Manga: Kin-iro Mosaic

Gold-hued lazy days
Clockwise from top: Aya, Karen, Alice, Shinobu, and Youko.

"Hello!!"
"Arigato!!"

Junior high student Shinobu Oomiya decides to do a week-long homestay in England. Her hosts, the Cartalets, have a daughter Alice the same age, and despite the language barrier, the two become close friends. When the week ends and the two have to part, Alice swears that she'll one day she'll go to Japan and see Shinobu again. Years later, she does just that - she suprises Shino by transfering to her high school and coming to stay with her. High levels of cuteness ensue.

Originally a manga by Yui Hara serialized in Manga Time Kirara Max, Kin-iro Mosaic (lit. Golden Mosaic, a.k.a. Kin'iro Mosaic or KinMoza!. The hyphen is necessary as a pronunciation guide) received an anime adaptation by Studio Gokumi in the Summer 2013 Anime season.

The second season, titled Hello!! Kin-iro Mosaic, aired during the Spring 2015 Anime season.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Abbey Road Crossing: Appears in the second season's ending.
  • A-Cup Angst: From Episode 2 it's quite clear that both Alice and Aya have it, especially Aya.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The backstory part of the anime was expanded from a single strip, and it mainly mentioned when Shinobu spent a week with Alice with Shinobu only knowing "Hello" and Alice only knowing "Arigato."
  • Beach Episode: Episode 10 of Hello.
  • Big Fancy House: The anime shows that Karen lives in a large estate complete with an equally-massive manor. Definitely not a girl from a middle-class upbringing.
    • It's also implied that she's relatively wealthy as well. In fact, in Episode 9, it's been revealed that Karen is the landlord of an entire apartment.
  • Blackmail: Karen's primary intent, in the first episode of Hello, was to dig up some dirt on Kuzehashi-sensei to get the teacher off her back. Needless to say it backfires.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • In the first episode, Burberry's in Heathrow was changed to "Surberry."
    • In Episode 5, it turned out Isami's camera is from CameOn (Canon).
    • In Episode 6, Youko is applying Chant-Aid (Band-Aid) bandages to Aya's sprain on her foot.
    • The English textbook the cast uses is Grown. It is supposed to be Crown, Japan's best-selling English textbook. (The version that the anime uses was unfortunately obsolete, though)
  • Blank White Eyes: Alice often has Blank Blue Eyes.
  • Blue with Shock: Applies to almost everyone, but Alice seems particularly prone.
  • Brutal Honesty: Alice and Karen when eating the food Aya made.
    Both: "It doesn't have much flavor."
    Yoko: "Can't you be a bit more sensitive?!"
  • Call Back: Yoko saying "Sea!" and Karen saying "Sky!", when asked about what they want to do for summer in episode 8 of Hello!, to a similar exchange in the first season.
  • Childhood Friends: Between Shinobu, Yoko and Aya, and between Alice and Karen.
  • Color Failure: Done by both Alice and Yoko in the final episode of Hello.
  • Conveniently Seated: The cast occupies both spots; Alice and Shinobu (circled red) in the middle of the front row, and Aya and Youko (circled in blue) at the window seats.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Episode 7 of Hello has Karen's mother punishing her daughter for causing trouble for Kuzehashi-sensei by eating a piece of "super yummy cake" in front of her.
  • Curtains Match The Windows: Aya, Youko, and Isami.
  • Custom Uniform: Shinobu wears a coat that's short at the torso, Alice wears a pink sweater, and Karen wears a Union Jack sweater.
  • Cutesy Dwarf: Played for Laughs in the first episode, where Shinobu mentioned Alice looks like a doll. Alice was suitably freaked out. Of course she didn't understand her at the time.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Both the OP and the ED. The ending even features the girls singing at the camera together.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Averted, hard. In the final episode of Hello!, Yoko tries to fix her kid sister's teddy bear with duct tape, and fails. Hard. Shino has to fix it for her the old-fashioned way: via sewing.
  • Evolving Credits: The opening to Hello varies slightly from episode to episode. And in episode 5, the ending also starts to show slight edits as well.
    • Alice starts introduces the opening song in episode 2, while Shino does it in episode 5, Karen does it in episode 7, Aya does it in episode 9, and finally Yoko does it in episode 11.
    • A shot with everyone holding hands in a circle, with the camera showing each character one at a time, is also added in episode 5.
  • Femininity Failure: Youko's attempt to be more girly in Episode 4.
  • Foreign Farewell: When walking home from school, Karen kisses Shinobu on the cheek as goodbye. Alice and friends freak out and the former chastises Karen.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Alice to both Karen and Karasuma in regarding to Shinobu (since Shinbou admires Karasuma and Karen really admires Shinbou). Regardless, she maintains a good relationship between the said two characters and any negative feelings are often Played for Laughs.
  • Genki Girl: Karen and Youko to some extent.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Alice, an Ingenue with pigtails. Aya also wears long pigtails.
    • Youko had these in middle school. She gets them again briefly when she tries imitating Aya in order to be more "ladylike".
  • Girls Love: Alice and Shino. And Aya towards Yoko, but this one may be on-sided, Yoko wasn't as clear as the others.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • In-Universe: In the opening Shinobu said the only English she knows is "Hello"... and "Guts Pose!" Her friends quickly lampshaded that as wasei-eigo.
    • Episode 1 has a more glaring mistake; where Mrs Carteret offered dessert, but pronounced as "desert."
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Karen's crash course in her father's mother language worked for the most part, but she has an audible accent - and the way she says "good morning" became an In-Universe Memetic Mutation.
  • Heroic BSOD:
    • In Episode 11 Alice had that because of a dream which Shinobu dumped her because she was "too Japanese."
    • Both Alice and Aya had that in the last episode, when class arrangement means Alice goes with Youko and Aya goes with Shinobu and Karen.
  • Imagine Spot: Aya's imagination on what would happen to Shinobu if she got her hands on the computer, in episode 4.
  • It's a Small World After All: What are the chances that the beach that the girls go to in Episode 10, also is the same one that their teachers Karasuma and Kuzehashi visit, and on the same day at that? However ultimately averted, as neither party runs into each other, and while Shino and her friends eventually go home in the afternoon, Karasuma and Kuzehashi stay overnight and relax in one of the nearby resorts.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Downplayed in Episode 4. Aya thinks that Isami doesn't allow Shinobu to use the former's computer (with a lame excuse) was due to the latter's blonde fetish. Aya's Imagine Spot of what Shinobu would do if she finds pictures of blondes online makes Shinobu's response look similar to a horny guy's response to pornography.
  • Iyashikei
  • Late for School: In the Hello! intro, Yoko can be seen dashing out of her house with toast in her mouth.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Potentially crossing into Breaking the Fourth Wall when Shinobu comments that if she dyed her hair blonde, she would have to be blurred out. Alice doesn't understand what she is talking about.
    • In episode 3, Karen is worried that she is having a hard time making friends with her classmates because of her Tsurime Eyes.
  • Lethal Chef: In episode 2 of the second season, when the girls ask Isami for help with their baking, she claims her best dish is fried eggs, burnt to a crisp, implying she's spectacularly bad at cooking, and get out of helping them that way.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Happens in Episode 2 when Shinobu talks about dying her hair blonde when she graduates, in Episode 3 when the promise Karen made to Alice when they were younger was merely to return a borrowed pencil, and in Episode 6 when Youko wishes that Aya was her mom after tasting her improved cooking.
    • Musicalis Interruptus: Occurs quite often, but a noticeable instance is in episode 2 when Aya ruins a poignant moment with a logical comment. And again in Episode 6 when she's interrupted by Shinobu floating down the stream.
  • Love Bubbles: Shows up when Aya fixes Youko's collar.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Youko receives what appears to be a love letter in her shoe locker. Turns out Shinobu wrote a letter to Alice's parents, hoping Alice would translate it into English.
  • Luminescent Blush
  • Memetic Mutation: In-Universe example: Karen's mispronunciation of "good morning" spread to the entire class 1-A.
  • Musical Episode/The Cast Showoff: Episode 12 ends with a musical story narrated by Shino.
  • New Transfer Student: Alice and Karen. Aya turns out to have transferred in in the seventh grade, about three years before the present story. The difficulties for people under this trope to make friends is discussed in the third episode.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Karen is a very energetic and friendly half-British, half-Japanese girl and can get along with her fellow classmates to the point that they give her free snacks.
    • Alice is such a kindhearted sweetheart loli. She rarely holds any negative grudges and feelings towards anyone. In episode 7, Alice even helps improve and teach Shinobu some English language skills (which Shinobu will later get a good grade in the following English test) and even help cheers Shinobu up when Alice finds out that Shinobu didn't do that well on her math test.
      • Shinobu herself is a relatively friendly girl despite being the resident ditz (particularly when both Alice and Shinobu first met in episode 1).
    • This trope is lampshaded on Youko in Karen's pie chart as "50% comedic retorts, 50% kind-hearted."
  • Nonuniform Uniform: Karen wears a parka with the Union Jack above the uniform. The others mention that it may be against the rules. Also Yoko never wears her blazer.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent The anime largely avoids attempting British accents despite two main characters and several secondary characters being from there, in addition to a good chunk of screentime being spent there. The characters speak in a more neutral or American accent instead; their best attempt at giving the characters a British accent is having Alice pronounce "little" as "li'ull" a couple times, dropping the "T" sound.
  • Officially Shortened Title: The Japanese publisher requested the American licensees to use the title KinMoza!.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In Episode 11, Alice, asked Karasuma whether she's going out with her boyfriend on Christmas. Karasuma replied, "For me, Christmas is a day for prayer." Alice responded with awe as she took that to mean Karasuma actually goes to the church on Christmas, unlike most Japanese who took the day for something completely unrelated. Karasuma probably meant she is praying for a boyfriend of her own.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Largely averted. Alice is short even by Japanese standards, and Karen is neither the tallest nor the bustiest of the cast. The remaining stereotypes, blonde hair and blue eyes, though, were played straight—the "kin-iro" in the title refers, partly, to blonde hair.
  • Product Placement: Signs for Coco-juku, the English school that is behind the English-language training in the anime, is commonly seen across town.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Youko's red to Aya's blue. Hair is even color-coded for your convienece.
  • Sailor Fuku: Shinobu's big sister wears one.
  • Scooby Stack: Done by the girls in the first episode of Hello, while they followed Kuzehashi-sensei around the school.
  • Schoolgirl Series
  • Serious Business: So, what should be done for the School Festival, maid cafe or teahouse? Owing to their respective Foreign Culture Fetishes, Alice and Shinobu did argue over that.
    • Blonde hair is this for Shino. If Alice so much as hints at dyeing hers, as in Hello! Episode 4, Shino completely flips out.
  • Shown Their Work: The depictions of England in the first episode are basically accurate; and the Carteret house was basically drawn out of a real English Bed & Breakfast in a small townnote . Also, as mentioned above, they at least tried their best to defy Gratuitous English, despite the Japanese are clearly not the best English speakers in the world.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In season 1 episode 6, Karen shows Shinobu an open Anime Time Kirara magazine with descriptions of Yuyushiki.
    • In season one, episode 8, Karen plays a samurai in a retelling of Snow White. When she uses her sword, she puts it away saying, "Once again, I've cut a worthless object", a clear nod to Goemon Ishikawa of Lupin III fame.
    • In season 1 episode 12, Karen reads a manga whose cover features a boy who suspiciously looks like Kirito from Sword Art Online and a girl who looks suspiciously like Silica from the same series. After reading the manga and clearly being inspired by it, Karen puts on the eyepatch of Rikka Takanashi from Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions. Just to let you know it's a shout out, Aya even calls it "middle school fantasies".
    • In season 2 episode 4, when Honoka sees Karen "giving energy (really shouting "energy in" at the plants)" she wonders if Karen is from a magic school in London, a clear shout-out to Harry Potter.
    • The end of episode 5 of Hello, with Shino sneaking off in the middle of the night, and warning Alice not to peek at what she's doing (doing late-night costume sewing), is a clear reference to the Japanese fairy tale The Crane Wife/The Grateful Crane.
    • In episode 10 of Hello, after being smacked by Yoko, Karen does her variation of the "Even my father never hit me!" quote from Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Shinobu and her sister Isami, as Alice lampshaded.
  • The Stinger: Every episode has an extra scene after the credits, but before the On the Next preview.
    • Episode 12 shows a special end credits sequence before the episode is even halfway over.
  • Straight Man: Youko and Aya, particularly Youko.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The anime used Japanese voice actors fluent in English, and has the scripts reviewed by an English school. Odd grammar still pops up occasionally.
  • Taken for Granite: Alice in the final episode of Hello!, when Isami unknowingly shows Karen's recordings of her "Depressed Alice misses Shino" videos to everyone.
  • Threesome Subtext: As far as Shino is concerned, it would be best if she had both Alice and Karen. She even comments that she could have a blonde on each arm. She also likes to daydream about the two together.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Alice, the short, naive girl.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Youko as the Tomboy, Aya as the Girly Girl.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: When telling the group about her and Shinobu's younger days, Youko wore her hair like this in the flashback.
  • Translation Convention: Averted for most of the series, where it's usually made plain whenever someone speaks in English (in Alice or Karen's case). However, come the final episode of Hello!, things suddenly becomes muddled, as there are segments where both Alice and Karen speaking in English, followed by the two speaking in obvious Japanese... except in the latter segments, we're also shown Alice's mum speaking (and understanding!) Japanese. Complicating matters is how later on, we're shown her speaking in English, and she actually comments how Alice and Karen now use Japanese whenever they talk to each other.
  • Tsundere: Aya is the series' resident tsundere, but she's gentle and conflicted rather than nasty or violent.
  • Weight Woe: In episode 7:
    Aya: (checking her weight) "Is this scale broken?"
    Youko: "No, I don't think so."
    Aya: "It must be because of my clothes, then. That's it. That must be it." (starts taking off her shirt)
    Youko: "Face reality! And don't take off your clothes!"
  • X Meets Y: Azumanga Daioh meets Great Britain.
  • Yonkoma
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Aya. However, Youko refers to it as black, making this more of a case of Hair Color Dissonance.
    • Aya also refers to it as black in season 2, episode 4.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Alice is Grade A, Aya is Grade S.