Period piece anime does tend to show up over the years in interesting places, such as this past years Gosick and earlier incarnations such as Emma, Chrono Crusade and Baccano! all working fairly recent history, at home and abroad. The latest one that hits this summer is that of Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, a twelve episode series that takes place in the late 19th century. Focusing on how Western influence is starting to make an impact Japan, it focuses on a young Japanese girl named Yune and a Frenchman named Oscar. Yune is accompanying him on his trip back to France with the intent to work in his family’s ironwork shop in Paris. The story of a young Japanese girl leaving the country to go to Paris to live and work, and to get to know a very different kind of man than she’d find in Japan, forms the crux of the show. Bringing her cultural sensibilities to Paris is a very pleasant change from how it’s usually the other way around with foreigners coming to understand Japanese culture and the two finding a balance in that direction.
The show is based off of the manga La Croisée dans un labyrinthe étranger by Hinata Takeda that ran for two volumes beginning in 2007. The anime has quite an interesting pedigree to it as the animation production is being done by Satelight based off of a series composition by Junichi Sato. Sato has done innumerable series over the years with many of them being very popular shows in the US, though even more have a cult status. THe series is being directed by Kenji Yasuda who has done individual episode direction for the most part, but handled the directing chores for Shugo Chara! and its two follow-ups in varying capacities.