Continuing Alice’s tea party with Yune, Claude becomes absorbed through his childhood memories with Camille.
Before we get to the melancholic flashbacks, it was nice to see a few moments of cheerfulness between Yune and Alice. As seen from the last episode, Yune simply looked cute in Alice’s old dress after Camille helped her. Once Alice saw her new outfit, they had a green tea party. It was nice to see Alice finally learn how to make green tea properly with some pointers from Yune except for one thing. I noticed that when she added sugar and cream into the green tea, it surprised her. Quite frankly, it was not the first time I saw this since Lindy Harlaown from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha did the same thing. I’m guessing that some people don’t really like the bitterness of green tea, but still have a desire to drink it. Although Yune liked the sweeteners in the tea, it was hilarious to see Alice drink it as it is and react badly to the bitterness. She wanted to drink it like the Japanese, except her body couldn’t take it. At least she tried…
On the other hand, Claude recalls the memories he had with Camille. While they were an adorable couple during their childhood, it brought some really interesting moments about their relationship. Apparently, her nannies allow her to play with him secretly. She allowed him to play with the bike and look at her books. Sadly, when he wants to take her outside of the garden, she refuses and he didn’t really understood why. It was not until she explored outside the garden for a short period of time that he found out. This is where things got depressing.
It’s obvious that the big differences of class make it difficult for Camille to achieve the dream of marrying Claude. Regrettably, her parents won’t approve since they desire power. During the time, the bourgeois are a class below nobility and their power only came with wealth. The Blanche family needed to arrange a marriage with their daughter to gain authority at the expense of her wellbeing. It’s very disheartening since she has to give up her romantic freedom. At the same time, she doesn’t go against it since her parents would get mad and wanted to prevent the same fate from happening to her younger sister.
After looking at their childhood memories besides the saddening moments, it was nice to see them having fun. Camille was rebellious when she was a child and wanted a boy like Claude. It was also interesting how bikes, train rides and automobiles back then were an item of luxury as they have become more prevalent in the 20th century. However, there are many questions remains about the life she wants to take. Will she continue her misery as she gives in for the sake of saving Alice from it or she will go against her parent’s wishes to achieve her childhood dreams? Either way, I feel that this relationship could still be possible compared to Calude going with Yune instead. The cultural stigma and barriers is far more of a challenge to overcome since one cannot change race compared to class despite some difficulties. This would be something that will resolve itself towards the end of the series and hopefully not bittersweet as Camille’s experiences.
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2 Comments… read them or add your own.
I don’t know how Claude/Camille will play out, so I’m only going to comment on the bitter tea. 😉
I guess on the one hand it is common to drink black teas in Europe, and do so with milk and sugar. Thus Alice just extends the practice to green tea (inappropriately). On the other hand there is an odd contrast that they don’t discuss outright.
The bitterness seems to be a problem only of expectation. I say this because Yune expects the green tea to taste fine without sugar, but Alice perceives it as bitter. No doubt Alice expects that tea should taste like the tea she is used to (with milk and sugar). And yet, in an early episode, we saw that Yune disliked coffee for the same reason (that is, it was too bitter), until Oscar doctored it with milk and sugar.
One more point: that powdered tea they use for the tea ceremony is very different from green tea that is steeped. For one thing it is vibrantly green, instead of just a greenish-yellow. Definitely an experience.
I kind of got used to the bitterness considering I am Asian and I drink a lot of tea when I’m eating Chinese or Japanese food. Also, I have drank actual Japanese Green Tea and it’s not really that bitter. If you aren’t used to the taste, probably you will get the same reaction Alice did, but not as exaggerated.
Although, I need to try it with sugar and cream someday… but yes, Yune’s reaction is very similar to Nanoha’s when they added those two things into their tea. Coincidence, yes!