Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee

We've finished watching Ikoku Meiro no Croisee. My first episode review is here.

Yune travels to Paris, together with Oscar, to serve as a shop attendant in the shop of his grandson Claude. Claude is a blacksmith who has specialised in signs in iron and glass, and all the signs in the 'Gallery of the King' have been made by his father. Unfortunately, the mall is slightly run down, and with the Grand Magasin opening, business is tough on the shopkeepers there.
At first, Claude isn't too enthusiastic about the whole thing, and Yune's servitude to him and his grandfather irritates him. But then he finds out that Yune is actually a strong-willed girl (why else would you want to travel to Europe to work in a shop?), and he gets renewed respect for her. That doesn't stop him from treating her like a child at times, though -- but I guess she technically still is. (We're not told Yune's age at any time, so we're left to guess.)
And then Yune meets Alice, the second daughter of a rich Parisian family, who own both the Grand Magasin and the mall. Alice is a Japanophile, and she often invites Yune for tea at her house or randomly drops in on them in the shop. Alice treats Yune as a doll that she can dress up, but she finds out about Yune's strong will early on as well.

Claude hates the Grand Magasin, apparently because it lures customers away from the mall, and by extension dislikes Alice and her family. But the reality is a bit more complicated. Claude has some serious daddy issues: he is struggling to gain the same level of artistic expression his father had. On top of that, his father died during an accident while working on the decorations for the Grand Magasin. And when he was a kid, he had a friendship with Alice's big sister Camille -- but that turned awkward because she is being raised to be a Proper Lady, which adds to his distaste for the rich family! And because Claude doesn't talk about his feelings or fears, he ends up yelling at Yune and then regretting it later when she tries to make it up to him.

Luckily, Claude's issues don't put a too big strain on the series. At it's heart, it's basically Yune being cute around the shop and at Alice's house -- and that, she does very, very well.

The animation is nice, the backgrounds are detailed (and random people passing by are animated as well!) and the backgrounds are lush. Yune has a large collection of kimono, and so she isn't always wearing the same thing -- which is refreshing! It's certainly a pleasure to watch the series. The voice acting is nice too, though Yune is a tad too soft-voiced for my tastes -- but I guess that fits with her usually demure character.

Good points:
- Lovely designs;
- Cute main character.
Bad points:
- Claude can be an idiot at times;
- Not much plot to speak of.

So, all in all, it's a nice little diversion. It looks nice, has a cute main character, and enough plot to keep the episodes interesting. But it certainly won't wow you with plot twists or amazing story lines. I'll give it a 7.
Tags: anime, full review

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