layer to the story. Necessary, I admit in retrospect, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't gladly bludgeon her to death with any convenient spiky object so I could have the pleasure of seeing blood and brain bits flying…ahem, back on topic, back on topic.
Simple yet above average. There is some repetition and most frames don't need any extravagant angles that would complicate things. The backgrounds are pretty and surprisingly accurate for the period and place. It so happens that Japanese animators are often baffled by the architecture of European houses and end up drawing a generic box with a generic roof and generic windows. This has been mostly avoided here since it is apparent the studio worked with references. Where references were not available the generic box makes a slight appearance. Character animation is soft and beautiful.
Cheerful and fluffily melancholic. Feels like being in a French bistro so I guess it was spot-on.
OP & ED: The OP is a very pretty travelogue of Paris 1900 and the ED is just pretty nonsense which I mostly skipped.
This was a nice anime, a soothing slice of life. There are no stellar characters or elaborate plot twists; if you are to enjoy this you enjoy it for the simple sweetness and innocence. If you are fed up with the borderline hentai crap and moe-tard gimmicks and are in need of something genuinely sweet, pick this up.
Sep 21, 2011
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee is the newest slice of life series to grace the fruitful realm of manga-to-anime adaptations, centering on a young Japanese girl and her move to Paris to experience the culture. She moves in with Oscar and Claude, a lecherous old man and a blacksmith respectively, who help carry the struggling shopping district that they inhabit through means of sign making and drinking copious amounts of wine.
Yune laughs, she cries, she acts cute, and she takes up half of the show’s length with each and every one of these antics. So if you were expecting the culture shock to set in and bring to light several of the historical differences that make up the divide between French and Japanese cultures (So steep a divide that many Japanese visiting Paris suffer from adverse effects for a time), you will leave slightly disappointed. If you just want to see a 19th Century Japanese girl barely into the double digits frolic about, this is your kind of show, and I doubt any of the criticism I can levy against it will change that for you.
Many issues stand in her way as she attempts to settle into the Parisian lifestyle, including one of a bratty, blonde nature who seems just a little too enamored with her to have her fascination be called platonic. Early on, Claude sells a prized belonging of Yune’s without knowing how important it was, and vows to get it back. While this is occasionally touched on in later episodes, it’s hastily resolved in time for, you guessed it, more of Yune’s faffing about. And thus the collective IQ of the anime watching public goes down another 30 points.
If my slightly repetitious dance metaphor didn’t clue you in, IkoMeiro drags its feet quite a bit. It isn’t a story intensive show by any means, but there is still no discernable progress in the show’s run beyond the occasional nod toward a prior event. It isn’t a deal breaker, but at times getting through the series can be quite the slog. Many times, it seems more interested in primping itself than it does in putting on a good show.
Despite being occasionally touted as the next Aria, the similarities are very few, beyond taking place in a European-esque (Actually European in this) city. The characters are different, the “conflicts” are different, the tone and atmosphere are way different… suffice it to say, I just don’t see what the point of IkoMeiro is. Aria was an overly-sugary, optimistic love letter to everyday life that just happened to take place on a terraformed Mars. It had one of the most uplifting, soothing soundtracks I’ve ever heard, a deep appreciation for Venice, and very charming characters that get more than their fair share of screen time.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, on the other hand, doesn’t so much revel in its setting as it does loosely acknowledge it through half baked “Look how different Japan and France are!” montages that end up more groan-inducing than funny. I get that the audience is supposed to laugh at characters not using utensils correctly or misinterpreting various myths from the other side of the cultural fissure, but it’s all for naught, swiftly neglected to watch Yune prance around for half the episode or have Alice molest her at every given opportunity.
It may sound like I found these scenes to be absolutely abhorrent, but I just ended up not caring more times than outright thinking that the show could be better. It’s nothing terribly objectionable, but I wouldn’t laud IkoMeiro for it either. The episodes that center on Yune’s culture shock fall flat as a result, especially the one where she’s told not to talk to strangers. She runs in a panicked fury in an attempt to find her way back to Claude’s shop, ignoring the people who have been nothing but friendly to her in the past.
However, one thing I will praise it for is the occasional, subtle nod toward class differences at the time. The fashions, the meals, the more insular nature of the top crust of the Parisian citizenry, all of these are touched on at some point, proving that the wealthy of the time had their own urgent sort of problems to deal with. While it isn’t dwelled on, it’s made well known that money hasn’t bought the children of the rich happiness in any way. Yet, rather than cast pity on them, the series opts to show them in their daily life to be normal people, not so different from the common folk.
The characters are nothing special, Claude being your standard jerk with a heart of gold and Yune assuming the role of poster child of both the smithy and the show. Alice and Oscar are given their fair share of screen time, but all of them pale in comparison to Yune. None of them are particularly interesting, but the relationship between Alice and Yune is quite the treat at times.
Ugh… what else… The city is well animated, I suppose, but it comes across as more of a lifeless prop than a living, breathing city. The music is alright, the character designs are certainly distinctive and almost storybook-like… I think that’s all I can say.
When taking into consideration whether you’ll enjoy this, ask yourself what drew you in: The vague plot synopsis, peer recommendations, or that cute girl in the kimono that everyone keeps raving about. The people in the third camp are much more likely to sit through it than those in the first two. With that said, despite my criticism, I had no problem watching Ikoku Meiro no Croisee. It’s enjoyable, relaxing fluff I likely won’t remember much a year from now, but sometimes that’s all a show needs to do in order to be enjoyed. read more
Jul 11, 2011
At this time, not much have change in the basic impression or story.
This Anime is beautiful and adorable! The collision of 2 Cultures.
You will see an Japanese Young Girl finding the smallest things to be an adventure and exiting. Be prepared to be hooked
This is a very warm, (adorable is the perfect word) Anime. I felt so connected to the story and it's the same connection I got from watching Spirited Away.
Big ++ in this anime, while you watch this, you see traditional stuff in the anime, how France looked like, how the Japanese lived and how it does not fit in the France society, and so on. It's very entertaining to see and very nice to get to know and learn.
Yune is still struggling and the story has not changed much. Still an 8.
The story of a young Japanese girl during the 19th Century named Yune. She comes to France with a traveller named Oscar. She offers her help to the Ironwork Shop whom Claude owns, the nephew of Oscar.
While trying to help, conflicts occur due to the major difference in cultures and way of living.
The story is very interesting when you starting to watch it, and you definitely want to watch more. Yune is well behaved Japanese girl who knows the Japanese traditional manners very well. Which makes it very weird for Claude whom have lived in France his whole life and is accustomed to his culture.
The beauty of this anime, is the collision of the cultures. Yune want to learn as much as she can from the French Cultures, like the food they eat, shops, marketing, clothes. And the director makes just the smallest thing look like such a big step for this little girl and it's just heart-warming to watch.
It's beautiful. A Japanese made Anime/Manga that really have got a lot of the French 19th Century Culture in movement in this anime. It's very good detail. And Yune, this small Japanese girl in her beautiful Kimonos shines on the streets of Paris. Like how the sun shines in a cold morning. That how good the art shows the difference of France and Japan Cultures.
Absolutely outstanding. I love each time they show which episode and the episode name before starting the episode, they have a French, a Real French accent voice speaking the Title. It's perfect.
The Opening songs are beautiful and fits the theme. It's very original in my ears of hearing Openings.
Yunu, is the star in this anime. Yes a type of Loligirl, but I couldn't care less on what the characters represent in a matter of general Anime. Because this Anime is so beautiful and unique to my eyes.
A young Japanese Girl with only knowledge from Japan, in France. Try to imagine that and let your mind go wild.
She is every well-behaved, knows how the Japanese cultures works like being a housekeeper, bowing, eating food. Apologizing and so on.
Collides with Claude whom knows the French ways. Dry bread with sliced cheese. Coffee, eating soup with spoon. The Ironwork shop, and a lot of other things.
And Oscar, that acts like a very nice Uncle to Yune. Telling her about the simple things in France that seems so mysterious and big in Yunes eyes. And how hard she tries to be the French Girl and trying to fit in to the French culture.
I miss a few more characters. But it's only been 2 episodes. It surely will be more.
3 minutes played in the first episode, and I feel just so happy and warm that I haft to smile to how adorable Yune is. I'm hooked man. So hooked, I did not take my eyes of for 1 second during my watching time. It's 100/100 if I could rate that.
I think this anime is a definite 10. The Story is interesting, well thought up and can develop in many ways.
The art is fantastic.
The characters are adorable, classic in the way they should be because this is a historical Anime that occurs in the 19th Century.
My enjoyment is, I want all the episodes now, and watch it all now!
One great anime! This is a Seinen Anime, meaning this Anime is dedicated to an Audience of 18+male. It is similar to that, but I can see that anyone could like this. Because this is clearly an anime for everyone! It should be Josei aswell if anything. Josei/Seinen.
*Will be updated* Cheers :) read more
Jul 19, 2011
So, how is it different? Well, there's a definite potential for them to do things with romance that never really existed in Aria at all. Fans were happy to ship Akari with Akatsuki, and some attraction crept in between Al and Aika near the end, but really, the three central characters were girls, and the story was very much focused on them. On the other hand, the two central characters of Ikoku Meiro no Croisee are very clearly a single guy and a single girl, with all the potential angst that comes with that. Frankly, I'm rather hoping they don't do anything along those lines. As I get older, I find the usual pattern of a guy and a girl who get together at the end of the series increasingly frustrating; I always find the relationship itself more interesting than the lead-up. In any case, the angst that comes with romance inevitably detracts from the relaxing atmosphere that a healing series is trying to create. But I'll reserve judgement on that for now; it isn't clear where they're going with the two central characters yet.
What has it done well so far? Well, the best thing about it is the amount of scope they've given themselves for character growth. Aria had character growth, but only very slow, gradual growth. With the possible exception of Alice, all the Aria characters mostly finished the way they started: perfect. On the other hand, the two (three? I imagine Alice will become a major character pretty soon) central characters of Ikoku Meiro no Croisee are clearly well-meaning but imperfect, and still find it pretty difficult to relate to each other. Changing the characters as the series goes on could add a really interesting extra dimension.
And could it be better than Aria? Well, call me premature, but I'm going to go ahead and say probably not. Aria was the best because Aria was the first. Both the characters and the setting were incredibly original, and this gave the author unlimited scope for what they could do with it. You could tell that Aria had ideas absolutely spilling out of it, and every single one is fresh and new and unexpected. Ikoku Meiro no Croisee is going to have to work very hard to both improve on it and be original, and I don't think it's going to manage it. It's possible I'll be eating my words. The first time I watched Aria the Animation, it didn't make it into my top ten series of all time - it was only by the time that I had finished The Natural that it reached that level, and only by the end of The Origination that I considered it my second favourite series of all time.
So, I'll give Ikoku Meiro no Croisee time, and I'm pretty sure I'll continue to enjoy it (because I definitely did enjoy the first three episodes). I don't think it will top Aria, but I will watch with interest. It's the first time I've seen a really concerted effort to copy what Aria did so directly, and it does a pretty good job of that, but what will be even more interesting is if it finds any ways to improve on Aria (even if it can't be better as a whole). I can certainly recommend what I've seen so far to other fans of Aria, but probably not to anyone else.
(Original: http://james-neve.com/post/Ikoku+Meiro+no+Croisee+Another+Aria/39/ ) read more
Sep 19, 2011
The plot, posted on MAL, told that Yune was brought to help out in 1800s France, and though it was correct the story took a far different twist then I thought it would. Instead of focusing on the struggles with a language barrier, different beliefs, food, and more it instead focused on the people. It is not that the series completely ignored those facts, it just transended the obvious, glazing over them and diving into how people of completely different worlds interact and grow. This fact made it much more interesting on a social and emotional level then focusing on the struggles could have ever done.
The art work was masterfully done. It was light and elegant just like Yune the small soft spoken Japanese girl. It was as if the artist was able to draw from the prospective of Yune, and tell the story through her eyes with his drawings. The buildings which depicted marvelous works of western architecture were beautifully reconstructed as if new just like they would have appeared in the 1800s. The soft lines made a realistic yet almost dreamlike world which I could only assume is exactly how a person from such a different place would describe it in words.
In Ikoku Meiro No Croisee the characters were key, because this story depicted their differences and how they could interact despite the vast cultural divide covering, foreign, peasant, commoner, and even the wealthy aristocratics. All of the cast was well depicted and you felt how they felt as they took common courtesies and traditions for granted, and slowly they began to realize that their courtesies and traditions are not shared by the world. As they grew together I felt as though my eyes were being opened outside my world as well as I grew a bit with them through them realizing their differences.
I really enjoyed this series all the way through however the final episode though showing great character growth seemed to leave alot of loose ends especially with a few key characters. I will do without more specifics than that as I do not want to spoil this artistic work of art for any of you out there looking into watching it. If you like sweet stories of relationships you will definitely enjoy this series.
POSTED BY @GameJok3r
Dec 20, 2011
I enjoyed most of the chapters, which is pretty hard when you know everything almost from the manga.
The design of the characters let me a little disapointed, after seeing the job of Hinata-sensei in the manga, but that doesn´t mean they aren´t enjoyable. Also, the relationships are deep and well-built,and the personalities are pretty funny in a way.
The music isn´t something that let me in awe, but it´s pretty good (my favorite is the ending) and accomplish it´s purpose very well. The title and the introduction are told in french, what it´s a ¨well-done¨ from the guys of Satelight, as it gives the animation a touch of originality. Each chapter ends with the image frozen, giving you the feeling of a picture book full of tales.
What I liked the most was to see how the relationship betwen Claude and Yune slowly evolves. Seeing how hard was it for Claude to get a hold of Yune´s habits and way of thinking, and how the hig-spirited Yune tries hard to acustom herself to life in Paris, doing her best and wanting to help everyone, while they slowly start to know and understand each other, makes it a rather enjoyable story.
It´s one of those storyes that you usually don´t find and that, if can be seen in a go, also are good in little pieces.
Nov 15, 2011
Oct 2, 2011
Story: The story perfectly balances sadness and joy in the environment it is in and has created. The balance transitions very well from the dramatic aspect to the joyful aspect with little to no awkwardness surrounding the situation. The situations themselves aren't sappy or uncreative either. The sad moments are sad and the happy moments are happy. The moments are all full of emotion and just are very great to watch. The many different situations are all very creative and wonderful. The many aspects of society's ups and downs are very much present and well though out. It also does a good job at expanding the characters and making them come to life with its magic. The cultural difference in the anime is also very balanced. It's there, but it's not forced down your throat either, and as a result you get to enjoy watch the difference in culture, without feeling like it's what the anime focuses on instead of the situations, settings, music, and characters. This story is just great at its balancing act and very creative situations that it just touches your heart.
Characters: The characters in Ikoku Meiro no Croisee are just brilliant. Yune and Claude compliment each other very well as leading roles. Yune's innocence, joy and determination just makes her all that she can be. The fact that she's now in a country that's rather far away from her own doesn't seem to shake her one bit, because she knows to trust people. Now that doesn't men she's stupid by any means. She is a joyful character, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have any other emotions. Quite the contrary actually. Yune does get worried, shocked, scared, and yes sometimes even sad about what's going on. She is a well-rounded character, and should be known as such. Claude on the other hand, isn't a very open character at first. He's stubborn, aggressive, skeptical, and brutish. However overtime, he learns to give up his little insecurities one by one and become more open about himself and his concerns. It is shown he cares about people, but only those he trusts and cares for. Claude's development is justified and understandable.
Now that I've touched on the main cast, the other characters are in need of explanation. Oscar and Alen are more or less comic relief. They're generally seen picking on Claude, or being there joyful selves, they do get worried when something bad happens. Alice is just amazingly over the top. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to hate her, but she's so over the top that I just find it hilarious. Her antics are just vivid and very funny. Camille is a reserved character that doesn't force herself to be true to herself. While she could have been expanded on just a tad bit, for the most part she is interesting in her development. The vagrant child is a bit of an enigma. While he doesn't talk a lot, he's better that way. We can see his emotion conveyed well, and while we don't know much about his past, I feel it's better when shrouded in mystery. Overall, the characters are just amazing and well thought out a lot.
Art: The art is just perfect. The settings and backgrounds are well thought out and designed flawlessly, so it looks amazingly real. The character design also works really well, in the sense that it has a lot of thought and talent put into it. It looks real. The art is just very realistic and amazing. You can see that they didn't waste effort making it.
Music: The music is just pure magic. It sets the mood of the anime very well, and it fits perfectly with the surrounding. It has that touch of subtlety that makes it more grand. It works at conveying the emotions perfectly and it is just amazing.
Overall: Ikoku Meior no Corisse is just a fantastic anime. It is just beyond awesome. Its story is heart felt but fun, the characters are creative but human, the art is captivating and the music is just fun. It's really hard not to like this anime. read more
Oct 5, 2011
The set up for the show is a young Japanese girl named Yune being sent to a shop in France to work as a "sign girl". Her primary goal is the upkeep of the store and to bring in customers.
Both Yune and Claude Claudel (best name ever) start out in complete contrast to each other. One of the huge problems with Yune is that she has no real aspirations or relateable goals to the viewer. A comparable show, like Aria, the main character had a clearly defined goal and noticeable growth. Yune lacks both of these.
Claude on the other hand has a lot of back story and development. The issue here is that not a lot of it gets resolved and you're basically left wondering how things are going to get resolved. He basically has some sort of ties to everything in the show. Every character adds to Claude's development in some way or the other.
It's worth noting that the primary supporting character, Alice, while not a bad character in any way (she actually has a more clearly defined drive than Yune), completely changes the feel of the show when she's introduced. It goes from a two guys being fatherly like figures to Yune to a type of rivalry between Alice (the rich) and Claude (the working man).
The show does have pacing issues. It seems to introduce one problem and move onto another before something really gets fully resolved. On an individual basis each episode is actually very enjoyable, but as a whole package you're left wanting more.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée turns out to be a pretty good show that could have used more time to flesh out the cast. While it has strong development and realistic characters, the execution is rather weak. read more
Sep 20, 2011
If that simple set-up sounded good to you at the start of the series and you enjoyed the characters and the leisurely pacing of the show, you’ve probably watched the whole thing with no regrets. If your first instinct upon watching 1 or 2 episodes, was that the pacing was too slow, the characters too simple and/or poorly designed, nothing happened over the course of the series that would have changed your mind.
There’s not much to the actual story. Over the 12 episodes there are some minor happenings, the most blaring being the arrival of Alice and later her older sister Camille, both being the center of some additional plot development. Again, it never really changes its main story for better or worse. The character’s themselves aren’t too deep emotionally or designed for great moments of serious drama. Almost without exception, the characters don’t change or grow much. Yune is straightforward in her ideas of honor and duty. It’s nothing an anime fan hasn’t seen before. The hot-headed Claude, cold on the outside, not wanting to get attached and battling his past, is a another combination of common tropes.
Surprisingly, my favorite characters ended up being Oscar, the elderly traveler, and Alice, the young french girl. The two supply, or ignite, most of the more enjoyable moments of the series. The characters’ animated designs however, and unlike the rest of the production elements, were abhorrent. It’s true. I’ve mentioned it several times since episode one, so forgive me if you’ve read all the reviews here.
Yune is cute, right? Well.. mostly right. Sometimes she looks completely alien. With her sharpie-sized neck and wheel of cheese sized eyes, she finely ambles on that border of oh-my-god-so-cute and oh-my-god-chupacabra. Thankfully more so the former. The big problem with the character design, was that Oscar and Claude are twins. As ThatOtherGuy (co-blogger) mentioned, while watching the first couple episodes, he was waiting for Yune to pull off Oscar’s beard to reveal he’s really Claude. It could be just me, but the European people in the show look silly. And similar. In complete contrast to the character designs, I loved the all the backgrounds and the city scenery. I loved the colors, especially all the night-time scenes lit only by street lamp or candlelight.
The music and sound were ok. I enjoyed the jazzy little opening all season, while watching the ending only once, before fast forwarding the rest of the way. The background noises never come much into play, as a bulk of the series takes place in the Galerie and in the sign shop. The background music however was wonderfully warm. They consisted of some classical-like accompaniments heard throughout the series, usually for the more dramatic or somber segments of the show. I never once noticed the voice acting, besides some annoyance at Alice.
If there was a show that could have truly benefited from some slick animation and sleek character designs, it would have been this one. Even with its shortcomings, I still enjoyed Ikoku Meiro no Croisée, and would recommend it to people interested in owning a little Japanese girl. I’d also recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical slice-of-life themed anime based in late 19th century Paris. Seriously, though, if you don’t mind the slow pace and rather bland looking characters, give this a shot. It has a perfect length at 12 episodes and is a (mostly) well-done slice of life series.
This was originally posted on my blog found here -- http://moemonster.com/2011/09/20/ikoku-meiro-no-croisee-episode-12-finale/ I had also reviewed the finale, which has been edited out for spoiler purposes. read more
Oct 24, 2012
Croisee in a Foreign Labyrinth is a Slice of Life series that revolves around Yune - a japanese girl that was given privilenge to live in Paris, France in the late 19th century.
Well this series is definitely right for my cup of tea since I tend to like slow paced series. But Croisee lacks something that the other slice of series has, and unfortunately it lacks a story. Of course I know that most "slice of life" genre doesn't have a particular story rather a collection of everyday instances in the main characters life.
In Croisee though, instead on focusing on Yune's everyday life in Paris we are given an insight on the cultural clash between Japanese & French customs. It's very informative but most of the time it just felt that the series tried too much too be angsty that sometimes its gets irritating. Almost the entire series focuses on such values that you are better of reading a book on Japanese customs.
The series did a pretty good job developing a Parisian backdrop, but as I said, Croisee's main focus is to show you the different perspective of a two different culture. It's nice that we get to be informed but then again sometimes it presents a rather redundant subject.
While the series tried to give Yune, Claude & Camille a deeper story it was a little to late since it was presented in the last couple of episodes. A would like to see a season 2 of this so that we could've a much better resolution behind these characters pasts. But until then this series is lukewarm.
Unlike Natsume Yuujinchou or Mushishi - slice of life series that can have a single episode to be a stand alone story. Or even Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou that gives you the "mono no aware" or nostalgic/sentiment feelings. Croisee chose to focused on the cultural clashes that it forgot to create an actual story. It took almost the entire series to have Yune get accustomed to her new surroundings that by the time the "cultural problems" were settled it was too late to introduced a deeper stories to its characters.
The animation is nice though. It's still a pretty decent anime if you run out of something to watch as 12 episode is just a breeze to devour. It's relaxing but then again don't expect to have a character driven series instead a cultural lessons. read more
Aug 4, 2012
Oct 22, 2012
Every once in a while, you'll come across a very melancholy or nostalgic anime, something that touches your heart in a certain way. Its a little slower than most, however thats something that this anime relies quite heavily on. The fact that all the characters are taking life day-by-day.
The story was rather simple, and it was supposed to be. It was a character analysis type of anime, delving into the hearts of each individual and finding out what exactly makes them tick, and how they grew emotionally.
The art in this anime was beautiful, smooth animation with a softer set of colors, nothing too flashy (unless of course, it was Alice.). It was soothing to the eye, and is reminiscent to reading a good book on a rainy afternoon. The music went perfectly with the overall theme, and at the beginning and middle of each episode they'd add French phrases, which added much to the overall atmosphere/immersion effect.
Overall this deserves an 8.4.
From episode one, it was easy to develop a liking to the main character; Yune. A charming little girl from Japan, curiously exploring France. We see the Parisian lifestyle through the eyes of a little girl, and a little foreign girl to boot. Through her eyes, everything is new and wondrous, a magical land in a faraway place. The supporting cast is charming in their ways as well. They're all flawed, very human characters, and one by one you delve into their hearts, their pasts, what drives them. And this is what makes this anime special. The ability to fully humanize its cast, and successfully create a hypothetical cultural clash. read more
Dec 19, 2012
It's the story of a petite Japanese girl, Yune, who comes to France to live with Oscar and his nephew, Claude. Yune makes friends (Alice, a rich brat, still cute), discovers new things and helps Oscar and Claude with their shop. And all this happens in Paris of the 1800s which makes everything even more interesting. I should repeat: this is not a great anime, but it's perfect for boring afternoons.
The characters are simple, yet interesting. There are some nice stories with each of them and a lot of interesting conflicts that remain unexplored.
As for the art, it's simple and cute, with lovely backgrounds and a fluffy atmosphere. The sound is probably my favourite part. It's so... Parisian! read more
Aug 11, 2012