At the start of the 21st century, an interplanetary war broke out. Earth's ecosystem was severely damaged, and humanity was forced to flee the planet, hence begin a new history with the Star Calendar starting from the year 0000. In several planets of this new society led by a totalitarian government, the Deep Galactic Trade Organization [DGTO], things that "disturb the heart" like music and art are forbidden. The legendary idol group AKB48 is later resurrected as the interplanetary troupe AKB0048, made up of girls who carry on the title and spirit of the original members. Since the government sees the existence of the idol group as illegal, the idol group cannot hold their concerts officially. AKB0048 also changed their concept from "idols you can meet" to "idols who see fans". Held as heroines by some and labeled as terrorists by others, they take up arms to bring their music to their fans wherever they are. The story follows a group of young hopefuls as they train to become the next generation of AKB0048.