Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - Episode 3

If the first two episodes of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée have been more about Yune learning about French culture, then this third instalment turns that on its head somewhat by paying more heed to the customs and way of life in our diminutive central character's native homeland.

Much of this interest comes from Claude, who is desperately looking for inspiration for a sign he's been commissioned to make. Although his attempts to learn a little about life in Japan leave him baffled, he does eventually find the artistic "eureka" moment he's been searching for when he spies Yune writing a letter home to her sister, leading to a conversation where he asks her to write out and explain the meaning of her name - et voilà, a perfect idea for the music shop sign he's working on.

Away from this little slice of success and the enjoyable wander around Paris that follows Claude's success coupled with Yune's desperation to bring him an umbrella, we see the continued delapidation and increase in empty shops at the Galerie du Roy, while also finding ourselves introduced to its new owner - a young girl named Alice who had the establishment bought for her as a birthday present.  Perhaps more importantly, Alice is also a rabid Japanophile and the current owner of the kimono sold by Claude in episode one - and you can probably guess where this particular plot point is headed....

Despite these slithers of depression and looming hard times for Claude's shop, this is another incredibly soothing, visually gorgeous and pleasantly enjoyable episode of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée to watch.  Yune's character just about fits the bill perfectly when it comes to fitting in to the series without being annoying or overly twee, whilst those around her are equally likeable and the dynamic between Claude and Yune is becoming more watchable by the week.  My only concern is that the introduction of the brash Alice will spoil things somewhat, but then again I suppose we can't just have Yune being adorable all week, every week right?

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