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Act, Addict, Actors!, or commonly referred and shortened as A3!, is a mobile game created by Liber Entertainment, the creator of the rhythm game I-Chu.

In A3, you play as Izumi, a young woman who is visiting a theater for a troupe that is said to be her father's theater company. But when you arrive at the theater, not only is the theater itself in shambles, the troupe is also buried in debt. As the daughter of the previous director of said troupe, your job is to gather members as actors to bring the troupe back to its former glory.

The troupes you manage are as follows:

  • Spring Troupe, which specializes in storybooks or fairy tale plays (led by Sakuya Sakuma)
  • Summer Troupe, which specializes in comedies (led by Tenma Sumeragi)
  • Autumn Troupe, which specializes in action plays (led by Banri Settsu)
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  • Winter Troupe, which specializes in drama and mystery (led by Tsumugi Tsukioka)

The series has its own discography as well, consisting of the theme songs for their various plays and Image Songs for all of the characters.

A second part to the main story was announced in 2018, adding four new characters to the lineup. Part 3, with another additional four actors, was announced in 2020.

Amusingly enough, A3! also received its own stage adaptation starting in 2018, titled MANKAI Stage!. The Spring and Summer Troupes were the focus of the first production that ran from July to October 2018, while the Autumn and Winter troupes got the second production in December 2018 to March 2019. The Spring and Summer Troupes would later get individual productions the same year.

An English port of the game was announced in 2018 and released by Cybird on 23 October 2019. A Chinese port was released late August 2018 under Komoe Game.

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In 2019, the franchise announced an animated adaptation produced by P. A. Works and Studio 3Hz, and began airing in the Winter 2020 season. Much like the stage play series, the first half focuses on the Spring and Summer troupes, while the second half of the show will focus on the Autumn and Winter troupes. The first half was later delayed until Spring 2020 due to production issues and the COVID19 outbreak.

A3! contains examples of:

  • The Ace: The Winter Troupe in general, at least when compared to the previous troupes who had troubles with acting. Mostly because The Winter Troupe has two members with stage experience, as opposed to none (Spring), one with another type of acting experience (Summer), and one with amateur level of experience (Autumn), and also overall higher maturity of the group. Even Azuma, Hisoka, and Homare, who had no experience of acting before, are able to adapt and learn faster than the previous troupes.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The backstage in general, but especially troupe events. The latter focuses on the character who is playing the lead and expands on their back story.
  • Adaptational Badass: Multiple times in the stage play.
    • My Master's Mesmerized by Mystery: In the game, Sagishima merely helps Shiki solve a murder mystery. In the stage, Sagishima wrestles a knife out of Keiichi's hand and incapacitates him.
    • Nocturnality: In the game, Ryohei simply flees after dodging Franz's knife. In the stage, Ryohei wields a rapier and fights Franz, who dual wields daggers. Ryohei puts up a serious fight before fleeing.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Due to the first season of the anime having 12 episodes total, several scenes didn't get adapted into the anime proper. Some examples include Izumi telling Masumi's high school classmates that she scouted Masumi for his talent rather than appearances as they accused her of doing
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Especially apparent on some characters' chibis, such as Hisoka's left instead of right eye getting hidden under his bangs, etc.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The games lessons play out the same way as Ensemble Stars! which requires lots of tapping. However, A3 has the auto function which not only stops you from tapping too many times to proceed, but also saves time.
  • April Fools' Day: 2017's April Fool's celebration has the cast from all troupes including Izumi and Matsukawa in a high school AU with some of the cast being teachers. 2018's celebration turned the Mankai players into host club members. There was also a fair amount of characters switching personalities.
  • Arc Words: "The Show Must Go On!"
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Act 2 and 3 link skills, which require all your cards to be from at least Act 2 and 3 respectively. While they give bigger boost, Act 2 and 3 cards are harder to obtain especially when you or the act have just started.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Summer Troupe's members are younger than the other troupes', with the group having an average age of 16.
    • In Year 2, 14-year old Azami becomes this to the rest of Autumn Troupe; the second-youngest member of the group is Taichi, who is in his last year of high school.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Why Taichi couldn't bring himself to follow through in his role as The Mole. Kamikizaka, Haruto, and many of the other members of God Troupe treat him dismissively at best, more like a hanger-on than a talented actor. Meanwhile, despite the early friction within the Autumn Troupe, Izumi and the rest of MANKAI Company welcome him as a valued member and encourage him to grow, leading him quickly into a crisis of conscience.
  • Bland-Name Product: Kazu often uses Instablam.
    • In The Stranger event SSR card, Omi holds a Canno camera.
    • In High Spirits at the Hot Spring event SSR, Banri wears Galvin Klein.
    • In the JP version and the anime, everyone sends messages via LIME.
  • Book-Ends: The end of Part 1 (Act 4) and 2 (Act 8) of the Main Story has Izumi talking to Sakuya.
  • Bowdlerise: The English localization modifies Azuma's April Fools' line from him claiming to be a woman and willing to strip to show the proof, to claiming to have a tattoo of a woman on his back and willing to show it.
  • Break the Cutie: Pretty much everybody undergoes this.
  • Call-Back: Some things in events are mentioned and often become the Chekhov's Gun in the main scenario starting from Act 5, such as the mention of Masumi's grandmother.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: The majority of the main cast are Bishounen.
  • Cast Herd: All of the troupes have their own interpersonal politics going on, and plenty of group members knew each other beforehand. Also, for each group, they have 3 ensemble members, bringing the herd to a total of 8 each. Now 9 with the addition of Chikage, Kumon, Azami and Guy respectively in Part 2 of the main story.
  • Characterization Marches On: The events all take place after Part 1 ends and there is a lot of Character Development involved in them. Part 2 of the main story also had the cast retain the Character Development they had in the events.
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • In Act 1, in order to get Itaru to stay in the Spring Troupe, Sakuya, Masumi, Tsuzuru and Citron devised an improvised play of a family with Sakuya, Masumi and Tsuzuru as the children, Itaru as the father, and Citron as the mother. In act 5, after accidentally making Chikage mad by adding much more spice than necessary on his food, they bring this act back as a form of apology... with Chikage as the grandpa to Sakuya, Masumi and Tsuzuru's role, father to Itaru, and Father-in-law to Citron.
    • Early in Act 7, the Autumn Troupe had to perform to a group of kindergarten students at Taichi's request because the original group that is supposed to perform are unable to make it in time and the troupe accepts... while wearing animal costumes throughout the performance. When Azami is kidnapped by a vengeful high school student with a grown ego because his father is in the Yakuza hours before the final performance, the rest of the Autumn troupe rescues him... using the head of the animal costumes to cover their faces.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Seven Mysteries. One ends up being Misumi, and three of them play a role in keeping the Winter Troupe together in the main scenario.
    • In "Tales Of Chivalry: Ginji The Wanderer", Sakyo originally had some money saved up to get a house for his mother, stepfather, and stepsister but saved it up for Mankai Company to use since his mother decided to not buy the house. In Act 8, Those savings are used to get both the spring troupe and winter troupe a group flight to Zahra to get Citron back.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Masumi's grandmother was mentioned off-hand in the Midsummer Sparkle Memory event. She makes an appearance in Act 5.
    • At the end of Act 4, Hisoka received a fan letter that is signed by a person named April. April is later revealed to be Chikage, the eventual sixth member of the Spring Troupe. It's his code name in the agency Hisoka used to be a part of.
    • Near the end of Act 3, Juza mentions he has a little brother. Said brother would become the sixth member of the Summer Troupe in Part 2.
    • Sakyo mentions his boss has a son during the events of the Autumn Troupe's third play. Said son would start hiding out at MANKAI Company during act 6 before becoming the Autumn Troupe's sixth member.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Sakyo's form of punishing people for certain events involve the losers being forced to wear giant bunny costumes.
  • Crossover: With fellow Liber Entertainment game I-Chu in 2017. A3! had also collaborated with the Taiko no Tatsujin franchise, Psycho-Pass 3 and Pac-Man.
  • Deal with the Devil: The play Stray Devil Blues revolves around this. Those who have made a contract with a devil is called a contractor, and to break free from the contract, a contractor must hunt the soul of another contractor.
  • Disappeared Dad: Izumi's father is missing for eight years before the start of the story.
  • Disc-One Nuke: A few early SSR cards can make teambuilding and clearing event shows easy due to their versatility for link skills, and thus make important team leaders. Initial SSR Muku and Azuma in particular, which you can pull from as early as the tutorial pull, can be in most Co and Dr team builds respectively.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening movie's songs, "MANKAI☆Kaika Sengen" and "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu☆Blooming!", and the anime theme "Act! Addict! Actors!", are done by the A3ders (the troupe leaders— Sakuya, Tenma, Banri, and Tsumugi).
  • Downer Ending: Winter Troupe's plays are particularly fond of this, even in their mixed troupe play.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Several characters who are part of other troupes appear before they are officially introduced to be joining as part of a troupe in the main scenario. Mostly concerning characters who are part of the troupe after the Spring troupe.
    • All sixth members of the troupes also appeared in events before officially joining during the events of Part 2.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Izumi is always referred to as "Director" by the characters.
  • Everyone Has Standards: What drove Tasuku out of the GOD-ZA company is seeing how much Reni wants the Tachibana's out of the picture to the point of sending Taichi with the purpose of sabotaging their performance. Deciding that he's not going to follow someone who is willing to use sabotage against another company, he strikes out.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The title screen changes to the page's image above once you cleared all the main scenarios of act 1.
    • The Anime adaptation switches verses according to the troupe featured. Starting episode 7, Tenma sings the opening verses of the opening theme instead of Sakuya.
  • Excited Show Title!: Both in full form and in abbreviated.
  • Family of Choice: The Mankai Company to Sakuya. Having lost his parents at a young age and shuffled from one family to another who just handled the necessities of his living and no nurturing, the actors and staff in Mankai Company are the closest thing that he has to an actual family. The company eventually becomes one big family over time in the course of the story to at least some of the troupe members. Azuma comes to find the company as a place to call home after years of living a lonely life after the death of his family. Both Chikage and Hisoka both came to see the company as a home with people to call a family as well.
  • Family Theme Naming: The Ikaruga family's names are shapes: Hakkaku (octagon), Kusumi (nonagon), Misumi (can be read as triangle), Madoka (can be read as circle).
  • Flower Motifs: Everything gets a flower motif in this story. Each actor has a flower linked to them (for example, Sakuya is linked to the Japanese cherry blossoms), but places are also named after to related to flowers (e.g. Hanasaki and Ouka (bulb) High School, St. Flora, etc.).
    • The director's last name, Tachibana, contains the kanji for flower.
    • Also, the most prestigious award for plays, which is the company's next goal after paying off the debt, is named Fleur Award. Fleur means flower.
    • Mankai itself means full bloom.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Later chapters in the main scenario reveals that Sakyo, the Yakuza whom the acting company was indebted to earlier had met Izumi before as a child, but Izumi doesn't recognize him.
  • Funny Foreigner: Citron. Oddly enough, when it comes to gaming terms, he gets surprisingly fluent.
  • Furo Scene: Taichi suggests that Autumn Troupe take a bath together after Banri comes back in Act 3, Chapter 23, as a way of making the troupe "an open relationship". As everyone in Autumn Troupe (except for Taichi) is giant, the bathtub gets cramped pretty quickly.
  • Gender Flip: Several of Tsuzuru's plays that are adaptations of other plays tend to swap the gender of at least one of the main characters.
    • The Spring Troupe likes to do this.
      • Their first play, Romeo and Julius, is played out much like its inspiration with the major change being the titular duo's unbreakable bond since they're both men.
      • Their second play is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but with a boy "Alice" they call Alex.
      • Their fourth play acts as a prologue to The Wizard of Oz, with the four witches becoming wizards.
    • The Winter Troupe's fourth play ''Le Fantôme de l'Opéra'' plays out just the same as its inspiration with the story being a tragic friendship between Chris and the phantom.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The Torment Doll caused Tsumugi and Tasuku constantly to rewind the 12th, the day before the decision whether they accept Reni's challenge or not. Misumi was caught in the loop as well, losing his triangles each time a new day started, and pleaded the two to reconcile so that they could get out of the loop.
    • In the past, the doll trapped Reni and Yukio in the loop as well. Unlike the present day, where it was already known how to get out of the loop, Reni had to figure out the solution by himself: try making a different choice each time.
  • Guide Dang It!: Certain character combination in the show team activates link skills, which will boost your team strength. This is necessary for efficiency in grinding events. Taken Up to Eleven when rookies are introduced, which add new link skills as well as rendering a few old link skills unusable without using the rookie.
    • Even more obscure than link skills is the small team strength multiplier you get for each character that matches the troupe of the character that shows up on the Show screen.
    • Points accumulate if you fail to complete a show in one go, so you can do it again until the accumulated points reach the goal. The exception is during Etude events.
    • Support bonus adds 30% of the stat from the top 10 unused cards to the team strength.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The heroine's default name is Izumi, but like many mobile games, you can name her however you please.
  • Interface Spoiler: Looking at the Winter Troupe's section in the backstage story tab will show that Tasuku isn't just a rival and will eventually join the Mankai Company. While in general, looking at the backstage story tab will let players know who will be joining the troupe roster in the future, Tasuku's role is one of the more surprising ones, as in the early parts of the main scenario, he is a Friendly Enemy to the protagonist.
    • Even more surprising than Tasuku is Sakyo, who is initially introduced as an antagonist about to demolish the Mankai Theatre.
    • Pairing Tasuku and Taichi up for coin-earning will reveal that their relationship is "Former Troupemates", spoiling the twist that the mole from God Troupe is Taichi.
  • Irony: Banri often makes fun of how Juza is bad at comedy. Banri himself lacks strong Co link skills, all while Juza has a link skill that gives 36% boost to Co attributenote .
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Mainly from Itaru, but a few other characters also take jabs at gacha gaming culture like whaling.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The number of the cast in-game is growing to be over 30 at this point. Including the supporting characters.
  • The Mafia: The Autumn Troupe's debut play, The Roman Episode, has this as a theme, with the leads being family members that don't get along and need to work together to get out of their situation.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane
    • Omi's Stranger card's Side Story has him getting into a dream where the world and the characters of this play are real, not just constructed roles. He firmly establishes it as a dream first, but there are a few things that hint at that they have actually entered a separate universe: Taichi mentions having had the same dream at the end, and the beams Jon fires from his gun actually damage Omi's clothing.
    • The Backstage for Azuma's [Endless Thirst] SSR also has Azuma pulled into a universe where the Nocturnality characters are real... but it was all a dream. Or was it?
  • Mixed Animal Species Team: 2020's April Fools' celebration has all the Mankai members becoming animals. Each troupe has their own theme.
    • Spring: Squirrel (Sakuya), Deer (Masumi), Goat (Tsuzuru), Red Panda (Itaru), Alpaca (Citron), Rabbit (Chikage)
    • Summer: Camel (Tenma), Fennec Fox (Yuki), Sand Cat (Muku), Antelope (Misumi), Giraffe (Kazunari), Kangaroo (Kumon)
    • Autumn: Leopard (Banri), Sloth (Juza), Capybara (Taichi), Elephant (Omi), Tibetan Sand Fox (Sakyo), Parrot (Azami)
    • Winter: Ermine (Tsumugi), Polar Bear (Tasuku), Penguin (Hisoka), Arctic Owl (Homare), Arctic Fox (Azuma), Reindeer (Guy)
  • The Mole: Taichi was originally an actor who worked for the God Troupe. Reni, the God Troupe's director, had a vendetta against Izumi's father and hired Taichi to sabotage the Autumn Troupe's play by joining as one of their members. But in the end, Taichi couldn't bring himself to destroy the company as he had grown to like the members.
  • Mood Whiplash: As dark as Stray Devil Blues play is, there is once Mark asks Lucifer to help clean his house.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Reni, the director of the God Troupe, attempted several times in Act 1 to sabotage the Mankai Company's revival, which all failed and ended up ultimately benefiting the company:
    • His plan to sabotage the Autumn Troupe's debut play by sending in Taichi, a two-bit actor from the God Troupe, to be The Mole backfired massively when Taichi grew to genuinely like working for the Mankai Company and switch allegiances to them and Tasuku, the God Troupe's biggest star, left the God Troupe in disgust after learning about Reni's plan and ended up working for the Mankai Company too due to it being the only local acting company that was willing to take him after the God Troupe got him blacklisted everywhere else. Basically, Reni's scheme to destroy the Autumn Troupe only caused his God Troupe to lose two of its best actors to the Mankai Company.
    • His act-off challenge to the Winter Troupe. To get the Winter Troupe to agree to the challenge's (clearly unfair) terms that the Mankai Company must disband if they lose the act-off against the God Troupe, he promised to give the Mankai Company all the revenue from the God Troupe's last show if they won instead. Thing is, if Reni had just stayed put and done nothing, the Mankai Company would almost certainly have been forced to disband at the end of the year no matter how well the Winter Troupe's play performed due to the company having a nigh-impossible-to-pay-off ten-million yen debt. His challenge essentially handed them a golden opportunity to get all that debt paid off in one fell swoop and avoid disbanding.
  • Noodle Incident: One of Hisoka's Side Stories starts like this:
    Tsumugi: ...and that is where Tasuku threw a tantrum because he didn't like cheese.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Surprisingly Averted. Part 2 of the Main Story had some of the cast in their last year of high school graduate, within it mentioned that Banri and Juza are university students.
  • Not the Intended Use: Some off-attribute cards may fall into this, as link skill boost is an important part of efficient event grinding, even more so than the raw stats of the cards alone. This is especially apparent for [Bouquet Full of Wishes] Tsumugi SSR from Say I Do tryout, who has good Ac stat despite being a Dr card, even higher than his in-attribute [Young Playboy] SR, even if unbloomed. Due to the lack of Ac SSR Tsumugi in the global server until later on and how often Tsumugi is needed for optimum Ac builds after the addition of Azaminote , the card will be used more frequently for the Ac than the Dr stat.
  • One Degree of Separation: A whole lot of this trope.
    • Banri, Sakuya, Masumi, and Iku all go to the Hanasaki Academy
    • Juza, Tenma, and Taichi all go to Ouka High School.
    • Muku, Yuki, and Miki attend St. Flora Middle School. Homare is also an alumnus to St. Flora Academy.
    • Tsuzuru and Omi attend Yosei University along with ensemble cast members Takuya, Arata, and Kengo. Juza joins them in year 2.
    • Juza and Kumon are cousins with Muku.
  • Power Creep: Future cards always have better stats. When the game has just started out, the main stat of an SSR is 6190 at maximum. As the game progresses, the main stat hits 7029 at maximum. Future cards are also needed to activate Act 2 and Act 3 link skills.
    • Played with when it comes to link skills. While link skills from Act 2 onwards have additional 3% boost compared to the Act 1 counterpart, they need Act 2 cards and beyond. Some link skills also gain additional members for bigger boost, but the builds revolving them are difficult to set up and may end up with less multiplier due to the lack of synergy with other link skills.
  • Pun-Based Title: Kumon and Juza's duet for the Scarlet Mirror mixed-troupe play is titled "Q to Ju" (Qと銃, lit. "Q and Gun"). "Q" in Japanese is pronounced "kyuu": an alternate pronunciation of the 九 kanji in Kumon's name. "Ju" is pronounced the same as the 十 kanji in Juza's name.
  • Punny Name: The kanji for Misumi's name can be read as "sankaku," the Japanese for "triangle." His brother Madoka can be read as "round" or "circle."
    • The kanji for Veludo of Veludo Way is read as Biroudo. Veludo Way sounds like Broadway.
    • "Tsuzuru" means to spell or write, and considering that he's a playwright...
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: As of part 2 of the main story, the main cast in Mankai company includes some normal students, a Yakuza member and his boss' son, a runaway prince, some former delinquents, and ex-spy agents amongst them.
    • The entire Spring Troupe cast deserves special mention for being hastily cobbled together in less than a day with the first people Izumi could find on the street who were willing to join the company for free board. Unlike the other troupes which all have at least one member who was already experienced in acting before joining, none of the Spring members had any real acting experience starting out and had to work the hardest out of all the troupes at getting their acting skills up to par.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: The play A Clockwork Heart ends with S having to be deactivated, but Luke is hopeful that someday he can reactivate S again.
    • The ending of Nocturnality implies that although Reo left, Kota hadn't given up on Reo yet.
  • Rule of Three: In the game's title. There are three words, all starting with A and shortened as A3.
  • The Seven Mysteries: Matsukawa has revealed four of Mankai's Seven Mysteries, one of which ended up being a future member of Summer Troupe and the other three appear in the Winter Troupe's main scenario.
    • A mysterious voice can be heard from room 203 of the Mankai dorms when no one's in it. It turns out Misumi has been living in room 203 for weeks.
    • The Torment Doll is said to appear before two people who fell out and subjects them to eternal torment until they fix their relationship. Tsumugi finds the doll, and for three chapters of the Winter story, Tsumugi, Tasuku, and Misumi are trapped in a time-loop until Tsumugi and Tasuku reconcile. In Act 3 of the main story, it was revealed that Reni and Yukio were once trapped in the loop.
    • The Unopening Door is a... door that won't open. This mystery shows up twice in the Winter story. The first time, Azuma and Izumi get trapped inside together. The second time, Hisoka gets trapped inside alone, and Izumi ends up also getting locked in when she goes searching for him.
    • The Loupenote  of Sincerity allows the user to see exactly what others are thinking. Homare finds the Loupe and uses it to patch things up with the troupe after his mistake.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Show Within a Show: Knights Of Round, which served as the basis of the Spring Troupe's 5th play, is an in-universe serial video game. And there's a couple of the games that Itaru played such as Brawo and Ultimate Weapon 4.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Masumi, big time. Though in a downplayed case, he isn't much of a stalker to start with, just very attracted to the player.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Happens between Banri and Juza. Banri has a natural gift for acting but is initially indifferent to it and half-asses his practices because he's so used to coasting by on his talent alone, whereas Juza starts out with virtually no acting ability but is incredibly passionate about acting and works hard to improve his skills. When Banri realizes that Juza's hard work and dedication to the craft is causing him to improve faster than him, it's a wake-up call to him about how raw talent alone isn't good enough on its own.
  • Theme Naming: The characters are divided into four groups each with five members (six after Part 2 of the Main story). All named after the four seasons and the characters too correspond with the flower leitmotifs they have.
  • Work Off the Debt: The premise of Part 1 starts as Izumi sees how her father's acting company is left in shambles and in so much debt. To keep her father's work and legacy alive, she gathers actors for the four troupes to pay off the debt and return the theater to its former glory. The debt is all paid by the end of part 1, but they still have a long way to go to bring back Mankai theater to its former glory.
  • Yakuza: Sakyo is part of one. And this is also a theme for the Autumn troupe's third play, "Tales Of Chivalry: Ginji The Wanderer".
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