One year to change your life, all expenses paid… sounds good, right? For Kaizaki Arata, a part-time conbini worker, it seemed too good to be true. Approached in the middle of the night by an employee of the ReLife organisation, he’s promised a full time job if he agrees to take part in a social experiment for a year. Drunk and desperate, Arata takes the pill he’s offered, which makes him look ten years younger. It’s his job to infiltrate the local high school and act as a normal student, but it’s not exactly easy. His body is still physically 27 years old, and he hasn’t sat in a classroom for years. Add a smoking habit and a dash of alcohol dependency… well, he’s not exactly the star pupil.
I first stumbled upon Kiniro Mosaic, or Kinmoza! for short, on a YouTube video just over two weeks ago. It was a recommended video which compiled a collection of English spoken in Japanese dubs, and naturally as an English speaker I was curious (procrastinating revision was also a key factor). To my absolute surprise, there were British people! As a Brit myself, it gets a bit tiring seeing most Westerners being represented by America so to find a series where British people existed outside of a historical setting – I’m looking at you Kuroshitsuji – was very welcome. I pretty much binge watched all 24 episodes over the space of four days, finding myself drawn in instantly.
Two cultures collide as we follow the escapades of Shinobu Oomiya, a Japanese high school student obsessed with anything foreign, but mostly blonde hair! A few years before, she had gone on a homestay in England and befriended a blonde girl named Alice Cartelet. To Shinobu’s surprise, Alice turns up at her school as an exchange student. She’s closely followed by Karen Kujo, a biracial girl with both English and Japanese heritage… and blonde hair. Shino’s long suffering friends, Yoko and Aya, have to handle her obsession and all five of them navigate high school together. It’s a case of weeaboo vs. teaboo as West meets East, complete with culture shocks, homesickness, and language barriers.