I recently started watching the series Kantai Collection, and it’s a fun little show. There is a huge cast of characters, so I’ve already got a few favorites. One of them is Kongou… born in England and raised in Japan. She’s got an over-the-top, yet easygoing personality and speaks in a very loud, deliberately paced, and somewhat broken combination of Japanese and English. And her voice sounded awfully familiar, since I’d heard it before.
Nao Touyama provides the voice for Kongou, and I have previously heard her as the half-English, half-Japanese Karen in Kin-iro+Mosaic. In fact, Touyama’s performance as Kongou is virtually identical to that of Karen’s, down to her speech patterns, including her signature long, drawn out -desu.
Kin-iro+Mosaic (also known as KINMOZA!) is one of my favorite slice-of-life shows. It has a little more to the premise than most slice-of-lifes, since a cultural exchange lies at its root.
Shinobu is a Japanese girl who likes all things English, and Alice is an English girl who likes all things Japanese. When they were younger, Shinobu did a homestay in England with Alice’s family. Now, a few years later when they’re in high school, Alice goes to Japan as an exchange student to Shinobu’s school. A joyous reunion is had by all, including Shinobu’s friends Aya and Yoko. Later, Alice’s friend, the half-English, half-Japanese Karen, soon joins the fun with her broken Japanese. Also, Shinobu really likes blonde hair, so when she finds herself with two blonde English friends, she is in paradise. (In fact, the show’s title loosely translates to Blonde-colored Mosaic.)
Fun and cute, and with more English speaking in a Japanese series than I’ve ever heard before, Kin-iro+Mosaic easily makes my list of favorites.