Desu desu desu desu. Desu. From the summer 2013 anime season comes best girl Karen, and the rest of the cast of Kiniro Mosaic, or KinMoza for short. I haven’t re-watched many of the shows I saw before I joined the train of weekly watching everything in Spring of 2014, with Kinmoza being one of the last shows I watched before that. Does it hold up now that I’ve seen enough cute girls to outnumber the population of the Cotswolds? Let’s find out.
Shinobu Oomiya is the most stereotypical Japanese girl in the world; when she was little, she went on a home-stay to England, where she met a blonde girl named Alice Cartlet. Even through the language barrier, they became the best of friends. Flash forward to the start of Shinobu’s high school career, and Alice just shows up at the classroom, fully fluent in Japanese and ready to move in with the other girl for the next 3 years. “Slice of Life” anime start.
The main draw of Kinmoza is the members of its cast. More specifically, Alice’s Childhood half-Japanese friend Karen Kujo. (IS THAT A JOJO REFERENCE?!?) As I am a guy from England, constantly seeing a cute anime-girl donning a British flag jacket as her main attire instantly drew me to her; with her stereotypical broken Japanese vocabulary, desu desu for days, just being the icing on the cake. The only problem with Karen is that her screentime is too short, as she’s the 5th wheel of the group, instead of one of the main four; her proper introduction doesn’t even happen until episode 3. Even if you haven’t heard of Kinmoza before, chances are you’ve seen one or two people on the internet with Karen as their avatar. Her voice is provided by Nao Touyama, who has also voiced Nagisa from Assassination Classroom, Kanon in The World God Only Knows, and Chitoge from Nisekoi. With the wide variety of good and bad characters under her belt, there must be something special about the specific way Karen is written, desu, that takes her above and beyond the rest of the cast.
Another strange thing about this show is the studio that produced it. Studio Gokumi have produced very few shows during their tenure and, other than the just finished Tsuredure Children, every other show of theirs that I’ve seen, My Sister Is Among Them, Seiren, Yuki Yuna Is a Hero, and the later seasons of Saki, none of them I’d give any kind of positive score. Even the Director, Motoki Tanaka’s other works; the Grisaia series and Rewrite, don’t have anywhere near the same quality of enjoyment.
I do not understand why Kinmoza is as good as it is; yes the character designs are cute, but the animation is stilted, as most SoL anime are, the soundtrack isn’t memorable bar the OP and ED “Jumping!!” and “Your Voice” by Rhodanthe, which is due to them being character songs, which I’m always a sucker for, and even the jokes aren’t necessarily strong as they could be, mostly resorting to catchphrases, or Yuri-bait BS (The secret is, they all want each other.)
I’ve just come back to this after a few hours of thinking and I think I’ve solved why Kinmoza is one of the “Best cute girls doing cute things” anime. It’s because Kiniro Mosaic is secretly JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. No, seriously, hear me out. Everything in this show purely exists to create a reaction image or meme, for the audience to vomit onto the internet, it then infects everyone’s brain into believing what they’re watching is actually good, when it’s really tricking you into enjoying it.
The whole show is put onto one disc, but since this is a low-animation show, the image quality will only be noticeable on larger TVs and true picto-philes, for everyone else this isn’t much of a problem. Included in the release are the clean OP and ED, and trailers for other Sentai releases.
Does subliminal mind control make KinMoza a bad show? No, it’s amazing, where the jokes can genuinely make you laugh, and the chemistry and interplay of each girl will make you fall in love with the cast. It’s a shame it took Animatsu so long to release this over this side of the pond, but I hope everyone picks this one up.