On Moe and Kiniro Mosaic (2013)

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Because midterm season is in full swing right now, I haven’t posted anything lately. But since blogging is always on the back of my mind, I thought I do a quick post on Kiniro Mosaic and its second season Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic (2015), which I finished watching two weeks ago.

I also wanted to draw attention to the “Moe” category under the “Anime” category that I’ve created. Moe, as AnimeEveryday discusses in his video The Problem With Moe Anime, is an asthetic rather than a distinct genre. And moe is more than an art style, it’s an approach to evoking feelings of love and cherish-ment. And since I watch a lot of moe and cute girls doing cute things anime anyways, I thought I try to specialize in highlighting and understanding the moe aesthetic.

Having said this, Kinmoza (from Studio Gokumi) is probably the most “pop” moe anime out there. What I mean by pop is that it is familiar, mainstream, and is well produced — just like pop music. And while this also usually means generic, I didn’t think that this aspect hurt Kinmoza. If you watch the PV (promotional video), you’ll understand that Kinzoma’s intentions were just to be cute for the sake of being cute. And with this expectation, the audience got exactly what they were promised.

Moreover, I want to recognize Kinmoza’s visuals for being one of the most accessible and iconic CGDCT series. Iconic in a sense that Kinmoza is what I think of when I think of cute anime, and I think that a lot of others will agree. Even with its cliche premise about the friendship of 5 girls who attend high school together, Kinmoza’s story feels authentic because it comes to its own. Here are some thoughts that I had about the show:

  1. Kinmoza is like the hallmark of being cheerful, energetic, and affectionate in a moe anime. It shows that doing everyday life things can be fun when you do them with your friends, and all of this is executed very well.
  2. The show has 2 characters from England, and this is an interesting addition to the plot of the show. The challenges that they face in adapting to the new environment, learning a new language, and missing home was something that I could relate to.
  3. One aspect of the show that I thought was weird/racist was in the portrayal of Western culture. For example, one of the girls from England wore a Union Jack sweater all the time and the MC was seriously obsessed her friends’ blond hair. Nothing was particularly offensive but it was interesting seeing “white culture” be stereotyped and blond hair be objectified.
  4. Some of the show’s funniest moments come from the seiyuu of the blond girls trying to speak English like its their native language. Genuinely cute and hilarious.
  5. I remember feeling fairly annoyed in one or two of the earlier episodes because the MC had such an insecure jealousy over her friend. It was too much drama and misunderstandings. But the rest of the show wasn’t like this.

There isn’t much else to talk about in terms of the plot or characters in Kinmoza because the point of the show for me was to enjoy its moe aesthetics and character interactions. Like I said, it’s “pop”. But with nothing glaring to complain about, and also for being one of the most typical yet iconic CGDCT slice of life anime, I would give both seasons a high 7/10.


[Source]

Image is from Kiniro Mosaic

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First thoughts on Urara Meirochou (2017)

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(Note: This post was written after watching just the first episode)

Urara Meirochou is a 2017 Winter season anime from J.C.Staff. Quite frankly, I decided to watch this series because it looked cute asf. But what added to my anticipation waiting for the series to start was when I checked that Urara’s source was 4-koma manga. Some of my favourite anime have been adapted from 4-koma manga (like K-On! and New Game!), and so I was hoping that Urara would be another good one. Settings wise, this is a standard moe narrative involving CGDCT (cute girls doing cute things).

The strange thing is, however, for a CGDCT anime, I thought that I felt some dark implications in its tone. For one thing,  Urara had a rather muted colour palette instead the bright, poppy, and cheerful colour palettes I’ve comes to expect from modern anime like New Game! or Konosuba. Not only this, I thought that the leaf reading and kokkuri scenes were actually trippy and fairly serious in tone compared to its contemporaries dealing with magic and spirits.

I’m having a hard time putting this feeling into words at the moment but the vibe of Urara is strangely reminiscent of 2000s era anime in that it has an “earthy” feel to it. On top of the colours, the outlines are more in sketches than clean and minimal lines that are stylistic of modern anime. And just… how shall I put it, the plot feels more like a shonen anime than a moe anime — there is adventure waiting to be had.

There was some ecchi too. And I couldn’t believe that they somehow brought ecchi into an anime depicting 15 year old girls. But although it’s obviously catering to a certain audience, I kind of appreciated the playfulness of it rather than straight up ecchi fanservice. Feral is apparently the new savage.

Towards the end of the episode, it seemed like the writers needed to force the plot into the 20 minute time frame, because all of a sudden, there was this cliche ecchi scene involving skirts and a rather noticeable background music shift. But I would have to say that this was the only time the story’s immersion broke.

Overall, I think this will be one of the more popular anime of this season due to how cute it is. I’m looking forward to watching more of it.

Edit:  My roommate Edward got back to Vancouver just a few days ago, and we decided to kick this year off with Urara’s pilot. Cheers to another fun year of watching anime together!


[Source]

Image is from Urara Meirochou