Later this month my brother is going on vacation to the elegant and sophisticated Paris! The one in France! He’s going to see the Eiffel Tower (the real one, not the one in Las Vegas) and the Louvre, and the Seine (that’s a river!). He’s going to drink wine and eat croissants! He’s going to ride a bicycle with flowers and a baguette in the front basket! He might even wear a barrette hat! It’s going to be an epic trip. Yay! — And he’s not taking me with him. Aaaaawe, Boo!
So as he’s gazing at the wonders of the European world, I’ll be stuck at home watching anime. Okay, that actually doesn’t sound that bad. But it’s not the same as going to Fraaaaaaaaance! Did you hear that whine? I need some French cheese to go with it! So while grumbling and whining about my lack of Euro vacay, I got to thinking. What anime would give me that Euro-tasic French feeling? What anime would sweep me away to the French country side? What anime was filled to overflowing with frilly dresses and ancient buildings looming in the background? What anime would be as sweet and delightful as French pastries? What anime would take me to the land of smelly cheese and rude waiters? Wait, no, I can skip that last part!
So if you are also missing out on an epic European vacation in the last days of Summer, here are some anime that might at least help you dream of a French escape of your own!
Yumeiro Patissiere is an anime about a middle school girl named Ichigo that isn’t really great at anything. She’s kind of clumsy, she doesn’t have any special hobbies or talents, and even her family doesn’t really expect much from her. To make matters worse, her little sister is a piano prodigy! Her younger sibling is the star of the family and her parents dote on the little girl while pretty much ignoring Ichigo and only seeing her as a chaotic annoyance. But Ichigo’s life changes forever, when she enjoys some cake at a cafe convention. The cake baker is so impressed by Ichigo’s acute taste for sweets that he invites Ichigo to attend a baking school! A branch of the same French baking school that her grandmother (a famous master baker) attended! Ichigo’s sweet adventure in the world of French pastries is filled with school crushes, competition, and even a little magic! Oo, la la!
Crois`ee in a foreign Labyrinth
This is a cute slice of life anime about an old French grandpa that comes back to France from a trip to Japan and brings with him a little girl in a kimono. The two travelers return to the grandpa’s old metal working shop in Paris, where the little girl from Japan (Yune) meets the surly grandson Claude. In general the metal working shop is run by the grandson, and he doesn’t have any time or patience for the free spirit of his grandpa or the innocent clumsiness of Yune. Though at first Clause seems quite adamant about sending Yune back to Japan, the little girl slowly wins him over with her determination and helpful intentions. After her stumbling beginnings in the metal shop, Yune slowly learns about her new neighborhood and charms the hearts of people that live near her new Paris home!
Gosick is about a Japanese foreign exchange student (Kazuya Kujo) who transfers to a boarding school in a French-esque country called Sauville in the 1920’s. He quickly gains the nickname “The reaper that comes in spring” by his classmates due to one of many folktales that are well known in the local community. Getting annoyed by his unwarranted bad reputation, he heads to the school library to learn more about the local fairy tales. That’s where he meets Victorique, the loli sleuth of the series. Instead of going to class, she spends her time reading books on the top floor of the library and gobbling down sweets when she isn’t solving unsolvable mysteries. As the story progresses it starts to focus more on Victorique’s serious family issues. Like, that her father is a Marquis, an extremely powerful political figure next to the royal family, and an occult nutcase that thinks the more he torments his daughter the better she will be at predicting the future.