This article contains details about plotlines described in the anime.
Do not proceed unless you want to be spoiled.
Riko Sakurauchi is one of the nine main characters of Love Live! Sunshine!!. She is a second-year in Uranohoshi Girls' High School. Her image color is light pink. She is a member of Guilty Kiss, a sub-unit under Aqours.
Riko is a second-year transfer student from Otonokizaka High School, who joined Uranohoshi Girls' High School after moving from Akihabara, Tokyo, and is in Chika's class. She is neighbors with her friend Chika.
When Riko lived in Tokyo, she used to play the piano, practicing on the same room former student Maki Nishikino did at Otonokizaka. However, an incident happened at a live play on which she was unable to play the piano due to scenic panic, and since then she wasn't able to improve on her play. After moving to Uchiura, Chika learns of this on Season 1 Episode 2, and suggests Riko to become a school idol with her and You, in hopes it would inspire Riko.
Riko is a reserved, polite and modest girl who likes indoor activities, acting as a foil to her friends, the more energetic Chika and You. However, while she is calm and mature, she often flies into a panic when under pressure, jumping to conclusions and making mistakes. Because of this, and a previous incident on which she failed to play the piano at a live audience, she does not think she is special, so she does not want to become a school idol. However, her friend Chika drags her into it, in the hopes this would inspire her to keep playing the piano.
In spite of her reserved personality, Riko has cynophobia: she loses her calm when she sees a dog (or anything she deems similar to one), to the point of moving recklessly when faced with one directly. This is commonly seen throughout most of Season 1 (starting with Episode 2) and is finally expanded upon in Season 2 Episode 5. After she and Yoshiko temporarily take care of a dog in the same episode, her fear of dogs is revoked and she eventually gets her own in Season 2 Episode 13.
Riko can also be quite playful, this is especially seen with Chika, an example being when she copies Chika's "normal monster" act to help Chika combat her hopelessness in Season 2 Epsiode 1. Additionally, after the events of Season 2 Episode 5, her interactions with Yoshiko cause Riko to start acting like her at times and be called "Lili" by her, which annoys Riko.
Riko is also a fan of certain types of girls' love doujinshi, and is very timid about this. As seen in Season 1 Episode 7 and Episode 12, when her friends see her with said doujinshi, she panics and acts defensively by hiding them, saying they were only gifts.
Clubs and Hobbies
Her talents are playing the piano and viola, and is the compositor of Aqours. Her hobbies are painting, handicraft, and cooking. She is also a fan of doujinshi manga belonging to two niche sub-genres of kabedon and agokui, under the girls' love (ガールズラブ gāruzu rabu) or yuri (百合 yuri) genre.
- Note: Dengeki G's Magazine is a monthly magazine that is part of the Love Live! and Love Live! Sunshine!! multimedia projects. As it is usually the first source of news for all major projects under these titles, its monthly sections will detail how the project has progressed over time. The issues are usually published a month ahead of time. For example, the July 2010 issue would've been released on 30th May 2010.
|Aqours's Gallery (April 2018)|
|Question & Answer Corner|
|Your favorite words are?
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye"--- These are words from The Little Prince written by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. Even though I like art and music--- When I came to this town, I looked up to a totally different night sky from what I would see in Tokyo, and remembered these words.
Something that felt cute to you recently?
Uranohoshi Girls' High School is like a mission school, it's full of paintings, figures and decorations of angels everywhere. The entrance hall facing the courtyard has a small mural with a cute angel--- I greet it every morning. Saying "Good morning" to it makes me feel like I can work hard and face today with a smile.
If you were to try helping out at one of the members' family businesses, what would you like to try doing?
Everyone is always helping out with their own family businesses, they're such great girls--- As for me, I really don't do anything--- It makes me embarrassed!
Do you do household chores like cooking and laundry in your own home?
I don't hate housework, so I do them quite often--- I think? When I lived in Tokyo, there wasn't anything else much to do at home---. Now, Aqours has made me busy, though I don't have that much time, I clean the house every day, and do the laundry and cooking occasionally♡ Though I'm not at the level where I can become a good bride--- Ehehehe♪
When you moved to Uchiura, was there anything that troubled or puzzled you?
The school is on the peak of the hill, and there aren't many shops within walking distance--- To be honest I was shocked, but at the same time I was really surprised at how beautiful the scenery was♡ Also just being a transfer student made me a bit of a mini-celebrity so that was troubling...
Do you have any preferences on how you eat boiled eggs?
I liked my eggs half-boiled and with salt♡ Putting the eggs in boiling water for exactly 8 minutes is the rule of the Sakurauchi household. When they're meant to be placed into lunch-boxes, we boil them until cracks form in the shell and soak them overnight in salt-water, which adds flavor to the egg♪
Are you still in contact with your friends from Otonokizaka through emails or phone?
We still keep in touch♡ But, even though I told them about a ton of things that happened here--- They don't really believe me. Like I would swim in the sea on the way home from school--- Fufu♡ Especially the fact that I became a school idol, it seems no one takes me seriously even up until now.
What do you do with the things you made with your handicraft hobby?
They're not anything fancy, and I think it would trouble people if I gave these to them so--- I mostly give them to my family. But even they are starting to be overloaded with things so--- I wonder if there is anyone out there who would receive them for me...
How do you mostly spend your free days?
Though it's embarrassing, I'm the indoor-type, so I mostly spend my free days at home drawing, or making handicrafts--- But after I came to Uchiura, everyone's been inviting me out so I've become quite active. We all went to karaoke just recently too♡
If you were to go for a picnic in Uchiura with your beloved sandwiches, where would you want to go?
Though the sceneries at Uchiura's beaches and the school's mikan mountain are both wonderful, if it's a picnic, I would recommend the mountains♡ Though it's a bit distant from Uchiura, Panorama Park, which is accessible by the ropeway, has an amazing Sky Garden where you can see a boundless sky different from what you always see, it's bound to move you!
When you paint, what sort of things do you mostly paint?
From the start--- What I painted was mostly sceneries, and occasionally images of still life--- But after coming to Uchiura, I've started painting portraits a bit. Compared to Tokyo where I've lived all my life, Uchiura is filled with overwhelmingly beautiful sceneries such as the sea, mountains, forests and Mt. Fuji--- So even I find it strange that I've switched to painting portraits instead♡ Now--- I want to paint everyone's smiles.
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|01||Greetings from Sakurauchi Riko||2:24|
|01|| "I Want to Shine!!"|
|In Episode 1, Uranohoshi Girls’ High School student Chika Takami discovered the school idol group μ's while trying to catch a runaway flyer. Having had looked for something to devote her all to for a long time, she was inspired and decided to form her own school idol group.
On her way home from Awashima island, Chika met Riko Sakurauchi, a student from Otonokizaka High School in Tokyo, and introduced her to school idols. Riko said they looked normal, and Chika explained that the way normal people can become so radiant as school idols was why she was intrigued by them to the point of wanting to become one herself.
When Riko unexpectedly showed up as a transfer student in Chika and You’s class, Chika recognized her and asked her to join the school idol club. "Kimeta yo Hand in Hand" was performed by Chika, You, and Riko as an insert song, and the episode ended with Riko declining Chika's request.
|02|| "Catch the Transfer Student!"|
(転校生をつかまえろ! "Tenkousei o Tsukamaero!")
| In Episode 2, one of Riko’s piano performances was shown through a flashback. Present day Riko hesitated playing the piano, thinking back to her fingers trembling as they hovered over the piano keys, the filled auditorium growing impatient.
Not letting herself be stopped by the initial rejection, Chika persisted in trying to persuade Riko into becoming a school idol and composing songs for their group. However, Riko continued to politely decline the proposal.
Meeting each other on the beach, Riko told Chika she had not been able to improve her piano playing recently, and had hopes a change of scenery and hearing the sound of the ocean could change that. In an attempt to help her out of her slump Chika invited Riko to come hear the sound of the ocean with her.
As Kanan, You, Chika and Riko were out diving, Riko at first had troubles using her imagination to hear the sound of the ocean as per Kanan's advice. Diving down again, Chika and You pointed to a spot where the sunlight hit the water, and the three of them managed to experience the sound of the ocean.
At school Riko told Chika and You she would compose for the school idol group, but not become a school idol herself. They realized they did not have any lyrics written, and together the three of them tried writing lyrics at the Takami family’s ryokan.
Inspired by Chika’s love for μ's, Riko listened to "Yume no Tobira" and even tried singing it, accompanying herself on the piano. Chika interrupted and Riko revealed her feelings of nothing feeling fun and everything feeling static and unchanging to her. In response, Chika again suggested trying out being a school idol, and Riko accepted.
|03|| "First Step"|
(ファーストステップ "Faasuto Suteppu")
|In Episode 3, Chika, You, and Riko were training on the beach when they saw the Ohara family's helicopter flying by, which eventually landed near them.
With Mari's arrival to the school, she introduced herself as the new chairwoman of Uranohoshi Girls' High School. Dia, who knew Mari back from their first year in Uranohoshi, pointed out how unbelievable it was for a third year to be the new chairwoman. Mari showed her proof and stated that she came to support Chika, You, and Riko. She then challenged them to fill the gym with audience in order to get her approval for their School Idol Club. The three second year students realized that there weren't enough students in their school to fill the gym, which caused them to advertise their concert in other places as well.
They started handing out flyers in front of Numazu Station, where Riko unknowingly met a disguised Yoshiko while advertising their concert.
While training, Chika, You, and Riko thought up of possible names for their currently nameless school idol group. They soon stumbled upon the name "Aqours", which was written on the beach, and decided to use it as their school idol group's name.
The newly-named school idol group Aqours continued to advertise their upcoming concert. In Chika's house, Aqours continued to work on their dance steps until Riko and You noticed that Chika fell asleep, and decided to call it a day. Shima, Chika's elder sister, drove You home as no buses ran when it is late at night.
Before their concert, Aqours worried about people not attending due to the rain. They laughed it off and stood behind the stage's curtain, hand in hand. However, when the curtains raised, they only had a small group of audience. Included in the audience were Mari, Ruby, Hanamaru, and a disguised Yoshiko. Despite this, they continued their concert and performed "Daisuki dattara Daijoubu!" while Kanan and Dia listened from outside the gym.
A power outage occurred halfway through the song, halting their performance. Chika continued to sing, followed by You and Riko, until she started to cry. Right before they lost hope, Chika's sister Mito arrived and said that Chika told her the wrong start time. Meanwhile, Dia secretly hooked up a backup generator and the power returned, which illuminated the gym that was filled with audience. Aqours then resumed their performance.
After Aqours's concert, Dia went in front of them then said that their success was only due to the efforts of previous school idols and the town's good will. Chika answered she knew it but that it was their only chance to shine.
|04|| "Two Girls' Feelings"|
(ふたりのキモチ "Futari no Kimochi")
|In episode 4, the school idol club was finally approved by Mari, much to the second years' delight. Although, they questioned why she was so keen on helping them. Entering their new club room for the first time, they realised it would need intensive cleaning up before they would be able to use it.
Chika, Riko and You entered the library to return books they had found while cleaning up, just as Ruby was excitedly telling Hanamaru the news of the school idol club officially being formed. Once again, Chika tried recruiting the duo as school idols.
Kanan impressed the second years with her stamina, running past them as they were trying to raise their own stamina by running up stairs like μ's.
Met by a very excited Chika, Ruby and Hanamaru started a trial period as members of the school idol club, saying they would join if they liked it. Short of a place to practice, the school idol club ended up taking their dance practice to the rooftop, inspired by μ's.
After Ruby officially joined the school idol club, she confronted Hanamaru at the library. Ruby explained how she suspected that Hanamaru went along just because she thought being a school idol was something Ruby wanted to do, but that she also thought maybe Hanamaru was interested herself, too. Ruby drew a parallel to Rin Hoshizora also thinking she was not fit to be a school idol, and admitted she had always wanted to become a school idol with Hanamaru. Hanamaru finally agreed to become a school idol after Riko, You and Chika entered the library, Chika saying what matters is the will to do it, rather than your skills.
|05|| "Yohane Descends"|
(ヨハネ堕天 "Yohane Daten")
|In episode 5, The school idol club, now with five members, were looking at their ranking and comments online. Hanamaru was revealed to never have seen a computer before, due to living in a temple without many electronics. The members of Aqours wondered how they could stand out more in order to raise their popularity.
Whimpering in the school idol clubroom, Yoshiko explained she knew she was not a fallen angel and wanted to be a normal high school student. Chika, on the other hand, got the idea of fallen angel idols as a way to make them stand out more. Therefore, she asked Yoshiko if she wanted to become a school idol, addressing her as “Fallen Angel Yohane-chan”.
Aqours visited Chika’s house to try their new fallen angel themed costumes on, and Riko ended up being chased by Chika’s dog Shiitake. Later, Chika giggled when Riko said she was still hurt from the encounter, which caused Riko to question if she found Riko’s distress amusing. Chika denied this, saying she had simply realised the Aqours members were not at all plain like she initially thought.
Much to Dia’s dismay, the school idol club uploaded a fallen angel themed video online using their new costumes. Dia showed the Aqours members that the initial boost in rankings the video had gotten them was already declining and their rank was dropping. This broke the spirits of the school idols, causing Chika to second guess their trying to be like μ's and Yoshiko to once again say she wanted to be a normal high schooler and quit the school idol club.
The day after Hanamaru made the other Aqours members understand why Yoshiko had wanted to be a fallen angel in the first place, they confronted Yoshiko wearing their new costumes and asked if she wanted to join Aqours as the fallen angel Yohane. Chika yelled to the fleeing Yoshiko that she was fine the way she was and that μ's got so popular due to their being themselves and not caring about what others thought. After being assured all the members of the school idol club were okay with her antics, Yoshiko accepted their offer and joined.
|06|| "Let's Make a PV"|
(PVを作ろう "PV o Tsukurou")
|In episode 6, news of the school possibly being closed and merged with a school in Numazu reached Chika, and she was overjoyed to be put in a similar situation to the one μ's faced, becoming motivated to do more school idol activities in order to save the school. After some careful thinking, Aqours decided to create a promotional video, with the purpose of showing people what made their small town Uchiura a great place. They all went out to film, but most of the things the group could come up with seemed quite unimpressive after reconsideration. The group gathered at a café to think things through, and Chika realized that what they had at their current school was something special she did not want to lose.
Showing the chairwoman their promotional video, Mari told Chika and the rest of Aqours that they did not know what it was that made their town and their school great. After Mari proclaimed she knew better herself, Chika decided not to ask about it, considering it something they had to figure out for themselves for it to be worth something.
On her way to the clubroom Chika spotted Dia on stage in the empty auditorium. While she did decline Chika’s offer of joining the school idol club, Dia stated she was happy that they wanted to save the school. As Dia was leaving the room, Ruby stopped Chika from calling out to her, and a flashback showed the third years seemingly right before a school idol performance. Mari showed up and told Dia you can’t run away, only move forward, but Dia denied she had been trying to run away.
In accordance with Uchiura tradition, all the town members gathered early in the morning of the first day of beach season to make and release floating lanterns. Riko, for whom it was the first time experiencing the tradition, talked about how she did not realize there were so many people living in the town and suggested that maybe that was the special thing about Uchiura and Uranohoshi Girls’ High School. Hearing this, Chika gathered everyone’s attention and introduced Aqours, saying they needed the help of everyone in town to save their school. "Yume de Yozora o Terashitai" was performed as an insert song by the currently six Aqours members, thus concluding the episode.
|In episode 7, the members of Aqours realized that their PV had boosted their popularity enough to push them into the top one hundred school idol groups. Because of this, they were invited to perform at an event in Tokyo.
Getting to Tokyo, the school idol club (sans transfer student Riko) tried not to let on that they were from the country side, without much success. After getting temporarily separated, Aqours paid a visit to Kanda Shrine, and got excited about running up the same stairs that μ's once used for stamina practice.
Once they reached the top of the stairs, Chika heard Sarah and Leah Kazuno singing “SELF CONTROL!!”. Although the two girls were strangers to Chika and the rest of Aqours, Sarah recognized them from their PV and asked if they were in Tokyo for the upcoming event. The Saint Snow members then left, leaving Aqours impressed with their acrobatics and singing skills.
Riko declined Chika’s suggestion to pay Otonokizaka High School a visit, and after the rest of Aqours had gone to sleep she explained to Chika she felt pressured to perform well and live up to expectations at her old school. In response, Chika talked about how she felt like she had to live up to the expectations of the Uranohoshi Girls’ High School students who came to see them off in Numazu.
The next day, Chika went out for a run and visited the place where she first found out about school idols, UTX High School. There, the rest of Aqours caught up with her and the six of them saw the next Love Live! competition being announced on the screen of the UTX building. Aqours decided they wanted to enter the competition.
At the event location, the Aqours members were surprised to find out the girls they had met at Kanda Shrine were school idols, too. Sarah introduced herself, and the episode ended just as Saint Snow were to take the stage.
|08|| "Isn't it Frustrating?"|
(くやしくないの? "Kuyashikunai no?")
|In episode 8, Saint Snow performed “SELF CONTROL!!” on stage at a school idol event in Tokyo. After all the school idol groups invited had performed, neither Aqours nor Saint Snow were announced as one of the winners. In spite of their loss, Chika talked about how it was Aqours's best performance yet. The other members, on the other hand, worried about how far from being top idols they were.
Having been given the results of the audience poll used to rank the groups at the event, Aqours learned that they not only placed last, but also got zero votes. Approached by Saint Snow, Aqours was complimented on their performance but told they might be better off giving up competing in Love Live! by Sarah, and warned not to take Love Live! lightly by a crying Leah.
On the train ride back to Numazu, five quite depressed Aqours members and one seemingly less depressed Chika discussed Saint Snow’s statements. Once they arrived they were greeted by Uranohoshi Girls’ High School students, relieved and happy to hear it was the group’s best performance so far. When Dia arrived at the scene, Ruby ran into her arms, crying.
Dia talked to Aqours about their placing last, saying she was afraid it would happen, considering how tough the school idol scene had gotten. She explained how she, Mari and Kanan formed a school idol group two years back, but were unable to sing at the very same event, overwhelmed by the other groups’ performances and the atmosphere.
Riko followed Chika to the beach, who, after holding all of her feelings in for a long time, finally allowed herself to cry and let out her frustration about all of their hard work not bearing fruit. When Chika said she thought it would make the other members sad if she allowed herself to be sad, Riko pointed to the rest of Aqours and said that no one joined for Chika’s sake, it was a decision they all made on their own. The sun’s rays hit the six girls standing in the water as they decided to try to turn their zero into a one.
|09|| "Young DREAMER"|
(未熟DREAMER "Mijuku DREAMER")
|In episode 9, the six members of Aqours tried to figure out what to do for the upcoming summer festival. Chika wondered what made Kanan (who had been evasive when Chika asked her about it) quit being a school idol since she did not think it was like Kanan to quit just because of one failure. Ruby revealed she had heard Dia speaking to Mari back then, saying neither Dia nor Kanan were running away.
On one of her early morning walks Kanan was followed by the school idol club, who overheard Kanan and Mari talking about Kanan’s returning to school. However, Kanan said she was not going to become a school idol again and that she did not want to talk to Mari any more.
At school, Kanan and Mari got into a heated argument, which made Chika burst into the room and yell at them to break it up, and to come to the club room of the school idol club after school. There, Kanan continued to claim that the fact she could not sing in Tokyo was the reason she had quit being a school idol. Once she had left the room, the other girls pushed Dia into revealing that Kanan did not sing at the event to prevent Mari from performing with an injury, and that she quit being a school idol because she did not want Mari turning down other opportunities.
Aqours convinced Dia to join them, Chika saying they’d all help out if juggling school idol duties and student council president duties got too much, and Ruby handing her a stage costume. All nine girls performed “Mijuku DREAMER” as an insert song, and Dia turned out to be the one who wrote “Aqours” in the sand, it being the same name the third years’ previous idol group had.
|10|| "We've Got Stewshine"|
(シャイ煮はじめました "Shai-ni Hajimemashita")
|In episode 10, summer vacation began for the now nine members of Aqours. Summer is the season of the Love Live! competition, and Dia had somehow managed to get her hands on the training schedule μ's used when they were active. Since Kanan and Chika had been asked to help run a snack bar on the beach, the members decided to camp at the Takami family inn in order to make time for practice.
Initially intimidated by a competing snack bar on the beach, Dia quickly took charge and assigned tasks once she received encouragement from Mari. Riko, Chika and Kanan begun advertising in order to draw in customers, seemingly somewhat unwillingly. Meanwhile, You, Yoshiko and Mari started cooking the food.
With everyone exhausted after attempting to train the way μ's did, they all sat down to eat Mari’s Stewshine and Yoshiko’s Tears of a Fallen Angel takoyaki that had not sold during the day. Going back to the inn to get more sauce, Chika overheard a conversation between her sister Shima and Riko’s mother, and found out there was a piano competition Riko was invited to partake in.
The piano competition being on the same day as the Love Live! preliminaries, Chika woke Riko up to ask her about it. Riko said she wavered at first, but that their camp made her realize that Aqours was more important to her.
Aqours's second day of managing the snack bar wasn’t all too successful either, but everyone enjoyed the curry You made using both Mari’s and Yoshiko’s culinary creations. Dia tried to hold a lesson on Love Live! history, but it was cut short due to Chika’s sister Mito thinking they were being too loud.
Once again, Chika woke Riko up, this time asking her to play the song she had composed. Afterwards, Chika told Riko she wanted her to enter the piano competition. Chika explained she had hoped being a school idol could make Riko feel good about playing the piano again, and said Riko needed to figure out if playing the piano wasn’t just as important to her as the town, and the school, and their friends.
|11|| "Aye-aye, My Friend"|
(友情ヨーソロー "Yuujou Yousoro")
|In episode 11, all the members of Aqours saw Riko off as she left for Tokyo to compete in a piano competition that would take place the same day as the regional Love Live! qualifiers. They made the promise to sing together on the same stage next time.
When it was decided You would fill Riko's place in the dance formation, Chika and You struggled to find harmony in their dance since Chika was accustomed to the way Riko performed the dance moves. They had just made it through the part they had problems with because of You’s mimicking Riko’s movements, when Riko called from Tokyo. After Ruby, Hanamaru and Yoshiko greeted her, the call was cut short due to Chika’s battery running low just as You was about to say something to Riko.
Being totally honest proved to be a difficult task for You even after she had gotten advice from Mari, and she did not know how to express her feelings to Chika. After You was encouraged through a call from Riko to not just adjust to what Riko and Chika did before and find their own dynamic in the dance instead, Chika showed up at You’s house. Chika suggested they start over and relearn the dance together, and a crying You ended up embracing Chika.
The night of the Love Live! qualifiers and Riko’s piano competition, everyone wore the matching scrunchies Riko had sent as bracelets. Riko played her piece at the competition, and the remaining eight Aqours members performed “Omoi yo Hitotsu ni Nare” on stage.
|12|| "It's Time to Fly"|
(はばたきのとき "Habataki no Toki")
|In episode 12, the members of Aqours were happy and relieved to find out they made it through the regional qualifiers of the Love Live! after a nervous wait. While the video of their performance had gotten a lot of views and comments, the number of applicants for the school’s open house was still zero.
Chika couldn’t help but compare Aqours to μ's, and wondered if the school idols she looked up to weren’t regular people after all. Calling the other Aqours members, she suggested they’d all go to Tokyo before Riko went back home, and try to figure out what made μ's great.
In Tokyo, Chika had arranged for Aqours to meet up with Saint Snow, who told Chika and the others they did not know what made μ's and A-RISE different. To them, what mattered was winning and following in the footsteps of their predecessors. Together, both groups watched the announcement of the Love Live! finals being held at the Akiba Dome on the screen outside the UTX High School building.
At Riko’s suggestion, Aqours visited Otonokizaka High School. They learned that μ's had not left anything from their school idol days at Otonokizaka, saying their hearts would be connected even without those things. Chika and Riko said the visit had brought them closer to the answer of their question.
On the train back to Numazu, the nine of them took a stop to look at the sea. Chika said that they couldn’t compare themselves to μ's, and all of the members started realizing that they had to run freely, stand on their own feet and not chase after someone else in order to become great. They decided that what they were running towards was turning the zero into a one.
|In episode 13, Aqours were practicing for the Love Live! regionals during the hot days of summer vacation. Meanwhile, the number of applicants for Uranohoshi Girls’ High School was still zero. At the end of the day, Mutsu, Itsuki and Yoshimi showed up to tell Chika that they, along with other people in the school, were also interested in saving the school and had thought about becoming school idols. Chika invited them to sing with Aqours at the Love Live!.
Standing on their respective balconies, Chika and Riko talked about the increase in members on stage. Chika said that although it would be impossible for everyone to dance, they could all sing the song together, and it might make more people realize the greatness of their town and school. Chika’s mother surprised both Riko and Chika by showing up, making for a short intermission in their conversation.
The nine members of Aqours met up with Mutsu, Itsuki and Yoshimi, who brought with them an abundance of other Uranohoshi Girls’ High School students. However, everyone’s excitement was restrained when Riko announced that the rules said only the people who had applied initially would be allowed on stage. In the end, although only Aqours would be on stage, all the other girls decided to cheer them on from the audience.
Before their performance, the school idol club members reflected on their time together. Ruby and Hanamaru were embraced by Yoshiko, while Mari, Kanan and Dia thanked each other for getting this far, and Chika told You and Riko she wanted to enjoy everything the future had in store together. Proclaiming there weren’t just nine of them, Chika opened the door to the stage.
Prior to performing their song, Aqours introduced themselves by telling the audience their story and their goal. When they counted to nine, part of the audience yelled “ten”, pronouncing their being the tenth member of the group.
Halfway through the performance of “MIRAI TICKET”, Chika called out for everyone to shine together with them. The Aqours supporters of the audience ran down to stand next to the stage, creating a circle of blue light sticks around it. Meanwhile, the number of applicants for the school flipped from zero to one.
|01|| "Next Step"|
(ネクストステップ "Nekusuto Suteppu")
|In episode 1, Mari and Dia were motivating the student body, including the rest of Aqours, to work hard at attracting students to the school this term, too. Chika showed up just when the upcoming Love Live! was mentioned, and they all decided Aqours was going to participate.
During their regular afternoon practice session on the roof, the girls started discussing holding a concert at the open house. Mari noticed someone calling her phone, but did not pick up. Realizing they would not be able to stay as long at school with the buses’ fall timetable, they set out to find a place to practice in Numazu. After they had said goodbye to the others, Chika and Riko talked about their hopefulness in everything going well, despite obstacles to come.
The next day at school, Aqours revisited the issue of a new practice space. Without anyone noticing the third years suddenly disappeared.
In a locale made available to the group thanks to You’s father, the third years revealed that the open house had been cancelled, and the decision about the school merger made final. Chika reacted strongly, saying she would personally seek Mari’s father out and convince him to change his mind, but let it go when the others explained to her how there was nothing to be done. Disheartened, the girls went home.
Chika and Riko had a heart-to-heart on the beach, this time sharing feelings of hopelessness.
When Chika showed up at school early the next morning to tell the universe she was not going to give up yet, she was surprised to find the rest of Aqours followed a similar impulse and were there, too. Together, they decided to keep working toward their goal no matter how impossible it may seem. They were going to aim for a miracle.
|02|| "The Sound of Rain"|
(雨の音 "Ame no Oto")
|In episode 2, Aqours got the news that the school would stay open for another year if the number of prospective students was raised to at least one hundred. Although this initially sounded like to much for them to handle, Chika motivated them by saying they should not worry about whether it was possible, but rather simply make it happen.
With the Love Live! coming up sooner than expected, the second years found the workload of having to create two songs at once difficult to handle. To make it easier on them, everyone decided to split the workload and had the second years create a song for the open house while the third and first years created one to perform at the Love Live!.
Chika, Riko and You headed for Chika’s house to work on their song, without much success. Ruby sent a text to Chika, Riko and, asking them to come at once to help mediate in the argument that had arisen. In order to better work together, the first and third years decided to spend some time together try to get to know each other better.
When all nine girls regrouped, celebrating the two completed songs, Mari received a phone call.
|In Episode 3, a new problem arose. The school open house was postponed by a week, putting both the Love Live! qualifiers and the open house on the same Sunday.
Aqours tried to find a way to travel between the two venues in time to perform at both events, without luck. With going by boat and by helicopter both out of the question, it seemed the only possible way to make it in time would be to perform as the first group and catch a bus.
As the order of the performances would be decided by lottery, the group decided to let Yoshiko do the honors. Much to everyone’s disappointment, they ended up as the 24th group to perform. The group thought the only option left was to choose just one event, but could not decide on one.
Later that evening, Riko and Chika discussed the issue. Riko suggested they split the group and perform at both events. Presenting their idea to the rest of the group, they reluctantly agreed. When the second years talked it over later, Chika seemed unreasonably happy that mikan season had begun.
When Sunday finally came, Chika, Riko, You, Dia and Ruby were overjoyed to be joined by the other four onstage for the performance of MY Mai☆TONIGHT. Confused when the second years immediately ran off after the song ended, the group found out Chika had arranged for them to use a monorail for mikan transport to travel back to school. With this and help of their school mates, they made it back in time to perform Kimi no Kokoro wa Kagayaiteru kai? at the open house.
|04|| "Don't Call Me Dia-san"|
(ダイヤさんと呼ばないで "Dia-san to Yobanaide")
|In episode 4, Chika woke up in an unusually happy mood. In reply to the other girls’ queries about why she was not nervous to see whether or not they had passed the Love Live! qualifiers, she stated she was sure they would pass, something that proved true moments later. Chika’s mood fell with the realization that Aqours was out of funds after the recent performances. They turned both to the gods and Mari’s family in a futile effort to get more money, but had to begin thinking about other options.
The next day, Dia tried to discuss the idea of part time jobs with the second years as a means of getting closer to them. Her unusual behaviour weirded out Chika, You, and Riko, and she was set back where she started when she could not help herself from reverting back to her usual harsh words and tone.
Forced to come up with an idea to replace the one she shot down, Dia led the group into setting up a stand at a flea market. Her expectations of getting close to the others and being addressed informally fell short as she became upset with the rest of the girls not handling the task in the same way she would.
Working together at Izu Mito Sea Paradise, Dia tried her best to make small-talk and play around, becoming increasingly frustrated as the others took this to mean she was angry or upset with something. Finally, Mari and Kanan told the others what was going on, explaining how Dia, despite her cold exterior, gets lonely easily. When a class of kindergartners at the aquarium ran amok, Dia took control of the situation by being authoritative but not as harsh as usual.
At the end of the day, Aqours gathered. Chika told Dia that it was best if she acted like herself, and how they all appreciate her for who she is. Dia accepted this, and was delighted to finally be addressed with the preferred honorific.
|05|| "Taking in A Dog"|
(犬を拾う。 "Inu o Hirou.")
|In episode 5, Aqours had to cut their practice short due to the rain. Yoshiko was offered a ride with the others but said no as she lived nearby.
The group gathered at Chika’s house to decide on a theme for their performance in the Love Live! regionals. Despite Chika saying Shiitake definitely had taken a liking to Riko, her attempts to overcome her fear for the dog were without success. While the girls were discussing trying new things for this performance, they noticed Yoshiko had gone home early without warning.
When Riko set out on a mission to return Yoshiko’s phone to its rightful owner, she was introduced to the dog Yoshiko had found and decided to take in. As Yoshiko’s living situation does not allow her to have pets at home, Riko hesitantly agreed to bring the dog back to her house.
Riko’s fear of dogs initially having held her back, she eventually warmed up to the animal enough to hurry home after practice to be able to spend time with it. This made Yoshiko feel jealous enough to come over to Riko’s house in order to take the dog back. The two started arguing about its name, and were interrupted by Riko’s mother showing them the dog on a missing pet poster.
After being forced to return the dog, Riko and Yoshiko’s spirits were crushed. Desperate to find a reason to have it back, Yoshiko suggested that the dog might not have been the missing one after all. Although Riko did not quite believe this, she followed Yoshiko to the owner’s house.
Riko almost gave up and went home when her mother texted her asking when she would be coming home, but came back for Yoshiko’s sake to keep her company in waiting for the dog to come out. Yoshiko explained how finding the dog had restored her belief in fate and chance encounters when she was having doubts. When the dog proved to really be the one that was missing Riko tried to cheer her up by saying she believed in destiny, too.
On her way home, Riko stopped by Chika’s house, this time having better luck with Shiitake. To a surprised Chika she explained how she did not think anything happens by chance, and how people’s feelings bring them together.
|06|| "Aqours WAVE"|
|In episode 6, the venue for the Love Live! regional preliminaries was revealed to be the same as during the last Love Live!. During practice, everyone was happy to discover Aqours on a list of groups most likely to make the national competition. Before they had time to finish celebrating, the less good news that success in the regionals would rely heavily on the number of students in the school hit them.
Chika’s brought the question of what made Aqours special up at practice, prompting Mari to introduce a move the third years had failed to pull of when they created Aqours to the rest of the group, much to Kanan’s dismay. Despite Kanan’s warnings that it would be the most difficult for the center, Chika said she would be able to do it.
As Chika was struggling to learn the move, everyone became increasingly more worried that she was pushing herself too far. After almost a week of endless trying and failing, she agreed to Kanan’s demand that she give up if she could not do it come next morning.
Determined to make it work, Chika spent the night on the beach practicing. Despite Riko, You and the first years coming to cheer her on, she failed and felt that she had not accomplished anything. Riko and You reminded her that she had forgotten to thank herself for how far they had come already. As Chika was getting ready to try the move one last time the third years showed up, and the episode concluded with Chika perfectly landing the move during the performance of MIRACLE WAVE at the Love Live! regional preliminaries.
|07|| "The Time Left"|
(残された時間 "Nokosareta Jikan")
|In episode 7, Aqours was announced to be one of the groups in the Love Live! finals. The video of their performance had been doing well, the only problem was that the number of applicants for the school was not rising as hoped.
Calling in another favor from Mari’s father, the girls managed to get an extension until 5 AM the next morning. Chika initially was eager to do anything she could to help make the number rise, but was talked out of it by the rest of the girls.
By 1 AM, there still were only 87 applications. Becoming more and more desperate and restless, they sent out the first years to buy something to eat. They were still six applicants short by the final hour, and Riko, Chika, You and Kanan screamed out their frustration outside. Everyone was on edge waiting for the last two applications to drop in during the last minute. Finally, the application page shut down.
The next day, Mari announced the news to the rest of the school. Aqours initially tried to ignore what had happened and commence practice as usual, but stopped when Chika started crying. They decided to call it a day and take some time to think about whether they still wanted to partake in the Love Live!.
Sora mo Kokoro mo Hareru kara was performed as an insert song while everyone took to their respective houses to consider what to do next. Meeting up the next morning, the nine girls agreed that they would never manage to shine as school idols when they had not succeeded in saving their school. At this moment, the rest of the student body showed up saying that they would like for their school to be remembered through Aqours, and convinced the girls not to end their journey yet.
|In episode 8, Aqours were invited to Hakodate to attend the Hokkaido Love Live! preliminaries as guests. Before the competition, they visited Saint Snow in their dressing room. Chika accepted Sarah’s challenge to bring their best to the Love Live! finals, but Ruby noticed that something seemed to be the matter with Leah.
During Saint Snow’s performance, they made a mistake in the choreography and fell on stage, which ended up costing them their spot in the finals. When Aqours went back to their dressing room, they had already left.
The Uchiura girls went sightseeing in Hakodate, and ended up at the restaurant where Sarah and Leah worked. At dinner the sisters’ fight about Leah wanting to disband Saint Snow resurfaced. In contrast to the other Aqours members, Ruby seemed to understand Leah’s feelings, saying she probably was afraid being a school idol would not be worth it without her sister.
|09|| "Awaken the power"|
(Awaken the power)
|In episode 9, the first years told the rest of Aqours they would be staying behind for a while, neglecting to mention the actual reason they were doing so. On the plane ride home, Dia was having trouble making her peace with the idea of not having Ruby with her.
Back in Uchiura, Chika told the others how she suspected the first years might be working on something of their own. The next day, Mari recieved an email from Ruby.
Ruby and Leah finally revealed their secret to their sisters, and the rest of Aqours were acting mysteriously about also showing up in Hakodate. At the event, Saint Aqours Snow performed Awaken the power.
|10|| "Finding a Way to Shine"|
(シャイニーを探して "Shainii o Sagashite")
| In episode 10, Aqours got a visit from Saint Snow to help them practice. After Aqours switched their kimono for more appropriate practice wear, they were pushed hard by Sarah and Leah.
The guests were surprised to find out the students of Uranohoshi had failed to save their school from the merger, but were quick to show their support. Mari recieved a phone call from her parents offering her the position as director at the new school. Due to already having plans for next year she turned the offer down, making everyone aware of their limited time left together. The second years reflected on their future at a new school without the third years after seeing Sarah and Leah off.
The third years gathered the rest of Aqours for a late night drive to find shooting stars. Arriving at a plateau, the rain still had not stopped. Just as the girls wished to be together forever in spite of this, promising to work on making the sky visible, the episode concluded with the clouds clearing up to reveal a night sky full of shooting stars.
|11|| "Uranohoshi Girls' High School"|
(浦の星女学院 "Uranohoshi Jogakuin")
| In episode 11, Aqours and the rest of the students of Uranohoshi Girls’ High School were preparing for the School Closing Festival set for the next day. Chika, You and Riko set up an arch at the entrance, Mari set up a stand to serve an improved version of her Stewshine dish, and it turned out Yoshimi, Itsuki and Mutsu were the ones to suggest holding the festival.
Preparations continued, with Hanamaru and Yoshiko working together, Ruby making costumes and Dia putting aside her student council duties to focus on the event. Everything was going smoothly until Shiitake turned up at school, setting everyone back by destroying some of the decorations. To give students more time to finish preparations, Mari arranged for transport home with the help of her family.
The next day at the festival, everyone’s hard work paid off. Chika walked around school seeing Kanan and You’s underwater showcase, Ruby and Dia’s Love Live! Quiz, Yoshiko, Hanamaru and Riko’s fortune telling stand, as well as her older sisters’ serving grilled mikan. At the end of the day, Yoshimi, Itsuki and Mutsu showed an impressive balloon display.
After the festival, the students all gathered around a bonfire. Mari spoke about how much the school had meant to her, and ended up voicing her regret about not being able to save it through tears. The student body cheered her up by showing their support for Aqours through a chant, and finally they all sang together.
|12|| "Sea of Light"|
(光の海 "Hikari no Umi")
| In episode 12, the members of Aqours met up at school, and set off toward the Love Live! Final in Tokyo. Arriving in Tokyo, the girls headed to Kanda Shrine, where they prayed for good fortune in the competition and realized many other school idols had done the same. Before leaving, they met Saint Snow, and Sarah asked Chika if they wanted to win the Love Live!.
Back at the inn, they started a pillow fight to take their thoughts off of the upcoming performance. Chika, You and Riko decided that come tomorrow they would all go their separate ways before meeting up at the venue.
In the morning, Chika asked the other members of Aqours if they wanted to win the Love Live!. After going on their respective excursions, the second years ended up where it all started: in front of UTX High School. Finally, all nine girls ran toward the concert as a group, and did one final Aqours chant together before performing WATER BLUE NEW WORLD at the Love Live!.
|13|| "Our Own Radiance"|
(私たちの輝き "Watashitachi no Kagayaki")
| In episode 13, the day had finally come for the combined graduation and school closing ceremony. Before heading to school, Riko introduced her new dog to Chika, who in turn showed Shiitake’s new puppies.
Dia was surprised to find out Mari had arranged for the students to paint farewell messages on the school walls, and the student body arrived at the ceremony splattered with paint. Mari handed out diplomas to the graduating students, and Dia held a speech as student council president. To conclude the ceremony, Aqours announced their Love Live! victory, and Aozora Jumping Heart was used as an insert song.
Afterwards, Aqours and the other students went around the school to close doors and finish saying their goodbyes, to each other and to the school. You and Riko were in the music room, Yoshiko, Hanamaru and Ruby in their classroom, Kanan and Dia in Mari’s office giving her her diploma, and Chika closed the door to the club room. Finally, Chika was about to break down in tears as she was closing the school gates, but received help from her friends.
Some time later, Chika went to the school auditorium and found Aqours, including the third years who had come back to sing together one last time. For their last performance, Aqours sang WONDERFUL STORIES.
- She wore pigtails as a child, as seen on Season 1 Episode 2 and the HAPPY PARTY TRAIN PV.
- In real life, Riko's home is based on an apartment next to Yasudaya Ryokan. There is actually a road between the two buildings which had their distance shortened in the anime.
- Unlike the other members of Aqours, Riko wears a slightly longer skirt in her school uniform.
- In Season 2 Episode 5, Yoshiko calls her Lili/Lily/Riri as mentioned in the Dengeki G's November 2016 prose story. Her little demon name Lili/Lily (or Riri due to phonetic change) is named after "Lilith", a character in Jewish mythology and is often envisioned as a dangerous demon of the night. Riri is the double pronunciation of the first syllable of her first name.
- Please refer to this character's Image Gallery.