Created By: Yui Hara

Directed By: Tensho

Studio: Studio Gokumi

Audio: Japanese

Subtitles: English

Format: BluRay/DVD Combo

Classification: 12 (BBFC)

Licensed By: Animatsu / Manga Entertainment UK

 

With a new school year, comes some drastic changes for Shinobu and her friends. With a year of both academic and self growth ahead of each of them, they must first learn to adapt to their new surroundings as best friends have been split into different classes! With Shinobu and her golden haired princess Alice now in two separate homerooms, how will they cope with their withdrawal symptoms from one another? Karen also has a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and getting into trouble, so this year she is determined to become best friends with her Home Room teacher – Ms Kuzehashi. While Aya is struggling to understand and express her feelings to Yoko, without looking like a crazy person! It’s going to be a busy year ahead for this group of friends.

It has been roughly three years since I reviewed Season One of this show, but its’ still rather fresh in my mind. Having already been introduced to all the main characters, it has now been a full year since Alice moved to Japan and began her extended homestay living with Shinobu and her family. Now in a new grade, it comes with new seating and class arrangements leaving Shinobu & Alice apart & with their other friends. This season is more about how the group learns more about one another, like their past, hobbies, interests and also trying to figure out how Shinobu thinks. As with most anime, we have the inevitable beach episode as well.

In Season One, we learned quite a bit about Alice, now we learn some more about Shinobu and how she developed an interest in learning the English language, as well as her other interests and career aspirations. We also learn a bit more about Karen and Alice’s friendship and history, as well as meeting Yoko’s siblings. Aya get’s a good deal of screen time and in it, we see her begin to understand her feelings towards her best friend, how she tries to become more confident and her attempts to be more honest about her emotions. Outside of these five characters, we see a friendship grow between their home room teachers Ms Karasuma and Ms Kuzehashi. The latter of which is struggling with how to interact with her students and gain their trust & acceptance. It’s actually quite interesting to see scenarios like this involving the older characters, who are seen as mentors to the students. How they all still experience the same moments of self doubt, anxiousness and awkwardness, even though they are the mature characters in the show. So where we have Yoko’s younger siblings, our teenage high school students and their teachers, all dealing with their own shortcomings and issues – we also have Shinobu’s older sister Isami put into the mix. These four important age groups all portray their own emotional issues that they are tackling, which is a great way of showing viewers that it’s not about how difficult your problems may be – but how you deal with it and overcome them. There is also some solid advice in this show, most of it seems to be from Aya and Ms Karasuma.

So we have the start of a new school year, some occasional run-ins for Karen with the Home Room teacher, Alice begins to experience some moments of being Home Sick, numerous character developments happening and a trip to the beach to round it all off! For me, this season just wasn’t as exciting as the first. Perhaps it could just be the fact it has been an almost three year gap from seeing Season One, but this season failed to hold my attention. Let me know in the comments below what you thought of the show!

The series originally began as a 4 panel manga created by Yui Hara, it began serialization in ‘Manga Time Kirara Max’ magazine in 2010 and now has 11 complete volumes released, having ended the manga series just this May. It is being published in English through Yen Press. The series was later adapted into an anime and released Season 1 in 2013 from Studio Gokumi. Hello!! Kinmoza! Is season 2 of the show and originally aired back in 2015. Both were produced by Studio Gokumi, a Japanese animation studio founded back in 2010, which also co-produced ‘The Ambition of Oda Nobuna’ alongside Madhouse.

You can buy both Season One and Two together now over on Amazon for just under £25, you can buy Season 2 over on the Manga Entertainment UK website. Where you can purchase it as a BluRay and DVD combi set, so you don’t have to choose which format to watch!

This may not be the last we see of Shinobu and Alice, as there is also an animated film in the works from Studio Gokumi and AXsiZ, with no date as to when it will be released just yet. Fingers crossed when a physical release does reach us over here, they will also combine it with the OVA ‘Kin-iro Mosaic: Pretty Days’, that was released in Japan back in 2016. T

And that is it from me for now, until next time – take care!

Overall: 7/10

 

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