Ikoku Meiro no Croisée – 08

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[IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_03.34_[2011.08.22_12.49.48] [IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_04.14_[2011.08.22_12.50.28] [IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_05.47_[2011.08.22_12.52.01]

A funny thing happened when Alice was introduced to this series.  She came in with much fanfare, brashly and forcefully tried to take over every scene she was in, and generally made a spectacle of herself.  But Alice was just the cover – her real impact was that Camille snuck into Ikoku Meiro, quietly in Alice’s slipstream.

This was an episode that was all about explanations, it seems to me,  and Claude and Oscar were rarely on-screen.  As such it was not nearly so entertaining or moving as the best episodes of this series have been, but it was undeniably interesting.  We learned a lot about not just both Blanche sisters but Claude Claudel, too, and their stories feel a lot more complicated than they did before this episode.

There’s very little deception to Alice.  She wears everything on her ruffled sleeve, and her idea of a clever plan is to boldly tell everyone exactly what she intends to do.  Her exchange of fairy tales with Yune was entertaining, and her story about the mysterious imaginary friend from the East and exploring the world on a dragon’s back did a lot to establish understanding, if not affection, for her character.

But given that Alice is such an open book, it’s almost inevitable that Camille would be far, far more interesting as a character.  Camille is a stark contrast to Alice in almost every facet of her nature.  She’s a riddle of layers upon layers, always (until this week) showing a regal and pleasing façade to the world to hide her true emotions.  But her past with Claude is complicated, indeed.  Oscar made allusions to it, under the metaphor of cats.  Camille clearly had a relationship of duration and deep affection with Claude, and just as clearly realized he could never be her husband.  Husbands, after all, should be chosen for the prosperity of the family – a fact she was only too happy to point out to Alice.

It’s easy to see why Claude was taken in by Camille’s charms – beautiful, seemingly kind, wealthy and exemplary in every way.  It’s just as easy to see why – being the prideful youth he is – Claude rebelled with his very soul at the notion of being a kept man.  A stray cat, which Camille prefers to a house cat.  Not only did this experience sour him on the Blanche family, but likely turned him into the angry young firebrand he is.

Easily the most compelling scene in the episode was the one between she and Yune in the playroom.  Camille is full of surprises, and between this scene and the brief exchange she had with Claude she really showed her teeth this week.  Camille’s harshness to Yune was initially quite shocking for seeming so out-of-character, but it’s less surprising upon reflection.  This is obviously a strong young woman, far more so than her sister.  Yet she also has every reason to be angry – she has to be mature and responsible enough for both Alice and herself, and she had to give up the boy she loved as part of that responsibility.  There’s a lot of envy in Camille – envy of Alice for her freedom and irresponsibility, and envy of Yune for being the new apple of Claude’s eye.

And there’s the real takeaway.  Yune is a threat to Camille, and how Camille ultimately responds is awfully important for the future of the story.  After her stern rebuke to Yune was met with a grit and solidity which surprised her, Camille seemed to soften and become more the gracious loser – even helping Yune into Alice’s old dress, the first Western clothes I’ve thought suited Yune.  Yune falling into an apology feedback loop with Camille was hilarious, but that was a question of superficialities – Yune held her ground on substance, and perhaps without even realizing it consciously (thought Camille does) seems to have developed strong romantic feelings for Claude.

[IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_14.57_[2011.08.22_13.01.23] [IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_16.20_[2011.08.22_13.02.46] [IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_18.45_[2011.08.22_13.05.11]
[IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_22.11_[2011.08.22_13.08.37] [IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_23.12_[2011.08.22_13.09.37] [IB] Ikoku Meiro no Croisée - 08 [720p] [8F5FA1F9].mkv_snapshot_23.30_[2011.08.22_13.09.56]
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13 comments

  1. K

    I said from day one it looked like YuneXClaude was gonna happen. Then Camille entered the picture and folks said no CamilleXClaude was what looked to be happening.

    It may still end up as Camille and Claude but I can't see that happening when Yune and Claude clearly have grown VERY CLOSE. I guess time will tell.

  2. L

    Wasn't this a slice of life series?!? Nooooo!!

  3. It's still slice-of-life! I don't really need all this extra drama, but at least Camille is interesting.

    I see Claude and Yune happening, though probably not in the anime timeline.

  4. K

    When Camille jumped in Yune's shit with both feet I thought WOW this girl is psycho mean. I wasn't expecting that. Then she eased up some and turned out to be nice after all giving her a dress.

    I realized she was just blowing off steam over the fact Yune is getting what she can't have (being an important person in Claude's life).

    I mean she could go against her father and their station in life to be with Claude but I don't see that kinda drama happening in an easy going slice of life series like this series is.

  5. L

    I will admit camile is an interesting character but it is sad that she is realistic enough to not even dream of a future she wants for herself. That kind of stress can build up alot of frustration especially when she is used to hiding her feelings. I can see why she took it out on yune (I didnt approve of it) on the one hand her sister is carefree and yune has claude attention and affection.
    I like that yune was able to understand camile feelings, its almost like she as a woman can understand the restrictions she has in her life.
    Now from claude perspective I can see why he was offended by her comment when they were children (I cant blame camile for being alittle self-fish here since they only thing she can hope for with him is as a lover) he was still a kid and he thought she was belittling his station in life as if he cannot go any higher. He doesnt seem too interested in rebuilding a relationship with her and is only there for yune sake.

  6. L

    also alice is coming on as a really likeable character =).

  7. l

    " Camille snuck into Ikoku Meiro, quietly in Alice’s slipstream."

    Now you're misleading me into thinking this is sci-fi. I would have to say that after this episode, I like to watch episode 4.5 more and more now.

    I know that Yune X Claude is more possible now but I wouldnt rule out Camille X Claude just yet. So far Yune X Claude, none of them knew what are they feeling are. They probably think somewhere like respect and admiration. On the other hand, Camille X Claude knew that they love each other but have a large obstacle in between. However did you remember what Alice said? Having extra-marital affair seem like an option, but knowing Claude he will reject which explain why the hatred toward money and Blanche family.

    I really hope that this anime will proceed more than just simple slice of life. Although being just that is interesting enough for me.

    YUNE!! FTW

  8. Z

    I don't think CamilleXClaude really have a chance, mostly because Claude broke off their relationship on a bad note and doesn't seem to want to connect with her again. Camille on the other hand seems to be carrying more then a few lingering feelings with how her jealousy towards Yune slipped out. But what Camille said when giving the dress can be seen as her handing over Claude to Yune. So with Camille giving up on Claude and he giving up on her when he was a kid, so would I consider that ship pretty decisively sunk.

  9. Probably. Where if it were Alice in love with Claude she'd plow ahead like a battering ram regardless of consequences, Camille sees that as unfit for a lady of her station so she concedes gracefully. The scene with Yune was a rare moment of her facade cracking, because she certainly does chafe under the restrictions she lives under.

    Still – all Claude could ever be to her is a secret lover. I don't think he'd accept that kind of relationship anyway. Did they ever consummate their relationship before they "broke up"? Interesting question.

  10. t

    Whoah,I"m gonna have to rewatch this episode because to me Camille never seemed like she at any point handed over Claude,something might have gone over my head.

  11. totoum, I think the scene with Yune & Camille is the key one. Because Camille speaks in code like people of her station did in those days (heh) it's a subject of interpretation. I think "handed over" may be a bit too strong, but I do think she acknowledged Yune as worthy both as a rival and as a person.

  12. l

    GUYS, episode 4.5 subbed is out. Go get it now.

  13. I got it, Ikaze! But Thursday is a crazy day for me with work and blogging, so likely I won't watch it till the weekend.

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