Ikoku Meiro no Croisee Eps10-12 [END]

With one extra episode in this batch, it's the end of the series! It's sad how, for a while, I thought that perhaps this anime was pretty tolerable. The last episode put an end to that madness. I'm glad this is over.

The three episodes of this batch actually fit pretty well together. Eps10-11 were kind of a pair, continuing stories of one of Claude's customers and Yune's sister, and also beginning the plot point of Claude's father, something that spilled into ep12. While it was pretty humdrum to see eps10-11, ep12 just pretty much killed the series. I was reminded of how little some things made sense and just how annoying Yune was.

Of course she knew what Jean looked like.

Ep10 began with Yune stumbling onto Claude pouring over some old designs and deciding to leave him alone, making dinner even though it was the boy's turn. Oscar decided to interrupt him once he found out, which revealed that Claude had an appointment with some Monsieur Gidrel, a man who had been a great fan of Jean's (Claude's father). This set up the plot point of Claude's father, although it wouldn't really appear so much until ep12.

Pictures can be scary.

After Claude left, Yune rushed back to the shop, though accidentally dilly-dallying due to things like a baby and a cat. It was pretty evident that she was quite comfortable with the Gallery, considering she had gotten miserably lost and learned some harsh lessons (did she really, though?) in a previous episode. Once she got back to the shop, she yearned to have something to do but Oscar really wasn't that type. Upon finding an old projector, they began setting up the store-front to use it.

She looked like a boy. Seriously.

There was a momentary flashback to Yune's childhood in Japan, and to her older sister. I was a little startled by her sister's pale blue eyes, but I was even more confused with how cute the girl was, considering Yune bothers me so much these days. Anyway, Alan dropping by the store caused the projection to turn into a "public display", with many members of the Gallery attending. It was interesting that Alice fit in so well; giving up her seat to an elderly woman was a move I didn't expect from an aristocrat.

Fight to the death!

While all of this was happening, Claude was on the train to and from his customer's place, thinking about the job at hand and his father, in general. I suppose that, since it showed up as early as ep10, I can't really gripe that the mentions of his father in ep12 came out of nowhere, but it still felt that way. There's something about the way the story-telling is done here... But, that can wait for a later post. Claude was very frank with Monsieur Gidrel, stating that he wasn't his father and couldn't recreate things. How cheeky.

Claude absolutely has a harem.

Ep11 picked up with Claude's plot point from ep10; he returned to the shop one day with the news that his design had been bought. He was pretty gruff and unhappy about it though, since it was obvious Monsieur Gidrel was still a fan of Claude's father. While that was going on, Alice dropped by to invite Yune to go to the department store with her, something that Claude was quite annoyed about and put his foot down about. This point continued as Oscar mused that Claude's dislike of the department store probably had something to do with his father.

That's kind of cute...

In order to make it up to her, Claude decided that the three of them would head out to a picnic. Oscar's "magic" was a focus of the episode, for some reason, in it that Yune seemed to actually believe it. Despite having been told earlier that rain in Paris didn't last for long, she still believed when Oscar said he would stop the rain, just for her. Ah, so naive... The picnic seemed relatively boring, or maybe that's just the words of a technology-dependent fool.

No, Shione, stay strong!

After getting her drunk (it was more an accident rather than malicious intent), Yune became quite sad when thinking about her older sister. Apparently, Shione's lighter-coloured eyes had caused all of the people around her to assume that she was harbinger of bad luck and ill omen. Her eyes eventually degenerated to the point where she was essentially blind (so some kind of genetic disorder?), while Yune (who had been frail since birth) got better. Yune, for some reason, thought that it was her fault, since she had told Shione to "be blind" so as to not have to see any of the scowls aimed her way. This scene was probably supposed to incite emotion within me, but it really didn't. It's also sad that I liked Shione a lot more than Yune.

What an interesting nickname.

Ep12 was, honestly, the worst of this batch. It started without an OP, featuring Yune and Claude walking through the Gallery where everyone knew and loved Yune. It was meant to show that, with enough time, she had become part of the family of the Gallery. It also set up the focus of this episode - a storeowner's cat kept disappearing, and so he put a bell on it. After that, it had yet to show up at home again. It's a pretty simple plot point, right? I can't believe it turned out so horrible. (If it's not clear, the cat represented Yune. The storeowner, in this case, represented Claude. The bell represented a yearning to keep Yune-cat close.)

He doesn't look tiny.

Back at the shop, Yune wanted to help out Claude as he worked, which is really what began the entire fiasco. She picked up the smallest work gloves and Claude flew off the handle, yelling at her to go away. It's interesting just how to emo he really is. I hated this same trait in Victorique from Gosick. Anyway, Yune was extremely saddened and went away. At Claude's behest, Oscar explained that the gloves had belonged to Jean, who had a pretty small frame, and Claude had been caught off-guard (as it that justifies anything).

Once again, looking down at her. Yes, she's stupid, but still.

Oscar had told Yune that she could go for a walk around the Gallery, an idea she didn't take up until she heard the sounds of bells. Remembering the lost cat, she decided to head out to see if she could find it. This idea wasn't that terrible at first - what's the harm with just looking outside - but then it just slowly became more ridiculous. She went high and low in searching for the cat, while Claude freaked out. I don't understand why, considering she hadn't been gone for so long and he had told her to take a walk. Nonetheless, he ran outside and told everyone that he was frantically looking for Yune.

Indeed. What are you thinking?

Claude eventually found Yune on the roof. Really? That's where she decided to go in the search for a cat? Ugh. She lost her shoes, Claude yelled at her, she tripped and fell onto a glass ceiling, Claude yelled at her, and then the "truth" of his father came out. Claude resented the man for not being very warm and loving, and was still saddened by his accidental death - while working on the construction of the department store. Claude seemed to make his peace with his father's death, somehow, making up with Yune and promising that they'd go together to the department store eventually. Everything was tied up nicely. I hated it.

Foreshadowing to together-forever?

I really had no hope for this anime after the first few episodes and any slow climb to being good it displayed was absolutely destroyed with the final episode. It was more than ridiculous. There was no real emotion behind these stories, and everything seemed concocted just to end the anime "well". So terrible.