|Japanese Air Date||October 27, 2016|
|Opening||1, 2, Sing for You!|
|Ending||So Beautiful Story|
|Insert Song||1, 2, Sing for You!|
|← Halloween★Magic||Rainbow-Colored Candy →|
True Rivals (本当のライバル) is the twenty ninth episode of the Aikatsu Stars! Anime Series. It aired on October 27th, 2016.
Every year, there is a soccer world tournament. Yume, Laura and the others have been scheduled to perform for the halftime show. Furthermore, before the finals, an audition has been organized to pick who shall be in the center. Due to this, Laura has a serious expression on her face that she doesn't normally wear...
Anna informs the Song Class 1st year students about the upcoming Soccer World Tournament due to be held at Kibougaoka Stadium, where tradition dictates that the first years perform in its half time show.
In her room, Koharu shifts through photos of her and her friends while reminiscing about her father's invitation to join him alongside her mother in relocating to Italy. Just then, Koharu receives a message about the results of the first audition and relays it to Yume, the latter who becomes happy after discovering both of them made it.
The next day, the two arrive at Kibougaoka Stadium, where they meet up with Laura, Ako and Mahiru. Ako then informs everyone about the center position for each class, with all selected students facing off against each other to be the center. This gets Laura in a competitive mood, and Koharu remarks about going about with a bang with this contest, which Mahiru takes note of. Later on, everyone is split into their respective classes to begin training, with the results to be announced by next week.
Later that night, Koharu tries to tell Yume that she's leaving for Italy soon afterwards, only to find out that an exhausted Yume has already nodded off. The following morning sees everyone going over records of previous first-years who became the center, including the current S4. Once again, Koharu attempts to tell Yume-only for the latter to cut her off by monologuing about her desire to be the center, no matter what. Laura is also seen designing a dress fit for the stage in the Dress Make Room.
Everyone spends the following week training as hard as possible. With Yume so exhausted, Ako decides to invite everyone to a nearby cafe selling cream puffs. However, both Mahiru and Laura decline the offer for personal reasons. In Laura's case, however, it turns out that she chose not to accompany them, especially Yume mainly because she doesn't want to lose out to her this time. This earns Laura sympathy from Mahiru, the latter who then invites her to a training session. The two of them then request and obtain permission from Anna to conduct some extra training. Anna hands over the keys to the training room to Laura, then reminisces about Laura's desire to not lose to Yume again.
On the day of the tournament's first match, everyone is reminded of the rules and regulations required to become the center at the finals. Laura, however is nowhere to be seen, much to the worry of her friends. It turns out that she was listening to the song she would be performing alongside Yume soon afterwards. When the roll call for Song Class begins, Laura's absence continues to worry Yume. Fortunately, the former returns just in time-although Yume notices that there's something off about her.
With their turn having come at last, the two friends then head out to sing: ''1,2, Sing for You!", but not before Yume takes note of Laura's fiery passion. During the performance, both idols are evenly matched, but Laura eventually starts showing signs of fatigue, although she manages to hold herself steady. Her efforts, however are for naught as Yume activates her rainbow aura once more, even managing to vanquish Laura's own aura. The results following the performance are predictable, with Yume obtaining the majority of the votes, meaning she gets to be the center for Song Class, with Laura losing out in the process.
A frustrated Laura leaves the stage despondently, while Koharu, Ako and Mahiru congratulate Yume on her victory. Ako then declares to Yume that she will win next, only for the latter to wonder where Laura went. A sympathetic and understanding Mahiru informs her that Laura might have some hard feelings about her loss to Yume, to which the latter denies, saying that she and Laura prioritize friendship over rivalry. Mahiru reprimands her, stating that Laura sees things very differently.
Outside the stadium, a dejected Laura sits wondering why she keeps on losing despite separating herself from Yume to do more Aikatsu than her. Overwhelmed by both anger and sadness, Laura clutches her skirt and is about to start tearing up when Anna drops by to comfort her. Laura tells Anna that despite all her efforts, she still couldn't beat Yume. This prompts Anna to remind Laura that she is different compared to Yume, with the top priority being her individuality. Frustrated, Laura lashes out at Anna in reply, believing that for all of her efforts, she will never be able to beat Yume's individuality. In response, Anna calmly replies by saying rather than attempting to try and measure her own self against Yume, Laura should do things in her own way, as true rivals should do.
The results of the Bird Theater selection are finalized, with Ako winning by a huge margin. Yume fawns over how strong Ako is when she notices Laura has returned to her side. She informs Laura about Ako's victory, and in return, Laura congratulates Yume on getting the center position before declaring that starting from today, both of them are now true rivals. Both Yume and Koharu are puzzled while Mahiru, more understanding of the situation, looks on and smiles. With the roll call for Beauty Class coming up, both Mahiru and Koharu head up for their respective turns while Laura tells Yume that from now on, she will be doing things her own way.
- The Royal Books Coord and Purple London Check Coord make their debut in this episode.
- 1, 2, Sing for You! makes its debut as an insert song.
- Main article: Episode 29 - True Rivals/Image gallery