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Ikoku Meiro no Croisée The Animation – 08

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「子供部屋 Chambre ďenfant」 (Kodomobeya)
“Child’s Room”

As much as I’ve enjoyed the bundles of cuteness that Yune brings, the almost hostile air that Camille provides has broadened my interest in Ikoku Meiro. There was a real sense of jealousy toward Yune as Camille tried to shatter her innocence, making it seem like she was testing our foreigner’s resolve. Luckily that backfired though, because Camille gave off “calm yet psychotic” vibes while talking about Claude. It felt like she was one remark away from snapping and allowing all her repressed emotions to pour out. If there’s anyone to be worried about in this peaceful slice-of-life series, it would definitely be her. Alice? She looks like a harmless otaku saint compared to her older sister.

Based on what people have said and the impression I got this episode, I’m still unsure about exactly what’s going on in Camille’s head. When she was younger, she appeared to have a genuine interest in Claude. There was no indication of ulterior motives or intent to use Claude as her personal plaything. Between then and now, that’s clearly changed, as it looks like she tried to make a “project” of him and is upset that she doesn’t have him wrapped around her finger. She doesn’t show any signs of frustration though, making it very hard to get a sense of whether she simply perceives Claude as a stray cat that got away. Personally, I get the feeling that it starting as such but became more than that, otherwise she wouldn’t be so inquisitive about his relationship with Yune and so insistent on bringing Yune down about Claude. Assuming that’s the case, it’s a very delicate situation she’s in, where she acts on her emotions yet never shows them. That fine balance is why she’s pretty scary to me. One minute she’ll be talking to you casually, the next minute she’ll be putting a knife in your back.

I jest, but there’s a fair amount of seriousness in that statement in describing how cautious I am of her. The saving grace is that Camille hasn’t done anything (…not yet anyway). She has a sharp tongue when it comes to being blunt (and borderline rude) to Claude and Yune, but manages to keep herself in check by living vicariously through Alice. It’s as if she’s put her own desires second to her family’s expectations of her, and is content with seeing Alice live her own life the way she would’ve wanted. I found that somewhat unusual, figuring she’d bear a grudge against Alice for getting to live carefree under her, but Camille continues to surprise me with her outlook on life. In fact, the only impression I get about her feelings toward Alice is that she absolutely loves her. I suspect that’s largely because Alice always thinking of her older sister.

Anyway, despite the peaceful ending theme by A.m.u. and the resolved feeling I’m left with, I still feel we’re lacking some clarification on the Claude x Camille front. The preview suggests we’ll learn a bit more about them next time though, which will hopefully include Oscar’s take on their relationship as well. He felt it was a good thing for Claude to visit Camille, so it couldn’t have all been bad memories for Claude. What I’d really like to know is how he feels about Camille.

 

ED3 Sequence

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ED3: 「Tomorrow’s Smile」 by A.m.u.
Watch the 3rd ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

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August 24, 2011 at 1:20 am
27 comments »
  • August 24, 2011 at 1:34 amFencedude

    Maybe its my imagination, but in this episode at least, it seemed that Camille was always seen wearing “cool” colors, while Alice was in “warm” colors. I’d have to check previous episodes to see if that holds up though.

    • August 24, 2011 at 4:23 amneko

      thats a very good point. it shows a great contrasts between the two. I like Alice, although her hyper otaku mode is probably as big as her ego lol

  • August 24, 2011 at 1:53 amx

    As I’ve said before, we might have a hard time understanding Camille, since we come from a different time, place and culture. Her attitude towards life seems to be cynical, yet she is resigned to living out what is expected of her. She seems bitter about her circumstance, and jealous of others who are more free, but also tries to apply her way of thinking onto others. As for her relationship with Claude, it’s just her trying to live out what is expected of her, while fulfilling her own wishes. This is not to say that she does not care for others, but she is trapped in her own circumstance. Meanwhile Claude probably feel used, and don’t understand where she comes from. Will be interesting to see what Yune can bring into this “relationship”.

    • August 24, 2011 at 2:36 amSoiyeruda

      I personally think it’s easy to see where she’s coming from, if only because I’m starting to see similarities between her and Dominique, the main female lead in “The Fountainhead.”

      Both girls have a cynical outlook on life, and are genuinely in love the main male lead. They cannot state this publicly, as society shuns that man. As a solution, they integrate themselves into said society and basically follow a “in order to protect him, I have to be the one who hurts him” mentality.

      Granted, Camille is still a vague character and the parallels aren’t exactly perfect, this is the easiest comparison I was able to think of.

      • August 24, 2011 at 5:37 amKarmafan

        Actually I think Camille really loves Claude but because of the culture she has to marry someone of her own station that her father chooses and can’t marry a commoner. She has accepted the fact she can’t have Claude (even tho she really loves him( and her jumping in Yune’s shit was her fustration that this little japanese girl is with Claude (and living in his house no less) and they are already very close.

      • August 24, 2011 at 10:41 amlkaze

        Yay YUNE!! for the win …..(seriously I need to stop doing that)

        Anyway, I feel the way Alice casually mention something about having extra marital affair kinda give me this idea. I think in the past Camille and Claude is in love. However since the status difference; they could not be together. It possible that the Blanche family propose to Claude to become Camille man-mistress. Which explain why Claude hate rich people and Blanche also why doesn’t want to meet them anymore. What do you guys think?

      • August 24, 2011 at 1:21 pmx

        @lkaze I completely agree with your take on this.

  • August 24, 2011 at 2:21 amcybersteel

    Alice seems more likeable this episode.

  • August 24, 2011 at 2:23 amdeafvader

    Cammy wants freedom from her life but would not seek it a she is a “proper lady”. Which is why she tells Claude she can’t marry him but would still appreciate his company.

  • August 24, 2011 at 2:47 ammac65

    I believe this episode was basically about Alice. My respect meter for Alice has gone
    up a few notches after watching this. Alice seems now more of a dreamer, but purposeful
    (in that she will aggressively try to make her dreams a reality), even at a danger to
    herself (e.g., painting on the ceiling). So I see her relationship to Yune as such; she
    still wants to possess her, but much less as an object and more as a person – she’s
    clumsy about her methods, however.

    I have hope for Alice.

    Camille – I’m still wondering about her. She hinted that she sees the love in Yune’s eyes
    for Claude and tries to provoke Yune into a confession of sorts by some of her statements, IMHO. Camille cuts deep to the core by insulting Yune’s apologies as a sign of weakness. In short,
    she’s portrayed as, and acts like a serious bitch. Giving her the dress was interesting,
    though in that it wasn’t hers to give (it belongs to Alice). So it seems an empty gesture.

    It’s also clear to me that Claude shows no romantic interest in Camille in this episode. I believe
    Camille’s only regret is the loss of a toy (illegitimate future lover) and I believe Claude
    realized this a long time ago – hence his resolve.

    Claude expressed an interesting sediment in that he’s not concerned about Yune’s social standing,
    etc. He accepts her for who she now is.

    Did anyone notice Yune refers to her sister in the past tense? Is she dead?

    I’m guessing this episode seems like it flows in to a two-parter?

    • August 24, 2011 at 11:12 amlkaze

      “Camille’s only regret is the loss of a toy”

      Camille come to me as a better person than that. I believe she genuinely love Claude but the family status is too different for them to overcome. At the very least their love for each other not at the level to just defy Blanche family.

  • August 24, 2011 at 3:00 amGP007

    It’s just a difference of classes, status and all that stupid stuff they had going back in that time period. Because she’s rich and the oldest/first daughter to the family she’s bound to marry some other rich families son (this ep talks about all that quite clearly) so since Alice is the youngest she’s, to an extent, free from that “duty”.

    This difference in class and “responsibility” or rather obligation to her parents and family in general is the root of the problem and why her and Claude never can be together officially, though Alice talks about mistresses and so on, hell, even the flashback about the cat brings it up, it’s all a clue really. Deep down they like each other, growing up together it seems, so she’s jealous at Yune ofc, i see this as natural because Yune is more or less in the spot she probably wants to be in.

    We’ll have to wait for the next ep to see when the “break up” went down but I’m sure it’s just a matter of them being part of different classes in society that got in the way.

    We’ve had the same sorta setup before but more often the rich person is the male, the oldest son, and the middle class/poor character is the female he falls for.

  • August 24, 2011 at 3:13 amnagi

    hated Camille more because she insulted Yune’s innocence. BAH

  • August 24, 2011 at 4:21 amneko

    Camille has definitely a darker side but extremely good self-control (except for jealousy).Her manga version really gave me a bitter feeling about the ‘perfect doll’ character she plays.

    This show reminds me a lot of ‘Au bohneur des dames’ by Zola as it deals with the arrival of ‘grand magasins’,bourgeoisie and downfall of small businesses such as Claude’s.

  • August 24, 2011 at 4:47 amChaos2Frozen

    @Divine

    I think you’re getting the wrong impression of Camille; she’s not the manipulative type, every word she said to Claude, she meant it… Likewise with Yune later.

    What she said to Claude was that even if she gets married, which is something that is out of her control, would still like Claude to visit her because he was the one she liked. I’m not sure where you where you get the impression that she was trying to control him, especially when what Camille has is a lack of control over her own fate let alone somebody else’s.

    Likewise, she probably isn’t jealous of Alice because what she is doing is protecting her by taking up all the responsibility of a Noblewoman, allowing her sister to live in relative freedom.

    Finally, the lighthearted nature that both Oscar and Alice had when they talked about Claude and Camille’s past ‘romance’ implied a genuine relationship.

  • August 24, 2011 at 8:01 amricz

    Man I really love this “camille arc”
    I really feel bad for camille she;s been stuck on a “birdcage” just to let her little sis enjoy some freedom

    BTW I sees Claude X yune relationship to be more Bro Sis relationship

  • August 24, 2011 at 10:56 amlkaze

    YUNE KAWAIIII

  • August 24, 2011 at 10:56 amJoojoobees

    This turn of Camille’s character took me by surprise, and I approve. It brings out a darker side of her personality, but not necessarily an evil one. I think she is rather clever, but trapped. She knows what she wants but she is forcing herself to give it up. I find her quite tragic, and don’t begrudge her some jealousy.

  • August 24, 2011 at 12:06 pmLectro Volpi

    For some unknown reasons I am starting to seriously dislike Yune, I can hate but I need a reason and just hate for the sake of it is unhealthy… uhm…. rival for Camille (my favourite character) maybe? Still It looks like Camille was being a bully with Yune.

    This is one of the reasons I dislike Japanophiles, the: “Japanese culture is way better than mine, even though I know nothing about Japan. I just import things with no knowledge whatsoever.”

    • August 24, 2011 at 12:54 pmLectro Volpi

      Ah yes, forced marriages are also part of the Japanese culture or not?

      • August 24, 2011 at 2:13 pmx

        Umm, I don’t see what Japanophiles with that attitude (and not all of them do) have anything to do with Yune though. It’s not about Japanese culture versus French culture. It’s about Camille’s circumstance forcing her to live in a way that she herself is not happy with. Yune does not seem to be in that circumstance. Or rather, if Yune is in that circumstance, she does not seem to let it affect her the way it affects Camille.

        What I suspect is that Camille is most unhappy about, is that she is not able to get Claude to be hers one way or another. She is jealous that Yune is so close to Claude, who seem to be out Camille’s reach. Deep down inside, I think she has not given up on Claude, despite their rather cold relationship now.

        Also, I don’t think of Yune as a rival for Camille in the sense of gaining Claude’s affections. One could say that we have a different kind of misunderstanding between the two, compared to Claude’s frequent misunderstanding of Yune. This is not Japan vs France, but Camille vs Yune. Whereas Camille seem to only make relationships for her own benefit, Yune wants to make friends for mutual benefit. This makes it harder for Camille to understand Yune and vice versa. Though I suspect that with some effort both might be able to empathize with some aspects of the other. I’m not going to say who is “better” or “good” or “bad”, since that would be putting my own bias on Camille and Yune unfairly. Camille and Yune are such contrasting characters. Though some may blame purely on culture for the differences, I think it also reflects the personality of the two girls.

      • August 24, 2011 at 2:33 pmLectro Volpi

        I was talking about Alice in the second paragraph.

      • August 28, 2011 at 12:18 pmx

        @Lectro Volpi: Nice touch with whoever did the editing there :p. Now my post look weird XD. Anyways, I agree with you about Alice being annoying, though without learning more about Alice further than what has been shown so far, I would not be so hasty to see her as someone who is unreasonable in her quest for all things Japan XD

  • August 24, 2011 at 4:21 pmLitho

    Seems like the anime will conclude at the same place as the end of the second manga volume, which is a shame really. I was hoping the creators had some extra reference material about future chapters from the mangaka, giving us at least an ep or two from volume 3.

    • August 25, 2011 at 8:44 amx

      Hope for a second season then. Unlikely though some may think.

  • August 25, 2011 at 4:56 pmpaj

    My first impression of Camille is a lot like divine’s but less harsh cause I can empathize with Camille and her obligations. But to me, if she values love and freedom from what is hinted, she can part with her status and elope in the name of love no matter what future it may bring. But I think to her love is not enough. Or maybe she wants the best of two worlds. her status and what money and power can bring and love for a man of a lower class. Only maybe claude didn’t want to play his part in that because he is a prideful man; and what he considers is his, he probably won’t take too kindly to sharing.

    As for Yune’s feelings and personality, they are portrayed very subtly. Since she is a very modest person. We see her as a child from claude’s point of view and we see her a small and innocent adolescent girl when she is with Alice, but my personal view is that she is very mature more so than Alice and can even be on par with Camille. It is because of her lack of familiarity with Parisian society that makes her seem child like and dependent. Other than that, I am sure in Japanese society Yune will be getting ready to marry since she is consider 16 years old there in her home country. She is very familiar with cleaning and cooking and not only that Yune seems to come from a well to do or moderately well off family, from what we see of her kimonos and Oscar’s description of her home. So, Yune may be a foil to Camille. Or we can compare Camille’s situation to Yune’s sister.

    As for the Yune’s and camille relationship, we see an understanding between two mature girls who understands each other over a guy (claude)and probably about societal rules and etiquette after the initial jealousy bout by Camille.

    • August 27, 2011 at 12:33 pmx

      Nice summary. I liked the way you put it in the last paragraph.