* DuelingShows: With the other idol show of the season, ''Franchise/LoveLive''.
* FanNickname: The DES are oftentimes called the Fun Police.
* IronyAsSheIsCast: Mayu Watanabe does not voice Mayu Watanabe MK 3. Instead, she voices Chieri Sono.
* NoExportForYou: The manga adaptations of the show has not been translated into English, in part because Heart-Gata Operation was serialized in ''Bessatsu Friend'', a manga magazine distributors won't touch with a ten-foot-pole after a plagiarism controversy surrounding ''Manga/EdenNoHana''. The other manga based on the show may have a slight chance of coming to the United States, as one of the other magazines serializing the show-based manga, Nakayoshi, has had many of its titles released in the US.
** Notably averted with the anime, in that it was simulcast on Crunchyroll and even got an English dub. Notable, since it's a SerialNumbersFiledOff installment of Macross, a series notorious for being incredibly export unfriendly.[[note]]...to such a degree that the whole fact Harmony Gold had NOTHING to do with either thing is a massive plus.[[/note]]
* NonActorVehicle: Both RealLife Music/AKB48 members and trainees are cast in the anime. Quite a few of them had no acting experience up until then.
* NonSingingVoice: Done a little oddly. When the characters are singing on their own or in a small group, the voice actresses provide their own singing. Yet during concerts, the songs we hear seem to be straight from the singles and stage albums. Gets particularly jarring in episode 21, where Yuuko is supposed to be singing the last, solo line in Heavy Rotation but the voice sounds nothing her voice actress's singing voice that we hear twice in the episode.
** The English dub is similiar, with songs being in English when the characters are singing in a casual situation, but switches to back to Japanese for the concert parts.
* RealLifeRelative: In the English dub, the sisters Kanata and Sonata are played by real life sisters Juliet and Creator/GenevieveSimmons.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: A lot of the things the Trainees go through is based off their actresses' real life experiences. Sayaka Nakaya (Orine) dropped out of school early to help make ends meet. Karen Iwata returned to her hometown after the earthquake and Nagisa's situation being that when Iwata returned home. How can Nagisa be playing idol and wearing pretty clothes while her friends were living a dreary life in a corporate mining planet?
** Episode 22 has several for Minegishi Minami. The anime jokes about Minami seemed to be the type who would fall for the wrong guy ([[spoiler:considering she decided to work for Chieri's father]]), and Minami herself jokes about rejoining AKB as an understudy. The real life Minami broke AKB rules by getting a boyfriend, and was demoted to an understudy as a result.
** During the 2013 Request Hour, Shinoda Mariko said that if she graduated, she would immediately audition again for AKB. After Mariko the 7th graduated the first to succeed again was [[spoiler:Mimori as Mariko the 8th]].
** [[spoiler: Nagisa's speech to the crowd about hating them but not hating music and entertainment,]] was another nod to Acchan's speech during the 3th General Elections where she said that "they could hate her, but, please, don't hate AKB."
** The rule against love is referenced too during the final episode with the "almost kiss" between Mamoru and Yuuka.
* RelationshipVoiceActor: Many of the dub voice actresses in this anime would also appear in the English dub of ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', a few months later.
** For Hippo Team: [[Creator/LuciChristian Nagisa]] would become the co-leader of Hippo Team, Erwin. [[Creator/ShannonEmmerick Sae Miyazawa the 10th]] would play her co-leader, Caesar, while [[Creator/NancyNovotny Haruna "Kojiharu" Kojima the 8th]] is Oryou, the driver, and Yuko Oshima the 9th (Tiffany Terrell) is Saemonza, the gunner.
** For Anglerfish Team: [[Creator/MargaretMcDonald Yuki "Yukirin" Kashiwagi the 6th]] would take command of Anglerfish Team as Miho Nishizumi, while [[Creator/CaitlynnFrench Suzuko]] would play the team's gunner, Hana Isuzu, while Makoto (Molly Searcy) would go on to play the tired, sleepy, but smart driver of Anglerfish Team, Mako.
** For Duck Team: [[Creator/GenevieveSimmons Kanata Shinonome]], the leader of the trainees, plays Duck Team's commander, Noriko Isobe. Her fellow Trainee, [[Creator/CarliMosier Mimori Kishida]], plays Akebi Sasaki, the gunner. [=AKB0048=] Successor [[Creator/CynthiaMartinez Minami Takahashi the 5th]] is the driver, Shinobu Kawanishi.
** For Rabbit Team: Tomomi "Tomochin" Itano the 11th (Allison Sumrall) commands Rabbit Team as Azusa Sawa. [[Creator/MonicaRial Yuka]] is the driver, Karina, while Sonata (Juliet Simmons) plays Aya Oono, one of the gunners for Rabbit Team.
** [[Creator/ShelleyCaleneBlack Tsubasa Katagiri]] plays Tankery instructor Ami Chouno. She also doubles as Mallard Team's driver, Moyoko Gotou.
** Megumi Wanaguchi (Meaghan Avocado) is Yuzu Koyama, the Student Council's Vice President and driver of Turtle Team (which consisted of the Student Council members).
** [[Creator/EmilyNeves Chieri Sono]] would later Saunders College High's Tankery team leader, Kei, while [[Creator/BrittneyKarbowski Orine Aida]] would play Arisa, Saunders' cheating third-in-command.