It’s an anime set in a future in which the Earth has been destroyed and everyone is spread out on various planets. Most of these planets have banned art and entertainment, especially idols. The girl group, AKB0048, perform guerrilla concerts on planets where there have been full or partial entertainment bans. AKB0048 contains 77 generations of trainees, with trainees who make it eventually replacing older members who graduate and taking on the name of the original AKB0048 member that they are most like.
Because of the danger on the planets with entertainment bans, the members of AKB0048 and the trainees have to fight anti-entertainment forces, even in the middle of a concert while they’re singing and if that isn’t super bad ass, I don’t know what is.
It is feminist as fuck. It surpasses Sailor Moon in girl power which is quite an achievement. The only thing it lacks is a distinct lesbian ship.
Themes include: parental approval, body image, friendship, ambition, hard work, following your dreams, friendship, anarchy against oppressive regimes, encouraging others, positivity, dealing with haters, friendship, sisterhood, rivalry, inspiring others, dealing with critique, friendship, trying new things outside of your comfort zone, sacrifice, protecting those who can’t protect themselves, FRIENDSHIP OH MY GOD ALL THE LADY FRIENDSHIP I COULD CRY.
It has a bit of something for everyone. Great music, a huge cast, mechas, girls fighting in cute outfits, mysterious magical creatures, light sabers, an android/cyborg, etc.
There are only four male characters who have been in more than one episode (from what I’ve seen thus far). Only one of them is a romantic interest. Another is a canonically dark-skinned gay man.
Such a cute art style. The idols are distinguished by heart shinies in their hair and eyes. There’s one super cute moment where little girls watching our protagonists sing actually get those heart shinies in their eyes because they are now dreaming of being an idol as well.
YOU WILL CRY OKAY. IT IS NOT A SAD SHOW BUT IT WILL MAKE YOU CRY.
Crunchyroll link, just make sure you watch the first season, not second (next stage).