It’s finally start of the Summer 2011 Anime Season and thus I take a look at the first and last of the summer shows I possibly be watching. That show is Ikoku Meiro no Croisèe and as you expected already, it’s full of cuteness…
In the past several months, there has been a number of recent series set in the 19th and 20th centuries such as Otome Youkai Zakuro and Gosick. Ikoku Meiro no Croisèe takes an interesting turn by having the story set in late 19th century France, most specifically the Third French Republic (1870-1940). The overall setting of France brings a similar feeling of Aria since the backgrounds are eye-catchingly beautiful.
While imperialism started during the 1870s, foreigners were a big minority during the time, more so if they are from a faraway country like Japan. Evident with everyone’s treatment of Kazuya, people were highly prejudiced towards people of other race since they don’t fully understand their culture and never seen them before. What makes Yune particularly interesting is not because of the prejudice, but she has a language barrier as she only knows Japanese and doesn’t know any French. Therefore, it makes the interaction between her and Claude rather difficult along with some prejudice. Eventually he starts to understand towards the end of the episode.
Of course, the main selling point of this show is of course Yune herself since she is depicted as a traditional Yamato Nadeshiko with the cuteness up to the max. When I first saw her, she just looked so adorable, especially when she was wearing hair ornaments. Also, her reactions don’t help either since it adds to her cuteness. From this, I feel that this appeal is only going to grow over time until our hearts burst with cuteness overload. She is just that cute.
In the end, if you didn’t enjoy Aria the Animation (and subsequent seasons), Gosick or “moe” in general, you probably won’t enjoy Ikoku Meiro no Croisèe. This is understandable as the two shows share similarities, more so with the former. For me, this episode was a solid introduction to the setting and our really young heroine with the addition of very good production values. Moe aside, I feel that each episode will have interesting development as both Yune, Claude and his grandmother learns more about each other’s culture while she makes new friends along the way. Either way, I feel confident that the show will succeed with this and more. ¶