Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - Episode 9

Last week's episode was a little heavy on its philosophising about class and freedom, and in particular how these issues pertain to Camille and her relationship with Claude, and it's this train of thought which continues into episode nine of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée.

Of course, we can't get through an episode of this series without at least some token input from Yune, thus we're quickly treated to herself and Alice and their own differing takes on a Japanese tea ceremony before delving into the instalment's main business, that being a look back into the youth of Claude and Camille to help understand the current state of affairs between them and how it came to be so.

In truth, all of this is pretty much what you'd expect, with Camille and Claude becoming good friends, aided by the family's staff as they keep Claude a secret from Camille's parents, while their conversations only serve to highlight the class divide between the two of them.  As time goes on of course, it's an issue of freedom that ultimately comes between these two youngsters, as Claude wants to show Camille exciting parts of the world outside of her immediate surroundings, while Camille is simply unable to leave, bird in a gilded cage that she is.  Rather than explain this, Camille simply shuns a bewildered Claude before the truth eventually comes to the fore, but even after learning of all this there's clearly a certain distance developed between them two of them, relative grown-ups that they are now.  Is there room for that distance to shrink, particularly with Yune in the picture?  Who knows, but it looks as though we will be turning to more fun and frivolous matters next week at least.

After being so heavy-handed with its metaphors last episode, this week's instalment of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée managed a much better way of telling us basically the exact same thing through the vehicle that is the flashback - no need for tortured euphemisms here, we simply had to watch and see Camille's childhood and friendship with Claude develop and all became perfectly clear.  This is a show that is much better at showing than telling, and thankfully this episode was a big improvement as a result, even if it was largely shorn of Yune and what her character adds to any goings-on.  At least we can now class last week's episode as an aberration, and go back to enjoying our time in 19th century Paris... for a few more weeks, at least.

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