The war (戦争 sensou) took place one year before the Ensemble Stars! timeline and describes the drastic social and structural reform of the academy. While preparations for the war began spring, the start of the school year, its most notable events occurred from autumn to winter, ending before Christmas.
The central conflict of the war hinges on Eichi Tenshouin, with the help of Tsumugi Aoba and Keito Hasumi, mobilizing ex-fine and the student body against the talented five oddballs in order to cull the weak and unmotivated students from Yumenosaki while allowing him to triumph over these five geniuses, whom he would normally not have an ability to defeat.
While the students who lived through the war refer to it in violent terms, no literal blood was spilled during the so-called "battles" of the war. Additionally, no one was killed, though many students will metaphorically refer to what happened as a killing. However, students were bullied, forced to leave school, and many committed suicide. After the events of the war, a cenotaph in their memory. The memory of the war remains fresh in the minds of the second and third year students, so much so that a student who goes to the roof is assumed to be committing suicide.
While the war has several components, it can be summarized briefly as this: Yumenosaki was in a state of disrepair as its students rested on the laurels of its reputation, and its staff was powerless to stop it. Eichi Tenshouin, who loved idols but who knew he could die at any moment due to his especially poor health at the time, took drastic measures to "cleanse" the school of its ills in as short a period of time as possible.
In longer terms: Yumenosaki Academy was known as a prestigious idol school lauded for its long history of creating talented and popular idols. Most entertainment agencies would instantly snatch up Yumenosaki alumini, and attending Yumenosaki nearly guaranteed a successful career.
Over time, however, its students began to take its name for granted, believing that it was enough to have Yumenosaki's name on their resume, and ceased to put effort into their idol activities, often not participating in idol activities at all. There were no limit to how many members units could take on, leading to units akin to guilds with dozens and dozens of members and none practicing or participating. Teachers and student council members had no authority whatsoever, and were treated as slaves to the students; when either party tried to enforce rules over the student body, the students rioted until they were once again given back the freedom to laze around as they pleased. Most students turned to delinquency, and would damage property, litter, and cause altercations on and off campus.
This led to an influx of Yumenosaki students graduating into the entertainment world, flooding the industry with individuals who had not honed any skills and had no experience in any kind of performance, never mind idol activities. Agencies soon began to automatically turn away students from Yumenosaki, presuming that none of them had skill or ability, leading to unrest among the student body. Most students attended Yumenosaki in hopes that they would be instantly hired based on Yumenosaki's name alone; now, they could not find income anywhere.
Eichi’s intention was to reform the school, stating that he would “remove every little bit of pus and filth, and wash Yumenosaki Academy clean”. He used Keito Hasumi, his childhood friend, who was part of the student council at the time, to execute these plans as well.
One of Eichi’s tactics was to single out specific students seen as geniuses, but also eccentric, as a group that could be villainized and then fought against so that his unit, fine, could gain prestige and power while tying them down. These were the Five Oddballs. While Eichi had decided on three of the members (Rei, Wataru, and Kanata), the last two (Shu and Natsume) were suggested by Tsumugi Aoba when Eichi asked him for advice. Eichi then weaponized fine to take them down one by one, and because they usually worked alone or with few others, had the numbers to work against them.
Most of the files and records that were kept regarding the events and units of the previous year have been destroyed by Tsumugi as shown in Pleiades Night. As such, many of the first years are somewhat ignorant to what happened, especially if their seniors hide their own involvement from them.
Reminiscences (追憶 tsuioku) are flashbacks that pertain to the war. While often occupying full events, some present-day events feature reminiscences that are only a few chapters. This timeline is presented in approximate chronological order.
Note: It is not recommended to read these stories without being familiar with the units and characters in question first. Many events in the war parallel events that happen during the Ensemble Stars! timeline a year later, and will rely on the reader being familiar with the characters in question to have complete context of the events and development that occur.
(To Event/Scout Story)
| Story Name|
(To Event/Scout Info Page)
Specific Chapters: Two Years Ago: Not Quite a Hero 1-17
Specific Chapters: dragon fruit 1-2
Specific Chapters: Midnight Chapter 3
|Cunning ◆ Wonder Game|
Specific Chapters: outbreak 5-8, 10-11
|Reminiscence＊The Crossroads of Each One|
|Reminiscence＊Spring Cherry Blossoms and a Night's Encounter|
|Reminiscence ＊ End of the Marionette's Strings|
|Cacophony◆Whirling Horror Night Halloween|
Specific Chapters: NIGHTMARE 4-5
|Cunning ◆ Wonder Game|
Specific Chapters: infinite 6
|Reminiscence＊Gathering of the Three Magicians|
|Cunning ◆ Wonder Game|
Specific Chapters: bluebird,redqueen - 1
|Lost Star＊Wavering Light, Pleiades Night|
Specific Chapters: Monologue 1-2
Chess was the precursor unit to Knights, and was at the time a disorganized unit with a large amount of members who enjoyed the privileges of a “veteran unit” without actually doing work. Its name changed semi-frequently, and seemed to be voted upon rather than decided by a leader. Before Chess, it was known as Backgammon. Leo Tsukinaga served as the songwriter, who would make songs for the unit’s members because he loved them all and believed they loved him back, despite their tendency to not show up.
With Eichi’s unit system in place, it became less rewarding to have so many members in one unit, so Chess split up into several pieces as members defected, often naming their units after chess pieces. Since “Knight” was taken, Izumi Sena registered the name of his section of the unit with Leo “Knights” after the latter suggested making the name plural.
Reminiscence: Meteor Impact, but info also given in Rainbow
A long-lived veteran unit that existed even when Jin Sagami was a student. Last year, while still emulating heroes, they did not often resemble them, merely causing chaos and gaining a bad reputation due to this. When their captain and vice-captain were absent, they rarely gathered.
fine was the prime instigator of the war; many of the occurrences during the year were due to Eichi’s planning and sometimes Tsumugi’s execution. Tsumugi acted as its leader and public face, having also gathered its members (Eichi aside). After Wataru's execution live, its members split up according to the contract that bound them together.
Reminiscence: Reminiscence ＊ Marionette
Functioned similarly to the way it does in the current year. As one of the Oddballs, Shu Itsuki was one of the people Eichi was trying to defeat, and did so by orchestrating a scenario where the lights went out during a Valkyrie live, revealing the fact that they had been lip-synching and ruining the perfection that Shu insisted on for all their lives. He “broke” after this, ceasing live activities.
A unit that performed at the underground live house for a night after Rei returned from overseas for the purpose of orchestrating a King's Game-type of live to chase the delinquents from the live house. In the week before, Keito and Koga had been practicing together, and Kuro made their unit costumes. Keito was the one who named the unit. While Kuro is not officially part of the unit, he performed alongside them.
An Oddball fought by AKATSUKI during the War. During this time, he was still known as a living God who granted wishes to others. Keito’s efforts to dismantle the belief of his godhood led Kanata to lose his following in the school, which led to a drop in his reputation. His “execution”, done by Keito’s AKATSUKI, was intentionally less brutal than Eichi’s methods and ended with Kanata and Chiaki performing together against them. Kanata ended up joining RYUSEITAI after this.
The last Oddball that was fought during the War. He was assisted by Hokuto Hidaka, who wore a mask and hid his identity during the live (he was known as “Hockey Mask” on-stage) due to the necessity to have 2 or more members performing at once. Wataru’s unit during the live was known as “Thirteenth Day”.
Rei was mostly physically absent during the events of the War, having been overseas both to try and find a cure for Ritsu's weak constitution and having been sent away by Eichi, who wanted him out of the way due to his strong influence. When he was abroad later on, he was working on fixing problems in Yumenosaki Academy’s overseas sister schools, where it is implied that Eichi had stirred up trouble. When he returned, he was weakened and unfit to fight, so it is unknown if he had a specific execution live.
Added on to the 5 Oddballs after the other four due to Eichi wanting there to be five and needing another member, as seen in Element. Nagisa Ran alludes to this in Wonder Game, referring to him as “the one added on just to reach the number needed”. A first year at the time, he was defended from much of the fuss by the others, who were all second years, and thus sustains no metaphorical “wounds” from the war compared to them. Perhaps because of this, he feels more distant from the rest of them, and is more spiteful towards those who hurt them.