「日本迷宮 Labyrinthe du japon」 (Nihon Meikyuu)
“Labyrinth of Japan”

The roles were reversed this week with Claude learning some things about Japanese culture, except some of it was clearly lost in translation, leading to a lot of goofy misunderstandings. From tatami mats and miniature world-like gardens to wells with an endless supply of water, Claude’s interpretation of sumo wrestling was the best of them all. However, if there’s one thing that he has right about Japan, it’s that everything is pretty small, especially to a Frenchman such as himself. Nothing wrong about that though, as small usually goes hand-in-hand with cute and adorable.

As hinted in the preview last time, Claude gets Yune to show him how to write her name in Japanese, which means “the sound of hot (spring) water” in reference to the Japanese’s love for the sounds of nature. We also learn the name of her older sister, Shione, whom I don’t believe will make an actual appearance in the series (except maybe in a flashback). What was kind of cool from that scene was how nicely Claude was able to write the kanji for sound, “oto” 「音」, which he used as inspiration for creating a sign that he eventually sold to the musical instruments store. It must have been the artisan’s touch in him. I was half expecting him to create a G-clef — one of the tried and true symbols for music — but the foreign roots makes it an easy topic of conversation, similar to how Oscar used origami to try to pick up the ladies — that sly dog. If there’s one thing to take away from Ikoku Meiro this week is, when in doubt, bring up cultural differences to strike up a conversation.

There was definitely no shortage of cute moments this week, as Yune continues to be our window into French food and culture. Watching her want to pet the stray cat and making a funny face while mimicking the sound of Japanese bells were two of my favorites. What I really loved was that Yamato Nadeshiko-look she had when she peeked out from under her umbrella though. I know it’s a really cliché when people say someone’s daughter will grow up to be a beautiful lady one day, but that scene really gave me glimpses of an older Yune looking up the exact same way. The thought of that also helped me forget about the depressing atmosphere in Galerie du Roy with all the shops closing.

On a related note, I was actually anticipating Alice to meet Yune in this episode, with Claude showing his disdain toward her family’s Grand Magasin department store that put all the smaller shops out of business, but it looks like they wanted to build up that first encounter a bit. Still, it was fun hearing Yuuki Aoi go all out to portray Alice’s demanding personality, while Yahagi Sayuri calms her down as Alice’s older sister, Camille. Alice isn’t a bad person by any means though, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing the scene where Yune’s mother’s kimino comes up. I’ve already read about it in the manga since it was covered fairly early, and it should lead to a somewhat similar scenario as the first episode. i.e. It should be good.

* I have not one, but two full-length images of Alice in Yune’s kimono.
* The end card this week featured an SD figurine of Alice.

 

Preview

52 Comments

  1. I love this series. It’s so calm, but even the little events are fun. Loved that part in the beginning with Cluade learning about Japan though bwahahah.

    And that was Yuuki Aoi? Didn’t notice at all!

    pimple
    1. Can anyone please enlighten me, what is this hype about Aoi Yuuki about? I don’t seem to see anything special about her voice. I wanted to ignore it BUT too many fan speaking of her lately and i kinda wanted to know why.

      lkaze
      1. Yuuki Aoi is a relatively young seiyuu, recently turned 19 years old, whose first major role was Kuhouin Murasaki in Kurenai. Back then, she was only 16 years old.

        Prior to becoming a seiyuu, she was a child personality on variety shows (only 9-10 years old). She grew up watching anime (Sailor Moon) and is a big fan of it, hence why she became a seiyuu. She’s also pretty talented at drawing.

        In conjunction with her young age, the most impressive thing about her is that she’s the little girl (145cm, ~4’9″) with the big voice, and tries to use a distinctly different voice in each of her roles. Her speech is always clear and she adds a lot of personality in each of the characters she plays. Those are the mains reasons why her acting is always something to look forward to.

        To top it off, she’s surprisingly mature for her age and embodies all the qualities that fans like to see from a seiyuu (being a fan of anime to begin with is a big one). See Hashihime’s site for a lot of Aoi-related stuff.

      2. Just watch her as Madoka in Madoka Magica, and then watch her as Tohru in A-Channel and notice just how nearly unrecognizable her voices are in these two roles unless you listen carefully.

        She is much like Tomatsu Haruka, Toyosaki Aki and Hanazawa Kana in the diverse range of voice-roles she could play in.

        Kinny Riddle
      3. The range in Aoi Yuuki’s voice is INCREDIBLE. Compare her as Victorique in Gosick, with a very husky voice versus her squeaky Ameli in episode 15 of Jewlpet Tinkle. It is this range that sets her apart from most other seiyuu.

      1. Let see : Ro-Kyu-bu , Kamisama doll (utao), usagi drop.

        @Ryuuzaki

        Then would you be fine with shonen ai, yuri,cross dressing and incest? If not yuruyuri,no. 6 ,uta no prince, mawaru penguin drum, baka test .

        Anything else i missed?

        lkaze
      2. that show gather all the lolis and make a so much irritating anime! 🙂
        i once post something there saying it is a show for pedophiles then OTAKUs went against me! >:)

        Ryuuzaki21
    1. To be honest. this anime isn’t about loli-ness. Its about seeing the difference between 2 cultures. French people really are tall from our perspectives(I’m asian). When I went to a party full of foreign people and ask them how old are they they said that their 15. I was really shock that they were 5’6 feet tall and i’m a 19 year old guy with a 4’5 height.

      But yeah some anime are unbearable. I guess it depends on peoples taste/genre. I forgive you. you should wait for next season. there are tons of cool and action type of anime. I’m not joking :D.

    2. Urrgh, I just finish watching Twin Angel Kyun Kyun. I wanted to warn you don’t even bother with it, full of loli with big boob magical girl. I know this is wrong post, but since i just went over such an ordeal i kinda wanted to pass my unfortunate to someone else.

      lkaze
    3. Once again, this is not a loli anime. It’s just the main character is 13 years old Japanesse who trapped between giants in Europe. But that’s not the main point of the anime.

      zeroyuki
      1. She is 13 and he is 18. As stated by others back in those days girls got married from the age of 14 and up. We think of her as a little kid because thats how she is drawn (Moe Overload for sure) but she is closer to being a young woman then a little kid.

        Karmafan
      2. Ah, well if that’s really their ages then I could see them becoming romantically involved down the line. I could see the first indications of such being towards the end of season 1 and then season 2 expanding on it.

  2. This really is such a joy to watch, this show. Incredible setting, great characters, and a heroine who wears her moe better than anyone I remember. I really hope this never gets “serious” – I love it just the way it is.

    1. Like I said in my post for sure thats going to happen. Maybe not right away but she is 13 and he is 18. Back in those days girls got married at 14ish so its very much a possibility.

      Karmafan
      1. I agree. There’s way too much dynamics between Yune and Claude:
        Claude feeding her the bread; buying the book for Yune; her hugging the book;
        her wishing to like the food so that she can make something he’ll like,
        and numerous other examples (in just the 1st three episodes). I see
        the beginning of a sweet love story. Claude seems to have no other
        female interest. The old man seems to look on approvingly, too. Why
        did Yune really come to France…? I see nothing wrong.

        mac65
  3. https://randomc.net/image/Ikoku%20Meiro%20no%20Croisee/Ikoku%20Meiro%20no%20Croisee%20The%20Animation%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2005.jpg

    Country full of miniature Yunes? I think I can live with that. (Cue sound of police sirens lol )

    Anyway, I was kinda disappointed that Alice and Yune’s meeting will have to wait till next week.

    Still, as some of the stores in the Galerie are starting to close down due to business being taken away by the department store opposite owned by Alice’s father, Alice being designated as the future owner of Galerie du Roi and her future friendship with Yune would mean that Galerie du Roi might just have a future after all. Which cannot be a bad thing for Claude.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I’m wondering if Alice, Yune, and Claude are gonna think up some way to save the Galerie?

      This week he made a sign using japanese letters and it sold so perhaps he is going to make some stuff with a japanese flavor and it will pull people into the Galerie and away from that big mall?

      Karmafan
    1. I sure am tempted to read the manga, however I’m afraid I’ll get hooked to it too much and just drop the anime. To those who read the manga, any thoughts?

      anyway, the next episode looks promising. cliche-Claude-peeks-at-Yune-while-changing-clothes FTW!!!

      nagi
  4. looks like in the next ep. Alice is gonna ask Yune to live with her or some other rich girl demand in exchange for the Kimono. WTB. Well, anyway Yune is sure to say no.

    On another note, i’m quite surprised a French would know how to wear a Kimono. Even with the internet and information exchange there are many Japs who don’t know how to do so.

    deafvader
  5. This anime is just so cute. I love the setting, the characters, the music, everything! I love watching it, its so relaxing! Also, they even had weeaboos back 19th century France? -shutters-

    Nikku

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