Kiniro Mosaic continues to delight with its comedic randomness, though the art is a bit of an issue.
Title: Kiniro Mosaic
Genre: Slice of Life
Publisher: Houbunsha (JP), Yen Press (US)
Artist/Writer: Yui Hara
Serialized in: Manga Time Kirara Max
Translation: Amanda Haley
Original Release Date: June 20, 2017
Review copy provided by Yen Press.
The girls of Kiniro Mosaic move up a grade in this latest volume, and tragedy strikes: Shino, Karen, and Aya are in one class, but Alice and Yuko are in another! Aya and Alice are dumbstruck and horrified at the thought of being separated from their beloved Yuko and Shino, but the latter two are pretty fine with it. Meanwhile, Karen gets her own challenge in the form of a new teacher who is a little unsure about how to interact with her students.
Like the previous volume, Kiniro Mosaic Volume 3 continues its comedic randomness with a flavor of culture clash: a game of hide-and-seek, a tea party that doesn’t go as planned, and attempts on being more open and honest, and several more daily adventures await the girls. Most of the story still takes place during breaks or after school, but the new class assignments will hopefully lead to more interactions outside of the usual Alice/Shino, Yuko/Aya, and random acts of Karen. In one scene, Aya swats Shino on the head when the latter is drawn to Karen’s golden locks, and the two lonely girls, Aya and Alice, take being “not a good girl” a little too seriously. While part of the fun in Kiniro Mosaic lies in the girls’ love aspect, I do like seeing some other interactions besides the girls just fawning over each other.
Karen continues to be the real draw of the story, bouncing happily from one thought to another adventure-of-the-day. She finally gets someone to balance out her off-beat cheerfulness in the form of a new teacher. Kuzehashi, doesn’t mean to glare at her students most of the time, but her expressions strike fear into her students. No wonder she turns to Karasuma for tips on how to be loved by her pupils! Kuzehashi also has a habit of sneaking up on Karen at the worst possible time, but Karen sympathizes with Kuzehashi’s difficulty in making friends.
I felt like there were few more were misses this time around, most notably Karen running away from home over a necklace and immediately adjusting to life at Shino’s house. But these weaker strips are balanced out by the arrival of Kuzehashi and the less common character setups. Shino’s sister Isami makes a few appearances, and she’s always a riot. I still wish she could be seen more often, but when most of Kiniro Mosaic takes place at school, there’s not much the author can do.
Amanda Haley continues the excellent adaptation for Hara’s work, providing plenty of notes for English readers. Considering the characters make references to garage roof advertisements, these explanations are certainly welcome!
As I mentioned previously, probably the worst thing about the art is that manga is not in full color like the opening chapters. Several opening pages were obviously printed in color during the magazine serialization, as the ink is several shades darker than normal. Between dark hair and dark uniforms, some of the characters tend to blend into the backgrounds in these now-monochrome pages. The opening chapter continues to tease readers, and it’s no surprise that such a bright, moe-centered manga was adapted into the anime.
On a completely random note, Aya as a delinquent looks a lot like Nino from Anonymous Noise. I had to do a double-take because Aya even captures Nino’s normal flat expression. Long-lost twins?
I may be sounding like a broken record at this point, but Kiniro Mosaic continues to delight, and the girls being separated in classes may lead to some new comedy in subsequent volumes. Pick up a copy and have a golden time.