First Season: AKB0048
1- "Kesenai Yume" ("The Indelible Dream")(消せない夢)
Airdate: April 29, 2012
The episode begins with Acchan's monologue over a starry sky. The screen then cuts to the planet Lancastar where a group of people are attempting to cross a barrier set up by government officials. The police officers patrolling the barrier refuse to let them pass, suspicious that they may be attempting to get into the AKB0048 concert.
Underground in the mines, Nagisa Motomiya, Orine Aida, Yuka Ichijo, and Chieri Sono are making their way to the concert. A flashlight, belonging to a police officer, begins to shine and the girls hug the wall to avoid being seen. The flashlight turns off and they continue to make their way to the concert.
They make it to some abandoned tracks, where Yuka passes out drinks in cartons. Nagisa asks Chieri if this 'live entertainment' is all it's cracked up to be. Chieri tells her that 'It's a radience you could never forget'. The girls hear the chants of the word 'AKB0048' and excitedly make their way outside. There's a huge crowd of people that have come to see AKB0048, stood on a floating stage.
Their first song of the night is Aitakatta. They have large holograms above where they are stood so that the crowd can see them. Orine, Yuka, Nagisa and Chieri watch in delight and amazement as AKB0048 perform for the thrilled crowds. Orine remarks that she has a bad feeling. Chieri begins to sing along to the lyrics. The stage breaks apart with each member stood on a platform as they fly around the area, greeting and (in Kojiharu's case) blowing kisses to the crowd.
Mariko is seen warning of a group of unmaned fighter crafts approaching the stage and orders for the shield around the stage to be strengthened and the Guardian Angels, manned mechas, to be sent in. She contacts Takamina and warns her of the oncoming attack. The girls begin to sing Shoujotachi Yo as fire begins.
The Guardian Angels take out a number of enemy mechas easily, but as riot control officers appear, AKB0048 becomes under attack. Yuuko sends a bomb flying in their direction as Sayaka fights a few with her fists.She is placed in a headlock before she's saved by Kojiharu. Nagisa watches in admiration as a Kirara, a glowing jellyfish-like creature, appears. Sayaka and Kojiharu continue to fight the officers until they're hit by a shoot of water. Under instructions from a Guardian Angel (controlled by most likely Miyazawa Sae the 9th), Takamina takes out another officer with her hairbow.
As the fight and song end, AKB0048 call out their goodbyes before the stage flies away and disappears into thin air. Nagisa, Orine, Yuka and Chieri decide that one day, they will aim to be AKB0048 members.
This scene is followed by a four-year timeskip, while riding her bike all the way to school, Nagisa listen to Aitakatta through her MP3. She stop her bike by a wall, climbing onto it and glimpse at the abandoned mine where the concert was held. Recalling the memories she had with her friends at that time, she sings: Aitakatta, Yes! and leaped on the wall in joy.
Later at school, Nagisa falling asleep during class until she is woken by Yuka, who is showing her a hologram AKB0048 card advertising the 77th AKB0048 auditions. Nagisa exclaims in delight, surprising her teacher and the rest of her class. Yuka hides the card underneath a book as Nagisa sheepishly returns to her seat.
The scene cuts to Orine engineering, presumably at a factory, as she is watched by two older women. Here is is revealed that Orine has no members of her family left. Orine comments on how much she enjoys operating machines and is handed a bag of leftovers by the older women. At this moment, Orine's phone beings to ring. It's a text from Yuka, telling her to come out back to find out about the auditions.
Yuka presses a button and a hologram of Takamina appears. She tells the girls about AKB0048's auditions for their 77th generation of trainees. At this moment, an excited Yuuko appears, telling the girls about how they too can take the name of their favourite idol. The rest of the girls appear behind them, and the group chants 'We look forward to your applications!'.The hologram film ends with instructions explaining how to apply. Nagisa stands up and declares that she will apply to become a member of AKB0048.
The scene then cuts back to the mine entrance where the girls watched the AKB0048 performance four years ago, now filiming their applications. Yuka goes first. Orine, who is filiming, comments that she sounds a little like Mayuyu. Nagisa begins to film her application, singing Aitakatta, but mumbles the words and doesn't look at the camera. Nagisa complains that she finds singing embarrasing as Yuka lectures her on how she won't pass at this rate.
The scene cuts to the trio walking home, as Nagisa asks what they'd do if they were really accepted. Yuka says she wants to succeed Mariko, whereas Orine says she would prefer Sasshi. Yuka tells her she doesn't fit Sasshi's image as a boy begins to make his way round the corner. Yuka hurriedly tells the others that she's going ahead. The two leave Orine and Nagisa behind. Mariko is shown in a strange room, praying for someone or something to call upon the 'Holy Lyric'.
Nagisa is eating a meal at home with her parents when her father brings up the AKB0048 poster Nagisa has hung up in her room. Nagisa responds angrily, asking him why he went in her room. He instructs her to take the poster down due to the Entertainment Ban. It is revealed he is an Entertainment Administration officer when he also questions her about singing in her room.
Nagisa leaves her meal at the table and heads to her room, where she begins to take the poster down before changing her mind. Nagisa comments on how she'd like to be an idol and how pretty their ribbons are, unaware her mother is also in the room with a plate of rice balls. Nagisa complains about how she isn't allowed to achieve her dreams because of her father's job. Her mother leaves the room, telling her to bring down the plate when she's done. Nagisa cries the whole night alone in her room.
The next day, Yuka has fallen to her knees in astonishment on the road as Nagisa and Orine prepare to set off on their bikes. Yuka excitedly tells them that all three of them have made it through to the first round of the auditions. Orine goes to hug her, but Nagisa remains stationary. Yuka and Orine as her what's wrong and are surprised as she tells them she won't be able to go because her dad won't allow her to go and she has no confidence in her singing. A furious Yuka yells at Nagisa for being a lame coward and leaves in annoyance.
Nagisa asks her father again only to be met with the same response. She persists, but he still refuses to let her go. Nagisa runs out of the house, down the street and past the park, only to catch Yuka slapping the boy she met earlier. The boy tells her that he loves her, but won't be able to anymore if she becomes a famous idol. Yuka promises him she'll pass the audition and runs off in a fit of anger.
Orine is cleaning the factory, reminscing about how much she'll miss it if she becomes an idol. She remembers how her parents were killed and how supportive everybody was before promising she'll return one day. The scene cuts to Nagisa lying in the field of dandelion clocks where they first saw AKB0048 perform. Yuka and Orine approach her, trying to wake her up. Nagisa dreams of Orine and Yuka performing as members of AKB0048, whilst she can only watch in the audience.
Later that night, Nagisa has returned to her room and is lying awake in bed, having taken the poster down. Nagisa is unable to sleep for the rest of the night, remaining restless until morning. She finally climbs out of bed and decides that she has to go to the audition. She is about to leave before being interrupted by her mother. who ties a green ribbon in her hair to match the poster. She grabs her bike as she rides towards the airport. Her father asks where she is, and her mother lies, saying that she is still asleep.
The doors of the aeroplane begin to close and Orine begins to panic. Nagisa continues to ride determinedly by the side of the runway, refusing to let it leave without her. She falls off her bike and runs along the runway in an attempt to keep up with the aeroplane. Orine opens the door and reaches out her hand for Nagisa to take, but Nagisa is too far behind and the pair struggle. Just as the plane begins to take off, Yuka appears and pulls Nagisa inside, closing the door as the plane takes off into the air. Orine, Yuka felt relieved Nagisa finally made it into the plane. The three of the then held their hands high, vow to reach their dreams soon.
The episode ends with a list of credits and a preview of Episode 2. In the English Dub, the episode was added an additional credits of Sentai Filmworks which includes a list of English Voice Cast of the anime after the episode ends.
2- "Erabareshi Hikari" ("The Chosen Lights")(選ばれし光)
Airdate: May 6, 2012
The episode begins with Nagisa Motomiya, Yuka Ichijo and Orine Aida in a space airport where they hope to take the next ship to the AKB0048 auditions. As they are walking, a mysterious stranger and her pet Kirara suddenly bump into them. This scene is followed by the opening song, Kibou ni Tsuite.
After the opening song the scene cuts to a terrified Makoto Yokomizo peering out of the window of the ship, terrified of the many asteroid belts and space debris floating around and how they might hit the ship. Whilst she is wailing, it is revealed that she ran away from her home in order to get to the auditions. She is heard panicking by a slightly confused Suzuko Kanzaki, who chooses to ignore her and continue on her way.
Suzuko is seen grabbing a drink from a vending machine when she overhears two security staff having a conversation about a stowaway that has been stealing food. After they have left, to Suzuko's suprise, the vending machine begins to shake and rumble and Sonata Shinonome pokes her head round the side of it, asking if the crew members gone. She asks Suzuko if she's a member of the crew, to which Suzuko says no. Sonata begs her not to tell anyone from the crew that she's here.
Sonata hops down from her hiding place and offers to bribe Suzuko with an autograph, noting that when she joins AKB0048 it'll be worth a lot. Suzuko asks Sonata to address the autograph to her. Sonata notes how the kanji for 'Suzu' in Suzuko's name can also be read as 'Rin' and so declares that her new nickname will be Linda. The crew members then appear, spotting Sonata, at which point she runs away in a fluster.
Orine, Yuka and Nagisa are seen looking out into space through a window. Nagisa is feeling homesick already, beginning to get upset at seeing Lancastar float further and further away. Yuka tells her not to forget her promise because the three of them are all going to join AKB0048. Orine reminds her that there is another girl - Chieri Sono - who was the first to introduce them to AKB0048 four years ago.
They remember about how Chieri came to visit Lancastar and was notably dressed in frilly, well-off clothes, though she still played in the water with them, Yuka questions if she would still want to join AKB0048, but Nagisa is certain she can't have forgotten their dream. At this very moment, hearing the word 'AKB0048', Sonata pops out of nowhere and enquires if they, too, are going to be auditioning to join AKB0048. Yuka asks who she is, to which she replies 'Sonata, of course!'
As Yuka escorts her out of the room, Orine asks why she won't let them tell anybody she's her. Sonata excitedly responds that she's going to join AKB0048, as well, to Yuka's suprise. At this moment Makoto appears, excitedly asking if they're all joining AKB0048 as well. Suzuko answers her question too, making everybody jump.
Everybody with the exception of Sonata is then seen eating a meal inside the ship's food hall. Makoto is paranoid that she's the worst singer of the group and won't be good enough to join AKB0048. Nagisa attempts to reassure her when her chicken is suddenly swiped by Sonata, who was hiding underneath the table. Sonata finally reaveals that she is in fact a stowaway and didn't get a ticket - in fact, she didn't pass the audition at all. Suzuko, who has done a lot of extensive research on AKB0048, tells her she has a good chance due to her height and hair. The other girls are amazed at just how much she knows.
At this moment, on the televisions inside the food hall, a news announcement status that Chieri Sono, heiress of the Zodiac Corporation, has mysteriously gone missing. Members of the ship's crew ask if the girls know her, for they received a tip-off that she was on the ship. In a panic, Orine, Yuka and Nagisa aren't sure what to say, so the crew give it up as a bad job and move on.
Nagisa, now certain that Chieri really is on the ship and auditioning to become a member of AKB0048, begins searching the ship for her. She stumbles across the mysterious stranger from the space airport again, who coolly remarks that her once shining Kirari has lost its sparkle and become dull. She asks Nagisa if she is going to turn in Chieri, which Nagisa denies. The stranger shrugs and explains that if she turns in Chieri, she will have one less rival. Even once you're in AKB0048, there is still a rivalry for the Senbatsu elections. The stranger turns to leave, telling Nagisa she's unlikely to become a member of AKB0048 if she doesn't realize the others are her rivals. As she leaves, Orine and Yuka run up to Nagisa. Noticing Nagisa's troubled expression, Orine asks what's wrong.
The scene cuts to Tsubasa, in a strange temple, telling someone or something that the ship carrying the first group of auditionees is en route. There are six of the candidates on board. The Great One that she is praying to murmurs something about tears, before Tsubasa exclaims that this is a part of the Holy Lyric. She decides to dispatch the 'Flying Get' and leaves.
The scene cuts to the girls sat in the lounge, with Nagisa recounting her story and how it never occured to her that they would be rivals. Sonata teases her until Yuka hits her in annoyance. Makoto is beginning to panic whilst Suzuko takes notes on her personality. Nagisa begins to look up at the sky, where she notices some strange lights. The alarm is set off and the ship begins to rumble and shake. Suzuko says that this must be a DES attack. The DES are attacking because they received a tip-off that the girls bound for the AKB0048 auditions were on this ship. Nagisa and co crawl behind a chair in fright as the other passengers on this ship are terrorized. Yuka throws a ball of light to distract the DES forces whilst they make their getaway.
The girls have just begun to escape when a DES soldier pulls Nagisa back, leaivng the others helpless. Nagisa struggles until AKB Sanjou! suddenly begins to play on the loudspeakers. At this moment the very AKB0048 girls themselves appear, leaping in to save the day. As they battle the DES forces, Nagisa manages to escape with the others before realizing that she has forgotten her precious green ribbon. She makes her way back before the other girls can stop her. When Nagisa returns she is confronted by a DES soldier who grabs her.
Nagisa struggles until the mysterious stranger appears and helps her. After the DES soldier has been defeated, she takes off her hat and is revealed to be Chieri Sono herself, to Nagisa's surprise. Suddenly the DES forces shoot out of nowhere and parts of the ceiling begin to dislodge, one falling directly on top of Chieri, trapping her. Chieri insists that Nagisa leaves and leaves the DES forces to her, but Nagisa refuses, saying she doesn't care if they're supposed to be rivals. As they are talking, Chieri's Kirara appears, glowing incredibly brightly in the prescence of two idols. All of a sudden Yuuko appears, informing them that this means the birth of an idol. As she touches the Kirara, it begins to glow a bright yellow colour. She tells them that they glow brightly around an idol's aura before singing a line from the chorus of Heavy Rotation, lifiting the piece of debris from Chieri in the process. She lifts Chieri up before questioning why she has pet Kirara anyway. Chieri explains that when she saw one at the AKB0048 concert on Lancastar, it followed her home and has never left her side since. Yuuko tells the other members of AKB0048 through her eirpiece that she's found two hopefuls as she escorts them through the ship on her platform. Nagisa is reunited with Yuka and Orine in excitement as she sprints up towards them and hugs them. Takamina, Mayuyu, Suzuko, Sonata and Makoto are also present. Orine suddenly exclaims at Chieri's prescence.when all of a sudden a DES mecha appears from nowhere. Because she is a cyborg, Mayuyu extends a gun from her arm and locks on to her target. She shoots as Yuuko hurries the trainees out of the way to let Mayuyu, Takamina and herself battle.
As the girls are back in the ship, Nagisa wonders why no Kirara followed her home and contemplates if Chieri has been chosen to do this. At the same time, Chieri is wondering why her Kirara never glowed for her, but it did for Nagisa. As another attack begins, Yukirin talks to the other members on her earpiece. Chieri and Nagisa both grab onto something as they brace themselves for the attack and are sucked into a vortex.
3- "Hoshikuzu Serekushon" ("Stardust Selection")(星屑セレクション)
Airdate: May 13, 2012
On board the ship, the girls have joined the other audtioners in the training room. As they look around and gage the competition, Tsubasa walks into the room, and explains to the girls that they must sing the song Beginner in order to pass the auditions and have a successful performance. At first the girls are relieved, even Makoto, who states she thinks she can do the song. But Tsubasa claps for attention, stating that it will require a successful performance. At this point, Kojiharu enters the training hall and hands Nagisa her microphone, at which point Nagisa accidentally switches the mic saber on and nearly takes out Yuka and Orine in the process until Nyan-Nyan switches it off. She then takes the girls from the room, murmuring words of encouragement, as Tsubasa watches them go and smiles. She turns to go but her sleeve is caught by Sonata, who states that she is here to audition for the group. Tsubasa looks at her, and asks her what is stopping her. Sonata grins and runs off, while Tsubasa looks after her with a grin on her face.
The girls are shocked to discover that they will be trained in guerilla warfare rather than singing and dancing, including battling robots, zero gravity environments, and firearms. As the girls are sitting in the training room, exhausted from the days work, Tsubasa comes in and informs them that the auditioners will not be performing the song Beginner, but protecting the members of AKB0048 as they perform the song on a guerilla planet controlled by the DES. After a long hard day, the girls climb into the showers, only to be covered in rusty water until Takamina and Yukirin tell the girls how to properly utilize the showers. Poor Makoto though unfortunately ended up in the one shower that is always rusty. Next in the cafeteria, the girls are too tired to eat, but are force fed fatty steaks by Sayaka, who instructs the girls to eat to replenish their energy. Orine moans she is on a diet, while behind her, Mayuyu consumes twenty steaks in a row.
The girls attempt to settle down for the night in their zero gravity beds, but Orine, Yuka, and Makoto are all complaining about the circumstances and that this was not what they signed up for. Chieri crawls out of bed and scolds the girls for their complaints, and if they don't like it they should go home. Chieri leaves, and Nagisa chases after her, with Yuka right behind. While chasing after Chieri, they happen upon the current members of AKB0048 rehearsing long after everyone else has gone to sleep. When the members start to argue, Nagisa bursts in and tells them they should not fight. She and Yuka are surprised when the girls respond by laughing, and Minami informs the girls that that is how they grow as a group, by listening to one another's viewpoints and growing from them. As Nagisa and Yuka head back to bed, they encounter two other auditioners, who are on their way to ask Tsubasa to stop this training, as they feel its unfair that AKB0048 is only singing and dancing, and not being forced to work like the rest of them. Nagisa starts to say something, but is cut off by Yuka, who scolds the girls for their bad attitudes and that they should get out if they don't like it, saying it in the same manner that Chieri used earlier. After this, Nagisa and her friends seem to get the hang of what they are supposed to be doing, handling the firearms well and defeating a robot. Tsubasa states that the girls are ready as they descend to the guerilla planet. Meanwhile, while making a gun ready, Chieri noticed Mayuyu who tells her that if she continues to not eat, she won't pass the selection round. On the planet surface, the members of AKB0048 give the auditioners a pep talk, and after a group rally cry, the auditoners are placed on the surface. As AKB0048 performs, Tsubasa orders the girls to be ready. Almost instantly as the attack begins, most of the girls are eliminated without even much of a fight.
Tsubasa shakes her head in disappointment, but notices Nagisa and her friends not only defending the concert, but taking care of the injuries of the girls who did not make it. When a particular vicious robot shows up, Chieri states that she will distract it while Nagisa takes it out. Nagisas protests, but Chieri heads out, and is seemingly shot point blank in the process. Nagisa and the other girls watch in horror as Chieri falls. Nagisa rushes to Chieri's side, but discovers that the red liquid is not blood, but paint. As the girls look on in astonishment, Tsubasa descends the rock she is standing on and tells the girls this was all a test, and that there was never any need to fear for their safety, since the DES mecha was actually an AKB0048 mecha and that the planet is not under the Entertainment Ban. Meanwhile, on Akibastar, the mysterious entity Sensei Sensei said: Within that... Eternal ring., in which a priestess tells another priestess to inform Tsubasa about what they just witnessed. Tsubasa then congratulates Nagisa, Yuka, Orine, Sonata, Makoto, Chieri, and Suzuko for passing the test and that they are the 77th Generation canidates for AKB0048. As congratulations and cheers resound from both the girls who passed and the current members of AKB0048, Nagisa looks ahead to Akibastar and the future.
4- "Sono Doryoku Uragiranai" ("Your Efforts Aren't in Vain")"(その努力裏切らない)
Airdate: May 20, 2012
After the 77th Generation understudy selection during Episode 3, the girls finally arrive on Akibastar, the homeworld of AKB0048 and their home stadium. The girls are escorted into the stadium by Tsubasa, where they will be treated to a performance by AKB0048. But first, there is a pre-show performance, from the two remaining members of the 75th Generation, Mimori Kishida and Kanata Shinonome, performing Lemon no Toshigoro. During the performance, Tsubasa explains to the girls that the 75th Generation is referred to as the cursed generation, as all but two understudies, Mimori and Kanata, quit due to the extreme regime of the training. Two years have passed and neither have become successors to AKB0048. Sonata calls out to Kanata, encouraging her and nearly distracting her, if not for Mimori stepping in. Mimori and Kanata leave the stage, and AKB0048 performs, as the members of the 77th Generation watch in awe and shock.
After the show, the girls head backstage to meet the girls of the 75th Generation. Mimori and Kanata are changing as the girls walk in, and Sonata runs in and tackles Kanata head on, shouting "Onee-san!" Mimori back off as the girls watch in obvious puzzlement and asks if that is Kanata's sister. Sonata states she missed Kanata, but Kanata seems not to care and tells Sonata she should not have bothered coming at all. Sonata is hurt by this and the girls puzzled as Kanata stalks off, leaving Mimori to greet the girls and accidentally let her breasts fall out of her dress.
Mimori and Kanata then show the girls around the 0048 dormitories, including the kitchen, library, and baths. While the other girls seem impressed with this, Sonata holds back, not saying a word at all. When shown to the dorm room she will be sharing with Makoto, Yuka, and Orine, Sonata attempts to strike up a pleasant conversation with her sister, but Kanata ignores her and walks out. Mimori meanwhile shows Nagisa, Suzuko, and Chieri to their room, where Nagisa is excited by the prospect of becoming a new person. Mimori looks on, and is reminded of the girls of the 75th Generation who left those years ago. As Mimori goes to her room, the members of the 77th Generation go downstairs and find Suzuko looking at the pictures of those girls who in the past held Center Position, including the last girl to do so, Atsuko Maeda. Yuuko then comes up behind the girls, stating her admiration for the previous centers and that she will be the next member to become Center.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Kanata is yelling at Sonata for her stupidity of coming to the auditions and makes to slap her. Mimori stops her, but not before Sonata calls her a liar and runs away from Kanata. Mimori then inquires in the room she shares with Kanata why she is not more excited to see her little sister. Kanata responds by saying she does not undestand why she and Mimori have not been chosen as successors, even when they went back and studied the original members. She then explains that her frustration comes from when her father was killed a few years back by DES, and she became an understudy for the sole purpose of getting up on stage and attacking DES for killing her father. She does not want Sonata to have to go what she has gone through. Nagisa awakens the next morning from a dream of her mother. She says good morning to Chieri, but Chieri responds like a zombie, and stumbles out of the room, followed by her Kirara. Later on, the girls are all at dance practice, with Kanata and Mimori leading. As a quiet Tsubasa looks on, Ushiyama, the dance teacher, chastises Kanata for her lack of enthusiasim and her commitment to her performance. He asks Chieri to switch with Kanata, to which Chieri replies no, that she wants to see the older girls set a good example for her. At this, Kanata runs out of the room, followed by Mimori, and the remaining girls turn on Chieri for her lack of feeling. Nagisa confronts Chieri in the locker room following practice, and scolds her for what she said to Kanata. Chieri repsonds that while Kanata is probably as good or better then the current members of AKB0048, she lacks the radiance of an idol, something that no amount of practice will earn her. Outside, Kanata is angry that while all she cares about is avenging her father, she can't understand why the singing and dancing bothers her so. Kanata sings a little song. As Mimori walks up she joins in the song that Kanata is singing. Kanata screams for her to stop, otherwise she will start liking singing and dancing. Kanata starts to realize she can enjoy singing, and Sonata and the other members of the 77th Generation appear on the hill above her. Sonata calls out Kanata's name over and over, and Mimori mentions how lucky Kanata is to have a fan already and she is not even a member of AKB0048. Kanata beams and calls the girls down to join her and Mimori in singing the song. Elsewhere, Chieri boards a train into the city alone, accompanied only by her Kirara.
5- "Sorezore no Kyūjitsu" ("Their Day Off")(それぞれの休日)
Airdate: May 27, 2012
The episode opens with Nagisa running down the stairs fearing she will be late. She ends up in the bathroom and finds the other eight 77th generation members getting ready for the day, with four of them each sharing a mirror. They then get breakfast in the kitchen along with the current members of AKB0048. Minami greets the girls with a smile, and Mayuyu becomes upset when she is told by Chef Papa there is nothing left to eat, to which she glows in response. The girls head down to practice, but are stunned to find the dance instructor is not there. Tsubasa then walks up, informing them they have their one recreational day off a month. The members are all for practicing, but Tsubasa encourages them to take the day for themselves. The show then cuts to the girls sitting in the lobby, trying to decide what to do with their day. Chieri heads out, stating she is going shopping and it is her business what she does on her day off, while Nagisa chases after her. Makoto is then taken off by Mimori and Kanata, and Sonata and Suzuko go off to the bath, where Sonata wants to play around since usually Kanata will not let her. Suzuko then confides in Sonata that she would like to know who is ultimately in charge of 0048, knowing that Tsubasa and the other adults they have met are not the ones in charge. Mayu then appears in the bath, and mentions someone known as "The Great One", but when Suzuko tries to ask her who that is, Mayu ignores her and begins to torment Sonata for taking her extra helpings at breakfast. Outside, Kanata is making Makoto run around the front lawn dragging a tire behind her, presumably to help her gain stamina. They are interrupted by Kojiharu, who comes up and scolds Makoto and Kanata for not making use of their luscious legs and pheremones. She drags them off to the house to train them. Mimori tries to follow, but is accosted by Sayaka and Sae, who state she has too much pheremones and will teach her about purity, and not just using her pheremones.
While the other girls are being dragged off for torturous training, Yuka and Orine have decided to spend the day helping Chef Papa in the kitchen. As Chef Papa leaves to go look for a new rice cooker, Tomomi enters, having overslept and needing breakfast. Yuka and Orine then make her fried rice, and Tomomi proceeds to drown it in hot spices, including Tabasco sauce. After eating, she asks Yuka and Orine to join her if they are free.
In the city, Nagisa is following Chieri, and confronts her for her lack of feeling. When a man runs up presumably to accost Chieri, Nagisa tackles her to protect her. The guy then tells Chieri that her tag is still on her skirt, and both girls apologize for their rudeness. As Nagisa and Chieri enjoy a precious moment, Yuuko walks up behind them and snaps a candid shot, startling both girls.
Back at the house, Suzuko is looking through the book jackets of the past CDs of AKB0048 and notice that all of the albums are dedicated to someone named S-Quadruple. Just as she realizes this, Yukirin walks up behind Suzuko and Sonata and takes the book jacket, stating that the members of AKB0048 are forbidden from investigating into who S-Quadruple is. When Suzuko asks what would happen if they did investigate, Yuki replies that her belly button would be stolen. Undeterred, Suzuko takes Sonata downstairs, and see Tsubasa heading out of the house to supposedly deal with an issue related to the mysterious Sensei Sensei. The two girls follow her, with Sonata protesting that she does not want to lose her belly button.
Tomochin, Yuka, and Orine are in the city and stop in front of a temple. They enter a beautiful courtyard, and meet Tomomi's mother, grandmother, and older sister, all of whom appear to be older version of Tomochin. Each of them have the diamond pattern in her hair and eyes, indicating graduates of AKB0048. The girls then enter to find out that each of the women in Tomomi's family has been a successor to the original Tomomi, Itano Tomomi. Tomochin's mother mentions that each of Itano's sucessors undergoes specific training to become the next Tomochin. The family even goes so far as to marry men who look like Itano, so that their children will become the next Tomochin in AKB0048. Yuka and Orine are then shown that the cases that Tomochin brought with her contain scrolls instructing the current Tomochin in how to be like the original Itano. The screen then cuts to Kojiharu teaching Makoto and Kanata on how to utilize their pheremones and their legs by making them balance books on their heads. Mimori then interrupts their training trying to be cool, but gives up when she states she is too hot and her breasts are killing her. Sayaka throws her over her shoulder and takes her out of the room, ordering her to run ten more laps around the building, with Sae aplogizing for the interruption. Chieri, Yuuko, and Nagisa sit on a street curb, looking at past photos that Yuuko has taken of AKB0048 and its members. Yuuko states that photography is her hobby, and that she loves to take photos of the other members on her breaks. They then seen a photo of Atsuko, and Yuuko begins to remember her. She states she was an amazing person, and that when she performed, the Kirara would gather around her and create a dress of light. Yuuko swore to herself she would be a Center Position like her. Soon after Yuuko joined, Atsuko graduated and left AKB0048. Yuuko then reveals that all the past Centers have graduated under mysterious circumstances, with Atsuko vanishing in the middle of a concert. All the other past Centers have been the same, and no one knows their whereabouts. She mentions Mii-chan has been rumored to be seen on another planet called Atamistar. Yuuko states that in order to stop the rumors, the Center Position was retired when Atsuko graduated.
The scene then goes to Tomochin, who states that although she wonders what it would be like to be someone else, like Kojiharu, in the end, she loves being like Tomochin. Kojiharu then mentions that she was in the same generation as Yuuko and that Yuuko graduated before her, which caused Kojiharu a little panic. Sayaka and Sae tell Mimori that in 0048 they work hard to become someone else, but their friends keep them grounded and inspire them to keep going. The scene then cuts to Tomochin, Kojiharu, and Yuuko stating the same thing, then Yuuko runs off to take a few more shots, saying goodbye to Chieri and Nagisa. Nagisa then states she wants to succeed Yuuko, and Chieri reluctantly admits she admires her too.
Suzuko and Sonata are seen hiding in the bushes spying on Tsubasa and Ushiyama, their dance instructor as they dine at a small cafe. Ushiyama is then revealed to be a man, and Sonata finds a cat. Nagisa and Chieri practice Yuuko's dance steps, and receive applause from the crowd of people around them. Yuka and Orine attempt to mimic Tomochini's signature look, and fail. Kanata and Makoto succeed in learning how to be sexy, and Mimori continues to exercise alongside Sae and Sayaka, determined not to give up. Tsubasa then states she will be going to see Sensei Sensei after her meal with Ushiyama, but starts to state something to Ushiyama before the camera cuts to Chieri and Nagisa walking home together and stating they will practice Yuuko's move together. Tsubasa and Ushiyama are then shown walking up to Sonata and Suzuko, who are asleep in the bushes, and Tsubasa stating she has to take the girls home, indiciating Tsubasa knew she was being watched the whole time.
6- "Hajimete no Akushukai" ("The First Handshake Event")(初めての握手会)
Airdate: June 3, 2012
The episode opens with the promotional video supporting the 77th Generation of AKB0048, featuring the girls at play at the beach, training at dance, and vocal practice, along with a brief interview with Makoto, Sonata and Orine asking who they would like to succeed (Makoto says anyone, Sonanta says Love-Tan, and Orine says Sashiko-san), and ending with a sunset shot of all the girls on the beach. In the living room, Tsubasa Katagiri shuts off the TV and informs the girls of the purpose of the promotional film. While most of the girls are excited, Makoto freaks out due to her appearance, and Tsubasa informs her the film has already been broadcast across the galaxy and Akibastar. As Makoto bemoans her fate as the "whale waisted idol", Tsubasa tells the girls that they will be attending a handshake event on a pro entertainment planet, in order to meet their new fans and gain feedback. Yukirin, Sayaka, and Takamina then enter and explain the importance of handshake events, including acknowledging the fans and picking an outfit that says the most about them as members of AKB0048. Yukirin and Takamina offer the 77th Generation girls their clothes to borrow for the handshake event, but Sayaka intervenes and warn the young girls that Yuki and Minami are the "Twin Towers of Bad Fashion", much to the two girls' dismay. Thus, the girls decide to go shopping that afternoon before lessons. At a shopping center on Akibastar, most of the girls are trying on new clothes, including cute looks, sexy looks, and animal mascot costumes. Chieri stands off to the side, watching the girls stress out about the choices and what they will wear to the event.
Back at the mansion, the girls are exhausted. Yuka scolds Nagisa to not wear her school uniform to the handshake event. Sonata then bursts in with mail, stating that Orine has a fan letter. Orine opens the letter and a data chip falls out. Yuka places it in her cellphone and an image of a masked boy shows up. At first Orine is excited, but then the boy starts to rip Orine to shreds for thinking she could even come close to being Sashiko. He warns her to quit AKB0048 before the handshake event, or he will set a bomb off there and finish AKB0048 off. Just then, Tsubasa breaks in and rips the video away from the girls, stating that fan mail must be screened before its sent to the girls. She informs the girls that Sashiko was a previous member of AKB0048 who graduated only two years ago, and was very popular with fans. As such, she attracted many fans, but also haters, and the same goes for those who aspire to inherit her name. She tells Orine that if she cannot handle the haters, she doesn't belong in AKB0048. On the railway to the dance studio, Orine is still struck hard by the words of her hater, and is observed by Chieri. At the dance studio, Orine has a hard time concentrating, and falls on the floor while dancing. Chieri comes over and scolds Orine for letting the hater get to her. As Orine cries and runs away, Nagisa confronts Chieri over her thoughtless comment. Chieri then stuns Nagisa by saying she doesn't want Orine to quit the group over this, otherwise her dream won't come true. Ushiyama then goes to get Yuka and Orine, ordering the other five girls to continue practicing.
In the ladies room, Takamina comes running in, needing to use it. She hears Orine crying in one of the stalls and asks if she's all right. Orine opens the door. As Orine cleans up, Takamina offers her a towel. She tells Orine that everyone has haters, especially her, as all people who succeed to the name of Minami Takahashi are made the team captains of AKB0048, and people are expecting her to live up to the past incarnation. When Orine inquires further, Takamina bolts for the bathroom.
Later that same night, Orine stands on the balcony looking out at Akibastar. Nagisa joins her, and Orine explains that when they were growing up, she felt nobody was watching her. She always had a desire to be seen by people. She tells Nagisa that depsite her doubts and fears, she will still show up at the handshake event, inspired by Minami's words.
On the planet where the handshake event is taking place, Suzuko explains to the girls the history of the handshake event as people file into the makeshift stadium. Tsubasa then tells the girls that while the current members of AKB0048 are on break, the 77th generation members will step in and take their place at the booths. After they all get dressed and ready (and Yuka scolds Nagisa for wearing her school uniform and Chieri her boys clothing), Tsubasa orders them to the booths, and Orine goes, even though she is so nervous she knocks her drink over.
As the girls arrive, they notice there are no lines to greet them initially. But then an Orine fan, a little girl named Yayoi, approaches with her big sister. The little girl offers Orine her hand, and Orine takes it and shakes it. Orine is overwhelmed with emotion and thanks Yayoi. After this, people begin to file into the booths and greet the girls. All of them are impacted positively by this until Orine's threatener appears. He moves to confront her, but Chieri quickly moves in front of her, stunning the threatener by welcoming him and thanking him for coming.
Just then, an explosion rocks the stadium. The trainees immediately assume it was Orine's threatener, but the boy insists it was not him, and runs away. As the girls go to catch him, Orine stands in their way, telling them to let him go. Tsubasa comes on the girls' intercoms and informs them that DES is attacking the event. As they attack, Orine spies the little girl who came to see her earlier and runs to help, while Kanata and Mimori show up holding microsabers for the girls so they can attack. As most of the girls run to attack, Mimori, Orine, and Suzuko are directing fans out of the stadium, when Orine notices her threatener knocked over. She runs to help him, but he refuses. He yells at her for even thinking she can replace Sashiko, and states he will protect her name. Orine suddenly realizes that in his video, he had Sashiko memorabilia all over his room and that he loves her. Just then, a DES craft comes crashing down towards them. Orine moves swiftly and saves Sashiko's fan. She tells him that he is her first hater, and asks him to tell her what she is doing wrong so she can become more like Sashiko. Just when Orine and her hater are about to be attacked, a group of WOTA breaks into the stadium to fight alongside the girls. As Chieri fights a massive DES robot, Takamina swoops in and throws Orine her microsaber. Orine runs into the battle as she asks Takamina to save her hater.
Takamina smiles as she realizes Orine has acknowledged that that haters are good in a way, cause they show you what you are missing and help you get better. With the help of the Wota, the girls are able to drive away DES. Yayoi then runs up and thanks Orine for her help, while her hater runs away. Chieri then sees that there is something special about the DES robots. The next day, Tsubasa delivers a letter to Orine. It is another video from her hater. Although he still thinks Orine has a lot of work to do, he does see a bit of Sashiko in her, and if she works hard, she may be able to succeed her. The girls celebrate as Orine holds the video to her heart.
7- "Shūmei Kirara" ("Kirara of Succession")(襲名キララ)
Airdate: June 10, 2012
Nagisa wakes up and looks at her wall, full of Yuuko Ooshima posters, and Suzuko takes a picture. Nagisa announces that she will become Yuuko, while Suzuko says that she's in Sonata's camp and placing her bets. Sonata then appears in the room wearing a bear costume, and she says the Tsubasa is calling them. When they all arrive, they meet the 76th Generation understudies. Tsubasa tells them that a few members of the current AKB0048 will be going to a peace ceremony on another planet, and that they would need a few stand-ins from the understudies. Kanata is chosen to stand-in for Takamina, Mimori is chosen to stand-in for Kojiharu, Megumi Wanibuchi; a 76th Generation girl is chosen to replace Yukirin, and Chieri is chosen to stand-in for Yuuko. The 76th Generation girls complain that the 77th Generation got to go before them, and that one of them should be in her place, but then Tsubasa explains that the selection for stand-ins is based on skill, not seniority, and says that if they don't like it, practice more. Meanwhile, the unchosen girls are sent to have the day off. The 77th Generation Girls decide to go off to karaoke, and Nagisa decides to stay in the dorm. Meanwhile, at practice, Mimori and Megumi are being trained by Ushiyama, Chieri is trained by Yuuko, and Kanata is trained by Takamina. Once training is done, the group decides to have green pepper steak, much to Takamina's disgust. The understudies and succesors meanwhile have lunch, and Chieri decides to have more peppers because of Yuuko's actions. The 76th Generation girls are still upset with the fact that Chieri was chosen to be a stand-in, and manage to dig up information about her, her father, and his company. Their actions causes Chieri to try to leave AKB0048, but Kanata stops her and comforts her.
8- "Sono Namae, Dare no Mono?" ("To Whom Does That Name Belong?")(その名前、誰のもの？)
Airdate: June 17, 2012
The concert starts with Aitakatta. The understudies cheer on their fellow understudies, and they decide to do the dance too. Ushiyama explains to Tsubasa that they wouldn't get off his case. Then it turns to a flashback, where the members are practicing Aitakatta. Suddenly the 77th Generation understudies burst through the front door. Ushiyama questions the girls on what they are doing, which Sonata answers that they want to observe their lessons. Ushiyama lets them have a corner of the practice room, which the girls respond with glee. The girls end the performance. Meanwhile, back at the dressing room, the girls are congratulating Chieri, Kanata, and Mimori. Megumi is left alone, only to be congratulated by Sae. Suzuko tells Kanata that Takamina is coming back any moment, which Kanata panicks and runs away.
Soon as Kanata ran to meet Takamina, Nagisa, Sonata, Yuka and others followed behind.
9- "Kimochi Rirēshon" ("Emotion Relation")(キモチリレーション)
Airdate: June 24, 2012
Due to Minami's injuries, Kanata is asked to fill in for her in an upcoming concert on the snowy planet Thundristar, much to Minami's dismay. As the understudies explore the planet and see how people under the entertainment ban are like, they meet a group of young fans who are looking forward to the concert. As Nagisa sings to cheer them up, Tsubasa decides to hold a multiple co-ordinated concert with the understudies in order to distract the DES while the main concert takes place. Before the concert begins, Minami demands to participate despite her injuries, much to Kanata's disappointment. As Kanata escorts Minami after she comes down with a fever at the end of the concert, Minami understands a bit more about Kanata's passion and once again feels she deserves to be Minami more than herself.
10- "Namima no Kiseki" ("Miracle of the Waves")(波間のキセキ)
Airdate: July 1, 2012
Following a meeting with Sensei-Sensei, Tsubasa announces a gravure shoot for all the members, including the understudies. As they arrive on the ocean planet Atamistar, Makoto grows concerned about her appearance, so Suzuko uses a technique to push all the fat up to her breasts. Meanwhile, Yūko confronts Tsubasa, who was a former AKB successor, about the reason why Atsuko disappeared and the center position was abolished, but gets no answers. As Makoto's plan ultimately fails after being stun by a jellyfish, the Kirara glows brightly when Nagisa and Chieri are shot together. As Suzuko explains to Makoto about how she'd rather be an administration member than a successor, Chieri tells Nagisa that she thinks Kirara has chosen her. Meanwhile, Tsubasa meets up with the camerawoman, Mikako Minamino, who is the former successor of Minami Minegishi and a former Center Nova, who shows Tsubasa the picture of Kirara glowing for Chieri and Nagisa. Tsubasa is satisfied for this, but Minami declares she is against the idea of the Center Nova position being resurrected.
11- "Rankasutā Futatabi" ("Return to Lancastar")(ランカスター再び)
Airdate: July 8, 2012
During an AKB0048 concert, it's suddenly announced that the understudies will make their debut performance on Nagisa, Yuka and Orine's home planet, Lancastar. It is also announced that Nagisa will be performing a solo song generally sung by those who receive promotions. Yuka becomes concerned when Mamoru, the boy she has a crush on, tell her to not come back on Lancastar through an e-mail. A new song has been composed by Sensei Sensei for the understudies, the first one since the disapearance of Acchan. Yuuko is then determined to learn the new song. As they approach Lancastar, they learn that DES have learned about the concert. As the understudies visited the town, they encounter Mamoru and his friend Aoi who have become members of the Entertainment Liberation. They explained what happened to Lancastar a few months after Nagisa, Yuka and Orine's departure, including the arrest of Nagisa's father. Soon after, the DES attack the abandoned school where the Entertainment Liberation has chosen as base. The understudies tried to escape, but Orine has been cornered by a DES mobile suit made from parts that came from Orine's factory.
12- "Ai o Utau Aidoru" ("The Idol Who Sings of Love")(愛をうたうアイドル)
Airdate: July 15, 2012
Nagisa, Chieri and Orine manage to evade capture until they are rescued by the WOTA, who offer to help Nagisa rescue her father. Arriving at the detention center, Kanata and Yūka join the WOTA forces in diversionary tactics while the rest of the understudies sneak in underground. However, Nagisa's father refuses to be rescued and they are forced to retreat empty handed. While recouping at Yūka's family restaurant, Nagisa hears from Yūka's parents how her father was arrested because he didn't want Nagisa to be forced to quit AKB0048. Due to all the stress she has been feeling, Nagisa ends up losing her voice, so Chieri decides to fill in for her song. Meanwhile, Minami confesses to Yūko that she intends to graduate after the concert, while Chieri tells Nagisa not to think about quitting until after their performance. As the day of the concert comes, the understudies start their performance while the successors and WOTA defend against the DES, although the concert is cut short due to the overwhelming DES forces. As Yūka says goodbye to Mamoru, who confessed his love for her before the concert, a new Kirara appears.
13- "Egao no Tame ni" ("For Their Smiles")(笑顔のために)
Airdate: July 22, 2012
The episode begins with Tsubasa informing the girls that the planned live concert on Lancastar will not be able to go ahead due to a planned attack from DES which is expected to be on a massive-scale. As soon as the words are out of her mouth, the girls, especially the trainees, are protesting in disappointment. Chieri argues that everybody will be waiting for them, so they don't care if they die, but Tsubasa sharply interrupts her by telling her death is not something to be taken lightly.
Yuka asks if Lancastar will fall completely under the entertainment ban if they leave now, prompting support from Mimori. Nagisa realizes that if they can never go back to Lancastar, she will never see her parents again. Tsubasa tries to ignore the girls' arguments, saying that they will be meeting up with the Katyusha. With that, she ends the video call, leaving the girls stood alone, wondering if the concert will take place or not. The scene cuts to Tsubasa in the control room, her assistants informing her that they have joined with the Katyusha and for now, DES have given up. Tsubasa reminds them to stay aware of possible threats but her own mind quickly drifts back to a memory of when she was a member of AKB0048, along with Acchan. Tsubasa is complaining to Acchan about how nobody will be waiting for them, due to the fact there are no WOTA on the planet.
Acchan considers this, then tells Tsubasa that she reason she goes to see the audience is because she wants to. Back in the present day, Tsubasa wonders aloud what she should do. After the girls have finished there showers, Sonata mumbles about how the DES scared her when they said that they hated AKB0048. Suzuko firmly reassures her, telling her that the DES are wrong to hate AKB0048 and that it is a band full of smiles, love and happiness. The scene cuts to Chieri, Nagisa, Orine and Yuka, getting changed seperately from the others. Chieri comments on how she had wished to return to Lancastar one day because she enjoyed the summer the four of them had spent together so much.
The scene cuts to Takamina on her way to ask Tsubasa about the concert, when she is interrupted by Yuuko. Yuuko tells Takamina it's not up to them to help out the trainees and they should be the ones learning to get through this with their own power. Yuuko offers to go and see Tsubasa with her, well aware that Takamina intends for this to be her last concert so Kanata can take over her name.
Tsubasa is still musing about Acchan's words to her from back when they were in AKB0048 when her thoughts are suddenly interrupted by an incoming video call from Kanata and the rest of the trainees. Kanata begs Tsubasa to let them perform the live concert on Lancastar, despite Tsubasa's objections. Chieri yells that they want to see the audience, making Tsubasa jump due to the similarity of Chieri and Acchan's words. An incoming call also arrives from Yuuko and Takamina, asking the same thing of her. All of a sudden Tsubasa's control room is flooded with video calls from the AKB0048 successor members, begging to be allowed to go to Lancastar for the concert. Just as quickly as they arrived, the video calls cut out and the screens turn blue.
Kirara float around the room, echoing Acchan's words, and begin to spread around the ship until everybody can hear them. As a result of the immense number of Kirara appearing, the Kirara Drive begins and Tsubasa wonders aloud if Acchan is still alive and is the cause of this. The scene cuts to a war-torn Lancastar, thousands of crouds pushing, shoving and protesting with anger that they are not allowed to enter the AKB0048 concert. Mikako Minamino is also there, and suddenly spots the humongous burst of light emerging from the clouds, aware instantly that it is AKB0048. She directs the huge crowds towards the direction of the light, setting off a stampede. Meanwhile in the control room, Tsubasa begins to weep as she thanks Acchan for always lighting the way as the video calls regain connection. After a sudden change of heart, Tsubasa declares that they're going to Lancastar and the party is beginning.
From his prison cell, Nagisa's father hears the pound of music, specifically AKB0048's. Mamoru and another male are driving an army tank through the streets, commenting that if they're going to help defend AKB0048, they should do it in style. Mikako continues to lead the stampede towards the concert, encouraging them to shout even louder for their idols. Finally, the long-awaited AKB0048 ship descends amongst the crowds as their first song, Nagisa no Cherry, begins.
Chieri, leading the others, begins to sing, ignoring the incoming DES shots. Nagisa, having taken on a more minor role, is struggling to even sing, focusing on keeping up with the dance more than anything else. Meanwhile Nagisa's father comes to the realisation that the music he heard is from AKB0048 when the Chief Mamoru was in the car with appears offering an escape to the concert. Mamoru approaches him, telling him that his own daughter, Nagisa, is up there too, in her very first performance.
Back on the stage, Chieri offers Nagisa her microphone. Chieri says that she doesn't want this to be a competition and nothing good would come of being against one another. She tells Nagisa to unleash her feelings towards the entire population of Lancastar and hands her the microphone. At this moment, a group of fans call out for the two, and Nagisa spots her own mother amongst them. A shout from Mamoru causes Nagisa's eyes to move towards the mine entrance, where she spots her father, too. Their presence gives Nagisa the confidence she needs and for the first time in a while, she manages to sing, solo.
At this moment, Chieri's Kirara splits in two, one representing Nagisa and the other representing Chieri. The trainees not supporting the performance of Cherry Cherry Boy squeal and hug each other in delight and happiness for Nagisa. After the next verse, the song is over. All that is left now is the encore of Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru, to be performed by the entire 77th and the 75th Generation. The successor members take up their defensive positions, ready to fight DES if needed. Whilst the girls are performing the song, floods of Kirara begin to appear, attracted to the idols within the trainees. In alarm, Tsubasa realizes the radiance of the Kirara is just like the night that Acchan disappeared. She comments on how not only Nagisa and Chieri are glowing, but the entire 77th and 75th Generations have the same radiant light surrounding them.
All of a sudden a large attack hits the side of the ship, forcing the trainees to the ground. Chieri pulls out her Micsaber, but is stopped by Kanata, who reminds her the successors are there to handle defense due to the importance of the song. The sucessors begin to continue the song, this time on flying plates rather than the stage. Takamina watches Kanata proudly, happy with her decision to graduate, before rallying round the rest of the succesor members to help defend the 77th and 75th Generations. Takamina falls, but manages to get back up, assuring the rest of the successors she only has a scratch, when all of a sudden a Kirara appears.
At this moment in the Holy Grounds, Takamina's soul suddenly shifts to the closest of that of the original Minami Takahashi. All of a sudden Sensei Sensei's voice resounds throughout the control room, repeating the same two words over and over again: 'Center Nova'. The Kirara meld into images of the nine trainee members, and Tsubasa realizes he means that one of the trainees is destined to become the next Center Nova.
The final song of the concert is Kibou ni Tsuite, the dance the girls do a reenactment of the opening of AKB0048. Whilst the 77th and 75th Generations sing, the successors are still busy defending, holding out well against the army of DES forces. All of a sudden, DES begin attacking spectators, including the area where Nagisa's parents are. Nagisa quickly attempts to come to the rescue, but is hit by an attack from a DES machine and falls to the ground. Mamoru begins his attack as Nagisa begins to get back up and Chieri appears to help her out, both armed with Micsabers. Their Kirara suddenly form an impeneterable shield of light, protecting them from all DES attacks. No sooner than this, Yuuko appears armed with two massive Micsabers, dealing serious damange to the DES machine. Mayuyu extends her robotic arm and begins firing bullets at a fleet of incoming DES mechas, destroying them with one hit.
Takamina appears and instructs Nagisa and Chieri to return to their concert, assuring the pair that they'll take care of the DES. The trainees all return to their performance of Kibou ni Tsuite as Nagisa's father looks on proudly. As the radiant light from the Kirara begins to envelop them even more, Tsubasa and Mikako begin to panic, reminded of what happened to Acchan a few years ago. The Kirara reach their peak point of brightness, but after the light has cleared, the 77th and 75th Generations are still there as the song ends, prompting relief from Mikako as they shout their thanks to the crowd.
The Kirara that had spread throughout the ship fade away, a relieved Tsubasa commenting on how lucky they were to have made it through the concert. She promises herself that if a trainee becomes a Center Nova, she will find out the truth of what happened to them.
An exhausted Mikako is still lying by the concert grounds, breathing heavily, scraping up a clump of Dualium in her hands. She wonders aloud if that could be the reason for the phenomenon of the Center Nova at Lancastar. Nagisa steps off her flying plate to greet her mother, launching into a big hug with her. Her father's approach is quieter. Nagisa apologizes to him, but he simply asks why she is apologizing. At this point, Nagisa and Chieri receive a call from Yukirin to retreat through their earpieces. Nagisa runs towards her flying plate, crying as she goes before flying into the distance with Chieri, as the trainees begin to retreat to Yakusoku Yo.
Mamoru and Yuka meet again and Orine apologizes to the DES machine she built, which she named "Sakura", and for it was destroyed. Yuka and Mamoru share a high five before Yuka quickly makes her excuses and leaves, trying not to get too upset. Takamina and Yuuko are greeted by Tsubasa, who whispers the good news about graduation in Takamina's ear.
Yuuko can tell exactly what Tsubasa has just told her and gives Takamina a congratulatory thumbs-up. As the understudies realize it's time to leave, they give their audience one final smile, and leave.
Second Season: AKB0048 Next Stage
1 (14)- "Shōjo Saiban" ("The Young Girls' Trial")(少女裁判)
Airdate: January 5, 2013
Following the understudies' debut, Nagisa has a dream about Atsuko, whilst Yūko ponders about Nagisa and Chieri's potential to be Center Novas. After another performance by the understudies, Tsubasa announces the return of both General Elections, in which fans nominate understudies and successors to participate on a single, and the revival of the Center Nova position, exciting Yūko, who declares she'll be the one to claim it. Whilst resting at a hot spring inn, the DES attack and capture Chieri, Sonata, and Yuki "Yukirin" Kashiwagi, whose real name is revealed to be Ayako Kuroki, taking them to the High Court on Kasumigastar where they put them on a live trial broadcast across the galaxy. As the rest of the group plan a rescue attempt, Chieri decides to plead her defense, exclaiming her faith in AKB0048. Spurred on by her words, AKB0048 arrive on the planet and rescue Chieri and the others. Meanwhile, Chieri's father is planning something using the data gathered from the trial.
2 (15)- "Shōgeki no Shintenkai!?" ("Shocking New Developments!?")(衝撃の新展開!?)
Airdate: January 12, 2013
Following the broadcast of the trial, Chieri has seen a popularity boost and has been getting more work. Meanwhile, Tsubasa announces that there will be a new guerilla channel for AKB themed shows, with the understudies to star in a variety show. As Cheri's father is seen developing artificial Kiraras, Tsubasa becomes curious as to how were able to break into Kasumigastar so easily. Meanwhile, Nagisa, who has yet to make a poster for the general elections, notices Chieri hasn't made one either. As Tsubasa becomes disappointed by the quality of the variety shows, Chieri shares her worries with Nagisa, saying she would rather be elected for her skill than for the trial broadcast. They are approached by Yuki and Haruna "Kojiharu" Kojima, who tell them to watch Atsuko's video for the general elections, which also showed Yūko from before she was a successor, when she was known as Hikari Kimishima. As the girls learn the variety shows are being broadcast on planets with the strictest entertainment ban laws, they put more effort into entertaining the audience whilst Nagisa and Chieri complete their posters. Tsubasa soon announced the early results for the general elections, with Chieri ranked in 9th place.
3 (16)- "Aidoru no Yoakemae" "The Idol's Dark Before the Dawn"(アイドルの夜明け前)
Airdate: January 17, 2013
As the understudies participate in a pre-election handshake event, Nagisa becomes concerned about Chieri, who has been feeling down since the early result announcement. During the event, Chieri learns of a noodle commercial using footage from her trial to promote their product. Later that night, Nagisa observes Yūko and Minami vowing to compete against each other in the elections before hearing from Mimori about her dedication to her fans. The next day, Chieri meets up with a servant from her family, Yasunaga, who gives her a video message from her father, revealing that his group was involved in her trial and has been promoting her idol career since then. As the day of the elections arrives and the final results are announced, Mimori is ranked in 10th place.
4 (17)- "Shin Senbatsu Sōsenkyo" ("New General Elections")(新選抜総選挙)
Airdate: January 26, 2013
All of the understudies and successors are sitting at the announcement ceremony anxiously awaiting to hear who has placed in the General Elections. The first to be announced is Mimori Kishida, in 10th place. Mimori gives a speech of thanks to the audience, and takes a moment to acknoweldge the friendship she has shared with Kanata, and that she is grateful to have had a devoted friend by her side. Kanata rebukes the statement gently, stating that she was the lucky one to always have had Mimori smiling by her side and cheering her up, and she would have been lost without her.
As Mimori sits down, Yuka states that she feels guilty for doubting Mimori's statement that everyone has an equal chance at the General Elections, and that Mimori has proven her wrong. Nagisa looks on, then turns to Chieri, who seems worried. Chieri is remembering a conversation she had with Tsubasa, stating that she wanted to quit because it was not fair to the other girls for her to rank so high. Tsubasa chastises her, but Chieri stands firm, believing her father and Zodiac Corporation are the reason she has gained so many votes and that she got 9th place in the early results. Tsubasa tells her that if she places in the General Elections, she will have the opportunity to give a speech and that what she says will be up to her. Tsubasa also includes that if she wants to quit, she will have to tell her fans herself.
The elections continue with Sae Miyazawa placing 9th. She thanks the crowd, and Megumi seems especially excited on her behalf. As the girls celebrate and Suzuko reveals she voted ten times for Sonata, along with Sonata revealing she voted for herself, Yuka chastises them as Nagisa looks at a nervous Chieri. Back on Lancastar, Yuka's family is waiting to watch the broadcast of the elections, along with Nagisa's mother. Nagisa's mother states she was too nervous to watch the broadcast alone, and Yuka's mother states that their girls probably would not rank this time. Nagisa's mother agrees, but still worries for her daughter, stating that Nagisa has always preferred cooperation to competition.
Tomomi Itano is announced in 8th place, and the girls are surprised as to her higher earlier ranking. Some fans scream out their opposition accordingly, and Tomochin steps up to the mic to give her speech. She talks about the time her sister, Tomoka Itano, placed 8th at the last General Elections, and how her sister had been holding back her tears during her speech while her fans cried openly. She says this was the time when she decided that she wanted to become a member of 00 and receive their love. For that reason, she thanks her fans for their tears, and the crowd cheers back in response. As Tomochin sits down, the girls state that they want to be on the stage as well and share in the fans' love and admiration.
Haruna Kojima is elected in 7th place. She thanks the audience and tries to be brave, but ends up breaking down in tears because she is disappointed with her finishing place. As the fans cheer for her, the girls are surprised she is crying as she is usually so happy and cheerful. Kojiharu regains her composure and thanks her fans, and promises to do even better next year. Chieri thinks about her own votes, her own situation, and shakes as she looks back upon the fans of the group. She nearly collapses as she tells Nagisa she is about to graduate.
Chieri Sono is announced to be in 6th place. She tries to get up, but nearly collapses. Nagisa moves to help her, but an overwrought Chieri waves her off, bows to her fans, and tries to walk up to the stage, but appears to have trouble breathing. She makes it up to the stage, and Toku-san the 3rd presents her with her award and asks if she can continue. Chieri states that she can. She tries to speak, and eventually announces that she loves all her fans. Her Kirara shines brightly as a result, and an astounded audience looks on. She then states that she hopes to continue pursuing her dreams alongside the other girls. The audience cheers. Chieri then sits as Nagisa looks on and Tsubasa comments on Chieri's speech.
Next Mayu Watanabe is elected 5th, and gives a brief statement of thanks. In 4th, Yuki Kashiwagi states "Ultimate idol, here I come!" and blows a kiss to her fans. Makoto and Orine state that at this point, it is safe to assume that none of the other understudies placed in the General Elections. Still, they think it is amazing to see the results, and Yuka agrees with them. Still, some of the members are a little disappointed, as Kanata holds back tears, Sonata glumly strokes her bunny hat, and Nagisa notices a cold feeling in her legs. Sayaka Akimoto is pronounced 3rd and says thank you as she breaks down in tears. Nagisa is now feeling weak, and as Sayaka goes up the stairs, has trouble focusing.
Minami Takahashi is elected 2nd, and seems to barely react. She goes up on stage and states that this General Election has given her an answer to a question she had about herself. She goes on to describe the role that the girls who inherit Takamina's name play in the group. She states that she is the one being encouraged by the other girls, and goes on to thank the others and her fans as well, and asks for their continued support of AKB0048. Kanata applauds wildly as she cries, and Sonata wipes her sister's dripping nose.
Finally, the winner is announced, and it is Yuuko Ooshima. Everyone cheers and Yuuko raises her hands in triumph, as the other girls look on in admiration. She thanks her fans and states that she wishes she could bask in their happiness forever. She then states that she still considers Atsuko Maeda her rival, and that being Center for the next single is not enough, and that she intends to stay in the spotlight, to not disappear, and be the next Center Nova! The crowd cheers wildly for her. After her speech, Tsubasa leaves the viewing screen, silently asking Acchan to watch over the current generation of girls. As the girls not elected leave the stadium, Nagisa stops and looks at the stage, realizing she wants to be up there one day. As her Kirara shines, Sensei Sensei mutters something about the Center Nova and Acchan.
Offstage, the scene is different for many of the girls. An ecstatic Mimori and Kanata hug as Makoto, Sonata, and Suzuko watch and are happy for her, an overjoyed Megumi throws herself at Sae, a despondent Kojiharu leans on Sayaka for support as Yuka and Orine look on, an emotionally tired Tomochin kneels on the floor as a stern Takamina grasps her hand. Yuuko is surrounded by other members congratulating her, while Kitarie and Ume-chan cry in a corner. Mayuyu picks up a happy Yukirin as Mocchii and Shii-chan look on, and Yuuko and Takamina hug as Yuuko cries. Nagisa, who has been watching Yuuko, wanders off and runs after Chieri. She stops her and congratulates her on being elected as both of their Kirara appear. Nagisa tells Chieri she was against the General Elections because she was afraid it would sow seeds of spite among the girls. However, after experiencing the General Elections, she realizes that, that cannot happen. Nagisa warns Chieri she won't be easy to beat, and the girls clasp hands as their Kirara shine brightly. Yuuko comes around a corner and sees them, and whispers, "Acchan" as her own Kirara shines brightly as well.
5 (18)- "Kinjirareta Hoshi" ("The Forbidden Star")(禁じられた星)
Airdate: February 2, 2013
The elected members are chosen for a concert on Baltistar, a planet completely under the entertainment ban. Meanwhile the 77th Generation of understudies are chosen to infiltrate a nearby military base undercover in order to investigate reports of important business people visiting the base. As the concert begins, drawing out the DES forces, the understudies begin their mission and start gathering intel. During the investigation, Nagisa, Yuka, and Makoto discover a hidden casino where elite members gamble on how long the concert will last. As they attempt to investigate further, Makoto inadvertently blows their cover. However, due to an apparent stroke of luck, they manage to escape to a garbage disposal and report their findings to Tsubasa. The girls decide to target the nuclear reactor hidden somewhere in the base so they can shut down the casino and escape, with Orine’s team using a stolen mecha to help them. As Makoto laments her usefulness, Higashino, the DES guard that helped them escape, gives her his support and helps her to shut down the reactor, gaining her own Kirara in the process.
6 (19)- "Kagayaki wo Tsugumono" ("Inheritor of the Light")(輝きを継ぐ者)
Airdate: February 9, 2013
As rumor spreads that Chieri could potentially succeed Atsuko, the Kirara of Succession show the original Atsuko's image, foretelling that someone may succeed her soon. Meanwhile, Mikako is brought in as the group's official camerawoman as they rehearse for a concert. During rehearsals, Yūko has an outburst at both Nagisa and Chieri, feeling they weren't living up to the potential she saw the other day. After talking with Mikako about how those with Center Nova potential have an ability to capture moments of radiance, Yūko takes up photography to try and gain that sense of instinct. Meanwhile, Nagisa is told by Ushiyama that she won't be able to succeed by just mimicking Yūko, and should instead figure out what goal her heart seeks. As Yūko comes to Nagisa, considering her to be a rival for Center Nova, Mimori comes down with a fever, which Tsubasa believes to be a sign of succession. Nagisa is chosen to stand in for her, but Mimori demands to perform on the day of the concert, managing to last til the end of the first performance before Nagisa is brought in. As both Yūko and Chieri shine brightly on the stage, Nagisa publicly states her desire to become Center Nova. Meanwhile, as Mimori starts seeing visions in her fever, something occurs with the Kirara of Succession.
7 (20)- "Mimori Kakumei" ("Mimori's Revolution")(美森革命)
Airdate: February 16, 2013
As Mimori awakens from her fever in the hidden temple and undergoes procedures with Tsubasa, Ushiyama reveals to the understudies that the next concert will celebrate Mimori's debut as a successor. Whilst happy for their friend, the girls become anxious as to whether or not Mimori will change from becoming a successor. Elsewhere, Mikako is seen contacting Chieri's father about how to initiate the Center Nova phenomenom. Meanwhile, as Minami gives some encouragement to Kanata, who is secretly downhearted about being the only 75th gen successor left, she learns that Kanata had a fever similar to Mimori's a while back. This leads her to speculate that Kanata was initially supposed to become the next Takamina, but was unable to because of her. When asked what she would do in such a situation, Kanata responds that both Minami and the name of Takamina are important to her. As the day of the concert arrives, it is revealed that Mimori has inherited the name of Mariko Shinoda that Tsubasa previously held. After her debut performance, Mimori brings Kanata on stage to reaffirm their promise to both become successors. Meanwhile, Mikako informs Chieri's father of the three conditions required for initiating the Center Nova phenomenom, who arranges the DES Force to launch an attack on Akibastar.
8 (21)- "Kessen Akibasutā" ("Final Battle on Akibastar")(決戦アキバスター)
Airdate: February 23, 2013
Yūko starts practising a lot on the own, causing some worry among her teammates, reminding Tsubasa of how Atsuko was similarly unapproachable when she was Center Nova before she disappeared. Later, Mikako approaches Yūko, telling her that in order to become Center Nova, she will have to embrace her loneliness. The next day during a concert, a DES Battallion launches an attack on Akibastar, putting the city into chaos. Realising this isn't what she wanted, Mikako informs Tsubasa that the organisation behind the DES, Zodiac, are after an element known as Dualium that is hidden in the temple. When AKB struggle against the DES, Mikako changes the battlefield into a guerilla concert to motivate them, unaware that she's playing into Chieri's father's plan. As Tsubasa orders a retreat from Akibastar due to the escalating battle, Yūko takes it upon herself to become the Center Nova, create a large burst of energy that opens a gateway. As this light soon fades away, Yūko is nowhere to be seen.
9 (22)- "Aoi Uragiri" ("Blue Betrayal")(青い裏切り)
Airdate: March 2, 2013
As Zodiac begin mining Akibastar for Dualium, AKB0048 barely manage to escape the DES, winding up in the middle of nowhere, and forced to leave Tomochin, Kojiharu, the 76th Generation understudies, Chef Papa, and Sensei-Sensei to care for the people of Akibastar who have taken refuge in the shrine. Asked about her betrayal, Mii-chan reveals how Yuuko and the previous Center Novae had been taken to another world after obtaining the ultimate radiance. Mii-chan feared this and abandoned her previous role in AKB, taking the role of a camerawoman to keep others from disappearing like Acchan did. She then goes on to explain how Chieri's father wanted to capture AKB to use them and the Kirara for military purposes. Tsubasa then explains that Mii-chan helped him out in the hopes of reaching the other world and rescuing the Center Novae, which is also the reason why Sensei-Sensei resurrected the General Elections. Feeling that there may be a chance to save Yuuko, Nagisa decides she wants to become a Center Nova so she can rescue her. When the ship suddenly comes under attack by DES, Mii-chan breaks free from her cell and goes alone to buy them time to charge their warp drive. Just as Mii-chan runs out of ammo and comes close to defeat, she is rescued by Takamina, with the 0048 members asking for her aid in rescuing Yuuko. Recovering Mii-chan and escaping through the warp gate, the group arrive above a strange planet.
10 (23)- "Zekkyō Paradaisu" ("Shouting Paradise")(絶叫パラダイス)
Airdate: March 9, 2013
The ship fell on Funghistar and the nuclear reactor was severely damaged. Tsubasa ordered the ship undergoes repairs, whlist the understudies are sent to gather data on the planet they landed on after the pilots detected vital statistics of the planet from the archive. Kanata checks on Makoto condition before embark to research, while Sonata and Suzuko walk past a bunch of mushrooms. Suzuko came into one and was hallucinated into thinking she was succeeded as White Jelly Mushroom the the 7th but was finally awaken by Sonata. Nagisa and Chieri are researching the planet's composition, while talk about each ones father. During their exploration, Yuka and Orine come across a strange creature which appears out of the blue from above the canopy. Screaming of Yuka and Orine is heard by the AKB0048 members as they rush to find the two only to discovered that creature, which Orine decides to name Mofufu. Later that night, the group's campsite is attacked by fierce looking creatures who capture Mofufu. Despite Tsubasa's objections, Orine decides to go on a rescue mission to save Mofufu, with Nagisa, Chieri, and Yuka deciding to join her. Orine tried to rushed to the site but was slipped after she stepped on one of the fungi. Fortunately she was caught hold by Nagisa, Chieri and Yuka before she fell into the valley. As the group reach Mofufu's location, Zodiac mechs appear, and start attacking Mofufu's captor, who Orine comes to realize is its mother. However, Mii-chan and the successors arrive and manage to hold them off. Mii-chan explains the planet they are on, Funghistar, is rich in Dualium, with Zodiac plotting to destroy the widlife in order to mine it. Arriving at a large Dualium crystal, which Orine decides they must defend, the group, with Sayaka initiating the idea, manages to use the power of song to convince the Funghi creatures that they are friendly. The power of the song reacts with the Dualium, producing a light that shuts down the enemy mechs. As a sign of their new friendship, the Funghi give Orine a Dualium crystal shard. Whilst Tsubasa deduces that the resonance between idols and Dualium may be the key to helping them reclaim Akibastar, Chieri decides that she must confront her father face to face, thus, she and Nagisa sneak on board one of the Zodiac's ships headed back to Sagittariusstar.
11 (24)- "Tobira no Mukōgawa" ("Beyond the Door")(扉の向こう側)
Airdate: March 16, 2013
Chieri and Nagisa arrive on Sagittariusstar, where they rendezvous with Yasunaga who takes them to Chieri's home while he tries to arrange a meeting with her father. While they wait, Chieri tells Nagisa about how she came to learn of AKB0048, leading to her first meeting with Nagisa, Orine and Yuka and the concert they all visited. Following the concert, Chieri had pleaded with her father to let her join 00, only to be ignored no matter what. Upon learning Zodiac was using weapons against 00, Chieri ran away from home in order to join the group. As Chieri's father talks with Nagisa's father about his alleged proposal to lift the Entertainment Ban, he sends his special police to apprehend Nagisa and Chieri. Meanwhile, Tsubasa comes up with a plan to warp directly into Akibastar's underground shrine and cause a Dualium reaction, though it will need all members of 00 to reach Center Nova-level radiance to be possible. Kojiharu also contacted 00 and was informed of the plan. Not wanting Nagisa or 00 to be harmed, Chieri goes along with her father's plan to make her a Center Nova. Along the way she runs into Nagisa's father, who explains that even though he and Nagisa walk on different paths, they are still family. As Chieri's singing and radiance begins to shine through the door of her father's office as she finishes singing, a sudden gunshot is heard, and Chieri and Yasunaga discovers her father has been assassinated.
12 (25)- "Gekijō e no Michi" ("The Path to the Theater")(劇場への道)
Airdate: March 23, 2013
With Chieri in shock following her father's death, Mamoru and the other WOTA members infiltrate Akibastar, which has been completely taken over by the DGTO, where they rendezvous with Kojiharu and the 76th Generation understudies. Meanwhile, Tsubasa's passion towards wanting to save Akibastar helps encourage the others to push hard with their practise. Just then, a light glows and the AKB0048 members briefly fall unconscious, and see a vision in which they ride a mysterious train which arrives at an Akibastar filled with light, indicating they made a reaction with the Dualium. However, Nagisa and Chieri remain unconscious as their consciences are still on the train. Arriving at a place Nagisa had seen in her dreams, they spot Yuuko struggling to climb a broken staircase to a theatre where Acchan and the other Center Novae are, before they both regain consciousness. Tsubasa and Mii-chan suspect that Yuuko wasn't able to fully obtain Center Nova status because of the way she disappeared. As the group prepare to head to Akibastar to put on a concert, Tomochin, who had become able to sense Sensei Sensei, tells them that the key to taking back Akibastar will be the ones with NO NAME. Arriving on Akibastar and beginning their concert, AKB0048 find themselves intimidated by the citizens who felt betrayed by their retreat and who now have turned against them.
13 (26)- "Nō Nēmu..." ("No Name...")(ノーネーム...)
Airdate: March 30, 2013
Despite the hazing AKB0048 received during their performance, the understudies decide to have faith in their fans and set out to perform, keeping their heads up no matter what insults are thrown at them. Meanwhile, Atsuko appears before Yūko and tells her that the collective unconscious formed through dualium resonance transported the Center Novae to that space to keep on providing hope and light to humanity's unconscious with their entertainment. Back on Akibastar, as the crowd refuse to be swayed from their hatred, Nagisa takes a stand, asking them to not hate entertainment and music. She temporary glows with the resonance of Atsuko and develops the fever of succession, but chooses to keep on performing. During their performance, Yūko appears once again, arranging for photographs of Akibastar to be shown over the concert, reminding the crowd of the love AKB has for its fans. Following the performance, the fans unanimously agree that Nagisa has inherited the name of Atsuko Maeda the 14th. When the DES suddenly attack, Chieri overcomes her desire to avenge her father and instead encourages the others to fight with their music, showing that even DES soldiers have kind hearts and becoming Center Nova in the process. When a DES battleship attempts to stop them, Chieri, Nagisa and the others combine their feelings with the nameless emotions across the galaxy to get the DES fleet to withdraw, returning peace to Akibastar. Afterwards, a special event is held to officially announce Nagisa as Atsuko Maeda the 14th and Chieri as the new Center Nova, followed by a concert with the nine main characters performing.