|Japanese Air Date||April 5, 2018|
|Episode Director||Kōshō Fujī|
|Animation Director||Risa Miyatani|
|Opening||Thank You⇄It'll Be Alright|
|Insert Song||Aikatsu Friends!|
|← N/A||The Invincible Love Me Tear☆ →|
Hello Friends! (ハローフレンズ！) is the first episode of the Aikatsu Friends! anime series. It aired on April 5th, 2018.
Aine Yūki is a girl who attends Star Harmony Academy's normal division. The spring break before her second year of middle school, she meets the academy's top idol, Mio Minato. Aine, who's good at making friends, immediately hits it off with Mio, but under Mio's request, they are to stand together on an Aikatsu! stage...!?
One day while running home with groceries, Aine is greeted by her friends. She stops for a second and once they deduce she is in the middle of errands, she suggests they hang out before heading for home.
Upon arrival, she hands the items over before getting to work picking strawberries. Enticed by their freshness, she sneakily tries to eat one- only to realize she has been put under the watchful eye of Penne; the penguin mascot of the family. She asks that he doesn't tell and returns inside to tell her parents about her trip to the market, explaining how she was given extra due to befriending their daughter. Her parents happily compliment how easily she makes friends as she begins to update her Friend Album. She wants to make a million friends, and school will be starting soon- suddenly, the Penguin Cafe gets a call. Her mother asks her to make the delivery and Aine takes off after they prepare the requested item.
While admiring the scenery Aine makes her way to the delivery site. She unknowingly interrupts a group of people preparing for work and asks them where she can find someone by the name of "Minato", and a woman approaches. She expresses disappointment over "that girl" ordering on her own again, confusing Aine until someone calls for Tamaki, the woman. Before walking away she asks Aine to take the order over to the nearby woods, where the girl was last seen heading.
In the woods, Aine looks around and happens to spot a girl standing nearby, radiant as she admires the tall trees. Aine greets her and is taken aback before running up to her with the order, wondering why she looks so surprised. The girl explains that because she is currently on break, she was hoping lunch would arrive soon, and once Aine determines that she is the person she was looking for, they sit down together and say the name of the item together, much to their surprise. The girl takes a bite and compliments the sandwich, giving elaborate praise as Aine thanks her and explains how it is the Cafe's specialty; but they have a lot of other good food too. Pleased with her order, the girl decides to order from there again sometime, but before they can chat Aine realizes the time and takes off.
In her hurry, she forgets to bill the girl as Tamaki tries to stop her to bring this up. But when Aine isn't able to hear them, the girl decides to personally apologize and pay them a visit later. She returns to work and changes clothing, posing with a bag before she requests they exchange it for one of a different color. They agree, and everyone admires the decision because it looks a lot better now.
After the shoot, the girl prepares to go when Tamaki reminds her that they will need to find a partner for her next show. The girl expresses confusion until Tamaki explains that everyone is required to enter in pairs; but because it's a one-time event, it doesn't really matter who she picks, although the girl finds that unacceptable. Tamaki asks if she had anyone in mind, and the girl admits that she doesn't. Forming a Friends unit means binding both members Aikatsu together, and she doesn't want to waste a single opportunity to find someone to reach the level of Diamond Friends. For the time being, she decides it would be better to figure it out on her own, and Tamaki agrees. She suggests to the girl that she tries to find someone she may not have normally considered, as it could be an enlightening experience.
Later, the girl heads to Penguin Cafe while wondering if she's at the right place when suddenly, she hears yelling and finds children being chased by Aine, all brandishing fake swords as they quickly hide around her. Aine is horrified after she accidentally, gently taps the girl with her fake sword and profusely apologizes before taking the girl nearby to sit for a moment. The girl hands Aine the funds she forgot to pay, with Aine apologizing again for inconveniencing her like this because she got so distracted, but the girl claims she doesn't mind. She goes on to introduce herself as Mio, and Aine tells her of her own name as the children approach them again, asking to resume their game of Cops and Robbers.
Aine finds herself unable to resist and complains over how hard they are to catch. But with Mio there she asks her to join them, and after a moment of hesitation, she agrees. The girls watch the little boys begin to run around on the playground below and without a second thought, Aine uses the nearby railing to slide down the stairs to reach them, with Mio joining her at a slower pace. She finds the unique ride to be fun and with little to no effort, she outruns the boy nearby. She stops him before joining Aine to surround the second boy and soon end the game with the capture of the third boy.
For the millionth time Aine apologize for involving Mio like this as the boys run off to play again. Mio insists she doesn't mind, because it's been a few years since she really got to play like that, and she had a lot of fun. She isn't able to say more though, when she suddenly gets a call. To give Mio some space, Aine walks off to talk to the little boys and suggests they return home for snack before noticing how frustrated Mio looks. She returns to ask if something happened, then offers to help in anyway she can because they are now friends. For a moment Mio is confused and asks about this, and Aine explains that because she played with her little brother and his friends, this is her way of thanking her. She claims Mio can ask her anything, and Mio thinks about Tamaki's words from earlier, realizing that Aine may very well be this person. Inspired, she starts by bringing up the big favor she has to ask, but she warns her that it will require a lot of effort and time. Aine doesn't hesitate to accept and insists she is fine with it, only to express shock after Mio asks her to Aikatsu with her.
That evening, Aine and her mother are preparing dinner while her sisters go crazy over the Idol Unit on television. The girls introduce themselves as Karen and Mirai, the members of Love Me Tear. Aine is scolded for her ignorance when she doesn't appear to know who they are, and her sisters begin to fill her in on how popular the unit is. Not only are they popular on AiTube, but they have also obtained legendary Diamond Friend status. As they fawn over their gorgeous dresses Aine remains confused and she helps bring the meal items to the table. Her brother curiously asks if any Idols attend her school, finding it strange that she couldn't know anything about Love Me Tear, but Aine claims that she doesn't have any friends in the Idol courses at school since it's in another building.
However, she did make her first Idol friend: Mio Minato. The news shocks her sisters and bring up that Mio is a Top Idol within the school right now. As Aine nonchalantly brings up how Mio asked her to perform in a show with her, they try to refuse acknowledgement, finding it beyond strange she would ask Aine of all people to do Aikatsu. But Aine stubbornly refuses to take back her decision because she wants to help her new friend. She will do everything she can to help her out.
Meanwhile, Tamaki has been reviewing information related to Aine and expresses doubt. She asks why she would chose her, a student not even in the Idol courses when she has countless Idols dying to partner with her, but after Mio claims to have "had a spark", she decides to trust her. Especially since they no longer have the time to look for someone else.
With the time they have remaining the girls quickly get to training the following day. Aine is quick to find herself overwhelmed as they jog and do several push-ups, only continuing as Mio pushes her and inspires her by telling her to shout "Aikatsu!". She keeps working until she can no longer, stopping at one-hundred push-ups- only to react with horror upon finding out Mio has done eight-hundred, and now they need to stretch, work on vocalization, voice training, dance lessons, and several other activities. Mio reminds Aine of what she said, but takes the time to offer her advice as they continue to train.
Soon the sun begins to set and Aine collapses with exhaustion. Mio returns with a drink for her and brings up that her offer was genuine and serious, and how tough Aikatsu can actually be. She believes they can become great friends though. Aine is delighted to hear this, and realizing how faithful Mio is in her encourages her to keep going.
Eventually the event arrives and Aine stiffly walks along with Mio as several fawn over her. As they are led to their waiting room, Aine's family is shown in the audience, excitedly waiting for the performance to begin. Tamaki reveals the outfits she got for the girls, and Aine is quickly taken by them as the two explain the images meant to be given with the Pink and Blue Link coords and how they complete the balance between them by using accent colors from the other girls dress. Happily Aine takes the cards and admires Mio's beautiful collection of coords she has worn in the past, which she keeps in a binder she carries around. She compares it to her Friend Album and explains her dream of making a million friends someday, when a man joins them to inform the girls that they will be starting shortly. Tamaki wishes them luck and heads off to the audience.
Soon it becomes apparent that Aine is extremely nervous and Mio suggests that she thinks of something that will make her smile. Initially Aine doesn't understand, until Mio brings up that it could be food- surprising the girls again when they both suddenly say "a tomato, basil, and cheese special sandwich". After sharing a laugh Mio asks Aine if she feels better, and Aine confirms that she does. She is really happy they have become friends, with Mio agreeing before they exchange a few words of encouragement and head off to change. They appear on stage and perform "Aikatsu Friends!".
After the performance, Mio returns to another room and thinks about how wonderful their performance went. Aine managed to pass her expectations- with Tamaki agreeing as she joins her. Despite this being their first time performing together they managed to pull off a Friends Appeal. They remained in perfect sync the entire song as well, causing Mio to get lost in her thoughts momentarily.
Outside Aine thinks about the performance while observing a group of birds nearby. She is left with a warm feeling as she recalls her friends and family cheering for her in the audience, and how she felt to be with Mio on the stage; feelings she retells to Mio when she joins her. She didn't think they would really like it, and now she sees how amazing Idols are. Mio agrees and brings up that if she was to become an Idol, she will gain more friends in the form of her cards and the cheering fans.
Suddenly, she pauses and claims that Aine's dream won't be just a dream any longer. She asks Aine to join her as a permanent Idol, and after expressing a moment of surprise, Aine quickly accepts. In the distance, a bell rings.
Some time later, Aine is shown to have updated her journal to include an entry of their performance.
- Aine Yūki
- Mio Minato
- Tamaki Enjōji
- Masamune Yūki
- Nene Yūki
- Yoshitsune Yūki
- Momone Yūki
- Suzune Yūki
- Kazune Yūki
- Karen Kamishiro
- Mirai Asuka
- This episode marks the series premiere of the Aikatsu Friends! series.
- This episode marks the debut of protagonists Aine Yūki and Mio Minato, along with the following secondary characters: Tamaki Enjōji, Masamune Yūki, Nene Yūki, Yoshitsune Yūki, Momone Yūki, Suzune Yūki, Kazune Yūki and Penne.
- Karen Kamishiro, Mirai Asuka and Coco make a cameo appearance in this episode.
- The opening theme song, Thank You⇄It'll Be Alright and the ending theme song, Believe it is first used in this episode.
- The brands Love Me Tear and Material Color makes their debut.
- The song Aikatsu Friends! debuts as an insert song.
- The Pink Link Coord and the Blue Link Coord make their debut in this episode.
- Main article: Episode 01 - Hello Friends!/Image gallery