What They Say:
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 Yoko 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!
There is no English dub available for this release, so I viewed it in its original Japanese, which is offered in 2.0. While I always wish for a 5.1 mix, it really isn’t necessary for a title like this, where dialogue is so predominant. I can’t say I noticed a whole lot of directionality in any of the sound, but again, that’s not really a deal breaker for this show. It’s a basic mix, but it’s more than enough for what’s required. The only part that really stood out to me were the English voices for Alice and Karen—they are supposed to be English, but it was very obvious that their English voices were actually done by Japanese VAs. It made me laugh just a bit.
The transfer for this release looks really nice. Colors are bright with clean lines. There were no technical issues to speak of at point. Everything looked pretty clean. I generally liked the design of the series as well. Admittedly, the main cast suffers a bit from all having essentially the same faces with just different hair, a common complaint by a lot of people. It doesn’t bother me as much, though, particularly since I liked the designs of the characters in this. What was a little unnerving is that this is a show that takes place in high school, but the girls’ designs make them look like they are young middle schoolers.
This release has a fairly basic package. The two discs come in a single-width, double-sided amaray case. The front cover has a shot of the main cast posing as if for a photograph. The back has various pictures of the girls along with screen shots made to look like postage stamps surrounding the series summary and technical details. It is a pleasant design, though somehow in all of the original art, the girls look even younger than they already do in the series.
The menus are pretty basic too, with a static image of some of the girls to the side with a list of the selections alongside. As with most Sentai releases, there is no play all button, and each episode is listed individually on the main page. However, episodes do strong together even without the play all button, so it’s not an issue. The menus are easy to read, and the cursor shows up well.
All that is available on this release are clean versions of the OP/ED, though in a nice touch, as there are different OPs for most episodes, each is made available clean here.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When I watched the first season of Kiniro Mosaic a few years ago, I left thinking it was a mostly enjoyable show, but I was not completely on board with the apparent popularity of it. A series in the mold of Azumanga Daioh or K-On, I thought it was fine, but I didn’t think it really did much to separate it from most other shows in the genre. Hello Kinmoza!, the second season of Kiniro Mosaic, did little to change my opinion of it.
This season sees the Kinmoza girls heading into their second year at high school (I’ll take their word for it, as they look like they are heading into their second year of elementary school). As with Azumanga Daioh or K-On, there is little in the way of overt plot for the series, as Kinmoza instead focuses on the day-to-day lives of these girls and the wacky situations they get themselves into. In this year, the girls are having to struggle with the concept of being split up, as Alice and Yoko are now in a different class from the other three, who in turn have to figure out how to deal with an apparently stern teacher. And as they begin to get adjusted, Alice and Karen start to feel homesick for their families in England while Shinobu isn’t sure she can be separated from Karen for even the few days she would be gone to visit home. Overall, the girls are having to deal with the complexities that growing up is starting to have on their various friendships, but through it all, they maintain a relatively positive attitude.
To be perfectly honest, Kinmoza is a series that I really have a hard time writing about. I don’t really know what to say about it as nothing particularly stands out to me one way or the other. The girls are fun, and their situations are funny. I particularly enjoy the outgoing attitude of Karen and how she often drives the story. I mentioned Azumanga Daioh and K-On before as Kinmoza fits in the same genre: exploring the small moments in the friendships of a group of high school girls. But while I recognize that Kinmoza has a good following, I can’t rate it anywhere near as highly as those two. It’s perfectly fine for what it is, but it doesn’t do anything to stand out for me.
I do think part of my problem with it is the appearance of the characters: they are supposed to be in high school, but they are drawn like elementary school kids. I get that that’s the style, but it’s disassociating for me. If you told me they were in middle school instead (placing it more in line with a show like Love Lab, for example), I’d probably be a little more willing to accept it. But overall, I find it hard to take what the show is trying to do seriously (or as seriously as it wants me to take it) because they look so young.
That said, I cannot deny that I still mostly enjoyed it. It might not be great, but it’s fun. I might not be rushing back to the series any time soon, but I also didn’t regret watching it. And sometimes, that’s enough.
Hello Kinmoza! is a perfectly fun follow up to the first season of Kiniro Mosaic. There’s good, light-hearted humor, fun situations, and it’s a breeze to watch. If you like Azumanga Daioh and/or K-On, then chances are you’ll enjoy this too. While I enjoy it well enough, it is not an anime that particularly jumps out at me, though I also recognize that it has a fairly significant following. So if you enjoy this sort of anime, then don’t be surprised if your reaction is a bit more positive than mine. Overall, though: recommended.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening and Closing Animations
Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: October 18th, 2016
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, LG BP330 BluRay Player w/HDMI Connection, Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System