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Anime / Aikatsu!

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From left to right, Ran Shibuki, Ichigo Hoshimiya, and Aoi Kiriya. Mizuki Kanzaki is in the background.

"My passionate idol activities - Aikatsu! - is about to start!"
Ichigo Hoshimiya

Aikatsu is an anime adaptation of the game of the same name by Sunrisenote  and TMS Entertainmentnote . It tells the story of a middle school student called Ichigo Hoshimiya who joins Starlight Academy with her best friend Aoi Kiriya to become an idol. On October 3, 2013, Season 2 introduced the Constellation System and new idols Seira Otoshiro, Kii Saegusa, Sora Kazesawa, and Maria Himesato - all of whom attend the rival idol school, Dream Academy.

Then, in the final season, we get a slight change of pace. Season 4 follows Akari Ōzora as part of the unit Luminas, alongside her friends Sumire Hikami and Hinaki Shinjō. They meet various idols all over Japan, while two new idols from Hokkaido, Nono Daichi and Lisa Shirakaba enter Starlight Academy to start their Idol Activities.


The series ran for four seasons and 178 episodes, from 2012 to 2016, and aired its final episode on March 31, 2016. It was replaced by an entire-series remake/upgrade known as Aikatsu Stars!.

This series contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The concerts, but it switched to normal animation at times during episode 17 when Ichigo is on the same stage with Mizuki during the latter's concert and episode 25 when Ichigo's dad make it just in time to watch her audition.
    • Some scenes that don't involve singing/dancing during the concerts also feature CG, but these are much rarer. One of the more obvious examples is in episode 87, when Ichigo, Aoi, and Ran are walking along the outside gate of Starlight Academy.
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Not really a game, more of a competition. In Episode 51 and Episode 52, Dream Academy and Starlight Academy have a face off concert, with Dream Academy's representative being Seira, and Starlight's representative being Aoi. Aoi and Ran overhear that if Aoi were to lose the face off, Orihime would quit being headmistress of the school.
  • Absurdly Youthful Mother:
    • Ringo, Ichigo's mother, looks just young enough that she could arguably pass as the latter's older sister at times.
    • Koharu, Akari's mother looks even younger.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: Episode 43 is one for Shion. Episode 47 is one for Masquerade.
  • Angelic Beauty: As indicated by the name, the fashion brand Angely Sugar attempts to make the idols who wear their clothes look like angels, which is why all of Ichigo's Premium Dresses have her wearing wings. By Season 2, the wings are less of a unique feature of the Angely Sugar brand, as all Constellation Premium Dresses feature wings.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the art of the first episode to the later episodes and you'll notice quite the improvement. In general, the animation and look of the 3d sequences improve as the series progresses.
    • This can best be seen in individual parts such as the hair. In season 1, hair, even for long haired characters, was stiff and made heavy use of textures. Season 2 saw the removal of the hair texture for more sophisticated cel-shading and flowing tuffs of hair. Season 3 saw further improvements to the movement of the hair as the idols dance, and the difference can best be seen in characters with more complicated/longer hairstyles such as Ran, Sumire, and most recently, Rin. Even Hinaki, who has the shortest hair, has noticeably good animation.
  • Ascended Extra: Akari had a small no-line cameo at the end of Season 1, officially debuted into Season 2 with some focus episodes but is not even shown in most of them. As of Season 3, she's now the central protagonist along with a new group of characters.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Well, fangirl. After Akari became a big fan of Ichigo, she auditioned to enter Starlight Academy, but failed to make the cut. She eventually auditions for a second time during the Idol Caravan after learning that this time, Ichigo, Aoi, and Ran would be judges. She finally makes it in, and in the following episode, there's plans for her to perform alongside Ichigo.
  • Award-Bait Song:
    • Sakura's debut song "Happiness on the Same Earth".
    • "Etude of Radiance" from the movie. Bonus points for being a confession song and having two versions of it within the film itself.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: When Akari is finally crowned Starlight Queen at the end of the competition.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: The show's version of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" includes a rap verse.
  • Bad Liar: Ichigo, as seen in episode 11.
  • Be Yourself: The lesson multiple Idols had to learn, mainly throughout season 1. The girl would often focus on besting her opponent or pushing herself to her limits and forget this until her friends could point out that she shined brightest as herself or wasn't happy like this.
  • Big Eater: Both Ichigo and Otome, more so the latter.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • TV TKY. Oddly, TV Tokyo is the broadcaster for the anime. Also, Numblr (Tumblr) and "Wikimedia"note  when Kii and Seira are researching Ichigo.
    • A real Mind Screw comes in Season 3 with a toy company named Dandai, a parody of one side of the company that created and owns this franchise.
    • Don't forget Kirakiratter, the series' version of Twitter.
  • But Not Too Foreign:
    • Michelle, a member of the idol unit Splash, is half French.
    • Juri is half Spanish.
    • Mikuru is said to be born in Denmark, though it's unknown whether or not she's actually Danish.
  • Catchphrase: Otome's "Love You!" and Yurika's "I'll suck your blood." There's also Aoi's "Odayaka ja nai!" which has multiple translations and is frequently borrowed by other characters.
    • To a lesser extent, Kaede's "Yes!"
    • Then there's Kii's "Oke-oke-okay!" and Seira's "If you're do, then I'm re. If you're re, then I'm mi." Sora also has "Kurukuru kyawawa."
    • Hinaki has a habit of saying "That's so new/fresh!" as a compliment and Juri has "Gracias, in other words, thank you."
  • Character Aged with the Actor: Time passes in the series about a year every half season, putting Ichigo at 13 at the start of the series and about 16 near the middle of season 2. Ichigo's voice actress, Sumire Morohoshi, started when she was 13 years old and is currently 15.
  • Childhood Friends: Ichigo and Aoi.
  • Christmas Episode: Episode 12, Episode 62, and Episode 114.
  • Clark Kenting: The groundskeeper at Starlight Academy, Naoto Suruzawa, turns out to have his main job be the leader and vocalist of the rock band More Than True. It helps that he's not wearing his piercings and usual outfits on the job, and that his hair isn't spiked up.
  • Color-Coded Characters: All main characters who attend an idol school have a definite color scheme that shows up in their regular performance outfits.
    • Ichigo is pink, Aoi is blue, Ran is purple, Otome is yellow (but often borders on orange), Yurika's is viridian green (though is often represented by black in order to differentiate from Sakura), Sakura is lime green, Kaede is orange, Mizuki is red (magenta), Shion is basil green, and Hikari's is plum (purplish-pink).
    • Seira's is red-violet, Kii's is yellow-green, Sora flip-flops between cyan and indigo, and Maria's is apricot.
    • Akari's is coral pink, Sumire's is periwinkle, Hinaki's is chartreuse, Juri's is crimson, Rin's is officially navy but is often represented by black like Yurika, Madoka's is pastel blue, Miyabi's is violet, Kokone's is light green, Nono's is dark pink, and Risa's is amethyst.
    • Mikuru is the only character without a definite color scheme due to not attending an idol school, but her official profile strongly suggests that it's hot pink.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The four idol types are represented by four colors, as seen by the girls' training outfits - pink for Cute, blue for Cool, purple for Sexy, and orange for Pop.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: Yurika, though everyone gets used to it quickly and now just assume she's always saying something in the positive.
  • Continuity Nod: Season 2 does a lot of this in regards to events that happened in Season 1, and manages to work many of these nods into a week's particular storyline.
  • Costume Porn: Most of the premium dresses and some normal sets, especially later in the series, classify as this. Multiple ribbons, tons of frills, and crazily-detailed textures are the norm, and the enhanced 3d animation in the anime only serves to show off the detail. Just about every idol in this series also has some form of hair decorations.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Aoi, Otome, Kaede, Mizuki, and Sumire.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Akari, when she is first introduced, is notably a lot clumsier when performing her dance sequences. She grows out of it as the series progresses.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Yurika (who claims to be a vampire) sports one.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Applicable to the Starlight School uniform. For example, this image proves it.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The fifth anniversary Menkatsu CD serves as one to More Than True and the other important men in the franchise. They even get a short bonus comic and has the boys interact with one another.
  • Declarative Finger: Ichigo (and come Season 3, Akari) in the opening bumper that appears Once an Episode.note 
  • Demoted to Extra: The 3rd season shifts focus from Ichigo and the other 1st year high school idols to Akari and her friends. As a result, they shift towards more supporting roles in the anime; Ichigo fills the mentor role that Mizuki used to fill, Aoi becomes an important source of networking, etc.
    • In season 4, Madoka, Rin, and Juri seem to have shifted to this role.
  • Disguised in Drag: Raichi did this to sneak inside Starlight Academy and get chocolate from Aoi for Valentine's Day.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Ran becomes this when she, Aoi and Ichigo are training for their special audition.
  • Dub Name Change: The Korean version changes quite a few names for their characters. While most more or less fit (Boranote  for Ran, Marine for Aoi, Luna for Mizuki), but for some bizarre reason Ichigo is named Lime in this version of the show despite all of the strawberry-theme puns the character is obviously associated with.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Otome, Yurika, Sakura and Kaede in the first two openings. Juri in the fifth opening.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Yurika.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Again, Yurika.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Fairy Tale: The primary focus of Season 3 under the name "Romance Story" as well as the 2015 update of the arcade game. Unlike the Constellation System from Season 2, a story can have more than one brand sporting dresses for it and the way the brands are assigned a fairy tale is by whichever brand has the Premium Rare Dress for that story.
  • The Fashionista: Sora is this. While all idols are supposed to be fashion-conscious, she has a special background concerning fashion and is the first idol ever to actually create a fashion brand on her own - Bohemian Sky, which she named after the Bohemian, Mimi, whom she met when she was a kid.
    • Later for Season 3, the show has Hinaki who's not only knowledgeable about Aikatsu! cards, but can dress up and accent coords as well as her everyday wear.
  • Foreshadowing: The show does a lot of this in regard to Miya's identity in the first season. clever viewers can actually figure it out from as early as episode 2 that it's Ichigo's mom, as the stage name Miya is taken directly from her last name, Hoshimiya, on top of the similarity in hair and eye colors.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In one of Soleil's performances, you can catch the moment when Ichigo messes up a part and Ran and Aoi cover for her, likely the defining reason they lost to WM. The sequence is shown later in slow motion.
  • Friendly Rivalry: All idols in general. The second ending theme even references this trope.
  • Genki Girl: Ichigo and Otome, again, more so the latter. Kii is also this.
  • The Glomp: Otome to Ichigo when she comes back from America.
  • Good Luck Charm: Ichigo's rice scoop/paddle. When Ichigo forgets to bring it with her during her time in America, it's shown that the paddle passed through various people at Starlight Academy, who have also treated it in the same manner.
    • Aoi is shown to carry her first Premium Dress cards with her as a good luck charm, though this may be true for many of the girls.
  • Graduation for Everyone: In Episode 74, Ichigo, Ran, Aoi, Otome, Yurika, Kaede, and Shion all graduate from Starlight Academy's middle school division and become high school students. Seira, Key, Sora, and Maria are also shown to have graduated from Dre Aca's middle school and entered the high school division.
  • Gratuitous English: Johnny Bepp, big time. Aoi is also fond of this.
    • Otome is also a big offender, and the stuff she says makes even less sense than what Johnny says.
    • Ichigo delves into this after returning from the US.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Juri Kurebayashi has a habit of this.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Ichigo, of course.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Season 1, episode 24 starts with unusually early, unbuilt audition. Afterwards, the main characters trio decides on how to pass their short time off and decides to visit a certain idol-favored hot springs inn. On their way there, Ichigo veers off course some and they spend good time elsewhere, subverting the trope.
    • Played straighter in Episode 75 of Season 2 where the three actually make it to the hot springs inn and they even got a chance to play ping-pong afterwards (which is lampshaded by Aoi who stated that it would've been rude not to play) despite steering off-course much like the first time. However, they're not there for the entire episode thus downplaying the "episode" part.
  • Idol Singer
  • I Got Bigger: All of the younger characters grow, but Raichi is the most noticeable as mid-Season 2, he's at the age where he's going through puberty. Aoi takes notice of this, as Raichi's nearly as tall as she is compared to 2-3 years ago. The difference can be directly observed in Episode 86.
    • Noel, being the same age as Raichi, is also noticeably taller in the later half of Season 2 compared to when she was first introduced. In addition to this, she changes her hair style from pigtails to a pulled back look at the top.
  • Imagine Spot: Raichi has one at the beginning of episode 18 where he imagined himself getting chocolate from Aoi and ends up embarrassed.
  • Important Haircut: Akari did this as a sign of her no longer following Ichigo and instead following her own path. The new hairstyle is, however, quickly grown out.
  • Impossible Task: Early on, it's been said that it's impossible to perform more than three appeals in a performance, until Mizuki did so.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The fashion brands which produce the coords the idols wear for performances and other appearances.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: Aoi gets a hold of some impossible-to-get Mizuki concert tickets this way. Specifically, she got them from her Dad's cousin's daughter's second cousin's classmate that he hasn't met in several years' son's little league team manager's mother's brother who met a Frenchman at a travel agency while on vacation who was looked after by a nice old Japanese woman while he was in Japan who is friends with with someone at a broadcast company.
  • Large Ham: Johnny and any time the Kitaoji Theater is active.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Where the idols change clothes on a regular basis outside of their school uniforms, Johnny Bepp is almost always found wearing the same green sweatshirt and sweatpants, and only slimming down to a black t-shirt during the summer season.
    • As of the second half of Season 3, Johnny has switched to a red sweatshirt and pants given to him by his old partner. Orihime also switched her suit in this season.
  • Living Prop: Any idol who attends one of the schools that isn't a main or supporting character seems to exist to just pad out the classrooms in the anime or having an opponent in the arcade game. Many of them have distinctive appearances, talk, and have even been given names but none of them seem to win any auditions.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In addition to the main idols, Johnny Bepp and headmistress Orihime make regular appearances. There's several reoccurring characters, such as the fashion designers, male TV reporter, the idols' families, etc. Season 2 had arguably the most crowded cast, featuring 12 idols to develop, with Akari bringing the count up to 13. Season 3 has since appeared to try and tame this, trying to start the main idol count again at 3, though reoccurring characters still abound, and it's slated to continue growing.
  • Meaningful Name: The members of the initial Power Trio all seem to have their theme color somewhere on their name ("Ichigo" = strawberry, commonly associated with the color pink; "Aoi" = blue; and the "Shi" in Ran's surname means "purple"). Mizuki's name means beautiful moon, alluding to her moon theme. The "Kan" in her surname means god, referencing to her status as a top idol. Sakura's name means "cherry blossom", alluding to her flower motif, and Kaede's name means "maple" (commonly associated with the color orange).
    • The "Oto" in Seira's surname Otoshiro means sound, which references her absolute pitch, and her background in classical and rock music. Kii's name comes from musical key, and may also be from "kikoeru" meaning listen. The "Sae" in her surname means to be skillful, possibly referencing her status as Seira's producer, and "Gusa" means grass, alluding to her green color scheme. Sora's name means sky, alluding to her sky thematic and her brand, Bohemian Sky. Her surname, "Kazesawa", roughly translates to wind swamp, and also alludes to her sky thematic as well as her color scheme. The "Hime" in Maria's surname means princess, which is fitting for an ojou.
    • Mikuru's preferred brand, Vivid Kiss, has very summery designs due to its west-coast influence. The "Natsu" in her surname means summer.
    • Much like the original Power Trio, Season 3's idols' names allude to their theme color. Akari's name has "aka" (あか) which is homophonous to the Japanese word for red (赤 aka), however, her color leans more towards pink. Sumire's name means violet. While Hinaki's name may have multiple meanings, one possible interpretation is "yellow chick."The "kure" in Juri Kurebayashi's last name means crimson red. The "Fuji" in Miyabi's last name means wisteria (which are purple). Rin's last name has the kanji for "kuro" (meaning black), and although her actual theme color is navy, her basic coord has a lot of black accents.
      • Akari's name also means "brightness", which refers to her storyline in Season 2, while Madoka's name combines the kanji for "heaven" and "feather", respectively.
  • Meganekko: Yurika when she is not acting like a vampire, Aoi when she teaches the juniors and Kii when she appear as a producer.
  • The Mentor: Mizuki to all the girls, but mostly to Ichigo. In Season 3, Ichigo becomes this to Akari.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The anime exists to sell Aikatsu cards and by extension, promoting the arcade game of the same name. As of August 2014, there are twelve Expansion Packs. And there are also other merchandise such as CD singles, these come bundled with Aikatsu cards. Gotta Catch Them All!
  • Officially Shortened Title: A variation: Aikatsu is a shortening of Aidoru Katsudou, yet the phrase appeared as a subtitle for the series' logo.
  • Off-Model: The 3d models early in the series were closer to the game's look than the anime's. Notably, Otome looked dramatically different from her anime design, and this was not properly fixed until Season 2.
  • One-Word Title: It's an Officially Shortened Title Aikatsu is a shortening of Aidoru Katsudou, and an Excited Show Title!.
  • Only Six Faces: Most of the idol's faces are drawn in the exact same manner, with only three real variations in eye-type. Season 3 onwards makes this more blatant when hairstyles start to get recycled as well. Compare Hinaki to Kaede, Juri to Ran, etc.
    • Cast of Snowflakes: Adult characters such as teachers, designers and other entertainers have varied facial features and body types that makes them completely distinguishable from each other, a stark contrast to the idols.
  • Out of Focus: Kaede, to the point where she never got a chance to wear her Basic Stage Coord outfit in Season 1 and her Brand/Constellation Coord got given to Saegusa Kii in Season 2. She had a few focus episodes in her first season, but she's never really been anything past a supporting character for Yurika. Despite this, she's still featured prominently in the openings.
    • Similarly, Maria acted as a replacement for Sakura in season 2, inheriting her brand for that season. Sakura did not have it nearly as bad as Kaede though, as she still got a few focus episodes, and even returned to prominence in Season 3 where She becomes the next Starlight Queen.
    • Naoto received a lot less focus in Season 2, and the beginning of Season 3. This is possibly caused by the disbanding of Rey, the band which the singer provides his singing voice, on 31st August 2013, on top of the need to develop four idols from Dream Academy. Midway through Season 3, he returns to a more recurring status, having been promoted from groundskeeper to teacher.
  • Power Trio: From Episode 33 to 35, Mizuki holds various auditions to determine two partners to form her own idol unit, Tristar. In Episode 34, Mizuki chooses the newly arrived Kaede to be her first partner, and in Episode 35, chooses Ran is the final member.
    • Mizuki eventually removes Ran from Tristar, seeing how distressed she is being apart from Ichigo and Aoi. Ran eventually reunites with Ichigo and Aoi, becoming their own unit, Soleil. Because of this, Mizuki spends her time in Episode 38 searching for Tristar's new member, who is eventually revealed to be Yurika.
      • After the formation of Tristar and Soleil, Otome impulsively starts her own unit with Sakura and Shion, known as Powapowa Puririn. Their status as a Power Trio is mentioned in season two, where they are referred to as the most popular idol unit after Soleil and Tristar disband.
    • In season two, Seira, Kii, and Sora seem to form a Power Trio against their Starlight rivals, but later subverted as Maria is integrated into their group.
    • In Season 3, Akari forms one with Sumire and Hinaki.
  • Precocious Crush: Raichi towards Aoi.
  • Put on a Bus: The Dream Academy girls when Season 3 rolls around.
    • Soleil is quiet literally put on a bus in episode 125 and won't be expected to return for some time from their nation-wide tour.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Ran, Mizuki, Sora, Miyabi, Akari (before she cut it), Sumire, Lisa, Madoka and Juri (both when down).
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: On a scale from blue to red: Mizuki, Ran, Yurika, Aoi, Sakura, Kaede, Ichigo, and Otome.
    • Mikuru is the red to Mizuki's blue.
    • From blue to red, the Season 3 girls are: Miyabi, Sumire, Rin, Akari, Madoka, Hinaki, and Juri.
  • Refusal of the Call: In Episode 41, Shion announces that, in order to focus on her acting career, she will not be joining STAR☆ANIS, a temporary idol unit composed of Soleil, Tristar, and Powapowa Puririn.
  • The Reveal: It's very subtle, but the flashback and final scene on episode 31 reveals that Ringo is Miya, the other half of Masquerade, something which is hinted earlier in episode 17. However, Ichigo only learned this at the end of episode 47. It's revealed in episode 63 that Mizuki left Starlight as she was inspired by Ichigo to follow the path to become a producer and is now at Dream Academy, not as a student, but as an advisor. This would explain why as seen in episode 52, the training regime of Dream Academy was so similar to how Ichigo and the others trained in season one.
  • The Rival: Hikari is this for Ran, at least when it comes to the sensational student audition. Seira is this for Ichigo.
  • Rival Dojos: Starlight Academy and Dream Academy.
    • Akari becomes one by the end of Episode 126.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Mizuki and Ichigo. Also, Ichigo and Sakura. Come Season 3, Ichigo and Akari is another pair.
    • There's also Aoi and Akane. Ironically, Aoi's name means blue and Akane's name means madder red.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Whenever the show gets serious, expect characters like Otome to be missing for majority of the episode. A variation happens with Johnny Bepp however: if he's not acting as his usual Large Ham self, you know there's a lot of drama going on.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In episode 80, the commander of the Aikatsu Boot Camp is named Sergeant Pepper. And his Catchphrase is "Come Together!"
    • Masquerade is essentially Pink Lady, a duo who were Japan's biggest pop act in the 70s (and best known in the US from Pink Lady and Jeff) — even their dance moves are similar.
  • Similar Squad: Seira, Kii, Sora, and Maria from Dream Academy are very similar to Ichigo, Aoi, Ran, and Otome respectively. While their personalities differ quite a bit, their specific roles within the group are quite similar (they fill all four idol types of cute, cool, sexy, and pop for example). The similarities are lampshaded in Season 2 during the Partner's Cup. More specifically:
    • Ichigo and Seira act as the leaders and top idols of their respective schools in terms of popularity ranking.
    • Aoi and Kii are both intelligent and act as the leader's best friend and supporter/fan.
    • Ran and Sora both specialize in fashion, on top of having similar hair length and the same singer.
    • Otome and Maria can be a bit of a stretch, as Otome isn't as integrated into the Power Trio of Ichigo, Aoi, and Ran as Maria is to the other Dream Academy girls. Nevertheless, they share the same basic coord outfit color, and act as the cutest members of their respective groups.
    • Season 3's Akari, Sumire, Hinaki, and Juri are looking to be similar to the previous groups, though they share a much more different dynamic. Still, plenty of story-related similarities, such as Akari and Sumire being roommates, Sumire winning the Starlight Queen manager audition, etc. are apparent.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Kaede speaks with a lot of English thanks to being from America, but she's noticeably lacking in Engrish.
  • Stock Footage: Mainly limited for the transformation sequences and sometimes the 3d dance sequences. Notably, Ichigo's sequence when she places the cards into the machine has been unchanged since the first episode, making it appear slightly outdated with the updates to the character designs.
  • The Cameo: In episode 2, there's a background character who looks exactly like Lalah Sune from Mobile Suit Gundam, which isn't that surprising considering the companies who own this franchise
  • Theme Naming: The Hoshimiya girls have a fruits thematic to their name. Ichigo's name means strawberry, and her mother Ringo's name means apple.
    • Ichigo's younger brother, Raichi, also follows this theme, his name being based on the Lychee fruit. Made apparent in Season 2 when he orders a lychee parfait.
    • The Otoshiro girls have a "holy" thematic to their given names. Seira's name itself means "Holy", while her younger sister's, Noel, is another name for Christmas, which is often referred to as the holy night. Noel is even born on December 25th!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Ichigo has seaweed bento, as she mentions them multiple times in season one. Ichigo also has a particular fondness for parfaits, especially strawberry parfaits, and after the Starlight Queen Cup, all her friends (sans Kaede, she gives Ichigo another treat) buy her parfaits. Otome's favorite food is popcorn, to the point where she actually made a song about popcorn to be Powapowa Puririn's debut song. Ironically, Yurika's favorite food is garlic ramen, despite her vampire character.
  • Training Montage: Several episodes feature these.
  • Transformation Sequence: The anime uses Barbie doll anatomy for the idols during the sequence, but the arcade game uses casual clothes instead.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Aikatsu! Cards.
  • Tsundere: Ran and Yurika.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: When they aren't shown in their uniforms, the idols' casual clothes, audition outfits, etc. tend to switch up between episodes.
  • Two-Teacher School:
    • Johnny and Orihime are the most commonly seen faculty in Starlight Academy. Asakura Miwa, commonly seen giving dancing instructions, and the unnamed lunchlady are the only other faculty who have gotten more than a few lines of dialogue past the first few episodes.
    • Dream Academy has yet to show any faculty outside of the chairwoman, Tiara Yumesaki.
  • Western Zodiac: The primary focus of the second season as well as the 2014 update to the arcade game. Each fashion brand is assigned a certain constellation that they base their clothes on. Although probably not by coincidence, these constellations correspond to the star signs of the idols themselves, even when some brands are used by more than one girl.
  • The Worf Effect: Ichigo. This is the girl who managed to beat out Aoi, Ran, and the others to the final stage of the Starlight Queen Cup, only losing to Mizuki by a small margin. In season two, she gets beat by Seira, who is still new to being an idol.
    • Sort of justified, as during their face-off concert Seira was wearing a Premium Dress, and Ichigo was wearing a Swick Rock dress rather than her usual Angely Sugar, which she looks best in.
      • There's also the fact that it seems Ichigo hadn't actually been doing any idol activities during her time in America, or at least hadn't been doing idol activities for the majority of the year, so she may have gotten a little rusty.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: We'd be here all day if we had to list all the characters with weird hair colors.


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