[[quoteright:232:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/AKB49_9615.jpg]]

Urayama Minoru, an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent, is disillusioned and apathetic towards his current life and future prospects. His crush, Yoshinaga Hiroko, is however secretly aspiring to become an IdolSinger. When Minoru found out that Hiroko is making a final attempt to pass the audition for the famous idol group Music/AKB48, he decided to support her dream at all costs, even if it meant [[{{Crossdresser}} cross-dressing]] to participate in the same audition and watch over her from the back. A heated outburst in the audition caught the attention of the group's producer and both Hiroko and Minoru -- who assumed the name "Urakawa Minori" -- unexpectedly passed the audition and became trainee members, or kenkyuusei, of [=AKB48=]. Now Minoru must not only protect Hiroko's dream, but also his true identity as well as he plunges unwittingly into the entertainment world.

A [[ShonenDemographic shounen]] manga by Miyajima Reiji and Motoazabu Factory, [=AKB49=]~Ren'ai Kinshi Jourei~ is the first manga that features the RealLife idol group [=AKB48=] and actual [=AKB48=] members appear from time to time as supporting characters.

In 2014, the manga was adapted into a musical stage play, with members of the AKB48 group as the main cast. The musical adapted the main story arc of the first five volumes of the manga, the "X Day" arc. Urayama Minoru/Urakawa Minori was portrayed by Miyazawa Sae, Yoshinaga Hiroko was double-casted and portrayed by both Kojima Mako and Owada Nana, and Okabe Ai was portrayed by Suda Akari.

One year later, in 2015, SKE48 performed their own version of the musical, now with Furuhata Nao as Minoru/Minori, Kitagawa Ryouha and Miyamae Ami double-cast as Hiroko, and Takayanagi Akane as Ai. The following year, yet again, SKE did a revival of the musical, updating the script and having an entirely new cast. The 2016 version had double-casted both Minoru/Minori and Hiroko, with Suda Akari as Minoru/Minori and Ego Yuna as Hiroko as one pair, and Azuma Rion as Minoru/Minori and Souda Sarina as Hiroko as another, and Sato Sumire portraying Ai.
----
!!This series provides examples of:
* AccidentalPervert: Minoru, in the first chapter, to the senbatsu member, no less. After he becomes Minori and is walking in on the kenkyuusei girls changing, he makes a point to not look and goes to change in the bathroom.
* TheAce: Maeda Atsuko, a member of [=AKB48=] Team A, is often described as one; among the kenkyuusei Okabe Ai can be counted as one, being naturally talented in both singing and dancing.
* ACupAngst: Subverted. The kenkyuusei girls think Minori is ashamed of her chest because she changes clothes in the bathroom.
* AdaptationalPersonalityChange:
** Takamina is much less goofy than her real-life persona, has a crush on Minori and is jealous whenever somebody gets close to "her". She's still a BigSisterMentor to her juniors, though, as are all the seniors based on real-life members.
** Backstage, Matsui Rena acts more like L from ''Manga/DeathNote'' (who likes spicy food instead of sweets) than a top idol.
* AllElectionsAreSeriousBusiness: The Senbatsu Elections, of course. Pretty much TruthInTelevision with fans buying dozens of [=CDs=], or even hundreds, to vote multiple times.[[labelnote:*]]Having that said, in real life some unranked members still manage to have decent careers (usually through variety shows or theater performances), and some Senbatsu members have been ignored by the management despite their rank. Senbatsu Election also only decides who will be included in ''one'' A-side single out of five or so released each year (the others are at the management's discretion), but having a good rank usually gets members more jobs, and vote count is an indicator (along with handshake event participants count) for the management of which members are really popular with the fans (or whose fans have deep pockets), allowing them to adjust their strategy accordingly.[[/labelnote]]
* AllLoveIsUnrequited:
** Invoked willingly by Minoru, and enforced by the ContractualPurity the [=AKB48=] girls have. Played straight with Ria to Minoru, since he only has eyes for Hiroko.
** After Hiroko [[spoiler:finds out that her Twitter supporter is actually Minoru and she almost gets caught in a scandal with him]], she decides to end their online friendship, saying in her farewell message "otherwise, I might actually fall in love with you".
* AloofAlly: Okabe eventually becomes this towards the rest of the kenkyuusei after concluding a truce with Minoru.
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: Maeda Atsuko is depicted as aloof and rarely smiling to her juniors, but still cares for and willing to help everyone.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Minoru's sister, Masaki, enters his apartment without permission and later stalks him around town trying to figure out what he does for a living.
* ApatheticTeacher: Okudaira Manabu, a classic literature teacher in Minoru's school was on the verge of becoming one until he caught a glimpse of a kenkyuusei performance and became [[MusicForCourage touched by their determination]], especially that of "Minori" who had persisted in continuing the performance even after being injured on an accident on-stage. His subsequent devotion towards supporting the kenkyuusei's determination makes him [[CoolTeacher rather cool]] after all.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Maeda's favorite method of provoking Minoru into action in this series.
** Minoru threw one at Maya in Chapter 90 by questioning her motivation to perform.
* AscendedFangirl: Hiroko, a fan of [=AKB48=], becomes one after she successfully passed the [=AKB48=] auditions.
* AttractiveBentGender: Minoru, when dressed up as "Minori".
* AudienceSurrogate: Minoru is one for those uninitiated to idol culture. Okudaira-sensei is a representative of the die-hard ''wota''.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: After leading her team into taking the lead during the quiz show on Chapter 78, Hiroko doesn't know the answer to the very last question, but managed to win anyway using deduction and educated guesswork.
* BadassBiker: [[spoiler:Haruko]] used to lead a biker gang [[spoiler:in Fukuoka, and enlists them to help the [=HKT48=] members get to a concert venue in time when they were stranded due to a landslide]]. Hilariously, [[GoodIsNotNice the rough female bikers are very considerate]], taking care to minimize the motorcycle noise when passing through neighborhoods and avoiding idling as it's bad for the environment.
* BatmanGambit: Okabe's profuse apologising to [[TheRival Maya]], complete with InelegantBlubbering and a PoseOfSupplication, in Chapter 83 turns out to be a ploy to convince her that Okabe and her group is so weak that there is no harm in allowing them to participate in a television programme.
* BeachEpisode: Minori and Hiroko celebrate their entry into Senbatsu and friendship reconciliation by going to Hawaii to visit Ria.
* BeautyBrainsAndBrawn: GJ subunit. Ai, Hiroko and Minori respectively.
* BerserkButton: Hiroko extremely detests people badmouthing Maeda, who she admires greatly.
* BigDamnHeroes: Minoru has performed a few. Saving a Okabe in a DateRapeAverted situation, saving Team K from a pair of inescrupulous {{Paparazzi}}, kicking down a locked door to save Maeda...
* BigFancyHouse: Okabe house, Ria's apartment, and Hiroko's parents' house qualify, prompting Minoru to wonder if he's the only one living in a tiny apartment.
* BilingualBonus: Music/HKT48's Murashige Anna is half-Russian and is briefly shown speaking the language when angry (the effect text says "рассердится" ''rasserditsya'', meaning "enraged").
* {{Bishounen}}: Kijima Taichi, the manager for Minoru, Hiroko and Okabe later in the series, is one. He even appears with BishieSparkle.
** Also Minoru himself, who's so feminine looking that people believe he's a girl even without makeup and a wig.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Okabe started off as one towards the kenkyuusei, although she turned out to be a JerkWithAHeartOfGold and even exhibited {{Tsundere}} attitudes occasionally.
** Maya and the &Jewel group seem to be a straight example.
* BlandNameProduct: Played straight with references to [[Website/{{Google}} Coogle]] and [[Website/NicoNicoDouga Nuco Nuco Douga]]; averted with Website/YouTube and a straight up [[Music/{{Vocaloid}} Hatsune Miku]] cosplay. ''Uta-Sute'' (short for ''Uta Station'', ''uta'' meaning "song") is very similar to the real-life ''Music Station'', and Queen Records is a spoof of [=AKB48=]'s real-life label, King Records. Shukan Bunshun, the tabloid notorious for exposing Japanese celebrity scandals, becomes Shukan Houshun.
* BlankWhiteEyes: Okabe suffered a case of these in Chapter 54.
* BlindingBangs: The stage chief Sakura has them, which disappears when she becomes serious.
* BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine: Minori's HoldingTheFloor moment starts as a sequence of lame puns, then turns into this after the other girls join her in the stage.
** This happens again in Osaka, [[spoiler:with Hiroko being the main ''tsukkomi'' with her "audience perspective" skill]].
* {{Bookworm}}: When they visit Ria's family's apartment, Hiroko is completely blown away by the huge library they have and stays there reading everything in sight until they have to go home, allowing Ria to have Minori all for herself.
* BoringButPractical: Backstage work is essentially this. Sure, the staff do not appear in the actual performance itself, but without their work, the performance will not happen at all.
* BornUnlucky: Moriyasu Madoka of [=HKT48=], to the point that she believed being accepted to the group has taken her lifetime share of luck.
* CallBack: Used frequently in this series, sometimes with references from multiple chapters within a single page.
* CaptainObvious: Invoked hillariously during the first kenkyuusei public performance. When someone tells Minori that she's just like an old man for "chugging milk", she says "I'm an old ''woman''". Everyone just laughs it off as Minori's weirdness, but the reader is aware of the predicament.
* CareerEndingInjury: It is hinted on the flashbacks that Minoru was a Baseball player until an elbow injury left him unable to play anymore and turned him apathetic to his life, mentioning that "Having dreams is pointless." He considers Hiroko his savior, because her conviction to become an idol made him believe in dreams again.
* TheCaretaker: Togasaki for the [=AKB48=] Theater and Sakura for the stages.
* TheCasanova: Raoul Goldman, the Oscar-winning actor. [[spoiler:He tries to seduce Hiroko until Minori puts him in his place... which makes him target Minori instead]].
* CelebrityFic: This is an officially endorsed example.
* ChekhovsGun: The pair of charms Hiroko got for both herself and Minoru [[spoiler: turn out to be instrumental in snapping Minoru out of his HeroicBSOD in Chapter 34.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: Maeda turns out to be one [[spoiler: during Gekoku Jou's concert showdown with &Jewel, where she was shown attending the concert in Chapter 89, and turns up in Chapter 93 to rescue Minoru from being exposed as a male.]]
* ChekhovsSkill:
** Hiroko was constantly pressured by her father to focus on her studies. [[spoiler: Her hard work paid off during a quiz show in Chapter 78 when she rescued her team from the brink with her years of accumulated knowledge.]]
** Being a former baseball player, Minori successfully incapacitated a bus robber with a well-aimed fastball during their travel to Osaka [[spoiler:(it's actually just a CandidCameraPrank, NMB's idea of welcoming new concurrent members)]]. As Minoru, he often uses "looking for a stray ball" as an excuse to get to restricted places.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious: Minoru did this in Chapter 33 when he disregarded his masquerade and poured his heart out to an unconscious Hiroko in the hospital.
* CoolBigSis: The default role of the regular members of [=AKB48=] towards the kenkyuusei, who will offer helpful advices on what it means and takes to be an idol whenever they appear.
* CostumePorn:
** The costumes for stage performances are lovingly detailed.
** Miss Aphrodite often wears eccentric dresses designed after animals.
* CryCute: Several times.
** Hiroko the night before her first stage performance.
** Haruko after she uses Maeda's influence to encourage her friends from the GJ and the other kenkyuusei.
** Minoru, of all people, in several separate occasions.
* CursedWithAwesome: ChildProdigy Arakawa Haruto becomes a ''{{hikikomori}}'' because his perfect pitch makes him very sensitive to ambient noise. He is also distrustful of other people, whom he believes are only nice to him to exploit his musical skills.
* ADayInTheLimelight: A few chapters focuses on the main senbatsu members, and their [[CoolBigSis interactions]] with the kenkyuusei girls.
* DeadpanSnarker: Maeda is portrayed as such in this series.
* DeathGlare:
** Maya is usually either distributing [[DeathGlare Death Glares]] or giving OhCrap faces.
** Okabe before her HeelFaceTurn also was fond of distributing these.
** An &Jewel fan used it to intimidate the other &Jewel fans on to not cheer for GJ.
* DebtDetester: Okabe claims to be this after she helped Minoru in a performance.
* DemotedToExtra: Almost all real [=AKB48=] members important to the story are from the 1st to 3rd generations of each group, i.e. the original 3 teams. The rest are relegated to OneSceneWonder or background characters, including the ''actual'' 5th Senbatsu Election center Sashihara Rino (5th gen); her real-life transfer to Music/HKT48 and eventual rise to the top of the Senbatsu don't happen in this universe.
* {{Determinator}}: Most characters in this series have this quality.
* DirtyOldMan: Kisaki Tadamoto, the mysterious old man that appeared in Chapter 55, likes to grope Minoru and company a bit too much. He even admitted of being this trope himself.
** As a RunningGag, Team K member Ooshima Yuuko is depicted as having the mind of one.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Minoru, which led him to attempt cross-dressing in the first place.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The introduction of Kijima, where he appeared in a cool pose with BishieSparkle and gave a RousingSpeech... until he dropped his pen and ended up chasing after it, cemented his status as a GeniusDitz.
* DisguisedInDrag: Okabe forces Minoru to disguise himself as a girl so they could talk in private, because she can't be seen with a guy. Minoru's reaction to it is priceless.
-->'''Minoru:''' "How much of my life am I going to spend as a girl..."
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Some of the idols, in particular Takamina and Yamamoto Sayaka, are somehow attracted to Minori and most are confused why they feel that way. Subverted since, as we know, she's not really a she.
* EveryGirlIsCuterWithHairDecs: After Hiroko cut her hair for the second time, Maeda takes her to a hair dresser who outfits her with a ribbon.
** Takamina also receives one from Minori during their FerrisWheelDateMoment.
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: Arakawa Haruto, a composer whose works are internet hits, surprised Minoru and company when they visited him to request his services and found out that he is only a middle school student.
* FaceFault: Occurred to Minoru when [=AKB48=] producer Akimoto Yasushi commented that he is male in front of all the kenkyuusei during their initial meeting, then dismissing the statement as a joke. [[spoiler: Turns out he is ''really aware'' of Minoru's true identity after all.]]
* FanNickname: The concurrent members (Minori, Ria, and Hiroko) are temporarily attached to the [=AKB48=] sister groups in turn, and in-universe are affectionately called Team Nozomi after the Shinkansen train line of the same name, as they usually travel to each group's city by Shinkansen. "Nozomi" also means "hope".
* {{Fanservice}}: Plenty of shots of the girls changing and showering, although Minori herself makes a point not to look. The costumes show quite a bit of skin and is often drawn from a MaleGaze perspective.
* FantasyForbiddingFather: Hiroko's father strongly disapproved of her dreams to become an IdolSinger, [[spoiler:which led to a confrontation between him and Hiroko when he found out that she had joined [=AKB48=] and culminated in him estranging her. However, he decided to silently support her after seeing how happy she was on stage.]]
* FerrisWheelDateMoment: Minoru's NotADate with Takahashi Minami, the captain of [=AKB48=], in Chapter 38 featured them having a private conversation with each other on board a ferris wheel, complete with ShipTease.
* FirstNameBasis: Hiroko allowed "Minori" to call her by that in Chapter 15, marking the strong friendship between them.
* FiveManBand: The Kami 8, despite the differences in number and gender, fulfill this dynamic.
** TheLeader: Maeda Atsuko, of course.
** TheLancer:
*** Takamina as the TeamMom. Her famed "''[[SpiderSense doushita]]'' [[SpiderSense sensor]]", which in real life lets her sense when other members are having problems ("''doushita?''" means "what's going on?"), may be what makes her uncomfortably shy around Minori.
*** Yuko as well, as Maeda's rival for the top center position, and is also the Red Oni to Maeda's Blue. When Maeda graduates, she takes over as the leader.
** TheSmartGirl: Mayuyu, the resident {{Otaku}} and one of the first ([[spoiler:after Maeda]]) to suspect Minori's true gender, [[spoiler:although she's as shocked as everybody else when she's later proven to be right all along]].
** TheBigGirl: Mariko, the tallest, oldest, and portrayed as least talkative.
** TheChick: Kojiharu, Yukirin, and Tomochin are the nice girls and don't mind being in the sidelines compared to the others, and are also the most interested in girl stuff like beauty and fashion.
* FlowerMotifs: All over the place, more proeminent during the GJ showdown against &J.
* FormerDelinquent: [[spoiler:Haruko]].
* AFriendInNeed: Okabe bailed out Minoru a couple of times, after Minoru did the same to her earlier in the series, proving that she really has a HiddenHeartOfGold, though she claims that she do not like to [[DebtDetester owe anyone any favors]].
* FriendOrIdolDecision: A rather literal one occurred in [[spoiler: Chapter 31 when Hiroko collapsed due to fatigue right before the crucial "Day X" performance, causing Minoru to contemplate on accompanying her to the hospital and abandon his idol career or continue with the performance. He chose the former.]] Subverted in that the decision is not mutually exclusive after all.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: The missing banana in Chapter 87, presented in a BrickJoke format.
* GenderBenderFriendship: While Minoru is on good terms with Hiroko, his friendship with her only becomes very strong when he is "Minori".
* GeniusDitz: Kijima is really TheKlutz if not for the fact that he is very sincere about his work and knows what is the best for his clients.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Plenty to go around.
** Mayuyu to Minoru when he's hiding in the bathroom from the other kenkyuusei during one of his [[RecursiveCrossdressing part-time jobs at a crossdressing café.]]
** Maeda while losing to Minoru an Air Hockey game at an arcade.
** Maeda (again), right after she [[BigDamnHeroes saves]] Minoru from being exposed... while shoving the HyperventilationBag on his face.
** Hiroko also receives one from Oshima Yuuko when she calls the latter a "Sexual Harraser Senpai."
* GratuitousEnglish: PlayedForLaughs in Chapter 1 when Minoru deluded himself into thinking he is not stalking Hiroko when he mis-applied the definition of "stoker" to "stalker".
* GrewASpine: Hiroko grew one when she finally opposed her FantasyForbiddingFather in Chapter 46 to persist in her dream to be an IdolSinger.
* [[GrillingTheNewbie Grilling the Newbies]]: The senbatsu members do this to the new kenkyuusei the first time they meet on the [=AKB=] theather.
* GrinOfAudacity: Minori when she founds out that Okabe's and Yoshinaga's mics weren't working during the live showdown agaisnt &Jewel.
* GrudgingThankYou: Okabe to Minoru after the latter saved her from publicly humiliating herself in Chapter 12. Marks the beginning of her CharacterDevelopment.
* HappyPlace: Hiroko overcomes her StageFright during a variety show by imagining that the studio is the [=AKB48=] Theater and the audience are their loyal fans.
* HatesBeingCalledCute: [=HKT48=]'s Tanaka Natsumi dislikes fancy, girly stuff, but felt obligated to pretend to like those to maintain her image. Minori helps her embrace her real personality and shows her that fans can like her as she is.
* HeroicBSOD: Minoru suffered from one [[spoiler:in Chapter 31 when Hiroko collapsed due to fatigue]].
%%* HiddenHeartOfGold: Producer Akimoto and AKB Theatre manager Togasaki put up this towards the kenkyuusei.
* HoldingTheFloor: Minoru went up to the stage alone performing impromptu [[HurricaneOfPuns gags]] in one occasion to buy time for the backstage crew to repair the stage, which was damaged in an accident in between performances.
** [[spoiler: The ''regular'' members of [=AKB48=] did a collective impromptu performance after Minoru suffered from a HeroicBSOD (see above) and abandoned the "Day X" performance, so as to ensure the crucial performance do not get cancelled because they believe that Minoru will return. He did.]]
* HomeFieldAdvantage: Maya invites the GJ to a live showdown during one of &J shows, thinking that they'll have the advantage in such conditions, and Minori wouldn't accept the offer. Sadly mistaken she was in both cases.
* TheHost: Hiroko becomes a very effective MC in the variety show they appear in, thanks to her superb ability to see the show through the audience's perspective and direct the conversation accordingly by [[TheWatson being their voice on stage]]. She obtains this ability by rigorously studying a senior MC's performance.
* AHouseDivided: Subverted. Team K's method of rehearsal involves so much arguing and infighting that one wonders how they get anything done at all, then after all is said and done, they go back to be TrueCompanions. Minori then copies this method to improve the kenkyuusei as well.
* HyperventilationBag: During Minori's crisis after the showdown against &Jewel.
* IdolSinger: The [=AKB48=] is essentially a group of idol singers, complete with ContractualPurity.[[note]] This particular clause is well-known, which led it to be adopted as the sub-title.[[/note]]
* IDrankWhat: The actual contents of the "Divine Drink" is never revealed but, according to Okabe, it actually tastes pretty good.
* IllGirl: [[spoiler:Ria is deaf in one ear and will lose hearing in the other one in months]].
* ImportantHaircut: Hiroko had cut her hair twice in the series, once in the beginning to signify her all-or-nothing attitude towards the upcoming [=AKB48=] auditions and the other in Chapter 52 which signified her determination to surpass Maeda. Maeda is quite impressed by this that she treats her to a proper haircut at her regular salon.
--> '''Hiroko''': I have always thought of becoming like Acchan. But now I know, even if I aimed to become Acchan, I can never become Acchan, because Acchan herself has never aimed to be Acchan. ''[-(roughly cuts her hair that was styled after Acchan's)-]'' Goodbye, Acchan. ''[-(bows)-]'' Good morning, [[LastNameBasis Maeda-san]].
* ImpossibleTask: Producer Akimoto is fond of giving the kenkyuusei (especially Minoru) extremely difficult tasks to force them to improve themselves; the most notable being the "Day X" performance, where the kenkyuusei are required to attract a full house (250 people) in the AKB Theatre with a ticket price of 10000 yen per seat within two months, failing which they would be disbanded.[[note]]For comparison, performances of regular members have ticket prices of 3000 yen each.[[/note]]
* InnocentFanserviceGirl: The girls have no problem undressing around Minori and sleeping with her, because they think she's also a girl. However, Minoru doesn't take advantage of the situation.
* InSeriesNickname: For Minori, Minorichii from Takamina. And Minori-oniichan from Mayuyu, who doesn't know how apt that nickname is.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: The reason why Minoru had continued with his cross-dressing is because he had realised the importance of "Minori" as a pillar of support to Hiroko.
* {{Joshikousei}}: The majority of the girls.
* KeepingSecretsSucks: Minoru experienced this when he [[spoiler: suffered from hyperventilation during a concert showdown with &Jewel]] and was on the verge of being sent to hospital, where his masquerade would surely be exposed. Luckily for him, [[SecretKeeper Maeda]] appeared to save him.
* KickTheDog: Maya throws water from a bucket at the GJ, after having stolen their turn on the stage performance, then goes on to belittle them and continues on to sing their parts during the show.
* KidnappedByAnAlly: Minori is snatched from the street into a car [[spoiler:and then flown by private jet to Las Vegas, where waiting for "her" is none other than Miss Aphrodite, who has talked with Producer Akimoto and wishes to take Minori in as a protégé]].
* KillTheGods: Minori is challenged by Akimoto-sensei to surpass the Kami 8.
* LadykillerInLove: To prove his love for [[spoiler:Minori]], Raoul Goldman calls and breaks up with all his other girlfriends in front of her.
* LamePunReaction: Invoked by Minori during her HoldingTheFloor moment.
* LetsGetDangerous: Hiroko, who is usually TheQuietOne, put away her inhibitions and succeeded in bringing her team back from the brink during a live-broadcast quiz show in Chapter 78.
* LoopholeAbuse: Minori couldn't win against &Jewel during the [[ShowWithinAShow "Hell Bath Time Attack"]] because Haruka would get fired if she did, but no one said anything about not standing out more than the winner.
* LostFoodGrievance: When Minori is on a plane to [[spoiler:Las Vegas to meet Aphrodite]], a bodyguard picks up and throws away a steak she's eating along with the plate, to her shock. He does it to make the point that his employer can afford wasting even such luxurious food.
* LuminescentBlush: Several. A particularly funny one is when the "Sexual Harasser Oji-san" grabs Minori's ''chest''.
* MarshmallowHell: Minoru receives one from Haruko, while she's sleeping.
* MeaningfulName:
** Minoru's name means "truth" or "reality", being Minori's real identity.
** The name of the owner of Queen Records, Kisaki, also means "queen".
* MegatonPunch: Well, Megaton Kick, but still applies. Okabe to Minoru, after the latter saved her from a bike that was passing, but [[ThanksForTheMammary grabbed her chest to do so]].
* MistakenForProfound: When Minori is still a trainee, she's frustrated at a handshake event because nobody wants to shake her hand. Her tandem, Kojima Haruna, suddenly asks a question about ghosts. Minori is inspired by that question to rally the other trainees by saying they should keep their spirits up and not become invisible ghosts next to the regular members, [[spoiler:while actually Kojima is only commenting on the ghost picture on Minori's T-shirt]].
* MsFanservice: Despite his express disinterest, Ria doesn't stop trying to seduce Minoru, including by using her body.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Because this is a shonen manga, and depicting the idols' fierce competition only through singing and dancing is not cool enough.
** When a member asserts her superiority over the others, the manga visualizes it as her becoming a GiantWoman.
** [=AKB48=] Team K's intensity is visualized as a tornado and Music/SKE48's as a tsunami enveloping the theater ([=SKE48=] take pride in sweating much more than [=AKB48=] during their performances).
** Matsui Rena's idol aura is first visualized as her being a giant monster with long flowing hair.
** The third Senbatsu Election countdown is juxtaposed with scenes from the Uta-Sute music show the night before, where Minori and Hiroko gradually outperformed everyone else until the others stepped back and let them jointly take over the center position on stage. This is visualized as an epic FightScene between Minori and the reigning Senbatsu members where "she" literally [[KillTheGods slays the goddesses]], starting from the bottom ranks and ending with her taking down reigning center Oshima Yuko, with everybody wearing various battle outfits and weapons. Hiroko joins her shortly after, having won battles of her own, and they become [[GiantWoman towering giants]] in the audience's eyes. (Real-life idol performances don't involve competing to be in the center mid-routine as the positions were decided beforehand, but they're usually allowed to improvise a bit to attract attention from their positions.)
* MusicForCourage: A minor example occured in Chapter 54, when Minoru put up an impromptu performance to inspire the apathetic employees of a record company.
* TheMusical: Naturally, the manga became so popular and a musical adaption was made, which focused on the "X Day" arc. While some of the plot is changed and many famous members who appeared in the manga are only mentioned in the play, it had the members of [=AKB48=] cast as the characters, with Minoru being a CrosscastRole, and Hiroko being double casted with two different members playing her. Not only that, there was an SKE48 version of the play, which LATER got a revival!
* MythologyGag: ''Anime/AKB0048'' has the [[LaserBlade Micsaber]], wich they use to fight the DES troops. During the [[ShowWithinAShow Uta-Seta]] performance, the GJ uses their mics as they were swords to act as if they're cutting each other up.
* NakedFirstImpression: Minoru first met the members of [=AKB48=] by accidentally barging into their changing room. {{Fanservice}} ensues as he desperately attempts to escape. He eventually succeeded, but not after [[SuggestiveCollision bumping against a few of them]].
* NiceGirl: Hiroko.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: The crowd wouldn't be so receptive to GJ third song, had the president not turn off Yoshinaga's and Okabe's mics on the second song, forcing "Minori" to come up with the plan to sing the entire song with just one mic.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** [[Music/{{Aerosmith}} Pairosmith]] is the "legendary rock band" performing in Chapter 84.
** Lady Orchid and Miss Aphrodite are heavily based on Music/LadyGaga.
* TheNotableNumeral: Kami 8 (Goddess 8), the top 8 members of [=AKB48=] by election. Based on the real-life Kami 7, which is sometimes also called the Kami 8 to include the eighth position.
* NotADate: Minoru was invited to a few one-to-one meetings by various regular [=AKB48=] members, which would appear as dates if not for the fact that they are unaware of Minoru's true identity and simply treat those meetings as between friends or senior and junior. [[spoiler: Except for Maeda, who knew about him being male but would still meet up with him as a way to mentor him about the way of an idol singer.]]
* NotDistractedByTheSexy: Togasaki doesn't blink an eye when Mizuno Haruko greets him, Hiroko, and Minori in only her panties and a towel draped on her shoulders (she didn't know Togasaki would come along).
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Kisaki is actually the director of Queen Records which manages Minoru, Hiroko and Okabe and, according to producer Akimoto, the "OldMaster of the entertainment world", but likes to appear as a [[DirtyOldMan perverted]] janitor.
* OhCrap: Maya during the GJ arc, every single time the GJ girls are doing (or about to do) something out of her expectations. It almost turn into her default expression in later chapters.
* {{Ojou}}: Okabe, though we don't get to see much of her home lifestyle.
* OneSteveLimit: [=HKT48=]'s real-life member Miyawaki Sakura is shown several times (and graces the cover of a volume) but seldom mentioned by name, while the fictional [=AKB48=] stage chief Sakura, who appeared first in the story, has a prominent supporting role.
* {{Otaku}}:
** Okudaira-sensei, wich overlaps with a kind of SingleTargetSexuality without the sexual part. He's that much of a Minori's fan. Not Idols, not [=AKB=], Minori's fan.
** Mayuyu is an anime and cosplay otaku as in real life, which is probably why she could come up with the notion that Minori might be a guy, and also why [[CassandraTruth everybody dismisses her suspicion as the result of an overactive imagination]].
** Ria is a manga and anime otaku. She manages to win the heart of a Team Nozomi hater who's an idol otaku through their similar levels of dedication toward their interests [[spoiler:(and jumping into a river to save him and his rare SKE collectible card)]].
* {{Paparazzi}}: Shukan Houshun is a notorious gossip tabloid. Hiroko almost gets into a scandal twice: first, when a picture of her with an older man [[spoiler:(actually her father)]] goes public, and second when [[spoiler:a photographer took a picture of her holding Minoru's hand (to stop him from going away and ask him a question, not because they're on a date)]].
* ParentalAbandonment: The main reason why Minoru succeeded in maintaining his masquerade is because his family gave him a [[HandsOffParenting free rein on his life]] (his father is not even mentioned at all), which is ramped up later in the series when his family moved house ''without even informing him'', rendering him effectively homeless.
* ParentsAsPeople: Hiroko's father is strict and actively discouraged her idol aspiration since she was little, making her study hard to get into a good university instead. When Hiroko refused to quit AKB, [[spoiler:he kicked her out of the family home. However, after watching her perform on TV, he shed ManlyTears upon realizing that it is truly what makes her happy and [[HeelFaceTurn supports her from the background since then]], although he is still too proud to accept her back home]].
* PassingTheTorch: Maeda does this when she graduates.
* PlaceboEffect: The "divine drink".
* {{Portmanteau}}: Haruko refers to Maeda Atsuko as "[=MaeAtsu=]"
* PortmanteauCoupleName: InUniverse, it seems that Oshima Yuuko and the other senbatsu members refers to Takamina's crush on Minori as "[=TakaMino=]".
* PoseOfSupplication: Minoru did that once before the audience [[spoiler: after he returned to the "Day X" performance to demonstrate his sincerity in apologising for his lateness.]]
* PowerLevels: The Senbatsu Election vote count is a measurement of each member's popularity, which translates to more work opportunities and entitles them to perform in a major single, which in turn increase their popularity even more.
* PowerOfTrust: Okabe and the rest of kenkyuusei steadfastly refused to perform without Minoru during the [[spoiler: "Day X" performance]] because they trusted that he will return. [[spoiler: He did.]]
** Earlier on in the series, Hiroko purposely lied that she had given the wrong meeting time to Minoru such that he would be late for practice after he told her that he is not worthy as an idol and is [[TenMinuteRetirement quitting]] because she believed that he will return.
* PungeonMaster: Like her real-life counterpart, Matsui Jurina slings puns at every opportunity, sometimes using the Nagoya dialect.
* PunnyName: The group &Jewel has one. Going by the pronunciation in the manga "エンジェル"[[note]]En-je-ru[[/note]], it seems to be XtremeKoolLetterz for "Angel".
* TheQuietOne: Hiroko.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The kenkyuusei are originally this.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Among others, the Tokyo Dome team shuffle and some of the alleged scandals are based on actual events.
* RecursiveCrossdressing: Minoru claims that he is working part-time in a male cross-dressing CosplayCafe to throw off [=AKB48=] Team B member Watanabe [[OtakuSurrogate Mayu's]] suspicions on his true gender. Thankfully for him, it works.
** Inspired by this, Mayuyu takes to ''actually'' working at a crossdressing butler café on her days off and once takes Minori with her. Minori simply turns back to Minoru for the job and seemingly starts to enjoy the work... [[OhCrap until Hiroko walks through the door]].
* TheReveal: The members finally learn about Minori's true nature from [[spoiler:Masaki, Minoru's sister, who also brings copies of the compromising picture which will be published in Shukan Houshun, when they're preparing for Minori's graduation concert]].
* RousingSpeech: Minoru gave a few speeches towards the kenkyuusei throughout the series to inspire them in the face of adversity, incidentally cementing his position as centre of the kenkyuusei.
* RunningGag: Takahashi getting extremely flustered whenever she interacts with "Minori".
* SailorFuku: GJ's costume for the music "Unwielding Twintails" is this.
* SarcasticConfession: [[spoiler: Maeda]] revealed before that "Minori" is really a guy, expecting no-one to believe it. Nobody did.
* SassySecretary: Minori cannot defy her manager, especially if she begins to refer to her as a {{tengu}} (slang for smug or arrogant person).
* ScaryBlackMan: Most of the foreign celebrities' bodyguards qualify.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: The producer in charge of the &Jewel group believes in this.
* SecretIdentity: Minoru as "Minori".
* SecretSecretKeeper: [[spoiler: Producer Akimoto and Maeda]] are aware that Minoru is really male, but keep that secret by themselves because they thought the entire premise is interesting.
** SecretKeeper: Minoru suspects that [[spoiler: Maeda]] is aware of his true gender, but has never outright asked her to confirm his fear. [[spoiler:Maeda confirms it herself when Minori collapses and later wakes up with Maeda by "her" side, taking care of "her"]].
** [[spoiler:Miss Aphrodite]] is also aware of Minori's true gender, and takes "her" under her wing [[spoiler:prior to "her" graduation]].
* SecretTestOfCharacter:
** Itano Tomomi, a Team B member, gave a minor one to Minoru and Hiroko in Chapter 11 by tempting them with the knowledge of subverting [=AKB48=]'s rule against love. Hiroko passed by arguing vehemently that they are too busy to even think of relationships.
** Music/NMB48's Yamamoto Sayaka and Watanabe Miyuki offer Minori and Hiroko the opportunity to leave the "stagnating" AKB and kickstart a solo career with each of them, [[spoiler:as part of a prank]]. Naturally, they decline.
* ShoutOut: Being a manga based off [=AKB48=], it is not surprising that the series makes numerous references about it, ranging from song lyrics sang by [=AKB48=] members to real life events pertaining towards [=AKB48=] members.
** Kijima quoted ''Literature/{{Moshidora}}'' in a speech he gave to Minoru and company after their initial introduction. When he was called out for that, he declared that he is a fan of ''Moshidora'' and is currently learning idol management from it, causing them to [[HilarityEnsues break out in laughter]], especially Hiroko. Incidentally, the live-action film adaptation of ''Moshidora'' starred Maeda.
** [[spoiler: Haruko]]'s background as a former [[spoiler: biker gang leader from Fukuoka]] is the same as [[spoiler: ''Series/AKBingo'''s long-time hosts, the comedy duo Bad Boys]].
** Okabe Ai not sweating even after hours of practice is possibly a reference to Watanabe Mayu, who was given the nickname [[RobotGirl CG (Cyborg Girl)]] for this trait.
** Maeda removing her glasses and asking "Are you serious?" to Minori shortly after Gekoku Jou's debut announcement refers to ''Series/MajisukaGakuen'', in which that phrase is her character's BerserkButton and she has a habit of removing her glasses before a fight.
** The covers of several volumes [[https://vatoto.com/forums/topic/21686-cover-of-volumes/ allude to real-life occurrences]] related to the member being shown.
*** Volumes 1-8 each shows one of the Kami 8, with Maeda Atsuko and Oshima Yuko, respectively the first and second ever Senbatsu Election winners, on the first two.
*** Oshima Yuko is shown groping Minori, which she often did to members in real life.
*** Kashiwagi Yuki is shown at a photoshoot location holding an umbrella under the rain, since she is known as an ''ame-onna'' (rain-bringing lady) whose photo sessions are often delayed by rain.
*** Takamina is shown being caring as the TeamMom.
*** Watanabe Mayu is shown walking with Minoru in Akihabara, as she is a known {{otaku}}.
*** Kojima Haruna is shown at a hot springs bath, as she is known for her sexy body.
*** Sashihara Rino is shown at a beach with Minori making shaved ice in the background, referring to her sub-unit's single "Kakigori" ("Shaved Ice") released around the same time as the volume.
*** Minegishi Minami is shown holding a pie at a variety show set (probably ''Series/AKBingo'' from the decoration), ready to give Minori a PieInTheFace, as she is one of the "variety queens".
*** Matsui Jurina and Rena's covers can be combined into a single picture, signifying their bond and status as the "Double Matsui" of [=SKE48=] (they're not related, though). The combined picture depicts the transition from winter to spring.
*** Kitahara Rie is reading {{shoujo}} manga, which is a known hobby of hers.
*** Yokoyama Yui is wearing a kimono as she is from the traditional city of UsefulNotes/{{Kyoto}}.
*** Suda Akari, known for being particularly charming at handshake events (a "fisher" in the group's parlance), is shown talking to a blushing fan at one.
*** Kawaei Rina, who held the dubious distinction of "''Baka'' Center" ("Stupid Center"), is shown trying to hide her low test score from Minori.
*** Miyawaki Sakura is posing in front of her namesake tree.
* ShowWithinAShow: Hell Bath Time Attack, Number 8, and Uta-Sute
* SingingVoiceDissonance: Implied with Minoru.
* SingleTargetSexuality: As Minori, Minoru is around dozens of attractive girls idolized by the nation almost everyday ''and'' can easily see them naked or engage in skinship if he wants to, yet he still only has eyes for Hiroko and makes a point to not take advantage of the situation. After all, Hiroko's the reason why he's doing all this in the first place.
* SinkOrSwimMentor: Producer Akimoto is arguably this, with his penchant for giving the kenkyuusei [[ImpossibleTask impossible tasks]].
* SleepCute: Hiroko during the first time she and Minori slept over at the AKB dorms.
* TheSmartGirl: Hiroko. Her teacher tries to pressure her into applying to university and abandon her idol aspiration, [[spoiler:until her father, who has previously wished the same, has a change of heart and requests that the teacher stop doing so]].
** As mentioned above, she leads Gekoku Jou to victory in Appare, a celebrity quiz show, [[spoiler:which was rigged against them]]. She later goes on the show solo and wins again by a landslide, despite worrying about [[spoiler:Minori's sudden departure to the US]] the whole time.
** She writes down and analyzes [[spoiler:''every single line of dialog and gesture of every episode'' of a variety show in which they appear in order to learn the host's methods]]. This ends up saving everyone when [[spoiler:said host deliberately neglects to show up, as he has plans to destroy the show and replace it with another]].
* SpeechImpediment: Kodama Haruka has a lisp like in real life.
* SprintScrubbing: Minori tries to use this to help Sakura clean the stage, before she stops him.
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: Despite having gone to the USA [[spoiler:and living there for nine months as Aphrodite's protege]], Minori still feels inconfident about her English, until [[spoiler:Oscar-winning actor Raoul Goldman, who has a crush on Hiroko, tries to walk out in the middle of a talk show where she is interviewing him and force her to go on a date, and Minori has to put him in his place]].
--> ''[-(in English)-]'' Now that you appear on our program, you should follow our rules!
* TakingTheHeat: After Hiroko was photographed [[spoiler:holding Minoru's hand]] by Shukan Houshun, Ria offered [[spoiler:a staged picture of her partying with older men for them to publish in place of Hiroko's photo, since Ria is going to graduate anyway due to her illness]]. Subverted since Hiroko [[spoiler:refuses to let Ria sacrifice her reputation for her sake and holds a press conference clarifying the whole situation]].
* TeamHandStack: Frequently depicted occurring before group performances.
* TheTease: Tomomi in the first chapter.
* TenMinuteRetirement: Minoru, despite him being the centre of the kenkyuusei, had quitted a couple of times temporarily due to a lack of self-confidence (being an idol was not his original intention anyway). He got stronger each time he recovered though.
* ThanksForTheMammary: Minoru to Okabe, saving her from a bike that was passing by, while he's [[ItMakesSenseInContext crossdressing as girl but not as Minori...]]
* TitleDrop: The subtitle ''Renai Kinshi Jourei'', or "[[ContractualPurity rule against love]]" is said by Minoru to himself in one occasion as a sign of determination to protect Hiroko's dream at [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy any cost]].
* TookALevelInBadass: Minoru, Hiroko and Okabe developed very high levels of stamina after working part-time in a construction site for three months.
* TownGirls: Okabe, Hiroko and Minoru eventually formed a stand-alone unit under [=AKB48=] called "Gekoku Jou" with Kijima as their manager.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood:
** Producer Akimoto is depicted as liking Calbee's Jagarico snack very much.
** As in real life, Rena Matsui loves extra spicy candies. Here, she also gives those as a gift or reward to others.
** Minori likes strawberry-flavored food and drinks, despite her boyish image (and [[RealMenWearPink actually being a guy]]).
* TwelfthNightAdventure: Minoru's involvement with [=AKB48=] can be seen as this.
* TwinTails: Okabe sports a pair of them, with matching {{Tsundere}} personality.
* UndyingLoyalty: Okudaira-sensei towards Minori.
* TheUnseen:
** Urena Inako, an enka singer, is often fondly mentioned by Kijima, who used to be her manager, but has yet to appear in person.
** Senbatsu Election announcements mention many members during the countdown, but most of them are not shown.
* VisualPun: At the AKB dorm, Minori ends up literally sleeping in the closet to avoid being an AccidentalPervert.
* TheWallsHaveEyes: [[spoiler: Hiroko]] put up posters of people on every square inch of wall and ceiling in her apartment to conquer her fear of public speaking.
* UnlimitedWardrobe: We hardly see the girls (and Minoru) with the same casual clothes, aside from stage costumes and rehearsal outfits.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: Used in Chapter 3 when Minoru came up with a plan to OutGambit Okabe. His explanation to the kenkyuusei was not depicted until after his plan had taken place.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Invoked by Minori, who starts a fight with Hiroko on TV so that they'll be publicly recognized as rivals, forcing both of them to be more independent. Of course, they don't really hate each other, [[spoiler:and publicly reconcile on the Senbatsu Election stage after Hiroko breaks through to Kami 8]].
** Before the election announcement, Hiroko is briefly ''actually'' mad at Minori after learning that [[spoiler:Minori has always intended to get the center position and give it away to Hiroko, as she considers it an insult to herself and everyone else who work hard to obtain it]].
* WholesomeCrossdresser:
** "Minori", of course.
** Watanabe Mayu enjoys crossdressing on her days off and occasionally works at a crossdresser butler café.
* WigDressAccent: Minoru's disguise relies simply on a blond wig, a change in dress, and a heightened voice.
* WrenchWench: Stage chief Sakura, who so far was only seen meticulously cleaning the stage and equipment, manages to fix a damaged stage set in 10 minutes when everybody else believes the show cannot continue.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Working for Maya is...hard, to say the least.
* YamatoNadeshiko: Ria commented that Hiroko has a traditional lady's body when they took a bath together.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Employed in some costumes and street clothes.