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The protagonist idol group hailing from Otonokizaka Academy. Initially starting with three members, they grow in number throughout the first season, finally hitting its final roster of nine members. μ's original purpose was to attract prospective students to enroll at Otonokizaka to prevent it from closing down by taking advantage of the recent trend and popularity of school idols. Pretty soon, they become one of the most popular school idol groups in the series.
- Breaking the Fellowship: In the latter episodes of the second season, they decide to disband after the third years graduate. They officially announce this in the movie, with their performance for the Love Live event at the Akiba Dome being implied as their final performance.
- Cast Herd: μ's members form their own groups of three whenever they are not together. Specifically, there's the first years (Hanayo, Rin, Maki), the second years, (Honoka, Umi, Kotori), and the third years (Eri, Nozomi, Nico). Aside from this, they also are divided into "sub units" of three members during performances: Printemps (Honoka, Kotori, Hanayo), BiBi (Eri, Maki, Nico), and Lily White (Umi, Nozomi, Rin)
- School Idol Festival complicates things further, by having each of the girls assigned an "attribute": Smile (Rin, Honoka, Nico), Pure (Hanayo, Kotori, Nozomi), or Cool (Maki, Umi, Eri).
- Characterization Marches On: Generally, there are aspects to them that remain the same no matter what continuity, such as Honoka starting the group or Maki being born to a family of doctors, but it took a few years for their characters to really solidify; for example, Nozomi was more of a Cloudcuckoolander and Nico's cuteness was more genuine. Since old content is often a separate continuity from newer content, it's common for people to just mix it up to some degree, with the anime interpretations being the most widely accepted.
- Character-Magnetic Team: μ's typically starts with the three-member group of Honoka, Kotori and Umi, then grow from there until they hit 9. Then in the movie, they manage to recruit damn near every school idol group in Japan and then some for their performance of Sunny Day Song.
- Color-Coded Characters: You can see their image colors in each character's individual sections below. Subverted somewhat in that many of them are VERY inconsistent with their colors.
- Famed In-Story: The anime is about μ's rise to fame. By the second season, their popularity has equalled and at one point surpassed their rival, and alreadly established school idol group, A-RISE. Also, as noted in the Legendary in the Sequel trope below, they have become a legendary idol group.
- Image Song: While the subject of nearly every song is vaguely-defined, each of them have at least one solo song that fits their character particularly.
- Legendary in the Sequel: They achieve this status in Sunshine, with people such as Chika and Dia holding great admiration for them.
- Name's the Same: An in-universe example in that they share the same name with a soap brand (in the dub, Honoka just mistakes their name for hair mousse). It comes up several times throughout the series, whenever μ's achieves something big, they ask whether its their group being referred to or the soap brand.Honoka: A catchphrase huh? Oh! "Not a soap brand!"
- Saving the Orphanage: μ's original goal was to prevent their school from closing due to lack of enrolling students.
- School Idol: The trope means 'someone idolized in school'. At the beginning, it's just Eli and/or Umi who barely qualify, but by the end of the anime series, μ's turns into the number one idol group, qualifying everyone by a landslide.
- Image Color: Orange (Red or pink in PVs)Age: 16Birthday: August 3 (Leo)Height: 157cmThree Sizes: B78/W58/H82Trademark Favorite Food: Strawberries and lunch breadLeast Favorite Food: Green peppers, azuki beansCharm Point: Her energetic smileUnits: Printemps
Studies: ★★Reflexes: ★★★★Aggressiveness: ★★★★★Conformity: ★★★Special Trait: Her clumsiness (★★★★★)
- Character Statistics:
- Big Eater: She can keep up with Hanayo, to say the least. She's also been shown to ask for tea in her sleep and convinces Hanayo to ditch their workout routine to eat rice when the two were supposed to be dieting.
- Book Dumb:
- She especially has trouble with math.
- She also gets easily overwhelmed by paperwork for the student council in the second season.
- Bound and Gagged: Happens to her in the movie at the hands of Hideko, Mika and Fumiko, who try to persuade her to not disband μ's and hold another concert.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: A compelling leader and actually pretty good at motivating and organizing people, but is often too laid-back to do so. Umi even mentions that she can do the student council work just fine if she stops procrastinating.
- Childhood Friends: Kotori and Umi. Eli as well in the manga.
- Comically Missing the Point: She tends to do this. Hell, this is her Establishing Character Moment in the first episode, when she thinks the school closure is effective immediately, and she'll have to re-take her entrance exams to transfer to a new school.
- Compelling Voice: One of the reasons why she's considered the leader of the group. Almost parodied in the second season where she "stops" rain by yelling at it. She tries it again in episode 5, first at Umi's phone while it has a weather app running on it, then at the sky. It doesn't work either time.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: More so in the audio dramas than in the anime.
- Dare to Be Badass: In the manga, Honoka delivers one to Umi in response to the latter's desire to give up on participating in the Love Live.
- Honoka: I know that our goal wasn't to win the Love Live, but if we want to do everything in our power to save the school, didn't we agree that the best way to do that would be to win the Love Live!?Umi: But in our region, Japan's biggest school idols, A-RISE, stand in our way. They're the champs, and the scale of equipment, and everything else about their school totally outclasses ours.Honoka: Then all eyes will be on us! I'll bet you couldn't find a better situation than that!
- The Determinator: Subverted at first, but then invoked. Honoka is initially described as someone who tends to get overly excited over a prospect, dragging everyone around her into achieving said prospect only to lose confidence in the end and quit (causing trouble for everyone involved). When she initially tries to form a school idol group, she doesn't have much luck in it, and it seemed like history would repeat itself towards the end of Season 1, but Honoka ends defying expectations by never truly giving up. She puts everything she has into become a school idol and against all odds (and despite numerous setbacks) she succeeds.
- Does Not Like Spam: Honoka dislikes azuki beans, since she lives in a Japanese-style sweet shop and she's eaten them so often that she's sick of them.
- Family Theme Naming: Shares the "穂" (ho) character with her sister, notable in that the sweet shop her family manages is called "Homura", phonetically mirroring this.
- Genki Girl: She gets excited pretty easily, especially when talking about school idols.
- Hair Decorations: A yellow ribbon that holds up her side ponytail.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: Has one near the end of season 1 of the anime when she collapses during the concert at the school festival after a Heroic Second Wind because she had been undergoing excessive training for the past few days, getting a fever in the process.
- Idiot Hero
- Infectious Enthusiasm: This is the only reason why the group even ended up getting together to start with. It backfires on her in episode 11 of the anime.
- The Leader: As the founder and undisputed center of the μ's, she definitely factors as this. When the group decides to seriously establish a leader, despite lots of protest and discussions, everyone (barring Nico) secretly agrees that Honoka is most fit to be the leader. In the end, her sheer charisma and ability to raise everyone's spirits was a key in μ's success. Though she's good at making important decisions, she also has a habit of proposing wild ideas for the group, with questionably legitimacy at best. She's a Type III mixed with Type IV.
- Red Is Heroic
- Running Gag: Tends to bring up a soap brand that sounds similar to "μ's".
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: She quits the group in season 1 episode 11 due to mounting tensions coming from the group's entry into the Love Live being revoked after her on-stage Heroic R.R.O.D., Kotori declaring that she's going to leave the country to study fashion abroad, and the realization that her goal of keeping the school from shutting down is complete. Fortunately, it doesn't stick for long.
- Second Year Protagonist: A second-year student of Otonokizaka, along with Kotori and Umi.
- Ship Tease: With Umi, though it's pretty much exclusive to the manga and school idol diaries. It's apparently so evident, that Nico outright urges Umi to step in during Honoka's moment with Eli.
- Sleepyhead: Lying down anywhere for more than a couple of seconds and she can fall asleep. She can even sleep at the edge of a cliff.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her last name is romanized as "Kosaka" in School Idol Festival and official art, although "Kousaka" is a common way of romanizing it as well.
- Student Council President: In season 2 of the anime, she replaces Eli as this since Eli is graduating soon.
- Third-Person Person: She refers herself in third person from time to time.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Bread, to the point that her love for it is what Nozomi parodies when she had to act as her.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: She has this with Umi in the manga.◊
- Weight Woe: In the seventh episode of the second season. Naturally this is also when a lot of other girls are eating lots of things, which Umi won't let her touch due to having to go on a diet.
- Image Color: Light BlueAge: 17Birthday: October 21 (Libra)Height: 162cmThree Sizes: B88/W60/H84Trademark Favorite Food: ChocolateLeast Favorite Food: Dried plums and seaweedCharm Point: Her sharp styleUnits: BiBi
Studies: ★★★★Reflexes: ★★★★Aggressiveness: ★★★★Conformity: ★★★★Special Trait: Her internationality (★★★★)
- Character Statistics:
- The Ace: Smart, athletic, popular and gorgeous to boot. Nico agrees completely.
- Anime Catholicism: According to her School Idol Diary, Eli's a Christian.
- The Backwards R: "Я" appears on her practice clothes about as much as "ほ" appears on Honoka's. However, the only place in her name where it might be written is the 'ya' in 'Ayase'.
- Big Breast Pride: Downplayed but present. Eli is fairly annoyed when Nico bluntly states that large breasts make people uncomfortable during the swimsuit contest.
- Broken Bird: It's downplayed a bit, but she used to be on the path to becoming a professional ballerina when she was younger, but kept failing audition after audition until she finally gave up. This is the source of her resentment towards μ's in the beginning (from her perspective, she sees their dancing as sloppy and amateurish).
- But Not Too Foreign: She is a quarter Russian.
- Buxom Is Better: Second largest next to Nozomi, and as pointed by Nico, one of her charm points.
- Catchphrase: хорошо!note
- Childhood Friends: In the manga, she's childhood friends with Honoka, Kotori and Umi.
- Cool Big Sis: Like Nozomi, she often has good advice for the other girls, even if she seems antagonistic at the time about it. Even moreso in the manga.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: In episode 8. Until then, she's a full-on Ice Queen, reserved and sometimes hostile, only showing her softer side to Nozomi. After her defrosting, despite still being one of the most level-headed girls, she's even more relaxed and approachable than Maki or Umi.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Honoka mentions that she's popular with girls because of her beauty and long legs.
- One of the School Idol Diary chapters focuses entirely on this. She tends to receive a ton of love letters.
- Humorously displayed in the manga, in which Nico and Maki are scouting for members to join μ's.
- Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: In one of the animated shorts for μ's 2014 concert, Nico attempts to exploit her fear of haunted houses for amusement.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Some of her artworks have her wearing glasses, but she doesn't wear them in the anime.
- Hair Decorations: Wears a scrunchie to hold up her ponytail.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- She tries to prove that μ's dancing and singing was amateurish by uploading their first performance onto the internet, but it instead winds up contributing to the group's first surge of popularity.
- Her attempt to stop Honoka's group from officially forming a club, by saying that there already is an Idol Research Club at the school, backfires when her comments prompt Nozomi to recommend that Honoka approach the club's president, Nico. This results in both Nico joining μ's and Honoka's group attaining official club status by merging itself into the Idol Research Club.
- Huge School Girl: The tallest of the group (and also pretty busty) and admittedly a bit socially awkward at first.
- The Leader: Subverted. She's a textbook leader (ie: calm, pragmatic and mature) but she always defers to Honoka on decisions that affect μ's.
- The Mole: Played for Laughs. In Episode 8 of Season 2, when Eli keeps insisting for the group to write a love song, even though their performance would be better with a song that already exists, Rin speculates that she might be spy for A-RISE, trying to get μ's to screw up so A-RISE would get to Love Live.
- Complete with a mental image of Eli in an A-RISE outfit.Eli: (imagined by Rin) Sorry guys, but I'm actually a spy!
- Complete with a mental image of Eli in an A-RISE outfit.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Early on, she constantly tries to stop Honoka's attempts to form a club, usually while utilizing school rules or loopholes, such as saying there was already an idol group at their school, or that they would need at least 5 members to form a group. Eventually she stops antagonizing the group and is convinced to join them.
- Passing the Torch: She passes the position of Student Council President to Honoka in season 2.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Blond with light blue eyes.
- Primal Fear: While it is hinted at in Episode 2 of the second season, it is confirmed that she has a fear of the dark ten episodes later.
- She's Got Legs: Honoka mentions this as one of the reasons why she's so popular with girls.
- Ship Tease: With Nozomi.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Official subs for the anime use Eli instead of the more literal reading "Eri". Some translations even use "Ellie".
- However, this video uses Eri.
- The Filipino dub takes the confusion even further by changing her name between seasons 1 and 2, where she is "Eri-chi" in the former and "Erich" in the latter.
- Spock Speak: Very well-spoken with her grandmother, who she holds in high regard.
- Student Council President: During the first season of the anime, until she passes the position to Honoka, as she would be graduating soon.
- True Blue Femininity: At least her image color.
- Image Color: Grey (Green or turquoise in pvs)Age: 16Birthday: September 12 (Virgo)Height: 159cmThree Sizes: B80/W58/H80Trademark Favorite Food: CheesecakeLeast Favorite Food: GarlicCharm Point: Her soft droopy eyesUnits: Printemps
Studies: ★★★★Reflexes: ★★Aggressiveness: ★★Conformity: ★★★★★Special Trait: Her delusional capability (★★★★★)
- Character Statistics:
- Animal Motifs: Fans tend to associate her with birds a lot, mainly because "Kotori" means "little bird". And it doesn't help at all that afterwards, when Pokémon Sun and Moon came, the fans quickly noticed the similarities between her and the new bird starter, Rowlet.◊ This has developed into Ascended Fanon as of late, since the bird motif has made its way into the phone game.
- Buxom Is Better: As noted by Nico in one of the chapters of Nico's School Idol Diary.
- The Charmer: Gender-inverted and downplayed, but Kotori is aware of her natural charisma and does make use of it for the good of both herself and μ's, such as convincing Umi to write a song, working as Minalinsky or negotiating with a group of schoolgirls for their support.
- Childhood Friends: Honoka and Umi. Eli as well outside of the anime.
- Friend to All Living Things: She really likes alpacas, and the SID says that she feeds the birds that sometimes visit outside her window.
- Hair Decorations: A green bow on her side ponytail.
- Ill Girl: She was born with poor leg health which made her unable to run when she was younger. A surgery at Nishikino fixes this (which would explain how her mother and Maki's mother know each other). However, unfortunately it leaves her with a scar that becomes her complex. She did get better though, as the wound becomes less noticeable as she grew up.
- Image Song:
- "Wonder Zone" is an in-universe example in the anime, where the others ask her to write a song about her feelings.
- There's also "Wonderful Rush," the PV that she centered.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Her looped side ponytail isn't impossible to pull off in real life (many videos show how it's basically a side ponytail with a piece that's looped into a bun and sits on top of the head), but the way it always manages to stay in place despite the training that she goes through daily falls into this trope.
- Meido: She works as one at a maid cafe in Akiba, and she is even famous for it.
- Nice Girl: Sweet, quiet, and generally goes along with whatever her friends are doing. Umi even complains that she can be too nice, at least towards Honoka.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Employs this in Episode 2 of the anime to coax Umi into writing μ's first song.
- Surprise Creepy: Supplementary materials reveal a few sadistic undertones on her relationship with Umi.
- Kotori: "... Compared to a dashingly dressed Umi who clenches her fists and proclaims victory, a dejected Umi who is on her knees with both hands on the floor and tearfully admits “I lost…” is so much more attractive, so much more outstanding, so much prettier –"
- Second Year Protagonist: A second-year student of Otonokizaka, along with Honoka and Umi.
- Secret Identity: She's works part-time as Minalinsky, Akiba's legendary maid, when the girls decide to make a school idol group. However, Tsubasa refers to her as the "ex-Charismatic Maid of Akiba" in episode 3 of season 2, suggesting that she either stopped working at the maid cafe or lost the position to someone else.
- Strong Family Resemblance: She looks a lot like her mother.
- Tempting Fate: She receives a letter that offers her the opportunity to study fashion overseas right after a conversation where she, Honoka and Umi agree that they want to be together forever.
- Two First Names: Her surname is also a fairly common given name.
- Yes-Man: Kotori seems to almost always agree with Honoka's opinion when she says something other than what the rest of the group thinks.
- Zettai Ryouiki: On her practice clothes.
- Image Color: BlueAge: 16Birthday: March 15 (Pisces)Height: 159cmThree Sizes: B76/W58/H80Trademark Favorite Food: Honoka's family's manjuuLeast Favorite Food: Carbonated drinksCharm Point: Her long black hair since childhoodUnits: lily white
Studies: ★★★★★Reflexes: ★★★★★Aggressiveness: ★★Conformity: ★★Special Trait: Her modesty (★★★★★)
- Character Statistics:
- Academic Athlete: She's one of the best archers in her school's kyudo club (and the kendo club captain in the manga) and has excellent grades, to the point that when the group splits into tutoring teams to help prepare for exams, she helps tutor Nico, who's a year ahead of her.
- She tries to be the group's Straight Man but can't help but imagine and practice cutesy idol routines in private.
- Don't forget her faces when playing cards with Kotori.
- Ambiguously Gay: While not as nearly as much as Nozomi, she certainly has a lot of moments on her own in the expanded materials.
- In the manga, she kisses Honoka. Though she does it on the cheek.
- In her School Idol Diary, she has a swim race with Eli and ends up thinking Eli would be a good girlfriend for herself.I refused to be married into a family. By any chance, Eli might be a good girlfriend. Eli and I, hmm... there's not much of an age difference between us. Even now, why do I always feel like I should silently surrender? If I don't think about it I can't find an explanation for this.
- As mentioned below in Covert Pervert, she fantasized Nozomi and Rin together when they fool around and ends up getting a nosebleed and passes out.
- Her Secret Short Cut with Kotori has this excerpt from her internal monologue.Hugging me, Kotori looks up and peers into my eyes. I feel like my heart is about to jump out of my chest from the sight. Is the coldness of the water getting to me? Kotori's smile is so white and dazzling.
- She's also canonically the writer for most of the songs, which may include the Les Yay filled songs including "Garasu No Hanazono", "Zurui Yo magnetic today", "Anemone Heart", and "Storm in Lover". If she was the writer for the mentioned songs, then this may bring up some implications about Umi as well.
- Archer Archetype: Umi is one of the calmest and most down-to-earth of the girls, and is in the archery club.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Umi slept through Episode 10's pillow fight, until some of the girls accidentally hit her. When she gets up, all of the girls, even the more calm and collected Eli and Nozomi have an Oh, Crap! look in their face, and when Umi throws the pillows, they seem to hit rather hard. It takes Maki and Nozomi throwing at the same time to knock her back out.
- Childhood Friends: Honoka and Kotori. Eli as well in the manga. She claims to be super childhood friends with Honoka because their mothers were childhood friends too.
- Contralto of Danger: Has the deepest voice out of the nine girls courtesy of Suzuko Mimori and Kira Buckland, and is a skilled archer in the anime and is the Kendo Club Captain in the manga, along with the fact that she can knock people unconscious with supersonic pillows.
- Covert Pervert: In one of the audio dramas, she gets incredibly aroused after witnessing Nozomi and Rin fool around, and she actually passes out from a nosebleed after her imagination runs wild. You can see it play out here.
- Death Glare:
- Gives a scathing one to Nico in the fourth episode of season two.
- And again to Honoka in the seventh episode.
- Deadpan Snarker: Not often, but as expected of the Only Sane Man of the group who also happens to be Honoka's best friend, she has her moments.Rin (about the others leaving early without practicing): You guys are making [Honoka and I] look stupid!
Umi: You are stupid.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: She takes everything seriously, be it her studies, student council work, the group's practice sessions, and even her fellow members' diets, something that Honoka and Hanayo learned the hard way. Nico was even initially worried during episode 2 of season 2 that Umi may implement yet another hellish training course when she shows a bit too much enthusiasm in hiking the nearby mountain.
- Even the Girls Want Her: One of the School Idol Diary chapters reveals that she receives love letters, and has her asking Eli for advice on how to deal with them.
- Heir to the Dojo: Her father is a martial artist, and her mother is a practitioner of traditional Japanese dance. She is expected to inherit the combined dojo of both.
- Japanese Politeness: Always speaks formally, casual settings not excepted.
- Kendo Team Captain: In the manga, she is the captain, and recognized for it, but the distinction of being the best member belonged to Honoka before she dropped kendo for idol activities.
- Love Letter Lunacy: The love letters mentioned above? She replied to each and every one of the literal dozens she received as if she accepted the feelings of the sender, which she thought were along the lines of sisterly admiration. Eventually, they all came up to her in a crowd one day and swarmed her with questions about who she really liked. Since then, she stopped replying, not knowing how to handle the situation delicately.
- Nice Hat: Early artwork and some of the performance costumes liked to show Umi in different berets. While it's toned down over time, they do occasionally pop back up in her SIF cards.
- Not a Morning Person: Inverted, she hates being woken up after she's just gone to sleep.
- Only Sane Woman: Probably the one with most common sense of the group. She even lampshades this when getting relieved over the fact that once Eli joins, she's not longer the only one taking things seriously. However, since Eli has some Cool Big Sis tendencies and sometimes goes along with the other girls' antics, Umi still plays this role anyway.
- Performance Anxiety: She has some early on, but gradually overcomes it.
- Petite Pride: As shown in Nico's School Idol Diary, she doesn't mind that she's among the less endowed.
- The Reliable One: She's the one that tries to keep the girls focused on the task at hand, such as making sure they get enough practice time in. And making sure Honoka isn't goofing off too much.
- Second Year Protagonist: A second-year student of Otonokizaka, along with Honoka and Kotori.
- Serious Business: She tends to treat things she's doing this way, such as making sure the girls know the song and dance routines, not goofing off too much at the beach during a training session, getting her sleep interrupted, or climbing a mountain.
- Ship Tease: With Honoka, though it's pretty much exclusive to the manga and school idol diaries. It's apparently so evident, that Nico outright urges Umi to step in during Honoka's moment with Eli.
- Shrinking Violet: She was one before meeting Honoka. She's also insecure about showing off her body too much.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl: She used to be a Shrinking Violet when she was young.
- Spock Speak: She's always well-spoken no matter who she's addressing.
- Training from Hell: Attempts to invoke this on the others during a two-day training trip to Maki's beach house. Her plan training plan involved a swimming for total of 25 kilometers over two days. It's unknown whether or not even Umi herself could've completed the training, but seeing as she could throw pillows hard enough to render someone unconcious...
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Goodness, she definitely has for this Honoka in the manga.◊
- Yamato Nadeshiko: She's somewhat of a budding one; she comes from a very traditional family, is modest, calm, rational, and has a stubbornness to her regarding the people she cares about. The only thing keeping her from playing this completely straight is how she does get worked up rather often.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair / Hair Color Dissonance: Depending on who you ask or what continuity you're talking about, Umi's hair is either black colored as blue or straight-up blue.
- Image Color: Yellow (Light green in pvs)Age: 15Birthday: November 1 (Scorpio)Height: 155cmThree Sizes: B75/W58/H80Trademark Favorite Food: RamenLeast Favorite Food: FishUnits: lily white, NicoRinPanaVoiced by: Riho Iida (Japanese), Faye Mata (English)
Studies: ★Reflexes: ★★★★★Aggressiveness: ★★★★★Conformity: ★★Special Trait: Her courage (★★★★★)
- Character Statistics:
- Action Girl: The most athletic of the group, originally wanted to try out for the track team, and showcased a rather impressive series of flips in the fifth episode.
- A-RISE even cites her athletic ability as her greatest asset to the group.
- A-Cup Angst: Subverted.
- In the novel, she outright states that she doesn't mind about her chest at all but she also says that she'd prefer to have better assets because it could help her look more feminine.
- However, she is not thrilled when Nozomi uses this to her advantage to get her to slip through a narrow space between two cars that Nico had escaped through while they were chasing her in episode four of season two.
- Animal Motifs: Cats. She's prone to making Cat Smiles, ends many of her sentences with "nya" (the Japanese onomatopoeia for a cat meowing) and even wears cat ears and a tail during one of the music videos they shoot in the anime. Despite that, she dislikes fish and is allergic to cats.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: In the Drama CD's, she's the boke to Nozomi's tsukkomi.
- Book Dumb: Her grades are generally pretty poor (with English being her worst subject by far) and in Maki's School Idol Diary, she claims that getting a 68% on a test is cause for celebration.Rin: Still, why did Maki and her parents make such a fuss about getting 68%!? When I get 68%, we go out and get cheesy hamburg steak to celebrate☆
- Boyish Short Hair: Uses this at first as a reason she doesn't fit the idol image.
- Cat Smile: She sports one from time to time.
- Childhood Friends: She is one with Hanayo, as flashbacks show them being close as far back as elementary school.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She's this way towards Hanayo, if this◊ questionnaire is of any indication
- Q: What would you do if Hanayo-chan brought over a boyfriend?Rin: I'd be surprised! I'm pretty sure I'd cry too—don't know why though. Umm… But I don't think I can even imagine it; just thinking about it gives my chest a weird flickering kind of feeling…I'm going out for a run!
- Fiery Redhead: Although less fiery tempered and more energetic.
- Genki Girl: Generally the most energetic of the group, and is quite evident in the closing credits when the girls are rehearsing.
- I Am Not Pretty: Turns out that she has quite the complex about her Tomboy image, to the point where she legitimately cannot see herself as cute. Hanayo and the others help her get over this.
- The Nicknamer: Tends to add the non-honorific "-chin" to people's names and calls Hanayo "Kayo," an Alternate Character Reading of her first name.
- Third-Person Person: Often refers to herself by name.
- Those Two Girls: She has this relationship with Nozomi of all people in the audio dramas.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Hanayo's girly girl.
- Tomboyish Baseball Cap: She wears one during the PV for the group's third single, which is fitting for the most tomboyish of the girls.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: More tomboyish than the rest of the girls, and is noticeably worried about being too tomboyish to wear frilly skirts, but still loves the idea of being an idol.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Ramen, though she's not as blatant about it as Hanayo's love for rice or even Honoka's love for bread.
- Verbal Tic: Sometimes adds a -nya in the ends of her words.
- Zettai Ryouiki: At the end of episode five of season two, Rin wears feminine clothes to practice, including this. She keeps this outfit for the following episodes to show her Character Development, since she's now more confident about wearing girlier clothing.
- Image Color: Red (Purple or maroon in PVs)Age: 15Birthday: April 19 (Aries)Height: 161cmThree Sizes: B78/W56/H83Trademark Favorite Food: TomatoesLeast Favorite Food: TangerinesCharm Point: Her beauty and overflowing intelligenceUnits: BiBiVoiced by: Pile (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English)
Studies: ★★★★★Reflexes: ★Aggressiveness: ★★★Conformity: ★★★Special Trait: Her self-confidence (Skyrocketing)
- Character Statistics:
- Broken Ace: Smart and born to a wealthy family of doctors, beautiful, the group's main composer, and the most popular in-series and out. And if the 6th PV is to be taken seriously, possesses supernatural powers. However, despite her good fortune, she has her fair share of personal demons to deal with. Her status as the daughter of famous doctors has left her isolated from her peers, she has to contend with parents who have abnormally high expectations of her (all the while being practically forced into becoming a doctor like them) and worst of all, her love for music isn't at all respected by said parents (who only see it as a temporary entertainment at best). The School Diary Idol novel that centers around her goes into more detail.
- Character Tics: Has a habit of curling her hair around her finger when bored or embarrassed.
- Deadpan Snarker: She can have snappy comebacks at times, usually whenever it's directed at Nico.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Although Eli was one too, it takes Maki longer to warm up to the group, and she doesn't take part in too many of the non-idol activities. However, Nozomi tries to help bring her into the group more, and she ends up joining them in the pillow fight during episode 10.
- Elegant Classical Musician: Plays piano and acts as the group's composer in the anime.
- Fiery Redhead: Downplayed. Maki can occasionally get frustrated easily, such as not wanting to be video-taped in Episode 6, but she's usually detached and impassive.
- Fountain of Youth: In the Music S.T.A.R.T!! OVA that was made in between Seasons 1 and 2, she temporarily takes on the form of herself as a little girl. She goes back to her normal age before the music video starts.
- Girlish Pigtails: With her practice outfit in season two. They're small, so it's a bit hard to tell.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Outright stated in the School Idol Diary entry that centers around her:
- Maki: Organized, smart, beautiful, always dressed for success and super rich. That’s what everyone says about me. Well, that’s just the truth, so it didn't bother me much. But, the truth is… I wanted to be like everyone else, to be the other side of me. To be the Maki who just likes to play piano.
- Loner-Turned-Friend: One of the few girls in the group who talked to no one before getting involved with Honoka and the others. In the second season, it's mentioned that, before becoming a school idol, it was rare for her to even speak with other people in her class.
- Nice Hat: Wears a ballcap with her practice clothes and often gets one in costume.
- Not So Above It All: Often the first to point out how the others' antics are silly or childish, but still believes in Santa and joins in with the others in using puppets to have a conversation.
- Not So Different: An odd example. In one episode in season 1, Nozomi can see how Maki has trouble opening up to people when she can't drop the "-senpai" use, and helps her with that while noting that Maki "reminds her of someone," or, "is just like her." Next season, Maki detects that Nozomi is hiding something from the group when Eli's suggestion to write a love song as a group gives them trouble. After Maki confronts them, Nozomi talks about how μ's meeting was miraculous to her, but in particular she describes how she and Eli were similarly distant to people. Putting that together, Maki is Not So Different from either Eli, or Nozomi, or both of them.
- When the rest of the group discusses Nico's odd behavior in episode 4 of season 2, Maki describes her as stubborn, not opening up to others, and conceited. Rin comments that they're exactly the same, to which Maki responds in an annoyed manner.
- Not So Stoic: She has her moments, such as in Episode 6.Maki: Stop filming me!
- The Ojou: Comes from a pretty wealthy family, but subverts this personality-wise. She's relatively polite, but often standoffish and blunt.
- Refusal of the Call: While she hovered around Honoka's group early on, she always claimed she wasn't interested in joining. However, around the time Hanayo and Rin join, she feels compelled to as well, and ultimately relents. She also attempts this when Hanayo makes her vice-president of the idol research club, but then reluctantly agrees to it.
- Ship Tease: With Nico.
- Spoiled Sweet: Not directly shown, but she is clearly doted on to the point where she still believes in Santa Claus.
- The Stoic: She's usually detached and impassive, especially in comparison to everyone else.◊
- Sugar and Ice Personality: She is the member least likely to get overly emotional, except for when she is angry or frustrated.
- Tsundere: She has shades of this, but is better described as a Sugar and Ice Personality.
- The anime even recognizes her status as this. When the girls are recording videos of themselves giving Valentine's Day chocolate to a crush, Maki's is the standard "I-It's not as though I want to give it to you!" that everyone who has seen a Tsundere anime character knows about. Rin even comments that she's seen this type of scene on manga.
- On Chapter 14 of the game story, Nico outright calls her Mrs. Tsundere, though in the english version it's translated as "Hot-and-Cold".
- Tsurime Eyes: Nico even refers to her as "You, with the slanted eyes!" during practice. Which probably got a snicker from Western audiences.
- Vitriolic Best Friends: With Nico. Though they often argue, they're seen together quite a bit as well. And sometimes when she speaks, she'll turn towards Nico, implying something about her, usually negative.
- Image Color: VioletAge: 17Birthday: June 9 (Gemini)Height: 159cmThree Sizes: B90/W60/H82Trademark Favorite Food: YakinikuLeast Favorite Food: CaramelCharm Point: Her bustUnits: lily whiteVoiced by: Aina Kusuda (Japanese), Laura Post (English)
Studies: ★★Reflexes: ★★★Aggressiveness: ★★★Conformity: ★★Special Trait: Her luck (∞)
- Character Statistics:
- Ambiguously Gay: Though all the main characters have their moments, Nozomi is the most blatant example of this trope. It's more downplayed in the anime, but very much the case in the expanded material. To wit:
- In the manga, she blatantly◊ flirts with Eli, and has outright stated that she won't let anyone have her. Her flirting isn't just limited to just Eli either.
- She lists looking at cute girls as one of her likes.
- One of her side stories in the School Idol Festival game has her fantasizing over cute girls in swimsuits:Nozomi: The blazing sun, the glittering splashes of water, and of course the cute girls in swimsuits! ♪Nozomi: And... I can rub as many breasts as I want!
- Pushed to its absolute limit in one of the School Idol Diaries. After helping Honoka at her store, Nozomi and Honoka decide to take a break in Honoka's room. Honoka notices that there's a piece of mochi stuck on Nozomi's nose and then decides to remove it by... eating it off her face.◊ Nozomi is understandably◊ flustered◊ by this. Her reaction should speak for itself:Nozomi: Oh no, oh no, oh no!Nozomi: I might actually be—Nozomi: I was this close to entering into that other world…
- Just when you thought they couldn't possibly make it more obvious, this◊ School Idol Festival event makes her sexuality downright EXPLICIT.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: In the Drama CD's, she likes to play the tsukkomi to Rin's boke.
- Book Dumb: She might not look like it, but in the novel it's revealed that she isn't much better than Honoka, Rin or Nico when it comes to study, much to Eli's concern.
- Born Lucky: By her own admission, she's always been lucky (ie: drawing "Great" fortunes and being eternally undefeated in Rock Paper Scissors). She uses that luck to help her with fortune telling.
- Camera Fiend: Of the filming variety more than photography. Nozomi jumps at any excuse to record her friends doing anything interesting.
- The Chessmaster: She is a mild example. Episode 8 reveals that she had been prodding them along with fortune-telling, from as early as when they were asking for name suggestions, so they would reach nine members. She played a significant role in getting Nico, Maki and Eli to join, and getting Maki to want to join also indirectly helped prod Hanayo, which also resulted in Rin joining. After this, she joined as the ninth member. This means that she is directly or indirectly responsible for every member aside from the initial trio joining.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: She tends to punish the other girls for various slights by rubbing their breasts.
- Cool Big Sis: She often gives the other girls decent advice for their problems.
- Fortune Teller: Through her tarot readings, she even predicts the line up of μ's.
- Friendless Background: As episode eight of season two expands, she constantly moved around and thus never had any chances to make friends until she met Eli.
- The Gadfly: A friendly example. She sure likes to tease some of the girls, namely Nico, Maki and sometimes even Eli.
- Gag Boobs: She has the largest bust out of all the girls, but they're only played up whenever Nico's around.
- Girlish Pigtails: Less so compared to Nico, since they're low-tied and thus make her look more mature.
- Gratuitous English: In the movie, after the group attracts some attention from some English-speaking locals, she manages to defuse the awkwardness with a decent understanding of the language.Nozomi: "Yes, we are school idols! We are called μ's."
- Kansai Regional Accent: She is from Tokyo, but picked up some of the dialect when she lived in the Kansai region. Notably, while some of the grammar and vocabulary she uses is from Kansai, her actual accent (as in the pronunciation of most sounds, and especially the pitch accent) is mostly from Tokyo-based Standard Japanese.
- Miko: She works as one at the Kanda Shrine where Honoka, Umi and Kotori first start their fitness training to become an idol group.
- Morality Pet: To Eli, before they both join the group.
- The Nicknamer: Not as much as Rin, but she does sometimes add "chi" to the end of people's names, most noticeably Eli and Nico; perhaps because they are in the same year as her.
- Not So Different: The reason why she approached Eli in the first place was this— because she reminded her of herself in how she pushed people away.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In-character example. Nozomi stops using the Kansai dialect when she's flustered, as the rest of μ's learns when they confront her in her room.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As vice president of student council, she suggests ways for μ's to bypass obstacles set by Eli.
- Ship Tease: With Eli.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her last name is romanized as "Tojo" in School Idol Festival and official art, although "Toujou" is a common way of romanizing it as well.
- Tareme Eyes
- Tarot Motifs: Uses tarot cards to explain the motivations of her actions when assembling μ's.
- Team Mom: The more calm and collected of the third years and the first one to lend a hand to the underclassmen, even before actually being involved in μ's.
- Thanks for the Mammaries: Her preferred way to punish or cheer people up. Hilariously, Nico's lack of a bust enables her to escape this attack in episode 4 of season 2. She also purposely slips in between two closely parked vans which Nozomi is unable to follow because of her larger breasts.
- Those Two Girls: She has this relationship with Rin of all people in the audio dramas.
- Trickster Mentor: Other than her... interesting methods of punishment, it's hinted that some of the signs that she uses to prompt the other girls on are made up so that they will take action.
- Verbal Tic: Sometimes adds a "-ya" in the ends of her sentences.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: She seems to know quite a bit and often shares her knowledge with the other girls. Sometimes they wonder why she knows so much, or how much she travels.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Her school uniform and her practice outfit from the second season.
- Image Color: Green (Orange in pvs)Age: 15Birthday: January 17 (Capricorn)Height: 156cmThree Sizes: B82/W60/H83Trademark Favorite Food: White RiceLeast Favorite Food: NoneCharm Point: Her soft cheeksUnits: Printemps, NicoRinPana
Studies: ★★★★Reflexes: ★★Aggressiveness: ★Conformity: ★★★★★Special Trait: Her extended eating of rice (★★★★★)
- Character Statistics:
- Ascended Fangirl: She went from being a fan of Honoka's school idol group to becoming one of the members of it. In her diary novel, it's also revealed that her mother used to be an idol.
- Big Eater: She has to eat an extra set of rice balls after school, or she would not have enough stamina for practice.
- Not just rice. She loves eating in general. The fact that she's afraid of getting fat is the only reason that stop her from going rampant with eating. (Although Nico implies that she won't get any fatter but her bust will get even more "perfect".)
- In an attempt to cheer her up, Eli points out that her adoring fans know about her penchant for eating, and that they love for her for it.
- Not just rice. She loves eating in general. The fact that she's afraid of getting fat is the only reason that stop her from going rampant with eating. (Although Nico implies that she won't get any fatter but her bust will get even more "perfect".)
- Buxom Is Better: As Nico comments, and fairly noticeable for a first year, with 82cm.
- Catch-Phrase: "ダレカタスケテ!" "Dareka Tasukete"! or "Somebody save me!" in English. This is immediately followed by チョットマッテテ "Chotto Mattete" or "Wait a minute".
- Birds of a Feather: Hinted to be this towards Nico as, despite their pretty contrasting personalities, the two actually get along fairly well with their shared love for idols. Hanayo is the first to stand up for Nico's behavior in the fourth episode of the second season, since she can understand Nico's strong will to become an idol. Nico Passing the Torch off to Hanayo to become the new Idol Research Club president is something of an acknowledgement of this.
- Childhood Friends: She's attended the same schools as Rin since elementary school.
- Friend to All Living Things: Takes care of the school's alpacas.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Note that she just never wears glasses outside of the anime.
- In-Series Nickname: "Kayo", an Alternate Character Reading of her name. In the anime, only Rin calls her this, in the video game, all of the other μ's members use it as well.
- Lighter and Softer: Not her actual character but her songs. The earlier days of franchise have a lot of songs where she sings in a more 'serious' tone compared to most of the recent songs, where they lean towards more cute sounding.
- Meganekko: She wears glasses prior to joining μ's, fitting with her shy and somewhat nerdy nature, but after joining she switches to contact lenses. She still wears her glasses when she's at home, though.
- Otaku: Her love of idols tends to border on her being this.
- Passing the Torch: She's made the president of the idol research club at the end of season 2. While she naturally objects to it, Nico tells her she can't have Honoka do it as she's the student council president. On top of that, Hanayo is also the most knowledgeable person regarding idols, so she's naturally the best choice. Hanayo accepts, but then makes Maki the vice-president of the club, who also initially objects to it.
- Proper Tights with a Skirt: The only character who wears tights under her uniform.
- Serious Business: Anytime she runs into idol-related materials, she takes her love of idols and their merchandise very seriously.
- Shrinking Violet: She gradually overcomes this.
- Tareme Eyes: Highlighting her shyness.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The girly girl to Rin's tomboy.
- Trademark Favorite Food: She really seems to love rice. For example, rather than settling for a plate of curry rice, she has a whole bowl of rice to go with her curry.
- Weight Woe: She tends to wrestle with the fact that she's (supposedly) chubbier than the rest of μ's, and being a Big Eater doesn't help. Her insistence on going on diets is born from this, though with a little help from her friends, she manages to accept this.
- Image Color: PinkAge: 17Birthday: July 22 (Cancer)Height: 154cmThree Sizes: B74(71)/W57/H79Trademark Favorite Food: SweetsLeast Favorite Food: Spicy foodCharm Point: Her light skinUnits: BiBi, NicoRinPana
Studies: ★★★Reflexes: ★★★Aggressiveness: ★★★Conformity: ★Special Trait: Her "Nico-nii♪" (Immeasurable)
- Character Statistics:
- A-Cup Angst: At least when the more developed Eli, Nozomi, and Hanayo are around.
- Maki, as well, as seen in the album cover of the second BiBi single (Cutie Panther / Natsu, Owaranaide).
- Kotori too, as seen in one of the chapters of her School Idol Diary.
- In one of her diary novels (Nico-nii no Himitsu Sokutei), this drives half of the chapter's plot as she tries to find a way to increase her bust size (which was revealed to be 71cm - she admits to adding 3 centimeters to account for her bust growing during senior high, but it didn't).
- Attention Whore: Mainly this whenever she has the chance to show off her skills, though it always results in her getting ignored. She even tries to be the center of the group (which most of the time fails).
- Subverted, she makes an impression on her siblings that she's a 'super idol' and continues to brags it. It's later revealed that does this because she doesn't want to break their hearts.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She usually makes no effort to hide her irritable nature, but she occasionally plays up her character as an idol as incredibly Moe and incredibly sweet.(It should be noted that Nico is not a bad person by any means.)
- Book Dumb: Like Honoka, she doesn't like doing her schoolwork either, and it doesn't look like she has good test scores either.
- While not exactly brilliant like Umi or Maki, the supplementary materials state that she actually can make an above-average grade if she decides to put her mind to it. She also has a... strange way of answering some of the test questions.
- Broken Bird: She started out as one, when she was unable to form a school idol group. She eventually became disenchanted with it as a result, that is until Honoka shows up.
- Butt-Monkey: So damn much. She's often ignored by the group, Nozomi loves to take cracks at her expense and threatens four times within one episode to give her the "washi washi", succeeding three times, and Maki never hesitates to take potshots at her. When A-RISE compliment's μ's in episode 3 of season 2, they specifically mention traits that make each particular girl unique to the group]. But then when they get to Nico, they simply thank her for the flowers she sent before.
- Purposefully invokes this with her self-made catch phrase "Nico-Nico-nii!", which is meant to make her cutesy idol persona even cuter. She even makes the rest of the club practice it, and she taught it to her younger siblings. According to the School Idol diary novels, she got the phrase from her Disappeared Dad.
- In the audio dramas she also has "Pyon-pyon-pyon!!"
- Cool Big Sis: To her younger siblings.
- The Determinator: She's been working seriously towards being an idol the longest and is the most stubborn about it. Even when μ's temporarily disbands, she tries to keep going by forming a separate unit with Rin and Hanayo.
- And in the second season when faced with the possibility that her last chance at participating in the Love Live might not happen because Honoka would rather have the group stay out of the competition, she challenges her.
- Episode four of season two highlights this with flashbacks to when she started up the Idol Research Club as a first year with no one really showing much interest, all of her group members resign, and her audience dwindling as she still tried to do it alone. Despite all of these setbacks, she still desperately wants to be an idol.
- Disappeared Dad: Nico mentions him in her School Idol Diary novel, and states that he "isn't here" anymore. The way she talks about him heavily implies that he's deceased.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Periodically invoked. Part of her 'Super Idol Nico-Nii' persona involves her twintail hairstyle triggering the energetic, cutesy Nico to surface, while letting her hair hang loose shows her "truer", more demure side. No one buys it.
- The Fake Cutie: She acts cute and sweet on stage and when acting out her idol persona, but in reality she's rather irritable and sometimes duplicitous.
- Freudian Excuse: In season 1 she was very antagonistic towards Honoka attempting to start an idol group until they invited her into the group. Nozomi explains to the other girls about how Nico tried to start a school idol group, but failed to garner much interest like Honoka's first attempt. Her two clubmates also resigned shortly afterwards, and attempting to solo it also failed miserably, causing her to grow bitter and resentful. This is why she attempted to sabotage Honoka's attempts at first. This is given more attention in episode 4 of season 2.
- When giving the position of club president of the Idol Research Club to Hanayo in the last episode of season 2, while Hanayo objects, Nico says she'll do a much better job because she's very knowledgeable about idols. She then also mentions having friends who will help her, calling back to when she ran the club earlier and how she had no one to help her prior to running into Honoka and the others.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Due to her self absorbed personality and awkward suggestions, she often gets ignored. Though it's subverted, as it's made exceedingly clear that everyone in μ's genuinely appreciates her presence. A-RISE plays this tropes straight, as they deliver a Stealth Insult to her by claiming she's the imp in the group. Nico misunderstands it and takes that as a compliment.
- Girlish Pigtails: They add to her childish appearance. Knowing Nico, she likely invokes this to make herself look cuter.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She tries to tell Honoka to disband her idol group early on. Nozomi tells them that Nico originally tried to form an idol group in her first year, but her standards were set too high for the other members, and they gradually quit one by one. Honoka gets around this by including her in the group. She noticed that while Nico was criticizing them, it also meant she was paying close attention, and probably wanted them to succeed secretly. It seems to work, as once they start genuinely asking for Nico's advice, she mellows out and starts taking part in their group.
- Hair Decorations: Red ribbons to hold up her Girlish Pigtails.
- Hidden Depths: She usually comes across as an attention seeker, but is actually a rather private person. She actively avoids letting anyone know about her home life (and where she even lives for that matter), and she tends to keep her problems to herself. It all comes full circle in one of the School Idol Diary chapters in which Nico gets sick. Her friends visit and take care of her, and she realizes that they know where she lives now. Nico then comes to the conclusion that she should stop putting up a front. Eli outright points this out in her chapter comments.
- I Just Want to Be Special: This is arguably the concept behind her entire character. Nico is hopelessly average in comparison to everyone else. She comes from a poor family, and she lacks a noteworthy talent that sets her apart from the rest of μ's). She's always had a strong desire to shine bright as an idol, and she's worked harder than anyone else to fulfill her goals. The School Idol Diary chapters that center around her further drive this point home, though her friends insist that she has her own good points as well. In the end, her desire to be special and the (sometimes questionable) things she does to make herself stand out makes her special in her own way.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Big time. The main reason she antagonizes Honoka at first by trying to get her to disband the school idol group is because of her own failures to start an idol group herself, since out of all the characters she's the one who wants to be an idol the most.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Nico, surprisingly, has varieties of the skills and traits that other members have, such as making clothes, cooking and athletics. She doesn't really excel at anything, however, unlike the others.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She can be downright nasty sometimes, but she is more caring than one would first think. She cares a lot about her friends and takes care of her younger siblings the best she can.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Sort of.
- The Leader: On paper, as the chairman of the Idol Research Club.
- Letting Her Hair Down: In episode 6, to show show her "truer", more demure side. No one buys it and leaves the room."Hey! Where the hell'd they go?!"
- Motor Mouth: Not when speaking, but any song featuring her tends to be pretty fast-paced, and she has some surprisingly fast rap pieces, of all things (to the point where she is the designated rapper of the group).
- The Napoleon: Both the shortest and the most irritable of the group. She even states that she has somewhat of a complex about her height.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Wears a long-sleeved pink cardigan with her school uniform as opposed to the cream-colored vest that everyone else wears. She even wears it during the summer.
- Older Than They Look: Due to her pigtails, childish antics, and less developed body (even in comparison to the first-years), it's easy to forget that Nico's actually a third-year.
- In her diary novel, it looks like she stopped growing since first-year, much to her dismay.
- Otaku: She has a huge collection of idol-related material.
- Promotion to Parent: With her dad gone and her mother working so often to be the main breadwinner of the household, Nico ends up as this to her younger siblings.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Of the less evil and more Jerkass variety.
- She's Got Legs: See for yourself.
- Ship Tease: With Maki.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Official subs for the anime use Nico instead of the more literal reading "Niko".
- The Starscream: Constantly plots (unsuccessfully) to become the center of the group, although it's always played for laughs.
- Supreme Chef: She tries to lie about it in episode 10, claiming she has a personal chef. But later that night, she ends up cooking curry for the group, and while it was good, several of the other girls ask about what she said earlier about not cooking. Nico tries to play it off by saying idols should at least know how to cook, but no one buys it.
- This was proven in Season 2 Episode 4 when the girls visit her house.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: In-Universe, her "Nico-Nico-Ni!" Catch-Phrase is considered this. Maki even outright calls it disgusting.
- The Team Wannabe: While she was overly critical of Honoka's group early on, the latter noticed she was always watching them as well. Once they include her in the group, Nico starts being much more friendly.
- Third-Person Person: Calls herself Nico whenever she tries to act cute.
- Tsundere: In School Idol Festival, she shows this mainly towards the Helper. She also behaves this way towards her friends at times.
- Troll: Prior to joining the group, she would post hateful comments on μ's' website and videos, among other things.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Implied in the novel.
- She's experienced several setbacks that have gotten in the way of her dream when she was younger. Even though she doesn't give up, this is most likely reason that she became quite bitter as she grew up.
- Vitriolic Best Friends: With Maki. The two are often seen together, and when Nico makes snarky comments, it is sometimes directed at Maki.
- What the Hell, Hero?: What the other girls essentially ask in episode 4 of season 2 when they find out Nico was telling her siblings she was the main idol, while the other girls were merely backup dancers. This also included (badly) photoshopping and pasting her head on the posters and pictures taken throughout the series.
- Although once Hanayo understands why she's doing all this after learning more about Nico's past failures from Eli, they felt sorry for her as she couldn't break her siblings' heart. Honoka comes up with the idea and they decide to help her out without having to tell her siblings the real truth.
- Zettai Ryouiki: On her practice clothes.
An idol group from UTX High School. Consisting of three members, they are presented as μ's main rival throughout the series. However, they only get to officially meet μ's during episode 3 of the second season. It was seeing them perform that inspired Honoka to become a school idol and ultimately form μ's. A-RISE, on the other hand, saw μ's as their biggest competition and kept their eye on their progress.As an already popular group prior to the start of the story, they are the favorites when it comes to winning the Love Live competition in both seasons.
Tropes Shared by All Members
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: While the individual girls don't seem to have their own colors, the main color of the entire group seems to be yellow, with their main costumes and their ratings bar in the Love Live being yellow.
- Early-Bird Cameo/Ascended Extra: They only had a handful of lines in the first season and were more of an untouchable rival to μ's. But in the second season, they openly challenge them.
- Famed In-Story: A-RISE has been a a popular idol group even before the start of the anime as they already have a nationwide fanbase which gives them a major advantage over the other school idols during the Love Live competition. μ's challenge in season 2 is how to match A-RISE's massive popularity.
- Foil: They are one to the second years of μ's if you think about it. An energetic leader, the serious one who works on the music, and the reserve one who makes the costumes (the movie and the game both confirm Anju is A-RISE's costume maker).
- Friendly Rival: They provide some pointers for μ's and even allow them to perform on the same stage for round 1 of the Love Live preliminaries because Honoka's group didn't have any other place to perform.
- Graceful Loser: They lose the final round of the Love Live preliminaries to μ's. According to Tsubasa during her conversion with Honoka, they have taken it well, even stating that they knew they had lost after seeing μ's performance.
- Hero of Another Story: They were just as dedicated to their school idol group as Honoka and the other girls were to μ's. No doubt the trio have their own interesting lives which they could be the main characters in were they not direct rivals to the latter's group in the Love Live contest.
- Legendary in the Sequel: As of Sunshine they are considered a legendary school idol group alongside μ's.
- The Rival: To μ's, even specifically stating that they are the group that they have been keeping an eye on the most.
- Privileged Rival: Subverted. While UTX is an affluent school with facilities that are not found in Otonokizaka Academy, this does not give A-RISE a real advantage over μ's. They became one of the country's most popular idol groups simply by being dedicated to what they do.
- Zettai Ryouiki: In both of their concert outfits.
- Character Tic: Possibly. During A-RISE's performance in Season 2 Episode 3 she winks in practically every close-up shot of her. However this doesn't seem to happen much anywhere else.
- Enemy Mine: Seems to have this attitude towards μ's and Honoka (in a friendly way). Especially after μ's beats A-RISE in the preliminaries.
- Foil: Seems to be shaping up to be one to Honoka, as a fellow leader and direct rival, but much calmer and knowledgable about being an idol.
- Genki Girl: Played with in contrast with Honoka. She's somewhat excitable (grabbing Honoka and dragging her off without an explanation when they first meet, being very enthusiastic about being an idol), but is more rational about it and seems to keep her excitement under control.
- Graceful Loser: Fully admits her loss in the preliminaries, even mentioning that she knew A-RISE had lost during μ's' performance.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: During her conversation with Honoka in episode 10, she states that while A-RISE has taken their loss in the preliminaries well, she herself cannot fully understand why they lost to μ's'. She says like μ's', A-RISE has put their best effort in their performance and they also have the team chemistry and audience appeal that μ's' has, so why they lost was not a question of effort or talent. She seemed to have found a satisfactory answer to her question after seeing μ's' slogan at the end of the episode.
- Hypocritical Humor: Almost definitely unintentional, but it's a little amusing how Tsubasa tells Nico that every group needs a little imp when she's noticeably shorter than Erena and Anju herself. In the Japanese version, however, she calls Nico a "小悪魔 (Koakuma)" meaning "little devil" and referring to her devilishly cute, alluring charm.
- The Leader: Of A-RISE.
- Nice Hat: In both of her concert outfits.
- She's Got Legs: Her outfit she wears in Season 2, Episode 3 has it. In this gif ◊ she wears the outfit and the camera is zoomed in on her hips/thighs.
- The Smart Girl: Seems to be pretty calculating, if not the most Genre Savvy of her group, as well as incredibly charismatic.
- Two First Names: "Tsubasa" and "Kira" are usually used as first names.
- Tsurime Eyes
- Voiced by: Ayuru Ohashi (Japanese), Corina Boettger (English)
- Character Tic: She fiddles with her hair frequently. The majority of the scenes she's in she does this. Its always on the same side too.
- Hime Cut: Albeit sort of wavy.
- The Ojou: Is described as being "princess-like" and is more soft-spoken than her other two group members.
- Tareme Eyes: The only member of the group with them.
Hideko, Mika and Fumiko
- Big Damn Heroes: They call out the entire student body to shovel a path in the snow for Honoka, Umi and Kotori to get to the final Love Live preliminaries on time.
- Crazy-Prepared: They were carrying the costumes for "Bokura wa Ima no Naka de" in case μ's needed to do an encore at Love Live.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: After showing no interest in actually joining in for the entire series, they take part in the school idol dance at the end of the movie.
- Those Three Girls: They're in the background, helping out with everything from the camera work in μ's' first performance to student council work to more pressing concerns, and also look after Honoka when she's feeling depressed. However, they always appear together and their names are barely even mentioned.
- Good Parents: She's an understanding mother to Kotori through and through, giving her daughter time to think about her study-abroad opportunity instead of just forcing her to do it. Mrs. Minami doesn't even seem to express any issue with Kotori deciding to stay in Japan with her friends at the last minute.
- Hime Cut
- Mum Looks Like a Sister: She looks like she's in her mid-late 20's, or very early 30's, and could probably be mistaken for Kotori's older sister.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She lets μ's perform on the opening campus as long as they pass their final exams.
- A-Cup Angst: When Hanayo accidentally visits Honoka's home and her family sweet shop, Hanayo sees her in her bathing towel commenting in the mirror to have bigger boobs.
- Annoying Younger Sibling
- Family Theme Naming: Shares the "穂" (ho) character with her sister, notable in that the sweet shop her family manages is called "Homura", phonetically mirroring this.
- Fangirl: Of A-RISE, although she later starts taking a liking to μ's.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Arisa's Girly Girl.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: When wearing casual clothing.
- Ascended Fangirl: A huge fan of μ's who aims to join as soon as she gets into high school. Subverted though, since she and Yukiho decide that it would better for them to form their own group, rather than to join μ's.
- But Not Too Foreign: She's 1/4 Russian, like her sister.
- Fangirl: Like Yukiho, she loves μ's. Eli wasn't too happy about this at first.
- Fish out of Water: She grew up in Russia, so she has all kinds of wrong ideas about Japanese food and drinks.
- Gender Flip\Composite Character\Retcon: Eri has two younger brothers in earlier source materials.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Blond with light blue eyes.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Official subs use Arisa.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Yukiho's Tomboy.
Cocoro, Cocoa, and Cotaro Yazawa
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Cocoa originally had dark hair just like her siblings in the novel, but it was lightened a bit in the anime.
- Alliterative Family: They all share the "Ko/Co" at the beginning of their names. Nico is the only one to break this theme, but instead has it at the end of her name.
- Alternate Continuity: Cororo and Cocoa are originally twins and only about 5 years old in the novel.
- Big Sister Worship: All three firmly believe that Nico is a "super idol".
- Children Are Innocent: Nico essentially lied to her siblings about being a "super idol", as the other girls find out in episode 4 of season 2. However, after Hanayo explains they're Not So Different due to her also dreaming of becoming an idol, the girls realize Nico was just trying to hide her bitterness and frustrations from her siblings. So they come up with a plan to help her gracefully step down without having to reveal the actual truth to them so as to avoid causing strife and disillusionment in her household.
- Girlish Pigtails: Cocoa has low twintails in the novel, but in the anime, both Cocoro and Cocoa have one side ponytail on opposite sides of their heads.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: In the novel, Cocoa has twintails just like Nico while Cocoro has one ponytail.
- Call-Back: In the novel, Cocoa's twintails are more similar to Nico's twintails in her earlier design.
- Idiot Hair: Cotaro has one.
- The One Guy: Cotaro is the only (human) male character in the series shown on-screen. And he's only in the anime on top of being a Token Mini-Moe.
- Strong Family Resemblance: They all look a lot like Nico. Hanayo even mistakes Cocoro (a grade schooler) for her older sister at first. Even moreso in the novel where both are twins and represented both early and current design of their big sisters.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Or, rather, a C. Cocoro, not Kokoro. Cotaro, not Kotaro. Cocoa, not Kokoa. This is according to official subs.
- However, if we go by Theme Naming, Kokoro mean 'heart', while Kokoa mean 'love heart' which also fit with Nico's character theme. While Kotaro literally just means "first son."
- Talking to Herself: All three share the same voice actress in the Japanese version, Tokui Sora, who also voices Nico.
- Token Mini-Moe
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Cocoa and Cocoro respectively in anime.
- Verbal Tic: In the novel, the twins will sometimes end their sentence with "Nico!". Their sister has taught them well.
AlpacasA pair of alpacas kept at Otonokizaka High School.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: The alpaca with fluffy white fur is actually male.
- Joke Character: In School Idol Festival, you could get them on April Fools' Day 2015 as cards, though they can't actually be put in teams. Their only purpose is to be used to boost other members' EXP in Practice. On April 1st, 2016 the chimes used when tapping a note was replaced by alpaca sounds.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: The alpaca with rough brown fur is actually female, as confirmed when it's revealed to be pregnant in Season 2.
- More Deadly Than the Male: The male alpaca is very amicable, but gods help you if you anger the female one, as Eli and a few other girls have learned the hard way.
- Nice Guy: The male alpaca is very easy to get along with.
- Perpetual Smiler: The male alpaca is always smiling.
School Idol Festival characters
Seiran High School
- Grade: First YearBirthday: April 3Height: 157cmHobby: Going to the Theater
- Innocent Blue Eyes:Fitting, considering that Shizuku looks very innocent and adorable on most◊ of◊ her◊ cards◊.
- Rapunzel Hair:Goes down to her lower back.
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: April 20Height: 161cmHobby: Changes Weekly
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: August 30Height: 163cmHobby: Volunteering at the Day Care Center
- Team Mom: Her mother runs a nursery school; she helps there in her spare time.
- Grade: First YearBirthday: September 30Height: 153cmHobby: Reading
- Bookworm: Her hobbies are reading and calligraphy.
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: March 8Height: 154cmHobby: Making Candy
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: November 15Height: 158cmHobby: Horseback Riding
- Grade: First YearBirthday: September 3Height: 156cmHobby: Exploring Ruins
- Chuunibyou: Calls herself The Wizard of the Abyss and denies her name is Sachiko.
- Cute Witch: Or so she claims.
- Mystical White Hair
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: July 20Height: 160cmHobby: People Watching
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: May 15Height: 165cmHobby: Classic Guitar
Chitose Bridge High School
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: March 7Height: 163cmHobby: Having Interests
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: February 9Height: 150cmHobby: Creating Characters
- Grade: First YearBirthday: July 7Height: 157cmHobby: Taking Naps
- The Quiet One: Most of her menu screen quotes are just things she's thinking, and not actually saying out loud. Even in most of her side stories she doesn't talk that much.
- Sleepyhead: Her hobby is taking naps.
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: October 30Height: 160cmHobby: Daydreaming
- Genki Girl: She is a cheerleader and is always cheering for something or someone.Grade: First YearBirthday: May 5Height: 158cmHobby: Sewing
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: March 25Height: 152cmHobby: Watching Sports
- Hime Cut
- I Am Not Pretty: She considers herself plain, and not good at standing out.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Hina Arare. note She eats them as comfort food after a bad performance, and keeps a large stash that she claims are for "business purposes."
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: June 16Height: 155cmHobby: Fashion
- Grade: First YearBirthday: February 18Height: 159cmHobby: Taking Walks
- Action Girl: She's a competitive swimmer, and also goes out running every morning.
- Meaningful Name: Iruka means "dolphin" in Japanese.
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: September 20Height: 156cmHobby: Watching Anime
- Fiery Redhead
- Otaku: She's obsessed with anime and manga. Reine says it's easier to understand her when she doesn't try to explain things, because her examples always involve anime.
- She's Got Legs: As displayed on her idolized Smile card, shown here◊.
- Grade: First YearBirthday: June 2Height: 155cmHobby: Volunteer Work
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: August 20Height: 160cmHobby: Nothing in Particular
- Small Name, Big Ego: She thinks she's God's gift to school idols. She's really not.
- Tsundere: Just look◊ at her!
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: January 21Height: 161cmHobby: Cat's Cradle (Which she just learned)
- Anime Catholicism: Apparently, nobody has ever told her that you have to go to college to become a nun.
- Nuns Are Mikos: The likely explanation for the above.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: A sweet blonde who just wants to make people happy.
- Meaningful Name: Christina.
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: January 7Height: 159cmHobby: Reading Essays
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: December 16Height: 158cmHobby: Playing with my Little Sister
- All Work vs. All Play: The Play to Haruka's Work.
- Family Theme Naming: "Haruka kanata" means "faraway."
- Lazy Bum: Slacks off whenever she can and ditches class with the excuse that she needs to go help at the nurse's office.
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: November 11Height: 154cmHobby: Helping my Big Sister
- All Work vs. All Play: The Work to Haruka's Play.
- Family Theme Naming: "Haruka kanata" means "faraway."
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: December 12Height: 161cmHobby: Cosplay
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: October 20Height: 167cmHobby: Basketball
- Grade: First YearBirthday: December 24Height: 164cmHobby: Collecting Accessories
- Grade: First YearBirthday: March 20Height: 151cmHobby: Taking Care of Gyoro
- The Glasses Gotta Go: In her idolized forms.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: With spirals, when she's unidolized.
- Ventriloquism: Her chameleon, Gyoro-chan, is the dummy.
- Verbal Tic: Ends all her sentences with -gyoro when she's speaking Gyoro-chan's lines.
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: June 15Height: 163cmHobby: Playing with Tarou
- All Girls Like Ponies: Has a horse named Tarou.
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: July 10Height: 168cmHobby: Embroidery
- Miko: She works at a shrine.
- Meaningful Name: Tsurugi means "sword," and she's often carrying around a kendo sword.
- Bifauxnen: (S)he's often cast as a man against her/his friend (and implied girlfriend) Koyuki.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Koyuki's Girly Girl.
- Grade: First YearBirthday: August 12Height: 162cmHobby: Staying Active
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: April 2Height: 158cmHobby: Reading Aloud
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Ryou's Tomboy.
Shion Girls Academy
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: July 14Height: 162cmHobby: Cool Encounters
- Buxom Is Better: Has the biggest bust size in the game, and likes to show◊ them◊ off◊ on her cards. Warning: Some cards may be overly sexualized.
- Marshmallow Hell: Loves giving hugs. And given her figure, this usually happens.
- Spell My Name with an "S": On the cards it's spelled as Chiduko, but the kanji is said as "Chizuko".
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: June 6Height: 167cmHobby: Encounters with my Rivals
- Blood Knight: Played for laughs. Hitomi acts like a Shōnen character, and as part of the Disciplinary Committee, believes that the best way to enforce rules is through raw strength.
- Japanese Delinquents: At least dresses the part.
- Punny Name: Her name sounds like "Hit me".
- Shout-Out: Resmbles a female version of Jotaro Kujo.
- Grade: First YearBirthday: November 5Height: 147cmHobby: I Don't Have Time for Hobbies
- Only Sane Woman: In the Disciplinary Committee. Rather than doing her job, she actually has to spend more time keeping Chizuko and Hitomi from hugging/fighting too many people.
- Grade: Seoncd YearBirthday: August 10Height: 164cmHobby: Repairing Bikes
- Grade: Second YearBirthday: July 21Height: 158cmHobby: Dance
- Shout-Out: Holds two P90s from Counter Strike on her default card.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Take Over the World: This is apparently where her plans start.
- Wingding Eyes: Her pupils are yellow four-point stars.
Y.G. International Academy
- Funny Foreigner: Practically this entire school is, but Leo thinks cars are evil and Yukari says she shouldn't be left alone.
- Occidental Otaku: She's that much of a person.
- The Ingenue: Sweet, gentle, and adorable.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Mild curry rice. Her excuse for coming to Japan was so she could eat it more often.
- Anime Chinese Girl: Stock Foreign Name, stock cultural dress, twin buns, bouncy and outgoing, always talking about Chinese food... yeah.
- Grade: Third YearBirthday: February 5Height: 166cmHobby: Quilting
- Foreign Fanservice: A busty, outgoing blonde who becomes embarrassed and meek when she likes someone. Yeah....