Manga Shelf

Manga First Look: Kiniro Mosaic Volume 1

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Cute, cute, cute, cute. That’s what comes to mind with part of the pop cultural aesthetics of Japanese culture, and this is something that we see time and time again in manga as well. This cuteness is also usually used to accentuate the foreignness of a girl who is studying abroad in Japan as well.

You need to look no further than Persona 5’s character Ann as recent popular example of this. In a lot of cases, they tend to be heartfelt weeaboos, who love everything Japan.

If there is one thing that the moe-tinged manga Kiniro Mosaic is bound to do is to take some of these stereotypes and turn them on their head in a very refreshing way.

The story starts with Shinobu who a while back did a homestay with her friend Alice’s family. Alice is British, which is very much the typical location for westerners in Japanese manga.

Alice then decided to do the same thing while she’s attending high school in Japan. With Shinobu as her entryway into their ring of friends, they are joined by Aya and Youko.

From here, the manga quickly becomes a slice of life type of story; the girls will spend time together dealing with cultural differences and also meld together with their own different personalities.

And speaking of the personality traits, all the girls do indeed take on a specific personality trait that is regularly found in moe-style manga, such as the studious character and the tomboy.

There are quite a few comical moments that come with their interactions as culture shock is one of the themes that are explored in the Kiniro Mosaic. It’s done in an interesting way and lets each of the girls shine in their respective ways.

Kiniro Mosaic is a light read that relies on its humor to get its overall message about culture and acceptance across. It makes for a nice reminder of what it’s like to be new and to see Japan through fresh eyes.