Ikoku Meiro no Croisee – Phantasmagoria

Hey minna,
back to relish what little time we have left with sweet Yune. If you’re like me, you had to look up what “Phantasmagoria” meant, it’s quite fitting: “a series of real or imaginary images like that seen in a dream”.  This episode, on the surface, may not seem to have much in the way of plot development, but I see some beneath the surface. We get a deeper look into Claude’s past, specifically, his father.

The episode begins casually, with Claude at work designing new signs, as Yune stumbles upon him looking through some of his father’s work from his portfolio.  This begins a series of flashbacks centered around Claude and his father, who, while a diligent worker, didn’t seem to be a kind teacher to Claude, at one point even brushing Claude aside from his own work and doing it himself.  Claude spends much of the episode internally contesting with his father in a way.

Claude needs to leave for the day to meet with a client for a new sign (this client wanted Claude to do it because of his father’s work on his previous sign), and tells the client, if he wants one of his father’s signs, he’s out of luck.  A kind of “I’m not my father, I’m my own person” attitude hangs over him for most of the episode.  He even gets temporarily upset at Yune for suggesting that if his father were still alive, they could see who was better.

Meanwhile, Oscar keeps  Yune and Alice entertained with a slide projector found in the storage room.  They even invite the entire gallery at one point to enjoy a show, complete with drum roll.  These shows remind Yune (who was an adorable kid, if I may add) of playing shadow puppets with her sister in Japan. So it was a past-tense episode for more than just Claude. But the slide show also shows that Alice, who was once thought to be an enemy of the gallery (even I didn’t care for her much, and didn’t trust her until recently), was really becoming one of the family. This begins to tie into what I theorize will be the ultimate ending of the series, that a general “coming together thanks to a new friend” story is taking place.

I still can’t get enough of Yune. She’s too cute, if nothing else, if you’re not into plots or the warm and fuzzy storylines, the characters should at least keep anyone happy.  Yes, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee can be defined as a “cute” series, but it’s cute in its own way.  Yune will definitely be a moe-figure that’ll be hard to beat.

Episode 10 ends with Yune seeing a kind of ghost of Claude’s father, watching over him as he works on new signs.  Even though Claude may despise him a bit, he still wishes he were there, working alongside him, after all, every son just wants the approval and praise from his parents.

The next episode, “Prayer”, seems to follow a part from the manga where Claude, Yune, and Oscar tour Paris.  Definitely some comedy to found, trust me. But some character development also takes place. But unless something else gets added to the episode, I’m worried the ending will be crammed into the final episode…I hope not.

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Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

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