Choo Choo! All aboard the Yuri train! Kiniro Mosaic is back for its second batch of episodes, split across two discs instead of one this time, for all that Slice of Life animation glory. I’m not gonna re-tread on past points, and everything said in my Season One review is still true, so go and read that first before you go past the infobox.
The biggest change up to the formula of last time, is the introduction of a second homeroom teacher, Akari Kuzehasi. Due to how much she is used during the first few episodes of the season I wouldn’t say that it’s a seamless introduction, but if I were to hazard a guess this would be a case of material originally happening chronologically during Season one, but it was cut for more time with the main cast instead. The character is used best in creation of dynamics between her and the two more underutilised females. As Kuzehasi-sensei is defined as unconfident yet scary, she bounces well off of the bubbly and airheaded Karasuma-sensei; whilst also creating more reasons for desu-spewing Karen to be amazing while the other 4 girls are staring love hearts at each other. (The amount of times Ms Kujo is relegated to being a background character is disturbing)
The biggest problem this release suffers with is the elongated time between it and the first season. It has been 9 months since the first season was released, yet season two feels more like the second half of the show, rather than a distinct piece in and of itself. This wasn’t a negative when the show originally aired, heck it has almost 2 years between seasons on TV, as that’s plenty of time to justify a re-watch of the first 12 episodes, but with inconsistent delays and less than a year between releases it hampers my ability to stay invested in the show. Of course, if you haven’t picked up season one before this or were waiting for Hello! before starting, then this isn’t a problem.
A small touch that the translators should get a shout out for, is that during a completely inconsequential game of word-chain, they give the translation of each of the words, but also the romanji with the first and last syllable highlighted. For veteran anime watchers, this may not seem like much, but this little learning aid can really go a long way to help a lot of people get the structure of Japanese, giving that extra layer of enjoyment to subtitled anime.
Something that I’ve grown accustomed to while going through review copies, is checking out the English dubbed track. For some, the lack of a dub for Kinmoza would be disappointing, or even kill their ability to watch the show (Good job on Amazon, making the product details confusing for some people on this fact.) But, surprisingly, for a show with a lot of references to merry old Blighty, watching this title with English as the main track would create a lot of dissonance between what the characters are saying and how they are saying it; especially when either Karen or Alice decide to go on an English rant. This, coupled with the bookends of character songs and what would be a removal of desu-desu, make it an un-needed addition to the release, and totally has nothing to do with the fact that Japanese VAs pretending to be British are much cuter than Americans doing the same.
On the subject of English; whilst the OP and ED are both competent tracks in and of themselves, I wish Kinmoza had taken the opportunity to have a song sung in English at some point, even if it is broken, as it would really help with the premise of the show, rather than the set dressing it sometimes falls down to.
More Kinmoza is never a bad thing, and I hope someone eventually brings the OVA over to the west to go along with the rest of the show. Cute as ever.
Review copy provided by Animatsu Entertainment