This was quite the interesting episode. For one, Alice made no appearance whatsoever, so the creators aren’t trying to overuse her, but this episode also went another step further in its analysis of the cultural differences between France and Japan. Previously it discussed things like different foods and climate,but this time it really looked at the people: how they act towards each other and strangers.
Beyond that, Yune also had the bad luck to get lost in the middle of a rainy day where everyone would be rather pissed off, but I’m actually surprised at how she thought that talking to strangers with a smile will catch their attention: my impression of Japan (and do correct me if I’m wrong here) was that it’s very difficult to talk to strangers, in an “everyone’s minding their own business”-kind of way, even more than what’s common in Europe.
The shop scene pretty much nailed it though: I was also really surprised when I first found out that Japanese shop keepers tend to really flock to you and try to assist you in every way. Beyond that, this episode also addressed the poverty in the area quite subtly as an introduction: we’ve seen that young boy before, and only now he just makes his move, actually taking advantage of Yune’s niceness.
Oh, and in the meantime this show is also doing quite a good job in fleshing out its characters. The Aria-esque parts where Claude explains how important his grandfather is to him also really worked here, and this episode pretty much did that with the rest of the cast as well
Rating: ** (Excellent)