|Opening||Kibou ni Tsuite|
|Ending||Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru|
|Japanese||May 13, 2012|
|North America||September 23, 2013|
The Chosen Lights
I Won't Let Down Their Efforts
Stardust Selection (星屑セレクション, Hoshizuki Serekushon) was the 3rd episode of Season 1 of the AKB0048 anime.
The girls are given a selection exam in which they have to successfully defend the current generation of AKB0048 from the government until the last note of their song Beginner is sung in a guerilla concert. The girls are dropped down onto the planet, quickly attract the attention of the enemy mecha and are fired at, and are forced to respond with their own gunfire. As the situation looks bleak, more and more girls drop out of the exam. Nagisa runs to aid Chieri and the two manage to take out a mecha by themselves, until Nagisa is caught in its line of fire and Chieri is forced to intercept the shot.
On board the ship, the girls have joined the other audtioners in the training room. As they look around and gage the competition, Tsubasa walks into the room, and explains to the girls that they must sing the song Beginner in order to pass the auditions and have a successful performance. At first the girls are relieved, even Makoto, who states she thinks she can do the song. But Tsubasa claps for attention, stating that it will require a successful performance. At this point, Kojiharu enters the training hall and hands Nagisa her microphone, at which point Nagisa accidentally switches the mic saber on and nearly takes out Yuka and Orine in the process until Nyan-Nyan switches it off. She then takes the girls from the room, murmuring words of encouragement, as Tsubasa watches them go and smiles. She turns to go but her sleeve is caught by Sonata, who states that she is here to audition for the group. Tsubasa looks at her, and asks her what is stopping her. Sonata grins and runs off, while Tsubasa looks after her with a grin on her face.
The girls are shocked to discover that they will be trained in guerilla warfare rather than singing and dancing, including battling robots, zero gravity environments, and firearms. As the girls are sitting in the training room, exhausted from the days work, Tsubasa comes in and informs them that the auditioners will not be performing the song Beginner, but protecting the members of AKB0048 as they perform the song on a guerilla planet controlled by the DES. After a long hard day, the girls climb into the showers, only to be covered in rusty water until Takamina and Yukirin tell the girls how to properly utilize the showers. Poor Makoto though unfortunately ended up in the one shower that is always rusty. Next in the cafeteria, the girls are too tired to eat, but are force fed fatty steaks by Sayaka, who instructs the girls to eat to replenish their energy. Orine moans she is on a diet, while behind her, Mayuyu consumes twenty steaks in a row.The girls attempt to settle down for the night in their zero gravity beds, but Orine, Yuka, and Makoto are all complaining about the circumstances and that this was not what they signed up for. Chieri crawls out of bed and scolds the girls for their complaints, and if they don't like it they should go home. Chieri leaves, and Nagisa chases after her, with Yuka right behind. While chasing after Chieri, they happen upon the current members of AKB0048 rehearsing long after everyone else has gone to sleep. When the members start to argue, Nagisa bursts in and tells them they should not fight. She and Yuka are surprised when the girls respond by laughing, and Minami informs the girls that that is how they grow as a group, by listening to one another's viewpoints and growing from them. As Nagisa and Yuka head back to bed, they encounter two other auditioners, who are on their way to ask Tsubasa to stop this training, as they feel its unfair that AKB0048 is only singing and dancing, and not being forced to work like the rest of them. Nagisa starts to say something, but is cut off by Yuka, who scolds the girls for their bad attitudes and that they should get out if they don't like it, saying it in the same manner that Chieri used earlier. After this, Nagisa and her friends seem to get the hang of what they are supposed to be doing, handling the firearms well and defeating a robot. Tsubasa states that the girls are ready as they descend to the guerilla planet. Meanwhile, while making a gun ready, Chieri noticed Mayuyu who tells her that if she continues to not eat, she won't pass the selection round. On the planet surface, the members of AKB0048 give the auditioners a pep talk, and after a group rally cry, the auditoners are placed on the surface. As AKB0048 performs, Tsubasa orders the girls to be ready. Almost instantly as the attack begins, most of the girls are eliminated without even much of a fight.
Tsubasa shakes her head in disappointment, but notices Nagisa and her friends not only defending the concert, but taking care of the injuries of the girls who did not make it. When a particular vicious robot shows up, Chieri states that she will distract it while Nagisa takes it out. Nagisas protests, but Chieri heads out, and is seemingly shot point blank in the process. Nagisa and the other girls watch in horror as Chieri falls. Nagisa rushes to Chieri's side, but discovers that the red liquid is not blood, but paint. As the girls look on in astonishment, Tsubasa descends the rock she is standing on and tells the girls this was all a test, and that there was never any need to fear for their safety, since the DES mecha was actually an AKB0048 mecha and that the planet is not under the Entertainment Ban. Meanwhile, on Akibastar, the mysterious entity Sensei Sensei said: Within that... Eternal ring., in which a priestess tells another priestess to inform Tsubasa about what they just witnessed. Tsubasa then congratulates Nagisa, Yuka, Orine, Sonata, Makoto, Chieri, and Suzuko for passing the test and that they are the 77th Generation canidates for AKB0048. As congratulations and cheers resound from both the girls who passed and the current members of AKB0048, Nagisa looks ahead to Akibastar and the future.
- It is of note that only Nagisa and her friends possess the heart marks of members of AKB0048, as the other girls at the auditions do not. Whether this means that the other girls never had a shot of passing the auditions or not is not known.
- The rifles that the trainees used for the selection exam are closely resemble the AKS-74 rifle which in real life the successor of the famous AK-47.