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Key visual for the first season of the anime
GenreMusic, idol[1]
Created by
Video game
Data Carddass Aikatsu!
GenreCollectible card game
ReleasedOctober 2012
Anime television series
Directed byRyūichi Kimura
Produced byYōsuke Imai
Hatsuo Nara (S1)
Ryuta Wakanabe (S1–2)
Nobuyuki Hosoya (S2–4)
Takanori Itō (S2–4)
Written byYōichi Katō
Music bymonaca
StudioSunrise (#1-126)
Telecom Animation Film (#1-52)
BN Pictures (#127-178)
Original networkTXN (TV Tokyo), BS TV Tokyo, AT-X
Original run October 8, 2012 March 31, 2016
Episodes178 (List of episodes)
Further information
Written byBanbi Shirayuki
Published byShogakukan
Original runDecember 2012 – present
Written byShiori Kanaki
Illustrated byAkane
Published byShogakukan
DemographicKodomo, shōjo
Original runJanuary 2013 – present
Light novel
Written bySunrise, Bandai, Yōichi Katō
Illustrated byKyō Nagiri
Published byShogakukan
ImprintCiao Novels
PublishedAugust 8, 2013
Anime film
Aikatsu! The Movie
Directed by
  • Ryūichi Kimura[a]
  • Yuichiro Yano
Written byYōichi Katō
Music bymonaca
ReleasedDecember 13, 2014
Runtime89 minutes[3]
Anime film
Aikatsu! Music Awards - The Show Where Everyone Gets an Award!
Directed byShinya Watada
Written byYōichi Katō
Music bymonaca
StudioBN Pictures
ReleasedAugust 22, 2015
Runtime56 minutes
Anime film
Aikatsu! The Targeted Magical Aikatsu Card
Directed byRyūichi Kimura
Written byYōichi Katō
Music bymonaca
StudioBN Pictures
ReleasedAugust 13, 2016[b]
Runtime27 minutes
Anime film
Aikatsu! 10th Story ~Starway to the Future~
Directed byRyūichi Kimura
Written byYōichi Katō
Music bymonaca
StudioBN Pictures
ReleasedJuly 15, 2022 (short film)[c]
January 20, 2023 (feature film)
Runtime25 minutes (short film)
72 minutes (feature film)
Video games
  • Aikatsu! (Data Carddass, 2012)
  • Aikatsu! Cinderella Lesson (Nintendo 3DS, 2012)
  • Aikatsu! Futari no My Princess (Nintendo 3DS, 2013)
  • Aikatsu! 365-Hi no Idol Days (Nintendo 3DS, 2014)
  • Aikatsu! My No.1 Stage! (Nintendo 3DS, 2015)
  • Aikatsu! Fashion Coordinator Card (App, 2015)
  • Aikatsu! Music Video Maker (App, 2015)
  • Aikatsu! Photo on Stage (App, 2018)
Other series
icon Anime and manga portal

Aikatsu! or Aikatsu! Idol Activity (アイカツ! アイドルカツドウ, Aikatsu! Aidoru Katsudō!) is an arcade collectible card game in Bandai's Data Carddass line of machines, which launched in October 2012.[4] The game revolves around using collectible cards featuring various clothes to help aspiring idols pass auditions. An anime television adaptation by Sunrise began airing on TV Tokyo from October 8, 2012 to March 31, 2016.[5][6] In 2015, production switched from Sunrise to the studio's subsidiary Bandai Namco Pictures. Four films were released in December 2014, August 2015, August 2016, and January 2023 respectively. Three manga adaptations have been published by Shogakukan, along with four Nintendo 3DS games published by Bandai Namco Games. The series was succeeded by Aikatsu Stars! on April 7, 2016.


The series takes place at Starlight Academy (スターライト学園, Sutāraito Gakuen), a prestigious school with both middle and high branches, where girls train to become idols and take part in various auditions such as live shows, fashion shows, and dramas. To participate in these auditions, players use Aikatsu cards, special cards which contain digitized dresses and accessories from various manufacturers that are used in their auditions. How well they succeed is often dependent on choosing the right combination of cards. The video games cast players in the role of a new student, who must train to become an idol and reach the top.

The anime series follows a girl named Ichigo Hoshimiya, who becomes inspired by a performance by top idol Mizuki Kanzaki and enrolls in Starlight Academy alongside her best friend, Aoi Kiriya. Along with their classmate, Ran Shibuki, Ichigo and Aoi spend each day training for auditions and aiming to become top idols.

The second season starts with Ichigo returning from America to Starlight Academy, as she now befriends and competes with the students from a new idol school, Dream Academy, which has Seira Otoshiro and her fellow idols.

The third season focuses on a new generation, featuring Akari Ōzora, a young girl chosen by Ichigo to join Starlight Academy, and her friends. They do their best in both the Partner's Cup & the Great Starlight School Festival.

The fourth season centers around Akari's new unit with Sumire Hikami and Hinaki Shinjo, Luminas, going on a nationwide tour and meeting with idols from all over Japan. With these meetings, it prepares them for the big event - The Starlight Queen Cup.


Aikatsu Cards (アイカツ!カード, Aikatsu Kādo)
Aikatsu Cards are cards that contain digitised clothes which are worn by idols during performances and auditions. They are divided into four categories: Tops, Bottoms, Shoes and Accessories, with some cards, such as one piece dresses, eliminating the need for others. The clothes come from various types of brands and have varying degrees of rarity. Although most clothes come in specific coordinations, players are also able to mix and match different cards to find a good combination.
Student Cards (学生証, Gakuseishō)
A student ID that represents a student of Starlight Academy, Dream Academy, Himezakura Private Girls' Academy or Étoile Academy and is required to access the Aikatsu System. In the arcade game, these are IC Cards used to store a player's history and create original characters.
In the actual arcade game, student cards are represented by Data Carddass (DCD) System's IC cards with Starlight Academy pattern. Players may use DCD IC cards to save gameplay and create avatar character.
Aikatsu System (アイカツシステム, Aikatsu Shisutemu)
The system in which Aikatsu Cards are utilised. When performing in an audition or performance, idols step through a dressing room, which requires them to insert their student pass and choice of Aikatsu Cards, where they put on their selected clothes. The stage they walk on is largely digitised, providing various holographic displays and special effects during the performance and allowing people to participate in the audience via online streaming. The system reads the emotions of spectators, along with the online spectators, to rate each idols performance, which determines their success during auditions.
Aikatsu Phone (アイカツフォン, Aikatsu Fon)
A handheld phone issued to each student of Starlight Academy. As well as providing various smartphone functions, such as calls, maps and a social network service, the Aikatsu Phone allows students to schedule and apply for auditions, as well as store and utilise their Aikatsu Cards for various purposes, such as holographically trying out coords. There are also a set of lights that are lit up when a student achieves a symbol pertaining to a certain idol quality.
Special Appeal (スペシャルアピール, Supesharu Apīru)
A Special Appeal is a technique that is used during a performance, bring an illusion the stage. The types of appeal that can be performed vary depending on the types of clothes worn. Normally, idols are only able to perform a maximum of two or three Special Appeals during a performance, but Mizuki has been able to perform four, which considered to be Legends.
Brands (ブランド, Burando)
Fashion companies, each managed by a top designer, who design clothes for idols and convert them into Aikatsu Cards that can be used by the Aikatsu System. There are nineteen known brands in the first series: Angely Sugar, Futuring Girl, Spicy Ageha, Happy Rainbow, LoLi GoThiC, Aurora Fantasy, Love Queen, Magical Toy, Swing ROCK, Bohemian Sky, Vivid Kiss, Love Moonrise, Dreamy Crown, Sangria Rosa, Sakurairo Kaden, Dance Fusion, Retro Clover, Dolly Devil and Mecha PaniQ.
Constellation System (星座システム, Seiza Shisutemu)[5]
The brand new line of dresses made from the top designers who teamed up to come up with it. A Constellation Appeal is a technique that is used during a performance like a Special Appeal but is only performed when wearing Constellation dresses. This is performed when the performer has maxed out the audience's voltage meter before they can perform the appeal.


Video games[edit]

The Aikatsu! arcade game from Bandai began appearing in Japanese arcades from October 2012 as part of its Data Carddass line. The game revolves around using collectible cards to help idols pass their auditions. A handheld title, Aikatsu! Cinderella Lesson (アイカツ! シンデレラレッスン, Aikatsu! Shinderera Ressun), was released for the Nintendo 3DS on November 15, 2012.[7] A second 3DS game, titled Aikatsu! Futari no My Princess (アイカツ!2人のmy princess, Aikatsu! My Two Princesses), released on November 21, 2013.[8] A third 3DS game, titled Aikatsu! 365-Nichi no Idol Days (アイカツ!365日のアイドルデイズ, Aikatsu! 365-Nichi no Aidoru Deizu), released on December 4, 2014. A fourth 3DS game, titled Aikatsu! My No.1 Stage! (アイカツ!My No.1 Stage!), released on November 26, 2015.


An anime television series produced by Sunrise began airing on TV Tokyo from October 8, 2012, replacing Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal in its initial timeslot.[9][10] A second season began airing from October 3, 2013, with a third to begin airing in October 2014.[5][11] Daisuki began streaming the series from September 4, 2014.[12] Sunrise's director, Masayuki Ozaki, has stated Aikatsu may be considered for a US release if fans are vocal enough about it.[13]


An animated film based on the series was released on December 13, 2014.[14]

A second film, Aikatsu! Music Awards - The Show Where Everyone Gets an Award!, was released on August 22, 2015.[15]

Drama CD[edit]

A Drama CD, Aikatsu! Great Starmiya Ichigo Festival: After-party Special!, was released alongside Aikatsu! The Movie.


Aikatsu! Music Festa 2017
Celebration flowers from production staffs in AIKATSU☆STARS! Aikatsu! Special LIVE 2015 Lovely Party!!

The series contains a variety of theme songs and insert songs. Many of the songs are composed and arranged by Monoca, and performed by members of the Japanese idol group Star Anis and Aikatsu Stars who provide the singing voices for the characters.

Printed media[edit]

A manga adaption, published by Shogakukan and illustrated by Bambi Shirayuki, was serialized in Ciao.[16]


Rebecca Silverman from Anime News Network (ANN) commented that the anime series is "really a half-hour commercial for a card game aimed at elementary-aged girls, or at least it seems that way", but despite this she noted "there's something fun about this show and its toy-bright colors". Silverman said Aikatsu! is a show for someone "looking for some brainless fun with a toe-tapping yet saccharine soundtrack, you're a seven-year-old girl, or if you just really like the color pink".[17] Theron Martin also from ANN described it as "essentially a complement to a like-named card game aimed at teen and preteen girls".[18] ANN's Carlo Santos agreed that it's a commercial-like anime, but also criticized the animation, saying the "quality is barely enough to get by, and the character designs look oddly outdated."[19] Carl Kimlinger's opinion was less negative as he said Aikatsu! "isn't terrible by any stretch, but it doesn't make even a desultory effort to differentiate itself from the dozens of other shows that use aspiring idols to sell games and figurines and god knows what else" and that "character designs also have a lovely shōjo flavor, and the whole series looks just as pink and pretty as can be." He finished telling it will be "a highly tolerable diversion" for those who like this kind of anime.[20]

The film earned ¥172,727,250 at the Japanese box office on its first weekend.[21] As of February 21, 2016, it had grossed US$782,739 in South Korea.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Credited as Chief Director (総監督, Sō Kantoku)
  2. ^ Double-billed with Aikatsu Stars! The Movie
  3. ^ Double-billed with Aikatsu Planet! The Movie


  1. ^ "Anime Spotlight: AIKATSU!". Anime News Network. October 3, 2012.
  2. ^ 金髪に反対意見もあった。四六時中「アイカツ!」のことを考えている「アイカツ!開発女子会」1 p.2 (in Japanese), Excite Japan, December 27, 2014
  3. ^ "劇場版アイカツ!" [Aikatsu! The Movie]. eiga.com (in Japanese). Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  4. ^ ""『アイカツ!』プロジェクト記者発表会 板野友美もハマる! 一大プロジェクトの概要が明らかに"". Famitsu. Oct 2, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "10月3日より新たなアツいアイドルカツドウが始まるよ!! – 特集". aikatsu.com. August 16, 2013. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "Aikatsu! Idol Card TV Anime's Cast, Staff Announced". Anime News Network. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  7. ^ "『アイカツ! シンデレラレッスン』目指せ学園ナンバーワン! アイドル活動="アイカツ!"しよ! - ファミ通.com". Famitsu.com. 2012-08-09. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  8. ^ "アイカツ!2人のmy princess(マイプリンセス) | バンダイナムコゲームス公式サイト". Bandai Namco Games. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  9. ^ "Sunrise's Aikatsu Slated for Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal's Timeslot". Anime News Network. 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
  10. ^ "Aikatsu! Anime Slated for Gintama's Timeslot". Anime News Network. 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
  11. ^ "Shino Shimoji, Yu Wakui, Yui Ishikawa Star in New Aikatsu TV Anime". Anime News Network. 24 May 2023.
  12. ^ "Daisuki to Stream Aikatsu! TV Anime". Anime News Network. 24 May 2023.
  13. ^ "Sunrise". Anime News Network. 24 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Aikatsu Franchise Gets Film in December". Anime News Network. February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "Aikatsu! Music Award: Minna de Shō o MoraimaSHOW! Anime Film Unveiled". Anime News Network. May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  16. ^ "ナゾトキ姫×名探偵コナン、ちゃおにゲームコミック掲載". Natalie (in Japanese). May 1, 2013.
  17. ^ "Rebecca Silverman". Anime News Network. October 1, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  18. ^ "Theron Martin". Anime News Network. October 1, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  19. ^ "Carlo Santos". Anime News Network. October 1, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  20. ^ "Carl Kimlinger". Anime News Network. October 1, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  21. ^ "Japan Box Office Report – 12/13~12/14". tokyohive. 6Theory Media, LLC. December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  22. ^ "Aikatsu! The Movie". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 28, 2016.

External links[edit]