Tsubasa has an ulterior motive for being 0048's producer.
- In the OP, there's a priestess-looking character who looks a lot like her.
- One of the priestesses in episode 3 talks about needing to inform "Tsubasa-sama".
- Confirmed, she's investigating what happened to Acchan
When the idols "graduate", they are fed to that giant entity that is being worshiped by the priestesses.
Mostly because we never get any indication of what happens to an idol after they "graduate", or what happened to previous generations of idols.
- Possibly Jossed with the discovery that Idols are the only able to attract Kirara which provides the galaxy with clean efficient space travel. Compared to the Dualium which require a lot of effort to mine and refine.
- Totally Jossed after episode 5, where we meet 4 graduated idols, all alive and well.
Chieri's dad's corporation is a supplier for DES.
Chieri: I knew it. This machine...
- Confirmed as of episode 7
Chieri suceeds Takamina and Nagisa suceeds Acchan.
- Which is suggested by their arrangement in the lineup.
- Appears to be jossed with the revalation that sucessors are chosen based on the Kirara of Succession showing which girl is closest to which original member - in this case, the next Takamina is to be Kanata...at least, until episode 13.
- The latter is confirmed as of episode 26.
- Akimoto was AKB48's original producer, so why not?
The successor system will be abolished before the end of the series, with the 77th generation (plus Kanata and Mimori) being the first in years to perform under their own names.
- Jossed, Mimori is chosen to succeed Mariko Shinoda in Episode 20.
Takamina knows more than she's letting on.
When DES attacks the concert in episode 1, she's heard referring to Tsubasa (or at least someone who looks like her) as "Mariko-sama". Ushiyama-sensei refers to her by the same name in episode 5.
- I took this to simply mean at the time Tsubasa was the current Mariko-sama rather than anything else. She's since graduated and become the producer. It has been years after all.
Ushiyama-sensei was a previous AKB member, possibly Sayaka.
- Note how close he and Tsubasa are, and how he calls her "Mariko", her old stage name from four years prior. As for being a crossdressing idol, it's been done before in other media (Ryou in The iDOLM@STER Dearly Stars, and Minoru/"Minori" in AKB49 - Renai Kinshi Jourei).
When Takamina graduates Yuka will replace her instead of Kanata
- Pretty much jossed even before itwas suggested, but now definitely since it looks like Takamina won't be graduating.
By the second season some of the cast will have succeeded
At a guess for me it will be Mimori, Yuuka, Nagisa and Chieri. And maybe Megu.
The next season will feature a new Yokoyama Yui
The second season is apparently going to revolve around the election. The real Yui has made quite a reputation for herself in completely falling to pieces when she was announced in the senbatsu at the election the last two years. A trainee may do something similar in the series and be recognised as the new Yui because of it.
- semi-jossed: There's a new Yuihan already, but she isn't one of the Kenkyuusei. Still a possibility of her crying though.
The Center Novae that disappeared became part of the Kirara.
The Understudies and Successors contain high amounts of dualium themselves.
- Episode 11: Suzuko: "Statistics say that mining towns frequently produce 00 members."
- Episode 13: Former Minegishi Minami: "These sparkles in the sand... dualium? Is that why the Center Nova phenomenon occurred here?"
Sonata will be the first to inherit Jurina Matsui's name
- The DES exists to guard against the possible threat from anyone with a Theme Music Power-Up
- That would mean the DGTO and Absolute Entertainment Protection Sphere are technologically primitive compared to UN Spacey and Zentradi due to the lack of Variable Fighters and unability to use Space Folds. Making their areas of space backwater planets compared to the Macross Frontier Fleet. Not to mention shots of Earth in Frontier contradicts the AKB0048 back story , as the area around the Macross and Macross City didn't look that it was recovering from an ecological disaster.
- After it teleported away at the end of Wings of Goodbye it ended up in the AKB universe.
Mikako/Mii-chan the 5th is working with Zodiac/DES because of the real-life Minami Minegishi scandal
- Possibly confirmed. It there are several jokes vaguely referencing the scandal in Episode 22.
Makoto will inherit the name of Minami Minegishi.
- Makoto was afraid of bungee jumping in the in-universe tv-show, just like Mii-chan in real life.
Nagisa's father was the one who assassinated Chieri's father.
- The conversation Nagisa's father had with Chieri over how he and Nagisa are walking different paths seems to foreshadow his intention to assassinate Mr. Sono, something Nagisa would never agree to. Also, he had perfect motive and opportunity, and he may have even been carrying the rifle in the briefcase he brought.
- And there's nothing saying that it wasn't part of Chieri's father's plan, either.
The show is actually a disguised cautionary tale
- On the surfact, it appears to be a shoujo series about idols in the future trying to bring back entertainment under an oppressive regime. However, considering certain things that happen (including, but not limted to, at least two broken families because of it, the father of one of them (Chieri's) being graphically killed, and the revelation that Earth is now unlivable), it may be more than just that. In fact, it may have never even been what it appeared to be at all. Based on this angle, AKB48's involvement was never really the point to begin with. What we have here is really a cautionary tale (possibly even an anti-war story) by Shoji "Macross" Kawamori about what might happen if one or more governments were actually given the power to unilateraly ban entertainment for any reason. Further, it could have involved any idol group, even a made up one if that's what he wanted to do. It didn't even have to involve idols, it could have involved a non-singing, non-musical, military group if he wanted. Alternately, or maybe even at the same time:
The show was inspired by a nightmare either one of the members of the (in-universe version of the) real AKB48, or its staffnote had.
- This membernote /staff member had talked about it in an interview, and Shoji Kawamori found out about it, and thus asked if he could make it into a new TV anime series with the group's involvment. In this case however, this would make the entire show All Just a Dream, even if the Grand Finale never refers to it that way.
Not sure exactly how they get from one to the other, but the mechanics of the shows have a good amount of similarities: Young girls join a group for the sake of their wishes/dreams, are given power by mysterious adorable alien creatures (though in AKB0048
it may be partly Earth technology as well), and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence once certain conditions are met. It's possible the idol system is a further reworked version of the magical girl system in Madoka, furthering the changes for the better that Madoka started.
Also, something about souls.
Also, the scene in the finale after Chieri went Center Nova and went around converting DES soldiers is fairly reminiscent of the scenes of Madoka saving magical girls from witchification.
Most likely, once humanity hit the space age, they discovered the system the incubators had set up and weren't as pleased as Kyuubey had believed they would be. In the coming years they further tweaked the system for better results, incorporating new discoveries like dualium to increase the amount of energy that could be captured from the process.