The Center Nova is the position held by the member of AKB0048 considered to be the star of the group, with that extra special idol spark that makes them stand out from the rest. There is a special wall in the dormitories of the AKB0048 house where the past Centers all have a photo. All the centers have graduated, however, they graduate by disappearing, or running away (such as in Minami Minegishi the 5th's case). No one knows their whereabouts after they all graduated. The Center Nova is also called the Position 0, and there is a special part of the stage for them. It also appears in the opening of Season 1.
Up until the departure of Acchan, the group always had a Center. As Yuuko explains to Nagisa and Chieri in Episode 5, on their day off, the position was retired after Acchan's departure due to the rampant rumors that flew fast after Acchan disappeared. However, in Episode 10, Yuuko also explains that the Center Nova position was retired once Mariko Shinoda the 7th graduated and joined the administration. This occurred after Acchan's disappearance.
It was later revealed in Episode 25 that the idols are warped to a theatre where they perform and create the songs that are then sung by the members of the AKB0048. However, for those who did not acquire the true Center Nova spirit are stuck in a state of limbo; unable to return and unable to ascend to the top.
The Center Nova, who have reached the ultimate radiant disappear in the "other world". There, they sing forever, to illuminate the shadows in the heart of everyone, so the hope which is brought by the Entertaiment, never disappears.
Known AKB0048 Members who held the Center Nova position (Ordered from Earliest to Latest)
- Sayaka Akimoto (Sayaka) the 9th or 8th
- Mayu Watanabe (Mayuyu) the 2nd (Type 2, MK2)
- Yuki Kashiwagi (Yukirin) the 5th, 4th or 3rd
- Minami Takahashi (Takamina) the 4th
- Yuuko Oshima (Yuuko) the 7th
- Yui Yokoyama (Yuihan) the 6th
- Furea Hoshina - In Chapter 22, she awakens her potential as a Center Nova when Noa is shot. She briefly disappears, but choses to return rather than leave for good.
- Minami Minegishi (Mii-chan) the 5th - In Episode 5, Yuuko says she has been sighted on another planet, Atamistar, and is later found on Atamistar taking gravure pictures for AKB0048.
- Atsuko Maeda (Acchan) the 13th
- Yuuko Oshima (Yuuko) the 9th - She met the conditions that initiated her as a Center Nova, but she never fully obtained Center Nova because she did not disappear like one as concluded by Tsubasa and Mii-chan in Episode 25.
- Chieri Sono - Despite not being a successor, she becomes Center Nova in the last episode of the series.