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Love Live! School idol festival!! ALL STARS!!!
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Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS is a mobile Rhythm Game RPG in the Love Live! franchise, and is the fourth game to join the lineup after Love Live! School Idol Festival, Love Live! School idol paradise, and Puchiguru! Love Live!. School idol festival All Stars is developed by KLab, in partnership with Sunrise, and released in Japan on September 26, 2019. The Global version was released on February 25, 2020.

Taking place in an Alternate Continuity, the story begins when the protagonist and their Childhood Friend, Ayumu Uehara, witness a joint live between μ's of Otonokizaka High and Aqours of Uranohoshi High. Inspired by the joint live, the protagonist tracks down their school's idol club to support them yet they learn from club member Kasumi Nakasu that it's on the brink of closing down. The protagonist, with help from Kasumi and Ayumu, sets forth to reform the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club by recruiting their friends (and friends of their friends), and together, their journey begins.

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Like other idol-themed rhythm games, players collect scores of vibrantly-designed, extravagant cards depicting idols from across the Love Live! franchise, forming them into teams to challenge songs. Unlike other games, ALL STARS takes a decidedly more RPG-influenced approach; in addition to standard mechanics such as unique, personalized Skills for each card and a level growth mechanic, ALL STARS features a Skill Tree through which you can customize your idols further, as well as a unique Strategy system where you can swap between trios of characters in real time to augment gameplay. ALL STARS also features connectivity with SIF via the "SIF ID" function, allowing players to play both games with a single account and receive connectivity rewards for playing both games.

Promotional Videos

An anime that focuses on the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club in an Alternate Continuity and is very loosely based on the story of ALL STARS premiered in October 2020 as (appropriately) Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.


ALL STARS contains examples of the following:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Because both Otonokizaka and Nijigasaki are situated in Tokyo, Aqours goes on trips to regularly appear in the main and event stories despite the fact that commuting to Tokyo from Numazu is both long and expensive.note  Fans let this detail slide as the whole selling point of ALL STARS is for the 3 groups to mingle with each other.
  • Alternate Continuity: The game takes place in a continuity where μ’s and Aqours exist concurrently as opposed to other canons such as the anime and manga timelines, where Aqours was founded some years after μ’s disbanded. That being said, there are references to events from the respective animes here and there, implying that at least some parts of the animes have occurred in ALL STARS canon.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: As per the norm, this is enforced by not specifically dating the setting beyond "present day". However, the Tokyo Olympics being brought up as part of a plot point implies that the actual given time period is potentially concurrent with real time, or at least sometime before or during 2020.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes:
    • SR and UR cards have a node on their Skill Tree that bestows an outfit when unlocked. The outfit can be equipped to that character before Lives and that character will wear it during the video. Outfits can also be equipped for a current main menu partner via the Episode menus.
    • As of an update, opening enough nodes on a UR card (which requires at least Limit Break 3) unlocks a Palette Swap of that card's outfit, typically in pink.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Like School Idol Festival, each song play uses up Live Points (LP), with the more difficult songs requiring more LP. LP can be recovered at a rate of 1 LP every 4 minutes, by getting enough XP for a Rank Up or by using candies or Star Gems to refill it instantly.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game gives the option of toggling Cool Assist Mode, which will automatically lower the graphics quality in real time if the game detects that your phone is getting too hot.
    • If your device is simply unable to run the 3D videos in the first place, you can just turn them off and switch to 2D graphics instead.
    • If you fail a song, the game only takes away half the LP required to play it as opposed to the full cost. In addition, you can toggle an option called Continuous Show Mode, which allows you to continue playing until the end of the Live if you fail out.
    • The Shop's Microtransactions section automatically does currency conversion for your region, even if you're playing outside of Japan.
    • While Shiny Quartz eventually expires for limited banners, any unused Shiny Quartz is turned into Shiny Pieces that can be spent on caches of valuable materials such as Macarons and Memories.
    • The time limit for SP Time hangs at the 0 countdown until you hit a note, ensuring that it isn't wasted during a song's downtime.
    • The event duration is displayed as "days remaining" on the home screen. On the last day, the game counts down to hours and on the last hour, it counts down to minutes. This removes manual checking or using external tools to track event end dates.
    • While playing in SIFAS Big Live (SBL), you'll still be able to clear the song if you ran out of stamina and receive awards based on your performance.
    • Certain Events during the game's first year of service allowed you to earn School Idol Sparkle, a special version of School Idol Radiance that is depicted as a yellow gem. Sparkle works like Radiance for increasing Limit Break for cards, but the required amount of Sparkle needed to Limit Break a UR is half the amount of Radiance needed. Furthermore, these Events usually allowed you to gather up enough Sparkle to boost at least one UR in your stock if you're diligent. There's a big catch, unfortunately: Sparkle eventually expired and turned into Radiance if not used (at an insultingly low rate, no less), forcing players to keep up to get their free Limit Breaks. Replaced with School Idol Wishes, an item obtainable at exchange shops.
    • Starting from the "Seeking the Cherry Blossom Fairy" event, Event Daily Goals are no longer required to earn the Daily Goal completion goal for the free daily Star Gems.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Kanata, Shizuku, and Emma were formerly outsourced to other artists for card artwork, but were subsequently relegated to the official art style once they hit Ascended Extra status. This notably affects their appearance, especially in Kanata's case, whose Normal Card artwork made her appear quite a bit older and more mature than her current official artwork does.
    • This also applies to Haruka Konoe, who debuts in the official Love Live! art style for the first time in Kanata's Bond story.
    • Story sprites are a complete improvement over School Idol Festival. Sprites now blink their eyes and move their mouths when speaking. Back sprites are also added.
    • In general, the card art is also a massive improvement over School Idol Festival. This is best seen with the Aqours and µ's Initial URs, which are based on the most popular URs from SIF and have a notable increase in art quality compared to their original variations.
  • Artifact Title: Despite being called "School Idol Festival ALL STARS", the game has very little to do with School Idol Festival aside from reusing the Attributes and having URs based on SIF cards. The title is instead repurposed into the name of the event that forms the crux of Season 1's plot.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Kanata, Shizuku, and Emma originated as Normal Rarity cards in Love Live! School Idol Festival before being promoted to main characters in this game following a popularity vote.
    • Despite not ascended as much as the above three, Haruka, also a Normal Rarity card, becomes a voiced supporting character thanks to her status as Kanata's younger sister in Love Live! School Idol Festival.
  • Auto-Revive: A rare skill only used by a few cards; if activated at the beginning of a Live, the skill will recover stamina one time if stamina hits 0.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In Chapter 18, the girls end up being involved in a fake murder mystery scenario with Honoka as the "victim", but nearly all of the participants speak their lines in a hilariously stilted tone and are so bad at holding the facade together that Nozomi, Umi, Kanata, Eli, Maki, and Karin are incredulous that Setsuna, Ayumu and Emma are even falling for it. Of course, this ends up making Shizuku (who is a trained actress) stand out all the more, with the other girls complimenting her acting skills.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Lanzhu ended up winning the tournament in Chapter 24.
  • Be Yourself: A major overarching theme in the story. The player's solution to the club members having conflicting ideals is to have them all perform as solo acts, supporting each other but still having distinctly unique performances. A later chapter has the club experimenting with group choreography; while the dance is fundamentally sound, the protagonist realizes that the members are sacrificing their individuality to work together, and thus insists that they go back to solo performances.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Shioriko's reaction when she discovers that Nijigasaki's new student teacher is none other than her own sister Kaoruko.
  • Birds of a Feather: Shioriko and Lanzhu shared many personality traits prior to the former's Character Development and is what Shioriko claims to have contributed to their childhood friendship. She notes that because of this she found it all the more surprising when she met the protagonist and Ayumu and saw how close they were despite their radically different personalities.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: In the "Music Made Together" event, both Yoshiko and Karin are bad with maps, yet Karin chose to step up and lead the way to the recital venue because she's both from Tokyo and Yoshiko's sempai. They get lost soon after.
  • Book Dumb:
    • A good chunk of the cast are not very enthused by the idea of schoolwork, which comes to bite them in the rear when Shioriko demands that the Nijigasaki girls pass their mid-terms to keep the Club open and Nozomi sets up everyone else to compete with them. Nico and Kasumi end up scoring the lowest, which means they get made fun of by everyone else.
    • It became a Running Gag in the Daily Theater afterwards, including:
      • Rin failed in her previous test and asked Karin for help. Karin chose to step up yet she immediately texted Kanata to help her out.
      • Nico and Honoka were escaping from doing homework together.
      • Nico and Rin, instead of studying, did a lot of charms as preparation for the test.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Appeal Passive Insights. They boost the Appeal stat by a small percentage of everyone within a certain group (Subunit/School/Year/Type/Attribute/Group/All). They only give small boosts individually, but stack enough of them and you'll see a substantial enhancement to your group's Appeal stats, which can help with clearing songs.
    • The entire Super Rare tier. With some exceptions, they aren't as strong as Ultra Rares, but they're decent in their own right and are much easier to max out, with an SR being guaranteed with every 10x pull and only costing 1/5th their weight in School Idol Radiance to Limit Break compared to URs. With enough investment, they can still carry you a decent ways even with terrible UR pull luck.
    • Beginner Live Songs. Although they give fewer rewards than in harder lives, it only costs 10 LP per songnote , which is really useful for clearing goals easier and the quickest way to obtain Character/Group Titles especially the triple stars that require 5,000 plays without using skip tickets.
    • R cards are basically useless, but their Skill Tree still gives Star Gems for unlocking enough nodes, and they're by far the easiest rarity tier to max out. Dump enough materials into them and you can have a large hoard of extra Star Gems at your beck and call. They are also useful for Dream Live Parade as early-game dead weight you can throw at the event, since the format restricts how many times a card can be used in sequence.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase:
    • To prep themselves up, Setsuna and Rin perform Ruby's Catchphrase note , alongside Ruby herself in the opening movie.
    • Dia has a UR with the Japanese name of "Hagu shite sashi agemasu wa!", the phrase being her own twist on Kanan's "Hagu shiyou!" catchphrase.
    • You and Ai do the "Nico-Nico-Nii!", complete with motions, as part of their message for Nico's birthday.
  • Boss Battle: Each story chapter has a "boss stage" called a Super Stage. It is significantly more difficult than normal Live Stages and tests your knowledge and team power.
  • Bowdlerization: Mia's swearing is very slightly toned down to PG-level swears in the English version (although the audio is still intact).
  • Breaking the Fellowship: With the School Idol Club disbanded and replaced, Karin, Ai, Shioriko, and Shizuku split from the main group to join Lanzhu's School Idol Club, for varying reasons.
  • Breather Episode: After the mostly dramatic Chapters 15, 16 and 17, Chapter 18, an Intermission chapter between Seasons 1 and 2, tones it down significantly by being the obligatory Beach Episode training camp where Nijigasaki and μ's go on an island adventure.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • As with any gacha game, you can simply buy premium currency with real money to pull on the gacha more times for a shot at more URs. In addition to buying Star Gems straight, you can also choose from a selection of bundles that award a variety of items such as UR and SR tickets, Star Gem packages or daily login deals, added Star Gem bonuses, and miscellaneous upgrade materials like macarons and memories.
    • For $13.99 a month (and a single 14-day free trial), you can buy into the All Stars Pass, a paid "premium" service that grants you a massive amount of bonuses, which include:
      • A spiffy virtual membership card.
      • A free gift of 50 Member Coins per day, which can be spent on special items like the Nijigasaki Summer Uniforms and various tickets.
      • An additional set of Daily Missions that awards 10 extra Star Gems a day.
      • A once-per-day full LP recharge for no additional cost.
      • Double items from Training.
      • Access to a unique gacha banner that permits a single free pull per day but has a boosted UR appearance rate of 7%.
      • In addition to all of the above, renewing your Pass for consecutive months grants additional prizes, including Premium Scouting Tickets (in SR and UR flavors), Paid and Free Star Gems, and unique Titles that also upgrade your membership card.
  • Brick Joke: In the "Your Models Are Here!" event, both Dia and Nico make comments about the kimonos looking like those worn for Shichi-Go-Sannote . In the final chapter, the photographer reveals that the photo shoot was for a Shichi-Go-San-themed magazine.
  • Broad Strokes: Aqours keeps their backstories from the anime although some details are changed in this continuity because they are active in the same period as μ's.
  • Broken Aesop: Season 2 starts out constantly pushing a Technician vs. Performer message about the Club and the Association, with the Club being less skilled but more passionate and the Association being highly-trained but very demanding and rigid. The implication here is that the audience is meant to root for the Club for conveying the essential nature of school idols presented throughout the franchise, that of hard work, perseverance, and true emotion, while the Association's efforts are artificial. Unfortunately, the plot undermines this motto constantly by presenting the Association as being substantially more successful and popular than the Club ever was, backed up by a crazy amount of Character Shilling for Lanzhu, as the Character Focus episodes attempt to justify Karin and Ai's choices for joining the Association and betraying their friends rather than having them return. This effectively comes to a head with Chapter 27, in which Shioriko's Character Focus more or less executes and completes itself with the Association's help and almost no direct involvement from the Club whatsoever.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Aside from "Stamina", which was reused from School Idol Festival, score is now referred to as "Voltage".
  • Call-Back:
    • Riko's unidolized "Aozora Jumping Heart" SR is directly based on Yoshiko's unidolized "Twilight Demon" UR, itself a reference to a scene from the Sunshine!! anime.
    • The snack shack that Aqours ran in Season 1, Episode 10 of their anime is referenced a few times, such as when Yoshiko is cooking Tears of a Fallen Angel and when Chika mentions the event in Chapter 11.
    • One of Kotori's Bond Stories brings up her part-time maid cafe job.
    • In "The Best Christmas Present" event story, when Setsuna announces she made a cake (as seen on Hanayo's SR "Yume no Tobira" card), Ruby starts worrying about Setsuna's baking while Kotori and Hanayo recall being told offscreen about Eli getting scared. This references the "Come Enjoy These Special Sweets!" event.
    • The Anime Concurrent Story Chapter "For Her" has Ayumu working part-time at the Chinese restaurant featured in the "Save the Ramen of Joy!" event to buy the protagonist a new pair of headphones.
  • Canon Immigrant: Chapter 20 introduces a twin pair of Student Council members who originally debuted as minor background characters in Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • Cap: By default, there's a limit of 50,000 Voltage that you can gain on any individual Appeal. Expert songs allow players to exceed 50,000, while the Choker accessory you can buy from the Dream Live Parade shop raises the default limit for the equipped Strategy.
  • The Cameo:
    • The whiteboard for the Login Bonus has a drawing of Uchicchi on it.
    • The Alpaca appears when a Goals list or the Present Box is empty.
    • Mito Takami has a voiced, offscreen appearance in Chika's Bond Story.
    • Yu Takasaki appears in the "Muteki-kyu Believer" PV as a doll.
  • Character Class System: The game divides the cards into 4 classes: Voltage, SP, Guard and Skill.
  • Character Focus:
    • Chapters 15 and 16 are mainly directed towards Ayumu and resolving her conflicting feelings on being a school idol and her relationship with the protagonist.
    • Season 2 passes the baton frequently between the main cast who didn't get a chance to shine in Season 1.
      • Chapter 21 focuses on Shizuku and her feelings between the Association and the Club.
      • Chapter 22 gives a shared focus to Mia and Rina, proposing that they are Not So Different.
      • Chapter 23 focuses on Ai and her true reasons for splitting from the Club to join the Association.
      • Chapter 25 focuses on Karin angsting over losing to Kasumi in the school idol competition and discovering from her friends how she can become a better school idol by performing for others rather than just performing to be the best.
      • Chapter 27 focuses on Shioriko and her complicated relationship with her sister Kaoruko.
  • Character Select Forcing:
    • Some of the more difficult Advanced songs will almost absolutely require you to run a Cleanse somewhere on your team (usually Angel Riko, but sometimes Fresh Fruits Nico if Riko is unavailable) to S Rank without having massive stats due to the monumental penalties that some songs have, like Snow Halation's 15% Appeal Down. Don't have a Cleanse card? You could be stuck rerolling your Guest List for Riko assists. A few post-release songs have included Cleanse-proof gimmicks as a result (thereby making them much harder).
    • Specific post-release songs invoke this by penalizing/rewarding specific card Types, which tends to make much more of a difference than the typical wrong-Attribute stat penalty.
    • The song "HEART to HEART!", "Brightest Melody", and "TOKIMEKI Runners Chapter 17 ver" have their buffs only benefit the members of µ's, Aqours, and Nijigasaki respectively. You basically have to build a team based on that one group to get a chance of S Ranking the song.
    • "Arashi no Naka no Koi dakara" Expert is the only song in the game where the game essentially forces you to run an SP Cleanse card to counter the effects of the -50% Vo Appeal debuffs unless you're obscenely overgeared.
  • Character Shilling:
    • Season 2 really likes talking about how awesome and incredible Setsuna is and how she's the greatest and most worthy opponent Karin and Ai have ever faced in their school idol careers. There's an entire cutscene in Chapter 23 dedicated to the duo praising Setsuna endlessly and talking about how they joined the Association specifically to become good enough to beat her.
    • Lanzhu takes this Up to Eleven, with pretty much every single character in the game playing her up as being the best school idol to ever exist and all of the Nijigasaki girls aspiring to be as good as she is. This is in spite of her incredibly toxic personality and the fact that the audience almost never sees her performances in action save for her solo song.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Near the beginning of the story, the cast is informed that they must contact a girl named Kaoruko, the current head of the School Idol Festival Committee, to receive permission to take over School Idol Festival duties in her place. Kaoruko is revealed to be Shioriko's sister in the very last chapter of Season 1, and a major motivation for Shioriko's actions throughout the course of the story.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: An update for March 2020 in Japan and July 31, 2020 worldwide added a collaborative multiplayer event called SIFAS Big Live, or SBL. A team of up to 20 players play through one of three select songs, and the players are rewarded based on the combined effort of the team. Players are also individually awarded special titles based on their performance.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Attributes, card types, team formations, and the school idol groups are color coded.
    • Attributes: Smile (Pink), Pure (Green), Cool (Blue), Active (Red), Natural (Yellow), Elegant (Violet)
    • Card types: Voltage (Red), Guard (Green), SP (Blue), Skill (Yellow)
    • Formations are divided into Red, Green and Blue strategies.
    • School idol groups: µ's (Pink), Aqours (Blue), NijiGaku (Yellow), Liella (Purple)
  • Combat Medic: A handful of healer cards have higher Appeal than regular healers while giving up some of their Stamina, allowing them to contribute more Voltage while sacrificing some heal power and Stamina in the process. There's also some unique exceptions to the rule, such as Fes Mari, who is a Skill-type with a heal active that scales with her Technique and high stats, allowing her to basically pull the weight of both a healer and a scorer simultaneously.
  • Comic-Book Time: A particularly odd case of this crops up with how µ's and Aqours are canonized in the story. For the purposes of having them established in the game's plot, it's generally implied that Season 1 of both units' respective anime have occurred sometime in the backstory, which itself is not a big deal. However, the snack shack that Aqours runs in Episode 10 of their anime explicitly takes place during their summer break, and if Chapter 17 is anything, Aqours had already visited the Kazunos' family restaurant in Hokkaido while Ruby is already on very friendly terms with Leah, the events of which occurred sometime during Christmas season in Sunshine season 2. This would cause some dating confusion as Season 1 of ALL STARS takes place during the spring term. Apparently all of the 3rd years are just 3rd years forever and don't need to graduate.
  • Comically Missing the Point: By the final chapter of Season 1, Setsuna makes the assumption that part of Shioriko's motivation to depose her as student council president was that she recognized Setsuna's talent as a school idol and sought to replace her so she could focus on her dream. Shioriko's reaction heavily implies that this isn't even close to the truth, but allows Setsuna to believe it anyways.
  • Continuity Snarl: In Chapter 11, the Nijigasaki girls attending the camp over in Numazu claim to have never been to Numazu before despite having done so in Event Stories.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In Emma's Bond Story, the player takes Emma to a photography studio that specializes in kimonos after she expresses her interest in kimonos, and she ends up getting a part-time job there as a model. This exact shop happens to be run by a family whose daughter is a school idol who happens to be the inheritor of "Aion no Uta", the song that inspired Emma to move to Japan to become a school idol.
    • What the main conflict of Chapters 18 and 19 turns out to be. While Nijigasaki and µ's traveled to a private island for a training camp, Aqours was busy shooting a new PV. As it turns out, the location where they decided to shoot said PV happened to be at the exact same private island that the other 18 girls were headed to to train. When Aqours found out that Nijigasaki and µ's were staying at a nearby resort, they tried to get their attention by knocking on their bedroom window, but their PV also happened to be horror-themed and they had not removed the makeup or fake blood before trying to get the other girls' attention, thus scaring the living daylights out of them and causing the other girls to believe that zombies were haunting the island.
  • Costume Porn: Like School Idol Festival, part of the game's appeal is to see the cast in a variety of pretty and very detailed outfits. This time, not only is this present in card art, but the characters can actually be seen performing in those outfits for certain songs.
  • Cover Version: "Nijigasaki High School Idol Club Shuffle Festival", a special live event that exclusively features Nijigasaki 1st solos but has the girls performing each others' songs (hence the name). Some changes are also made to the performances to match, and accompanying 3DMVs feature the respective idol replacing the original girl in-game.
    • "Yume e no Ippo", Ayumu's solo, is performed by Maria Sashide (Emma Verde).
    • "Diamond", Kasumi's solo, is performed by Natsumi Murakami (Ai Miyashita). The chant during the bridge is changed to use Ai's name instead of Kasumi's.
    • "Anata no Risou no Heroine", Shizuku's solo, is performed by Aguri Onishi (Ayumu Uehara).
    • "Starlight", Karin's solo, is performed by Moeka Koizumi (Shioriko Mifune).
    • "Meccha Going!", Ai's solo, is performed by Miyu Kubota (Karin Asaka).
    • "Nemureru Mori ni Ikitai", Kanata's solo, is performed by Chiemi Tanaka (Rina Tennoji).
    • "CHASE!", Setsuna's solo, is performed by Mayu Sagara (Kasumi Nakasu).
    • "Evergreen", Emma's solo, is performed by Akari Kitou (Kanata Konoe).
    • "Doki Pipo ☆ Emotion", Rina's solo, is performed by Kaori Maeda (Shizuku Osaka). She also gets a matching "Shizu-chan Board" prop.
    • "Ketsui no Hikari", Shioriko's solo, is performed by Tomori Kusunoki (Setsuna Yuki).
  • Critical Hit: A critical hit can occur whenever a note is hit. This is marked by a unique "CRITICAL" note judgement that gives a bonus multiplier to the normal note judgement.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: In addition to all 2D songs recycling the same three backgrounds, several 3D songs borrow stages from other 3D songs and simply repurpose the props and possibly change the background. Some of these include the "KOKORO Magic 'A to Z'" stage being reused for "Music S.T.A.R.T.!!", the "Snow Halation" stage being reused for "NO EXIT ORION", and the "HAPPY PARTY TRAIN" stage being reused for both "Bokura no LIVE, Kimi to no LIFE" and "GALAXY HidE and SeeK". There's also the case of "START:DASH!!"'s Special Stage just being a really souped up generic Beginner stage.
  • Damage Reduction: A common skill found in Guard Types.
    • The Shield skill grants a shield (shown as a blue outline around the stamina bar) that takes damage first before your stamina.
    • The Damage Reduction skill lessens the damage you take from notes.
    • Equipping Guard Types to a Strategy also passively decreases the damage taken while the Strategy is active, directly countering the effect of Voltage Types (which increase Voltage gain but increase damage taken).
  • Darkest Hour: The Club nearly reaches their breaking point in Chapter 16, as even though they alter their approach for gathering volunteers, they're still well under target, and with only a week left before the deadline they realize that they don't have the manpower or time to get another 400 people and decide to call it quits. It's only when Ayumu returns for a last-minute push that they manage to get the volunteers they need.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Ayumu in Season 2 gets very little screentime and influence despite being a major character in Season 1.
    • μ's and Aqours have almost no scenes in Season 2. The groups in their entirety are featured exactly once each: μ's during Chapter 20 when they allow the Club to share their training space, and Aqours during Chapter 22 to talk about how famous and talented Mia is.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: In the "Catch the Mischievous Wolf!" story, Chika causes trouble for Emma, Umi, Ruby, and Rin after Emma tries to leave snacks for µ's upon Setsuna's request. Umi thus prevents Chika from having some snacks with the others.
  • Dialogue Tree: In some bond stories.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Most color-based effects that are themed around character colors will change their color accordingly if the associated character is different from the original choreography. This mainly applies to spotlights, but can also apply selectively to other effects such as the crowd's lightstick color after the backflip in "MIRACLE WAVE" on Advanced (but not the Yousoroad).
    • The game normally allows up to three characters to participate in an SP Skill. However, if all four members of QU4RTZ are in the team (with three of them in the center), the game makes an exception and can trigger the unit's unique animation with four characters.
    • If you have the 10th school idol, Shioriko Mifune in your team while playing "TOKIMEKI Runners Chapter 17 ver", the game will automatically replace the 10th school idol with another character.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "TOKIMEKI Runners" from Nijigasaki High School Idol Club's debut album is used in the opening movie.
  • Downer Beginning: In the first chapter of Season 2 (Chapter 20), the protagonist returns from her 2 months study to find Lanzhu has essentially replaces the school idol club with her own and she even bans the original club from performing their activities unless they join her club. To make matter worse, Karin, Ai, Shioriko, and Shizuku switch side to Lanzhu's school idol club.
  • Downer Ending: In the end of Chapter 24, Karin slipped in a depressive episode after losing to rival Kasumi in the first round of the idol tournament.
  • Drama Bomb: Chapter 15 acts as the big one for Season 1. After overestimating the goodwill of willing volunteers for the School Idol Festival, the protagonist slips into another depressive episode and stops showing up to the club for a while to personally contact every single person who failed to show up for the information session, in the process driving away the other members and creating a rift between herself and Ayumu. This culminates in a fight between the protagonist and Ayumu where the former essentially chooses the School Idol Festival over her best friend, causing a frustrated and upset Ayumu to quit the club.
    • Even more so, chapter 20, where few members of the idol club defects to Lanzhu's idol group. While the members aren't so upset at someone like Shioriko doing so, Karin and Ai leaving does upset them, especially Emma at Karin.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Raising Rina's bond to a high enough level unlocks a Bond Episode where she unveils her face to the protagonist. After watching this cutscene, a "Use Board" toggle will be unlocked when selecting Rina's costume for MVs, allowing the player to use Rina without the Rina-chan Board.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In a similar vein to "Loveca" becoming "Love Gems" in SIF Global, here "Loveca Stars" has been changed to "Star Gems" in the Global version.
    • "High Memories" (usually earned from Expert songs) are known as "Memento Pieces" in the localization.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Lanzhu's solo song "Queendom" initially appears as a pre-rendered 3DMV in Chapter 20 that isn't playable. Lanzhu also makes her 3D model debut but is not among the playable cast. The same can be said for Mia's solo song "I'm Still..." in Chapter 22.
  • Early Game Hell: You need lots of materials to raise your idols, which the game doesn't give many of in Beginner difficulty (which due to the game mechanics, will be the only difficulty you can survive for a while). Various patches since then tried to lessen the early game grind.
  • Easter Egg: While girls will produce generic reactions when tapped on the Home Screen, each girl has 1-2 voice lines specifically for tapping on their hair or being patted on the head.
  • Eating Contest: Resident Big Eaters Emma and Hanayo go head to head in Chapter 5 as part of a µ’s versus Nijigasaki contest engineered by Nico.
  • Elaborate University High: One can tell that whoever designed Nijigasaki High wasted absolutely no expense, considering how gorgeous and upscale the school isnote . It's quite the far cry from the likes of Otonokizaka and Uranohoshi.
  • Enemy Mine: When Shioriko reveals that she's considering cancelling the school tour if she can't get the clubs to cooperate with her, the protagonist decides to get the entire School Idol Club to help her connect with the clubs; mainly because they're nice, but also because it's mutually beneficial, as if they lose the school tour they also lose their upcoming live performance.
  • Equipment Upgrade:
    • Accessories can be improved by using stickers to give it experience points (leveling up increases its stats), by merging a copy of the same accessory (which increases the level cap up to 5 times) or by merging a different accessory (which gives experience points and a chance of increasing skill level).
    • Dismantling accessories gives you pearls. Using a specified amount of pearls on a fully uncapped accessory at max level will upgrade that accessory to the next tier while resetting the level and cap.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Fully maxed out UR cards gain a unique checkerboard foil effect on their icons, and in the Show Formation screen they have a radiant aura with sparkles coming out from the bottom of the image.
  • Family Theme Naming: The Mifune sisters both have a normal Japanese name ("shiori" and "kaoru") with the kanji "-ko" tacked on at the end.
  • Faux Paw: Rin does this in her animations. On her birthday, Honoka and Yoshiko also do this during their birthday quote.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Chapter 21 focuses on the feud between Kasumi and Shizuku after Shizuku declared her intention to join Lanzhu's group at the end of previous chapter.
  • Final Boss: "TOKIMEKI Runners Chapter 17 ver" serves as the Super Stage song of chapter 17 which marks the end of Season 1 of All Stars. This new version of TOKIMEKI Runners adds the 10th school idol performing this song: Shioriko Mifune.
  • First-Episode Twist: The end of Chapter 1 reveals that the mysterious school idol Setsuna Yuki and the student council president Nana Nakagawa is the same person. Balancing her double life then becomes a crucial point of her character.
  • Flawless Victory: Clearing a Live with only "Wonderful"note  notes will spell out "Perfect Live Show"note  at the end of the MV.
  • Foreshadowing: In the opening movie, there's a scene of Kasumi alone, then she is joined by Ayumu, followed by the rest of the group with Setsuna being the last one. This is the order in which they joined the reformed school idol club in Chapter 1.
  • Friendly Enemy: Despite the Association stands in direct opposition of the Club in their effort to restore it, almost none of the member ever consider their opposition as enemies. The only exception being Lanzhu, who banned the Club member from performing until they join her Association and Kasumi, who got hurt the most by Lanzhu's actions the most and is bitter about it.
  • Funny Background Event: During the opening movie when Emma, Rina, and Hanamaru are getting together, Nozomi attempts to grope Dia in the background.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Member Coin shop sells Nijigasaki Summer Uniforms for most of the Nijigasaki girls. However, Setsuna doesn't wear a uniform by default since she only wears her uniform as Nana, so instead of selling a summer uniform the shop instead sells for her a unique summer-themed school idol outfit.
  • Gameplay Automation:
    • By scoring enough Voltage to get three Trophies on a Song, you gain access to using Skip Tickets, which will automatically skip the actual playable portion of the song and just give you rewards as if you had played it. As event point grinding and Item Farming is a real and persistent issue, Skip Tickets can and will save you a ton of hassle.
    • There is also an function called "Auto-Play"; however, it is not fully-automatic: players still need to change subunits and use SP Skills manually. In addition, all taps are considered Greats, which lowers your possible score. It is used for grinding songs when players are short of Skip Tickets or for finishing tasks that cannot be cleared using Skip Tickets.
  • Gameplay Grading: The game bases its ranks on the amount of Voltage you gain ranging from D to S. Like School Idol Festival, higher grades will net better rewards.
  • Genre Mashup: The game is essentially a Role-Playing Game with Rhythm Game and Visual Novel elements.
  • Genre Shift:
    • Unlike its Rhythm Game sister title, ALL STARS is essentially an RPG in the guise of a rhythm game. The rhythm game charts are functionally easy and not challenging to grasp, as most of the game's difficulty comes from teambuilding and strategizing the best way to tackle increasingly difficult songs.
    • "I'm Still..." marks the franchise's first attempt at a Western pop song. In addition, it's the first 3D music video in the game to feature almost no choreography whatsoever, with Mia standing at the mic the entire song like Western performers as opposed to the idol style of singing and dancing simultaneously.
  • The Ghost:
    • Saint Snow is mentioned by Setsuna as a famous school idol duo from Hokkaido, when discussing the validity of performing in duos, which are rare, or in solos, which are rarer. They're mentioned again in Chapter 17 of the Main Story and are namedropped individually in the same event by Aqours themselves.
    • A-RISE gets mentioned a few times by other characters, notably the player and Mari (in her bond story).
  • Glass Cannon: Voltage-Type cards are focused on scoring high but have little survivability otherwise.
  • Gratuitous English: Mari's usual gimmick. She manages to confuse Hanamaru at one point by saying "Bon dance", requiring Yoshiko to translate to "bon odori".
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Lanzhu's new School Idol Club is also called the "School Idol Club", but uses the Chinese hanzi for "club" compared to the main cast's Japanese kanji "doukoukai".
    • Lanzhu's 1st solo, "Queendom", is primarily sung in Japanese but also features some English and Mandarin Chinese thrown in at various points.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Unlike every other song in the franchise, "I'm Still..." uses this by primarily being sung in English with Japanese bits thrown in for no particular reason.
  • Guide Dang It!: The game doesn't really tell you what the Technique stat actually does. While it affects Critical Hit Rate, it also boosts the effectiveness of your SP Skill, but only based on the Technique stats of the cards in the three center slots of your formation. The game also doesn't tell you how to boost your SP Skill, leaving many beginner players wondering why their high Appeal cards aren't making their Limit Break stronger.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • A new difficulty called "Advanced+" was introduced in the JP version during their "All Aboard the School Idol Train!" event period. It was released as "Expert" difficulty under the Global version's Hard category. The new difficulty has very steep and very specific requirements requiring max limit break URs, a set of max UR accessories and a deep understanding of the mechanics to clear them.
    • JP introduced the Challenge difficulty on June 4th, 2021 with its first song "Yume no Tobira". Unlike Expert, which is difficult but doable with some Limit Breaks, Challenge is far more punishing with some of the most difficult Appeal Chances and targets in the game and incredibly demanding stat requirements. You need a squad of maxed URs to stand a chance.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Advanced charts drop better rewards than Beginner or Intermediate, which makes the overall grind easier. Expert charts have even better rewards than Advanced and the only difficulty that drops High Memories.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: The "Thrilling One Way" costumes, which mainly consist of black leather jackets with character-colored interior and black leather skirts or ripped jeans with color-coded belts. Some of the girls also get matching leather hats while others get black hairbands.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • At the end of Chapter 6, the protagonist mentally collapses under pressure and backs out of the song writing contest, realizing that she had gotten so caught up in trying to write a good song that she had forgotten to write it with the other club members in mind. The protagonist spends the next few days extremely depressed and barely sleeps or eats while trying to figure out where she went wrong.
    • At the end of Chapter 9, Setsuna, mentally exhausted from losing the election, collapsed to the ground while hiding from the school idol club that she left behind to protect.
  • Holiday Mode:
    • Logging in on a character's birthday provides a character-specific login bonus. It runs on Japan's time zone, so North American players need to log in the day before.
    • It's otherwise downplayed. A character set on the main menu will have unique speeches for the girls' birthdays, the player's birthday, and other holidays such as Christmas, Children's Day, and Marine Day. These are all on Japan's time zone.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Chapter 2 of the "Your Models Are Here!" event, Dia remarks that Nico's kimono looks like the kind that children would wear for Shichi-Go-San, which Nico immediately refutes. When Ruby comes out wearing her kimono in Chapter 3, Nico makes this exact same remark towards Ruby, which Maki lampshades. Dia's response is to shove Nico out of the way.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: At the end of Chapter 26, Setsuna offers a helping of her "improvisational take on Chinese cuisine" to Kasumi and Shizuku. Considering Lanzhu's stomach is clearly not enjoying it, Kasumi and Shizuku make up an excuse to get away from Setsuna's cooking as fast as possible.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Nearly every song in the game uses its transliterated Japanese name... except "Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki", which uses its English translated name ("It's our miraculous time").
  • Irony:
    • Hanamaru, the least athletic competitor, wins the aqua course race in the "Great Battle on the High Seas" event by being so far behind the other girls that she was the only one who wasn't knocked off when a wave hit the course and forced the other five into the ocean.
    • Shiroiko, who until recently had let her personal ideals alienate her from the other students, is the one to point out that the protagonist's obsession with the School Idol Festival is driving Ayumu away. She even prefaces her statement by acknowledging the sheer hypocrisy of the situation.
    • Nijigasaki 2nd group song "Love U my friends" is unlocked partway through Chapter 21. That Chapter is about Kasumi's feud with Shizuku. Even after they both make amends and Shizuku rejoins the club, 2 of the original members, Karin and Ai are still on Lanzhu's side.
  • Interface Spoiler: The update after the release of chapter 17 basically makes no attempt to hide that Shioriko eventually becomes a school idol. Her solo song "Ketsui no Hikari" is in the Nijigasaki song list, and the Episode List adds another tab for Nijigasaki which contains her bond stories. New players can also pick her as their starting SR.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": The Title Scream reveals that "KLab" is actually pronounced like the word "crab" and not "K-Lab", much to the disbelief of many English speakers.
  • It's Probably Nothing: At the end of Chapter 3, the player sees a news report about a typhoon developing off the coast of Japan, but writes it off as incidental since it doesn't seem to be approaching Numazu. Said typhoon promptly brings torrential rain to the area, throwing a wrench in Aqours' summer festival plans.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Skill-Type cards have balanced attributes and are designed to be slotted into any of your three subunits. This helps when trying to fill empty slots, cover weaknesses, or bolster skill activation rate for a trio whose skills are especially powerful or important.
  • Jiggle Physics: Although extremely subdued, it's possible to notice with certain animations or outfits. The most obvious instance is in Karin's solo song "Starlight", which exploits this at one point.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The final playable song of Season 1 is "TOKIMEKI Runners", except it's been retitled "TOKIMEKI Runners Chapter 17 Ver.", has a new opening sequence, and Shioriko has joined the cast on-stage.
  • Last Lousy Point: It changes depending on how much you play the game.
    • In the beginning, you will find yourself spamming the hell out of Vocal Training to hoard more 3★ Silver Macarons. Major nodes on the Skill Tree like Story, Voice, and Outfit Nodes need an insane amount of these, and they are among the least common items in the game. Furthermore, even just slotting Vocal Training into all three slots for a session will still take a long time, because Random Number God dictates that you will usually get anywhere between 0 to 5 3★ Macarons per session via this method. What makes this this trope is that because of how hard it is to get them, you will usually get enough of every other Macaron before you finish getting the 3★ Silver Macarons.
    • Once you have a decent team and start going through their Limit Break nodes, the 1★ and 2★ macarons become this. It's common enough that veteran players have thousands of 3★ macarons and less than a 100 for the 1★ and 2★ ones.
    • Once you have your team more or less settled and fully boosted, it then comes down to spamming Training for Appeal Passives, as they are among the rarest Insights in the game but become absurdly powerful when enough of them are stacked together.
    • By far the most min-maxy parts of the game are Accessory Skills and Bond Boards. Accessory Skills require sacrificing other Accessories to gain very small increases in Accessory effectiveness and is typically only done when the player has assembled all of their required Max Limit Break UR Accessories, while Bond Boards provide extremely nominal gains to all of a specific girl's cards that stack up by buying enough and whose materials can only be gained from Ticket exchanges or very rare drops from Expert songs. They are invariably the slowest and least efficient ways to improve Team power and are typically only done once your cards have near-everything else they could possibly need.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The Japanese profiles for Kanan and Mari casually mention that Kanan, Mari, and Dia were in a school idol group as 1st years, a massive spoiler for the first season of Love Live! Sunshine!! as this is part of The Reveal late in the season. Possibly in an attempt to avert this, the English version of the profiles remove this statement, making Kanan's profile in particular egregiously short.
    • Said reveal is outright discussed in detail in Episode 12 of Mari's Bond Story. Better have watched Sunshine!! first!
    • Anyone accessing Nijigasaki's official character pages on the Japanese sites will see Shioriko Mifune, main antagonist of the first season of the SIFAS story, added to the cast alongside the others, revealing the fact that she has joined the School Idol Club.
    • Official material has stopped treating Rina's face as a big reveal, with her newer cards since August 2020 in Japan featuring her without the Board and the anime having her without the Board by default. The first of these Rina cards released globally in November.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Rares are silver, Super Rares are gold, and Ultra Rares are rainbow. For Insights, there are also grey (lowest rarity) and bronze (2nd lowest rarity) tiers. Cards with maxed Limit Break also gain a rainbow gloss effect over the card.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Some Daily Theater skits are based on real life Love Live! events, such as Emma and Kanata reacting to the number of viewers on Emma's lullaby video and Kotori and Maki talking about watching Nijigasaki's 2nd Live concert at Kotori's birthday party.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Setsuna's cooking is bad, and no one has the heart to tell her. She ends up filling Kanata's place for a baking show in the "Come Enjoy These Special Sweets!" event (much to Kanata and Ayumu's horror), and ultimately, it turns out Ayumu secretly replaced all of Setsuna's creations with proper food to prevent her from spoiling the event. Although Ruby still took one for the team.
    • Yoshiko is otherwise a decent cook, but her fascination with spicy food is typically above the tolerance level of the other girls, resulting in some interesting scenarios.
    • Lanzhu and Mia are even worse than Setsuna; while Setsuna can at least do something that remotely resembles cooking and come out with a finished product, it's blatantly obvious that neither Lanzhu nor Mia know the first thing about cooking. Their attempt to do so in Chapter 26 comedically backfires as a result.
  • Lethal Joke Character: "Happiness Cheerleader" Kanan has a unique Active Ability called SP Gauge Gain (SP Skill Use) that gives a 30% chance for any SP Skill activation to refill the SP Gauge by 8% of the user's Appeal stat. This Ability is largely handicapped by the fact that she's an SR and thus lacks meaningful stats to use the skill with, but what you can do is take her as a Guest, as the character in the middle slot of your formation inherits both the Passive and Active Abilities of your Guest. Do this with a card that has sufficiently high Appeal like Fes Setsuna and you can generate a feedback loop where popping your SP Skill has an almost 1/3 chance to immediately generate another SP Skill. This Ability is directly responsible for a Nerf that targeted her by forcing Guest Abilities to go on a "cooldown" when activated, preventing players from spamming their SP Skills repeatedly.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Albeit using a The Power of Friendship variation. Increasing Bond grants small percent stat boosts for all versions of a character. Increasing a character's Bond to certain levels also unlocks Bond Boards, where you can spend Memory Pieces, Memento Pieces, and School Idol Medals to buy more stat boosts as well as debuff resistance, Critical Hit modifiers, level cap upgrades, and clearing Boards gives big bonuses as well.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: Increasing your Rank will refill your LP.
  • Life Meter: This is represented by the Stamina gauge at the bottom of the screen. Unlike most rhythm games, the Stamina gauge depletes for every note you hitException , not just missing notes, and if it runs dry in the middle of a Live, you automatically fail out.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Nozomi makes this comment about Honoka and Kotori's relationship in Chapter 11. Honoka prefers it if they were newlyweds instead of an old couple.
  • Limit Break: At the bottom of the screen is your SP Gauge, represented by the portraits of your three leader characters. Hitting notes and activating certain Skills will fill it, and when it's full, you can activate it to get a Super Move Portrait Attack that instantly charges a ton of Voltage and enhances Voltage gain for a few seconds.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The game features all the school idols from μ's, Aqours, and the Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • Loose Canon: To commemorate the release of the anime, the game added a series of special Concurrent Stories that are based on events from the show but take place in the game's story. However, since these stories exist outside of the game's main story it's unclear how canonical any of these special stories are, although they are written in a way that they could easily slide into almost any point in Season 1.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The game features μ's, Aqours, and Nijigasaki High coming together under a timeline where all 3 groups exist concurrently.
  • Mighty Glacier: Guard-Type cards reduce Stamina damage, with recovery, shield or damage reduction skills, but they have significantly reduced SP gain, meaning that they get access to Limit Break much less often.
  • Money for Nothing:
    • Once you exit Early Game Hell, you'll start accumulating Gold and EXP at a much faster rate than you can possibly spend, meaning that you'll wind up hoarding millions of the stuff and nowhere for them to go except for new arrivals every so often (unless you pull extremely often, in which case that's a different problem entirely).
    • Averted with the level uncap from the Bond Board. Levelling a UR Card beyond its level cap of 80 costs massive amounts of Gold and EXP.
  • Multilingual Song: Lanzhu Zhong's Image Song, "Queendom", combines English, Japanese, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
  • Multiple Life Bars: Shields take the form of a blue bar overlaid on the right side of your Stamina meter. Any Stamina damage you take while a Shield is active is subtracted from the Shield HP first before it goes through your actual Stamina. The main drawback of cards that grant Shields is that they don't restore your Stamina and will not help you much compared to healers if your gauge drops to yellow/red, but they're excellent for padding out your own health to prepare for big hits like "Ketsui no Hikari"'s Appeal Chances.
  • Mythology Gag: Now has its own page here.
  • No Bulk Discounts: Played straight unlike the other Love Live games, School Idol Festival and Puchiguru! Love Live!. For example, the "All-Stars Prologue" costume packs: in terms of costume tickets, buying the 3-costume-ticket pack five times costs a few dollars more, a small negligible difference compared to the single 15-costume-ticket one.
  • No-Sell: Debuffs that modify a "base" stat can't be removed by a Cleanse effect.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat:
    • Nana Nakagawa plays the part, as she tells the player and Kasumi that she will close the School Idol Club if they can't find 10 members. Although she subverts it; she's a school idol herself, and was merely testing their resolve.
    • Mifune plays it straight. The girls, with the intervention of μ’s and Aqours, manage to delay her plans to close the Club by cutting a deal with her, where the members need to score at least 60% on their upcoming exams to keep the club open. This makes several of them extremely nervous.
    • Lanzhu takes this to ridiculous degrees due to her status as the chairwoman's daughter, giving her much more power than Shioriko. After making her own school idol club, she outright bans the original club from performing their activities. She even orders the student council member to keep an eye on them. This forces them to take refuge with µ's at Otonokizaka High School just to practice and they perform their lives guerilla style.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • A balance update in the JP version in April 2020, released worldwide in June 2020, introduced cooldown time for Guest Skills. This is a response to players using "Happiness Cheerleader" Kanan as Guest with any high appeal member as center. Since Guest Skills are inherited by the center as if they had those skills, the aforementioned combination would likely restore the full SP meter immediately upon use of an SP skill, resulting in a loop as long as Kanan activates.
    • The game's approach to meta is to typically add new songs that counter the meta. An overabundance of Cleanse abilities being used to clear initial release songs lead to songs that are immune to the Cleanse effect, and players relying too much on single Strategies lead to songs that drop your Appeal to 0 unless you swap Strategies.
  • The Oner: The MV of Emma Verde's solo "Evergreen" lasts for a one and a half minute shot without a single cut.
  • Original Generation: The Nijigasaki High School Idol Club.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • The song "Ketsui no Hikari" has a doozy; its final Appeal Chance on Advanced difficulty hits for a whopping 80,000 damage, which is guaranteed instant death without mitigation and enough Stamina to stay alive.
    • "Yume no Tobira" Challenge is even more nutty. It follows generally the same gimmick as "Ketsui no Hikari", except the numbers are substantially more inflated; not only do the 2nd and 4th Appeal Chances inflict 100,000 damage at the end of each, the final Appeal Chance ends with three 100,000 damage notes and a 150,000 damage finisher in a row. Have fun blocking 450,000 damage and living, much less getting an S Rank.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: For the main subunit/Strategy, maxing Appeal is the only element that matters. One healer/shielder is recommended to stop your Stamina from dipping too early, but your main scorers should be pumping as much Appeal and Appeal boosting skills as possible for maximum points. Backrow generally tends to run Appeal passives as well, with the exception of a Cleanse Skill and/or Stamina padding.
  • Out of Focus:
    • Despite the premise of being a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, the fact that ALL STARS is a Nijigasaki story first and foremost means that µ's and Aqours never have the spotlight to themselves at any point in the main story, and the characters themselves are written with the assumption that the player is already familiar with them through the anime and thus gives them significantly less detailed context and Bond Episodes.
    • Setsuna and Ayumu, two of Season 1's most important cast members, have their relevance significantly reduced in Season 2 since most of their personal stories are resolved at this point. However, Setsuna's existence still serves as a driving force for other characters who desire to become better than her.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Shioriko Mifune. Prior to her appearance, Nana always assumed the role of Student Council President in her previous schools because she offered to do the job and no one really contested her for the position. This is also the case for Nijigasaki; however, Mifune's presence results in Nana being forced into an actual election, something that she's never done before because she's never had to compete for the job. The result is that Nana is left scrambling to figure out how to present herself as fit for the role, and ultimately her lack of conviction leads to her losing to Mifune.
  • Palm-on-Cheek Pose: One of the idle poses that idols can do. Riko and Ayumu are prone to doing this. Riko also has this as one of her bond level up animations.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Some items that can only be obtained from limited events such as Backgrounds and Shioriko's summer outfit may become unobtainable if the player didn't earn enough points at the end of the event period.
    • In version 2.0, certain Season 1 chapters were cut down to usual 10 songs per chapter from originally doubling the song lists, but also removed obtainable free gems.
    • Most singles from Nijigasaki anime (saved for the OP and ED theme) were only playable in Live mode for limited time.
  • Play Every Day:
    • Like School Idol Festival, you get a bonus for logging in every day.
    • There are daily goals and weekly goals that award AP tickets, skip tickets and Free Gems.
    • Up to five times a day, the player can tap any of the girls on the main menu or via the Episode menus to give 20 Bond points. This means one girl can get as many as 100 points a day or up to five girls can get at least 20 each.
  • Power Creep: A pretty obvious inevitability being a gacha game, but a particularly notorious instance occurred in May 2021 (JP), where Fes Riko 2 (an SP charger with respectable stats) was immediately followed by Party Kanata in the succeeding banner, who shares Fes Riko 2's party role while completely outclassing her in practically every way. This did not ring well with Japanese players.
  • The Power of Friendship: Lampshaded by Shizuku while she, Karin, and Setsuna are watching one of Setsuna's favorite animes.
    Karin: But the party was just obliterated because of the main character. How can they fight the boss in this shape?
    Setsuna: Just watch... There it is! No matter how much they fight, their bond holds strong and they can't abandon each other!
    Shizuku: That seems... like a very convenient plot point.
  • Power-Up Letdown: The most common Rainbow Insight Skill from Training Camp "ボルテージ獲得 [極]:曲開始時" (Voltage Gain [Ult.]: Song Start). It has a 30% chance to trigger at the start (which is already bad enough) and the voltage gained is so laughably low that most SRs and URs would outscore it on a single note.
  • Precision F-Strike: For a franchise that's otherwise relatively family-friendly, Mia sure does love saying "shit" in English every so often. However, it should be noted that the word doesn't carry as serious a vulgar connotation in Japan compared to the West.
  • Punny Name: Ai's Pungeon Master status is reflected in her initial SR, whose Skill is named "Ai! LOVE! YOU!".
  • Purposefully Overpowered:
    • Fes Cards. They are one of the only two card types not in permanent rotation, and can only be pulled during an All-Star Festival banner. Fes Cards share a significantly higher stat tier than permanent cards, have more loaded kits than average, and have an additional Insight slot that normal cards don't have. Almost all Fes Cards are among the best in the game, with even the less useful ones like Fes Maki still being of some sort of use.
    • Early 2021 introduced Party Cards, limited to special Party banners. Much like Fes, Party cards have a better stat tier than other cards, and are distinguished by having a maximum Passive Skill level of Lv. 7, compared to other cards that max at Lv. 5. They also use different Skill Trees that are more demanding in materials, making them a little bit harder to raise compared to other cards.
  • Quirky Bard: The entire Skill Type has a tendency to just be a random grab bag of anything; while the Type's core ability boosts Skill activation while nerfing Voltage gain, the actual cards with the Type don't follow an overarching ability archetype. The only difference is that they're more likely to have Skills that boost the activation rate of other cards, but you also have Skill Cards like "Movie Date with Maki" Maki (who is for all intents and purposes a scorer), "I'll Be Your Support" Mari (a Combat Medic), and "Maybe I'll Dive A Little Deeper" Kanan (more or less a Special card).
  • Random Drop: Some items used to unlock nodes in the Skill Tree such as macarons and character memories are dropped when clearing Lives. The game even shows the drops for each song in Free Live mode.
  • Rare Random Drop: Accessoriesnote  and stickersnote  are dropped rarely after clearing a Live. High Memories/Memento piecesnote  are even rarer and only drop in Expert.
  • Real-Place Background: The VenusFort mall courtyard, with the colored shop banners, is seen during the Anime Concurrent Story Chapter "For Her!" and the event "Sharing My Feelings on White Day". During the latter, it was an unlockable main menu background.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The protagonist and Kasumi exhibit traits of this relationship, especially in Season 2. Kasumi becomes emotional quite easily, is quick to jump to conclusions and is more of a "do first, ask later" type of girl; the protagonist, meanwhile, prefers to think things through first, is generally more willing to see both sides objectively, and generally doesn't get worked up at all unless stressed.
  • Relationship Values: Each school idol has her own bond level and cap. Clearing Lives or interacting with the idol in your Home Screen (up to 5 times per day) gives a certain amount of bond points while getting cards of the same idol, duplicate copies count, increases the cap.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: The game offers a variety of paid limited-time-only packages that net you outfits that are otherwise unobtainable in normal gameplay, given through exclusive ticket exchanges. However, all of these packages are ludicrously overpriced, with the price of a completed set costing at least $70 and as high as over $200. The fact that the packages include a small amount of Star Gems does little to justify the cost.
  • Romantic Spoonfeeding: Ayumu does this with the player in her Bond Story with a piece of rolled egg that she put together. While the "romantic" aspect is downplayed, it does have very similar connotations.
  • Running Gag: The Daily Theater has several instances such as Kanan's Infernal Triathlon, Ayumu learning the "washi washi" and A•ZU•NA getting caught up with Yohane's fallen angel persona.
  • Save Scumming: Since the game includes being able to restart songs for no additional cost if the game closes as an Anti-Frustration Feature, one can abuse this by closing the app yourself on bad runs to get free redos. This has the caveat of keeping the same RNG seed across resets, which can help or hinder the player depending on the situation. No such assist is present for DLP, although given you are not penalized for quitting in DLP there's not that much of a point.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty:
    • Songs added later are generally harder than older songs, but a notable exception is "Just Believe!", the Nijigasaki 3rd unit song, which has a difficulty rating on par with launch songs and is much easier than any of the songs released on the same album.
    • Invoked with Dream Live Parade: "R on Stage", released in Japan in January 2021 and worldwide in March. It is a limited-time Parade that doesn't appear in future event reruns but boosts the PP of R cards and has extremely low Voltage targets, with the final boss stage having a target of just over 1,750,000 Voltage. This makes for what is essentially free points in an event that is otherwise notorious for its difficulty.
    • "LIKE IT! LOVE IT!" is an 11,000 Advanced song but it is much more difficult to S Rank than the difficulty tier suggests, being significantly harder than 11,000 Experts or 12,000 Advanceds in difficulty and being one of the few songs where having Limit Break URs and Character Select Forcing is highly recommended if not required.
  • Serious Business: Lanzhu is so determined to snuff out any form of protest from the girls that she deploys lackeys to monitor their activities and stop them from doing anything school idol-related on Nijigasaki grounds. It gets to the point where the girls have to relocate their practice grounds to Otonokizaka to do joint practice with μ's. The committee was disbanded in the early part of Chapter 23, which is ironically ordered by Lanzhu.
  • Set Bonus:
    • While effectively cosmetic, putting three characters from the same subunit into your SP slots may cue a unique animation based on that subunit.
    • It's also possible to get unique solo animations if you put three cards of the same girl in the slots.
    • There's a unique SP Skill animation for QU4RTZ if three of the four members are in the center slots, plus the fourth member somewhere in the team.
    • Slotting three Fes cards in the center also produces a slightly flashier background effect. As of the release of Fes 2 cards, slotting two Fes cards of the same girl plus one other Fes girl produces a two-girl animation with alternate background effects.
  • Show Within a Show: Setsuna's favorite anime, which is unnamed but stars the hero Yuki and heroine Setsuna in an RPG-Mechanics Verse. Setsuna introduces Karin and Shizuku to it and they end up binge-watching the entire series until evening.
  • Sick Episode: A chapter in Ayumu's bond story has her nursing her Childhood Friend from a cold. The next chapter reveals that Ayumu has caught it, resulting in a Caretaker Reversal.
  • Skill Tree: Characters now have skill trees that can be used to unlock stats. Nodes on the tree are unlocked by spending materials, granting a variety of benefits such as enhancing stats, upgrading the card, and unlocking voice lines, passive skills, and new outfits.
  • Spiritual Successor: ALL STARS has some visual and conceptual similarities to School idol paradise, a µ's-oriented Love Live! Rhythm Game for the Play Station Vita that was just a little half-baked and not quite fully-realized.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Crossover: The game is advertised as a Massive Multiplayer Crossover between µ's, Aqours, and Nijigasaki, but in the story it's more of a Nijigasaki story with µ's and Aqours as supporting characters note . This is also reflected in the Bond Stories; Nijigasaki girls get their Bond Stories sooner than the others, and their Stories are typically a major source of character development and depth, while the other girls get short, self-contained stories that merely explore other facets of their personality and don't develop the characters much. Nijigasaki's Bond Stories are also the only ones that unlock new songs.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • In true Love Live! fashion, while there are ostensibly nine main cast members, the writing seems to only consider a fraction of them as being integral to the overarching plot (Ayumu, Setsuna, and Kasumi); while the rest of the cast do pitch in frequently, they don't actually move the story along and are there to just give their thoughts. This also extends to the other groups; of the remaining 18 girls, only Honoka, Chika, Eli, and Dia have any meaningful screentime.
    • Season 2 mostly averts this, as no one protagonist holds the screentime longer than the others, and Ayumu and Setsuna's overall plot relevance is greatly decreased to make way for the other girls. However, in terms of the cast as a whole µ's and Aqours are even less relevant than before as the main conflict doesn't involve them at all, with their appearances being limited to approximately once or twice a chapter and having minimal input beyond giving their insight and opinions.
      • After the tournament, the spotlight has shifted mostly to the Association member with their member getting more screentime and the Club member are relegated mostly to support the Association member in their personal dilemma during their Character Focus episode.
  • Stat Stick: A handful of characters (most notoriously Fes Maki) aren't very useful but come jam packed with high amounts of Stamina. As Stamina is the only stat that matters on inactive Strategies, you can throw these characters into your backrow on one-Strategy or two-Strategy team compositions for some extra padding for songs that require them, such as TOKIMEKI Runners Chapter 17 Ver. or Margaret, both songs that deal abnormally high damage per note.
  • Status-Buff Dispel: A unique skill called Cleanse found in "Royal Angel" Riko and "Fresh Fruit Parlor" Nico. When activated, it removes song gimmicks during a Live. However, it doesn't work if the gimmick specifically states that the base value is affected.
  • Story Branching: Used in a specific cutscene in Chapter 2, where the player is given the option to choose who to send a text on the night before a critical live performance. The girl you choose determines the Super Stage played after the cutscene. You can also replay the cutscene and change your pick to get a different Super Stage, resulting in up to nine different songs (and up to 90 Star Gems to be earned).
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: If a chart gives you high-value SP Notes (either 50%s or several 10%s/20%s), you can bet that an upcoming Appeal Chance will be both very short and have a steep Voltage or SP requirement, necessitating using your SP Skill to not fail it.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Ruby's comment on Hanamaru's eating habits.
    Ruby: It's not like I'm always worried about the waists on your costumes because you eat so much! Not at all!
  • Sympathy for the Devil: In Chapter 12, one cutscene has the cast mention as an aside that Mifune is struggling with her Student Council President duties because despite her proficiency for efficiency, many of the people whom she suggested to change roles or clubs went back to their old ways because they wanted to follow their dreams, and now feel that Mifune is pressuring them too much. While most of the cast still don't really like her (she is still trying to dismantle their club, after all), Setsuna in particular feels bad because she understands how hard it is to perform well as a student council president no matter how good or skilled you are.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Similar to SIF, matching a card's attribute to a song grants a stat bonus. Conversely, all cards that don't match the song's attribute get a stat penalty by default, and most songs have a gimmick that lowers stats for mismatched cards further. In most cases, it's possible to remove both type disadvantage debuffs using the Cleanse skill, unless the gimmick is immune to Cleanse.
  • Take a Third Option: One of Setsuna's fears for the School Idol Club is that that the last time the club was in business, the five members had difficulty operating as a full unit because they all had different ideas about what their image of a school idol was. With the protagonist on board, she presents an unheard-of alternative: everyone being a solo performer. The girls decide to give the idea a shot, and the rest is history.
  • Temporary Online Content: The character-specific Insert Songs from the Nijigasaki anime and "Kakushiaji" by A•ZU•NA were made playable in the regular song list before getting removed months later.
  • Teru-Teru Bōzu:
    • When a typhoon strikes Numazu on the day of the planned summer festival, all of Aqours and the protagonist hang up dolls (made to look like themselves) at the Tochimann Inn to pray for good weather. The same dolls also appear in the music video for "KOKORO Magic 'A to Z'".
    • The 25 April 2020 Edition of Daily Theater features Nico and Rin making 100 Teru-Teru Bōzus (as well as other superstitious stuff not related to studying) with the belief that it would make their next test go well.
  • Three Approach System: Using Conditional Formations, each of the three strategy teams can be a single type:
    • One team can be your "tank". By fielding Guard Types, you take significantly less Stamina damage when hitting/missing notes and using Skills.
    • Another can be your "DPS". By fielding Voltage Types, you get more Voltage.
    • A third can be your so-called "mage". Fielding SP Types charges the SP Gauge faster when hitting notes, giving you quicker access to your Limit Break.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In the "Come Enjoy These Special Sweets!" event, the entire cast immediately becomes very apprehensive when they find out Setsuna is going to cook. Especially so when Setsuna mentions (during a call to Eli) that Kanata told her she'd rather let the ingredients go to waste than let someone like her take over.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The R cards in Dream Live Parade due to the event having limited uses per card. They can clear the cumulative voltage requirements in the early stages without using your much better SR and UR cards, act as team fillers during the middle stages to save your better cards at later stages, and are good for doing suicide runs if you just need a small amount of voltage to clear the stage.
  • Three-Stat System: Appeal, which determines how much voltage you gain per note; Stamina, which determines how much damage you can take; and Technique, which determines skill rate and critical hit rate.
  • Title Drop: Unlike SIF, where "School Idol Festival" is just the name of the game, in ALL STARS the School Idol Festival is the name of a large-scale event that celebrates school idol culture from the world over. The Nijigasaki idols dedicate much of their time to getting popular enough to perform on the big stage, and the event's cancellation forms the crux of the main conflict of the game's story.
  • Title Scream: One of the school idols, chosen randomly, will say the three company logos and the game title. However, it's inconsistent for the English Bushiroad logo shown onscreen in the global release instead of the Japanese Bushimo logo being voiced in all versions.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting:
    • Starting from Chapter 9, the plot splits into two distinct threads, one following the Nijigasaki School Idol Club and their battle against Mifune, while the other follows the other girls as they prepare for the School Idol Festival.
    • Chapter 11 has Aqours and the µ's and Nijigasaki 2nd and 3rd years figuring out what to do for the School Idol Festival while the µ's and Nijigasaki 1st years enjoy a day off.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Stamina decreases in everything you do during Lives in the same way real life idols get tired while performing.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Most of the Insight Skills fall under this with the exception of passives and AC/AC Success triggers.
  • Video Game 3D Leap:
    • Lives are now accompanied by a video that uses 3D models to recreate the choreography used during live concerts instead of the simple 2D pop-ups used in School Idol Festival.
    • The main menu screen uses the same 3D models used during lives.
  • Villain Song: Uniquely for a Love Live! song, "Queendom" is one for Lanzhu, where she puts her ego on full display and effectively boasts about how much of a controlling Jerkass she is.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Characters in 3D Lives are interchangeable with each other. Because of this, it is possible to make a team composition that is completely different from the original choreography, resulting in oddities like Rina having Nico's voice or Karin having Ruby's voice.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • The "Aozora Jumping Heart" Super Stage of Chapter 3. Players who have neglected the team building and idol raising aspects of the game as well as lack of knowledge on how the Appeal Chance mechanic works will most likely fail.
    • "Yume no Tobira" Super Stage in Chapter 13 features gimmick notes that reduce the appeal of every member by 50% (and it stacks such that getting two of them decreases your appeal by 100%) until the player switches to another subunit. Players who failed to look at the song information, or focused on playing only on one subunit, will probably find themselves scoring nothing at some point, or worse, fail the whole song.
  • We Can Rule Together: A significantly more mundane version of this trope occurs after Shioriko witnesses the protagonist's sharp analytical and reasoning skills firsthand, at which she offers her a position on the student council as an advisor if she's willing to quit the School Idol Club. The protagonist turns her down since she doesn't want to give up her love of school idols.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 20, where Lanzhu Zhong, the new student at Nijigasaki, forces the school idol club to disband and makes her own school idol group. If that wasn't bad enough, she forces all the people that join her group to be mere backup dancers.
    • Chapter 26 has Kaoruko making a return, announcing a brand new school idol event called the "School Idol Exhibition". As part of preparations for the event, the club members also officially form subunits, a rare occurrence since subunits are almost never recognized in-universe.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Emma and Kasumi are not shy about conveying how angry they are when Karin and Ai, and later Shizuku, decide to join the new School Idol Club. While Kasumi is still pretty friendly with them despite this, Emma is absolutely furious with the former and refuses to even talk to her anymore.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: It's possible to simply brute-force your way through gimmicky songs instead of building a team to counter them if your cards have sufficiently high Appeal. Later songs (especially the Suggested Show Power: 9500 songs) make this increasingly unfeasible due to their much more stringent Voltage goals and more severe penalties for running cards not fit for the song.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
    • The basic premise in the first chapter is almost entirely recycled from the start of Love Live! and Love Live! Sunshine!! (and the latter did this on purpose, to boot):
      • The Protagonist sees school idols performing at UTX (in this case, a joint live between μ’s and Aqours).
      • They decide to start a school idol club with their friends (in this case, the club already exists and just needs to be restarted).
      • The Student Council President rejects their request, so they decide to prove their merit to her to start the club (in this case, get more members).
      • The Student Council President later joins the school idol club as a school idol.
    • The idea of reviving a previously-failed school idol group and bringing in the original members parallels the main plot of Sunshine!! Season 1.
    • The Obstructive Bureaucrat Student Council President joining the school idol club has been done before with Eli and Dia. Nijigasaki even has two instances of this with Nana (who just needs to rejoin as Setsuna) and Shioriko (who needs a lot more convincing from the club members).
  • You Didn't Ask: In Chapter 26, Kaoruko states that she didn't mention that she was Shioriko's sister cause no one bothered to say anything about it.

Alternative Title(s): Love Live Nijigasaki High School Idol Club

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