It was almost 10 years ago when I discovered Love Live! and by extension the School Idol Festival mobile game. Koizumi Hanayo quickly became my favorite character, and so I set out with a simple goal: Make dedicated all-Hanayo teams while also avoiding whaling. It was both a way to show my fandom and to set a fairly concrete goal that I could dedicate my gacha pulls to.
In 2015, I achieved the first step in a long road: a Hanayo Team consisting of all unique versions. Now, in 2023, I have crossed what I consider to be my final finish line: Three all-Hanayo teams with every member an idolized and legit Ultra-Rare (as opposed to free-giveaway URs that have less power as a result).
I have, in my own way, “beaten” Love Live! School Idol Festival, and can finally lay this game to rest—at least until the recently announced Love Live! School Idol Festival 2 shows up. Will I even play the sequel? And if I do, will I maybe dedicate myself to a different character, like Love Live! Superstar!!’s Wakana Shiki? Whatever the case, it’s the end of an era.
Happy Birthday, Hanayo. It’s been fun to cheer for such an intensely passionate character of contrasts, and it’ll continue to be amazing.