Gold-hued lazy days Clockwise from top: Aya, Karen, Alice, Shinobu, and Youko.
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.
This manga provides examples of:
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."
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.
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.
The Ditz: Shinobu is hardly bright. One of the earliest strips shown her scoring zero in math, and despite her European Foreign Culture Fetish, she doesn't know much English (and tried to read an English paper!) and may or may not even know that England and France are part of Europe at all!
Femininity Failure: Youko's attempt to be more girly (so as to get boyfriends) in Episode 4.
Foreign Culture Fetish: Both Shinobu and Alice are fans of England and Japan respectively. On another note, Alice is also a fan of Shinobu herself, to the point of declaring a fanclub (and herself, the president).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 The owner of said Bed & Breakfast inn also happens to travel to Japan to teach British culture and etiquette to the Japanese. 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.
Surprisingly Good English: The anime used Japanese voice actors fluent in English, and has the scripts reviewed by an English school.
While the English is surprisingly good by Western standards, it isn't exactly perfect. Not a single British accent is even attempted despite the first episode taking place in England note The characters speak in a more neutral or American accent instead and some words used are out of place note Aren't you going to eat that desert?.
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.