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Shuffle!’s Aoi Nishimata Draws Birthday Greeting for Love Live’s Umi

In Japan, Love Live! is a bit of a thing. The series has captured the hearts and minds of countless adoring fans with its charming characters, well-written plot, and refreshingly addictive musical numbers.

When one of the members of μ’s celebrates a birthday, it’s often treated like a real idol’s special day. Love Live! fans from across the globe give their best efforts, as they put forth fan art, cosplay sets, and even baked goods to ring in the celebration.

Among this outpouring of fandom, it’s not uncommon to see a top-tier artist send a friendly “happy birthday!” to his or her favorite character.

Aoi Nishimata is an illustrator and character designer for visual novel studio Navel. Her resume includes fan-favorite titles, like Shuffle! and We Without Wings.

And, it appears that she’s a fan of Umi Sonoda. Earlier today, Nishimata tweeted an illustration of the azure-haired idol, with a friendly birthday message:

Rough Translation: 3/15 is Love Live! Yamato Nadeshiko Umi Sonoda-chan’s birthday ♪ Umi-chan, Congratulations ~ ☆ *ヾ(-∀ · *) * + ☆ Love Arrow SHOOOOOOOOOT!! (●o’∪`o)ノ―♪`*.+ #Sonoda Umi Birthday 2015 #Sonoda Umi Birthday

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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