Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth

Go To

It's the late 19th century, and Japan has recently emerged from its self-imposed isolation. As the nation starts to take an interest in the wider world, so too does the wider world take interest in Japan.

Paris, France. In the trading emporium Galerie du Roy, there is an iron-crafting shop, Enseignes du Roy. The emporium, and the shops inside, have seen better days.

Enseignes du Roy is currently run by a young man named Claude. His grandfather, Oscar, has recently returned from Japan with an unexpected addition, a young girl called Yune.

Yune doesn't know what to make of France. Claude doesn't know what to make of Yune. They're going to find out together.

Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth (Ikoku Meiro no Kurowāze, lit. "The Crossroads of a Foreign Maze") is a manga by Hinata Takeda which was serialized from 2006 to 2011, starting out in Dragon Age Pure before moving to Monthly Dragon Age in 2009. It was made into an anime for the summer 2011 season.

There's also a spinoff manga, Ikoku Meiro no Alice-chan, spotlighting Alice's adventures with Yune.


  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Yune was a child, she wished that her older sister could only see her because the latter feared being looked upon due to her blue eyes. Her older sister later became ill and blind, making Yune convinced that her sister's condition is all her fault.
  • Berserk Button: Claude certainly has quite a few.
  • Bilingual Backfire: Claude and Oscar think that Yune can't understand French, so Claude ends up saying some rather callous things in front of her thinking she won't understand. Yune does in fact speak French, though, but is too polite to say anything about the insults.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted with Claude's father's death and Yune getting seriously injured during the Grand Magasin's fire in Chapter 8.
  • Boy Meets Girl
  • Bridal Carry: Claude does this briefly to Yune in Chapter 5 when she's missing her geta sandals and later in Chapter 8 when one of her geta sandal straps snap while Claude and she try to escape the crowd.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor:
    • When Oscar slips some red wine in Yune's drink to substitute for sake in Chapter 7 (in the manga) and Episode 11 (in the anime), Yune gets quite sleepy for a bit and talks about her older sister.
    • One of the Picture Dramas also has Yune eating an entire plateful of macarons infused with alcohol. She wakes up not remembering her hilarious exchange with Claude and even forgets that she ate the macarons at all.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: When they were children, Camille confessed that she was in love with Claude, but still wanted him to visit and play with her even if she got married to someone else. It's unknown what Claude thinks of Camille, but it's clear that there is some tension between them and Camille's words seem to easily influence Claude.
  • Childhood Friends: In Chapter 6, it's revealed that Claude and Camille are childhood friends.
  • Cool Old Guy: Oscar.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: In appearance only. Yune's older sister Shione has pale blue eyes that frighten people because no one else in Nagasaki has them. She is often shunned as a result.
  • Culture Clash: Half the point. Yune does all kinds of things that Claude just can't wrap his mind around like give up her late mother's kimono.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Both Yune and Alice have one, for no particular reason.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Both Claude and Yune have this.
  • Early Animation: In-universe. Oscar and his friends make a performance, a zoetrope and magic lantern show, to impress the neighbors.
  • Expressive Hair: Yune has her moments, including her first attempt at drinking coffee
  • Family Business: Enseignes du Roy.
  • Fish out of Water: The central premise.
  • Foreign Queasine:
    • Yune swears she likes cheese and coffee, but it's quite obvious to everyone that the opposite is true.
    • Claude's reaction to Japanese food. He ends up trying to follow Yune's example, though.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Yune's older sister Shione is mentioned quite a few times before Yune's past with her is revealed.
    • The Grand Magasin is briefly mentioned before it becomes a plot point in Chapter 7 and Chapter 8.
  • Gratuitous English: In the second episode, when Yune's asking the names of vegetables, Claude answers with their English names rather than French names. It's hard to tell though whether or not that's just because modern Japanese uses the English word anyway.
  • Gratuitous French: For the most part justified, since after all they're in France. Every once in a while a French word is slipped into the conversation when there's a perfectly good Japanese word for it, though—for example, "Japonaise" in the first episode.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Claude.
  • Hot-Blooded:
    • Claude. He has a tendency to get mad at Yune a lot if she does things that he doesn't understand or he finds offense to, but once he cools down, he realizes his error and apologizes.
    • Yune herself also tends to get really stubborn about things, and is not easily swayed in that mode.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: It's not that the men are big. It's that Yune's so small. Japanese people are typically a bit shorter than Europeans (Oscar says he felt a bit like a giant when he was in Japan), but Yune is still exceptionally small.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Alice to Yune.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Claude
  • Kimono Is Traditional: Yune wears nothing but kimono.
  • Meaningful Name: Yune means "the sound of hot water." Her older sister Shione's name means "the sound of an ebbing tide."
  • Memento MacGuffin: Yune's late mother's kimono.
  • Mood Whiplash: There's a lot in this series, but notably Chapter 8.
  • My Greatest Failure: Yune considers her older sister's weak health and blindness her fault, while Claude considers his father's death his fault as well.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Galerie Du Roy, as seen in the series, appears to be based on Galerie Du Roi in Brussels.
  • Occidental Otaku: Alice is obsessed with Japan, eagerly collecting any Japanese memorabilia she can. She doesn't know what half of it is, though.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the first episode/chapter, Yune's sleeve catches on a butterfly piece designed by Claude's father before he died. It smashes to the floor and everyone freezes. Claude is... disappointed, going as far as saying to Yune that she should go back to Japan. At the time, however, Claude thought Yune didn't understand French.
  • Ojou: Alice and Camille.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Alice.
  • Older Than They Look: Yune is thirteen years old. Claude thought she was ten.
  • Parental Abandonment: Yune's mother is dead and her father isn't mentioned; Claude's father is dead and his mother left to live with another man.
  • Pet the Dog: The boy who stole the candlestick later brings Yune flowers/weeds after learning she had gotten sick.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Almost all of the French characters are blond-haired with blue or green eyes.
  • Pimped-Out Dress:
    • Yune's kimonos often fall under this, but the one she is introduced in takes the cake.
    • Also Alice and Camile's dresses.
  • Plucky Girl: Yune. To Determinator levels in Chapter 8 when she attempts to escape the Grand Magasin during the fire through a window, falls and gets multiple injuries, but still manages to play a shamisen in spite of it to hide her pain and in hope that Claude will hear it and find her.
  • The Promise:
    • Claude promising Yune that he will become someone worthy of her trust, and Yune promising Claude that she'll never let go of anything dear to her again.
    • As children, Camille asks Claude to promise that he'll still come and play with her, even if she gets married.
    • Claude promising to pick Yune up at the entrance of the Grand Magasin, should they get separated inside. Considering that Yune gets locked in a room, a fire breaks out in the department store, and there's a stampeding mob everywhere, Claude has to go looking for Yune, while Yune tries looking for Claude.
  • Proper Lady: Camile
  • Real-Place Background: Paris is depicted rather faithfully, except for the Galerie itself, which is based on one in Brussels.
  • Rich Bitch: Alice, although she's leaning towards the "with a heart of gold" variety.
  • Scenery Porn: The opening is just a sample of it.
  • Sick Episode: Chapter 4 in the manga, Episode 7 in the anime.
  • Slice of Life
  • Spiritual Successor: To ARIA.
  • Stepford Smiler: Both Yune and Camille have their moments.
  • Street Urchin: There is one in particular whose given emphasis on occasionally.
  • Super-Deformed: In Ikoku Meiro no Alice-chan, everyone is depicted this way. Also happens on occasion in the anime.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Hilariously in Chapter 3.
    [Oscar enters a room to find Claude and Yune cleaning the floor]
    Claude: Grandfather! At such a time!! Don't come in! The basement isn't soaked with water! There's nothing to see!
  • Tragic Keepsake: Claude's father's gloves.
  • Translation Convention: Both French and Japanese are rendered as Japanese. This is... confusing, to say the least, at least in the first episode (since Yune responds to Japanese and not French).
  • Tsundere: Claude has his moments.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Yune, often in ways that Claude really can't understand. Also, Yune's older sister Shione.
  • Yonkoma: Ikoku Meiro no Alice-chan is pretty much this, though it's usually one large panel and four smaller ones per page.

Alternative Title(s): Ikoku Meiro No Croisee