With the start of the 21st century, the so-called Iyashikei genre became popularized, especially with Aria through its gorgeous scenery, focus on friendship, and lighthearted feeling. I tend to enjoy them as it melt the stress from life that gives you a good feeling.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisèe is just that, except it involves a really cute and young Japanese girl living in a foreign country like France. (Image Source)
Given the whole premise of the story, the gradual progression of the story was nice, especially through the first half of the show. With the help of Claude and Oscar, Yune explores the inner workings of Paris. This is where there are similarities to Aria come in with the exploration of the environment. The only subtle difference is the many cute moments involving Yune and later, Alice. Even though there isn’t much substance in these scenes, they are very endearing that gives you a smile. Aside from the fluff, Yune faces some challenges adjusting to the drastically different culture. For instance, in Episode 5, she carelessly let in an orphaned boy not knowing that he will steal an object. Eventually with the guidance of Alice, she eventually got more comfortable and made fewer mistakes like these while enjoying herself.
Behind the lighthearted development of Yune and Alice, the backstory involving Claude, Camille and his father, Jean was interesting. As shown from the start, Claude had a very pessimistic outlook of life. This is a result of what has happened in the past. In several instances, he has the tendency to act mean towards the girls, especially Yune because he doesn’t quite understand her well enough. I don’t blame him mostly in part that he couldn’t stay by Camille’s side. Her backstory fascinated me since she didn’t really care about the wealth, but desired freedom and being able to choose the guy to love and marry. Instead, her family expects her to marry a rich husband for their selfish desire to gain power, which tragically shatters her childhood dream. Additionally, Jean’s backstory also got the same feeling as he didn’t get along with his son. The lack of parental interaction and the rivalry between them was the last straw that ultimately contributed to Claude’s hatred of his father. Although this gets resolved at the end with Yune’s climbing on the roof and him saving her, I was somewhat saddened that the situation with Camille is still unresolved. On the other hand, I didn’t expect them to do so anyway with the time constraints.
Overall, Croisèe was a very enjoyable series. The character had fun personalities and the depiction of Paris was gorgeous. Even though the show isn’t on the same level of deepness compared to Aria series, it brings a feeling of happiness shown not only through the pleasing animation, but the music. It’s clear from the start that this won’t be a show that everyone will like from the cuteness factor and the slow development. For what it has shown, this show gets high marks and definitely has a place on the list of Best Anime of 2011.
Overall Rating: 9.4/10, A