[[quoteright:254:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AKB48_Logo_1118.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:254:The logo of the group, because getting a photo of all the girls would be... [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters quite hard]].]]

Based on the concept of "idols you can meet", '''[=AKB48=]''' is an [[IdolSinger idol group]] consisting of, you guessed it, 48 members. However, the group currently holds more than 48 members, with even more members scattered in its many sister groupsーNagoya-based {{Music/SKE48}}, Osaka-based {{Music/NMB48}}, Fukuoka-based {{Music/HKT48}}, Jakarta-based [=JKT48=] and Shanghai-based [=SNH48=]. Another sister group, [=SDN48=], used to perform in the [=AKB48=] Theater but was disbanded in 2012. There is also the Taipei-based [=TPE48=] which was announced in 2011 but is still stuck in DevelopmentHell, and Music/Nogizaka46, an official rival group.

It has four main subunits: French Kiss, Not Yet, no3b (pronounced No Sleeves[[note]]"sureebu" sounds like "sleeves"[[/note]]) and Tentoumu Chu!

The group holds performances in their theater in Akihabara, Tokyo and the different teams take turns performing stages-a set list of songs. They also hold special events each year: the Senbatsu Elections, where fans choose their favourite members; the Janken Tournament, where the girls take part in rock-paper-scissors games to get into the Christmas' single senbatsu; the Request Hour, where fans choose their favourite songs and the Draft Tournament, where the captains for all the teams choose between a group of new girls who aren't even trainees.

Now has an [[Anime/AKB0048 anime]], which is set in the future & directed by ShojiKawamori, and a [[Manga/AKB49RenaiKinshiJourei manga]], set more or less in the present day. There's also ''Series/MajisukaGakuen'', the group's longest and most popular drama series, and ''Series/MendolIkemen'', that features the members of no3b.

Please list any tropes related with the girls directly in the character page, because it NeedsWikiMagicLove.
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!![=AKB48=] provides examples of the following tropes:

* ActionGirl: Everyone in the "Flying Get" and "Show fight!" [=PVs=].
* AdultsAreUseless: Implied in the lyrics to "Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou".
* AffectionateParody: The [=PV=] for "Everyday, Katyusha" can be seen as one,with scenes echoing previous [=PVs=] such as "Iiwake Maybe", "Oogoe Diamond", "Ponytail to Chouchou", "Heavy Rotation" and "10nen Zakura".
* AnimeThemeSong: Several. They perfomed one of ShinChan's openings (later the sub-unit Watarirouka Hashiritai performed another one), ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' second opening and ''DragonBallKai'' second ending. Former sub-unit Chocolove from [=AKB48=] performed The Skull Man's ending, and no3b performed ''Manga/{{Beelzebub}}'' first ending and ''BirdyTheMighty'' second season ending. French Kiss also performed ''Manga/SketDance'' first opening theme. And of course, the songs used in their official anime {{AKB0048}} also apply.
** There's also the {{ICE}} OVA, where a group of selected members performed the songs and voiced characters.
* AscendedExtra: Anyone who isn't a regular senbatsu member who manages to participate in singles, due to the Janken Tournaments or being pushed by the management.
** For example, Mayumi Uchida and Haruka Ishida in "Chance no Junban", Reina Fujie and Marina Kobayashi in "Ue Kara Mariko" and Mika Komori in "Namida Surprise!".
** The sub-unit [=DiVA=] has become a separate act from AKB and will still be active.
* AntiLoveSong: "Romance, Irane", though it's rather perky!
* ArtificialHuman: Aimi Eguchi, a CG idol created to promote Glico's Ice no Mi product. The fans found out she was created off the other members' [[http://cdn.thegloss.com/files/2011/06/eguchi-aimi.-r66-490x291.jpg looks.]]
* AudienceParticipationSong: Before any concert performance of "Koisuru Fortune Cookie", either a video will play or the members will teach the audience how to dance along the song.
* AutoTune: Used very sparingly, but some songs like "UZA", Mariko Shinoda's "Plastic no Kuchibiru" or Mayu Watanabe's "Hikaru Monotachi" do have it.
* BadGirlSong: Almost 90% of SDN's songs.
* BaitAndSwitchLesbians: An implied theme, as the girls cannot have boyfriends and most of the romantic scenes in the [=PVs=] are played by the members themselves.
* BeachEpisode: The [=PVs=] for "BINGO!", "Ponytail to Chouchou", "Everyday, Katyusha", "Manatsu no Sounds good!", "Sayonara Crawl", and "Labrador Retriever" all take place at the beach.
** Also the ''AKB 1/49 Idol to Guam de Koishitara...'' dating sim.
* BloodierAndGorier: The group's drama, ''Series/MajisukaGakuen''. For a drama based on an idol group, one would think that it'll be something light and happy, right? Definitely wrong.
** Also the regular music video for "Manatsu no Sounds good!".
* BookEnds: Atsuko Maeda's first single participation in Music/AKB48 was the group's debut single, "Sakura no Hanabiratachi". A week before Maeda's graduation from the group six years later, Music/AKB48 released an album on which she recorded a solo, more melancholy reprise of the same song. "Sakura no Hanabiratachi" was also the final song performed during her graduation performance.
** The girls usually have their graduation performance at the theater, the place where they all start out.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Their first five singles were about cherry blossom petals, fluttering skirts, the longing to meet someone, '''implied underage prostitution, and bullying and suicide.''' Enjoy!
* CatGirl: Part of the MusicVideo for "Heavy Rotation".
* CherryBlossoms: A lot of their songs are about this; "Sakura no Hanabiratachi", "10nen Zakura", "Sakura no Shiori", and "Sakura no ki ni Narou" just to name a few!
* ChristmasSongs: One for each Janken single: "Yoyaku Shita Christmas", "Noel no Yoru" and "Totteoki Christmas".
* CrossOver: In recent years, girls from sister groups also take part in AKB singles, with the more prominent girls being SKE's Jurina Matsui and Rena Matsui, along with NMB's Sayaka Yamamoto and Miyuki Watanabe.
** The General Election and Janken Tournament can also be seen as this, with sister group members being allowed to participate alongside AKB members.
** The [=AKBIdoling!!=] unit was a one-shot crossover unit between AKB and Idoling!! members.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Team A is pink, Team K is green, Team B is blue and Team 4 is yellow. Team 8 uses grey.
** Each group also has its own color: AKB is pink, SKE is yellow, HKT is black, JKT is red and SNH is blue. NMB's color is... leopard print (but they go with dark brown when they have to color something). Former group SDN used silver.
* CoverVersion: [=Watarirouka Hashiritai's=] "Valentine Kiss".
** Before Teams K and B received their own stages, they performed existing stages. Teams A, K and B currently perform revivals of one of their own stages, with Team 4's current stage being a revival of Team B's "Idol no Yoake".
** The previous waiting stages had a mixture of songs from older stages and different teams.
** Happens quite often in concerts-songs that do not require major members to perform are often given to other girls.
** All the teams are currently covering older stages until new stages are ready.
* DarkerAndEdgier
** The PV for "Beginner" was apparently supposed to be ''much more'' violent than the standard idol fare [=PVs=] but was not used in the end, though the dance shots were kept and the shots of the members getting violently killed off in a technological atmosphere complete with blood and shots of them being crushed under various devices were fortunately cut out. But for you {{nightmare fetishist}}s, here's a CM of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KWEbMNpk_w the original]] ...AND [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVyMKaKcQZY the original itself]]!
** Some of their older songs are darker and edgier as well, such as [[DrivenToSuicide Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou]] and [[CompensatedDating Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru]]. Definitely not your usual idol group.
** The dance-emphasized "UZA", which has a music video themed around a gothic haunted house.
* DreamTeam: 2012 Yubi Matsuri in Budokan held by Sasshi is dubbed as Idols Emergency Meeting, and were attended by the nation's best idol groups such as Music/MomoiroCloverZ, Ebichu, Buono!, Music/TokyoGirlsStyle, Passpo, Idoling!, Nogizaka46 and Supergirls. The best part? [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome They're performing Heavy Rotation altogether in the encore]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Hrm, let's see [[IdolSinger a group of idols under management of one guy complete with subgroups and soloists]]? You must mean Music/HelloProject! Although, Hello! Project/Morning Musume was inspired by the 80s idol group Onyanko Club, which was created by Yasushi Akimoto, the producer of [=AKB48=].
** "Koisuru Fortune Cookie" is jokingly called "KFC" by the fans. It doesn't help that the outfit for the song is inspired in the waitress outfits from the 60's.
* DoorClosesEnding: The [=PVs=] for "Kaze wa Fuiteiru" and "UZA".
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: They're an Idol Group based in Akihabara, and there are 48 girls. [[note]]Well, mostly: the number kinda fluctuates from time to time, what with turnover and new girls.[[/note]]
** The '48 members' concept is currently averted. This was originally followed where the three teams would be limited to sixteen members, but now there are four primary teams with at least 20 members. As well as a promotional fifth team who probably fits the bill because they are comprised of members representing each of Japan's 47 prefectures.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Team 4's "Hashire! Penguin", complete with penguin costumes.
* FanserviceFauxFight: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkHlnWFnA0c Heavy Rotation]]" features the girls pillow fighting in their underwear.
* FourGirlEnsemble: Not Yet and [=DiVA=].
** Watarirouka Hashiritai, prior to being rebranding as Watarirouka Hashiritai 7.
** Also present occasionally during stages, with songs like "Arashi no Yoru ni wa" from B5 having four singers.
* FunWithAcronyms: '''An'''na Iriyama, '''Ri'''na Kawaei and '''Re'''na Kato form the unit [=AnRiRe=].
* GenreRoulette: The [=PV=] for "Gingham Check" switches between a cop show, horror scenes, a Kaiju attack and dance shots between two girl bands.
* GratuitousEnglish: [[Disney/WreckItRalph "S-U-G-A-R, jump into your racing car, say Sugar Rush! Say Sugar Rush!"]]
** "I want you! In need you! I love you!" followed by "I feel you! I touch you! I hold you!" in 'Heavy Rotation'.
* GreatBallsOfFire: When "UZA" or "RIVER" are performed in a concert.
** Also featured in the "Flying Get" PV.
* GreatestHitsAlbum: ''SET LIST ~Greatest Songs 2006-2007~'' includes all singles from debut to "Yuuhi wo Miteiru ka?" and ''Kami-kyokutachi'' includes all songs from "Oogoe Diamond" to "Sakura no Shiori" (and also contains two songs that weren't released before).
* HairDecorations: Worn by many of the girls.
* HappyBirthdayToYou: Incorporated in the song "Namida Surprise!".
* HotterAndSexier: The basis of [=SDN48=], which is where [=AKB48=] girls (e.g. Megumi "Meetan" Ohori) went once they turned into a ChristmasCake. However, all the members graduated from this group in February 2012 and it was disolved, but the sub-unit [=DiVA=] still follows this theme with songs and outfits more similar to K-Pop groups.
* HumanAliens: The girls in Watarirouka Hashiritai's [=PV=] "Shonen Yo Uso O Tsuke" are these.
* HumiliationConga: The kind of ''punishment'' the girls had to go through when they failed to complete the moe contest...
** Muchaburi Dodgeball. Nuff said.
* IconicOutfit: The school-uniform inspired costume from the "Iiwake Maybe" [=PV=], to the point where Atsuko Maeda's celebrity impersonator Kintaro wears a similar outfit in all her public appearances.
* InSeriesNickname: All the senbatsu members for "Heart Ereki" got special Western names (e.g. Kojiharu got Michelle, Takamina got Linda, etc.), except Rina Kawaei, who got... Kawaey.
* IntercourseWithYou: SDN's "Kodoku na Runner". Many of their songs could be an example, but this is the most explicit one.
* {{Joshikousei}}: What the girls are in many of their [=PVs=].
* KaijuDefenseForce: NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer. The JSDF lent some help to the making of the "RIVER" PV (troop transports, a CSAR Chinook).
* KawaiiKo: Watarirouka Hashiritai is practically made of this.
* KimonoIsTraditional: As seen in [=PVs=] such as "Sakura no Shiori" and "Kodoku na Hoshizora".
* ListSong: Team B's "Wasshoi! B" from B3 and "Team B Oshi" from B5 lists the members' nicknames.
** "Yasai Sisters" lists a good number of vegetable names in Japanese.
** "16nin Shimai no Uta" from Team K's 4th Stage lists the Team K members' names and a fact about each member.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Naturally, with sister groups across Japan. The main group is already this, with 88 main members, and the 47 Team 8 Members.
* LongTitle: AKB's 34th single, "Suzukake no Ki no Michi de 'Kimi no Hohoemi o Yume ni Miru' to Itte Shimattara Bokutachi no Kankei wa Dou Kawatte Shimau no ka, Bokunari ni Nan-nichi ka Kangaeta Ue de no Yaya Kihazukashii Ketsuron no Youna Mono" [[note]]"Sort of a little bit embarrassing conclusion I came up to after thinking for days about how our relationship would change if while walking along a road of plane trees I said to you, 'I dream of your smile'"[[/note]]
* MeaningfulEcho: The first song to be performed in the AKB Theater was "PARTY ga Hajimaru yo" by Team A. Nearly 6 years later, it was also the very first song to be performed in the group's first Tokyo Dome Concert in 2012 after years of hard work.
* MusicForCourage
** The inspirational lyrics to "RIVER".
-->''Just before your very eyes\\
A river is flowing\\
Broadly, such a great river\\
Darkly, deeply, even so\\
The current is fast, even so\\
Do not be scared, OK?\\
Do not wander off\\
That’s right, the opposite side is there\\
So more, believe in yourself.''
** Also, the lyrics for "Beginner".
-->''I can't do anything\\
I can't do it well\\
And so?\\
We're still young\\
I can't do anything\\
I can't do it right away\\
That's why we have possibilities''
* NonAppearingTitle: Songs like "Ponytail to Chouchou" and "Honest Man" have this.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted, with six girls named Haruka: Ishida, Shimazaki, Shimada, Nakagawa, Katayama, and Komiyama—and that's only in AKB alone! There are five more Harukas in the sister groups.
** Also, let's not forget the two Miyus, Minamis, and Mariyas!
** At one point, there were four Tomomis: Itano, Kasai, and Nakatsuka, and Ohe. All four have graduated, starting with Ohe and ending with Itano.
** There are also two Ayakas at present: Umeda and Morikawa. There used to be a third, Kikuchi, but she has graduated.
** There are also four Rinas at present: Izuta, Kawaei, Chikano, and Hirata. There are three others in the sister groups. The graduated Rinas from AKB comprise of Nakanishi, and Kozuka.
** For this reason, members almost always ''need'' to be referred to by their official nicknames in order to identify who is being talked about.
* ParodyCommercial: Shown at the end of Watarirouka Hashiritai's "Hetappi Wink" [=PV=].
* PrettyInMink: In a Christmas video, one of the girls wears a white fur jacket in the "story" part, and in the "performance" part, all the girls wear short {{Happy Holidays Dress}}es covered with red fur puffballs.
* ProductPlacement: Some of her [=PVs=] are entirely designed for publicitary campaigns (for example, the whole Aimi Eguchi project was part of a Glico campaign) Lately they've focused even more on this, developing team projects with several companies (sweets company Papico with Otona AKB, Toyota with Team 8 and Baito AKB with part-time job company Baitoru).
* {{Qipao}}: Worn by the girls in the non-dancing scenes in the "Flying Get" [=PV=].
* RereleaseTheSong: "Sakura no Hanabiratachi 2008" was a remade version of the group's original single, "Sakura no Hanabiratachi".
* RockPaperScissors: Since 2010 the lineup for singles released in December have been decided by this.
** It was also incorporated in the PV for "Ue Kara Mariko", {{foreshadowing}} what happened before it was shooted.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendShip: The two girls in the lyrics of "Oshibe to Meshibe to Yoru no Chouchou" are implied to have this.
** Also implied between Atsuko Maeda and Jurina Matsui in the "Sakura no Ki ni Narou" PV.
* SailorFuku: Worn in their drama Majisuka Gakuen and some [=PVs=].
** Also in the [=PVs=] for "Majisuka Rock 'n' Roll" and "Majijo Teppen Blues" where the girls act as the same characters from the above drama.
* SceneryCensor: Taken to an extreme level of hilarity in the intro to "Ponytail to Shushu".
* SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack: Combined with ImpossiblyCoolClothes. The members usually wear a lot of uniform-themed costumes in concerts and [=PVs=].
* SchoolFestival: The [=PV=] for "Oogoe Diamond" takes place during a school festival, with the members performing the titular song.
* SexySantaDress: Worn in some videos, and in promos for certain companies, like Coke and 7-11.
* SillyLoveSongs: They have a few, despite trying most of the time not to. An example is "Aitakatta".
* SingerNamedrop: The song [="AKB48"=] from Team A's 1st stage has this in the chorus.
** "Pioneer" from Team's 6th stage, "Team B Oshi" from Team B's 5th stage, "Korogaru Ishi ni Nare" from Team K's 2nd stage and "RESET" from Team K's 6th stage have the members mention their team's name several times.
** "RIVER" starts out with a [[IncomingHam loud shout]] of "'''AKBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...''' '''''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis FOR-TY EIGHT!]]'''''"
* SlutShaming: In January 2013, Minami Minegishi was caught leaving the house of Alan Shirahama, a member of the J-Pop boy-bands EXILE and Generations. Since the girls of AKB48 are contractually forbidden from having romantic relationships in order to preserve the fans' fantasies,[[note]]Something that may technically be illegal.[[/note]] she was demoted to a trainee member status. Minami all-but shaved her head - a symbol of contrition in Japanese culture - and uploaded a video of herself tearfully apologizing for her "thoughtless behavior" and begging for her fans' forgiveness. In August of 2013, she was reinstated to her prior position as the leader of Team 4.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To Onyanko Club; both groups have the same producer.
** The sub-unit Watarirouka Hashiritai 7 is one to a sub-unit of the same name (without the 7) that was part of Onyanko Club.
* StrawberryShorthand: In "Sayonara Crawl", the girls appear eating strawberries.
* SugarBowl: Some of their [=PVs=], such as "Heavy Rotation" or "Sugar Rush".
* TalkyBookends: Many of the group's [=PVs=] have these, such as "Eien Pressure" and "So Long!".
* TeacherStudentRomance: The lyrics for "Dear My Teacher".
* TheMagnificentSevenSamurai: The Kami 7 (literally "Godly 7", the seven girls that topped the first Senbatsu Elections), which are probably the most well-known AKB members:
** TheLeader: Atsuko Maeda, the "forever ace".
** TheLancer: Minami Takahashi, the "almighty manager".
** TheBigGuy: Mariko Shinoda, the "fashion icon" (and one of the biggest members of AKB at the time of joining).
** TheFunnyGuy: Yuko Oshima, the "ace of hearts" (due to her extroverted personality).
** TagalongKid: Mayu Watanabe, the "cyborg girl" (who joined AKB at 11 years old).
** TheCutie: Tomomi Itano, the "vogue beauty".
** TheHeart: Haruna Kojima, the "sexy goddess".
* TheMerch: Plenty of them- from files to T-shirts to posters, the list goes on...
* TranslatedCoverVersion: Though not officially released, the group did perform a [[SurprisinglyGoodEnglish pretty good]] English version of "Oogoe Diamond" in New York.
** [=JKT48=] (sister group based in Jakarta, Indonesia) does AKB's songs translated into Indonesian. However, the music videos produced for each are significantly differentーcompare "Heavy Rotation" as done by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkHlnWFnA0c AKB48]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0SOevO2N68 JKT48]].
*** [=JKT48=] has also done a cover of "Koisuru Fortune Cookie" [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiSETvEXEj8 in English]] (good English, to boot).
** SNH sings AKB's songs but in Chinese.
* TakeThat: When the group won the prestigious Japan Records Awards' Grand Prix in 2011, many people criticized them, because a group who didn't play any instruments (even less an idol group!) couldn't become that important. The group's answer? ''GIVE ME FIVE!'', where all the [[DoItYourselfThemeTune senbatsu members played instruments]]. [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer For real]]. Some of them already knew how to play their instrument (such as Yuko Oshima, who played the bass in high school), but others had to train for weeks before recording the single.
* {{Tsundere}}: The song ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Tsundere!]]'' from Team A 5th stage revolves around this trope. The narrators of "Iiwake Maybe" and "Tenshi no Shippo" also could be ones.
* VarietyShow: The LongRunner "[=AKBingo!=]", "AKB Shukan" and "Nemousu Terebi" are the most notable examples.
* VideoFullOfFilmClips: "Majisuka Rock 'n' Roll" has some of this, with clips coming from drama ''Majisuka Gakuen''.
** "Yankee Soul", too.
* VisualNovel: There's a series of visual novels where the romance ban is lifted and the player can romance one of the members while rejecting the rest, with currently three installments.
* WhamEpisode: The team shuffles, in which all the team line-ups are reformed to provide a new environment and dynamic for the members, especially when several graduations take place. Team shuffles are usually announced onstage with no warning, thus surprising both the fans ''and'' the members.
** The 2014 shuffle took this UpToEleven and involved the sister groups, so the event was announced beforehand. ''All'' teams across AKB and its three sister groups were reshuffled, causing general MindScrew for fans who had to readjust to new line-ups, positions, and transfers everywhere.
* WidgetSeries: ''Saturday Night Child Machine'' starring Team B.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Naturally.
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