The student council anime podcast

First Impressions – Ikoku Meiro no Croisée

Beautiful Artwork of 19th Century France

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée is the newest project by Satelight (the studio that brought us Hellsing Ultimate, Macross Frontier, and Fairy Tail) is the first series to catch my attention in the summer 2011 anime season.  The series is set in 19th century France during which apparently the French had taken a particular interest in Japanese culture.

This slice of life series follows the story of a young Japanese girl, Yune, who has traveled to France to work in some obscure signboard shop run by a talented young blacksmith named Claude. The inhabitants of the French city seem to take particular interest in Yune as she wanders the streets in her traditional Japanese clothing, so Oscar (the character who brought Yune from Japan) suggests that she would be a good attraction for their store.  At first Claude is reluctant to allow Yune to stay, but over the course of the episode they manage to bond, in spite of a couple incidents.

So what did I think of this show? Find out below!


The Good

Production Quality: This show looks amazing.  IkokuMeiro already has some of the best rendered backgrounds of any series I’ve seen.  The animation is fluid and leaves little to be desired.  The soundtrack is a blend of classical and choro style that does wonders in building a relaxing atmosphere.  IkokuMeiro also took the effort in its opening sequence by having unique action occur during the opening song and credits which is something I wish more series would do.  I hope they will continue to do this for every episode.

Relatable Characters: All of the characters so far act in a way that is understandable and actually fairly normal.  What would you do to try to prove your worth to those in doubt?  Yune behaves exactly as how most people in this situation would by working hard and by being very apologetic when she inevitably messes up.  Claude also behaves as would be expected.  What would you do if some guy brought a random girl from a faraway country to work in your shop? I know I’d be quite wary of the situation and maybe be a little cold to the newbie.  Fortunately, we get a good paced resolution to this immediate conflict that left me feeling a little fuzzy inside.

Atmosphere: IkokuMeiro immediately generates a very Aria-esque vibe from the stunning scenery, sincere character interactions, and relaxing atmosphere.

and this is how you perform alchemy...wait a second

The Bad

Language Issues: This episode dealt with some language issues that were handled a little awkwardly.  While the dialogue was supposed to be mostly in French, the audio we hear is entirely in Japanese.  This led to some confusion when the characters spoke in Japanese.  Really a minor complaint that played a role pretty much only during one short scene.

Yune is too cute!

Overall Impressions

IkokuMeiro is the series I am most looking forward to seeing more of.  I thought the first episode did a spectacular job in showing us some very likeable characters who had some genuinely enjoyable interactions with each other.  You can tell that a lot of work when into the production of this anime with the amazing artwork and soundtrack we have been shown so far.  All this has melded to create a relaxing atmosphere that may even manage to rival Aria!



One response to “First Impressions – Ikoku Meiro no Croisée

  1. averaen July 7, 2011 at 5:01 am

    I just finished episode one, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. The way Yune’s face is drawn is driving me insane though, complete derp face.

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