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F A L L 2 0 1 8

F A L L 2 0 1 8

Donsveertje

Volume 1 Issue 2

Be Cozy with

Spiced AppleFashion

in our LookBook

Meet Miraland's

Vivi

Fall Fashionistas

Fall Fashionistas

Donsveertje

Get to know

A fashion deep dive

explore the myths

that inspired the

delicate suits of

Love Nikki's Fall Events

Love Nikki's Fall Events

Table of Contents

3 Fall 2018 Events Recap & Cultural Notes

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Please do not distribute the images or articles without permission from the authors and artists.Love Nikki content and materials are trademarks and copyrights of their respective publisher and its licensors.

Galactic Classics & Stellar Atlas by Jill @lesbienes

13 A Stylist's Perspective by Mythology Stan

19 Fall Lookbook by Ms. Loki, Zemiki, Dayan

53 Love Notes: POP Nikki Fanmail

23 Vivi Gaming Interview by Koda

27 Apple Federal Fashion by Dayan

33 Send Help by Yasjupe

39 Artist Spotlight: Donsveertje by Astie

41 Through The Looking Glass by Artemis

Letter from the Editor & Leads[]And a note about the zine content:[We, the POPNikki team,] must ask that you respect [the members'] hard work by not posting, downloading, or reproducing any part of this Zine without the expressed, written permission of the translators, authors, and artists who poured their hearts, souls, and time into this endeavor. ...[T]hese Contributors have been planning and preparing for the moment they could share their art (be it words, illustrations, or creative projects) with you, free of charge. Do them the courtesy of enjoying what they made right here with us at POPNikki, or at their own blogs, a list of which can be foundhere. If you have inquiries about permissions or POPNikki in general, feel free to contact us at our website.-Rae the Librarian @lovenikkilibrary, from the Letter from the Editor for Summer 2018[] Now that’s out of the way, please, make yourself a cup of tea, curl up by the windowside, and indulge in our latest issue! Read an exclusive interview with ViviGaming herself, or see the newest Miraland fashion in our Fall Lookbook! Get in depth-analysis of Apple fashion, or take a look at our fall-tastic fics! In this issue of POPNikki, there’s something for all your autumn needs!We hope you enjoy!-Koda (@k-0da), fall and minizine editorManaging the website, social media accounts and working on the Zines, I don’t know which is more stressful. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without the Love Nikki community. We get excited whenever a new Love Nikki zine makes an announcement. It shows how much the community is growing and how much creative energy is being channeled to productive endeavors.To many more POP Nikki shenanigans and zines. To many more epic and silly Starry Corridor entries! Hope to see you all next year!-Clow (@beautifulagent-suit), fall editorVal (@vallustrations ), fall and minizine editorLilly (@lilly-obsessed-with-lovenikki), editor-in-chiefPOPNikki Fall 2018Note: All handles referred to simply with the @ "at" symbol without further explanation of platform assume Tumblr as the platform in question.lovenikkilibrary

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Love Nikki Fall Events Recapand Cultural Notes

July

August

September

October

By: Val@vallustrations

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15th - 21st: The Smile Circus

This event saw the return of our favorite clowns, with a focus on a pair of close friends. Smile is trying desperately help her friend Claire smile with Magic Cards that you must collect to trade for parts for the Joker and Magic Card and Aria of Night suits. Both suits feature gorgeous curly hair, circus cats, giant glass cards, and fun clown outfits. This event was also a surprise first appearance of future story characters Yue Qianshuang and Ming Shuiyuan, who appeared in upcoming lore-heavy events.

JULY

25th: Momo's Birthday

While not an event hosted in the game, the official Love Nikki Facebook held a photo contest asking fans to submit photos of their lovable cats to celebrate our favorite snarky fashion adviser's birthday. At the end of the contest, 50 random players would be chosen to win 100 diamonds each! So generous, unlike our favorite snarky, stingy cat.

25th - 31st: The Fox Wedding Pavilion

This time-limited event Pavilion focused on a yokai, much like the Shuten Doji Pavilion. Yokai are Japanese spirits, who range from harmless creatures who like to play pranks to ferocious and powerful demons that terrorize humans. Yoco was a fox spirit who fell in love with a human man after saving his life. Finding out that he was to marry a human woman, Yoco took it upon herself to become the bride instead. The featured suit is Yoco's bride outfit in the traditional Japanese style, with her fellow fox spirit servants and gorgeous floating card backdrops. The white hood with fox ears comes separate from the dress, and features a new foxy makeup item.

25th - 31st: Koinobori Kimono

Koinobori Kimono was a stamina-driven event that gave us a summer yukata and its two additional recolors. It features a sweet young girl, holding koinobori in a traditional summer yukata. Koinobori are fish kites that fly in Japan on May 5, Children's Day. Previously known as "Tangen no sekku" and celebrating only the health and bright future of boys, the modern-day iteration of "Kodomo no Hi" celebrates both boys and girls, as well as their mothers, fathers, and other family members.

By: Val @vallustrations

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4th - 10th: Star Secret III,

The Stars event finally made a return with two brand new suits - Rabbit of Room Sun and Deer of Net Moon. Giant bunnies are always welcome here, and many users coordinated beautiful outfits with the centaur-deer legs and semi-transparent moon background. Those who weren't interested in the new events had the chance to get items from previous Star Secret suits. On a side note, future Stars suits haven't been announced yet on other servers, so who knows what we'll get next!

AUGUST

Mind Code

Mind Code was a global debut, featuring event mechanics entirely new to Love Nikki. Gift boxes called "Codes" could be obtained by completing stages (a max of 4 at a time can be held), and required time to open or "hack" them. Users could also use keys to unlock Codes instantly that could be purchased with money, though some Codes dropped Keys as well. There were 24 Hour Codes that could drop the entire suit or parts of Humanoid Source Code, and others that would drop 1 of 3 robot accessories. The event itself drew a lot of criticism from its EN server fans. Some were unsatisfied that they had to buy keys with real money, many were upset that a new dark skin color was only available upon completing the suit, and complaints pointed out that the new skin tone did not match any previous dark skin make-up. However, after the event ended, the LN devs gifted everyone the unposed version of the event skin tone. Having different skin tone options has been a hot topic of debate in the English server fanbase. Many feel limited by the lack of customization with the makeups, as all makeup items are compatible with the lightest skin options but only some darker skin tones get matching makeup items. What is even more unfortunate was new information being brought to light by the marketing team handling the Love Nikki booth at this year’s CrunchyRoll Expo 2018. According to the staff running the booth, the Chinese developers had all of the art layers of the makeup items merged with the skin tone permanently, so there is no easy fix to provide diverse makeup and skin tone combinations. It also seemed like there was no intention of making them compatible with different skin tones, so for now we are stuck with limited darker skin tone makeup items.Please note that these are not official statements from Elex or Nikki Games, these are answers from staff trying to help shed some light on the situation. Hopefully in the future, if fans raise enough a ruckus, the development team located in China will make it a new feature.Sources:Love Nikki/Elex Booth at CrunchyRoll Expo 2018 by shattered-earth http://shattered-earth.tumblr.com/post/177742861648/love-nikki-elex-booth-at-crunchy-roll-expo-2018

24th - 31st: Let's Hanami

The second stamina-driven event in a row had players pursuing suits inspired by the cherry blossom viewing event that's popular in Japan. Sakuramochi Rabbit is based on the Japanese wagashi of the same name, while Spring Sakura is a more Western, lolita take on a cherry blossom-themed kimono. Both suits are perfect for hanami, the Japanese tradition where everyone heads off to parks to picnic underneath blossoming cherry trees at the start of spring. Every year families, groups of friends, and the elderly all head outside to eat, drink, and be merry as they watch the pink petals dance in the wind.

Night of Starfall

Another global debut happened later in August, bringing another rock band for us to cheer for. Chains, Rampant Viruses, and Rusty Wings were needed to obtain the three new suits: Final Song - the cool lead singer, Overdrive Cycle - the cat DJ, and Beat of Abyss - the hardcore drummer. Aside from a free daily pull, users could spend diamonds to randomly get Taboo Seals, gold, stamina, diamonds, or the suit currencies. A welcome mechanic for this event was the ability to trade Taboo Seals and one suit currency for another suit currency of your choice. All suits came with new makeup, awesome props (including a giant robo-kitty and stage lights), and even new poses!

15th - 20th: Cloud Tanabata Festival

Inspired by the tale of Princess Kaguya, the Cloud Tanabata event had users collecting Cloud Feathers by completing story stages to craft items of the Silver Feather suit. A whopping total of 347 Cloud Feathers was needed to complete the event suit, and the returning craft recipes aren't anything to sneeze at either! Hopefully you got most, if not all, of the pieces, but if you didn't, make sure to save up on those Pearl Hairpins, as the event items come back as recipes in the shop.

14th - 20th: LN x UNESCO Project,

Love Nikki released new suits in collaboration with the UNESCO project, bringing us outfits from new countries of inspiration, including Greece, Bangladesh, and Brazil. Sadly, none of these suits were counted as such in the Gallery and some users noted that the Bangladesh hairstyle clips through the veil. Regardless, the added diversity of fashion styles is welcome and I hope Love Nikki will continue drawing inspiration from countries outside of Western Europe and East Asia.

24th - 3rd: Dawn Front, Daybreak War

As the first lore-heavy event on the EN server, Dawn Front followed the events of Chapter 15, which most consider to be the turning point of the game's story for good reason. In the event, users chose a leader to follow, split evenly between the Dawn Wings and Night Order. On the side of the Dawn Wings, we had Kimi, Orlando, Louie, and Chloris while Night Order had Nidhogg, Shade, Reid, and Gray Raven. The mechanics of this event were unlike any held before on the EN server, where outfits were assembled 1-2 days before the automatic, hourly battles took place afterwards. There were also two types of tokens: Peak Tokens used for suit parts, and battle points used to purchase gold, stamina, association coins, and Peak Tokens. When choosing a faction, you could read stories centered around you being the faction’s new recruit, along with an introduction chapter for the event. The two featured suits wereSnow Wolf andPeacock Pavane. Snow Wolf comes with two ferocious gray wolves standing alongside a soldier wearing fur-trimmed coats, a wolf hood, and a gun. Peacock Pavane, on the other hand, featured a gorgeous white peacock dancing with a beautiful figure dressed in sheer whites lined with blue. This event has returned on other servers with brand new suits to collect on each return! Stay tuned for the new suits and more chances to complete previous ones.

By: Val @vallustrations

Dear of Net Moon

Final Song

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4th - 10th: Fairy Tale Bottle

Complete with its own story map, theFairy Tale Bottle event allowed users to focus on one of the two event suits: the light and flowery Sealed Love and the dark and sparkly Magic of Love. After collecting enough Wish Bottles through stage completions, users would unlock individual clothing items at different tiers. With each tier, one short chapter of the stories revolving around the two suits would be released! Sealed Love features a small pixie fairy and her unrequited love for the human boy who saved her life. Since he was a human, the boy could never actually see the pixie, but the pixie didn't care and did whatever she could to make him happy. Then, one day, she finds out that the human boy, now grown into a young man, has fallen in love with a beautiful, but cold and condescending lady. He is fraught by the lady's many suitors, so the pixie takes it upon herself to help the young man find happiness. Magic of Love's protagonist is a witch who resides in a forest. She possesses an incredibly power love potion, which travelers far and wide come for to take a whiff. Each and every smell was unique to the lover, but the witch wondered herself what her love potion smell would be. Then, a prince came through the forest and the witch fell in love instantly. Tempted to use the love potion herself, she refuses the misuse of power. But, when the bottle spills onto her by accident, the prince is in love instantly. The witch is happy, of course, but decides to put the prince through many trials and test the truth of his love.

SEPTEMBER

24th - 3rd: Dawn Front, Daybreak War

As the first lore-heavy event on the EN server, Dawn Front followed the events of Chapter 15, which most consider to be the turning point of the game's story for good reason. In the event, users chose a leader to follow, split evenly between the Dawn Wings and Night Order. On the side of the Dawn Wings, we had Kimi, Orlando, Louie, and Chloris while Night Order had Nidhogg, Shade, Reid, and Gray Raven. The mechanics of this event were unlike any held before on the EN server, where outfits were assembled 1-2 days before the automatic, hourly battles took place afterwards. There were also two types of tokens: Peak Tokens used for suit parts, and battle points used to purchase gold, stamina, association coins, and Peak Tokens. When choosing a faction, you could read stories centered around you being the faction’s new recruit, along with an introduction chapter for the event. The two featured suits wereSnow Wolf andPeacock Pavane. Snow Wolf comes with two ferocious gray wolves standing alongside a soldier wearing fur-trimmed coats, a wolf hood, and a gun. Peacock Pavane, on the other hand, featured a gorgeous white peacock dancing with a beautiful figure dressed in sheer whites lined with blue. This event has returned on other servers with brand new suits to collect on each return! Stay tuned for the new suits and more chances to complete previous ones.

13th - 20th: Yokai World

After a nice two week break from the last stamina event, Love Nikki greeted its players with another stamina-heavy occasion, featuring two yokai suits. By this point, Love Nikki had already made three suits around yokai: Yoco the fox bride, as well as Shuten Doji and Momiji who both have their own legends. The two suits for Yokai World had their different clothing articles spread across milestones, reached when you collect a certain amount of Demon Souls. Demon Souls could be obtained by playing either Maiden or Princess stages, then traded in for items like diamonds, star coins, gold, more stamina, and the event suit items. The "first" suit you could collect was the Pragya Princess and Umbrella. The suit features a happily dancing young Japanese girl, with a single blue horn commonly seen on oni. She has a hand raised, holding a fan, and her toes are pointed down in a dance. She is accompanied by a large, tattered, red Umbrella who is revealed through the item descriptions to be the human man the princess fell in love with. This umbrella yokai is known as a karakasa kozō, an umbrella spirit who hops around with one large eye and one, two, or even no arms. In case you were wondering what the name means or is referring to, don’t worry; I was wondering that too. Prajna is a Buddhist term indicating the insight and wisdom needed to achieve enlightenment. It’s the understanding that, in the Buddhist faith, life is “marked by suffering, impermanence, and absence of a soul” (sourced from a World Religions textbook from my college days!). Buddha achieved prajna after ridding himself of all worldly desires in order achieve this insight. Note that Hinduism also uses the term prajna, where it means the highest form of intelligence and wisdom, and is cited a few times in Vedic texts. Pragya is the Sanskrit word for prajna, though pragya tends to be used in reference to the Hinduism concept instead of the Buddhist concept. I chose to explain the Buddhist concept because of the companion suit for this event, Hellish Bloom. The second suit, Hellish Bloom, featured a unique makeup with blood dripping from the eyes and lips. The main figure holds a large naginata, and she stands in a field of lycoris flowers and what appears to be a battlefield. With her gorgeous, bloodstained robes, red eyes, and red-black horns, Hellish Bloom holds a sake cup full of blood. Another yokai, a skull wearing the helmet of a Japanese warrior, floats above her, spitting blue demon flames. In Japanese lore and legend, the lycoris flower is closely associated with spirits and the afterlife. Lycoris are known by the names red spider lily andhiganbana, which translates to "the flower of the other shore". Higan is a Buddhist term for "[the]other shore" and banameans "flower". In Buddhism, shigan ("this shore") refers to the human realm of life and death, while higan refers to Nirvana, the state of Enlightenment that is the ultimate goal in Buddhism. These lycoris flowers tend to grow near cemeteries, so Japanese people often use the higanbana for funerals. It is said that the path they grow along marks the way of a person you will never see again. The use of the higanbanain Hellish Bloom is appropriately somber and dark for this event, and matches the Buddhist meaning of pragya. The large skeleton in the background of the Hellish Bloom suit is the gashadokuro. The gashadokuro is a yokai born from the mass deaths of soldiers and other victims of war. These tragic corpses, spurred by starvation, are left unburied and thus come together to form one large skeleton known as thegashadokuro. When they are reborn as the vengeful spirit, they lash out against the living, eating humans to satisfy the hunger that resulted in their deaths. The name can be broken down to two parts: thegasha-comes from the Japanese onomatopoeia “gashi gashi”, the sound of rattling teeth, and the -dokuro comes from the gashadokuro’s other name, odokuro or “giant skeleton”. Though not pictured here in its entirety in the Hellish Bloom suit, it is not difficult to image how large the body this floating skull would fit on top of. A woodblock painting by Utagawa Kuniyoshi titled Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre depicts a legend where the death of the rebellion leader Taira no Masakado results in his sorceress daughter, Takiyasha, summoning one such gashadokurofor revenge.

By: Val @vallustrations

Snow Wolf

Hellish Bloom

Magic of Love

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28th - 3rd: Art of War - Wonderland

Lasting for less than a week and sitting comfortably within theWill of Warevent, the Wonderland event had players vote on three pre-made suits for a given theme. The “winning” suit for each set was determined by popular vote and if you voted for that suit, you would receive 6 Memorial Medals, which could then be exchanged for parts of the suitsCruise Fairy TaleandGarden Diary. Cruise Fairy Tale is a cotton-candy colored Lilith suit with the model sitting on a carousel horse seen on merry-go-rounds. Garden Diary includes two small red pandas scrambling at the girl’s feet, hoping to grab some popcorn.

OCTOBER

16th - 22nd: Ghost Candle

After fall finally settled in, the Ghost Candle event kick-started the Halloween mood. This event was another tier-type of event, much like Yokai World back in September. The first suit that could be collected was Demon’s Gameand the second one was Attachment of Spectre.Both suits featured new makeup and special items, with Attachment of Spectre including a brand new ghostly blue skin tone. Demon’s Game falls more along the edgier gothic aesthetic. It shows off a playful and devilish Grim Reaper-like ghoul, sitting playfully on a large ghost while swinging a doll and a large black scythe. Attachment of Spectre is a suit based off a corpse bride, a monster which many animated film lovers may recognize from Tim Burton’s stop-animation film, The Corpse Bride. The film, released in 2005, was adapted from a Russian folktale, rooted in anti-Semitism. A tradition of Jewish people involve burying their dead in the clothes they were wearing, and the original tale was a warning against fooling around with the serious topic of marriage. A retelling of this folktale, “The Finger”, can be found in Lilith’s Cave: Jewish Tales of the Supernatural, written by Howard Schwartz, who used theShivhei ha-Ari as his main source. TheShivhei ha-Ari, in turn, is a collection of stories about the very real rabbi Yitzchak Luria, who supposedly annulled a marriage between one corpse bride and a young man, who carelessly states his wedding vows and slips a ring onto the corpse’s finger, much like what is seen in the Burton film.Sources:The Corpse Bride and Jewish Folklore by tomtefairytalebloghttp://tomtefairytaleblog.tumblr.com/post/151715472718/the-corpse-bride-and-jewish-folkloreTim Burtons Corpse Bride has Jewish bones.By Naomi Pfefferman https://www.jweekly.com/2005/09/16/tim-burton-s-corpse-bride-has-jewish-bones/

25th - 12th: Art of War - Will of War

The second half of September saw a lore-heavy event that some were surprised to see, particularly for those who play the Chinese (CN) server. Art of War - Will of Warwas a story event similar to Caelum et Ocean from the summer season: users could spend diamonds to pull for the gacha and, after reaching a certain amount of pulls, would be able to claim one of four gacha suits. A fifth suit, Prosperous Reign, would be gifted when users obtained all four of the gacha suits by hitting the four milestone nodes. The event had two sets of stories, giving insight to a few familiar and new faces. One set of stories could be found on the Will of War event page, that readers could read at their leisure. The second set could be reached in the Gallery tab, whose stories could only be accessed by those who owned their respective suits: Firm Mountain, Flashing Wind, Invading Fire, and Poised Forest. Among the new cast are two familiar faces, Yue Quanshuang and Ming Shuiyuan, who appeared in the Smile Circus event back in July, and and Fu Su, whom we met back in Chapter 6 of the main story. New characters include the Cloud Empress, Xiao Zong, Bai Yongxi, Zhu Ruosheng and Zhu Yuxian. All the featured stories set the stage for plot developments not yet seen in the EN server. This is why CN server players were surprised to see this event come so soon. Not only has the main story line not caught up with this lore event, but there is also, sequentially, a lore event that came before Art of War - Will of War. When we will get this other event is unknown, but hopefully the EN story translations will have caught up by then. Along with the gacha, users could craft tiny animal war spirits that matched the four gacha suits: a lion, a deer, a horse, and a monkey. Additional minor suits were included in the gacha pool, all of which had one to three recolors to ease the inevitable repeats of items for those aiming to hit the nodes.

26th - 1st: Sail of Hunt, Sea of Joy

In the midst of the spooky events, Love Nikki dropped a pirate event for all the scallywags out there. Featuring two new suitsStorm Tamer andTreasure Keeper, the event thrusts the player into Louie’s ship, which is traveling north to secure the strategic seas to help them in the war against the North Kingdom. Louie designates the player character to challenge the captain of the north sea and claim ownership of the island’s treasures for their cause. Storm Tamer features the sea captain of the event’s story, showing off her blazing red hair that stands out against her muted grey-blue and white pirate gear. Treasure Keeper features a charismatic pirate sitting atop a large treasure chest. Both suits featured posed items, new makeup, and animal accessories that will be sure to inspire amazing Starry Corridor entries to come.

26th - 1st: Colorful Halloween Game

As the last Halloween event for 2018, Colorful Halloween Game has users pick the best premade entries according to the contest theme. It features the same game mechanics as an earlier event Sweet Surprise. With 10 free tries, users could collect 3 or 5 Halloween candies to exchange for parts of the event’s suit Candy Adventure. With her book of sweet spells and magic wand in hand, this witch is ready to play a trick to get some treats!

By: Val @vallustrations

Prosperous Reign

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A Stylist's Perspective

Written By: Mythology StanIllustartiosn by: AyameTsukikia

As long as she didn’t look out the window, Nikki could almost convince herself she was back home. Miraland was amazing, but it wasn’t home. She couldn’t vent to her sister, or cook breakfast with her father, or even talk to anyone she used to know. She needed a distraction. Find a distraction. Nikki really didn’t feel like having a breakdown right now, although having a good cry later when Momo wasn’t around would be nice. The sudden knocking on the door of the hotel room, therefore, wasn’t unwelcomed.“Come in.”Nikki was never very good at hiding her emotions. Especially when she was upset, like right now. Hopefully whoever was knocking on the door hadn't noticed how upset she was.“Nikki. I know that this is meant to be a break, but are you busy?”Kimi was a sight for sore eyes. It had been ages since they'd seen each other.“No. What do you need Kimi?”“I’ve been challenged to design an autumn line, but I’ve run into a… designer’s block and was hoping you would be willing to help me find an alternate perspective. You don't have to, but it would be a great help.”Well, she had been searching for a distraction. This was perfect timing.“Of course I will!”“Nikki, you are marvelous. Thank you. Now in order to design clothing with an autumn theme, we must fully understand the essence of the season.”

Written By: Mythology Stan | Illustration by: AyameTsukikia

Kimi seemed stressed, and if there was one thing Nikki would never forgive herself herself for, it was abandoning a friend in need. And that was how Nikki ended up at a cafe drinking pumpkin spice lattes with Kimi after almost having a breakdown.The cafe itself was filled with seasonal decorations and limited time food. It was actually really nice, being able to relax instead of running around competing in different styling contests, never staying in one place for more than a day. Nikki really needed this, even if it technically was still work. “How did you know about this place?”Nikki hadn't heard of this cafe before. She could have sworn that Bobo had dragged her to every cafe, coffee shop, and bakery in town during their first week in town, but somehow they had missed this one.“This cafe came highly recommended by a coworker. I thought it would be a peaceful start to our day. Have you enjoyed it?”“Yes, thank you for inviting me!”“It's my pleasure. Unfortunately, we don't have time to linger if we want to get through the rest of the day.”“I'm ready when you are.”~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Was this….a tourist trap? Well, it certainly wasn't what Nikki was expecting, but it did fit the fall theme. It was an apple orchard, covered in the gaudiest decorations Nikki had ever seen. Why did they have fake leaves everywhere?! She was pretty sure the trees had real leaves on them! At least once they got deeper into the orchard she wouldn't have to see decoration atrocities anymore.

“Ah, the orchard seems to be in the middle of a rush. No matter, I'm sure they won't run out of baskets anytime soon. Should we take turns holding the basket and picking the apples?”“Works for me!”“Excellent! Lets see if we find any good apples over there.”The walk up the path was shorter than Nikki thought it would be. Maybe it was because she had gotten used to walking long distances during her travels? Whatever the reason was, it seemed like the two of them reached the apple trees in an instant. Although how Kimi managed to walk uphill over such uneven ground without tripping was a true mystery. At least the branches were low enough that neither of them had to climb anything to reach the apples. Nikki doubted even Kimi could could do that in heels. It was a truly beautiful place, once you got past the main entrance and into the depths of the actual orchard. The apples smelled so good, she almost regretted that Kimi had taken her to the cafe first. But she did get apple cider and apple pie. Nikki was having a great time, but she was having some doubts about how Kimi felt about the day. She hadn't seen Kimi take any notes. Was she upset about something?“We should start making our way back to your hotel room Nikki.”“Just let me finish this pie.”“Of course.”

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Written By: Mythology Stan | Illustration by: AyameTsukikia

The sun went down and the fall cold set in just as they left. A slight breeze knocked even more leaves on the already carpeted ground.“We should jump in them.”Maybe that would cheer Kimi up. Nikki had fond memories of doing the same thing when she was younger.“What?”“Well...you said that you needed to understand the ‘essence’ of fall. What better way than jumping on leaves?”“Very well then. I shall trust your judgement. We should jump together.”Nikki was surprised when Kimi grabbed her hand. Kimi wasn't exactly a touchy person. She usually waited for the other person to make a move before she did anything. So this was unexpected, and not unwelcome. Maybe she had misinterpreted how Kimi felt earlier? Whatever the reason, Niki wasn't complaining. Together, the two girls leapt onto the leaves, as they crumpled with a very satisfying crunch, Nikki turned to Kimi.“Thank you for inviting me along. You didn't have to, and there must be lots of other people who-”“No, Nikki. Thank you. There are very few people I feel I can loosen up around. I can't think of anyone else I would rather have done all this with.”“Really? Well, them maybe we could do something like this again sometime.”“Nikki, that would be delightful.”

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Fall Lookbook

Fall Lookbook

Wasteland doesn’t usually come to the mind as a cold nation, but careful! The scorching sun during the day completely contrasts the chilly night. Although, this is a chance for Gabriela showcases her gorgeous designs! The sweeping skirt, made with a lightweight breathable fabric, paired with elegant gold jewelry evokes a sophisticated air. The carefully embroidered jacket is her magnum opus, as the solar panel technology she implemented can conserve heat from the daytime to insulate the wearer at night. Now Gabriela can continue her environmental research without forgoing comfort or style!

Gabriela

Aili

Background by Dayan

Pumpkin

The cold weather can't stop these fall cuties from wearing their adorable skirts and full smiles. Which of these styles have captured your heart?

SPAGHETTI SQUASH RECIPE by Koda This recipe is a hearty one, hailing from the Republic of Wasteland. Wasteland often grows all types of agriculture, including squash. One type of squash, spaghetti squash, is a very versatile type of squash in terms of meals. It can be used with fresher ingredients, or paired with last night’s leftovers. You can really do anything with spaghetti squash, similar to actual spaghetti. The squash we’re preparing today will have tomatoes, avocados, and cheese, but you can really use whatever you want. You could even do a sweet version with brown sugar, pecans, maple syrup, or marshmallows! The possibilities are endless!Ingredients:1 Spaghetti Squash1 avocado, diced1 tomato, dicedOlive OilPepperSaltFirst, prepare to squash spaghetti by rinsing it in water and cutting it in half lengthwise. Be extra careful, as cutting the squash is pretty difficult!Next, scoop all of the seeds and gunk out of each half. If you want, you can save the seed and toast them for a snack later.After that, rub the insides of the halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you’re making a sweeter version, skip this step.Put the halves on a cooking sheet with foil, and bake them in the oven for around 30 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit, or 180 degrees celsius. Check on it every 10 minutes to make sure the insides aren’t getting too soft. You want to flesh of the squash to easily be combed with a fork, not super mushy. Remember, every oven varies, so your cooking might differ depending on how powerful your oven is.Once the squash is done cooking, take it out of the oven. Using a fork, push into the squash flesh and “comb” it. This method should create little strands of squash flesh, making it look like spaghetti. Continue combing the squash until all the flesh is turned into strands.Now, the fun part! Add your other ingredients to the squash, and mix them in. I’m mixing tomatoes, avocados, and cheese. Serve while hot.

Meet the ModelThe weather in Apple can get rather chilly around this time of year, especially at night! When Aili takes one of her usual long walks in the forest, her favorite scarf and vintage jacket are a constant. Luckily, it’s still warm enough to wear skirts, but Aili is now a little more careful with her footing, lest she trip again. Add a thermos of tea in her shoulder bag, an oddly endearing ugly sweater, and she’s ready for her nightly repose.CreditsAili's Stylist: Astie | Model Stories Written by: Fishbone | Illustration by: Ms. LokiGet the LookMakeup: Cold Pond EyesHair: Late Blossom TwilightCoat: Ambitious DreamTop: Merry ThoughtsBottom: Hot MiniskirtHosiery: Exclusive KneepadShoes: Black Patent LeatherAccessories: Water Lily | Light Spot | Highway Ribbon | Fluffy Cuff RareSpecial: Polestar Glasses | Fallen Meteor | Magic Cyan LeafVisit Nikki's Info for more item infoAili's Close-up | Illustrated by Ms. Loki

CreditsGabriela's Stylist: Clow | Model Stories Written by: Fishbone | Sketched by Zemiki, Lined by Ms. Loki, and Coloured by DayanGet the LookMakeup: Her SmileHair: Greek GirlCoat:Tribal SpiritTop: Ink Tale TopBottom: Tulle Dress NavyAccessories: Feather | Voice Of Nature | Shiny Gold BraceletSpecial: Warm Ray | Visit Nikki's Info for more item infoGabriela's Close-up | Illustrated by Dayan

Meet the ModelPumpkin is a sweet little girl, never seen without altruistic intentions and her still withstanding cat phase. Her classic Lilithian silhouette is completely darling when paired with shades of orange and brown and intricate ribbon work. As is common practice in Lilith, Pumpkin tops it off with multitudes of little bows and a petticoat to make sure her skirt is as full as her smile! For a fun touch, she dons a pair of cat ears and a tail. Why, she’s so committed she wears them everywhere, never seen without them! Silly Pumpkin!CreditsPumpkin's Stylist: Ms. Loki | Model Stories Written by: Fishbone | Illustration by: Ms. LokiGet the LookMakeup: Ocean BeaconHair: Cute Kitty EarTop: Sweet Knight TopBottom: Sweet Knight SkirtHosiery: Floral StockingsShoes: Leather Shoes EpicAccessories: Bowknot Hairpin Red | Rule Of LoveSpecial: Warm Brown Cat TailVisit Nikki's Info for more item infoPumpkin's Close-up | Illustrated by Ms. Loki

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Dara

Damian

Daiyu

Hilda

These two styles are brimming in elegance and class. What else can we expect from Pigeon and North. Which of these looks showcases the best of almost wintery style?

Classical or innovative, these two are rocking their fall looks while shopping for the best deals. Which fall look captured your wandering eye?

Meet The ModelEven Daiyu, the definition of a homebody, enjoys wandering the Cloud markets during the fall. Her outfit secures layers of printed silk robes with a painstakingly beaded cincher, reminiscent of classical Cloud garments. The delicate sash and floral headpieces were hand-crafted, though her shoes came from Cloud’s famous Singles’ Day sales. Speaking of sales... the markets are always so tempting, and poor Daiyu just can’t resist gorgeous jewelry!CreditsDaiyu's Stylist: Dayan | Model Stories Written by: Fishbone | Illustration by: DayanGet the LookMakeup: Supreme PowerHair: Azure Jewel BlackDress: Butterfly TuneShoes: Soul (Day)Accessories: Poppy | Red Sandalwood Bead | Lotus MirrorSpecial: Clear Yarn Melody | Flickering Candlelight | Happiness OverflowVisit Nikki's Info for more item infoDaiyu's Close-up | Illustrated by Dayan

Meet the ModelAs the heir to a relatively important printing press, Damian is required at many of the autumn balls. Dealing with potential business partners, dancing with the other nobility, feasting on snacks, it all tends to be a rather enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, as suave he looks in his formal waistcoat and fitted dress pants, perhaps the designer made it in a size too small. His cloak, on the other hand, is a size too large and quite accident-prone. Oh my, how will he survive?CreditsDamian's Stylist: Inky | Model Stories Written by: Fishbone | Illustration by: ZemikiGet the LookMakeup: Cold FireHair: Son of StormCoat: Minor Vest BlackTop: Phantom Coat RareBottom: Black LeatherShoes: Thief’s Boots RareAccessories: Triangle Puzzle | Night SamsaraVisit Nikki's Info for more item infoDamian's Close-up | Illustrated by Zemiki

Meet the ModelDara finds the rest of the nations a little dull compared to her precious home Ruin Island, especially when her new favorite shoes can let her hunt through the clouds for the best wifi around. However, she has to admit Ruin designs are lacking in one thing: warmth. The cloud storage romper she’s wearing is better suited to summer, but add an oversized coat and fingerless gloves and she’s ready to brave the sky! If only she could find that darn satellite...CreditsDara's Stylist: Donsveertje | Model Stories Written by: Fishbone | Illustration by: DayanGet the LookMakeup: Extraordinary ElfHair: Mad DanceCoat: Gauze EpicDress: Black JumpsuitShoes: Amplitude ModulationAccessories: Perfect Interval | Lonely Star | Romantic Rock | Leather Gloves | Consonance CellphoneSpecial: IndestructibleVisit Nikki's Info for more item infoDara's Close-up | Illustrated by Dayan

Meet the ModelFrom graduating valedictorian of her year to winning more than a few medals, Hilda is ready for a winter break of relaxation! Though her stylish fur-lined cape and practical boots pair well with her layered uniform, they may not survive against the North’s early snowfalls. Northern education is wary of letting their students drift into weakness, but it’s a bit of a hazard with the annual blizzard season already starting. Never fear, for Hilda will be honing her swordsmanship (indoors of course) in between reading long novels and drinking hot chocolate.CreditsHilda's Stylist: Zemiki | Model Stories Written by: Fishbone | Illustration by: ZemikiGet the LookMakeup: Blue Icy EyesHair: Ice Star HairCoat: Winter Snow MeltTop: Valiant Image RareBottom: Starry PantsShoes: Teleport SkillAccessories: Token of KnightVisit Nikki's Info for more item infoHilda's Close-up | Illustrated by Zemiki

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A Interview With Vivi Gaming

By: Koda The online Love Nikki Community is vast, reaching over several online platforms, but one Youtuber, Vivi Gaming, has become someone that seemingly everyone is familiar with. Vivi brings a lively flourish to her videos, creating tutorials, crafting lifetime suits, and breaking down new events. With 23k subscribers, and over 3,000,000 lifetime views, Vivi is one of the most popular figures in the LN community. For this issue of POPNikki, we have an exclusive interview with Vivi herself!

Why did you start a YouTube channel about Love Nikki?Viv: I've always wanted to share my gaming adventures, but was never able to because I didn't know how to record. In 2017, right when I was playing Love Nikki, iOS 11 released the screen record feature, and that's when I started uploading videos.

First, can you introduce yourself?Vivi: First off, I just wanna say I’m so honored to be chosen for this interview. Hi, I'm Viv, born and raise in beautiful, sunny California. I spend most of my day at work in a major tech company. When I'm not working, I enjoy gaming. I play games on all different platforms: Mobile, PC, Switch, VR, etc. I'm an animal lover, having own 2 cats and 2 dogs. I also enjoy traveling because my best friends live all around the world and I love traveling to see them. So, what got you into Love Nikki in the first place?Vivi: One of my best friends, TeddyPomPom (IG: iamteddypompom), introduced me to Love Nikki about a year ago. I downloaded it not thinking I would get into it, but I got hooked fast. When Teddy saw me on her friend list at V7 within only weeks of playing, her initial reaction was regret because RIP my credit card. Lolz

Your usual content tends to differ from most other LN youtubers. Most just stick with tutorials and suit breakdowns. However, some of your usual content includes lifetime suit crafting, competition shenanigans, and other unconventional videos. Your most viewed video, for example, is you pulling from the gold gatcha. Why do you do these video ideas, where most others would stick to the basics?Viv: I use YouTube/Twitch not just for tutorials, but also for entertainment. I always try to add comedy in my videos. I hope that in making videos like these, I can bring laughter to my audience. Life can be tough and sometimes it feels like the world is against you. We all need a little laughter to brighten up our day.

110 Gacha Ticket Pulls - Miracle Nikki Gacha is Better Than Love Nikki's!

Love Nikki - 2 months, 1mil gold, and 728 Star Coins later... HELLO, STAR SEA!!

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A Interview With ViviGaming

Speaking of unconventional, you also regularly stream this game. What's your reasoning behind streaming a dress-up game?Viv: As a Twitch staff, I want to familiarize myself with the platform, so I picked up streaming. At Twitch, the biggest games are currently Dota2, Fortnite, and WoW and the audience are majority male. You're right, streaming a dress-up game is unconventional. My goal is to bring fashion and a whole new audience to Twitch. Show them Twitch isn't just dudes shooting, fighting, and killing stuff. I encourage everyone to do something different, too! :)How do you feel about the success your channel has garnered?Viv: I am jungshooked. I have all my amazing viewers to thank. They are my everything and I appreciate their support so, so much. <3Do you plan to expand your content to other games?Viv: Yup! I currently play World of Warcraft religiously. I play Royal Chaos and Food Fantasy with my LN friends and guildmates. I also play Pokemon Go, but doing a video on this would be challenging since it's augmented reality. Hoping to share my adventures on the other games.Do you play any other dress up games?Viv: Royal Chaos, a dress up RPG based in ancient China.If you could create your own Love Nikki event, what would it be?Viv: An event that costs gold instead of diamonds or real money.Do you have a favorite mode in Love Nikki?Viv: Questing. The story is getting spicy!

What was your best gatcha pull?Viv: My fiance Lei helped me get both a Peafowl item and Winter Miracle item in a single BUY 100 pull. It was my first Winter Miracle piece. I was beyond surprised because I rarely get any new items in the gold gacha. He was able to pull two!

What is your favorite suit(s)?Viv: Cosmos Tide, Blessed Bark (cute puppers), and Beat of Abyss.Finally, do you have any advice for newer players?Viv: Save those diamonds! I know it's tempting to spend them in the gacha or for bonus attempts, but try your best to save them. You will eventually get everything in the gacha / bonus attempts with time, but events are time-limited. I suggest saving diamonds for event suits. And that wraps up our interview! I hope all of our readers have gotten a better look at Vivi, and why she runs her channel. Please remember to check out Vivi’s channel and twitch, and stay fashionable, stylists!

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Nation Appreciation: Apple Federation

By: Dayan

A question I really enjoy asking my fellow Love Nikki players is, “What are your favorite Miraland nations?” Since the 7 nations have different defining styles between them, it gives me a sense of the type of clothes a person likes. For myself, there are three nations I am particularly fond of, and Apple Federation is one of them. Apple’s appeal is the great variety of styles found across its suits. With all the different styles, you’re likely to find at least a few suits that fit your tastes. Or, if you are like me and enjoy trying different styles, there’s a lot for you to love! Time Diary states that Apple Federation “...boasts fashionable and modern style,” which is very true since its fashions mirror today’s contemporary clothes.

Some suits in Apple’s gallery look just like outfits you can see in real life through fashion magazines and catalogs, or even being worn by a stylish friend. On the other hand, there are suits that reflect other aspects of real life, such as school, work, and interests like music. There are all these great and interesting categories that Apple suits can fit into. However, it’s understandably difficult to visualize them because the gallery seems to place them in a random order. But by sorting the suits into categories, it’s not only pleasing to the eye to see them organized, but you also can clearly see how interesting the variety is and appreciate Apple Federation fashion more!

Mori Girl and Reindeer, Blossom Season, Deer Elf, Picking Strawberry, Mori Girl

Panda Dreamland, Seal Sailor, Jungle Kitty, Sweet Sunshine, Shiba and Croak

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Nation Appreciation: Apple Federation

By: Dayan

While browsing through the gallery one day, I suddenly started to note how several suits in Apple could be grouped together! So while these aren’t official categories, it’s just a small thing I observed and wanted to explore further. I noticed how “Deer Elf” and “Picking Strawberry” are Mori Girl styles and fit along with an appropriately named “Mori Girl” suit. “Sugar Cheerleader”, “Prom Princess”, “Alumni Ace” and “Youth Melody” can be put together into a high school category. There are outfits that have a scholarly look to them and others that reflect various occupations,

like medicine or music. If you like cool, graphic, and vibrant styles, there are suits that look like stylish concert attendees and hip skateboarders. If you like animals, there are quite a few suits that include animal motifs and cute animal companions!

1st Row: Hip-hop Queen, Graffiti Tempest, Street Extreme, Skateboard Girl2nd Row: Youth Storm, Magic Star, Raspberry Pink Rock, Rock Singer

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If you are more on the dressy side, there are fancy and elegant suits with chic gowns and trendy accessories. If you prefer simple and casual styles, you are able to find those in Apple as well. As I mentioned before, the variety of suits is so great and fun! Even if you are not a fan of Apple fashion in general, you might find a few items you might enjoy since there are so many different styles!

While Apple Federation fashion is not as dramatic and regal as Pigeon Kingdom, or ornate and beautifully detailed as Cloud Empire, it’s versatile! I often find myself mixing simpler pieces from Apple with clothes from other nations to balance the look out. The simplicity and casualness of Apple can also make really nice outfits when paired with items from chapters’ maiden drops and the store. Though most Apple suits are based on contemporary fashion, there are a few suits that draw influence from travel in Miraland. The item descriptions of “Wilds Flower” and “Mrs Frein” mention Republic of Wasteland and Cloud Empire. It’s nice how the styles of these places have made their way into Apple, showing how different nations can inspire and influence each other. Miraland’s nations all have their own signature styles. And as cliché it is to say the different styles are what make them great, they truly are. So when I ask, “What are your favorite Miraland nations?”, there really isn’t a wrong answer; there are so many different things to appreciate from each one.

Nation Appreciation: Apple Federation

By: Dayan

Celebrity's Choice, Vintage Lady, Mrs. Frein, Tender Puppy

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Night has fallen. Stars are scattered across a wide expanse of navy. The moon hides behind her cloudy veil, leaving Wheat Field in relative darkness save for a lone street lamp. The streets are quiet and empty. A chilling wind roars through, disturbing the leaves. They roll and tumble across the concrete path, crackling as they go. They dance until one of them gets trapped by a well-crafted boot.The autumn wind continues to blow as a strange man walks aimlessly through the street. His elegant, tailored style stands out in the quaintness of Wheat Field. He wears a grey dress shirt with a fitted charcoal vest. His gloved hands are tucked into his trouser pockets. He fidgets with something inside of them; it makes a clicking sound. His face is obscured by the shadow of his top hat. Sapphire can’t remember the last time he’s had time to himself. His days go by like a blur. The duties of a Pigeon noble are plenty, whether it be attending dinner parties or business meetings with foreign nobles. Whatever breaks he receives are spent training to be a man worthy of the title Phantom Thief.It’s unfair. Ever since Sofia left to join the December Troupe, his family proclaimed him to be the heir of the The Phantom Thief family. While he enjoys travelling, whatever thrill he gets from stealing and being a wanted man isn’t worth his parents’ disappointed faces when they compare him to his elder sister.

Send Help

Written by Yasjupe | Illustrated by Sailor Spencer

He notices a soft light at the end of the street. How curious, Sapphire thinks as he walks in the direction of it. A sign with “Rosemary” written on it in neat, cursive lettering looks back at him. It appears to be a store of some kind. A florist, perhaps, Sapphire muses, taking note of the hanging plants and flowers in front of the checkered windows. He then notices the worn logo of a coffee cup just behind a particularly tall tuft of asters. The scent of cinnamon and coffee wafts assaults his senses, reminding Sapphire that he hasn’t eaten since leaving the Pigeon Kingdom. He takes a step and pauses, before taking out his pocket watch. The last train to Pigeon leaves in half an hour. There’s probably food at the station, or on the train itself. Is it really worth it to waste time at a café? What if someone there recognises him? Or worse, reports him to the police? What will his family think when they find out? What if—?“Excuse me sir.”A soft voice breaks Sapphire out of his reverie. He unclenches his fist (when had he clenched it?) before looking up to see a tall, handsome man in front of him. He’s wearing a white shirt adorned with stains, over it an apron. Brown strands of hair frame his face. His russet eyes are filled with concern. There is a faint whiff of bitterness coming off him.“I don’t mean to be rude,” the man continues, “but would you like to come inside? You’ve been standing there for a while and the wind appears to be picking up.”Sapphire pastes on a smile of his own. “Ah, thank you for the offer but I’m alright. Really.”“Are you sure?” The man tilts his head slightly. “You’re starting to look pale, and,” he smiles, “I wouldn’t want you to catch a cold.”Sapphire feels his face heat up. “I’m quite certain. Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

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Just as he says that a loud rumble makes itself known. Sapphire’s face turns redder in embarrassment. The man laughs.“‘Okay, now you have to come in,” he says, giving a cheeky grin. “No-one should to leave Lilith on an empty stomach!”Sapphire blinks in shock as the man heads inside. “How did you—?”“Think everyone knows with how loud you were mumbling.”He gestures to Sapphire to follow him, which he does after snapping out of his momentary shock.-x-The bell rings as the door opens. The café is much warmer than the streets of Wheat Field. The walls are littered with shelves (many filled with old books) and motivational phrases. Plush chairs surround low, mahogany tables. A simple chandelier hangs from the ceiling, emitting a soft, yellow light.As Sapphire takes in the café, the man goes behind the counter. He leans on it and places his chin in his hand. “So, what can I get you?”“Huh?”The man gives him a look. “Sir, this is a café. And you seem hungry. I insist you order something.”

Written by Yasjupe | Illustrated by Sailor Spencer

“...Right.” Sapphire hastily clears his throat before looking at the chalkboard menus behind the man. His eyes fall on one particular chalkboard. There are little doodles of maple leaves and pumpkins along the border. An arrow (yelling TRY ME) points to a bubble. MASALA CHAI is written in it in big, orange lettering.“Can I try that one?” Sapphire points to the chalkboard.“Ah, the masala chai?” the man says, smiling widely.. “Of course. It’s a wonderfully spiced milk tea. It originates from Southern Cloud. One of my personal favourites.”The man types into the cash register. “That’ll be 5000 gold, please.”Sapphire hands him the diamonds and sits in the chair closest to the door. He watches as the man ties his hair in a half-up half-down ponytail before getting to work. Soon, the warm, spicy scent of cinnamon wafts through the air. Once the barista seems satisfied with the drink, he carefully pours it into a white teacup. His brow furrows in concentration. He slowly walks to Sapphire’s table.“Here you go,” he says, placing it down in front of him.Sapphire nods in thanks and takes a sip, flinching as the hot liquid hits his tongue.“Ah! Be careful!” The man goes to prevent the cup from spilling. They brush fingers for a moment. They both freeze. Sapphire feels the other man curl his fingers for a moment before letting go.“Well,” he says, putting on a smile. Sapphire swears he sees a hint of red on his cheeks. “I better go. Enjoy your drink!”

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Written by Yasjupe | Illustrated by Sailor Spencer

The man begins to walk away but stops in his tracks. “I forgot to ask: what’s your name?”Sapphire thinks for a few moments before saying, “Sky”“Sky…” he repeats. “That’s a nice name. I’m Dan.”“Pleased to be of your acquaintance, Dan,” Sapphire smiles before finishing his chai. “Thank you letting me stay. The tea was lovely”“Thank you,” Dan says, a bright grin on his face. “Hope to see you around!”Sapphire salutes him in return. “You too.”As Sapphire walks out of the café, into the autumn chill, he reflects on the experience he had with Dan. He thinks about how peaceful he felt in the café. How he felt more at ease with Dan, a man he had only known for a short while, than with anyone in his own family. How for once he felt like a normal man and not the heir of the Phantom Thief family.“Dan…” he thinks, his shoulders feeling lighter. “What a lovely name…”-fin-

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Artist Spotlight: Donsveertje

Written By: AstieHowdy everyone! Astie from the POPNikki team here back with another interview, this time with the wonderful Beetle! They are an invaluable member of our team and an incredibly talented artist. Below, I’ve asked her a few questions about herself and the process that goes into creating her art. Enjoy!

Q: First off, please introduce yourself! Any hobbies? Interests?A: Hello! My name is Veerle (though people usually call me Beetle) and I’m a Dutch artist and graphic designer. I spend my days drawing, listening to music, gaming, and recently have gotten into doll customizing as well. I also have a cat named Bee, who is the light of my life.

Q: How did you get into Love Nikki?A: My girlfriend played it pretty much obsessively. I sort of thought ‘wow, why such a dumb dress-up game?’, but eventually got roped into it. And now we play this dumb dress-up game together with the many friends we have also converted to the Love Nikki lifestyle.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to tell new players?A: DON’T spend all your diamonds on things you can get for free with a little patience and if you’re planning on using a guide, input your wardrobe before it gets too big. You’ll be spending days doing it then.Q: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring artists?A: Are you an aspiring artist? CONGRATULATIONS! You’re already an artist! You don’t need to be a pro (or want to be one) or have finished art school to be an artist. Make art as often and as much as you can, observe everything around you and try not to stay in your comfort zone for too long. You’ll learn so many new things!

Q: How did you get into drawing? What has been the biggest motivator when it comes to your art?A: I’ve always drawn a lot as a kid, but I only seriously started trying to get good at it around the age of 10, copying everything from those ‘how to draw manga’ books and looking at artists online. My biggest motivators these days are projects like this; challenging me to make the best work I can possibly make.

Q: Has the game inspired you or influenced your art?A: Definitely! Aside from it giving me the opportunity to reach a different audience and join projects like these, it has also pushed me out of my comfort zone. I used to not really be one to draw cutesy things or frilly dresses, but here we are!Q: Do you have any favorite memories working on POPNikki?A: Oh! Yes! When we were making the summer edition cover with a small group of artists, the way we all worked together and took on our own tasks was amazing. And the cover turned out so beautiful, because everyone brought their own skills to it.

For more of Donsveertje check out her art blog!

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Through the Looking-Glass: Prologue

By: FishboneIllustration by: ArtisticArmoury

Nikki wakes to sunlight highlighting the dust on the car’s window and soft music playing through her right earbud (the left one was broken and Nikki held too much sentimental value to throw them away). The sky outside is saturated, sanguine where it is not sapphire, oranges to soften the edges and sand down the jagged pieces, pinks that flush and dot their i’s with a heart. She checks her phone: Thirteen new messages. Eleven from Momo in their sibling group chat, all of them the same dabbing turtle emoji(save for one message but it was just a screenshot of the lyrics to “It’s Not Unusual”), all within the span of a minute. One that calls her Christine and offers her a coupon. One from their wireless service provider, informing them how much of their monthly plan was used up. They’d passed 90% half an hour ago and it was about a week until the end of the cycle. Well. Hayley Kiyoko stares at Nikki from her phone screen. Nikki stares guiltily back. Pointedly taking out her earbuds and shutting off her phone, Nikki stretches, or at least tries to as the seat belt suddenly traps her. The click of the release mechanism is what causes Nina to glance into the rear-view mirror. “Hey kid,” she drawls, settling her eyes back on the road. There’s not much of a need, as there’s barely anyone on the local streets. “Decided to stop draining our data for the day?” Her words are lighthearted and there’s a sly grin in her tone but her voice is hoarse and tense, like she’d been crying for some time. That would make two of them then. In any case, Nikki doesn’t really comprehend the sentence when her mind is still rooted elsewhere, 1,000 miles and a week before. Her sister looks into the mirror again. “Nikki?” she repeats.

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“Hey kid,” she drawls, settling her eyes back on the road. There’s not much of a need, as there’s barely anyone on the local streets. “Decided to stop draining our data for the day?” Her words are lighthearted and there’s a sly grin in her tone but her voice is hoarse and tense, like she’d been crying for some time. That would make two of them then. In any case, Nikki doesn’t really comprehend the sentence when her mind is still rooted elsewhere, 1,000 miles and a week before. Her sister looks into the mirror again. “Nikki?” she repeats. “I heard you.” Nikki smiles by instinct and lowers her eyelids slightly for a approaching-dreamy-but-still-unreadable expression. “Just tired, I guess.” Her words sound stiff, but then again, so have all her conversations with her siblings recently. “I’ll help pay the fee if we go over our limit for the month,” she tacks on suddenly, aware that no longer did they have their father’s steady income. Yes. She had almost forgotten. “Don’t worry about it, I’m the legal guardian here.” Nina says teasingly, but it doesn’t really sound like words or anything. If Nikki’s being honest, it blends into the background, along with Momo’s snoring and the hum of the car. Dad's gone. Perhaps if someone asked her where her father was, she’d plaster on a smile and assure them of his safety. ‘Oh no, it’s not as bad as it seems, he told us that his client needed more time.’ ‘His phone probably broke, it’s happened before.’ Even a ‘He’s just not here right now’ would have sufficed. Here they are, dusky skies and fast food-fueled lethargy, driving on cobblestone roads in a strange town, going to live with a mother they have not seen for years. Nikki feels tired from crying in the hotel bathrooms, then throwing a cold towel over her face, then repeating that process. She wants to sleep even though she’s probably slept for more than she has in her entire life.

Nikki blinks harshly and turns her head, pretending to admire the view. It’s odd that her tear ducts are still working. She wishes for the polished yellow wood floors of their house, she wishes for the countless pictures crammed into any available frame and arranged on any available space. She wishes that by some miracle of clairvoyance she had seen her present self, miserably going about life, and had stopped their father from going on that trip. You can’t really use the term “MIA” for a photographer who, as far as they could tell, had no reason to disappear. Nikki entertains the possibility that he’d just gotten sick of taking care of three brats alone and had this escape planned for years but she does not consider her father to be that sort of man and her siblings can barely be considered brats(most of the time). Would one brat be too much for a parent? One and a half maybe? Yet again she has to remind herself firmly, it’s only been a few weeks. Coming here, to Mira(even the name sounds foreign on her tongue), is a temporary arrangement. Their mother will comfort them, Nikki will put on a brave face for a few days, then Dad will pop up again. He’ll have a friendly chat with a woman he’ll pretend he isn’t married to, drive all three of them home and dust off the furniture, all before the school year begins. It doesn’t sound too bad, and she has enough black clothing in her closet in case the need to mourn comes up. Nikki almost physically flinches at her callousness. That was completely unlike her. Who is she to act so nonchalant? Nikki’s mentally berating herself for being so crass at a time like this. Those are jokes she would never make in her right mind. The tragedy of the situation must be messing with her head because she would never even entertain the thought of joking about death. Play the grieving daughter or the infantilized teen in denial, and choose one at the very least.

Written by Fishbone | Illustration by ArticticArmoury

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Grieving would cause less arguments, she thinks. The car is moving a lot slower now. Momo’s awake too, begrudgingly but it counts. Nina parks on the street, behind a shiny black convertible. The sun has gone down completely, but the old-fashioned lamps lining the street haven’t turned on yet. Nikki betrays nothing of her little crisis. “Finally!” Momo says, scrambling out of the door on his side. Nikki follows suit, chastising Momo for being so loud that the pigeons on the street have all scattered, stepping onto the dark brick sidewalk, getting a good look at her temporary place of residence. (She’s fallen out of character already) The shop on the corner of the street looks akin to something out of a fairytale. The outside is freshly painted in a pretty mint, with large paneled windows that showcase the interior. The bricks that make up the two stories above the shop are light pink-brown, space broken up nicely with cream-colored bay windows. There was even a balcony, with ivy threading through its wrought iron railings.The shop itself is lit up warmly, a soft glow peeking out behind the mannequins on display. Someone had placed a stand up chalkboard sign on the sidewalk alongside a wrought iron table with two chairs. Nikki glances at it as she follows Nina into the store, noting the complementary pastries with purchases $30 and above. If she were to speak the truth, “Legacy Three” feels dreamlike, and cozy, and completely something straight out of her fantasies. Even the pretty chalk promises of “customization, patterns, and tailoring all available at L’s Design Workshop!” appeal to a part of Nikki that just wants to squeal and clutch her chest and read perhaps every design book there is. However, even the prospect of fashion history and hands-on design experience cannot overwrite just how much Nikki’s nerves enjoy overreacting. She wipes her damp hands on her legs, and is all too aware of her disgustingly runny nose even though it’s 85 degrees outside. Cons of crying, she supposes.

Another con of crying, being so disoriented that you almost drop the box your older sister hands you. Nikki barely registered following Nina to the back of the car, much less Nina opening up the trunk. Unfortunately, what she does register is the chortling coming from behind the two boxes supported by Momo’s pesty 14 year old paws. The weight of a box marked “nikki’s clothes 1/infinity lololol” is heavy in her arms and Nikki focuses on Momo’s messy Sharpie scrawl, eyes tracing each Someone had placed a stand up chalkboard sign on the sidewalk alongside a wrought iron table with two chairs. Nikki glances at it as she follows Nina into the store, noting the complementary pastries with purchases $30 and above. If she were to speak the truth, “Legacy Three” feels dreamlike, and cozy, and completely something straight out of her fantasies. Even the pretty chalk promises of “customization, patterns, and tailoring all available at L’s Design Workshop!” appeal to a part of Nikki that just wants to squeal and clutch her chest and read perhaps every design book there is. However, even the prospect of fashion history and hands-on design experience cannot overwrite just how much Nikki’s nerves enjoy overreacting. She wipes her damp hands on her legs, and is all too aware of her disgustingly runny nose even though it’s 85 degrees outside. Cons of crying, she supposes. Another con of crying, being so disoriented that you almost drop the box your older sister hands you. Nikki barely registered following Nina to the back of the car, much less Nina opening up the trunk. Unfortunately, what she does register is the chortling coming from behind the two boxes supported by Momo’s pesty 14 year old paws. The weight of a box marked “nikki’s clothes 1/infinity lololol” is heavy in her arms and Nikki focuses on Momo’s messy Sharpie scrawl, eyes tracing each nearly indecipherable letter to the pounding of her heart. A small bell tinkles as Nina swings the door open, the wooden “OPEN” sign swaying to the soft string quartet of a gramophone.

Written by Fishbone | Illustration by ArticticArmoury

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Their mother (mothermothermothermothermother, Nikki rolls the word around in her mouth) is there. As she would be, it’s her store, why wouldn’t she be there, that was a silly statement Nikki. Still, Nikki kinda wishes they were still on the road or something because her blouse is creased and ill-fitting and the back of her hair feels tangled and her jaw has seemingly locked in place. First impressions should be her forte. Some measure of time certainly must have passed, but Nikki’s eyes are trained on her painstakingly pristine white flats and not the large clock in the corner of the shop so she isn’t sure if it were a few seconds or a few minutes. She’s already stopped all vital organ functions except the sending of telepathic brain “SOS”s to Nina. The first move was (not made by herself, she thanks the gods) a hug. Nina was a hugger, and so initiated a hug, dispelling the awkwardness before the hug. Following her example, Nikki dropped her box and joined in on the hug, except she wasn’t really part of the hug, just throwing her arms around the already hugging pair. She then teeters on the edge of retracting her arms or keeping them there and ends up taking them back. The pair breaks free from their embrace effortlessly, and with good timing to boot. Nikki makes a mental note on the perfect range of time a hug should take in such a situation, but before she knows it there are two strong arms wrapping around her and Nikki’s mind blanks. Perhaps it’s a motherly thing but how is person able to exude so much warmth and care and funnel that into two cradling arms? The pressure around her is perfect and Nikki wonders if what she’s feeling is catharsis because it almost feels like everything she’s been bottling up for the past week is bubbling out of her, uncontained and unwarranted. At this moment her eyes are able to refocus through the sweat-not-tears and finally send some comprehensible signals to her brain, unlike her ears.

The first thing that Nikki notices are the glasses perched on her face. Delicate gold-rimmed glasses, almost invisible until you were right in front of them. The soft lights of the store seem too harsh now that they were being so odd and bouncing off the glass directly into Nikki’s eyes. Nikki would curse those lights for obstructing her mother from her vision but Nikki doesn’t like to curse and it’s not like people like her cursing either. Anyways. What color are her mother’s eyes? Nikki promptly forgets every photograph she’s ever seen of her mother as she turns her neck around with great difficulty, still wrapped in the hug. Pink hair flies into her mouth, and Nikki ponders on the possibility of dying her own hair. Her ribcage politely informs her that it needs immediate hospital care. As her mother goes to engage in a hugging power competition with Momo, Nikki slows her breathing and tries to force her eyes to truly take in her mother. Her hair isn’t exactly pink, at least not like the pale strawberry on the dye box Nikki bought on a whim but stuffed somewhere vowing to never think about it again. It’s strawberry blonde, drawn back in an elegant updo save for a few romantic tendrils. When she turns around, Nikki catches a glimpse of dark brown eyes, too shiny to be without tears, and notes a spread of freckles across her forehead. Her complexion is darker than Nikki’s own, but Nikki sees the same long nose she sees in mirrors. An exchange of sentiments is made, some individuals more tearful than others. “How have you been”s and “I can’t believe how much you’ve grown”s, passed like blue-lined hole-punched slips of paper, weighing heavy on Nikki’s heart. There is something just so excruciatingly solid and grounded about how the woman in front of her can fondly (and rather cheesily) say “you have no idea how much I missed you all”. “Are any of you hungry? I know the trip here must have taken so long, and oh! There’s also leftover pastries you could try! I tested a new apricot thumbprint cookie today, but I could also start dinner right now? I’m alright with whatever yo- my children need.”

Written by Fishbone | Illustration by ArticticArmoury

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She speaks lightly, like butterfly wings in the cool summer night, like a breath of wind, like she could disappear at any second and Nikki would wake up to her life once more but Nikki faintly registers that her voice is trembling. There’s a pregnant pause in which even Nina, the resident icebreaker, comes up with nothing. Two hands belonging to two separate people twiddle with a strand of hair each. Nikki is momentarily stunned with the realization that she gets her habits from somewhere, or rather someone. Did she also inherit her mother’s I-don’t-really-know-what-to-do-right-now posture? “I’m starving!” Momo interjects, boisterous as ever, and their mother beams even harder(the benefits of being the youngest kicking in because Nikki thinks Momo should frankly learn how to act appropriately in a social situation, no matter how hypocritical it is of her) before leading them upstairs to the apartment above the shop. “I’ll save the tour for some other day, but! Here’s the kitchen, and the table, do you like the new chairs I got? I only had this little ol’ one here before but hopefully none of you mind a little bit of granny furniture right?” She gestures around the warmly lit apartment. “Feel free to look around! Make yourself at home. I want my children to feel comfortable here.” Sh- Mom breezes by them but Nikki swears there’s a smile on her face from saying “my children”. As her mother bustles about in the kitchen, Nina announces that they’ll get a start on unpacking, motioning for Nikki and Momo to follow her. There’s a lot of boxes, but most of their items arrived in Mira a few days earlier with the moving company. It takes relatively no time at all for the car to be cleaned out, so now Nikki sits at the table eating a sweet bread bun that she doesn’t exactly want but will still eat anyways. Momo is completely delighted at the baked goods and Nina has already collapsed on the couch from sheer exhaustion of driving for so long. Spared from the conversation, Nikki thinks enviously. But soon, her mother makes her feel comfortable and the chit-chat flows easily(if not a little stiff at first). Nikki finds herself talking about school and fashion and what her friends were like and when she stops, embarrassed by her rambling,

her mother waves her hand and says “I want to hear everything you want to say,” which is completely unfair because how can she be so empathetic and confident in her words when Nikki herself cannot? Nikki becomes nervous when she finishes her tangent on thread tension, racking her brain for anything else she can say, but it seems nothing else is coming up. There’s a silence that she cannot decipher to be awkward or simply a much needed breathing break, but all that she knows is that it has the potential to become awkward. Usually, she would never be the one to lead a conversation, and she was fine with that because when she does, she never stops or she stops too early or something, somehow goes wrong. Things go wrong all the time, there’s probably some sort of statistic for it. Nikki knows that but can’t help it when she wishes she could never falter, never break from her facade, but it’s inevitable. Families separate. Grades drop. Fathers disappear. Oh. Right. At the very thought of her dad, another surge of guilt runs through Nikki because she’s been so engaged in this happiness, having such a grand time, she’s forgotten the reason she’s here in the first place.She’s not even talked about the elephant in the room with her mother, what kind of daughter is she? Her eyes sting and in this moment of vulnerability, the aftermath of spilling almost everything she thinks she could talk about, Nikki’s afraid she’s going to start weeping right on the lovely white lace tablecloth. She racks her brain for the best solution because bursting into tears is the last thing she wants to do right now. Suddenly, without her knowledge, her body is trying to pull off a yawn, as terribly overused as it may be, rubbing at her eyes with vigor. “Oh!” Her mother ushers her up and into her own bedroom because Nikki’s room is still probably being set up, saying things Nikki does not hear as she does, and fretting about with the blinds.

Written by Fishbone | Illustration by ArticticArmoury

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Nikki settles on the bed, embarrassed that it’s come to this but her mother shushes her successfully with “don’t worry about it” and “it probably was a very long day for you, right?” and throws the floral comforter over her. Nikki allows her eyes to slip shut while her mother smoothes out the creases on the cotton, before murmuring something she doesn’t catch. It’s all fine and dandy and she even kisses Nikki’s forehead, to which Nikki almost recoils from the shock. The door shuts quietly, and Nikki wonders how her mother can be so brave and how odd it feels to say “Mom” but how quickly she’s warming up to it and what will happen now that Dad is gone and will there be legal things to deal with and how Nikki knows next to nothing about law and speaking of knowing what school is she going to and how will she deal with college applications applications and how drowsy she feels even though she really shouldn’t be and how comfortable the mattress is. The sky outside is dusky and soft, bruised blues and their edges blurring into the horizon, wispy cotton candy clouds that cruise across the vast expanse of darkness. Nikki falls asleep to the dim lamplight painting shadows on the walls and crickets chirping outside a home with no sentimental value. Yet, she can’t help but think.

To the parent/guardian ofNIKKI QIJI AI , The admissions committee reviews each applicant in many areas, such as standardized test scores and student transcripts. Based on this criteria, we are pleased to offer your child admission to Sayet Academy of Arts. The next step in the admission process is completion of all legal documents. Attached is the admission agreement form, immunization form, medical examination form, academic honesty policy, photography consent form, and staff announcements. Please note that you will be required to mail these forms in before the first day of school. As an incoming JUNIOR transfer student your child is required to attend our orientation program, which will be on September 2nd, from 10:00 AM to 2:30 PM. Congratulations on your achievement. We look forward to having your child grow and develop into a well-rounded adult. Please do note that in the absence of receiving the admission agreement form, we will assume that your child will not be joining us in the school year. Best wishes, Principal Nanari Leroy-Brodeur

-x-

Written by Fishbone | Illustration by ArticticArmoury

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Love Notes

We got a lot of love since we started this project. Your words inspire us to make more and do better. Here are some of our faves. [Edited for length and spelling.]

GlitterUnicornPuke [Reddit] [...] I remember looking at the table of contents and being like HOW did they put together nearly 50 pages of content? I think by the time I got to the knitting section, THAT was what clinched it for me and I was sold on this being kind of the best OG content on Love Nikki.I'm amazed there isn't more feedback - Y'all worked so hard on this, and I really wanted to give you some <3 as it's clear this was an incredible labor of love :)

Anonymous [Tumblr] omg I was just checking out the site and WOW did you guys really pull off something spectacular- I didn't even know Iri was on the team until now! The custom avatars are also all so BEAUTIFUL!! (The end of the scavenger hunt was preeetty satisfying ngl). Great job guys! Can't wait for more- congrats on opening!

Anonymous [Zine Feedback Form]Amazing job on the zine to the artists, writers, all the contributors and of course, the ones who started it all! [...] I loved looking through the art, the writing and the additional cool + interesting stuff like the quizzes or interviews. I can tell there was alot of thought put into this zine and it really makes me feel like I'm flipping through an actual fashion magazine! I'm curious to see what's in store with what you guys will do for any future projects. Thank you so much for creating something so wholesome and fun!

bluecoattallmadge [Tumblr]Oh GodI am astounded and speechlessIt looks great! I read it all and I love it! The articles are very well written, all the pictures/ avis/ art look amazing, the personality quiz was fucking great (I belong to the republic of wasteland!) and the fanfiction was just lovely! I really look forward to more from you guys! <3

Anonymous [Tumblr] I just wanna say that you guys are awesome and we still support you! You're all cuties. Specially Roulette <3 keep making awesome content for us (Momo slaves) Love Nikki players!

shhbaby_isok [Reddit]I love it, so creative! Just the very existence of it - the fact that there is a DIGITAL zine, for a MOBILE GAME makes my inner fanthropologist's heart flutter! Not to mention the good job you guys did :) I especially liked the headcanons on how the different nations celebrate Halloween, the dressup challenge with the interactive spinny wheel, and the fan art of course :)

Thank you for reading, participating, watching and commenting. POPNikki team could not ask for a better community.Send us more Love Notes through our Fall feedback.

Crystal Clover [Youtube]Dat is so damn epicPlease make more of these ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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CONTRIBUTORS + SOURCES

Editor-in-Chief: LillyPOPNikki TeamAeris . ArtisticArmoury . Astie . Ayame Tsukika . Clow . Dayan . Donsveertje . Fishbone . Haley . Hoivess . Inky . Iri . Jill . Joltik . Koda . Legs . Little Avalonia . Sailor Spencer . Ms. Loki . Mythology Stan . Nymphy . Red . Roulette . Royce . Sophie . SweateaSpells . Val . YasJupe . ZemikiSourcesSpecial thanks to Sweet Cupcake from "Nikki's Info"Ms. Loki for transparent assets

Please do not distribute the images or articles without permission from the authors and artists.Love Nikki content and materials are trademarks and copyrights of their respective publisher and its licensors.All rights reserved. POPNikki is not affiliated with Elex Technology or SuZhou Nikki Co., Ltd.© 2018 | POPNIKKI

Logo by:rosepitygirlFront cover by:Donsveertje, with assistance from VallustrationsBack cover by Vallustrations