Ikoku Meiro no Croisee 9 – That Little Thing Called Love

It's sad to think that those stories are basically the only thing she's allowed to have.

I had been thinking over the course of this show that there was no way they’d take the realistic dark approach to Camille and Claude’s relationship, this is a happy slice of life after all, but quite honestly (even though the me that wants to see a happy ending is screaming inside) if they decided to do anything different I don’t think the conclusion of their little arc would have the same effect. It would basically cause all of Camille’s suffering for her sister’s freedom to be all for naught (something that was brought to me attention by Joojoobees). Sure she’d have her love, but what will her sister have to do as a result of her abandonment?

Once I realized this, it made all the more sense coming from Sato Junichi, who also worked on the masterpiece that was Aria (clearly that’s my biased opinion). Aria, while grand and somewhat fantastical in its approach, was always realistic. Sure it was constantly happy and optimistic, but it was only that way because we saw the world through Akari’s eyes. But even for Miss Dandy here, it can’t always be like that no matter how hard you try, and the ending to Aria shows this perfectly. You just got to lift your chin and move on. Good times are just around the corner.

Perhaps that’s what Camille is thinking.

I thought it was interesting that both Alice and Yune believe that Camille wears the corset for different reasons. Alice feels that her sister wears the corset for her future husband (‘cause you know men like ‘em curvy), and quite honestly that reason makes Camille’s particular situation not only look like she’s becoming something not because she wants to but it also makes her predicament appear quite bleak and hopeless. Really, there’s no uphill or downhill from here, it’s just one boring straight line. Yes, Camille could find herself married to a nice guy who will cherish her (after all men from this age are considered ‘gentlemen’) and if that does happen then all she’s got to do is return his feelings,  but if there’s nothing to her marriage but appearances and money then it’s going to be one boring relationship.

Yune’s presumption is a bit more difficult to understand. One could be that Yune recognizes that Camille is donning this constricting devise so that her sister doesn’t have to, or our little Japanese girl thinks Camille’s doing this for Claude in some way. How exactly, I’m not quite sure at the moment.

Camille’s little excursion through the Galerie Du Roy was something that was not shown in the manga, however it ended up actually helping to further illustrate Camille’s childlike love for Claude. It’s obvious she doesn’t want to lose him, but she’s also taken into account that if she’s seen with him – no matter if the escapade was her idea – it’ll always be Claude’s fault. Her statement alone is powerful enough but when you add her actions into the mix, you’ll find that she sincerely did not want to lose him.

She calls it her ‘right’ but does she even have that? Her parents would most definitely not approve of their friendship, so she doesn’t have the right, it’s nothing more than a secret that, when exposed, would deprive her of one of her only friends.

Funnily enough, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen a scene like this. There’s actually quite a few corset tightening scenes in Emma, but there’s one in particular that I would like to compare to Ikoku Meiro no Croisee.

Eleanor is William’s second love interest in the manga Emma, though she is unaware of her soon to be fiance’s love for another woman. She does everything for him, including enduring the tightening of the corset (you actually see her in a very similar situation as pictured above with Camille, i.e. tighten the strings of the corset to the point that the maid tells her it may not be wise). She basically puts herself through the ringer for this man, and even though she’s not the heroine you end up feeling bad for her – at least I certainly did. Eleanor’s doing this out of love for William, she’s following her emotions, and it all makes sense even though she doesn’t get her man.

Camille is the exact opposite of Eleanor. She’s thrown away all sense of emotion, thinking its better to live life like a game and in a way it probably does make things less painful for her. Does that make her smarter than Eleanor? In a way, yes it does, it certainly saves her from disappointment should it ever arise. But living life without emotion can’t be good for anyone. Like they say, bottling things up inside is not the way to solve one’s problems, it only hurts you more.

You can't tell me this face doesn't scream, "boy am I sick of all this crap"

If she isn’t doing this for love (you could say she does it out of love for her sister, but in this instance I mean her future husband), then I have no idea how Camille keeps up her steel like resolve. She hasn’t even debuted in society yet, meaning there aren’t any guys courting her or seeking her hand in marriage. I wonder if things will be easier then? Though I highly doubt it; when the man in question shows up, she’ll undoubtedly have to change even more to suit his specific needs.

That’s what I find amazing. Camille’s doing this without having some type of reason – other than duty of course. She’s not in love like Eleanor, she hasn’t even met her future husband, and yet she feels the need to push herself farther than necessary? I wonder if her father is someone like the Viscount in Emma… Then this would all make sense.

Well, until next week!

About Nishimura

An anime enthusiast who finds time to blog when she has no time to spare.
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5 Responses to Ikoku Meiro no Croisee 9 – That Little Thing Called Love

  1. Joojoobees says:

    Yes, in a way it is particularly sad that Camille endures what she does not for “love”, but for her family. I think she has been taught that there is a way things must be, and she has accepted it. I’m a bit confused as to why she thinks Alice can escape the same fate, however. She might be thinking that she is saving Alice, but it seems she was resigned to her fate even before that.

    • Nishimura says:

      Perhaps Camille’s just being naive, hoping that her sister doesn’t have to suffer like she had. However, realistically there is no way Alice can get away from her place in society. Sure, she doesn’t have to suffer through the problems that come from being the first born, like Camille does, but she will undoubtedly have to go through similar circumstances (not marrying for love, etc).

      And yes, Camille had already resigned to her fate even before Alice was born, you can see that in the flashbacks with Claude, but if she quits now all the problems she’s bearing will be pushed onto Alice. Alice would then be faced with the pressure that her older sister ended up a failure in societies eyes, thus being burdened with more expectations because Camille had failed. Having a younger sister just adds more incentive for her not to disappoint her family. At least that’s what I got from it.

  2. Joojoobees says:

    “but if she quits now all the problems she’s bearing will be pushed onto Alice.”

    That’s a good point. It certainly makes for a tense situation. Poor Camille!

    • Nishimura says:

      Can you imagine if this was an actual drama show and not slice of life? Camille would certainly get the short end of the stick, she’d probably get married to some jerk (though her falling in love with her future husband would cause drama for Claude) or would have suffered mental abuse as a child. If you think of it that way, she’s kind of lucky this is a slice of life show.

      • Joojoobees says:

        Ha hah! They are ALL lucky to be living in this show. As much as I love the Internet, If someone offered me the opportunity to swap places with Claude, I couldn’t dismiss the opportunity out of hand.

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