2nd years || 1st years || 3rd years || Kitashirayama Academy
I've talked about Agency Idols a bunch now and also about Kairi, but this verse does actually have a main group, SOUNDSCAPE. I've mentioned some of their members before ... a few months ago ... and I never actually got around to introducing all of them ... so I'm doing it again, this time with edits because they're faster to do than drawings. starting with the 2nd years! (a school post will follow up once they're all done, I think ... for now all you need to know is that it's a school focused on the fine arts, especially music.)
from left to right, we have: the protagonist, Kise Kanae (Smile); the choir singer turned idol, Izayoi Rondo (Cool); the rich one, Akizaka Hotaru (Pure).
Kanae loves the feeling of being on stage and performing more than anything. ever since she was a child, she's found the sparkle of the stage to be incomparable to anything else. that is, until she watched shooting st☆r perform live in her 3rd year of junior high school and felt that familiar sensation she'd only ever had performing herself. ever since then, she's been trying to find a way to make other people feel the same way, eventually ending up trying to make an idol group alongside her friend Yuuko. she's a happy and friendly girl, but not quite as peppy as her fellow Love Live genki girls - instead she, beyond the usual exciteability, has a certain sense of melancholy and a deep appreciation for her art. she's quick to make friends with others and very open to new ideas, and has been lauded for her stage presence and exceptionally stable and multifaceted singing voice by teachers and fellow students alike. even so, this whole idol thing is pretty new for her and she's relatively slow to pick up new skills, so she relies on the others a lot. unlike the other protagonists, her being a centre tends to be more of a special occasion because of this.
Rondo initially just joined the "vocal club" (as their idol club poses to get away with being an idol club in a school that does not want an idol club) because she assumed it was a club for individual singing rather than a choir, which she enjoyed, but ended up finding too stifling. well, that and her protegée, 1st yr Aya, really wanted to join this club and Rondo was worried for her. she wasn't that on board with the idol activities at first, but figured it was at least better than just singing what the choir director tells her to, so she let herself get swept along - much to the dismay of 1st yr Mariko, a perfectionist with whom she often clashes over their conflicting work ethics. (they're in the same subunit with Kanae, who really gets worried whenever they fight, please help her--) she's not really a tsundere, but she does have a tendency to get sarcastic or dry when she doesn't like something. think Misaki from BanDori. it takes her a long time to warm up to how seriously everyone else treats what she thinks of as just a fun little hobby, but when she does, she starts putting her all into it and not only helps making the outfits, but also enhances their songs with techniques she picked up at choir. the fact that they have a song with nine-part sections is entirely her fault, and the others minus Mariko may or may not have cursed her out for it, but hey, sure sets them apart from the other idol groups ...
Hotaru initially helped out the club behind the scenes when it was just starting out, but ended up joining when Kanae heard her sing on the stage in a moment where she thought she was alone and asked her to join. Hotaru is an honour student and rich, very rich, and lived a pretty sheltered life, thusly having a hard time doing simple things sometimes and still having to learn to value people over money or material things. she's by no means a bad person, but the impact of living in the high society while also only having attended schools and events that her parents found worthy of her sure left its mark. Kitashirayama is the first school she ever attended that wasn't filled only with people of equal social status, so now she's trying to attempt more things and break out of her bubble, to varying degrees of success. truth be told, she doesn't really believe in herself beyond studying, as she's met with a bunch of failures she never really learned how to deal with ... but Kanae, who befriended her when they ended up next to each other in class, and the other girls of SOUNDSCAPE are patient with her and try to guide her a little.