Poster featuring the Kenkyūsei members (from left to right: Suzuko, Makoto, Sonata, Mimori, Chieri, Kanata, Orine, Nagisa, and Yūka)
|Genre||Science fiction, Japanese idol, music, mecha|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Shōji Kawamori, Yoshimasa Hiraike|
|Produced by||Toshimichi Ōtsuki (executive), Yasushi Akimoto|
|Written by||Shōji Kawamori, Mari Okada|
|Network||JAITS, TBC, IBC (JNN), TVQ (TXN), HTB (ANN), FTB (FNN/FNS), HTV (NNN/NNS), BS11, NOTTV one|
|Original run||April 29, 2012 – July 22, 2012|
|Anime television series|
|AKB0048 next stage|
|Directed by||Shōji Kawamori, Yoshimasa Hiraike|
|Produced by||Toshimichi Ōtsuki (executive), Yasushi Akimoto|
|Written by||Shōji Kawamori, Mari Okada|
|Network||tvk, HTB, TBC, FTB, Tochigi TV, GTV, TV Saitama, Chiba TV, Tokyo MX, Mie TV, Sun TV, KBS, Hiroshima TV, TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting, NOTTV one|
|Original run||January 5, 2013 – March 30, 2013|
AKB0048 (エーケービー ゼロゼロフォーティエイト Ē Kē Bī Zero Zero Fōti Eito?), stylized AKB∞48, is a 2012 Japanese science fiction anime television series based on the popular AKB48 idol group. The anime is produced by Satelight, with Shōji Kawamori as chief director and writer. The first season aired in Japan between April and July 2012 whilst the second season aired between January and March 2013.
At the start of the 21st century, an interplanetary war broke out. Earth's ecosystem was severely damaged, and humanity was forced to flee the planet. In several planets of this new society, things that "disturb the heart" like music and art are forbidden. 48 years later, the legendary idol group AKB48 is resurrected as the interplanetary troupe AKB0048, made up of girls who carry on the title and spirit of the original members. Held as heroines by some and labeled as terrorists by others, they must take up arms to bring their music to their fans wherever they are. The story follows a group of young hopefuls as they train to become the next generation of AKB0048.
In the year since the 77th generation kenkyūsei (研究生?, understudies, also "trainees") joined AKB0048, the Deep Galactic Trade Organization [DGTO] and Destroy Entertainment Soldiers [DES] have stepped up their attacks on entertainment. In response, AKB0048 brings back the general elections and the Center Nova position. The understudies are now thrust into a new competition directly against the successors. But as AKB0048 brings back policies not seen since Acchan's disappearance, a new more powerful enemy is quietly moving behind the scenes.
The story focuses mainly on a group of girls who are kenkyūsei (研究生?, trainees) in AKB0048. In the Japanese dub, they were voiced by actual members from AKB48 and its sister groups, and are grouped as NO NAME to sing the opening credits. The Successors are veteran members who are titled after members of the original AKB48 troupe, but their roles are performed by professional voice actresses.
- Nagisa Motomiya (本宮 凪沙 Motomiya Nagisa?)
- Voiced by: Karen Iwata (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
- A thirteen-year-old girl who often does not have a lot of confidence, but aspires to be a true AKB0048 idol alongside her friends. She wears a ribbon given to her by her mother, who supported her decision to audition for AKB despite the disapproval of her father, who works with the government's entertainment-banning activities. Initially, Nagisa is concerned about the competitive nature of AKB, but after the New General Election, in which she sees how passionate everyone is about the group, Nagisa declares Chieri as her rival and vows to face her head on. Like Yūko Ōshima, Nagisa aims to become Center Nova. After Yūko disappears, Nagisa reaffirms her desire to be Center Nova, this time to bring Yūko back from the other world. In the final episode of Next Stage, she is given the successor title Atsuko Maeda the 14th (14代目 前田 敦子 14 daime Maeda Atsuko?).
- Chieri Sono (園 智恵理 Sono Chieri?)
- Voiced by: Mayu Watanabe (Japanese), Emily Neves (English)
- The daughter of a corporate CEO who introduces Nagisa and her friends to AKB when they are younger, and four years later runs away from her father to audition for AKB. Initially, Chieri displays a cool and serious personality, but later becomes more outgoing and friendly. She is very dedicated and passionate about AKB, and never hesitates to put herself at risk for the sake of her friends. Chieri is the first understudy to be accompanied by a Kirara, a small creature that glows whenever it detects the presence of idol radiance, though at first only seems to glow when Nagisa is with her, making Chieri feel inferior to Nagisa until the kirara finally glows for her alone in the last episode of the first season. Yūko Ōshima sees Chieri as a rival for the Center Nova position, and after the New General Election in which Chieri ranks 6th, Nagisa considers her a rival as well. She is nicknamed Cherry by her fans, and Haruna Kojima begins to call her that as well. In the last episode of the series, Chieri becomes the new Center Nova.
- Orine Aida (藍田 織音 Aida Orine?)
- Voiced by: Sayaka Nakaya (Japanese), Brittney Karbowski (English)
- One of Nagisa's friends who lost her parents at a young age, and worked at a factory to make ends meet before leaving with her friends to join AKB. She loves tinkering with machinery, but has a surprisingly easygoing personality. She yearns to succeed Sashiko, a previous member of AKB.
- Yuuka Ichijou (一条 友歌 Ichijō Yūka?)
- Voiced by: Amina Sato (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)
- A twin-tailed fourteen-year-old who is a thinker who makes things clearer, yet is a little impatient too. However, she is friendly, and is very protective of her friends. She is the only AKB0048's character who has love interest.
- Suzuko Kanzaki (神埼 鈴子 Kanzaki Suzuko?)
- Voiced by: Sawako Hata (Japanese), Caitlynn French (English)
- A quiet fourteen-year-old girl with glasses who knows a lot about the history of AKB0048. Sonata often calls her "Linda", because 鈴 (Suzu) can also be read as "Rin," and L and R are not distinguished in Japanese. She is intrigued about learning more about AKB's mysterious commanding officer, Sensei Sensei. She is Sonata's supporter and calls her "Sonati". Rather of wanting to be a successor, Suzuko wants to be AKB0048's supporter like Tsubasa.
- Sonata Shinonome (東雲 楚方 Shinonome Sonata?)
- Voiced by: Kumi Yagami (Japanese), Juliet Simmons (English)
- A ten-year-old girl who, after failing the first round of auditions for AKB, sneaks aboard the ship heading towards the second round to try again. She is very supportive of her older sister, Kanata. She has a habit of talking in 3rd person, when talking about herself. Sonata begins to call Makoto "Grumbly" because how worried and negative she is. In episode 5 of Next Stage she than calls her "Grumblator". She yearns to succeed Lovetan who is based on AKB48 member Aika Ota. By the beginning of season two, Sonata is eleven-years-old.
- Makoto Yokomizo (横溝 真琴 Yokomizo Makoto?)
- Voiced by: Mao Mita (Japanese), Molly Searcy (English)
- A timid and easily scared sixteen-year-old girl, who often worries and thinks negatively. Because of this, Sonata nicknames her "Grumbly". However, she can be very brave when needs to be, like during the undercover mission, when which she declares she has nothing to lose. Where then Sonata changes "Grumbly" to "Grumblator".
- Kanata Shinonome (東雲 彼方 Shinonome Kanata?)
- Voiced by: Haruka Ishida (Japanese), Genevieve Simmons (English)
- Sonata's older sister, who is fifteen and pretty hardheaded. She is part of the 75th generation of trainees, who has yet to become a successor. She joined AKB in order to get revenge against the DES who killed her father, but in Episode 5, it is revealed that Kanata just did not want to get revenge her main goal of being part of 00 she waned to become a successor. She is passionate about supporting Minami Takahashi. It is believed that she was originally intended to succeed Minami, but was prevented from doing so because of Minami's determination to still remain as a member of AKB.
- Mimori Kishida (岸田 美森 Kishida Mimori?)
- Voiced by: Sumire Sato (Japanese), Carli Mosier (English)
- A sexy seventeen-year-old who loves pheromones. Mimori is a passionate girl and does her best in everything she does. She always tries to help everybody do the best they can. She is the only other 75th generation trainee besides Kanata. She ranked 10th in the New General Elections, being one of the two understudies who managed to rank along with Chieri. As of episode 20, she has become a successor bearing the name of Mariko Shinoda the 8th (8代目 篠田 麻里子 8 daime Shinoda Mariko?).
- Megumi Wanibuchi (鰐淵 恵 Wanibuchi Megumi?)
- Voiced by: Momoka Kinoshita (Japanese), Meaghan Avocato (English)
- A 76th generation who is sometimes resentful of others succeeding. She is friends with Youko, who was soon promoted to be Sae Miyazawa's successor.
The Successors are members of AKB0048 whose stage names are based on AKB48 members along with their ordinal numbers.
- Yūko Ōshima the 9th (9代目 大島優子 9 daime Ōshima Yūko?) /Yūko (ゆうこ?)
- Voiced by: Akemi Kanda (Japanese), Tiffany Terrell (English)
- Yuko's dream is to become the Center Nova, a position that was abolished following the disappearance of Atsuko Maeda the 13th. She triggers the Center Nova phenomenon during a DES attack on Akibastar but is unable to control the power and disappears soon after. In the final episode she returns through a gate and joins the other members during a concert on Akibastar. She is titled after Yūko Ōshima, and her real name is Hikari Kimishima (君島 光 Kimishima Hikari?).
- Minami Takahashi the 5th (5代目 高橋 みなみ 5 daime Takahashi Minami?) /Takamina (たかみな?)
- Voiced by: Ryoko Shiraishi (Japanese), Cynthia Martinez (English)
- Minami is the current captain of AKB0048. She contemplates pushing Kanata for succession but is deterred when she finds out that Kanata has already been chosen to succeed her. Knowing that she is the reason for Kanata's inability to succeed, Takamina begins to doubt herself and her abilities. During their travel to a concert with entertainment ban, they are attacked by DES and due to her wavering heart she is hit and barely escapes alive, causing Kanata to cover her place as an understudy. Wanting Kanata to succeed and not wanting to graduate puts her in a position of self doubt. Yuko then sees her at the infirmary and tells her that the only thing that matter is her own dream, helping her recover her determination to keep being the captain and returning to the stage. She later confront Kanata and reveal her that she is the reason she cannot become successor. During the New General Elections she placed second, just behind Yuko Oshima the 9th, but ahead of Sayaka Akimoto the 10th. She is titled after Minami Takahashi and her real name is Shiori Arisawa (有沢 栞 Arisawa Shiori?).
- Sayaka Akimoto the 10th (10代目 秋元 才加 10 daime Akimoto Sayaka?) /Sayaka (さやか?)
- Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Beth Lazarou (English)
- A fitness enthusiast who also tries to force the others to be more active than they already are. She is very head-on with things and a very tough member, but still has a heart of gold. During the New General Elections she ranks third, just behind Minami and ahead of Yukirin. She is titled after Sayaka Akimoto and her real name is Akira Igarashi (五十嵐 アキラ Igarashi Akira?).
- Tomomi Itano the 11th (11代目 板野 友美 11 daime Itano Tomomi?) /Tomochin (ともちん?)
- Voiced by: Kana Ueda (Japanese), Allison Sumrall (English)
- Just like all of Tomomi Itano's successors, she is a direct descendant and bears a striking resemblance to Tomomi the 1st. Although she ranks third in the early results for the New General Elections, she ends up in eighth place before Sae and after Kojiharu. Her real name is Tomoyo Itano (板野 友世 Itano Tomoyo?).
- Yuki Kashiwagi the 6th (6代目 柏木 由紀 6 daime Kashiwagi Yuki?) /Yukirin (ゆきりん?)
- Voiced by: Yui Horie (Japanese), Margaret McDonald (English)
- Yuki assumes the role of Captain whenever Tsubasa steps out, and she is also a nurse. During the New General Elections, she finishes fourth before Mayuyu and after Sayaka. She is titled after Yuki Kashiwagi and her real name is Ayako Kuroki (黒木 綾子 Kuroki Ayako?).
- Haruna Kojima the 8th (8代目 小嶋 陽菜 8 daime Kojima Haruna?) /Kojiharu (こじはる?)
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Nancy Novotny (English)
- Haruna comes from the same generation as Yuko. She is very outgoing and tends to get along with almost everyone she meets. Kojiharu is always cheerful and a up beat person. In the general elections she is chosen 7th before Tomochin and after Chieri. She is titled after Haruna Kojima and her real name is Chiharu Sakuragi ( 桜木千春 Sakuragi Chiharu?).
- Sae Miyazawa the 10th (10代目 宮澤 佐江 10 daime Miyazawa Sae?) /Sae (さえ?)
- Voiced by: Mai Nakahara (Japanese), Shannon Emerick (English)
- She came from the 76th generation. As a successor she doesn't have much free time but she tries her best when she can to rekindle her friendship with Megumi. She is often quiet and seen with Sayaka. In the general elections she is 9th before Mimori and after Tomochin. She is titled after Sae Miyazawa and her real name is Youko Asamiya (朝宮 陽子 Asamiya Yōko?)
- Mayu Watanabe Type 3 (3型目 渡辺麻友 3 gatame Watanabe Mayu?) /Mayuyu (まゆゆ?)
- Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (Japanese), Hayley Adams (English)
- Mayu Watanabe Android MAYUYU code-CG-3 (渡辺 麻友＝アンドロイド MAYUYU コードCG-3 Watanabe Mayu Andoroido Mayuyu kōdo CG-3?) is a gynoid in the series. Not much is known about her, but she is usually seen with Yukirin if she is not off eating. She has a mechanical forearm with a gun installed inside; and part of her uniform skirt is made of ammo for this weapon. In the general elections she is 5th place after Yukirin and before Kojiharu. She is based on Mayu Watanabe.
- Atsuko Maeda the 13th (13代目 前田 敦子 13 daime Maeda Atsuko?) /Acchan (あっちゃん?)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (Japanese), Sasha Paysinger (English)
- A former member of AKB0048 who was in the Center Nova position and disappeared during a concert. Following her disappearance, the Center Nova position was abolished. She is based on Atsuko Maeda.
- Tsubasa Katagiri (カタギリ ツバサ Katagiri Tsubasa?)
- Voiced by: Yumi Kakazu (Japanese), Shelley Calene-Black (English)
- AKB0048's manager and producer, and the contact between the girls and Sensei Sensei. Formerly titled Mariko Shinoda the 7th, Tsubasa graduates (and thus has diamonds in her eyes) and enters the administration in order to find out what happened to Atsuko.
- The mysterious head of AKB0048 who produces all the songs and choreography for the band.
- Mr. Ushiyama (牛山先生 Ushiyama-sensei?)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (Japanese), Illich Guardiola (English)
- The effeminate choreographer for AKB0048, who is rather strict in his teachings.
- Mikako Minamino (南野 美果子 Minamino Mikako?)
- Voiced by: Sachiko Kojima (Japanese), Allison Keith-Shipp (English)
- A former member of AKB0048 with the title Minami Minegishi the 5th, Mikako works as a camerawoman. She is a former Center Nova, however, during her performance with the group, the Kirara went after her as a Center Nova, but she fled the stage before they could absorb her. She later joins forces with Chieri's father, with the intention of recreating the Center Nova Phenomenon for him, as she looks for a way to bring back Acchan and all other Center Novas who disappeared, but regrets about it when it culminates with DES taking over Akibastar. She redeems herself when she risks her life to protect the others from another DES attack. It is said that her piloting skills are second to none in the 00's history.
- Chieri's Father (智恵理の父 Chieri no Chichi?)
- Voiced by: Shō Hayami (Japanese), David Matranga (English)
- The president of the Zodiac Corporation and Chieri's father, his company is a supplier of weaponry for DES and did not seemed worried when his daughter fled to join 00. He later appears in the second season investigating the relations between Kiraras, the mineral dualium and the Center Nova phenomenon. His desire is for Chieri to become a Center Nova so he may use the Kirara's power to cross time and space. Once he and Chieri meet for the first time after she leaves to join 00, he is assassinated by unknown reasons.
Prior to the anime's release, four manga series based on original concepts began serialisation in Kodansha's Nakayoshi, Bessatsu Friend, Magazine Special and Bessatsu Shonen Magazine publications during December 2011 and January 2012. These manga are titled AKB0048 Episode 0, AKB0048 Heart-Gata Operation (AKB0048 ハート型オペレーション AKB0048 Hāto-Gata Operēshon?), AKB0048 Gaiden: Fly! AKB Zero Zero Girl's School (AKB0048外伝 とびだせ!AKBぜろぜろ女学園 AKB0048 Gaiden Tobidase! AKB Zero Zero Jogakuen?) and AKB0048: The Most Serious Guy in the Universe (AKB0048 宇宙で一番ガチなヤツ! AKB0048 Uchū de Ichiban Gachi na Yatsu!?).
The anime by Satelight aired its first season in Japan between April 29, 2012 and July 22, 2012. The series began release on Blu-ray Disc and DVD from June 27, 2012, with a Director's Cut of the first episode included in the first volume. The opening theme is "About a Hope" (希望について Kibō ni Tsuite?) by No Name (Mayu Watanabe, Sumire Satō, Amina Satō, Sayaka Nakaya, Sawako Hata, Mao Mita, Karen Iwata, Kumi Yagami, & Haruka Ishida) while the ending theme is "Dreams Are Forever Reborn" (夢は何度も生まれ変わる Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru?) by No Name. The second season aired between January 5, 2013 and March 30, 2013 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. The opening theme is "The Voice with no master" (主なきその声 Aruji naki sono Koe?) by No Name whilst the ending theme is "I Dedicate These Tears to You" (この涙を君に捧ぐ Kono Namida o Kimi ni Sasagu?) Sentai Filmworks have licensed the series in North America. Section23 Films released the first season on DVD and Blu-ray in September 3, 2013.
- "AKB0048 BD/DVD to Include 1st Episode's Director's Cut". Anime News Network. 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2012-05-06.
- "AKB48's AKB0048 Anime Gets 4 Manga Series in 4 Mags". Anime News Network. 2011-11-25. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- Beveridge, Chris (August 14, 2013). "Dub Cast For ‘AKB0048′ First Season Anime Revealed". fandompost.com.
- "New General Elections". AKB0048. Season 2. Episode 4. 2013-01-26. 22:53 minutes in. TV Kanagawa.
- "Inheritor of the Name". AKB0048. Season 2. Episode 6. 2013-02-09. 21:31 minutes in. TV Kanagawa.
- "Blue Betrayal". AKB0048. Season 2. Episode 9. 2013-03-02. 16:05 minutes in. TV Kanagawa.
- "No Name". AKB0048. Season 2. Episode 13. 2013-03-30. TV Kanagawa.
- "Stardust Selection". AKB0048. Season 1. Episode 3. 2012-05-13. TV Kanagawa.
- "The First Handshake Event". AKB0048. Season 1. Episode 6. 2012-06-03. 15:12 minutes in. TV Kanagawa.
- "The Young Girls' Trial". AKB0048. Season 2. Episode 1. 2013-01-05. 21:25 minutes in. TV Kanagawa.
- "Shocking New Developments!?". AKB0048. Season 2. Episode 2. 2013-01-12. 08:17 minutes in. TV Kanagawa.
- Season 1, Episode 2, approx. @4:30
- Season 1, Episode 2
- Season 2, Episode 1
- "AKB48's AKB0048 Anime Gets 4 Manga Series in 4 Mags". Anime News Network. 2011-11-25. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "AKB0048 BD/DVD to Include 1st Episode's Director's Cut". Anime News Network. 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Crunchyroll to Stream AKB0048 Next Stage TV Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "AKB0048 Anime to Return Next Year". Anime News Network. 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "AKB0048 next stage Slated for January". Anime News Network. 2012-11-10. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Sentai Filmworks Adds AKB0048 TV Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Section23 Films Announces September Slate" (Press Release). Anime News Network. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.