30 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Natsume Yuujinchou San and YuruYuri first impressions


Because sometimes I don’t have enough to say on each title to warrant an entire post of its own.

Ikoki Meiro no Croisee

LOOK AT THE TEENY TINY HANDS!!! *cough* Ikoku Meiro feels rather unpolished. There’s a fair amount of eyebrow raising moments in the first episode alone that made me wonder if the creators were actually thinking about what they were doing. The most obvious example is the teeny tiny girl with those miniscule hands oh god they’re so cute speaking in Japanese. Or was it French? She’s meant to appear not to understand French, yet she talks to the gormless male lead midway through the episode without him apparently being able to catch on that she can speak French. Or Japanese. The language barrier got me all confused as to whether the reason the gormless male lead couldn’t wrap his thick head around the concept that because she spoke French, she could understand French, or whether she was actually speaking Japanese this whole time. This made the conflict in the episode come off as strange and confusing, because it was difficult to understand what the conflict was arrising from in the first place.

Not that the creators particularly care about the conflict. Nor do they particularly care about that much of a realistic depiction of 19th century France. This comes from the same logic banks Gosick did. The fascination with the era comes less from a historical interest and more from a ‘look at dem pretty clothes’ interest. The whole logic behind the plot strikes me as a bit fucked up too, taking some little girl from Japan to stand around and look pretty in their shop. But all the creators really care about is how cute the little girl is. And she is indeed really fucking cute, what with those teeny tiny hands. So if you’re the kind of person who can watch something based on sheer cuteness alone, then go nuts. I need something a bit more substantial than shallow cuteness, being the big stinking elitist that I am, and Ikoku Meiro hasn’t put much thought into any other area of the production. Props for getting a proper French speaker for the title screens though.

Natsume Yuujinchou San

I still don’t quite get why people go utterly gaga for Natsume Yuujinchou. The soothing atmoshpere it’s so often praised for seems to stem from a echoey narration from Natsume himself about what had literally just happened before he started narrating. It’s been referred to as Mushishi-lite, which I kinda understand, but the ‘lite’ part means it removes the eerie and slightly oppressive  side that Mushishi excels in, leaving not an awful lot left. The show has this taste for introducing a new character as though they’re important and keep treating them as though we’re meant to care about them, when ultimately all they do is hover around in the background and wave at Natsume when he goes to school.

However I feel like a bit of a dick for railing against Natsume Yuujinchou. I like the show. The return of Nyanko is certainly welcome. Each of the stories are generally agreeable and heart-warming. There’s rarely any change in theme to these stories, usually being simple little tales of loneliness, but there’s enough variation between them that it doesn’t get old. This season is more of the same. OK, this episode was a bit heavier on the exposition than was necessary, and the very final twist wasn’t that well executed, but the story of the yokai was the same old heartwarming tale of loneliness that is this series bread and butter. So good for all you Natsume fans. And good for me too, I guess. I just wish Brains Base would make another Durarara sometime soon…


A work of pure brilliance. Such a seemingly simply yet ingenius twist on a well known tale. The effort gone into this is immense. Each scene is brimming with energy and charm, yet it has this underlying tone and message that cuts straight through to the heart in a way that’s difficult to describe. Each character is memorable in their own unique ways, playing off each other, leaving as much unsaid through their actions and non-actions, leaving you to reach beneath the characters to discover what their true feelings are. Each line is brimming with wit and crafted so expertly, occasionally with parodies so subtle that I found myself rewinding the video to check if they really just said that. It’s mature, clever, funny and there’s nothing else quite like it out there. Outstanding piece of work.

Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the same cute girls grope each other while doing absolutely nothing anime that Japan has been shitting out for the past few years. Lalala nothing to see here

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  1. Morridin
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Heh, having read a review of Yuriyuri on another site I raised an eyebrow at the first sentence. “Wha… wait a goshdarn minute….”.

  2. Nop
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    No Ro-kyu-what-z-it review? :<

    • mcm38
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      That thing is an abomination to morality. Geez, all those producers sucking up to the lolis out there in Japan.

  3. V
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée était intéressant pour moi. Yune est tellement mignon et j’admettrai que j’étais perplexe par les langues aussi. Pourquoi lui acheter un livre d’images en Français s’ils avaient compréhension tout ce temps? Bizarre. :P

    Ikoku Meiro no Croisée was interesting enough for me. Yune is just so adorable and I’ll admit I was confused about the languages thing too. Why buy her a French picture book if they’d been understanding each other this whole time? Strange.

    Also, I love the French in this series. They are really tall. Or maybe it’s Yune being ridiculously tiny.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 7, 2011 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      >read first paragraph
      >surprisingly understand 90+% of it
      >read second paragraph
      Déjà vu. Sadly my French is no longer good enough to actually reply in French, so fuck it. English I go. Scamp will thank me.

      Why buy her a French pic­ture book if they’d been under­stand­ing each other this whole time?

      Clearly, they did not understand each other this whole time.

      Also, I love the French in this series. They are really tall. Or maybe it’s Yune being ridicu­lously tiny.

      I think both. The Europeans in this show are very tall, and Yune is very, very small and tiny. Also, Japan thinks that France is filled with blue-ish eyed, blonde tall people. Clearly they think Germany still owns France and filled it with Übermenschen.

  4. mcm38
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    She realy was cute! Also note, there was not a single french gal sighting in the series.
    But I was able to follow trough with the language barrier troughout the episode. She only started talking french at the end when he said he was gonna get back her mothers memento.

    Was that another tsundereview, about the yuri thing?

    • mcm38
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Btw, title of the post: Croisée*; Natsume*

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Croisee was so moe I grew a nutbladder only for it promptly to explode all over the computer screen.

    There’s also a character named Camille, which is the exact same spelling as my name so…

    I watched a few episodes of Natsume, but it just bored me to fucking tears so i loldropped.

    Why did you watch YuyuYuri if you know it was going to explode your brain. Is it just me or do these characters that Japan shits out not even look that nice? At least in K-ON, the characters looked nice. These characters look way too shiny and weird.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Oh so you grow nutbladders! I thought you bought them at the asian market. Any idea where you can buy the seeds? I’d rather like to have one myself. They sound like they’re important to enjoying cute things.

      I watche YuruYuri just in case. You never know. Kannagi shocked me the season it came out by being watchable

  6. Posted July 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I cared more about the atmosphere presented in Ikoku Meiro than the girl?

    • romulus
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      LOL ELITIST DETECTED! (Seriously, the show was about a loli+some French to get viewers. Don’t let some generic europeanness wheedle you.)

      • Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        More like a slice of life fag. I read the manga anyway, I’m too lazy to watch this as much as the atmosphere makes me melt. ;_;

  7. 3242
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that language barrier confused me alot too…
    there should of been some little mark in the corner to indicate when they were supposedly speaking french, at least :/

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      That would have helped immensely. Or some kind of different sound to the voices when they’re talking Japanese. idk, anything to distinguish the two

      • AzarelHikaru
        Posted July 6, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink

        I picked it up by observing how she spoke. The first few parts of the episode she was speaking in a stilted manner, never more than a few words at a time. I took that for her speaking in token French phrases or something, so she didn’t seem fluent. But when she pleaded with him about the kimono, she spoke many sentences in one go, so it proved her fluency. Something like that.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 7, 2011 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      Why would they require a mark when they say at the beginning of the episode that SHE DOES NOT SPEAK FRENCH TO TRICK THE BOY? Then they follow with several scenes where she’s speaking with the boy clearly not having a single clue about what she is saying until suddenly she calls out to him as he leaves her bedroom and he is surprised. Oh my. Clearly that’s the point where she spoke French and he understood her. The boy didn’t magically get superpowers to understand Japanese for crying out loud. It would have taken you at worst only 3 braincells worth of activity to have understood that. You need to use more braincells to even eat, have you starved recently or something?

  8. romulus
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Is there any anime which the tsudereview under Yuruyuri applies for??
    BTW I really need the harsness of Scamp’s recent reviews because I plan to watch a ton of anime this summer and with 3 shows continuing from spring I have to send about 90% of the now premiering shows to blazes. Thanks for ‘solving’ me the french+loli=drop equation, I will read the other reviews too. Unfortunately J.C.GenericMaleLead and sunRise,mechas! got through my net.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I really should add that tsundereview tag to this post

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 7, 2011 at 2:11 am | Permalink

      the french+loli=drop equa­tion

      Unfor­tu­nately J.C.GenericMaleLead and sunRise,mechas! got through my net.

      You have the shittiest net to have ever been used to sieve the good shows from the bad. Or you’re just using it wrong. The stuff that falls through the net is the substance-less crap that you should ignore, and the stuff that remains in the net, like Ikoku Meiro no Croisée and Natsume 3, is the stuff you should check out, not the other way around.

      • romulus
        Posted July 8, 2011 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        Yeah, I think those two will be deleted when the shows I actually expect will be aired. Sacred Seven has a cool protagonist, Memo-chou has some diversity from the usual J.C. stuff (that touch of darkness, the murder was not a joke, as I like it). this stuff usually depletes when they get to the second ep.
        But the alternatives you offer won’t work. I haven’t seen the Natsume prequels, and a show with nothing but a cute girl and French even in the pilot ep won’t amuse me for sure.
        Again, the stuff I really wait for is Usagi Drop, No.6, PenguinDrum and Nekogami Yaoyorozu.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 9, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink

        My point is, from what I gather, you check out the obviously crappier shows yourself, and then drop the better shows without sampling. So toss that net away and actually try the first episode of Croissée, to at least balance those two crappier shows you tried. Good to see you’re waiting for the Noitamina and mysterious Penguin show though (now that they’ve aired, I should go and watch them)

        An aside, have you tried the first season of Natsume?

  9. a tree in the sky
    Posted July 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    have u really watched all episodes of Gosick?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      nope =D

  10. Posted July 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Some of us just want pretty clothes.

    How have you been Scamp?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Quite well, thank you~

  11. Anonymous
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    In regards to Ikoku Meiro no Croisée: Scamp, you’re a dumb idiot if you’re serious. She speaks Japanese most of the episode till the point where the boy confronts her in her bedroom about giving away the yukata. She stops him from leaving by speaking French out of, to that boy, nowhere. This was made very clear in the episode by making the boy believe she can’t understand French and at best speaks a few words like “oui” and “non”. Of course this was a lie, which the boy realizes when she calls out to him and he stops in his tracks clearly surprised. She’s probably never going to speak Japanese again in the show though, so don’t worry your little head about it anymore.

    Judging from the rest of your ideas about the show you clearly missed everything about the show safe for the fact that the girl is cute. If you ask me you need to get your priorities straight and stop being a paedophile. There’s more to the show than the cute girl being cute. And your elitist charade isn’t fooling anyone worth their salt.

    In regards to Natsume Yuujinchou San: Still the same old, same old. Yes. Great relaxing anime with heartwarming stories. Seems to me we might also be getting some more development of Reiko, which is cool.

    the very final twist wasn’t that well executed

    It wasn’t really a twist you know. The show slowly eased into the story between the old spirit and Reiko.

    I just wish Brains Base would make another Dur­arara some­time soon…

    More Baccano! first please.

4 Trackbacks

  • […] just needs an incredibly cute girl to help him remember the softer side of his character (*cough* SCAMP). … I just really hope Claude and Yune aren’t meant to be a romantic pairing because – […]

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  • By Anime Review: Yuruyuri Episode 1 | This Euphoria! on September 29, 2011 at 4:17 am

    […] “Yes, you guessed it right. It’s the same cute girls grope each other while doing abso­lutely noth­ing anime that Japan has been shit­ting out for the past few years. Lalala noth­ing to see here.” – The Cart Driver […]

  • […] “But all the cre­at­ors really care about is how cute the little girl is. And she is indeed really fuck­ing cute, what with those teeny tiny hands. So if you’re the kind of per­son who can watch some­thing based on sheer cute­ness alone, then go nuts. I need some­thing a bit more sub­stan­tial than shal­low cute­ness, being the big stink­ing elit­ist that I am, and Ikoku Meiro hasn’t put much thought into any other area of the pro­duc­tion.” – The Cart Driver […]

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