Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - Episode 6

In a week where mindless idiots have destroyed, set fire to and looted a number of parts of England, I think we can all be forgiven for wishing we were somewhere else... like nineteenth century France, perhaps.  Thank goodness for Ikoku Meiro no Croisée then, which really couldn't have come along at a better time.

This week, we find Alice on the prowl once again as she decides that she wants another slice of Yune - this time with a view to having a photograph taken with our petite Japanese visitor.  Although Yune is more than a little tempted by the prospect of getting a photograph that she can send to her sister back home, she nonetheless insists that she has to finish her housework first, leaving Alice waiting while she polishes off (with every pun intended) that chore.

With her work completed, Yune heads off with Alice to be enveloped in the world of French photography and fashion, eventually switching clothes with Alice to be pictured wearing her traditional garb for a 19th century French lady while Alice learns at least a little about the proper way to wear a kimono.  It's another of those delightfully simple culture clashes that this series has excelled in delivering thus far, although it also lends a tinge of sadness to its affairs, with Alice's older sister Camille making some more than slightly vague references to her life being akin to existing in some kind of captivity, while she also seems to have some kind of unspoken history with Claude that will doubtless be explored at some point.

Overall though, this was another gorgeously animated and downright entertaining episode of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - an undemanding little slice of simple, relaxing enjoyment that also had perhaps a surprising amount of depths bubbling under the surface.  The suggestions surrounding the history between Claude and Camille is clearly building towards later episodes, while there's also a fair amount of socio-political commentary to be found in Claude's feelings about painters, photography and the relationship between rich and poor.  In fact, it echoes and proves to be strangely pertinent towards some of the commentary and comments coming from those riots around the UK - the more things change, the more they stay the same, as the staying goes...

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