Anime Review: Kiniro Mosaic

It’s finally time for the first Guest Review here on YuriReviews! So today my friend “Rock The Vogt” will take over and review one of the many yuri-ish shows that I still haven’t managed to watch. Get ready for the first review on YuriReviews with no grammar mistakes. 😛

Lena has finally relinquished her power and named me heir to the throne of her beloved blog? Muahaha! Turns out it was just a dream, but here’s a review for you folks anyway.

Year: 2013
Length: 12 Episodes
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, School Life, Moe

Story: 5/10
Let’s start things off by examining the crux of the plot, shall we? The story begins with Shinobu Ōmiya, a young Japanese girl, traveling to England for a weeklong homestay with her mother’s friends. It is there she meets Alice Cartalet, a shy girl who’s, initially, reluctant to befriend her. Alice briefly opens up to Shinobu, but little did she know of Shinobu’s obsession with blond-haired girls! After thinking things over, Alice decides to warm up to Shinobu. The girls enjoy themselves and do many activities before their time together comes to an end and Shinobu returns to Japan. Flash-forward several years to when Shinobu receives a surprise when Alice enrolls in her school, speaking fluent Japanese. Alice joins Shinobu’s small group of friends, and the girls begin what promises to be a memorable school year.

The story in Kiniro Mosaic is nothing special. The school life premise has been used countless times by other shows, and Kiniro Mosaic doesn’t do that much to differentiate itself from those shows. That’s not to say that there aren’t any noteworthy moments however, as there are a few of them. The show flexes it’s comedic chops early and often, resulting in a show that should definitely appeal to those who enjoy good situational comedy. For the most part, the show relies on a tried-and-true formula and executes it without any major issues. At the end of the day, it’s the comedy that elevates it to being more than just fluff. There’s enough substance to complement the abundance of style.

Characters: 8/10
While the story may be average, compelling characters help Kiniro Mosaic shine. Each character brings with them loads of personality and adorableness. I mean, just look at the pictures! You just want to do your best Rena Ryuuguu impersonation and take them home! Let’s delve a little deeper and take a closer look at the main cast.

Shinobu Ōmiya: Shino’s fondness for the golden locks of foreigners is one of the reasons that this show is so funny. Subtlety is thrown out the window when her eyes lock-on to her target, yet despite her obsession, she cares deeply for Alice. She and her family house Alice when she comes to stay in Japan. When she’s older, Shino wants to be a interpreter, yet she’s terrible at English. Oh, the irony.

Alice Cartalet: Alice is the diminutive member of the group. She’s surprisingly possessive of Shino and gets jealous when Shino’s paid attention to by others. Alice is also very bright and was childhood friends with Karen, who taught her how to speak Japanese. Reuniting with Shino was a major reason Alice decided to study in Japan. She is currently staying with Shino and her family.

Karen Kujō: Karen happens to be my favorite character. She’s the product of a Japanese father and an British mother, which explains her knowledge of Japanese. She’s very outgoing and carefree, much more so than the other girls. It seems every other sentence out of Karen’s mouth ends in “desu”. While that may sound annoying, to me at least, it comes off as very cute and adds to her charm.

Aya Komichi: Aya is one of the more easygoing characters on the show, but that all changes when Yōko is involved. Aya’s interest in Yōko results in her taking on a tsundere role when interacting with her, most of the time. She sometimes has a hard time expressing herself and wishes she were more like Karen in that regard.

Yōko Inokuma: Yōko is viewed as sort of the big sister of the group, as she was very helpful to both Aya and Shino during their childhood days. She’s oftentimes oblivious to Aya’s apparent interest in her and exhibits the most boyishness of the group. She looks like she could be the long-lost twin sister of Maki from Love Live!.

Animation: 5/10
Animation-wise, there isn’t anything in particular that wows you. After all, there’s only so much you can do when a large portion of a show that takes place in a school. That being said, the show has it’s moments where it looks pretty appealing, but these moments don’t happen often enough. It’s very much an average-looking show. Something that does catch your eye, however, is just how cute these characters are. Moe abounds everywhere you look, no doubt turning some people off, while attracting others. I, for one, don’t have a problem with it and even embrace it in this instance, haters be damned.

Sound: 6/10
Both the opening and the ending theme are sung by Rhodanthe*, which is a group formed by the voice actresses of the five main characters. The OP, Jumping!!, is pretty catchy and sets the tone for the show quite well. I didn’t find the ED, Your Voice, to be quite as memorable as the opening, but it’s adequate enough.

There were musical moments late in the series that were fantastic. They vaguely reminded me of songs you would expect to hear from the Disney classics of the past. It was definitely unexpected and a very welcome surprise. Musically, the show saves it’s best for last and ends on a high note, leaving you wanting more.

Yuri: 6/10
There may not be any real yuri in the series, but there’s a good amount of subtext found throughout. It mostly lies in the relationships between Aya and Yōko, and to a lesser degree, Alice and Shino. These girls are very innocent, so anyone hoping for more than just emotions, will be disappointed.

The show strongly implies Aya’s feelings for Yōko, but they end up not being as fleshed out as they could have been. It definitely seems that there’s love forthcoming in their futures once Aya is able to express herself better.

Alice x Shino’s relationship could be viewed as nothing more than a strong friendship, but I like to think that there’s romance bubbling below the surface. Shino’s fascination with blond-haired girls steals the spotlight, but she has strong feelings for Alice, without a doubt. Alice’s feelings led her all the way to Japan, so it’s not out of the question to think that her friendship with Shino is in the process of evolving into something more. Or maybe I’m just reading into things too much, I don’t know.

Total Enjoyment: 8/10
Kiniro Mosaic turned out to be one of the most charming and enjoyable slice of life shows I’ve ever seen. The show reminded me a bit of a better, funnier version of Yuru Yuri, which was already a pretty solid show to begin with. Making things even sweeter, is the announcement of a second season. That’s right, more opportunities for Aya x Yōko to officially become a thing, as well as Alice x Shino. Although no timetable for release has been given yet, this is a bright spot on the anime horizon, and yet another show with yuri elements to look forward to.


35 thoughts on “Anime Review: Kiniro Mosaic

  1. I had to change the font to make it look like any other post on here, also your font size was like 5 times bigger than the stuff on my regular posts, so something had to be done 😛

    And why are you posting the first comment on your own entry?! 😛


  2. That way, I'm guaranteed at least one comment. Smart thinking. 🙂

    You never stick to one size font size. It was smaller in the past compared to how it's been recently. You've been inconsistent. 😛


  3. Ah, this series sounds interesting! Also, the characters and the style look promising.
    *added to my plan-to-watch list*
    I don't think I'm a person who has to watch anime with a real plot/storyline, so simple school life shows+comedy are the best to relax 🙂


  4. I watched this show a least 100 times, it's so cute and funny!
    Now only Lena needs to watch it too to see how good it is.


  5. Yep, our favorite character's the same. Gochiusa really remind me of this show, i don't know why. Geh, i see many people pairing aya and yoko. Personally i paired Karen x Aya but i never see any doujin or fanart that feature these two. So i assumed that i'm just the only one who paired them all along.
    I (almost) always skip the opening but never skip the ending :p i think the ending is an easy-listening music that up until now, i'll sing it unconciously. I don't remember the opening though XD


  6. I can't seem to get tired of the show either. Hopefully Season 2 is just as good.

    I second that Lena needs to watch it. She could have started watching this instead of Momo Kyun Sword, but nooooooooo. 😛


  7. It reminded me a little of it too, but I thought Kiniro Mosaic was a bit funnier and I just liked it more overall. At first, I paired Karen with Alice. But Shino stole Alice away from Karen in my eyes. I might've also been the only one to think about Shino x Karasu for a minute. Karasu seems young at heart and could use a romantic interest.

    I'm the opposite. I remember the opening, but usually skipped the ending. And Lena's making me respond to the comments, so that's why I'm doing it instead of her. 😀


  8. I eagerly anticipate the return of The Ayaya in her neverending quest to overcome her tsundere-ness and win confess her undying love for Yoko. That or Alice getting Shinobu to realize there's only one foreign blonde girl that is waifu material and it ain't Karen, as awesome as she is.


  9. Yea, i think Kiniro is funnier than Gochiusa, but neither of them make me laugh that hard. I don't dislike this kind of anime though, just cute girls doing cute things :v. I don't hate Aya x Yoko, but in the end i just want to ship karen with her :v I hope that the second season will give us more.


  10. The creators should just bite the bullet and make one of those canon. The first season was the teasing, so the second season should be all the yuri possibilities coming to fruition.


  11. I don't really laugh when watching anything, anime or otherwise, I just internally find it amusing. Shows like this should be a part of a well-balanced anime diet for everyone. If they have some subtext, even better.

    Season 2 can't get here fast enough. I haven't been reading the manga, but that may have to change if I don't get some news soon.


  12. omg, Momo Kyun Sword is the worst series ever 😛 (ok, of this season, and even if I'm still watching it ;D)
    just got two more series to watch (the one with the worst plot development *Kyoushiro to Towa no Sora* *cough* and Ga-rei zero<-looking forward to this!), but then I'll head on with this one 😀 hm... so much to watch... maybe I can bring Lena to watch it together with me? 😛 (like Akuma with my superb comments *cough* lol ok, just kidding)


  13. You know what, I know exactly why you are watching that crappy anime (Momo Kyun Sword) and you know it too, don't even try to deny it 😛

    And kyoushiro to Towa no Sora is really shitty, but I sure hope that you're enjoying the fantastic yuri~

    So you're saying you want me to watch it with you, so you can yet again not focus on the story at all and instead stare at their faces and make random yet hilarious comments about it?
    Sure 😛


  14. omg no 😛 not because of the … ehehe *grin*, no, I just looked at the cover while choosing the series I wanted to watch for this season (as always), but I keep watching it because of the…fantasy and fights of course! lol

    oh oh 😦 I was just…distracted…by you!!! >:D everything was your fault!! exactly!
    And what? random and hilarious comments?! *embarrassed and hides her face* D: I'm not born to be a commentator… 😦


  15. err…yes? I mean, there are ogers in the background, and the colors are flashy, and there's Inugami (though Nekoyama is missing :P) and I like the bird/peacock (or whatever it is). And there's “Sword” in the title as well as the color contrast between red and blue, and they all look into a different direction. Also, Momoko's sleeves remind me of Reimu's sleeves of her gorgeous shrine maiden outfit and finally… (not the word with b *cough*), it's aired on Tuesday, when I don't have any other releases to watch. Boredom, you know? So, is this explanation enough? 😉


  16. “Or maybe I'm just reading into things too much, I don't know.' Your not reading in to it enough! Alice and Shino are best especially that episode where Alice became all jealous over Sakura Karasuma (the English teacher) too cute


  17. Alice does occasionally seem quite possessive of Shino. Maybe she's a yandere in the making? 😀

    But really, it is super cute how upset she gets when anyone shows the slightest interest in Shino or vice versa. However, it does lead to some pretty good comedy, so I wouldn't mind a little more in the second season.


  18. The author of Kin'iro Mosaic had confirmed in an interview that Aya's feelings for Youko is beyond friendship, so it's not goggles nor subtext. How can you call it subtext when it's so clear Aya's feelings is of romantic nature? She blushed when she's concious that Youko and her act like a pair of lovers (feeding Youko in class scene) or a pair of married couple (grocery shopping scene).

    Of course, Youko on the other hand is oblivious. But that has nothing to do with Aya's feelings being romantic.


  19. Just blushing when you're around someone you like isn't quite enough for me to definitively call it yuri. There are a couple of other scenes, but I'm just stingy with it for these two for some reason.

    And since I haven't read the manga at all, I have no idea what's been going on in that regard. Maybe things will be more direct between those two in season 2.


  20. I personally prefer non non biyori and followed Kinito-Mosaic
    I remember that ended Kiniro-Mosaic and said, to fill that void?
    I premiered the Non Non Biyori. XD
    I love that series


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