Yune learns that you can't trust everybody.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée (Crossings in the Foreign Labyrinth) episode 5 covers a hard lesson for Yune. Claude wants to teach her something about freedom, but she learns how to distrust instead. We also learn more about the poor boy we have seen already in several episodes.

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Alice Blanche our scheming oujo-sama.

This episode we got a full dose of Alice, the Japanophile that owns the Galerie and Yune’s mother’s kimono. Alice invites Yune to tea, but trys to steal her away forever.

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Claude struggles with a design for his next commission.

I really like this show. Despite the very little that apparently happens in each episode, it always seems to stimulate so many topics to talk about. Episode 3 of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée is no different. Rather than following all of the fascinating little back alleys this episode reveals, I’ll try to stick to one particular thread: in this episode we get to see some previously hidden parts of Claude’s work process, and, notably how he gets help from Yune.

Before I continue to my main point, however, I thought I would note that i have seen the title of this show translated two different ways. The first, Crossroads in the Foreign Labyrinth, and the second, Crossings in the Foreign Labyrinth. “Crossroads”, at least in the Western tradition, are generally associated with choices, whereas “crossings” seems to imply encounters. Of course, crossroads are the point of convergence of two or more paths, so they are certainly a type of meeting as well. I believe (based upon the content of these first three episodes) that this notion of “meeting” is the intended meaning, not “choices”. The show is very much about how people (at least those who are open to it) can be changed by the people they meet. In this episode it is Claude who is changed by his “crossing” (encounter) with Yune.

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These are Yune's indoor sandals. Her outdoor sandals are much taller, and make a pronounced clopping sound.

Episode 2 of Ikoku Meiro no Croisée (Crossroads to the foriegn labyrinth) shows Yune trying to adjust to her new surroundings, including a walk around the neighborhood, and the odd things that people eat in foreign lands.

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East meets West.

 Ikoku Meiro no Croisée is a series about a Japanese girl who comes to Paris, France in the late 19th century. This first episode was quite charming, and emphasized the cultural misunderstandings, and the difficulties one faces when trying to fit in someplace completely new. Given the presence on the production team of Junichi Sato, I’m looking forward to a “healing” type anime, and this first episode really bore that out. The very human drama associated with not being accepted seemed genuine, but the tension was mostly resolved by the end of the episode. Rather than discussing these events, this post takes a look at two places that were shown.

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