Following the understudies' debut, Nagisa has a dream about Atsuko, whilst Yūko ponders about Nagisa and Chieri's potential to be Center Novas. After another performance by the understudies, Tsubasa announces the return of both General Elections, in which fans nominate understudies and successors to participate on a single, and the revival of the Center Nova position, exciting Yūko, who declares she'll be the one to claim it. Whilst resting at a hot spring inn, the DES attack and capture Chieri, Sonata, and Yuki "Yukirin" Kashiwagi, whose real name is revealed to be Ayako Kuroki, taking them to the High Court on Kasumigastar where they put them on a live trial broadcast across the galaxy. As the rest of the group plan a rescue attempt, Chieri decides to plead her defense, exclaiming her faith in AKB0048. Spurred on by her words, AKB0048 arrive on the planet and rescue Chieri and the others. Meanwhile, Chieri's father is planning something using the data gathered from the trial.