「魔術幻燈 Fantasmagorie」 (Majutsu Gentou)
If the goal of this episode was to make Oscar out as a fun-loving grandfather with all the cool toys, it worked wonderfully in that regard. Enseignes du Roy sure has a different atmosphere to it when Claude isn’t around. It was as if Oscar wanted to show us the history of animation, starting with a projector they dug up from the storeroom that scared the daylights out of Alice and Yune, followed by a phenakistoscope that made them look like two kids in a candy store. It was very cute on both fronts, even though Alice’s “dragon” looked like an earthworm. Yune’s cat was a lot better, but still paled in comparison to herself. The sight of Yune in cat ears made me wonder how a minicon like Takanashi Souta react if he ever found himself in 19th century France, having watched the pre-airing of Working season two recently. My guess is that he would be all over her like Alice… except on crack.
On a more serious note, this was probably the first time that we got to see how much Yune has settled into her new home. Everyone at Gallerie du Roy seems to know who she is now, unlike before when she was too scared of Parisians and couldn’t even ask them for directions. As for Claude, it sucks that he’s constantly compared to his father, seeing he wasn’t mentored to be his successor. A man of few words, Jean Claudel didn’t even look like he cared to teach his son anything and instead, expected him to figure everything out on his own from watching. Knowing that, it was nice to see Claude tell a regular customer of Enseignes du Roy that he’s not his father yet try his best to live up to his name with his own designs. Judging from the flashback, I presume Claude had a love-hate relationship with his father. He resents him for never giving him a proper chance, but at the same time, he takes pride in being the son of a talented blacksmith. The thought of that makes me wonder where Jean got his cold attitude from — especially when Oscar’s nothing like that — but it’s pretty clear to me that Claude takes after him.
Admittedly, I’m not too sure what to make of Yune thinking she saw Claude enjoying himself amongst the crowd, but there’s little doubt in my mind about Jean looking over Claude’s shoulder. The way I see it, it goes back to the competition idea that Yune had, where Claude can make his father acknowledge him through the quality of his work. Even in death, Jean is watching over Claude and waiting for him to show him the extent of his skills. Unfortunately, the thought of that doesn’t really provide any real sense of closure though. With only two episodes to go, it’s also doubtful that we’ll learn anything more about what their relationship was like. Still, it was nice to learn something about Claude’s father, who left quite a legacy in Gallerie du Roy.