The colorful cast of AKB0048! Here there be spoilers! Read at your own risk!
The main stars of the cast aren't the members of AKB0048 proper, but these girls. The Understudies are the young idols-in-training who were selected to become the next generation of AKB0048 after passing the auditions and surprisingly grueling combat tests. Friendship and rivalries go hand in hand as the trainees not only work together to put on performances of their own but compete with each other for positions on the official idol group.
- The Apprentice: All of them are students to AKB0048. The few who are selected to become Understudies are the apprentices of individual AKB0048 members.
- Ascended Fangirl: Pretty much all of the understudies started out as fans of AKB before being recruited.
- Curtains Match the Window: With the exception of Kanata, hair and eye color are identical. Right down to the heart-shaped highlights.
- Idol Singer: What the girls aspire to be and their motivation for joining AKB0048 in the first place. It comes as as a bit of a shock when they find out that it isn't all about singing and dancing though.
- Theme Song: Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru (Dreams are Forever Reborn) was composed specifically for them, something Successor Yuko was initially resentful of since it had been years since Sensei Sensei had given the Successors a song.
Nagisa Motomiya (Atsuko Maeda the 14th)
Nagisa Motomiya is a young girl from the planet Lancastar who fell in love with AKB0048 after seeing one of their guerrilla concerts on her entertainment banning world. Curious about the world and more ambitious then she realizes, Nagisa finally ran away from home with her friends to join the group despite her father's stern rejection. Although not as gifted as some of her fellow Trainees and frequently plagued by self doubt, Nagisa dreams of succeeding Yuko Oshima and becoming the Center Nova, the lead singer of 00. She has a big heart and is always on the look out for her friends.
- Badass Boast: Unintentionally too! While standing-in for Mimori, who's down with a fever, Nagisa gets lost in thoughts and in a moment of passion cries out she wants to shine like Chieri and Yuko. Loudly. In the middle of the performance. Realizing she's already caused a scene, Nagisa decides to go the whole nine yards and declares that she'll beat them to the Center Nova position.
- And later in the series finale. It's so epic that Nagisa ascends to become Atsuko Maeda the 14th...
- Dumb Struck: In Episodes 12 and 13. See Heroic BSoD.
- Every Girl Is Cuter with Hair Decs: An opinion she definitely shares, as she gazes longingly at her AKB poster and wishes she could wear cute scrunchies like they do. Overhearing, her mom makes her one before Nagisa leaves Lancastar to join the group.
- Fangirl: To Yuko, even after becoming an understudy. The wall next to her bed has pictures of Yuko on it much like a music fan of today has posters of their favorite singers. She pulls them down after declaring Yuko her rival only to lament doing so the very next day when she can't help but blurt out how cool she still thinks Yuko is.
- Heroic BSoD: After going to rescue her father who had been imprisoned by the DES because his daughter was a 0048 member, Nagisa finds him unwilling to leave with her, which she takes as a rejection of herself. Then she finds her home in complete disrepair and can't bring herself to face her mother and all the misery she caused. The stress is enough to make her lose her voice.
- Hey, Let's Put on a Show: On the gloomy planet of Tundrastar, Nagisa starts a mini-performance for a group of little girls, joined quickly by the other understudies.
- Iconic Item: Her hair ribbon on her temple. It becomes Fridge Brilliance when it's not HER iconic item, Every single known Atsuko Maeda, even the real one, has a hair decoration on their temple.
- Moe Couplet: With Chieri, who brings out Nagisa's inner conscience as well as stiffen her frequently wavering resolve.
- Naïve Newcomer: Living on a mining planet where even television shows are banned leads to Nagisa knowing very little about anything.
- Nice Girl: Nagisa's most earnest desire is to be friends with everyone and for them all to succeed together. This puts her at total odds with Chieri, the girl she's trying most to befriend.
- Plucky Girl: No talent? No problem! Practice, practice, and pure drive will carry the day!
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: The sunny girl has dark pink hair with a bow on the side.
- The Runaway: While Nagisa's mother apparently accepted her daughter's dream, Nagisa's father certainly didn't, forcing her to resort to running away in a "join the circus" manner.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: Nagisa considers her school uniform her classiest set of clothes and wears it even after she's left school for good. This annoys Yuka, who later tells her not to wear it to their first handshake event.
- The Voiceless: Becomes this during the concert on Lancastar in the 12th episode after trying to break her father out of prison for refusing to make her leave 0048, only to have him refuse to go with her, then riding by her house and seeing that her mother's garden has become neglected and run down. The psychological stress of realizing she was responsible for her parents' misery turned her voice into a mere whisper, rendering her mute until she snaps out of her Heroic BSoD.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: She wants to sing and dance with all her friends as AKB0048 members and vehemently rejects Chieri's initial eat-or-be-eaten mentality. Mellowed down in Next Stage, when she realizes that even though things in 00 aren't as extreme as Chieri made them out to be, there is competition and she can't avoid it.
Chieri Sono is the heiress of the Zodiac Corporation, one of the major military contractors in the galaxy. She was a fan of AKB0048 since her childhood and is the one who introduced the group to Nagisa and her friends. Some years later, after learning of Zodiac's connections with DES, Chieri ran away from home to join AKB. Although she's the most talented of the understudies, at first she was unable to make her kirara glow which made her feel inferior to Nagisa. She eventually regains her self-confidence when she finds her radiance, and starts to become very popular.
- The Ace: She's the most talented and skilled of the trainees. And she's also the most popular, ranking way ahead of the others in the General Election.
- Archnemesis Dad: Her rich, powerful, DES-associated father forbade her from joining AKB0048, causing her to run away.
- Berserk Button: Don't ever conspire in front of Chieri.
- Defector from Decadence: Her family's corporation supplies the deathsquads oppressing the galaxy. Chieri ran away without telling anyone, to join the very idol group that those squads try to hunt down and kill.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: A lack of friends for most of her life, her initial belief that AKB is one big brutal competition with her fellow trainees, and the fear that they'll ostracize her if they find out she's the daughter of their worst enemy leads her to act aloof and cold to the others. She eventually defrosts herself, however, as she realizes that if she focus too much on competing with her teammates, she won't reach the audience. Talking about her problems with Kanata and Nagisa's attempts to befriend her helped a bit too.
- Fangirl: The Drama CD reveals she's crazy about Mayuyu Mark 3. It makes for a pretty hilarious Casting Gag, considering Chieri's voiced by the real-life Mayuyu.
- Flower in Her Hair: Helps to emphasize her more feminine demeanor. Which is funny since she also wears it in combat.
- Friendless Background: Part of the reason she's so cold initially. Outside of that concert on Lancastar, she never really interacted with others her age.
- Heroic BSoD: After her father is murdered while she was singing for him, she is left devastated and unable to practice for a while. She bounces back on her own when she realizes only dancing and singing will make her feel better.
- Luminescent Blush: Chieri turned a bright pink after Nagisa catches her trying to mimic Yuko's "sexy" pose in a window. -1 Cool Beauty point right there.
- Messianic Archetype: By the end of the series, instead of fighting DES, who are hinted to be the ones who killed her father, she decides to reach out to them with her song. And she actually manages to convert a few of them! At the very end, with her new "let's spread our love across the whole Galaxy, enemy or not" mentality, she's becoming more and more an All-Loving Hero as well.
- Moe Couplet: With Nagisa, whose determination to rekindle their childhood friendship allows Chieri to come out of her shell.
- Not a Morning Person: A surprising aspect of the, at the time, cold and serious Chieri. Seeing her wake up, it's clear her body is on auto-pilot and actual awareness hasn't set in. She doesn't so much get out of bed and out of the room as stumble stupidly in the general direction of the door.
- The Ojou: Easily the classiest of the trainees, which makes her awkward attempts to mimic the more lively and tomboyish Yuko hilarious.
- Parental Abandonment: Her mother died when she was young and her father constantly neglects her due to his work.
- Red Herring Mole: Despite her aloof behavior, distance from others, and knowledge that her company created the weapons that the DES were using, she is not a DES spy.
- The Runaway: Like Nagisa, she was forbidden to try out for AKB0048 and resorted to bailing on her home and dad to follow her dream.
- Self-Duplication: Chieri can do this after awakening as Center Nova at the end of the series. She uses this ability to sing up-close to some DES soldiers.
- Social Darwinist: Initially anyway. Turns out she doesn't really have it in her to be a "Survival-of-the-Fittest" type.
- Taking the Bullet: In the middle of their first battle, Chieri draws the attention of a robot so Nagisa can take it down. Turns out she doesn't manage to destroy it completely, and seeing it take a bead on her, Chieri jumps in the way, taking the bullet instead. At which point it's revealed the bullet was a paintball, the robot was one of 00's, and the entire firefight was a Secret Test of Character and part of their final audition.
- Teleportersand Transporters: After becoming Center Nova she can also teleport and manipulate warp transport.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Literally in her case.
One of Nagisa's childhood friends, Yuka is a headstrong and occasionally caustic girl who also dreams of joining AKB. This puts her at odds with her boyfriend, Mamoru, who is fully against idols and entertainment as it will mean the end of their relationship due to AKB's no dating rule. Ending the relationship to follow her aspirations and leaves home with Nagisa and Orine after passing her audition. Easily angered and confrontational, Yuka is nonetheless a loyal and supportive friend.
- Almost Kiss: Yuka and Mamoru come within an inch of each other's lips until Yuka stops herself at the last second.
- Contractual Purity: In-Universe. While it is never outright stated in the show, it's hinted that Yuka is prohibited from being romantically involved with her boyfriend while a member of 0048 because idols are supposed to be "fresh" and keep themselves clean for their fans.
- Friend or Idol Decision: After breaking up, making up, just being friends, Yuka and Mamoru put a hold on their romantic relationship so Yuka can continue her idol career.
- Girlish Pigtails: A standard set of twintails that she wears at all times.
- Ironic Echo: After an irritable Chieri tells her that she's being annoying with her complaining and half-heartedness about their training Yuka finds herself repeating the exact same words to a group of quitting girls. Chieri pops in around the corner a second later and Yuka realizes what she just did.
- Just Friends: What Yuka and Mamoru ultimately end up after the concert on Lancastar. And what they ultimately end up as by the end of the story.
- Working with the Ex: When back on Lancastar. And Yuka's none to pleased to find he's a bigger Suzuko fan than he is her fan. At least, that's what he tells her.
- Tsundere: It's not like she still has feelings for her ex, Mamoru, or anything, jeez!
Orine is a childhood friend of Nagisa and Yuka and like them wants to be a member of AKB0048. Unlike them, however, she is not a middle school student. Her parents were killed in an accident and with no other family she was forced to drop out of school to support herself by working in a factory. Despite her hard life, Orine is the sweetest girl around; friendly, gentle, and loving to her friends and co-workers. When she passed her audition, she quit her factory job to join AKB.
- Break the Cutie: After receiving some extremely threatening hatemail, poor Orine is very nearly broken. And then gets better within the same episode when she learns the boy is a fan of another member of AKB0048 if anything else, and before that she had lost her parents to a Dualium Mining incident.
- Episode 11-12: She finds out that she was building LAS for the DES.
- Heartwarming Orphan: This parentless pink-haired wrench wench is easily the sweetest singer of the group.
- Parental Abandonment: Of the dead variety. Her family was killed in an accident, causing her to drop out of school to work in a factory in order to support herself.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: Her light pink hair reflects her sweet and friendly personality.
- Wrench Wench: How she starts off. A depressing example as she wasn't one by choice but worked full time at a factory to keep food on the table. Once she joined AKB0048, this aspect disappeared entirely.
The lovable loser of the group. While many of the girls have some sort of stake or bone to pick with the DES, Makoto isn't one of them. She grew up as an ordinary, if fretful, girl with only her love for AKB0048 keeping her going. While it doesn't help that the universe seems to get a kick out of physically abusing the poor girl, her negativity and tendency to panic over the smallest things often make Makoto her own worst enemy.
- A-Cup Angst: How bad is it? She hates her A-Cup so much that she is averse to melons! In fact, everything Takamina likes to eat Makoto hates.
- The Chew Toy: So often is she the sucker of every unfortunate event that even her General Election poster depicts her her falling on her butt.
- The Eeyore: Her introduction consists of her wailing about how they're all gonna die from some collision in space and it goes on like that pretty much the rest of the show.
- The Idiot from Osaka: Her Japanese VA and her character. Complete with her homeworld being called Naniwastarnote
- Lovable Coward: Is easily made afraid and hates herself for being afraid. But as one of her fans explains, it's the fact that she's not afraid to admit she'd afraid that makes her so endearing to those stuck in similar positions.
- Oh, Crap!: Makoto's reaction to learning there's a new gravure swimsuit photoshoot... and she's been indulging in high calorie snacks.
- The Runaway: We have no information on her family situation, but she admits to having run away in one of her panic attacks in episode 2. Likely a "circus runaway."
- Slipknot Ponytail: Makoto's sidetail comes undone in episode 18 when she bungee jumps to disable the reactor core inside a DGTO asteroid base.
- Trademark Hated Food: Melons, Tom Tom Young soup.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Sonata, who teases her mercilessly.
- Weight Woe: Among her other woes, this one came to focus in the beach episode.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Blue-Purple in her case.
The passively quiet girl named Suzuko is the brain of the trainee group. She is lifelong fan of AKB0048 who has committed God only knows how much knowledge and trivia of the group to memory. Unlike the others she joined AKB not to be an idol singer, but to work her way up to a management position where her skills could be of better use. This desire for a supportive role rather than a center stage one is evident in her nature; rarely does she take the lead in anything, instead acting as a supportive friend to those who need a helping hand. When she does take the reigns though, watch out as she can be a force to be reckoned with.
- The Comically Serious: She can be quietly earnest about some of the most ridiculous things, like forcing Sonata to tag along in spying on Tsubasa or breaking Makoto in order to make her boobs look bigger.
- Beware the Nice Ones: An upset Suzuko will do some pretty surprising stuff. After being forced off Lancastar by DES Suzuko lashes out on a verbal tirade against them while just getting out of the shower, startling Makoto and Sonata. Earlier, when the 76th Generation's Megumi is badmouthing Kanata, Suzuko headbutts her and demands an apology!
- Meganekko: In fact, she's the only trainee to wear glasses.
- Ms. Exposition: Has a vast amount of knowledge concerning AKB0048's operations and frequently gives lectures to the other trainees to bring them up to speed.
- Mushroom Samba: Suzuko tells Sonata to be careful around the mushrooms they see while exploring a planet they're on after their defeat at Akibastar only to get a face full of toxins herself when she turns around. Immediately she begins hallucinating about being the top mushroom idol and winning an award while giant mushrooms dance about until Sonata slaps her out of it.
- Nice Hat: A beret she is never seen without if she can help it.
- Otaku: For AKB. When she rattles off stats and trivia after first meeting the other trainees Yuka's first words are "Geek." in response. She actually wants to be the producer instead of an idol.
- The Quiet One: Least likely to say anything in a given situation.
Most girls would not have bothered stowing away on a space ship to try and get into AKB0048 after failing their first audition, especially if they were under aged. Most girls aren't Sonata Shinonome. The rambunctious redhead is always ready with a sharp smile and a sharper remark, ready to leap into action whatever it may be. It doesn't take long for the naivety of her age to show though, all ten years of it.
- Affectionate Nickname: Suzuko and Mimori call her Sonati.
- Animal-Eared Headband: Naturally the cute little girl of the group likes to wear these, though it seems to be more of a really small hat on the side of her head. Sometimes replaced with a regular headband or hood that gives off the same effect.
- Determinator: Failing her first audition didn't stop Sonata from hoping on a ship to the second rounds anyway. And since she didn't have a ticket because she didn't pass the audition, her solution was to just stow away.
- Little Stowaway: She's introduced after hiding behind a vending machine to evade security.
- The Nicknamer: Gives names to others after they made a serious first impression on her. "Grumber" to Makoto for constantly wallowing in despair, "Nasty" to Megumi for being a jerk, and "Linda" to Suzuko because it was easier to spell than Suzuko's real name (no, seriously).
- Trademark Hated Food: Really hates veggies.
- Token Mini-Moe: Sonata should be too young to even be in the group, but thanks to Tsubasa's "Sure, why not" seal of approval she became the only preteen of 00.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Makoto, whom she likes to tease.
75th Generation Kanata Shinonome is the captain of the trainees and Sonata's older sister. Of all of the current understudies, no one has it as rough as Kanata. Her father was a pro-entertainment fighter who was killed fighting DES, an event which left her bitter and seeking revenge. Joining 00 as a giant middle finger to the DES, however, didn't work out as she had planned. Despite being with the group for two years she has yet to be made a successor even though all but one other 75th Generation trainee has long since quit.
- Character Development: She learns to let go of revenge as her motivator.
- Cool Big Sis: Sonata's by blood and acts as one to the 77th Generation.
- Disappeared Dad: Was killed by the DES and became Kanata's primary motivator for joining 0048 in the first place.
- Fangirl: Of Takamina, who she looks up to and aspires to be like. So much that the Kirara of Succession had already chosen her to be the new Takamina despite the current one still being around.
- Friend or Idol Decision: Phrased "hypothetically" Takamina asks her if she would force Takamina out of the group if it meant Kanata would get to get to take her place as a Successor. Kanata can't give an answer.
- Girliness Upgrade: After pointing out Kanata's muscled legs, Kojiharu hijacks Kanata's stamina training for Makoto and makes them both go through her "Pheromone Increasing Plan" to make them sexier.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: While she firmly believes hard work will be rewarded and inspires others by saying so, Megumi thinks that's a load of bull and points out Kanata has been trying hard for two years already with nothing to show for it.
- Hero of Another Story: She is the main character of Heart Gata Operation, a side story where she meets Atsuko Maeda, who was gone when the series began (outside of flashbacks).
- The Leader: Type II. One of the oldest trainees, she was selected to lead the younger girls for her maturity, practicality, and devotion to the group and their mission.
- The Resenter: She isn't, though it's invoked by Takamina, who believes she has every right to be. While Kanata is certainly frustrated by her lack of progress, she isn't bitter at those who pass her.
- Trauma Conga Line: Your father dying when you are young, a short lived romance between the first male figure who cared for you, all your comrades except one abandoning your group, girls newer and younger advancing before you, and having your opportunity to become a Successor blocked by your hero all shows how Kanata was just flat out born holding the short end of the stick.
- Unknown Rival: In a really weird variation, she has no idea that she's become Takamina's rival for her Successor name.
- You Killed My Father: She originally joins the AKB0048 to get revenge on the DES for killing her father.
Mimori Kishida (Mariko Shinoda the 8th)
A lovely girl with as much charm and sex appeal as all the 77th Generation put together, Mimori is known for being a particularly sexy and talented trainee with a sense of humility. She is the other sole member of the 75th Generation Trainees with her best friend Kanata. Like Kanata she stuck in the limbo of being unable to succeed even as girls below her already have and her peers have all either failed or quit. Kind and motherly even in the midst of her perceived failure as an idol, her optimistic attitude help act as a stark contrast to Kanata's cynicism.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Attempted by Sayaka, who claims Mimori has the opposite problem of Kanata (no sex appeal) and excretes too much pheromones. Mimori is pretty distraught to be put through a rigorous training program to make her more "Fresh", and even more so when an unsatisfied Sayaka makes her do it all again. Ultimately, Sayaka tells her that every idol has their own way of doing things but it is good to try all methods.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Kanata's Betty. Growing up in a tropical paradise vs Kanata being raised in a DES controlled hellhole.
- Clothing Damage: During a dodgeball game on a TV show Mimori gets smacked clear off set and rips her clothes when she hits some stage equipment, leaving a lot more skin showing.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Part of the 75th generation trainees (also known as the "unlucky" generation because none of them ever became successors). Despite nearly every other trainee abandoning their goal, she continued on with Kanata, refusing to leave her behind. It finally pays off when she becomes Mariko the 8th.
- Important Haircut: She cuts her hair after becoming Mariko the 8th.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her selling point is she has rather huge proportions and introducing herself to the girls with a Wardrobe Malfunction. She also cooks wearing a Naked Apron (she does have a tube top under it though) ON TELEVISION!
- Rip Tailoring: Continuing the episode of Clothing Damage, she then reveals more of by ripping even more clothes to get a cooler and more fashionable look.
- Speaking Like Totally Teen: Part of Sayaka's Pheromone Reducing Plan involves Mimori speaking Jive Turkey, which leads us to this lame attempt:Mimori: W-word up, my home skillets!
- Team Mom: To the fellow idols, she has a very non competitive approach to the idol scene despite her innate sex appeal and approach. She acts a mediator between the 76th and 77th who is at bitter odds with one another.
Megumi is a trainee of the 76th Generation and the only one to become an Understudy. This puts her at odds with the new 77th Generation whose strong work ethics gives them a higher role and more prominence in AKB0048 at the 76th Generation's expense. She acts bitter and condescending towards the younger girls until having to actually work with them. After that her role is greatly diminished, to the point that she doesn't even show up at all in half the episodes and only having a few lines in the ones she does. Her one noticeable feature is her crush on Sae Miyazawa the 10th.
- Demoted to Extra: After the concert on Tundrastar she only shows up every now and then for Ship Tease moments with Sae.
- Drill Hair: Her most noticeable feature are the two drill tails that make her hair style.
- Flat Character: Even if she still has a few lines through the series, she is one of the characters with less protagonism.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Successor Sae after the two start hanging around each other more often.
- We Used to Be Friends: While not hating Sae in the slightest, Megumi acts bitterly towards her shortly after becoming an Understudy because Sae no longer hung out with her like she used to before becoming a successor.
The Successors are the idols of AKB0048, who lead the fight for entertainment against the DES with their songs and guerrilla concerts on planets that have banned music. Upon becoming a successor, a girl gives up her name to take on that of the original AKB48 member she is succeeding. Although the Successors number in the double-digits (and hypothetically could have up to 48 members) most of them are only minor characters, with the nine listed below being the more important secondary characters who act as mentors for the understudies.
- Becoming the Mask: The successors strive to be as much like the original AKB48 members as possible. This comes up several times such as when Yuko bitterly wonders if her actions are being determined by what she wants or what a successor to the original Yuko is supposed to want.
- Idol Singer: The idol group of space. They all went through the same grueling auditions and carefully cultivate the image they present to the public. Being a great singer isn't a must, as the individual idols find ways to shine without having to be onstage.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: About half of them are referred to by nicknames, such as Takamina, which is actually a portmanteau of her last and first name.
- The Mentor: To the Understudies. The Successors often go out of their way to help or advise the younger girls which in turn increases the adoration the understudies have towards them.
Minami "Takamina" Takahashi the 5th (Real Name: Shiori Arisawa)
The cool and confident captain of AKB0048. Leading the Successors in their fight to bring entertainment and joy to the galaxy, Takamina is one of the most popular and respected members of the group. Also the shortest. A whopping 148.5 cm tall (4 feet 9 inches) she is a head shorter than almost everyone except Sonata. With hard work and dedication to the group she is a shining example and role model for the younger girls. That is, until she stumbles upon a secret that she personally takes as a big slap in the face and a sign that she has outstayed her welcome in the group.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After trying to prove she is still Successor material to the point of serious injury for several episodes, Takamina lets go of her desperation and instead works again to benefit Kanata and the group. Her passion for the Understudy Concert causes the Kirara to make her the Successor again.
- I Can Still Fight!: Takamina desperately insists that she can still perform after getting injured during the fight above Tundrastar. She turns out to be correct, stumbling only a bit before giving out entirely as soon as the concert is over. Even after that she wants to go back to perform the encore with everyone but at that point she can't even stand.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Takamina describes her own abilities as below everyone else's and is thus very reluctant to graduate since it would take away the only thing that made her unique.
- Heroic BSoD: The shock of discovering she isn't technically a Successor anymore affects her so much that she is unable to fight and nearly gets killed in a fight with the DES.
- The Leader: Type II. An inherited position that comes to all idols who take on the name of Takamina because of their natural maturity, practicality, and devotion to the group and their mission. If that sounds like a copy-paste of Kanata's entry, there's a reason for that.
- Older Than They Look: She's 21 but is shorter than everyone except the girl who hasn't even gone through puberty yet. The dub highlights this by making her voice also sound a lot younger.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Her incredibly hostile behavior towards Kanata, her biggest fan, when she demanded to be able to perform even after being injured. While she's desperate to prove she still has what it takes to continue being Takamina, it's an attitude like that which probably lost her the position in the first place.
- Stepford Smiler: Shows shades of this to hide her anxiety about retiring.
Yuko Oshima the 9th (Real Name: Hikaru Kimishima)
The rambunctious 9th Generation Yuko Oshima is a force to be reckoned with. One of the most outspoken and critical members of the group, she is constantly pushing the others and herself to work harder to achieve their full potential. Easily the most openly ambitious member of the group, Yuko stops at nothing to achieve her dream of becoming the Center Nova and still considered the long disappeared Acchan the 13th to be her biggest rival. Her friendly demeanor hides a grim determination to find out what really happened to Acchan and ultimately surpass her as Center Nova.
- Always Someone Better: Everything Yuko does is to become Center Nova, because until she does she feel she'll always be inferior to Acchan. Even taking first place in the General Elections isn't good enough for her.
- Character Signature Song: The song Heavy Rotation is sung by herself, when she's leading a concert, and played when she's announced as 1st place in the General Election.
- Cute Little Fangs: A fang anyway. One that pops out from the left side of her mouth.
- Dual Wield: From the second Lancastar concert onward she slices robots, deflects bullets and sings with a micsabers in each hand.
- Disappears into Light: More like exploded into the light. Her brief tenure as Center Nova caused a giant explosion and she was sucked into a limbo universe. She gets out and comes back to join to the others in the fight against the DES in the finale however.
- Fangirl: Everything Yuko did, all her work and dedication to reaching Center Nova, was really done in order to be with Acchan, her hero and idol. All she ever wanted was to be able to perform alongside her.
- Friendly Rivalry: Believes that all of idols are her rivals but treats the rivalry as a spirited and friendly competition. Her response to Nagisa declaring before the world that she was challenging Yuko for the Center Nova position? "Bring it on!"
- Hidden Depths: She's much more introspective and serious than a first impression would let on. As Nagisa and Chieri find out, her hobby is actually photography instead of sports or something lively like they had assumed.
- Pre-Explosion Glow: Yuko's idol radiance becomes even brighter as she becomes Center Nova, even brighter as the light engulfs her, and brightest just before the entire thing explodes and Yuko disappears.
- Tritagonist: By season two her part of the plot is on equal footing with Nagisa and Chieri's.
Sayaka Akimoto the 10th (Real Name: Akira Igarashi)
The tomboy of the Successors. Sayaka has a forceful personality and likes to fight as much as she likes to sing. Naturally she utilizes both during AKB0048's guerrilla concerts to great effect. She is one of the Successor most likely to show up to coach the new trainees, offering dieting and fashion tips, setting up training and work out days, and so on. She is most often seen hanging out with fellow Successor, Sae Miyazawa.
- Action Girl: The profile states she doesn't really look at beauty as something required and stresses combat over prettiness.
- Feed by Example: When the trainees are served some hearty portions for dinner they are reluctant to eat after their Training from Hell. Sayaka pops in with a plate of steak, telling them they need to eat healthy if they want to pass their audition and then scarfs the whole thing down. Then she butters up Makoto's steak and demands she do the same.
- Minor Character, Major Song: In what is ostensibly an Orine episode, Sayaka is the one who get the idea of singing to calm the furious funghi and leads the group in converting the giant monsters into friends.
Yuki "Yukirin" Kashiwagi the 6th (Real Name: Ayako Kuroki)
A young woman of many roles. Yukirin is one of the most feminine of the Successors but don't let the girly demeanor fool you, she's more than capable of handling things on her own. She is the Katyusha's acting captain when Tsubasa is not around as well as the ship's resident medic.
- Catchphrase: "I'll make you fall in love with me!"
- Informed Flaw: Sayaka claims she has horrible fashion sense, but her normal street clothes are just as stylish as anyone elses.
- Lethal Chef: The booklet states one of her weak traits is getting up early, pollen fever and cooking.
- The Medic: Is apparently qualified to treat her fellow idols when they are sick or wounded. She correctly diagnosed Nagisa's lost voice as stress-induced laryngitis.
- Ms. Fanservice: Sure Kojiharu is consider to be the official face of fanservice but Yukirin seems to outdo her in the anime and card game, large buxom body, her poster being her wearing a fanservicey bikini to Kojiharu's more modest poster and being a victim of one of Sonata's surprise attacks as they were all bathing, not even Nyan Nyan had a bath scene.
- Weapon of Choice: A ribbon with an electric shocker.
- Whip It Good: Which she uses to tangle enemy weapons and shock their bearers into submission.
Mayu Watanabe Mark 3/Mayuyu the 3rd
The cyborg idol. Mayuyu is unique among the Successors for two reasons: She's a cyborg with a rocket launcher in her arm, and she has a stage persona that is noticeably different from her normal self. While in front of an audience she has a big smile and talks with a cutesy voice, she drops all that when just with the other idols. Mayuyu is expressionless, nearly stoic, and talks in a low monotone even with those close to her. Despite this seeming lack of emotion, Mayuyu can be as playful as anyone else and advises and protects the younger members as well.
- Alertness Blink: Seems to be integrated into her body. When she senses the DES nearby light ripples through her hair.
- Big Eater: She eats enough for five people and still wants seconds. Possibly need the extra carbs to power her robotic parts.
- Cyborg/Robot Girl: Reveals a mini rocket launcher from her right arm when rescuing the trainees from a DES attack at which point Orine speculates that she is a cyborg.
- Girlish Pigtails: Wears a pair of these to keep up her cute and girly image.
- The Stoic: Comes across as this when not on stage. Most of the time it just seems her emotions don't match up with her face as she can smile though and boy you will know when she gets angry.
Haruna "Kojiharu" Kojima the 8th (Real Name: Chiharu Sakuragi)
Also called Nyan-Nyan. The other girly girl of the Successors, Kojiharu can make men swoon with just a wink. She is is a friendly and eager young woman who is happy to lend a hand to those in need, even if they don't initially want the help. Knowing full well what an asset their femininity can be, trains the younger generations in expressing their "pheromones" and being sexy.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Her profile states that she can never get used to firing an AK-48 assault rifle even if loaded with non-lethal ammo. She keeps this a secret to everyone else though.
- Calling Your Attack: "Heart Attack!". No, that doesn't actually induce a heart attack. She simply uses a Magical Girl-esque heart-shaped wand.
- Heart Beat-Down: Kojiharu adopts a magical girl-esque heart theme that she uses from everything from getting guys to fall in love with her to beating down on guys with her attacks.
- Ms. Fanservice: During the photoshoot, some shots of her are topless.
- Pink Means Feminine: Again highlighting her girlishness.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Her idea of introducing the trainees to their combat practice is tossing a micsaber at Nagisa and seeing if she chops anyone's head off with it.
- Third-Person Person: Occasionally refers to herself as Nyan-Nyan, or just Nyan.
- Weapon of Choice: A wand with a heart at the top. Like Takamina's bow, it has a tazer built into it.
Tomomi "Tomochin" Itano the 11th (Real Name: Tomoyo Itano)
A direct descendant of the original Tomomi Itano. Tomochin's entire female family line has made it their mission to succeed their matriarch, with the last Tomochin being the current one's elder sister. Their commitment to carrying the Tomochin name has even led to the family to selectively marry those who would best preserve the look of Tomomi Itano. This particular Tomochin is one of the most quiet of the Successors, and it's revealed that all her quirks are deliberately modeled after her ancestor.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: The original Tomomi Itano ate weird things, so Tomochin does too! Though if it involves celery, she will freak out.
- Cat Smile: While the original Tomochin might have had a mischievous streak to go with the smile, this one has it bred into her solely to copy her ancestor. She tries to teach it to Yuka and Orine with less than stellar results.
- Generation Xerox: Every woman in her family purposely marries men who resemble the original Tomochin, resulting in every daughter looking practically identical. Every idol in the family has also taken on Tomochin's name.
- Hidden Weapons: She packs two dualium powered pistols in Heart Gata Operation, capable of reflecting upon the enemy.
- His Quirk Lives On: As mentioned above, most of Tomochin's interesting little quirks are a deliberating invoking the mannerisms and behavior of the original.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Probably the most traditionally feminine of the Successors, as opposed to the more modern Yukirin and Kojiharu. She comes from a wealthy and traditional family, is soft-spoken, and fights with martial arts. She wholeheartedly fulfills her family duty of being an idol.
Sae Miyazawa the 10th (Real Name: Youko Asamiya)
Youngest of the Successors. Sae is the only idol who didn't take part in the Lancastar concert four years ago because she had not even joined the group yet. She was a member of the 76th Generation, the year below Kanata and Mimori and above all the other Understudies, and the only one to become a Successor thus far. In regular life, she is often seen hanging out with Sayaka and when there is a fight on hand her weapon of choice is her personal LAS mecha.
- Action Girl: Of all the Successors she is least likely to be seen singing and more often seen fighting in a LAS.
- Apologizes a Lot: Hinted to do this as Megumi yells at her to stop apologizing during a confrontation. Mimori later say Sae apologized so much to her and Kanata for becoming a Successor before they did that they ended up feeling bad for being upset about it.
- Boyish Short Hair: Apparently a signature Sae look, as the previous one had the exact same hair style. Seeing as how this one already had the look before becoming a Successor, she was probably already a tomboy.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Megumi, or at least that's how Megumi treats it.
- Satellite Character: You know you're not that important when your most distinguished trait is showing up alongside other minor characters.
Atsuko "Acchan" Maeda the 13th (Real Name: never revealed. Most fans refer to her with a Fan Nickname, Atsuko Katagiri)
The last Center Nova. The 13th Generation Acchan was the idol of idols. A passionate yet quiet young woman who could be surprisingly shy. Once she got on stage though, was she a sight to behold. As the Center Nova, she led the performances with a radiance that outshined all her peers, inspiring them, or in Yuko's case, prompting a desperate game of catch-up. Then she just disappeared on day in the middle of a concert, sometime before the 77th Generation was recruited. Her disappearance is a big influence on AKB0048, both on the group as a whole and on certain individual members.
- Disappears into Light: The fate of all idols who become the Center Nova. Much to Tsubasa's horror it was in the middle of a concert while they were standing right next to each other. It was what finally led to the position being discontinued after Tsubasa took over the group.
- Ice Queen: In Heart Gata Operation, she is just as cold as Chieri off-stage.
- Posthumous Character: Essentially all her appearances and development are shown through flashbacks or given from stories the 00 members tells each other.
- Shrinking Violet: According to Yuko, at least, she was one of these.
- Weapon of Choice: She uses a rapier in Heart Gata Operation.
Tsubasa Katagiri (Mariko Shinoda the 7th)
Tsubasa Katagiri is 0048's manager.
- Retired Badass: Four years ago, she was a successor who took up the name Mariko Shinoda. She's since graduated and become AKB0048's producer.
Chef Papa (Chef)
Mikako Minamino (Minami "Miichan" Minegishi the 5th)
- Ace Pilot: Hailed as the best LAS pilot in all of 0048's history.
- The Atoner: After being revealed as The Mole as she didn't know Zodiac's actions would be so brutal she rejoins AKB0048 as a trainee.
- The Glasses Come Off: When she's serious.
- The Mole: For Chieri's father.
Zodiac Corporation/DES (Destroy Entertainment Soldier)
- Shadow Archetype: Like AKB, DES is an organization with a three-letter acronym that possesses mecha and FTL-capable ships (which few people have), and seeks to spread its philosophy to all of humanity. In Idols Of Anime, guest co-host Jed Blue provides commentary on their role as this to AKB.
- Author Avatar: His character design is based off Kawamori himself.
- Big Bad: Leads the Zodiac Corporation, who controls Lancastar and countless other corporate holdings. In the second season we are formally introduced to him and he attacks an AEPS planet just to find his daughter.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by a mysterious sniper when Chieri was singing for him. Most likely by the DES since they finally realized he was a pro-entertainment backer and decided he needed to die for it.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite being one of the biggest supporters of the group of soldiers who enforces the bans. His research is bent on recreating the Kirara drive which could solve the FTL problem and destroy the Dualium monopoly held.
Yuno GintaA student in AKB0048: Heart Type Operation. She is actually a spy for the DES forces, attempting to steal the uniforms so she can destroy them in the name of DES forces
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She may look nice and friendly on the outside and one of AKB0048 most ardent fans but she secretly works to undermines them.
Friends, Parents and Family
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Nagisa's father, who works to regulate entertainment on Lancastar, won't even let her sing in her room because of the rumors it might start. It's understandable, though, as idols are persecuted by the DES and he doesn't want that to happen to her. He gets arrested because he was associated with someone who became an idol and the DES find his softening position on Entertainment as potential sedition. By the end of the second concert back on their world, he gives Nagisa his approval, and even admonishes her for hesitating in following her dreams.
- Good Parents: Though he initially comes off as a hardass and Fantasy-Forbidding Father who won't even let his daughter sing in her room, it becomes clear that this is caused not by any kind of ideology he holds, but because he's afraid she'll become a target for the DES. After she leaves and becomes an idol, he refuses to condemn her decision and gets imprisoned for it, and after Nagisa sees how much trouble she caused her parents by joining AKB0048 and she starts hesitating in pursuing her dream, he tells her in no uncertain terms that he wants her to do so and expects nothing less from her.