Monday, 19 September 2011

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - Episode 12 (Completed)

From her early days as a stranger in a foreign land, it appears that Yune is very much an integral part of her surroundings as Ikoku Meiro no Croisée comes to its conclusion - not that Yune quite seem to have grasped how well appreciated her mere presence is in the midst of the Galerie.

A lot of the reason for her confusion is undoubtedly down to the attitude of Claude - inviting one moment and cold the next, he shoos her out of his workshop as the ghosts of his father once again weigh down very heavily indeed upon our moody sign-maker.  Of course, despite admonishing her once again Claude immediately knows that he's made a faux pas, and thus panics when he realises that Yune is nowhere to be found, either at home or in the confines of the Galerie.

Before we know it, the entirety of the Galerie's occupants are mounting a search for young Yune, with Claude fretting over the possibility of her having run away - of course, the truth is rather more mundane, with Yune's quest to find a missing (and effectively theoretical) cat leading her to the building's roof, with all of the dangers that entails.  Indeed, when Claude does find Yune, he's more than a little well-placed to informed Yune of the dangers of her situation, as the truth about his father's death finally comes flooding out as history threatens to repeat itself for Claude.  All's well that ends well however, and there's plenty of time for smiles and tears of joy as this rather lovely little series comes to an end.

In fact, I think "lovely little series" sums up Ikoku Meiro no Croisée quite nicely - a visually beautiful affair that managed to be heart-warming more often than not thanks to both its scenario and characters.  You could certainly argue that the show struggled a little when it came to trying to inject drama into proceedings, making for some slightly forced storylines and interactions between individuals, but luckily things flowed reasonably well for most of the series and there was always a relaxing and whimsical air for most episodes to fall back on when all else fails.  This is certainly a series to be added to the "great to watch after a tough day at work" pile, and in those terms it succeeded marvellously - there's probably little more that can be done with its concept, but it doesn't matter when what it did achieve was so enjoyable, making Ikoku Meiro no Croisée one of the summer's hidden gems.

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