Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic
November 7, 2015
I suppose the genre of cute girls doing cute things is still going strong. Because I noticed that for animes that fall under this category, many are getting a sequel. I figure we can’t get enough of all those sparkly cuteness of the girls and their cute doings, no? Therefore it is with no surprise, Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic has become part of the statics by becoming the second season for the series. All you need to know about this series is about a group of cute girls, 2 of them blondes directly from England having their home stay programme with their Japanese friends. And one of the Japanese girls is a blonde maniac-cum-addict. No, this is not some sick perversion show. If you enjoy seeing cute girls doing cute doings and bonding their friendship in the meantime with no real plot whatsoever, you’ll find this season is no different either. Geez. How many times have I said cute girls doing cute things?
Alice’s mom receives a letter from her about her wonderful stay in Japan. Isami teases Alice’s blonde hair is dull this year and Shinobu actually panics! You don’t joke to her about this kind of things!!! This year will be Alice’s second year in Japan. Starting the new school term, it seems Shinobu and Alice are no longer in the same class. Although Alice has got Yoko for company at least Shinobu has Karen and Aya with her. Because of that, Alice already misses her! Even though they are just a few doors away… They try communicating telepathically. Doesn’t work of course. Aya takes it upon herself to keep an eye on Shinobu and Karen because who knows if their grades slip, it will be big trouble if they stayed back a year. But she too feels lonely without Yoko and visits her class although acting like her usual tsundere mode that she is here for Alice. Karen seems to not really like her homeroom teacher, Akari Kuzehashi. She views her strict and like a tiger waiting to eat her. Don’t look now but there she is right behind you! Kuzehashi reminds Karen of the printouts that she is supposed to hand in. I don’t know what Karen is thinking because she thinks of digging up dirt on her and observes what she does. Hmm… All good things… She is spotted and then reminded again. Despite her strict looks, we hear from Kuzehashi’s side that she actually likes students but thanks to her intense stare at them, they become scared. Her formal suit is to set a model standard so she asks Karasuma for suggestions for her student to like her. Wear bunny ears? She should have known better. Karen is caught again badmouthing her. Karen thought she could be optimistic about it but since Kuzehashi views it as she is not repenting her actions, she gets reprimanded this time.
Yoko and Aya notice Alice and Karen making observations on Shinobu and writing it down in a book. They claim they are fans of Shinobu and want to know her likes and dislikes as well as how she thinks. Alice talks to her first but couldn’t help start flustering the moment Shinobu says she likes her. Aya thought of taking the less direct approach but when asked about the problems she is facing, the plan backfired because Shinobu asks her back and Aya can’t wait to pour it all out. Karen plays detective and brags about the stuffs she knows about her. But Shinobu also knows some stuffs about Karen… Although they have gathered quite some information about Shinobu, Alice views this is not enough. Need more? They start wondering why Shinobu loves blondes and especially foreign countries so much. Was it the home stay at England that kicked start it all? Shinobu reveals that when she was young, she met an old foreign lady who needed directions to the train station. At that time Shinobu didn’t know a word of English and panicked but luckily an English fluent speaking lady came to her help. Ever since, Shinobu became interested to bring people closer via the power of words. But what made her decided to become an interpreter was her home stay with Alice.
Kuzehashi tries to smile… I know we have to give her points for smiling but she looks mean and scaring the students away! Karen then comes up to her to ask for her scrunchie. Turns out they are playing some sort of tag. Now Kuzehashi is mad! Kuzehashi is desperate to get her students to like her as she asks Karasuma for advice. Maybe she should work on her smile… Yup. Still looking menacing. Later Karen gives Kuzehashi some sesame seeds as gift. It only serves to make her feel she doesn’t understand her students. Shinobu invites her friends to her home for an English afternoon tea party. Shinobu is all geared up as a maid but thanks to her clumsiness by spilling drink all over it, I guess she’ll have to get back into her ordinary clothes. Karen is a little late since she will be bringing a cake stand. However she brought a delivery box instead since the other was heavy and thinks this is pretty similar. It is not! As the girls start baking cookies, Yoko’s clumsiness irks Aya and Shinobu tells them to pick up the pace or it will be night fall by then. By the time they are finished, Isami signals that it is dinner time and to save their tea party for tomorrow. So the quintet eat their cookies for lunch at school. As they have made a lot, they give away the extras to others. Karen gives some to Kuzehashi as she notices there are sesame seeds in it. Is this some sort of message? Karasuma thinks this means sesame seeds are the trend among young girls today. So she goes to class making open sesame puns. Only Shinobu plays along… Kuzehashi’s class will be sewing happi coats. Despite her scary facial expression not to mess around, what she actually meant was for them to be careful with the sharp tools. Alice happily makes a wedding head gear till Yoko had to ruin it with a local urban legend that those who do it before their wedding means they will be delaying their own wedding. Now she isn’t so keen on it anymore. As class ends, Kuzehashi felt that she did not make any progress with her students. Karen surprisingly gives her a little tiger mascot she made. All she wants is to see her smile. Kuzehashi might be seeing things because she thought Karen is trying to ‘tame the tiger’. A few days later, the students feel Kuzehashi has been more cheerful and easier to talk to lately. Karen thinks all this is thanks to her and that they are friends now. She pushes her luck by asking her to dance with her but Kuzehashi remembers Karen did not do her homework… Oops… Time to run away from the tiger! Ah well, back to square one.
Shocking news!!! Alice and Karen are not English but 100% Japanese!!! Turns out to be a joke. Phew. Thank goodness. They say England loves jokes that even the newspaper publishes fake articles but Aya tells them about lying too much or some god will tear out their tongue! I hope that’s a joke. Speaking of liars, this reminds Yoko of her little twin siblings, Kouta and Mitsuki. They have a notorious reputation for lying. Suddenly they pop up before them. Say what? They transferred here?! Don’t lie! Truth is they forgot their house key and put up crocodile tears to the teachers to get permission and wait in the infirmary. Aya thinks they also came because they’re lonely and wanted to see Yoko. The twins then say they don’t like their sister and this gives Yoko a big broken heart. After Aya brings them to the infirmary, she says she can tell they were lying that they hate their sister. As long as you are honest, you can get through her. Why do I have a feeling Aya is also trying to say this for herself? As Karen is the only child, she thought of acting out with Shinobu as her big sister. They pretend to fight but Shinobu is so convinced and starts apologizing! When the twins tell Yoko they do not hate her, she doesn’t know if it’s the truth or not but eventually she gives in to sibling love. Later Aya tries to be friendly and get closer with Yoko but since she is too nervous and Aya too dumb to notice, it is all over in a flash.
Because Alice misses her dog, Poppy back home but Shinobu has a fear of them because they can’t stop barking at her, Yoko thought of cheering them up by introducing Aya as her pet! Oh, you don’t know how she is feeling right now. Because of that, Shinobu would gladly be Alice’s dog. However this doesn’t sit well with her. Then her Poppy meter reaches its max and she faints. Karasuma goes to her rescue by putting on dog ears and acting like a dog. Kuzehashi is amazed how she handle the situation so Karasuma reveals to the girls that Kuzehashi has a pet cat. As Yoko asks about Aya what kind of pet she likes, Aya says she doesn’t need any because she has friends like them. It could have been a cool and heart-warming statement had not dumb Yoko start interpreting Aya sees them all as pets! Is this to get back at her? Shinobu thinks of asking Isami to allow the family to have a dog for Alice’s sake but Isami says no because they smell and costs money. Can she reconsider? No means no… That’s it. That’s as far as you go. Later Shinobu makes a dog toy to cheer Alice up. When Alice is running errands, she sees the twins and they whisper something to her. Soon all the friends rush to Yoko’s house because they heard something about her. She could speak 12 languages?! She’s going on a journey as a hero?! She’s going to be married???!!! As expected, they were just lies because the twins wanted to play with them. Nobody could be more relieved than Aya and the twins can tell from her looks that she is more honest today.
When Alice spots Aya in the streets in very adult-like clothes, embarrassed Aya claims she is a mannequin! Alice too once had that problem and she suggests becoming delinquents when she asked Isami why she looks so grownup, her answer was it was probably she wasn’t a ‘good girl’ like them. So the duo start acting like delinquents but they’re hardly threatening. I mean, smoking air cigarettes? Shinobu knows a way to approach them: Give them a banana?! Are they wild animals?! Karen has experience being a delinquent and decides to show them by breaking some glasses but Kuzehashi heard that and goes after her. When Alice thinks of dying her hair black as part of the delinquent process, SHINOBU BECOMES MAD!!! OMG! And because of that, their friendship is strained. Later Shinobu feels bad for saying too much and decides to go apologize. But since she can’t find her, she thinks she has run back to England! Actually she was just getting some juice at the vending machine. The duo make up in no time and back to best friends again. If you’re wondering why Alice doesn’t have Shinobu withdrawal symptoms, it is because Kuzehashi made a life size pillow with Shinobu’s picture on it for her! Karasuma confiscates it (for fear she may fall asleep in class) but when Shinobu enters the teacher’s lounge and sees Karasuma sleeping on that pillow, she gets the wrong idea. Aya is sad that she has cut her bangs too much and is desperate for someone to teach her to grow her hair faster. So desperate that she is watering and treating it like a plant! So desperate that she wears a box over her head! But Aya feels somewhat insulted when Karen places a hair accessory to make it matching hairstyle like hers. As Alice is tending to her plants in the garden club, she is worried that it is not blooming well. Too much sunlight or too much rain may be the factors. Alice starts crying thinking she’ll never make them grow so the friends couldn’t bear to see the blond loli cry and yell at the plants to grow faster! Of course at the end of the day, the plants grow well and they deduce the meaning of marigold as friendship. Till Aya had to ruin it by mentioning its other meaning of envy.
When Isami mistakenly puts salt instead of sugar in their drinks, Shinobu reveals this means she is in a slump. They think of cheering her up by inviting her out with them. Shinobu suggests holding a contest to take pictures and there will be a cash prize for the winner. While Shinobu dresses up like as though she is going to the ball, Isami disguises herself wearing Shinobu’s school uniform. Among the photo shooting spree from the girls at the mall include Karen taking pictures of Kuzehashi who looks different in casual clothes, Karen and Isami take a picture at the photo booth with only Karen making poses but Isami remaining the same, Isami wearing glasses on glasses and Shinobu collecting a heap of English travel brochures that will last her a month of fantasizing. Well, they say your mind is the greatest vehicle to take you to places. When she is about to fall thanks to the weight of the brochures, Isami saves her and in a way, brings her out of her slump. In the end, the winner of the photo contest is Isami as there is a shot she took where all of them coincidentally closed their eyes. In class when Karen shows Karasuma the photos of Kuzehashi, that teacher becomes embarrassed and corners Karen to hand over the film! But hers is a digital camera… Don’t be funny! Alice after reading the folktale, The Straw Millionaire, decides to experiment herself by trading up. She starts out with Isami, trading her kokeshi dolls with a picture whom Isami says will definitely be a good trade to Aya. That picture is one of Aya with Yoko. It is no surprise that Aya wants to pay for it! But eventually she trades it with an animal book. Kuzehashi hasn’t got anything to trade for this book when Karasuma will take it in exchange for her bunny headgear. Alice felt the value just gone down. Even worse, Yoko will trade that for her bottle water. Not just any water, it contains her energy! Don’t you feel cheated? Karen trades that bottle since she is almost choking on a food. But with a diamond ring???!!! Holy cow! And she says it doesn’t cost much but just 10,000 Yen???!!! How rich is she???!!! This causes Alice to feel guilty and perhaps learn the wrong lesson this is a way to get valuable items without effort. When Isami sees this, she wants to trade again. This diamond with what? Will Shinobu do? Gladly! That is so priceless! A win-win-win situation for everybody!
I guess Yoko was so hungry that even when Alice brought a fake sushi, she quickly eats it! Her teeth must hurt. Don’t worry. Karen has a flier where she can eat her fill for free. If she can finish this insane parfait, that is. Yoko takes up the challenge as the girls head to a cafe. Karen’s classmate, Honoka Matsubara who works in this family restaurant is shocked to see her and tries to hide herself via cat mask. Too bad Aya recognizes her voice. Honoka serves Yoko to jumbo parfait and Yoko better finish it because the penalty of not doing so is 8,000 Yen! While Karen and Alice try out wearing the waitress outfit, suddenly Yoko feels she cannot continue anymore… There is more than half left… Defeated?! Meanwhile Karasuma actually finished the entire parfait and tries to sneak out before any students could recognize her. Too bad Honoka is so freaking amazed at her ‘talent’. Honoka and Shinobu form a Blonde Alliance when the former points out there is a strand of blonde hair on her clothes. Because Honoka wants to get Karen’s email address, Shinobu cheers on her but it isn’t easy as it seems. Nervous and all that. Finally when she has got the courage to go ask her, Karen gladly gives her. Honoka has fun texting to her for the first time. But the next day Shinobu sees dark rings around Honoka’s eyes because Karen couldn’t stop texting her the whole night. When Karasuma and Kuzehashi see the girls on their way home, the girls are surprised to learn Kuzehashi once belonged to the athletics club. Maybe that is why she can always catch cheeky Karen when she runs away. Even more surprising is Karasuma who was once from the theatre club. She would gladly give them a demonstration and drags Kuzehashi to act out in this twisted Cinderella story where the poor princess loves to clean everything at her stepmom’s command. Karen then asks what it was like for them being students before. Karasuma shows a picture of her high school days when she didn’t wear glasses yet. This has Kuzehashi remember meeting senior Karasuma for the first time when she was a junior (she accidentally kicked Karasuma’s ass when she was bent down looking for something). And boy, were they the odd friends around hanging out together. Kuzehashi didn’t realize up till now that senior was actually Karasuma! WTF?! After the girls leave, Kuzehashi feel she doesn’t compare much being a teacher to her. But Karasuma believes that her words would have a long lasting impact on them even for the years to come.
Summer is here and Karen thinks wearing sleeveless to school will be cool. Till the friends ‘threaten’ to tell this to her parents that she becomes obedient. Seems Karen fears her mom because she is scary when she is mad. When Karasuma sees Kuzehashi still wearing her suit for summer, she thought of being thoughtful by matching her. But what’s with the bunny getup? It doesn’t take long for Karasuma to faint from the heat. That night, Karen suddenly runs to Shinobu and Alice’s home crying and ranting in English. Seems she had a fight with her dad about some necklace she wanted. He refused and she ran away. So she’s staying here for the night? Don’t worry. Shinobu allows it. The more blondes the better! Even her mom approves! So when Isami comes home, her eyes aren’t playing tricks when she sees double blondes. Alice must feel threatened about her place and tries to match and outdo Karen’s helping around the house. So much so, Shinobu becomes a sad cat as the blondes bond further. Later that very same night, Karen calls to make up with her dad. Even good news with dad has already bought that necklace. Now all the I-love-yous are coming out. Karen shares this happiness by calling all of her friends. Hey, at least she is happy. When Shinobu wants to hear more of Alice and Karen’s days in England, we have a flashback all spoken in English (duh!). Alice was studying Japanese hard and Karen wasn’t amused because this means they weren’t having fun together. When Karen thinks she could get her attention by bringing some Japanese game but never came back, Alice started to worry and went to look for her. She saw a cat having Karen’s shoe and fears the worst. Karen had fallen down a wall slope after a cat distracted her. Her ankle is twisted and it hurts like hell. Night is approaching fast so Karen desperately calls out to Alice in which luckily she heard it. They head home and Karen is very thankful for saving her. That’s what friends are for. Back in present, the blondes continue their bonding and Shinobu can’t help feel left out again. So much so, her worrywart has her call the authorities because a certain blonde still hasn’t come home. It has only been 30 minutes…
Summer vacation will soon be here so Karen and Yoko argue where to go. The sky or the beach? Eventually Karen relents and so the beach it will be. But this only serves to worry Aya because she is not confident of her waistline. Assurances from Yoko only makes her cry harder. The girls hang out at a fast food joint. Alice observes Karen ordering a smile with her food and thought this is what Japanese do and does the same. It made Shinobu laugh nonstop at how cute she was. They notice a couple spilled some food on the clothes so Aya starts fantasizing how great it would be if Yoko would be the one to clean her up. She is in a dilemma to get her clothes dirty that she looks like she’s coming down with some illness. As they talk, they wonder if Alice misses her parents or would like to go visit them during the holidays. Alice can’t bear to leave Shinobu although the latter would love Alice to let her parents know how much she has grown since coming to Japan. She might be using some chicken metaphor but chickens don’t fly even when they have grown up! When Aya mentions the big problem that they haven’t studied yet, Yoko and Karen start putting on glasses. Is this their way to say that they are blind from reality? And when the tests results come out, only Alice and Aya did well. Alice shows Yoko a handkerchief with a black spot in the centre. When she was doing the laundry, she thought of ironing Shinobu’s favourite handkerchief. You can guess what happens next. Alice is afraid that Shinobu will scold her and for each passing moment, finds it hard to apologize to her. Can Kuzehashi do something about it? Nope. Apologize is the only way. Seeing how pitiful she is, Kuzehashi even agrees to go apologize with her. Shinobu must be stumped on what is going on. But with Alice coming clean, the duo make up in no time. All you worried unfounded. Aya didn’t expect Yoko to throw the trash with her so she freaks out so much so it scares them both. Aya helps Alice go shop for a swimsuit. That picture Alice drew… Doesn’t the bikini look like a sumo loincloth? The last obstacle for the day for Shinobu: Showing mom her report card. I take it that running away is her way of telling us she is running away from reality. When she comes home, Isami wants to see it. She shows it. Wow. Lots of praises. Turns out it is Alice’s report card. So where is hers? Suddenly Shinobu starts pleading and begging for forgiveness… What’s with the sudden high drama?
Aya is coming up with a homework schedule for Yoko because throughout the years the same thing always happens. On the last day Yoko will be begging to ask her help on her homework. The problem now is how to hand it to her. Calling her resulted in Aya panting like a stalker. Sending an email about that would make it worse. Making her way there, Aya thinks Yoko may not be at home when she receives a call from her. Aya couldn’t fluster more when Yoko was just behind her. It is a good thing they pass each other since Yoko had the same idea of going to her house. After passing her the schedule, Yoko seems to be staring at Aya instead of starting her work. Although she claims Aya is very girly but she blunders by mentioning about her own chest which is feeling a little tight. Yoko then fools around with Aya, hugging her around. That is when the twins return from their school’s pool and see this freaking ambiguous yuri act. When Aya splits the ice cream to share with Yoko but unevenly splits it, Yoko bites Aya’s bigger portion (because Aya felt bad in having the bigger part) but at the same time causing her to be mad because it’s like an indirect kiss. And Yoko thought she wanted to eat it. Karen might be visiting Shinobu and Alice every day but she’s bored. How about reading? That entire book with only words? Maybe next time. Shinobu reveals her secret that she wants to go to the beauty salon today so Alice fears she might want to dye her hair blonde. Shinobu didn’t actually think about that! The blondes visit Honoka in her tennis club’s practice match. They distract her and Honoka got the ball bounced right into her forehead! Don’t worry. No serious injuries. As they hang out together, Karen uses a fake money bill to wipe her sweat (damn rich girl) and I don’t know why Honoka tries to copy it but uses a coin. When they return home, Alice sees Shinobu’s new look like a kokeshi doll. Personally, I don’t see a difference. Noting that Honoka is here, Shinobu feels she is not dressed for the occasion and returns in a cat maid outfit. When Alice gives Isami her ice cream, it has melted that it is now like soup! So disappointed… The girls play dress up to pass the time. As Karen leaves with Honoka, she invites her to come with the rest to the beach. Unfortunately she has a tennis game then. But she feels she is weak and wonders if Karen knows any good luck charms. I don’t think hypnosis is a good idea… Karen views Honoka good enough to win and worst come to worst, just pray to the sun. On match day, Honoka is doing great. Thank the sun, right?
The girls make their way to the beach via train. The blondes fight over the right to sit with Shinobu who is just in ecstasy in between. But there is no such rivalry for Yoko and why is Aya being such a tsundere? Because she’s Aya… Also at this same beach are Karasuma and Kuzehashi. Although they had lots of work to do, Karasuma mentioned about the new swimsuit she bought and tested it out in her bathtub. Kuzehashi felt pity for her and instantly they were on their way. However Kuzehashi is too technical and cautious which takes out a lot of fun. So we get to see the girls in their swimsuits. Nothing flashy, mind you. But why is Shinobu in her ordinary dress? She thinks she can take on nature like this? Too bad the tidal wave got her. Shinobu must be having bad luck with beaches. She can’t swim, got her leg cramps and is afraid of a harmless hermit crab. Aya takes up Yoko’s challenge to do distance swimming. But the thought that she might drown and Yoko will do CPR on her has her give up before she starts. Yoko thinks she chickened out. Suddenly Alice comes running to them. It seems Shinobu is missing. While Alice went to buy drinks, she might have wandered off. Then the announcement describes Alice as a lost girl. Turns out Shinobu made that report and is still frantically doing so because a certain blonde didn’t come back in 5 minutes!!! WTF???!!! Shinobu almost squeezed her to death… As they stop by the beach house to eat, Aya isn’t sure what to order and will have what Yoko is having. Regret having a big tonkatsu serving? Yeah. Why blame her? After visiting the souvenir shop, they visit the nearby aquarium. Shinobu and Alice watch the ocean as the former notes England is just far away across the ocean. Even if Alice goes home, they’ll still be connected by the sea. Shinobu will take a raft to go see he if she gets lonely. Alice wisely suggests taking a plane. On the way back, Yoko tells Aya she can sleep on her if she’s tired. Flustered Aya denounces that and will absolutely (x100 times) never ever (x1000 more times) do that. Karasuma and Kuzehashi are getting souvenirs but the latter feels it is a shame to go home. So the duo have an extended stay at the beach watching the stars from the hotspring. This is the life.
Karen leaves cryptic messages for Honoka to find her at school so she can give her a surprise. Too bad Kuzehashi found Karen first. She is about to give her usual lecture but Karen lets her ponder over some English riddle to escape. For the next few scenes we see Karen and Honoka hanging out together. Karen then tells her that she and Alice will be leaving for England although it will be just for a week. Shinobu sees Alice marking down the days of their vacation and notices a mark on a certain date. It is the day the blondes will be going back to England. Why look so shock, Shinobu? Didn’t Alice tell you this? Alice starts packing early, suddenly Shinobu jumps into her bag! Holy cow! She can’t fit! But take her along please!!! Alice tries to fit her in! Does not work. At least we know they fail at human trafficking and smuggling. Early next morning, Karen’s dad picks up Alice to head to the airport. And you can tell Shinobu has fast fallen into depression with her blonde withdrawal symptoms. Isami sees how pitiful she is but can’t help laugh after noticing she looks so much like a kokeshi doll this way. The lack of Alice is getting to Shinobu. Proof? She mistakes Aya as Alice just because of her twintails! Aya and Yoko accompany Shinobu in her home and they can obviously see she is breaking down. However Shinobu vows to become stronger so she can greet Alice with a smile when she returns. But I think she is getting the wrong idea of becoming stronger by working out her muscles… More woes for Shinobu because right after she finished bath, she missed a phone call from Alice to say she has touchdown in England safe. He mom picked it up… To calm Shinobu’s insecurities, Aya and Yoko sleepover at her place. Don’t be surprised if they treat her like a child. Remember last season we had that pirate fantasy? This time we have magical girl fantasy! Magical girls, Alice, Aya and Yoko must save Shinobu who has been turned into a kokeshi doll at the wretched hands of evil Karen and the twins as her underlings. In order to defeat them, they must use some forbidden technique. Shinobu wakes up from this pleasant dream and Aya misinterprets what it is and wants to see it.
Alice narrates her times in England when suddenly Shinobu has arrived to visit her! Actually it is Karen in disguise and she is bored fulfilling Alice’s request to play Shinobu. Take it from the top once more! Alice is worried that Shinobu might have forgotten about them albeit it is only a week but could it be that Alice is the one in danger of what Shinobu looks like? I thought the next few scenes felt odd. Because Alice and her mom are conversing in Japanese! I wanted to think it is for the convenience but subsequent scenes show them speaking in English too! Feels funny. English women speaking Japanese… On the morning they are to depart for Japan, Alice’s mom calls Shinobu to let her know. It is night time over in Japan and just when Shinobu is about to doze off, she springs back to life upon hearing Alice’s call! The much needed motivation of the week. I guess Alice is panicking on what to say and rants a long line in English so Shinobu starts off with a simple hello. Karen then switches with Alice to talk but after that hangs up. Alice couldn’t be more disappointed. She wants to talk more. Why not call again? I think international calls via fixed line phones are still expensive. On the morning our Japanese girls are supposed to greet them, Shinobu dresses up in her very best although it is just picking them up from the front of her doorstep. They could be singing reunited and it feels so good because Shinobu gets a week’s worth of blonde squeeze. As they have lots of gifts for them to choose from, Isami chooses a video that Karen recorded on Alice during her depression of missing Shinobu. Alice would gladly talk to Shinobu about her days at England. Till she realizes Shinobu hasn’t touched her homework yet! Not good…
Good news: She somehow finishes it on the morning of the first day of the new school term. Bad news: She only scored 5% for her English test! OMG! How can this be? She loves English and blondes so much and yet failed simple English?! As they discuss what Shinobu’s talents are, here comes Yoko who is feeling depressed. She accidentally tore Mitsuki’s teddy bear’s arm. The fact that made Mitsuki mad wasn’t this but the sloppy repair job Yoko did. Duct tape? No wonder she’s mad. However instantly it is all repaired in Shinobu’s hands. The girls view Shinobu having great talent in clothing designer but Shinobu reminds them she wants to be an interpreter. With that kind of English score? Nobody is going to believe you. But Alice will support her if she wants to be one. And so Alice becomes the strict teacher in making Shinobu study like hell. Don’t worry. A little blonde touch is all the motivation she needs. Karasuma and Kuzehashi see the girls having fun. Kuzehashi regrets wasting her youth only studying. But it’s not too old to do a little high 5, right? When Alice receives airmail from her mom, Shinobu hopes that when she replies, she could also write a reply in English to help practice and reach her goal of becoming an interpreter. So she’s going to use a dictionary while at it? Wouldn’t it be faster if she writes in Japanese and then translate to English?
Cheerio! My Fair (Blonde) Ladies
Well… It was okay. It was fun. Nothing too over the top and nothing too disappointing. Unless you are expecting some sort of drastic changes that would shock any viewers then no. Overall, this sequel feels remains very much the same to its roots from the first season. There aren’t any much changes since except maybe introducing a couple of new characters and more deepening friendship and blonde bonding moments. It is pretty much the same formula that you would expect if you have watched the previous season. Some of the jokes and funny moments are still spontaneous that will make you burst into short quick laughs. This formula keeps the gags fresh rather than falling into the boring trap zone although some do feel a little cliché.
You can still expect to see the main characters remaining the same overall. Like airhead Shinobu who is still a crazy enthusiast in anything English and blonde. The blondes themselves are equally interested in the Japanese culture but not as obviously as crazy Shinobu. Sometimes I feel that this ‘interest swap’ thingy is something similar to Code Geass. A British siding the Japanese to take down his own kind and vice versa. Only difference is that in this series you don’t have that revenge plot and it feels like as though they’re born in the wrong culture and place. Then once bitten by the cultural love bug, they start loving a lot what the other culture has to offer.
Shinobu and Alice’s friendship has grown so much that it is just unthinkable to see them part. It has only been a couple of years but it seemed like an eternity. True friends, no? Just when one is missing from the other for a few minutes, they’ll lodge a missing complaint! Talk about being insecure! But oddly and one thing funny is that, despite the popular trends in today’s social media, you would think that the duo would have somewhat kept in touch using those. But I think the producers want to subtly let us know something more important than relying on social media tools. It is the age old face-to-face friendship that you can see being played out here. No need for fake friends and annoying trolls. Ah yes, true blue friendship in the flesh. So I’m sure they’re trying to pull some heart strings when Alice and Karen return to England for a week by showcasing the emotional drama that Shinobu goes through. A high and low roller coaster ride of emotions. But personally, I felt this was more of funny than tear jerking because you know, it’s Shinobu we’re talking about. And she might want to brush up on her English while at it. At least the blondes take the trouble to speak and improve their Japanese so why can’t Shinobu? Oh, there might be another reason why social media isn’t used but the good ol’ letter: Japan and England are on the opposite sides of the world. Difference in timeline… Be careful not to bother your friend on the other side of the world.
Adding to the fun are the rest of the friends, from Karen’s cheekiness to tomboyish Yoko as well as not forgetting to getting-to-be-so-obvious tsundere Aya. So obvious that it is annoying that you just want to shout it out in her face or smack her to tell her to just confess her yuri feelings for Yoko. I am not sure if Yoko is just being a nice girl to act oblivious to her feelings or just love to see those embarrassed tsundere reactions. Or maybe she is just that dense, that’s all. I don’t remember the twins or Honoka in the first season (I checked they did appear although just cameo as they were listed in last season’s credits) but this time it feels they have more screen time and impact (albeit minimal). Like the twins who have penchant for lying and are even made better liars thanks to their emotionless facial expressions. I wonder where they get this from. Comparing the twins with Yoko is like day and night. I figure Honoka having more prominence this season is to give Karen a pairing so as not to feel ‘left out’. Sure, Karen loves Shinobu but I feel that is only teasing instead of the real deal in Alice who even feels jealous or threatened if her special beloved one is with somebody else! So I thought since we have Shinobu x Alice and Aya x Yoko, don’t want to let Karen be the lonely one out and subtly it could be Karen x Honoka the next time. If they get another sequel.
Kuzehashi is a new character joining in this season but despite her serious approach, she is just deeply misunderstood. At least from the outside. Because deep down inside she just like any other teacher who wants to be loved by her students and a goofy adult whenever you see her get tricked by Karen’s prank or believing/pitying Karasuma’s story/circumstances. Speaking of Karasuma, she is still as dreamy as ever. And Isami is still the cool big sister but don’t fool around with her or make her mad. I have not seen her getting really angry but I have a feeling I don’t want to. So don’t push it when she says no to having a pet or when you better show your report card means you better show your own report card!
Still impressive is the way English is spoken in some of the scenes. Although I won’t go as far as to say they are a masterpiece and that you can’t catch some lines in ‘Engrish’ accent, at least hearing for most of the part doesn’t make you feel that you are hearing a Japanese trying hard to speak English for an English character so much so the failing is obvious. But still, I can’t help feel that the longer Alice or Karen speaks, the more it feels their narration or lines are like as though they are coming from a children’s TV programme. Exactly the same sentiments I had for last season too. But then again, maybe this is the trying part on the voice actresses’ side. They have to make it pronounce and sound clear enough so as not to be passed off as ‘Engrish’. A commendable feat at least for one whose primary language isn’t English.
Even the opening and ending themes retain the similar feel as in the previous season. In addition to be sung by Rhodanthe (the voice behind the main quintet), the opening theme, Yume-iro Parade is equally as vibrant, fun and exciting like last season’s Jumping!! Only difference is that there are a few versions of it. At least for the opening lines. Whether it starts off by the entire group or one of them. You can tell (and hear) when you see either a group picture or a cute mug shot of the girl. My Best Friends as the ending theme gives off that Broadway-like feel similar to Your Voice. But this season there is a special opening theme for that beach episode. Kirameki-iro Summer Rainbow has a different feel since it sounds a bit like country mixed with anime pop.
The sequel is still a fun and entertaining series to watch and those who enjoyed watching the first season would feel right at home here. Even safe for the family and kids to watch. Please note that the beach fanservice episode does not amount to anything that would raise any alarm bells. And yes, no violent blood-spilling limbs-dismembering action. Please do not have unrealistic expectations for such a cute anime and ruin it all. But you can ‘die’ from the overdose of the blonde moe blob moments instead. You have been warned… ;p
The only thing that I expected that didn’t come into realization is adding a new blonde character! Holy cow! Triple blonde treat! I am sure if that happens, Shinobu would die of nose bleed every day. A very happy death indeed. That is why I am thinking for the safety of her health, she can never travel to western countries or live among blonde people. But you know, seeing how Shinobu can sometimes be obsessed into taking things into her own hands if left to her own devices, she might just dye everybody’s hair blonde and make it a mandatory requirement if she ever becomes the head of Japan. And then you have blondes and not-blondes trying to un-blonde everything. Wow. Just feels like escalating towards Code Geass scenario. If that ever happens, that would be like taking blonde to a whole new level. Then it would be scary rather than cute.