The Love Live! School Idol Project mixed media franchise has seen many iterations so far, and shows no sign of stopping. Starting with the original series focusing on µ’s, the series then switched focus to Love Live! Sunshine! which centers on Aqours. With the announcement of the Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS mobile game came yet another group: Nijigasaki High School Idol Club, which eventually became the third iteration and got their own anime series. Not long after, Love Live! Superstar!! came about, focusing on a new group: Liella!
These groups all followed the same general formula – they each have 2 anime seasons (as of now), they’ve all held concerts starring the characters’ seiyuu, and they all had songs and story segments in at least one of the LL mobile games. It was time for something a little different.
With the vtuber boom that started largely as a result of people being stuck home thanks to the 2020 pandemic, LL staff realized they wanted a piece of that pie. Enter Hasunosora Girls’ High School Idol Club, a group of “virtual school idols.”
That’s right, “virtual school idols,” not vtubers. That’s because Hasunosora is a bit different from a vtuber group, as there are several key differences:
- The real-life voice actresses behind the characters are publicly known and not kept secret
- Streams are held within their own smartphone app, called Link! Like! Love Live! (Japan only)
- There’s a larger focus on music (this is still Love Live!, after all)
- So far there hasn’t been any focus on gaming, unlike most popular vtubers
Students, Seiyuu, Subunits, And Songs
Currently there are 6 characters in Hasunosora. They make up 3 subunits, 2 characters each. From left to right in the image above, they are:
- Kaho Hinoshita, a 1st year “genki” type character. Looks and acts a lot like Chika from Aqours, and that’s a good thing.
She is portrayed by Nozomi Nirei, or “Nonsuke.”
- Kozue Otomune, a 2nd year honor student who’s really into music.
She is portrayed by Nina Hanamiya, or “Ui-chan.”
- Sayaka Murano, a 1st year student who’s a bit of a perfectionist, likes to help others, and can be a bit airheaded.
She is portrayed by Kokona Nonaka, or “Nassuchan.”
- Tsuzuri Yugiri, a 2nd year student who speaks quietly and seems shy, but is actually very friendly.
She is portrayed by Kokoto Sasaki, or “Kocchan.”
- Rurino Osawa, a 1st year who’s studied abroad in California. She’s often happy and full of energy, but enters a “dead battery state” when she runs low.
She is portrayed by Kanna Kan, or “Kankan.”
- Megumi Fujishima, a 2nd year who’s been in the entertainment industry since she was young.
She is portrayed by Kona Tsukine, or “Konachi.”
A photo of the seiyuu, also from left to right as listed above:
Kaho and Kozue make up the unit Cerise Bouquet (スリーズブーケ). They have 6 songs out so far, with their debut title being “Suisai Sekai:”
Sayaka and Yugiri make up DOLLCHESTRA. They also have 6 songs, with their debut title being “AWOKE:”
Finally, we have Rurino and Megumi who form Mira-Cra Park! (みらくらぱーく!) They have 2 songs, and their debut title is “Do! Do! Do!:”
How Can I Participate?
That’s the tricky part. So far, aside from the music, not much about Hasunosora has been accessible to overseas fans. The streams are held within the Link! Like! Love Live! smartphone app, which is region locked to Japan. You can obtain the app on Android via an APK store or on iOS by creating a Japanese Apple account, but even then there’s the language barrier. And since most of the content is streamed in real-time, subtitles aren’t an option.
Some content is put onto the group’s official YouTube channel. Songs, live performance recordings (some by the 3D character models, some by the seiyuu), and show clips are there, but without subtitles. The musical content is easy enough to enjoy without knowing Japanese. As for show content, the ever-diligent Team ONIBE has set up a new channel for Hasunosora content. So far they’ve subtitled 2 of the “Ready, set, Hasunosora!” episodes. Here’s episode 1:
I wish Love Live! staff would put more effort into reaching overseas fans with this project. I feel it has a lot of potential that’s being wasted by there being such little attempt to reach us. For one, they could add subtitles to the clips on YouTube. Secondly, they could simply remove the region lock on the app. Yes, there’s a language barrier, but it’s better than nothing, and I see no reason for the app to be region locked.
Maybe more fans will take up the torch and release subtitled clips on YouTube. And when that happens, let’s hope LL staff allows it.
For now, we have the music content. A livestream of their recent live event “Bloom the Dream” was made accessible to fans overseas, and most of their songs are on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, so we aren’t being completely ignored. But there is more they could be doing, and while I’m not going to lose sleep over it, it still would be nice.
The best thing you can do is show LL staff that you care. If you watch LL concert streams, fill out the surveys at the end and ask for more subtitled Hasunosora content. Ask for the app to be made available overseas. Tweet at the official account in English (they have translators) and tell them you want to learn more about Hasunosora. Buy merch if that interests you.
As of now, no anime project is announced for Hasunosora, but I would say it’s almost a certainty given Love Live!‘s history. Their next major live concert event is scheduled for October 21-22, 2023. If you can’t make it to Japan to see them in person, consider purchasing the live stream when it becomes available. You can find all the info you need about that here.
Thanks for reading, and please support Hasunosora!