Although learning different languages continues to be an interest for Shinobu and her friends, the new school year brings unexpected difficulties. Not only is there always something new and different to distract them from their studies, but Alice and Youko also are having trouble adjusting to being in a different class from Shinobu and Aya. Meanwhile, Karen isn't getting along at all with her new homeroom teacher, and it doesn't help that the teacher is having trouble figuring out how to make herself seem friendlier to her students as well. Craziness may ensue, but sometimes, all it takes is the right mutual experience to bring everyone together. While some of those experiences may not be as well-thought-out as others (like when Alice and Aya act like juvenile delinquents to seem more grown up), the gang's new adventures are certain to warm everyone's heart as the fun and friendships keep growing in HELLO!! KINMOZA!
Source: Sentai Filmworks
The second season of Kinmoza!, Hello! Kiniro Mosaic, was a vast improvement on the first season, which is a marvel when one notes its anime technique and style of music and sound; there doesn't seem to be any differences. The series about five girls, two English lasses and three Japanese gals, who work and study together in a Japanese high school is based on a four-panel manga, which explained the rapid-fire humor of the first season. While the humor is still there, it’s based on the worries each girl has for the other. Alice and Shino. Yuko and Aya. Karen trying to improve her Japanese while not neglecting her English roots. And this season seems to have been constructed on the ideal of three short arcs. First, there is the school days arc, and that imponderable question: where did the boys go? I mean, in the first episodes of Kinmoza! there was a fair sample of boys sitting in the desks, though kept in the background. Hey, it’s shojo after all. The only boy who speaks is Yuko’s younger brother, half of a set of identical twins, a brother-sister team who works to annoy big sister. At school, we are introduced to new characters, new friend Honoka and new teacher Akari Kuzehashi. This brings us two teachers veteran Sakura Karasuma and newbie Akari, one who can charm girls with her smile while the other terrorizes them with her smirk. Then comes the summer vacation arc, and the zeal to get the most out of the time away (and still get that homework done in a timely manner). While all the girls have their own plans, they do agree on a day at the beach. Ah, the beach scene and all the predictability about it. We all knew that Yuko and Karen would don bikinis, Aya a much more modest two-piece, and petite Alice a humble one-piece. But who knew that Shino would be taking on the sea in full formal gown before opting for more traditional swim gear? Finally, there comes the high point, the Alice returns to England arc. Relax, this would be just for a week (or the scope of the last two episodes). In fact, Alice follows Karen in her return to the homestead. But the anguish Shino endures, the weird coping skills Alice has in dealing with the separation while enjoying the familiar scenes of home. I was perplexed by Alice and Karen using Japanese even while on the 'sceptered isle.' And then, with Shino at the point of comatose state, the sweetness of reunion. Japan holds its charm for Alice, who is determined to complete her high school years in Japan. And dim-witted Shino, who wishes to become a translator strives to write a letter in English to thank Alice’s parents for their sacrifice. Again, the coloration was bland, the closing theme’s stills more vivid than the animated fare. Still, the static shots are good testimony that if this much can be done in future Kinmoza! features (movie out this year, perhaps the best effort?), the multi-cultural adventures of Shino and Alice can create heart-warming tales of deepening friendships seeing us through the mundaneness of everyday life. That's what iyashikei has to do, right?
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