|Hey everyone~ I’m all done with my exams now (or what I like to call hell week), so finally getting to sit down, relax and watch some anime seemed to make all that stress just disappear! Which show did I watch first? AKB0048 of course.|
Saving the day, kira kira style~
The trio arrives at the station, but there’s a surprise guest … Chieri! We’re soon introduced to a handful of other new AKB wannabe’s including reserved Suzuku (Sawako Hata), childish Sonata (Kumi Yagami), and anxious Makoto (Mao Mita). In their cabin, Nagisa, Orine, and Yuuka recall the start of their friendship with Chieri, the daughter of a Zodiac Corporation CEO. All of the newbies share a meal together and discuss AKB0048, growing closer from their similar interest. A report on the TV reveals that Chieri ran away from home and is aboard the ship they’re on. The girls separate and search for Chieri, and when Nagisa finds her an altercation between the two breaks out regarding their conflicting views on the auditions. While Nagisa believes in the power of friendship, Chieri knows that not everyone will be accepted.
The voyage ship is soon attacked by the DES, there to extract the girls who are auditioning for the unlawful AKB0048 group. They avoid some “itsapinch” situations and eventually meets up with Chieri. Nagisa is taken hostage by the DES, but Kojiharu of AKB arrives just in time to save her with, what other then, HEART POWAH. The girls escape, but Nagisa once again separates to find Chieri. After more arguing over their ideals the chandelier from above falls and crushes Cheiri (Another style). Yuuko, also of AKB, appears and saves them, showing the power of an idol’s aura and teaching Chieri a lesson on teamwork. After one final showdown the girls manage to all safely board the AKB ship.
Meet the fresh meat: genki girl, panic-attack girl, and Linda.
They’re badass idols, basically.
It’s not AKB without the sparkle and shine!
Victory, thine name is moe.
Now on their way to the AKB0048 stage, planet Akibastar, the remaining candidates are now put under grueling idol test to qualify as a new member. Idol lessons? (
You might ask.) Well … not exactly. The girls learn to fire heavy weaponry, battle mechs, and serve their overlords senpais by defending them at their next concert, aptly named “the selection round”. The candidates then get a chance to meet their senpais, sharing rusty showers and a fancy dining hall. Later that night Yuuka begins to complain about the unnecessary lessons they’ve been put under, but Chieri disagrees and starts an argument, eventually leaving in anger. Nagisa chases after her, followed by Yuuka, but are soon distracted by the sound of music. They investigate to find the AKB0048 group training. They witness the group in a “fight”, which Nagisa attempts to stop, but soon learn it’s all a part of their method.
The next day the candidates head off to defend the outskirts of the AKB concert. There’s a calm before the storm type feeling when suddenly the enemy arrives. Out of nowhere guns begin to be fired, taking out the girls who came unprepared. Explosions are set and the bodies of the eager youth are sent in all direction, their dream destroyed. Nagisa meets up with Chieri, but they’re soon approached by an enemy mech. Chieri heads off alone to fight over-confident, but Nagisa manages to save her from an untimely death. Just then the mech aims directly at her, however Chieri jumps in and takes the bullet instead. Tsubasa, the manager, steps in and reveals it was all just one big test and the bullets are actually paint balls. Everyone is surprised, but that doesn’t compare to the excitement they feel when they learn that they’ve all passed. (And by all, I mean the central 7.)
You wanted happiness and sparkles? Too bad, you get gun warfare and creys.
Surprise, AKB0048 doesn’t suck! No-no, it sparkles. As flamboyant as that might sound, AKB has just enough emotion, excitement, and all-around fabulous entertainment value to live up to its name, and it has me entirely invested. Sure, sure, this probably isn’t for everyone, but if you can let go of reality for just a moment and embrace your suspension of disbelief, then you might actually find yourself enjoying this crazy conglomeration of sci-fi, pop music, OTT adolescent drama, and even a little mecha.
Exaggerated drama seems to be a focal point of AKB so far, sort of like a toned down version of BRS without all the BS that came with it. Call me shallow, but I have a thing for teenage drama, especially the outrageous kind. Going along with the BRS comparison, what I feel AKB does right is not taking itself too seriously. Despite all of the in-your-face emotion and drama, the show always has that sense of fun and high energy. There’s just something laughably insane about watching these sparkly, fabulous idols firing semi-automatic weaponry and flailing around lightsaber microphones while their senpais perform on blinding stobe light fortresses. (Wow, maybe I really am shallow …) It’s that level of energy that keeps me coming back, a vast contrast to the previous popular idol show, The Idolmaster, which focused on light-hearted reality and relationships, but was still very enjoyable in its own way.
The characterization so far has been limited, understandably. With 17+ characters, 7-9 of which being central (two having yet to be introduced) there can only be so much development done beyond initial personality based impressions. I have a good feel of the cast and who they are personality wise, but I prefer being able to recall a character from their personal story rather than from their hair color or voice actress. Nagisa, thankfully, has been very well developed, building on her relationship with her parents and friends, her personal ideals, and goals. Similarly Chieri, Orine, and Yuuka have great foundations for strong, developed characterization. Chieri with her family issues, Orine with her past, and Yuuka with her boyfriend. I can see this aspect of the show going many different ways, but I hope it stays true to the original four, who I find much more likable then the three new girls.
Ah, I don’t know about you (and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show so far!), but I’m having a great time watching AKB and I plan on continuing to blog it. There are plenty of laughs and cries to be had over what’s already happened, and I can only expect that the drama will unfold even more in the future.So, a question for anyone who wants to bite, how do you feel about the show’s odd mixture of different genres so far? Until next time!~
Goodbye and goodnight. ;D