Monday, 4 July 2011

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - Episode 1

Ooh-la-la, je suis à Paris!  Seeing as I'm a sucker for 19th century Paris, Ikoku Meiro no Croisée seems like the kind of series that calls out to me for its aesthetic sensibilities alone, and thus here we are to see what Satelight can make of this manga adaptation.

The premise of the show is simple enough - the grandfather of a sign maker named Claude returns from a trip to Japan with more than just the usual trinkets and things to sell in the shop - he also brings with him a young girl named Yune, who requested to come with him due to her desire work in Paris as a servant to a family.  Of course, Claude doesn't really see the point in having a girl who doesn't even speak French hanging around his shop as a poster girl or otherwise, initially cultivating a mixture of irritation and curiosity at this newcomer to his surroundings.

For all of Yune's efforts, Claude still doesn't really take to his new "employee", and the situation becomes decidedly strained when she accidentally breaks a sign that he had just completed for a customer.  As a result, Claude accepts Yune's most expensive kimono as a gift to the customer whose sign was broken (despite him repairing it once again), unaware of its importance to her - a chain of events which eventually leads to a new-found understanding between the two of them, helped rather by the fact that it's revealed that Yune was actually able to speak French all along.

If there's one thing to be said from this première episode of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée, it's that it's the perfect remedy after a stressful day at the office - beautiful scenery of a beautiful city, with a soothing focus on the simple relationship between two individuals who are worlds apart yet shoe-horned together under one roof.  This first instalment was given a beautiful, relaxed and simple treatment which served it well, assuming you can live with such gentle and lilting series as it certainly isn't for everyone.  Personally, this is a perfect remedy after a tough Monday at work for me and Yune treads the thin line between adorable and frustrating just about perfectly this time around, so I'm really looking forward to watching more, and I can only hope that it manages to somehow remain fresh while conversely delivering more of the same.

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