[Translation] Love Live! New Project school name vote: what the names mean

Also available on Reddit’s /r/LoveLive board here, with more limited formatting.

As you may know, the name for the school in the new Love Live! project is picked through fan participation. First, the Love Live Days magazine requested suggestions for the name, now the editors have picked 10 suggestions and you can vote on which you’d like to become the school’s name. The name candidates have already been transliterated into the Latin alphabet, but I thought that if you’re going to vote, it’s important to also understand the meanings behind the names so you know what you’re voting for. So, I translated the descriptions for the school names from the Dengeki G’s website announcement and included additional notes on the kanji characters they include.

First, some notes:

  • The website starts by including the “Greetings from the Founder” (from a previous issue of Love Live Days) for context. See a translation of that here.
  • I am including only the notable kanji from the names. の (no), ノ (no), 乃 (no) and ヶ (ga) do not have semantic meanings and are not included. At most, the first two correspond to English “of,” albeit with reverse word order.
  • Many kanji characters have several meanings and most of all, several readings. This is why a rare reading used in a suggested school name is still the same character as in normal Japanese words using that character, even if the readings sound completely different.
  • Here, I’m exceptionally using the kind of nonstandard romanization most used in the Western anime fandom. You know, where おう becomes ou and not o or ō.

Now, onto the name suggestions. Kanji notes at the start of each section are my additions. All translator’s notes, everything that is my addition and not in the original text, is colored purple. Nicknames are for the people who suggested each name.

NAME 1: Asahi-no-Mori Girls’ Academy (あさひの森女学院)

  • あさひ (asahi) = sunrise, morning sun
  • (mori) = forest (standard kanji)

I thought this up thinking about plentiful nature, warm bonds between people, and beginnings.

Nickname: Yagami Shion

NAME 2: Aya-no-Mori Girls’ High School (綾ノ杜女子高校)

  • (aya) = twill weave, pattern, design (aya also brings to mind the other kanji with the same reading, 彩 meaning coloring and paint)
  • (mori) = forest (a rarer kanji, this is mainly used for groves on shrine grounds; it has a more mystical feel than the standard 森)

I used the character for “weave,” formed by many individual threads joining to become one fabric, and the character for “forest,” where many individual trees support one another.

Nickname: Rembrandt

NAME 3: Ayamegaoka High School (彩芽ヶ丘高校)

  • (aya) = coloring, paint (used in the verb 彩る irodoru, ‘to color, to paint)
  • (me) = bud, sprout
  • (oka) = hill

This name comes from my wish for the school to be one “coloring” the story that has started to open its “buds.” Moreover, the symbology of the flower iris (ayame; same pronunciation but different kanji) is such a positive thing as “hope.” Even while there is an air of similarity with the school names of the series up to now, I added “gaoka” (place name suffix for “hill”) to produce a bit of a fancy feeling.

Nickname: Motoyoshi

NAME 4: Uta-no-Mori Academy (詩の森学園高校)

  • (uta) = poem, poetry (same pronunciation as the word for a song, but that one uses a different kanji, 歌)
  • (mori) = forest (standard kanji)

This name comes from the scenery of the town and the school that were so beautiful they make you want to write poems. It’s easy to say out loud, and I think the sound is cute as well.

Nickname: Bishoku (“gourmet food”) master

NAME 5: Ouka Academy (桜華学院高等学校)

  • (ou/sakura) = cherry blossom
  • (ka/hana) = flower, bloom

“Cherry blossom” comes from how the “flower” of the new school opens in the spring. “Blossom” comes from how the “Greetings of the Founder” presents the school as a place where the people’s flowers can “bloom.”

Nickname: Furan

NAME 6: Kazami-no-Mori Academy (風見ノ杜学園)

  • (kaze) = wind
  • 風見 (kazami) = weather vane
  • (mori) = forest (a rarer kanji, this is mainly used for groves on shrine grounds; it has a more mystical feel than the standard 森)

A new wind that has taken in the feelings of the olden days and is blowing towards the future. I started the name with “weather vane,” a device that receives the wind and tells which way it is blowing. Similarly, the school can become a pointer for students riding this wind to be able to spread their wings.

Nickname: Jam

NAME 7: Shinotsuki Academy (志乃槻学院)

  • (shi) = will, resolution, ambition, goal
  • (tsuki) = Japanese zelkova (a species of tree)

Tsuki, another name for the symbol of tradition and rebirth, the Japanese zelkova (the more usual name keyaki is used here). The meaning I put into this is a wish for these zelkova girls to go forward holding onto their ambition even as they have concern for the feelings of one another.

Nickname: Nyoo

NAME 8: Toki-no-Wa Academy (都希の和学園)

  • (to) = capital, Kyoto (today used in the designation of “Tokyo Metropolis”)
  • (ki) = hope
  • (wa) = harmony, peace (used in the old-fashioned adjective 和やか nagoyaka, ‘mild, gentle, harmonious’; this character also has another sense meaning “Japan”)

Toki is combined from the character “to” with its retro feeling and “ki,” from the wish for the school to become a place brimming with hope. Furthermore, combining with “time” (時 toki, ‘time’—same pronunciation but different kanji), thinking that we can meet each other at this school, spend time together, deepen our bonds and become a “circle” (輪 wa, ‘circle’—same pronunciation but different kanji; this can mean a circle of friends) I added the “wa” from “gentle” and “peace.”

Nickname: Towa

NAME 9: Harugaoka Girls’ Academy (陽ヶ丘女学院)

  • (you/haru) = sunshine
  • (oka) = hill

This comes from how the school seemed like it is in a land under a wide open sky, where the sunlight seeping in through the trees’ leaves must be warm. I thought that while there is a bustling downtown right there a short way from the school, I wish it is a school where the students can do their best in what they like without worries in a tranquil and calm atmosphere.

Nickname: HaK

NAME 10: Yuigaoka Girls’ High School (結ヶ丘女子高等学校)

  • (yui) = tie, bind, join (used notably in the verb 結ぶ musubu, ‘to connect’)
  • (oka) = hill

I came up with this thinking that a school with “connection” in its name would be nice, since it was written that the school holds the connections between people dear.

Nickname: Emoina (“Such Feels”)

The Japanese info page with the link to the vote form is here.


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