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A “LoveLive!” Idol Group That Changed Me

As I am looking for an Anime show which somehow interests and challenges me that time, I had run out of good Anime shows to watch. Also, it has made me lost interest in playing other games, though, especially with the “console” video games.

In my early years, I do not know this thing called LoveLive!, and I feel that it is just some bunch of cute girls who would just creep around and make me happy. But not until July 2016, when I had finally met this group for the first time in TV Animation. And this is where I got hooked in this idol group, called the Aqours. And this is where my fandom with LoveLive! has begun.

LoveLive! Series and Aqours
Series Info Page here.

LoveLive! Sunshine!! is a TV Anime Series. It is a second entry to the franchise or Anime series, called the LoveLive! Series.

LoveLive! Series First Release Promo Image
LoveLive! Series First Release Promo Image

The LoveLive! Series is a Japanese Anime multimedia project. This was produced by the collaborating companies, the Japanese Anime music label Lantis, animation studio Sunrise, and Dengeki G’s Magazine, a magazine by ASCII Media Works (KADOKAWA Group label).

This project began somewhere in 2010 and it starts as a multimedia project, where it introduces female high school characters who were grouped and formed a band together. This project was dubbed as the ‘School Idol Project’. The girls will produce music and singles, as well as making a full music animation video out of that music.

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LLSIF and My Start of Fandom

Actually, it all begins when I started entering the School Idol Universe by just starting to play with the rhythm game, called the LLSIF, or LoveLive! School Idol Festival. At the time around October 2016, this is where I started further with my own adventures with Aqours in LLSIF.

Splash screen in the Global Version of LLSIF rhythm game, celebrating Aqours 5th Anniversary, at the time before server merge since June 2021.

At first, I had treated LLSIF as a game of new challenge for me. It is basically a rhythm game where you have to hit some fast notes along your way. And you have to land a Full Combo Finish in order to recognize yourself, especially on some harder songs that some other people had never done before. And so, my login streak continues in both of the server sides — namely the JP and the Global (EN) Sides.

LLSIF is actually my gateway to the LoveLive! Universe, with μ’s and Aqours on my side. It is basically following those School Idols’ stories by just playng through with that game! And then, not just you have to play in order to land some Full Combo Finish. But you have to get some beautiful and colorful URs in order to get also some recognition.

At that time when I started playing School Idol Festival rhythm game, it also marks my start of my entrance to the LoveLive! Fandom. Or otherwise, the start of my fandom with this series officially as a fan.

And so, my continuity of my journey with Aqours still continues, and they were actively present, as of this date on when my blog post was published.

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How Did It Change Me?

So then, there are things in which Aqours in LoveLive! Series has totally changed me as an Anime fan. It has changed me completely — the way I speak and interact, the way I attend in some Anime conventions and some live events (like DLVs and other fan screenings), and many others.

Merchandise Collecting

And so, when I had entered the LoveLive! Fandom for at least 3 months, this is where I became interested. I am interested, in the point that I am always buying their related merchandise — ranging from apparels up to simple items like rubber strap (key chains). Include also the trendy “Nesoberi” plushies here!

And then, how did my “oshi” thing has become a trend for me? That question is very simple to answer. It is because when I saw some images of some few people who dressed up or donned in their ‘armors’ or some other equivalent, this is where I have learned on how I could show some love and appreciation to that character. Like for my instance, Chika Takami was my favorite Aqours character here, in which I have also learned on how to buy and collect some merchandise and items of her.

My own Chika Takami merch, when I celebrated her own birthday since August 2019.

In this one, I have also learned on how to buy some merch here responsibly. Though that there are some that can be expensive, yet they have only minimal use, I can only buy and use those merch, whenever I could ever use them not just for Anime-related events. But also, on real-life travels and other non-Anime-themed events.

And to summarize properly, it is a way on how I could show my love and appreciation to Aqours by just buying their simple, yet memorable mechandise.

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Attendance in Live Events
LoveLive! Series 9th Anniversary: Love Live! Fest DLV on SM Cinema, last February 22-23, 2020.

This is the last DLV Event that I had attended, just before the coronavirus pandemic lockdown has happened.

Ever since with their First Live Step! ZERO to ONE event, I had begun active and eagerly participating in some live viewing Events, especially when it is Aqours who is performing. And so, this is where I began attending in some screening Events, whether live or delayed live viewing (DLV).

And then, for delayed live viewing screening Events, I am also earning some exclusive freebies, in which they can be only acquired from the screening event itself. That Event screening is only one time, one time slot, and only one venue. Whenever there is a screening event, I am scheduling ahead of time, and I am beginning to save my funds for that.

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Anime Figures

Also, during the Aqours era, and in the LoveLive! arc itself, I am beginning to improve my current Anime figure collection, in which notably my favorite figure line is Nendoroids. Aside from Nendoroids, I am also buying some other Anime figures in the other line, notably the cheap “prize figures” and other equivalent.

That time, I had managed to complete all of the Aqours members, within the Nendoroid figure line. And then, I was able to customize them a bit — by integrating them into Nendoroid Dolls — an another customizable Nendoroid figure line by Good Smile Company. As of this time being, I was thinking of an another clothing project, in which they can be “casual” for Aqours members. Or by sewing an another live stage costume for them on my own!

As time goes by, I am beginning to decline myself from my other previous Nendoroid figures that I have bought, and they were always left behind within my glass display cabinet. I was thinking of an idea for my next photoshoot project with my current Anime figures in stable. But then, due to my tight schedules, I am not able to have photo session with them in a while.

Ever since with my journey within Aqours era in the LoveLive! Series has begun, I had begun to less prioritize with my other Anime figures from the other Anime series that I had seen or previously watched.

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Discovery of People and Groups

And then, since Aqours First Live, I had begun meeting with some new people there, which included one of my mutual friends when I was still in my high school days. And so, I had begun meeting with some new friends too, in which I am also meeting them whenever we got some “Birthday Events”, when we celebrate that Aqours members’ birthdays.

At the same time, when I meet some new friends, there also comes my new rivals and enemies. Such as that, there are some rivals that are “boastful” in form, whether online or real life. And at the time that I am discovering some new social groups witihin the SNS world, I am also meeting those kinds of people who like to badmouth and rant some posts of others, just like me. And not only that. I am also encountering them when I attend some local Anime conventions here in my country.

Anything I can say more? Of course, I can’t detail them here anymore. In fact, there are still more ongoing around, as from the date of this post.

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The Development of SIF Journal Log
Page here.

Ever since when the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has begun, we are unable to go outside for some eventing or some kind. This is where I had created a new blog post series segment within this web blog. It shall be talking about LoveLive! Series’ news and updates — of what it is going around and what are the news within it. And then, those such news and updates within LoveLive! Series is being posted on IDS every weekends — one whole long post per week.

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Summary and Ending

I know Aqours has already become a part of my daily life. In fact, I am already treating them as little sisters — a part of my family.

Aqours got a splendid achievement in their history book, such as surpassing their own “senpai”. Finally, they had found their own beaming radiance within the vast seas of dreams.

I know that they are still running, and having a long way to go as School Idols. They are now currently running, as of this post, for at least 7 years.

Their upcoming Anime show, the Genjitsu no YOHANE ~SUNSHINE in the MIRROR~ is coming soon next year, in 2023. And then, there goes Aqours continuing to run to the depths of their time, since their upcoming “8th Anniversary” as School Idols is going to really spine-chill their fans.

And then, I really appreciated Aqours in doing their great job in making their fans satisfied, and making them to inspire to do something productive in their works and dreams. Something that can make them inherit their legacy, and to move on forward into the unforseen future.

Yep, we Aqours fans do love you a lot!

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Inori Donz

Inori Donz is a blogger, video gamer, Anime enthusiast, bicycle rider, and Anime figure photographer. His favorite area of concentration is 'LoveLive! Series', where he plays its featured smartphone video games, as well as watching its Anime series counterparts. "I like Anime, toys and figures, and mostly, I like playing free-to-play video games. Definitely not your usual commoner you see everyday in the streets." He started his blogging journey since December 2013, with a free WordPress blog, named 'IemDonz Blog'. That free blog contains most of his Anime figure photography works, as well as some of his opinions and experiences in the Anime world.