Type: TV Series
Episode Count: 12
Genre: Slice of Life / Comedy
Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 12 Jan 2015
This series is also known by its abbreviated name: Kinmoza!
The formula is familiar, but the secret ingredient is the key.
It’s a cultural exchange as Shinobu and Alice meet for the second time when Alice, who hails from England, transfers to Shinobu’s school in Japan to be reunited with her friend from childhood. Several years earlier, Shinobu had travelled to England as an exchange student and did a homestay with Alice’s family, and the two soon became friends. Now the two are reunited, and the fun of daily life ensues with Shinobu, Alice, and their friends Aya, Yoko, and Karen.
Strawberry Marshmallow meets K-ON!, complete with an English girl and a girl with Azunyan twintails. The key to enjoying these kinds of shows is knowing the characters, so here is a brief rundown:
Shinobu (who goes by the nickname Shino) is a hardcore Anglophile, obsessed with all things English. She also finds blonde girls irresistible. Alice is English and blonde, and adores all things Japanese, so you can probably figure out how she and Shino get along. Alice is also very small for her age, being a tenth-grader. Yoko is rowdy and speaks her mind. Aya is shy and reserved, and has a bit of a crush on Yoko, despite their opposite personalities. Finally, there is Karen, who is half-Japanese and half-English and speaks in somewhat broken Japanese (often adding a long, drawn out -desu to the end of her sentences or injecting random English into her speech). She is also a blonde, so this makes things even more of a paradise for Shino.
Yes, despite their youthful appearance, these girls are all first-years in high school. There are several jokes made at Alice’s expense about this due to how tiny she is. Be advised that Alice and Shino in particular speak with very high-pitched voices, so if that kind of thing bothers you, then you may not enjoy Kin-iro + Mosaic very much since they are the two main characters.
One interesting thing about this series is how it handles the language barrier. Especially early on, there is a lot of English being spoken due to Alice being from England, and the Japanese voice actors are the ones speaking it. Much credit must be given to Manami Tanaka and Nao Touyama for giving Alice and Karen passable English voices. They do a good job at keeping their Japanese accent to a minimum, but you won’t mistake them for UK natives.
There really isn’t much to Kin-iro + Mosaic. It’s one of many shows about cute high school girls doing random everyday things, so if you already enjoy those, this is another series worth checking out. (Likewise, if these kinds of shows aren’t your thing to begin with, Kin-iro + Mosaic won’t be on your to-watch list anyway.) The hook this time is the English contingent in the cast, as well as the Japanese and English cultural exchange. Kin-iro + Mosaic is a fun show with fun characters, and it often feels like an animated 4-koma, reflecting its manga roots.