Yune, a young girl from Japan, comes to work as an apprentice in a sign making shop in Paris. She helps out at the shop and makes friends with the neighbors. We get to explore some of the cultural differences between France and Japan.
First of all, this series is downright adorable. Yune is ridiculously cute, as is everything she does. This is coupled with some beautiful animation, so if you like cute things, this is the show for you.
The episodes are, for the most part, entertaining. The creators manage to come up with a variety of new situations to place Yune in— getting robbed by the orphan boy, becoming lost in the neighborhood, and playing with her neighbor Alice. The characters on the main cast are compelling and likable. Alice begins as extremely irksome, but wins the viewer over as her sister and background are introduced.
But on the negative side, Ikoku Meiro is more fluff than substance. Many people may not see anything wrong with this, but I prefer shows with a bit more depth (or humor in its stead). There’s some tragic backstory about Claude’s past and Yune’s sister, but it doesn’t really go anywhere, and just serves to add a tiny splash of drama. Likewise, the cultural differences tend to be superficial. One episode about how the French look down on the poor and the Japanese love them and are charitable had me especially rolling my eyes. Furthermore, the cultural differences are largely forgotten for the second half of the series.
So if you go into Ikoku Meiro expecting a cuteness overload, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for more, well, don’t set your hopes too high.
- Plot / Script – C – Script is decent, but the story doesn’t really go anywhere.
- Characters – B – Yune is cute.
- Production – A – Very pleasing to the eye.
- Overall – B-
Recommendations – Aria, Usagi Drop, Kamichu