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 arrived to the theater, not only is the troupe itself in shambles, they're also falling in debts. 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 (headed by Sakuya Sakuma)
- Summer Troupe, which specializes in comedies (headed by Tenma Sumeragi)
- Autumn Troupe, which specializes in action plays (headed by Banri Settsu)
- Winter Troupe, which specializes in drama and mystery (headed 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.
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, release date TBA. A Chinese port was released late August 2018 under Komoe Game.
In 2019, the franchise announced an animated adaptation produced by P. A. Works and Studio 3Hz, and will air in 2020.
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 other 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.
- 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.
- The Baby of the Bunch: The main members of the Summer Troupe consist of members younger than the other troupes. With the group having an average age of 16. Age wise, however, Azami is the youngest among the characters. But before Part 2 of the main story, this role goes to Yuki and Muku.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Why Taichi couldn't bring himself to follow through in his role as The Mole. When compared to how he is treated dismissively in his previous theater troupe, he was treated in a far better light with the MANKAI Company.
- Book-Ends: The end of Part 1 (Act 4) and 2 (Act 8) of the Main Story has Izumi talking to Sakuya.
- 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: 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 ended and there are 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. At least 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, step father and step sister 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. It's his code name in the agency Hisoka used to be a part of.
- Crossover: With fellow Liber Entertainment game I-Chu in 2017. A3! had also colaborated with the TaikoNoTatsujin franchise.
- Disappeared Dad: Izumi's father is missing for eight years before the start of the story.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening movie's songs, "MANKAI☆Kaika Sengen" and "Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu☆Blooming!", are done by the A3ders (the troupe leaders— Sakuya, Tenma, Banri, and Tsumugi).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flower Motifs: Everything gets a flower motif in this story. Each character 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 Kyukon (bulb) High School, St. Flora, etc.).
- Forgotten First Meeting: Later chapters in the main scenario reveals that Sakyou, 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.
- Gender Flip: The Spring Troupe's 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. The Spring Troupe's second play is also a Gender Flip play with a male Alice. The Winter Troupe's fourth play ''Le Fantôme de l'Opéra'' plays out just the same as it's inspiration with the story being a tragic friendship between Chris and the phantom.
- 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 Tasuku's section while tapping on the backstage story tab will show that Tasuku isn't just a rival and will eventually join the protagonist as part of the winter troupe. 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 surprising, for, in the early parts of the main scenario, he is a Friendly Enemy to the protagonist. Equally surprising as Tasuku's role is also Sakyo, who was initially introduced as a possible antagonist.
- 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, How Wonderfully Picaresque, 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.
- The Mole: Taichi was originally an actor under the GOD-Za company. Said director of the company seems to have a vendetta against Izumi's father and wants the company out at all cost. But in the end, Taichi couldn't bring himself to destroy the company as he had grown to like the members.
- 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.
- One Degree of Separation: Banri, Sakuya, Masumi, and Iku all go to the Hanasaki Academy, while ensemble members Takuya, Arata, and Kengo attend Yosei University. Juza, Tenma and Taichi all go to Ouka High School while Muku, Yuki, and Miki attend St. Flora Middle School with Homare being an alumni to St Flora Academy. By year 2, Banri studied in Veludo Arts University with Kazunari while Juza attend Yosei University with Tsuzuru and Omi.
- Rule of Three: In the game's title. There are three letters, all starting with A and shortened as A3.
- The Seven Mysteries: The Mankai theater building has one, three of which really happened in the Winter Troupe's main scenario, and one of which turned out to be a future member of Summer troupe. First is the Endless Stuffed doll that is said to put the person finding it in an endless loop to another person they want to fix their relationship with. This is what happened to Tsumugi and Tasuku for three chapters in the Winter Troupe's main scenario as Tsumugi wanted to fix their friendship. Second is the hidden locked room mystery. Azuma and Izumi are trapped inside there once and the second time, Izumi is trapped in there with Hisoka. The third is the truth magnifying glasses. Homare found and used it to patch things up with the troupe after his mistake.
- The first play you obtain performed by the Spring Troupe, Romeo And Julius. Except it's a story of friendship instead of romance.
- Water Me! is an in-universe Affectionate Parody of the Arabian Nights.
- In act 3, the chapter Jailhouse Lock doubled as a Stealth Pun for Jailhouse Rock.
- The Spring Troupe's 2nd play is based on Alice in Wonderland with Alice Gender Flipped.
- The Spring Troupe's 4th play is called The Wonderful Charlatan Of Oz but takes place before Dorothy arrives to the land of Oz.
- Winter Troupe's 4th play is ''Le Fantôme de l'Opéra'', but with Christine Gender Flipped as a man.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vague Age: Zig-zagged. While it's confirmed that she is older than Masumi but younger than Sakyou, the vague part comes in the fact that Izumi's exact age is unknown though it can be assumed that she is in her early 20's.
- 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 it's 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 it's 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".