Kyokai: Another anime I was quite looking forward to just because it had cultural differences that can get quite interesting. I was wary of the ‘gosickness’ because the character design looked similar but as always I give every anime a fair chance (depending on the idiocy of plot – one to three episode tests), so let’s see how this goes.
Anaaga: Ugh, why do I have to start my summer anime with something so boring? Well, it looks pretty boring from the PV. Let’s hope I’m wrong, with me ends up enjoying this French thingy…
Zabobinator: This show doesn’t seem particularly interesting. It looks like one of those cutesy stories with those happily-ever-after endings that just make you want to puke rainbows because they’re just way too sweet. I like that the setting is in France and the culture differences may prove to be an interesting focal point. I guess we should just see how this turns out. Allons-y!
We are whisked back to 19th century France as a merchant, Oscar, arrives with an adorable Japanese girl, Yune, in tow. He has taken her to a gallery, an alley of shops. Her brightly colored kimono contrasts with the rest of the drab, French scenery but she is in awe of all that she sees. They arrive at his blacksmith shop, which is manned by his grandson Claude. Claude is surprised at the sight of Yune, while his grandfather explains that she came as an attendant and she would be something of a sign board for their shop. Claude, not understanding why Yune is so submissive and just nods even though she doesn’t understand the language, suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with her culture.
Oscar then takes Yune up to her room, cheering her up with a magic trick. Later on, she begins cleaning up the shop while Claude works away at a signboard. He warns her not to get in his way and she obeys. Later on, he finishes the signboard, and Yune is awed with how pretty it is. He warns her not to touch it, explaining that it was the last thing that his father had made. He has a strong attachment to the shop, as it has been in the family for ages and he wishes to keep it up.
“How is it possible to be so cute???”
Just then, Gramps comes in, commenting on how clean the place is thanks to Yune. He then suggests that she should be a poster girl, ushering her towards the front of the shop. A customer then comes in, surprised at how doll-like she looks, but is scared away by Claude. Just then, Yune sees a child outside the shop window and rushes to see him, snagging the sign board Claude had been working on with her sleeve. His work crashes to the floor and breaks. Yune tries to help, but Claude stops her, stating that she’s not fit to be the poster girl of the shop and to return home.
Later on, Claude feels guilty for being too harsh on Yune. He opens the door to her room to find her bowing in apology. He tells her to stop apologizing, saying that not everything can be solved that way. He then shows her the fixed signboard, but she still insists on giving him a kimono to settle costs. Claude goes to set up the signboard and sells the kimono to that shop owner. On his way home, he finds a picture book which he buys for Yune so that she can learn French.
The next day, Gramps is out walking when he sees Yune’s kimono has been sold. He runs back home to find Claude happy about the sale. It turns out that that kimono was the most expensive one that Yune owned and that it was from her mother. Claude goes to confront her about it, but she insists that taking it back would ruin the integrity of the sign board he worked so hard on. Claude then realizes that Yune actually understands French, more so than he had imagined. He feels guilty for all that he had said to her and, when she says that she wants to be a part of the Galerie family and Claude notes that she has never spoken so much about her feelings before. When she begins to bow in apology, he stops her and bows himself. He asks for her trust and that she always keep things that are precious to her. Afterwards, Claude suggests that Yune get rid of the book he got her because it’s useless since she knows French. However, Yune insists on keeping it because Claude made her promise to keep things that are precious to her after all! Smart girly!
STARING CONTEST! GO!
“This is my favorite yaoi EVAR. I shall guard it preciously…”
DAWWWW~ CUTENESS! Yune is so kawaiiiii. I’m seriously not into lolis but Yune is just so damn cute and the way she asserted her ideology and personality even being that young just won me over. Of course, this is not one of those fast paced series with lightening speed plot. This will definitely take its time in establishing character and backstory of why Yune is in Paris of all places.
Just look at her size, that miniature kimono and how she carries herself with those platformed heels. OMG, instant moeness overkill but somehow even after knowing the typecast I was curious enough to continue watching. Claude’s astonishment was totally valid when Yune gave her elaborate spiel of ‘Master’ with that bow, any right-minded foreigner would go batshit crazy on that event and the element of pedobear added, I lmao’d on the sudden change of scrawled chibiness; not to mention, Takashi Kondo giving a very Ritsu-voice of exasperation.
The French in the end was impeccable, soundtrack just right with brilliant animation going pretty well with the period look of nineteenth century. Yune’s entrance was quite interesting and with some more supporting characters added with plot progress, this can be another worthwhile series of this Summer. Satelight does deliver some good stuff and sirs and madams, you’ve just been served.
OMG, SCRATCH ALL WHAT I SAID IN THE BEGINNING? SERIOUSLY, SCRATCH ALL OF THEM. The first episode is GREAT. AND SUPERB. AND SPLENDID. WITH ALL THE LETTERS CAPITALIZED. Oh my lord, the first episode is so effin’ great. Everything about this anime is so good~
First, the animation. IT’S SO PRETTEH. Everything is just so beautiful. Seriously, the colors are just perfect. I mean, France here looks so bleak and depressing with the entire gray color. Maybe it’s to represent the recession at that time. But suddenly Yune pops in with her beautiful color. Like, CUUUTTTTEEEEE. My theory for this one is that Yune will be the color that will fill up the gray in Claude’s life. And the characters? Well, I have no comment since this is just the first episode, but YUNE SO MOOOEEEEEEE. And Claude so smexy. I ship YunexClaude. Anything pedobear-ish that Claude will do is APPROVED. As for the story, I didn’t expect this to be this entertaining. I thought it was going to be boring since it’s all about France and a little girl who happens to be in France. But wow, I just love how the characters are interacting with each other. That’s what able to keep me entertained, how everyone reacts with Yune. Especially Claude, so awkward <3 Also, I’m getting lots of education from this anime, especially on blacksmith and poster girls. But really, what makes this anime good? YES, IT’S YUNE. Yune. Is. Just. So. MOEEEEE.
Oh god, I’m a Yune fangirl now. Sure, the first episode is giving me a good impression, but even if the first episode happens not to be this good, I’ll still watch this anime until the end anyway.Why? Because of Yune. That’s right, I love everything about her. I hate little kids, but I don’t know why I just love Yune so effin much. Maybe it’s because of the innocence aura around her. Yes, I love Yune. Not romantically of course, that one is for my waifu Zab. But, this anime is ALL ABOUT YUNE. ALL HAIL MOE YUNE!!!
I have one word to describe this show: fluffy. Ikoku is definitely a nice change of pace from all these super quirky, suspenseful or action-filled shows of the season. It’s easy to see how this would be a rather boring watch for those who are used to the aforementioned. It’s slow moving and the conflict is shallow and barely there. And yet, I find it hard NOT to like this show. In its simplicity, we are immersed in a heartwarming story of a girl coming into a country so different from her own. Through her new experiences, we regain an appreciation for the simple things that are beautiful and yet, so easily overlooked.
Yune, our adorable little protagonist, is, well, adorable. She’s the focal point of the show and not only visually, but emotionally, brightens every scene. Every little thing she does just makes me all fuzzy inside. I mean, just look at her amazement over mattress springs! Tell me that wasn’t frickin’ cute as hell. Watching her is akin to looking at pictures of baby animals. You just can’t help but crack a tender smile. I know I was just like “DAHAHAHA AWWWWW!!!” Claude is rather sweet as well and I look forward to seeing the relationship between the two progress.
Finally, the presentation of this show worked really, really well. I was almost surprised. The music, especially the OP, captured the essence of the show perfectly. The art was soft with beautiful character design. It was slightly awkward when it came to background characters, but the main characters were well done and that’s all that really matters. Yune, for example, was simply gorgeous from her intricate kimono to her click-clacking shoes to her adorable facial features. We definitely got a feel of what 19th century France must have been like and it almost makes me wish that I had taken my French classes more seriously in high school. Ikoku no Meiro Croisee will definitely be my calming, mental reprieve for the week.
I am so excited for this you have NOOO idea!