Kin’iro Mosaic, also known as Kinmoza! internationally is an anime series that recently finished airing in Japan and simulcasting internationally kudos of Sentai Filmworks. While I never watched past the first episode (Saving the rest of the series for the 2014 home video release), the opportunity recently arose to acquire the artbook based on the manga series written and illustrated by Yui Hara. Jumping at the opportunity I now have the copy in my hands!
To wrap up the evening which has already consisted of two reviews (Rayman Fiesta Run and Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers), I invite you to read through this bonus review of this very charming artbook. Do note that this book was produced before the anime series was concluded and does not comprise of promotional artwork for the adaptation. In addition, this book is not available outside of Japan, and therefore will need to be imported.
Kin’iro Mosaic is essentially a story about two cultures, Japanese and British. One day many years before the series starts, Shinobu Omiya does a homestay in England and stays with the Alice Cartelet and her family. Despite initial tension between Shinobu and Alice, the two become good friends. Years later after returning to Japan, Shinobu discovers that Alice has chosen to move to Japan, and more specifically at the same school.
Himitsu no Kin’iro Mosaic is an approximately 128 page artbook that is split up into three distinct sections, the first of which focuses on a number of small chapters based around the seasons. Each of these chapters are labelled depending on the artwork they hold – so for example “Spring” features artwork based around cherry blossoms, “Summer” focuses on swimsuits and “Rainy Season” is as the name implies.
The second and larger chapter focuses on the miscellaneous artwork and includes everything from the girls in classic maid attire to school uniforms. Finally there is the third chapter which focuses on black and white artwork more in line with manga designs and a considerable amount of concept artwork. For those familiar with some more niche manga titles, you may find a few crossover characters in a few pieces of artwork – an example being Nijuku and Sanju from Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro.
There is a good selection of artwork on offer, and more notably there is nothing overly elaborate. Unlike other pure artbooks that I have reviewed that have attempted to cram as many costume types as possible into the one book (Bottle Fairy Funbook: Tokumi Yuiko Illustrations) or trying to sneak in some additional fanservice (White Fairy: Kudryavka Noumi Photo Album), every page was often dedicated to an individual piece of artwork, didn’t have overly elaborate backdrops and let the simple attire and cute character designs appeal to the reader.
Looking through the book, it is all-ages friendly with no notable attempts to come off as fanservice, The decision to not have more than a single piece of artwork on a single page also worked in its favor, although I wouldn’t have objected to some of the landscape artwork being rotated a bit to make greater use of the space than leaving sizable sections of white space below and above them. Each piece of artwork also features either a comment by illustrator Yui Hara or a note on where the particular piece was used – ranging from “special favor” artwork to those used in specific books/magazines.
Overall, Himitsu no Kin’iro Mosaic is one of the most charming artbooks that I currently have in my collection, and has to some degree bridged the wait gap between the airing of the first episode and when Sentai Filmworks finally decided to release the series on (hopefully) Blu-ray.
Cute artwork and lots of it!
The decision to let every piece of colour artwork have its own page.
Nothing all that interesting behind the slipcover.