「迷子 Perdus」 (Maigo)
It’s hard to imagine that anyone could get upset with Yune when she tries so hard to be helpful, and while Claude didn’t really get mad at her, he did inadvertently make her feel like her Japanese sense of hospitality is a bad thing. She was like an innocent girl thrown into a labyrinth full of Parisian “wolves” and told to suspect everyone before trusting them. It’s always a shame to see a kindhearted person’s outlook on the world suddenly shattered by the harsh reality of it all. Instead of being told that they’re good Samaritans, they’re told that they’re naive and will be taken advantage of. For most people, it usually only takes one incident for them to lose faith in the kindness of strangers too, before sending them down a spiral of distrust. In Yune’s case, her innocence was clearly shaken after the homeless boy stole a candle holder, but luckily not completely lost thanks to the reassurance Claude gave her.
He could have easily been upset with her and questioned about exactly which piece was stolen. I don’t think Yune would’ve minded either, since she was more concerned about the candle holder than her own well-being too. Because of that, it was awfully sweet for Claude to be worried about Yune more than anything else, and didn’t make her feel any worse than she already did on top of being afraid of all the strangers whom she couldn’t talk to while she was lost. I really liked the sentimental moment in that scene and was happy to see Yune in better spirits at the very end. She’s clearly not the type of person to forget about a mistake like this, so the last thing that she needed was to be reminded of it. It also made a point of how children as well-mannered as Yune should be showered in affection and not cornered with blame. When you get older, you can really appreciate why people love well-behaved kids.
Content-wise, one thing that differentiates Ikoku Meiro no Croisée from ARIA is the small bits of emotional turmoil that the characters go through. Unlike the water planet Aqua, not everything is rosy in 19th century France, which is why I like it when things don’t go completely smoothly like they didn’t here. It’s not that I want to see the characters go through hardships; it’s just that I want to see them grow closer because of them. Oscar always tends to bring everything in perspective for us as well, so it’s always nice to hear his grandfather-like input on any situation, whether he’s fully aware of what happened or not. Then there’s Alice of course, who will always have a place if she can get Yune to dress up in cute outfits. She really is like a doll that you want to dress up. That’s definitely something to look forward to.