Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth -The Animation-
In the late 19th century, Yune, a young Japanese girl, travels to Paris with the help of a Frenchman named Oscar. Once she arrives, Yune takes a job in Oscar's nephew's metal shop. Claude is uneasy with hiring such a young girl and, at first, Yune has some trouble settling into her new surroundings. However, over time, these individuals find - in spite of their vastly different ages, cultures and pasts - a special common ground and understanding.
EpisodesExpand / Collapse All
- 1: Entrance Guest
- Late 19th Century Paris. One day, the sound of unusual shoes clip-clopping along echoed throughout the old-fashioned shopping center, Galerie du Roy. The sound was created by a young Japanese girl named Yune. Although Yune seems a little sad after coming all the way from Japan for her apprenticeship, her eyes sparkle with excitement as she meets people for the first time in the Galerie. Yune begins cleaning the shop right away. But while working, she has the strangest feeling that someone is spying on her through the shop window…
- 2: Cheese Guest
- Yune wakes up early in the morning so she can help cook, but she’s puzzled when she discovers that people in France don’t have warm miso soup and white rice like they do in Japan. There’s hard bread, stinky cheese and bitter coffee... Yune gets told that she doesn’t have to eat everything on her plate, but she wants to grow accustomed to French food. As such, she tries to take the leftover cheese with her. Claude is puzzled by Yune’s Japanese values…
- 3: Japanese Labyrinth Guest
- Claude is still unable to comprehend Japanese culture and has no idea what’s going through Yune’s mind. He asks Yune and Oscar various questions about Japan. They tell him about how Japanese homes are built around “tatami,” “water wells,” and “Japanese gardens”… The more Claude listens to their stories of Japan, the more confused he gets. At about the same time in the Blanche Residence, Alice, a daughter of the bourgeoisie family that owns the Galerie, gets a brand new kimono to add to her collection.
- 4: Water Light Guest
- In order to conquer the nasty cheese, Yune pulls out some soy sauce she brought from Japan. This black sauce is an unusual sight in France and Claude looks down at it disapprovingly, so Oscar suggests that Yune could make some Japanese cuisine. That night, Yune receives a bouquet of flowers and an invitation to a tea party at the Blanche Residence. Claude tells Yune she isn’t ready for this yet and has her turn down the invitation. Alice is unwilling to accept this turn of events and heads on over to Claude’s shop.
- 5: Lost Guest
- After Yune’s been in Paris for a while, she realizes that hardly anyone is coming by the store. Yune calls out to a lady passing by in the hopes of drawing her into the store, but the woman finds this behavior suspicious and runs off. “All you need to do is quietly watch the customers and make sure they don’t pull any funny business,” Claude explains. But Yune is confused by this concept since Japanese businesses always put the customer first. Just then, she catches a quick glimpse of someone just outside the store…
- 6: Crinoline Guest
- Alice is dying to invite Yune over to her mansion and has her carriage take her to Claude’s shop yet again. Alice wants to take a picture with Yune. At the Blanche Residence, Alice shows Yune a picture of her and her sister, Camille. It was taken when they were both still children. Even as a child, Camille wore crinoline stiffened petticoats. Although Alice speaks of her sister with great pride, Camille seems a little sad in the picture.
- 7: Skylight Guest
- While Yune is keeping watch over the store as usual, a poor-looking boy appears in front of the store. Yune offers him the leftover bread from breakfast and gently warns him to keep out of mischief. But Claude angrily chastises her, saying, “Children are incapable of understanding a warning like that since they’re savage beasts.” Yune is distraught by how differently people view children here than they do in Japan. Despite what he said, Yune hopes that she can get through to the child, even if just a little. But she’s been feeling poorly all morning…
- 8: A Child's Room Guest
- Claude reluctantly escorts Yune to a tea party at the Blanche Residence. After Alice takes Yune off somewhere, he enjoys a good conversation with Camille. Claude and Camille used to hang out together in the courtyard. Elsewhere, Yune tells Alice various Japanese fairy tales. As a sign of gratitude, Alice takes Yune to hers and Camille’s old childhood room. Now it’s her turn to tell Yune about her childhood.
- 9: Secrets Guest
- Yune and Claude get invited over to the Blanche Residence. Since Alice just got some Japanese tea, her and Yune enjoy a Japanese-style tea party in the courtyard. Meanwhile, Camille and Claude watch over them as they reflect on times past. They reflect on how simple life was when they were children.
- 10: Phantasmagoria Guest
- One of their best customers commissions a new sign and Claude must confront the design his father left behind. The next day, Claude leaves Paris to set up the arrangements. Yune tries her best to work hard while Claude is away, but comes across a device she’s never seen before. It makes it look as though there are things in the room that aren’t actually there—it’s a magic lantern image projector. The scenes projected remind Yune of how she used to play with shadow puppets in Japan.
- 11: A Prayer Guest
- The Grand Magasin is a cutting-edge giant department store. One day Alice invites Yune to the Grand Magasin, but Claude considers the department store an enemy of the Galerie. As such, he can’t bring himself to let her go. In exchange, he suggests they go out on a picnic. Later that day, Yune reflects back on how she would view flowers in Japan thanks to one of Oscar’s little pranks. Yune tells everyone stories from long ago about her and her big sister.
- 12: Cat on the Roof Guest
- Yune has grown somewhat accustomed to the Galerie and is able to go shopping with Claude now. One day Yune decides to help Claude with his work and uses some small cloves she finds in the workspace. However, those belonged to Claude’s belated father. Claude loses his temper and lashes out as he cries, “Get out of here!” After Claude cools down, he decides to check up on Yune, but he can’t find her anywhere in the shop.