Ikoku Meiro no Croisee

MOE-GAR anyone?

Another treat that last season offered, while I was skeptical of this anime turning into another moe-blob of sorts, I’m quite surprised that Ikoku Meiro no Croisee delivered enough content that made me admire it deeply.

While the obvious plot would be the growing relationship between two individuals whose cultures and practices are both foreign with each other, I believe that what made me stick through with this anime is how it visualized an era of exploration from a woman’s perspective.

And I’m not simply talking about Yune venturing into the unknown; From the perspective of Alice up to the perspective of Camille, every women in this anime portrayed a different side of Paris. An exploratory insight on how the world rolls at that time and, more importantly, the burdens that women had to bear.

Not just limited to Camille’s sacrifices for her family, which has been portrayed more or less lengthily throughout the series, we also encounter Shione’s hardship due to her uniqueness. Damn, if Ayako released that episode sooner, I would’ve spent a whole great detail on that episode. Who wouldn’t?

I mean, from the topics of alienation and discrimination that Yune recieved, more or less, at the start of the series, what her sister experienced was no different. And by showing that, there was a lesson to be taught to the viewers, an understanding that despite similarities, cultures will always have a common point of understanding; Be it the positive or the negative facets of society.

And while Alice may look just as innocent in these issues of discrimination, her ignorance speaks otherwise, if anything, her attitude changed dramatically over the course of this series. Back then, she seem to look down on the people of the Gallery but a few episodes ago, she seem to be enjoying the time she spends with them. People may have different social standings in life but if there’s anything that made me love Alice’s character more, it’s how she grew and learned to give people respect.

Of course, for the star of the show, it requires no mention of Yune’s involvement in all of these. Her resilience and devotion is admirable and in general, I think of Yune as a pretty damn good character. I don’t think that she simply represents the good about the Japanese, if anything, I think she represents what it means to understand others and accept them for who they are.

Now for the cast:

Nao Toyama is fucking epic! While her Kanon from Kaminomi is OK, I believe her Yune is sinful to hear! It gives me eargasms all over! Especially whenever she says “HAI!” *nosebleeds*

If anything, this is another seiyuu on my list to watch out for… aside from AI KAYANO!! ❤

I think Takashi Kondo doesn’t stand out too much… That or my world of seiyuu when it comes to males is quite small. Well, I did hear him in Daimao and I think he did alright but I really can’t gauge his caliber… But for some reason, I believe him to be on Satoshi Hino’s level since they seem to be both lying low but can deliver main character performance.

Yuuki Aoi as Alice is like Kaname Madoka smoking crack. Her high pitched voice is good enough to break the windows of my room but I think it brought out the personality extremely well. Well, this IS Yuuki Aoi we’re talking about. Her status as a seiyuu have progressed so damn well that I could hardly call her a rookie.

Every now and then there’s a Sayuri Yahagi in the cast and while she doesn’t stand out like most seiyuu, I believe her caliber of professionalism in her craft. That being said, I really like her portrayal of Camille. There are moments when she’s gentle yet sometimes, she downright creeps me out. More than just a refined woman, I guess Sayuri was able to breathe life to the emotional sacrifices that Camille had to go through and it made her character something that I looked forward to.

While I’m more familiar with Wakamoto Norio when it comes to old seiyuu, I think that Tanaka Hideyuki as Oscar was able to bring out some form of “magic” from the character. The way he laughs and interacts with Yune and Alice as well as his aged wisdom suppresses the bullshit that Claude does per episode. If anything, Oscar is the BEST male character in this series.

Wrapping it up, IkoMei is a good anime worthy of spending your time on. The show had so much potential and was able to maximize it with overall good plot, decent cast, and lovable animations.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kuuki
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 01:48:06

    Now you mention it, it’s the first time I heard him in such an anime, but he’s pretty well known in the strange and distant world of fujoshi.

    It’s actually quite a shame he doesn’t more, because he has a much wider range than he seems to in IkoMei.
    To the point he has done up to 4 characters in a single anime.

    Reply

  2. Snippett
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 01:57:25

    “I don’t think that she simply represents the good about the Japanese, if anything, I think she represents what it means to understand others and accept them for who they are.”

    I liked how you pointed this out.

    Also, what I noticed on this show is it doesn’t exhaust viewers with its drama, but it’s just good enough to show what’s acceptable in culture and what’s not. With it’s small cast, at least it was able to deliver different faces of society. It may not have that much depth and emphasis, but its subtleness made me think e.g. concept of beauty.

    Thanks for the nice read and sharing your review. ^^

    Reply

  3. x
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 02:32:04

    This has become one of my favorite anime (of this genre). Too bad Ayako dropped the ball on this one as far as subbing on schedule is concern. I loved the character portrayals in this one. The subtlety is the key, it leaves a lot to the viewer’s imagination.

    @baka~
    I know this might be a little early to ask, but I’m wondering which anime would you be watching for the new season 🙂 ?

    Reply

  4. baka~
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 16:51:59

    @Kuuki

    are you referring to Takashi Kondo?

    @Snippet

    now that you mentioned it, IkoMei did have a small cast but was effective enough in delivering substance. Thanks for pointing it out! XD

    @X

    Well, Ayako was delayed but they did manage to finish it… Too bad I didn’t get to comment in detail Shione’s demise 😦

    And it’s not too early to ask since D-Day is just around the corner. To name a few, there’s fate/zero, guilty crown, shana III, bakuman II, P4, BokuTomo, Horizon… I know I need to cook up a post soon… Hope I make it in time X_X

    Reply

    • x
      Sep 27, 2011 @ 16:52:43

      Yeah, I didn’t even realize how close it was XD. Ika-chan is back!!!! Didn’t like the new OP though. Hope to see your post soon 🙂

      Reply

  5. Kuuki
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 17:01:12

    Yup, I am.

    Reply

  6. baka~
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 08:39:25

    @Kuuki

    I guess for the female audience, they are more oriented with a lot of male seiyuu =/

    @X

    sorry, never watched Ika-musume since season 1. They say it’s good but I barely hav the time to catch up to it now X_X

    Reply

  7. x
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 14:47:25

    Don’t worry about it :). I don’t expect everyone to watch Ika-chan :p. I just mentioned it because it’s the first anime of the new season I watched (well technically, there were other pre-airs, but…). Still waiting for your post 😉

    Reply

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