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Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Half Season Review

I did not edit this and it is taken from the OP and :|

Since I forgot what Croisée was actually about, I’ll talk about my adventures to the Richmond Night Market instead!

First, we ate food. Then, we left.



Since everybody’s already gone into more than enough detail about the cultural clashes between Japan and France, the inherent moe in Croisée, and other such topics that I would cover if this post was not written two days after this post was published, I won’t cover those topics, but will talk about my adventures to the Richmond Night Market instead!

If you come early (we came early), you’ll notice there’s not many people outside. However, as soon as you entered the night market, you’ll realize that there’s actually a ton of people. ‘Night market’ didn’t really apply then, as it was day, but ‘day market’ tells you unnecessary information.

There didn’t seem to be much hype for Croisée on the outside, compared to shows like Usagi Drop and (later on) Penguindrum – however, it stands as one of the most popular shows this season (don’t quote me on this). Nevertheless, if you ask somebody who watched it what they saw, they’d not be able to answer you with specifics (the most they could say is ‘it was a show about this Japanese girl going to France-land’) – it’s not a particularly memorable show.

Likewise, I remember no specifics of my trip to the night market either. I hardly remember what I ate, I don’t remember what food I saw, and I don’t think I even saw any merchandise. The details of the trip were not memorable at all, although I remember the general gist of what the trip was about: eating and leaving.

As I said, the first thing we did was eat. The crowds were absolutely full at the food stalls, so that it took 15 minutes to walk from one end of market to the other – not because it was 15 minutes long (it’d probably take two minutes to run across), but because the crowd was so /dense/. It was like wading through quicksand, except it wasn’t even /quick/. Anyways, the food filled our stomachs and tasted delicious, but even now, I don’t remember exactly what I ate. I only remembered that it was nice.

The first thing most people look at in Croisée is the whole ~healing~ aspect of it all – the relaxing music, the comfortable art, the moe. That’s the one quality (or… three) that comes before everything else in Croisée. It feels nice and fills your stomach (metaphorically – I hope you all know what a full stomach feels like. If you don’t, you’re better off selling your computer and getting some food). However, I don’t exactly remember what it was that made Croisée feel nice – it’s a variety of things put together, but not only did I forget /which/ things were put together, I forgot what the /result/ of them being put together was! Indeed, through the years, the only thing I’ll remember about Croisée is that it felt nice.

There were really only two parts to the night market – one half was all about food, and the other half was selling merchandise. While the food stalls were crowded to the brim, there was comparatively little people at the vendors. Which made sense – while the food was nice (food is food, how ripped off could you get?), the merchandise was rather… shady. They looked to be of extremely poor quality things that you wouldn’t trust with your money – no doubt many goods were probably illegally imported from the Chinese slave trade or something (ok, maybe not).

Most people watch Croisée for the ~healing~ as a mindless ~healing~ activity, but some people try to make meaning out of the entire thing, or at least individual parts. When you disregard the obvious culture clash, there’s really not a lot of meaning left – what else could the anime possibly be trying to tell us? It’s not about (I’m just making these topics up right now, I doubt anybody’s actually written things on these) the gradual loss of freedom due to the Industrial Revolution; it’s not about architecture’s triumphs in the 19th century; it’s not about the growing concern of the environment stemming from centuries ago. It’s about a cute Japanese girl being thrust into France.

If there was anything that was professionally done, it was the advertising. Bell was doing some sort of cellphone campaign that was highly visible for the entire duration of the market – there were many teenagers crowding around the various cellphone stations in the market. Really, all the advertising was shoved into our faces – however, since they were all of one corporation, that was probably quite an effective strategy.

There’s one thing that’s been shoved into our faces for the entire duration of Croisée – the inherent differences between Japan and France’s culture, and people’s attempts to adapt to the new culture. Not modify, adapt – the show shows us the various quirks of each culture and how varied the world really is. This was done exceptionally well, so that the concept of diversity was forever hammered into our minds. I’m sure that there might have been some things that I missed – I merely didn’t bother looking.

Similarly, there must have been some good goods that I could have bought but didn’t. Nevertheless, I’m not going to spend that time on a chance – I just didn’t bother looking.

At the end, the only people who shop at the night market are commoners with nothing else to do – rich people get entertained elsewhere. At the end, the only people who watch Croisée are us modern moé-viewers with nothing else to do – ‘intellectuals’ get entertained elsewhere.

(Post-Post Notes:)

It’s interesting how the Japanese suffix -sama – how would that translate to in France?

The music actually sounds more Japanese than French – the main character is Yune, after all.

I don’t need to compare this to Yotsuba&!, do I? Maybe I will. Since Yune is a ‘child’ to French society, she learns new things every day – the one thing that forms the core of Yotsuba&!. Her height also helps.

At the night market, a sign showed us from what time the market was open during the Labour Day weekend – it was open from Friday to Sunday from 7 PM to 12 AM, and open on Monday from 7 PM to 11… AM… I guess night markets do have to take place in the dead of night :X


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