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Ikoku Meiro no Croisée Half Season Review [Completed]


I think I was far too influenced by this post, which I accidentally read just before starting the second-half mini-marathon. It totally ruined Croisée’s mood for me – I just kept on noticing how impossibly relaxed Croisée is. Even in the final episodes where they try to portray the hustle and bustle of an Industrializing France, it felt no different from a small, rural, foreign town. Even the final episodes which placed so much focus on New Scientific Discoveries (wow, that post was so quality) didn’t show the great excitement that those inventions were received by, but merely some people in a theatre looking at moving pictures.

Then again, even now, when there’s so many new scientific discoveries – neutrinos going faster than light, sharks developed in artificial uteruses, and arsenic-based life forms, we’re not all that excited about them. All we do is say ‘oh, cool’ and go on with our daily lives, but these changes are happening, these advancements are advancing, this SCIENCE is SCIENCING RIGHT NOW and nobody cares. Maybe nobody cared during the Revolution, either.

Once again, it’s still somewhat interesting how the capitalist culture of France and the… uh, Japanese culture of Japan clash. In France, Claude thinks about himself first – after all, if everybody thinks primarily about themselves, everything will work out. But, sometimes, life is unfair, and some people who do try their best to live still die. In Japan, Yune thinks about others, no matter their situation – after all, if everybody thought about others, everything would also work out. But, sometimes, life is unfair, and some people who do think about others still get mistreated and die. It’s funny, Japanese society in Croisée is portrayed to have a lot of pity and shit, while in World War II movies, they’re hardcore ‘MUST KILL OR… SUICIDE!!!!!!!!!1111111ichicihcihichichichicihcCHINA’.

The culture clashes in Croisée are big and obvious – they want us to immediately see the clashes. There’s really nothing behind this, there are already two layers – a transparent, ‘wow Yune is moe’ layer, and a thick ‘derp look, Japan and France are DIFFERENT PLACES’. I think this is a nice change from all that deep anime – there’s not much for me to analyze.

The shallowness of Croisée leads me to believe that it might be a good ‘introduction to France society’ for Japanese people. You know – all edutainment is shallow, and for good reason. If it’s deep, it’s hard to be educational. Sure, there are deep stories that are educational, but it doesn’t educate on a specific subject, such as French.

I don’t know, any good educational material has the potential to be made into a sickly mess by teachers. They’ll buy fun DVDs with casual French conversation between teens about things like fashion or the weather, and force you to analyze every single word they say, so that at the end you don’t even curse your teacher, but curse those teens for being so stupid and using so many slang terms. And of course, at the end, you’ll have to write an essay on why they said what they said and what it means… in English class.

Yet, Croisée is still pretty cute. If I were a French teacher in Japan, I’d get the hell out of there probably try to convince the principal that Croisée’s educational, and show it to my students like once a week or something. Also, I’d slap the principal in the face with a raw trout, because anybody stupid enough to hire me as a French teacher doesn’t deserve to not be slapped in the face with a raw trout.

Claude sounds so mean :( Seriously, what is wrong with him? He feels like an ABUSIVE OVERPROTECTIVE FATHER. Did they purposefully make him so mean so that we can criticize him and French society? Did they purposefully make him so mean so that we can realize that they made him mean for us to realize that Yune’s not supposed to be in France and criticize her and Japanese society?

I’ll wrap up with some final notes on performance. There’s actually not much music used in Croisée – a shame, because the soundtrack is good. Maybe they do that purposefully too? Chocolate is good, but when you eat too much, it all tastes the same. Oh, also the art is derpy as fuck. There’s a reason I didn’t include any faces in this post. The scenery is nice, though. Feels like No. 6.

Overall Rating: 4/10 (Good)

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