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
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6 thoughts on “Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Review — B-”
I’m actually one of the people who watch the show without the moe factor in mind. I’m actually more interested in the fact that Japanese had this unique fascination for the west, specifically the English and Brtish cultures. The show definitely did not fail in pointing out the notable similarities of both Japanese and western cultures, such as women marrying into powerful families for wealth and influence, despite the different traditions and ways of both countries. However it is kind of disappointing that the show ended in an open-ended note. We didn’t even get to see Claude buying Yune’s mother’s kimono back yet.
Anyways, I’m up for another season of Croisee if it ever gets one. For now, I guess you’re rating is as good as mine.
The cultural differences were the reason I started watching this as well. But as you said, the show could just have well taken place in England as in France. They didn’t really pay too much attention to the details (or oversimplified drastically). And the focus on the cultural differences seemed to drop as the season progressed. They did do well on some things though, like the marrying for influence.
And I’d completely forgotten about Yune’s kimono!
Thanks for commenting!
Starting the show the cultural differences in mind too and not so, much with Yune. But hard to deny her cuteness. I was hoping for a bit more of the cultural exchanges, but it was fine nonetheless.
BTW: I am also watching Kamichu as well atm. Love it so far.
Kamichu is a great show. I should go watch it again.
I… am not a fan of how this show portrayed cultural differences. Despite it attempting to look like it is a proper discussion of cultural differences, it falls into the trap once more (as seen in various anime) of glorifying Nippon and putting down other cultures. I’m just not buying this.
Apart from it it’s cute.