I’m still continuing to look at some of the manga I picked up during May’s London Comic Con, and next up on the list is the second volume of Kiniro Mosaic. You can find my thoughts on the first volume by clicking here.
Don’t really anything else to add here, so let’s just jump straight into it.While Alice and Karen have quickly gotten used to life in Japan thanks to the help of their friends, plenty of new experiences still await them – their first school festival, summer vacation, an unforgettable Japanese-style(?) Christmas party, and more! The girls are having the time of their lives in this comedy of cultural exchange, and with any luck, they might even remember to study for their exams too!
Volume 2 starts with a few colour pages showing the girls singing, and then worrying about how they should focus in class.
Following that, Alice gets to experience her first school festival. Her class put on an ‘East meets West’ sweets café, after she and Shino end up arguing over whether to have a Japanese or maid café.
Karen’s class put on a play – in fact, it is Snow White. Karen plays a rather… interesting role.
Next up, the girls have a sleepover at Aya’s place as her parents are away on a trip. She gets some help making dinner, though calling it ‘help’ might be stretching it a little.
The girls’ night is then filled with spooky stories and nightmares involving Alice’s hair turning black.
Karen finds herself receiving a lot of snacks from her classmates, which leads to Alice suspecting that she has put on weight. This results in the girls talking about going on diets or doing exercise.
With everyone calling Karasuma-sensei ‘Karasu-chan’, Karen decides that she wants a nickname. Shino tries to come up with one, but it doesn’t really pan out.
Talking of names, Karasuma-sensei reveals the name of her pet rabbit – it actually shares its name with one of the students.
After that, Karen and the others decide to show what Youko means to them. Karen even comes up with a pie chart after being inspired by Shino’s Alice pie chart. Aya even gets one, with the largest segment on it being dedicated to Youko.
After a trip to bookshop, Karen ends up showing her friends photos of her trip to Hawaii. Seeing Karen in a swimsuit gets Aya all self-conscious about her own body. Youko tries to help her out, but chooses her words rather poorly.
With the summer holidays approaching, the girls discuss what they should do during their break. Karen wants to go the beach, but Youko argues that they should visit the mountains. Ultimately, Youko is the one who gets what she wants.
Alice and Karen go fishing, with Alice wanting to impress Shino. However, Karen ends up hauling in the most fish. After eating, the girls end up playing in the river.
Alice and Karen find themselves getting mistaken for sisters when they are together. Alice would be the older sister, but it sure doesn’t appear that way – Youko’s pretty blunt about that.
When exams draw near in the autumn, Shino asks Alice to tutor her in English. Whether it actually works or not…
Each of the girls tackle the exams in their own ways – some actually study for them, whilst at least one of them relies on sheer luck.
Karen ends up getting into a manga she’s reading, and starts to imitate the main character from it – complete with eyepatch.
Alice understands where Karen’s excitement for the manga comes from, as she has been getting into a classic Japanese book herself. It leaves Shino stumped when she tries to read it.
The girls then decide to come up with their own stories, with Shino telling a tale that draws in Alice, Youko and Aya and even makes them cry.
Alice gets excited about a Japanese Christmas. Youko, Aya and Karen go over to the Oomiya home to celebrate together with Shino and Alice.
Finally, there’s a brief section that shows why it is probably a good idea to keep Shino away from the internet…
Kiniro Mosaic continues to be… well, Kiniro Mosaic, I suppose. I still firmly believe the best way to experience it is through the anime – printed media just doesn’t have the ability to capture the charm of the glorious Engrish.
That’s not to say that the manga is not perfectly serviceable – it delivers pretty much what I would expect and want from a manga of its genre.
I like all of the characters, though my bias towards characters hailing from the same country as me means that I will always pick out Alice and Karen as favourites. Shino’s obsession with western culture is pretty fun, too.
Aya’s feelings for Youko are as obvious as ever, except to Youko herself. Youko may pretty dense when it comes to matters of the heart, but she provides plenty of funny moments.
Volume 2 of Kiniro Mosaic delivers even more of what made the first volume enjoyable, and that’s about what I’d expect. There’s no drama to worry about here; just a cast of cute girls doing cute things.