Posted by psgels on 12 September 2011 with categories: Ikoku Meiro no Croisée



This episode increased Yune’s charms even more. It started with all kinds of hints towards Claude’s father, but eventually moved on to Yune confessing some bad experiences she had with her sister… while being rather tipsy. It was a really heart-warming scene. And at the same time we also pretty much know what the finale of this series will focus on.

Speaking of performances, Alicealso showed an interesting side of her when she wasn’t allowed to take Yune to the Grand Magazin. In fact, I have to give the overall cast a lot of praises for doing such a wonderful job of acting out the characters throughout the series. I think the only weak spot at this point is Claude, who has the tendency to just be a bit too angsty at some points. It’s up to the finale to make up for that.

An interesting part about this episode was also the theme of eye color. I actually was under the impression that Japanese people just had brown eyes, but Yune and her sister in particular seem to debunk that myth. I watched this episode raw so I might have missed something, but it’s still quite interesting that there are Japanese with such eye colors.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

7 Responses

  1. LilyGinnyBlack says:

    I haven’t watched this subbed yet myself, but I was able to figure out what was going on the moment I saw Yune’s sister’s eyes. While it is true that the majority of Japanese have dark eyes (either brown or black) there are a rare few that have brown colored eyes (and I think Yune has dark colored eyes, they just aren’t colored pitch black or brown, but they don’t stand out either).

    While Japanese culture and society would like to think of themselves as a completely homogeneous group known as the “Japanese,” their heritage is just as mixed as anyone other country, with a lot of mixture coming from Chinese and Koreans and Mongolians. Some Japanese also most definitely have Ainu (an indigenous group of peoples that lived on the island of Japan before the current day Japanese arrived there and who have lighter skin, rounder eyes, and a taller stature) blood in them.

    Some Japanese, especially around the time right before and after their period of isolation, probably gained some Dutch blood in them too. Since Japan still did very limited trade with the immediate outside world (China and Korea) as well at with the Dutch (they really liked the Dutch).

    So, blue eyes could stem from all of the above (apparently some groups of South Koreans are known to have blue eyes). Or it could just be caused by a mutation or defect in the genes.

    Some Japanese can even be natural red heads, though they are very rare and usually dye their hair black/brown in order to conform and fit in with the standard Japanese appearance.

    Getting back to the episode though, I really liked this episode and what it explored (even though I didn’t understand all of it, but I will watch it subbed soon). I am also looking forward to the next episode, this series was really just very sweet and calming.

  2. strawberrytea says:

    I think the blue eyes that Yune’s sister has are from defect. Actually, I think that maybe the eye color has something to do with her go blind, that the defect made it inevitable that she was going to go blind and the effect of it just progressed as she got older. Maybe it’s corneal opacity. People who go blind tend to have eyes that turn light. Similarly, light eyes can occur before and then later turn the eyes blind.

    So the next episode is going to be the last one. I’ve read all the translated manga chapters up to this point, and from the previews, I think I know where the final episode will be going. I’m a tad bit disappointed, but it’s a slice-of-life series, so I really shouldn’t be going into it with too much expectation for a climactic moment. The wonderful atmosphere and charming characters make up for it.

  3. petitorenji says:

    Everyone is obsessed with things (aka physical qualities) that they don’t have. The Japanese are not to be excluded. That’s why they keep pushing the boundaries to look for ways to excuse themselves into animating some of their race into having the “good” genetic or an unfortunate accidental defect of having lighter eyes, hair, or skin. These colors are more “exotic, pure, and elegant” to them, so to speak, and esp to girls. Yune’s very large eyes have a shade of dark moss green – “to give her more character,” a mangaka would say – aka to make a Japanese child look just as adorable as the French ones. If one speaks of lighting, she could easily have had dark brown eyes.

    This also applies to Rin and Iroha.

    When one’s eyes go blind, they shouldn’t be viewed as a beauty accessory because they’re lighter.

    I wouldn’t know about the Japanese being very mixed, as 99% of the Japanese are, well, Japanese, and I highly doubt Yune is an Ainu.

  4. Terry says:

    The Japanese are a mongoloid race which, as a professional matter, is a statement about physical features more than it is about genetic stock.

    Scientifically speaking, there is actually no measurable genetic difference between “subsets” of mongoloid races such as the Japanese, Koreans, Mongolians, Chinese, etc, even compared to Pacific Islander and American Indian – besides the normal variances you’ll find between individuals of any “race”.

    In fact, in the strictest terms, there are surprisingly negligible differences between humans of all races. Even the most sophisticated dna analysis in the United States can’t tell what a person’s race is.

    Racial genetics is actually a political study; and most biotech professionals regard it as such. Susceptibility to diseases, for example, is dependant on past medical history and imunization (related to geography), and personal lifestyle. Genetic diseases and deformities like sickle-cell anemia are found in any race and treated the same way regardless of race. So unless there is a practical reason that race-related genetics affects treatments and – ultimately – lives, tehn it is regarded as an inert factor.

    Hence, the “Mongoloid” racial distinctions are less about things empirical like “data-sets” or “sample-sizes” and more to do with appearances and racial-identity politics.

    For a large segment of Japanese, race is a matter of pride and face. They don’t like any implication that a “pure” descendant (whatever that means) of the Yamato race is indistinguishable from a person born of Chinese or Korean parents.

    Many have a visceral aversion to it as if being genetically similar to Chinese or Koreans is somehow an insult. *shrug*

  5. LilyGinnyBlack says:

    @petitorenji: I wasn’t saying that Yune was specifically Ainu mixed, I was talking about Japanese in general and one of the possibilities for why or where blue eyes could come from.

    Also, while 99% of Japanese are Japanese, what I meant by them not being as pure as they make their race out to be is that, well, I’m talking purely about ancestry and what has ended up “making up” the Japanese people, which is Korean and Chinese and etc. They have mixed blood in them, just like every other person out there, it just isn’t *as* mixed as some, but it isn’t as pure as the Japanese would like to believe either.

    After all, there is substantial evidence that some ancient Japanese rulers (during the Yayoi, Kofun, and etc. periods of Japan) were actually Korean. There are also a large amount of Korean and Chinese that got stranded in Japan after being held their as labor workers during the war, and have now mostly assimilated themselves into Japanese culture (claiming themselves to be Japanese, changing their names to a Japanese one, and etc.). Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that their blood isn’t (or wasn’t) completely “Japanese” though.

    In the case of Yune’s sister, however, since she is going blind then a mutation or defect does seem to be the most likely case. Especially since this series has been realistic in the hair and eye color department and rather realistic over all.

    Also, why Japanese draw anime and manga characters as mostly Caucasian is most likely for a variety of reasons: since anime was inspired originally by Disney that could have something to do with its origins, I’ve also heard that the Japanese try to relate better to the outside world through anime and manga by having characters that look Caucasian, going along with that, it is only through animation that they can really get diversity in what they are viewing since most Japanese share similar physical characteristics.

    It is also probably a combination of the fact that Japanese society is very restricting and conforming, it is only through anime and manga that you can really get or experience someone with bright pink hair or someone with gold eyes, those hair and eye colors could also be used to add the air and element of fantasy to the piece of work as well.

  6. petitorenji says:

    @ above comment(s)

    Aha. Those who were interviewed that question have done a good job brainwashing the viewers. Of couse they would say that they’re exaggerating the eyes because they were influenced by Disney; they want to be internationally recognized, etc. and all of those good lies.
    But seriously, look at Disney animation – the ones in the the 1930s, 40s, (decades which influenced anime the most) – the eyes are not “big” the eyes are expressive. These are two different things. Disney brought groundbreaking realism into the cinema – but they had to still had to implement caricatures and exaggerations as the simple technology had to make features (namely facial features) simpler. Look at anime girls: take their eye color and hair color/style away. Everyone would look the same, if not the same race. Their eye to head ratio and proportions are redundantly exaggerated, not like Disney – where the style helps the forming of the characters and the plot.
    Japanese society is not restricting anymore. It has always had a dichotomy between its constrictive traditions and its new hype trends. And Japan has embraced that very early on. There is no need to flaunt “self-expression” anymore. We live in a post-post-modern world.
    And of course race is a matter of pride. We have been taught by our teachers and politicians and parents that nationalism is fundamental to a well-formed society. And we have been taught by the media that the skinnier, wider-eyed you are, the more successful one would be.

  7. Terry says:

    @ petitorenji

    Many aspects of the art-form of animation are generated and then grafted by other imitators petitorenji. And though I don’t have a ready example at hand, I’m sure even Disney did this too.

    Warner Bros. comes to mind.

    However, vis a vis Japanese animators, it is a fact that cutesy “big eyes” weren’t anything new when the Japanese began to catch up in animation and even comic book production. Warner Bros. was among the first to use oversized eyes, noticing that its audiences thought them to be more comical. Disney later used this principle to great effect in its depiction of the Seven Dwarves in Snow White (itself the ground-breaking animation that changed the art-form forever).

    But what ultimately set the stage for the “cutesy” big eyes was the ultimate classic “cutesy” of them all:

    Bambi.

    Yes, Bambi exchanged his “big eyes” for “more expressive” and more realistic versions/proportions when he grew up, but the very idea of them being used to adore audiences was implemented by design in this movie (and accidentally in earlier animations).

    That is not to say that the Japanese didn’t graft this principle into their own animated works in the 1960s into films and episodic series like Leo the Lion (nearly 30 years after Warner Bros mass produced technique and 20 years after Disney perfected it) or that they didn’t develop some version of the original perfected artform (Bambi).

    It would, however, be rather small-minded and dishonest to pretend that Japanese animators to claim uniqueness or originality much as the Soviet Union once to credit for every invention from chewing gum to supercomputers.

    In truth, the artform is no more [and no less] original nor unique to Japan any more than “uniqueness” and “originality” can be attributed to the Japanese race and culture itself.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @Bam: They’d never allow bringing in toys/games/comics back when I was in school, they thought bringing in such things would make the kids of lower income families feel bad for not being able to afford things.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:31 PM)
    @Mario: He’s actually not a big fan of Iranian cinema, he told me before that he found most of it overly depressing.
    Now what you’re talking about there sounds like my kind of film.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:30 PM)
    @Bam: I’ll get back into the mainstream blockbusters thing as much as I used to be someday. someday….
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:28 PM)
    @Bam: Well, I guess I more brought up the being accused of hipsterism and contrarianism referring to the type of hypothetical person who would never be satisfied with how well you’d defend your opinion.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:25 PM)
    Thats the awkward thing though, when casting a superhero role, its difficult to find someone who can get both identities correct.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:23 PM)
    Bah implying toxic avenger and Italian spiderman aren’t the best superhero films OmO hahaha!
  • SuperMario
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 08:50 AM)
    Hey Bam, I remember attended a preview on one of an upcoming Iranian animated feature called The Last Fiction. it was inspired by the poem “Shahnameh” and from what I had seen so far, a very stylish, confident and “bloody” work. Expected to be complete in the end of 2017 thou.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:37 AM)
    Comic books were super rare and expensive in Iran, being banned and all. Rich kids in elementary would bring them to school to show them off, along with their Ninja Turtles action figures; they looked so cool and I was hella jealous. Me and my brother only had the bootleg Toxic Crusader figures lol
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:34 AM)
    @K-off: I didn’t read the comics either. I watched that weird 60s show, and Spiderman and the Amazing Friends, which had Firestar and the ice guy. I know his personality was quippy and kind of a wise-ass, and McGuire looks kinda like a rape victim of sorts. It was a lot better in costume, I admit.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:29 AM)
    I mean if we use the term fanboy for whenever someone feels strongly about something, then what’ll we have left for people who LARP and insist to be called by their WoW character names and dress up in gear and persistently speak in fake ‘Ol English?

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