Hatsuboshi Gakuen The Idolmaster characters including Mao Arimura
Image courtesy of Bandai Namco

These Gakuen Idolmaster Characters Will Appear at Launch

Hatsuboshi Gakuen: The Idolmaster will feature characters who train to become performer idols. Each character will have different ability levels and personalities, and it will be up to the player to improve their vocals, dances, and expressions as a producer.

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When Bandai Namco first unveiled Gakuen Idolmaster in March 2024, it revealed nine playable characters but only added details to three of them: Saki Hanami, Temari Tsukimura, and Kotone Fujita. The company gradually revealed the names of the remaining six characters.

Rinami Himesaki (voiced by Yuri Usui) is a third-year student who is also the student council’s secretary. She has the natural disposition of an elder sister, but she lost her confidence after her previous unit tried to depict her as a younger sister.

Sumika Shiun (voiced by Miya Minato) is a cheery girl who can get along with anyone but often slacks off on her studies. She used to participate in international ballet competitions, but an accident caused an injury that hampered her progress.

Hiro Shinosawa (voiced by Reina Kawamura) is a mysterious genius who perfected academic exams and has already graduated from university but scored zero in practical skills. She somehow enjoys attending lessons that do not suit her at all.

Lilja Katsuragi (voiced by Kana Hanaiwa) is a half-Swedish girl who aspires to become an idol despite her lack of experience in singing and dancing. She is also close friends with Sumika, who used to study ballet in Sweden.

China Kuramoto (voiced by Mao Ito) is a girl from a wealthy family who aspires to become an idol despite having the lowest performance skills compared to all other students.

The ninth and last playable character at launch will be Mao Arimura (voiced by Tsumugi Nanase). The third-year student is also Rinami’s classmate and the superintendent of Hatsuboshi Academy’s Idol major dormitory. She aspires to become a “cool prince” idol, as she was also inspired by opera troupes.

However, these nine characters will not be the only ones to appear in the game. During the NicoNico Chokaigi 2024 event, Bandai Namco revealed three more characters who will appear as NPC rivals at launch. They will also play important roles in the game’s storylines with close connections to the initial playable characters in Gakuen Idolmaster.

Ume Hanami (voiced by Ayane Matsuda) is Saki’s younger sister who managed to enroll in Hatsuboshi Academy by filling a vacant slot. She also used to be an athlete with superior physical abilities like her sister.

Misuzu Hataya (voiced by Non Harusaki) is Temari’s childhood friend who also used to belong to the same idol unit as the latter.

Sena Juo (voiced by Mashiro Hitaka) is the granddaughter of Hatsuboshi Academy’s headmaster Kunio Juo. She also assumes the position of the student council’s president. Sena will primarily appear in Kotone Fujita’s story.

Bandai Namco wrapped up the new content reveals with a new universal song titled “Hajime” (Start). While each playable idol also has their own unique songs, all of them will be able to perform this song at launch.

Hatsuboshi Gakuen: The Idolmaster will be available for iOS and Android mobile devices in Japan in Spring 2024.

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Kite Stenbuck
Kite is a Japanese translator and avid gamer from Indonesia, Southeast Asia who learned the language mostly by playing Japanese games from the PS1 era. He primarily translates news about Japanese games and anime straight from Japan. After initially starting with a focus on Dynasty Warriors communities from the mid-2000s, he eventually joined Siliconera in 2020. Other than Dynasty Warriors, Kite is also a big fan of Ace Combat and other games featuring mechs, especially Gundam.