Volume 1: First Years is the first volume of Love Live! The School Idol Project and the first act of the Starting Dreams arc.
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On a bright and sunny day, it is the beginning of the new school year for every student in Tokyo. At a candy store in the suburban district of the city, one girl ends up oversleeping and is woken up by her sister.
"Uwaa! I'm late for my first day!!", she screams.
Frantic that she just overslept on her first day, this girl with orange hair, blue eyes yet very ditzy begins to hurriedly get ready. She runs down their stairs in her school uniform but falls down. She gets up and runs outside, heading towards her school. Crossing the streets, through the busy district of Akihabara and finally running up the steps toward her school, this girl reaches her destination.
"Uwa... I made it! I'm finally...", the girl says as she looks at the sight of her new school. "... I'm finally... a high schooler...", she adds. As she looks in awe and excitement at the different students going inside their school, she finally screams at the top of her lungs in enthusiasm. "at... OTONOKIZAKA HIGH!!", catching the attention of a dozen other students. The girl then excitedly rushes inside her new school, with a smile that shows her delight of starting her new high school life.
Otonokizaka High. A traditional high school with a very long history. Located between Tokyo's Akihabara district and the neighborhood of Jinbouchou, it is an all female high school dedicated to helping prepare its students of what future awaits them. It is one of the top high schools in Japan... or it used to. Despite having had a well-known name for it across most of Japan in the previous years... Otonokizaka has begun to slowly fall due to its decreasing students over the years caused by the changes of time and declining birth rates of Japan itself, most of the "would-be" applicants have enrolled at other high schools. Coupled with the ongoing rumor that the school is said to be abolished in the coming years and the emergence of more prestigious high schools... Otonokizaka High is nearing to face a situation that will decide its fate, both for itself and its students.
The story of Honoka Kōsaka and her soon-to-be dream begins...!!
Chapter 1 - First Day of High SchoolEdit
Running to the entrance of her new high school, Honoka starts to take in excitement over her new surrounding: the school she has very much wanted to become a student of since she was a child. The energetic girl runs along the corridors, hallways and even checks out each classroom out of curiosity and eagerness. As she runs along, Honoka wonders where her classroom is, having forgotten due to her own excitement.
"Honoka-chan!", a familiar cute voice calls out to her. Honoka turns around and sees her best friend, the sweet, light brown haired Kotori Minami. "Good morning! How are you?", Kotori asks Honoka. "I'm doing fantastic! I'm so excited for this first day as a student at Otonokizaka, I can hardly contain myself!", Honoka expresses with glee. "Well you have been wishing to be a student here since we were in grade school just like your mother.", Kotori comments. "I know right?", Honoka happily says back.
The two walk together around the halls of their new high school. While they view around the school, a question pops up on Honoka's head as she and Kotori hang around together. "Say, isn't Eli a student here too?", she says. "Yeah, I'm sure she's a second year by now and from what I heard, Eli is also the---", as Kotori is speaking, her sentence is cut-off by Honoka. "Oh? Eli!! Hey, Eli!", is what Honoka says out loud. From across the hallway, there is a girl with blond hair, of which the hairstyle of said girl is tied in an upward ponytail. This girl had blue eyes and the look of a mature girl at least ahead of her age and was with other students, both juniors and her own seniors, as well as those in her current school year level, roaming around and checking up on the school on the first day. This girl was Eli Ayase, Honoka and Kotori's childhood friend who is now a second year student here at Otonokizaka High School. "Eli! It's me, Honoka!", as Honoka says loudly as she runs toward Eli. "Hmm? Oh... Honoka. Hello.", Eli greets her in what is a strange tone lacking passion towards her own friend. "Hey! How are you?", Honoka asks Eli. "As you can see, I was checking around the school to see if everything is okay for the first day of this year... until I got interrupted from it...", she says somewhat coldly. "Oh? By what?", Honoka asks. "It's not by 'what'... it's by 'who'.", Eli bluntly says. "Oh... then, by who?", Honoka asks somewhat curiously.
All of a sudden, Eli points at Honoka and says "By you.", which perplexes Honoka. "By me? But... I just wanted to greet you!", Honoka says. "That's besides the point. You shouldn't so suddenly run up to me, loudly yelling across the hallway and then interrupting a conversation, even if it is just to say 'hello' to somebody.", Eli tells Honoka straightforward. "Oh... I'm sorry. I guess I should have been more careful right there, he he.", Honoka tries to laugh off. "... just don't do that again.", Eli tells her. "Hmm? Oh, Kotori, how are you?", Eli asks Kotori, but this time with a more welcoming tone compared to the one she used on Honoka. "Uh... I'm fine, what about you?", Kotori, a bit nervous, responds. "I'm okay myself. Oh, and don't forget about the school ceremony later for the freshmen. I don't want you missing out on it. Okay?", Eli informs Kotori and smiles. "I will.", Kotori simply replies. "Will you be there too, Eli?", Honoka asks as she smiles at her. "Certainly. As the student council president, I have to. I don't want to neglect my responsibilities and have to keep in firm that there is no trouble happening around the school on the very first day.", Eli replies to Honoka, suddenly back to her tone previously. "I'll see you there at the ceremony, you two. And Honoka, please don't cause any unnecessary trouble.", she asks Honoka. Confused, Honoka just nods as a reply. "Oh, by the way.", Honoka says. She then happily raises her left arm up high, gesturing a high five towards Eli. However, to her surprise, Eli simply walks past by her, alongside the students she was with, and leaves Honoka hanging. "Eh?", Honoka says in confusion. The sudden ignorance her friend just left her with puzzling her, Honoka wonders why Eli is like this. "Did I say something wrong?", she wonders to herself. "Eli is the school's sudent council president, that's what I was going to tel you.", she tells Honoka. "It's okay, Honoka. I'm sure Eli just wants to focus more on what she has to do today. I'm certain tomorrow you two can talk again and hang out.", Kotori assures Honoka. "Yeah, you're right.", Honoka raises her head up on this. Both Honoka and Kotori then continue on, but this ambiguous issue between Honoka and Eli still remains and hopefully this can be resolved by the next day.
The two continue looking around the school. They roam around the school's cafeteria, the music room, the classrooms, the rooftop, the garden and even the side of the school where a couple of alpacas are kept, which quickly catches Kotori's attention, mesmerizes her to the two fluffy animals. "Uwaa... they are so cute and soft!", Kotori says in joy as she pets the alpacas on their heads and hugs them. "Right, you like cute things, don't you?", Honoka says. "I love cute things. They are just the best and these alpacas are just so fluffy I could stay here all day petting and looking after them." Kotori says as she once again hugs one of them. After a few minutes, the two continue on. "Say, Honoka?", Kotori looks at Honoka. "Hmm? What is it, Kotori?", Honoka asks. "Why don't we look around the clubs now?", Kotori suggesting the idea to her. "That sounds great!", Honoka agrees to it. Both of them look at each of the clubs around the school -- the music club, the chess club, the science club, the theatres club, the soccer club and even the art club. One, however, catches Honoka's attention. "School... Idol... Research club?", she repeats the word of a sign attached on the top of a door. The door's window is sealed with a curtain from inside, preventing Honoka and Kotori from looking inside. "I've heard of a book club and a speech club being found in schools but, I've never heard of a club called "School Idol Research Club" before.", Kotori says, wondering what the club itself is supposed to be. "It must be a club about students researching dolls that look like other people, whispering to the dolls on what to do and then that doll who represents that person does what that person says...", Honoka suddenly says might be what the club is for. "E-eh?!", Kotori squeals. "B-but isn't... t-that voodoo dolls?!", she says in a scared voice. Honoka stares at Kotori with a look as though it may mean something. "H-Honoka?", Kotori says as Honoka continues to stare at her. Silence breaks in at this situation, with Honoka continuously staring at Kotori, while Kotori is left terrified. All of a sudden... "Oh... right. I was thinking of something else. My bad.", Honoka now speaks, with the tension now suddenly gone out the window from this silly exchange, causing Kotori to sigh in relief. "For a second there, I thought you were going to turn into something terrifying.", Kotori says.
"Hey.", a voice then appears. The two look back and see a girl standing behind them, just near the stairs. "Oh, hi there!", Honoka greets the girl. "What are you doing here in front of this club?", the girl asks. The girl looks to be the age of a middle-school girl around the age of either 13 or 14 years old, but from her outfit and the color of her bowtie, which is green, she's a second year, meaning she is older than Honoka and Kotori, which is... surprising. Black hair with twin twails with two red bows tied to them, the right side of her looks to be longer than the left and the girl has red eyes. "Oh, we were just looking around the school and then, well, we decided to look around each of the school's clubs. That's pretty much it.", Honoka answers the girl. "Oh, so you two are freshmen then. Were you perhaps looking to join this club?", she asks them. "Well, not really.", Kotori says. "Like we said, we just thought of looking around the school and all of its clubs on the first day before the opening ceremony.", Honoka then adds. "Oh. But... if ever you wanted to join this club, you should go look for the club's president." the girl tells them. "Who would that be?", Honoka curiously asks. "Her name is Nico... Nico Yazawa.", she answers to Honoka. "She's a second-year student here...", she adds to what she said. "Oh. Then, if we ever decide to join this club, the School Idol Research Club, we'll go look for Ms. Yazawa.", Honoka happily says to the girl. "Oh, by any chance, are you a member of this cl--", before Kotori could finish her sentence, the girl says "You two should get going. The opening ceremony begins in 4 minutes.".
Upon hearing this, Honoka and Kotori quickly make a run for it in order to not be late. "We have to go! Now!", Honoka panicly says to Kotori. As they leave, the two thank the girl for telling them, having forgot about the time themselves. The two run off to the school's auditorium for the opening ceremony. Alone, the girl looks on as the two freshmen she just met run. From behind, her hands are in the "ILY" gesture and is shaking. The two reach the auditorium but barely. Inside, Honoka and Kotori line up with the other freshmen for the ceremony as Chairwoman Minami, Kotori's mother and the chairwoman of the school, appears and welcomes all of them at Otonokizaka. As the ceremony goes underway, "Do you think that girl was a member of the School Idol Research Club?". A question Kotori asks Honoka over earlier. "Hmm? I don't know, but she didn't seem in high spirits when she talked about the club itself... maybe she isn't...", Honoka replies. "Hmm...", Kotori hums curiously. Honoka spots Eli on the stage, standing by watching over the students with others who she assumes are members of the student council. Eli looks around and sees Honoka waving at her, who she swiftly ignores. After the chairwoman finishes giving her welcoming speech to the new students, she calls forth Eli, the school's student council president, to give her own speech for them.
Eli steps toward the podium, stands firmly and gives her speech to them. "I welcome all you freshmen here at Otonokizaka High School. I am pleased to meet all of you. My name is Eli Ayase, the student council president of the school and also the one supervising your first week here in Otonokizaka High, so please, do not cause any trouble here in the school during your very first week as we would like to avoid an unnecessary trouble as much as possible. As President Minami has stated, for now during this first day of yours, all freshmen will have no classes, rather are allowed to check around the school for you all to have a better understanding of your new surroundings. You are allowed to go home at any given time that you would like, but starting tomorrow, classes will begin, with each class' schedule being put on the school's bulletin boards across the school grounds. Thank you for becoming a part of our wonderful school, I wish all of you a memorable school year and am pleased to have this time and many more ahead to spend with you all.". Finishing her amazing speech, Eli steps down the podium as the students clap for her, with some even already commenting how an amazing student she is, admiring her for it. Honoka comments how awesome Eli was, which Kotori agrees. After the ceremony, Kotori asks Honoka if she wants to continue looking around the school. "Sure! Why not?", Honoka replies. Somewhere in the school, Honoka and Kotori roam around, checking around the rest of the school's facilities they hadn't seen yet. Sitting on a bench, Honoka is amazed at how spacious the school is and how many cool things they have. Kotori agrees, saying that she never actually thought there would be this many. Honoka asks how she didn't know despite her mother being the chairwoman. "Well... I never really asked or visited the school before.", Kotori chuckles. Just then, the two hear the sound of something hitting a target. Honoka and Kotori look around for what it is.
They arrive to what seems to be a shooting range. "What is this for?", Kotori wonders. Just then, an arrow is fired from inside the range and directly hits the target, directly on the bullseye. Both Honoka and Kotori clap at the amazing shot done by whoever is inside. The two decided to take a look at who fired the arrow. Taking a peek inside, Honoka and Kotori see a girl with flowing blue hair, amber eyes and wearing an archer's practice robe, holding the bow from where the arrow they saw was fired from. The girl has the expression to that of a person who was seriously focused on her precision with the target and gives a sigh of relief after hitting the bullseye on the first attempt. This girl then sways her hair as the wind gently blows. "She looks amazing!", Honoka comments. "I agree... she's so elegant and talented too.", Kotori adds her own. The girl loads another arrow on the bow and aims to fire again at the second target. Honoka and Kotori watch closely. The girl breathes, focusing on the target and aims. She inhales and exhales gently, not wanting to miss and hit the rest of the target or not hit it at all. A moment of silence breaks in and finally, the girl fires the arrow and hits the target, once again hitting the bullseye. "So... amazing...", Kotori awes at the girl. "YOU ARE AMAZING!!", all of a sudden Honoka shouts this to the girl, who reacts to Honoka appearing out of nowhere in complete surprise, causing her to stumble back. The girl trips and falls to the ground and accidentally rips a banner on the wall which then covers her. "You really are amazing! You hitting both bullseyes was awesome! The way you aimed was totally cool!", Honoka continues her praising, not noticing what she unintentionally did. "Uh... Honoka, um... look.", Kotori finally speaks. She points to a confused Honoka the mess she accidentally made. The girl is standing in front of her, with the ripped banner still all over. The girl takes off the banner with a look as though she's perfectly calm about the whole thing, but Honoka and Kotori can somehow feel she is mad. "Uh... s-sorry about that. I shouldn't have said that so loudly, he he.", Honoka apologizes and tries to laugh it off. The girl opens her eyes and speaks. "Who are you?", she asks them. "Uh... my name is Honoka Kōsaka. A freshman here at the school.", she answers. "... and you?", she then asks Kotori. "My name is Kotori Minami, also a freshman here.", Kotori answers. "Minami? As in the name of the chairwoman of this school?", the girl asks. "Uh, yes. She's my mother.", Kotori responds. The girl sighs as though she wasn't expecting such an aswer from Kotori, but looks back at Honoka and asks her what she was doing at the archery club's range. "Uh me and Kotori heard the arrow you fired and saw you and, well, we though of watching you from over there...", Honoka replies. "I see. Well next time I'd like you and... Kotori, to try to lessen your loud voice when near this place. Archery is a serious practice, it's not just something a person can aim a bow and arrow and expect to hit the target on the first shot. If you yelled before I could fire the arrow, I would have gotten startled and fired it at you. Do you know how that would turn out?", she says sternly toward Honoka. "Uh... err... I, well, I guess it would---", "It would be disastrous.", the girl tells her before Honoka can even finish her answer."It would have caused a lot of serious injury, not to me, but to you and your friend here.", "Yeah, but I only wa----", "Before you do something, think of it carefully before doing anything. Just a word of advice. You are lucky I'm not going to report you to a council member for trespassing in a club's area without a club member's consent. Especially you Ms. Minami, you should know this better as your mother is the chairwoman here.", she finishes. Honoka and Kotori apologize to her. The girl accepts the apology, but once again tells them to just think of the things they do before doing them. Honoka and Kotori leave after being scolded. "Jeez, she didn't have to get mad at us like that, did she?", Honoka wonders. "Well, we did interrupt her practice... and, well, we did make sure accidentally rip a banner.", Kotori responds. "Yeah, I guess.", Honoka sighs. Back at the range, the girl looks at the banner... and a small stick from where the banner was hung falls on her head, causing her crouch, hold her head and softly cry from the pain.
Honoka and Kotori continue roaming around the school. Honoka wonders if there is something that they can do on the first school year in high school, wanting to do something exciting. Kotori tells her that she plans on joining the art club soon once club applications become open. Surprised, Honoka asks if she could join, but Kotori tells her that she doesn't have experience drawing, which Honoka remembers and cancels her own request. At the end of the day, Honoka and Kotori walk home together. Kotori asks Honoka if she has decided on what club to join the next day, Honoka answers that she still hasn't. At home, Honoka goes upstairs to her room after greeting her parents and her younger sister, Yukiho. In her room, Honoka lays on her bed thinking of how her first day in high school went, commenting to herself how it wasn't as great as she previously thought it would go. She receives a text from Kotori asking her if she's thinking that their first day at school didn't go as great as they thought it would, and Honoka confirms it to her. The next day, the two girls walk to school together. Kotori asks how she is after their first day, Honoka responds by saying that she's looking forward to today despite the flak they got yesterday, which Kotori agrees with her. The girls reach the school and go to the auditorium for the opening ceremony.
Chapter 2 - The Inspiration!Edit
After the ceremony, Honoka and Kotori walk to their classroom together with Honoka eager to start the second day of their school and hoping to meet their new classmates. Kotori smiles and agrees with her. The girls learn that they will be in Class 1 - 2 and head to their assigned classroom on the second floor. Reaching their classroom, the two see the rest of their new classmates and decide to sit next to each other.
As the two sit down and look around and meet their new classmats, the door of their classroom opens and a girl with flowing blue hair, amber eyes and a girl familiar to Honoka and Kotori enters the room. The girl is the same girl Honoka and Kotori met yesterday. The girl is shocked to see the two, but goes to sit a sit away from them. Honoka and Kotori secretly talk about how it's odd that the girl they met yesterday would be their classmate too. The girl looks at Honoka and Kotori with a look that says that she is still mad at the two over the trouble the other day. "Looks like she's still mad about yesterday...", Honoka silently whimpers to Kotori. The girl continues looking at the two, with the only thing Honoka and Kotori can do is look back scared at her angry face. "Alright class, everyone please be seated.", Class 2 - 1's teacher finally comes in and asks her students to sit down and introductories begin. Just after much of the students finish introducing themselves to their class, the girl with blue-hair is next and she stands up properly. "My name is Umi Sonoda. I'm 15-years old and currently joining the archery club of this school. Pleased to meet you all..." as she then sits down after her introduction to the class. Honoka and Kotori are both surprised with how calm she was despite being still mad at the two of them.
After a couple of mintues, Honoka is up next. Honoka stands up but notices Umi staring angrily at her, "U-uh... my name is... Honoka Kōsaka... 15-years old... and, uh... my family runs a sweets shop just near the Akihabara district. I-it's also... an inn for...", Honoka can continue talking while stuttering due to Umi giving her a look that speaks that she is still in trouble for what happened yesterday. "... for... err...", "Okay, Ms. Kōsaka, if you're nervous, you can sit down now. There's no need to have to force yourself to make such introductories if you are nervous, so please, don't stress yourself.", their teacher tells her. Sighing that her introductory was such a mess, Honoka sits down and looks at Umi, who is no longer staring at her. Kotori is next to introduce herself. "My name is Kotori Minami, also 15-years old---", before Kotori can continue speaking, their teacher asks if she is by any chance related to the school's chairwoman. "Um, yes. I am. I'm her daughter.", Kotori answers. The teacher is surprised as well as the students. With introductions over, their class begins. Meanwhile at the Student Council office, Eli is taking care of several forms that have just been passed to her. Sighing for a brief moment as she stretches, a girl's voice is heard. "Busy as always, are we?", the girl says. "Oh, Nozomi. How long have you been there?", Eli responds. The girl with long purple hair in low twin tails who has attractive green eyes and a wise smile is Otonokizaka's Student Council Vice President and Eli's close friend, Nozomi Tōjō.
Chapter 3 - Recruiting MembersEdit
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Chapter 4 - The School Idol ClubEdit
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Chapter 5 - The Start!Edit
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[ To be Added... ]
- Honoka Kōsaka
- Yukiho Kōsaka
- Mrs. Kōsaka
- Mr. Kōsaka
- Kotori Minami
- Eli Ayase
- Nico Yazawa
- Umi Sonoda
- Mrs. Minami
- Nozomi Tōjō
- Alisa Ayase
- Honoka being inspired by the performance of A-RISE is a reference to how her anime counterpart was also inspired to become a school idol.