First Impressions – AKB0048

Spring’s dose of fabulous is here.

Another idol show!? Yay, finally something to fill the void left by Idolmaster. For those of you who haven’t heard much about this show, AKB48 is real life idol group who will feature some of their singers as the VAs for AKB’s characters, many of which have very little experience doing so. It’ll be interesting to see how they do in their new animated roles!

Nagisa, Orine, Yuuka, and Chieri are four young girls living in a society where entertainment is banned. (What could go wrong?) With only each other for protection the four brave the sewers in order to reach a an immensely populated crowd of pedestrians waving and cheering. For what you ask? Only a super fabulous rainbow machine that holds the team AKB0048, a group of illegal idols bringing hope through their powerful songs.

Suddenly the po-po arrive to ruin all the fun, but AKB0048 fights back with their own mechs causing a war to break out in the sky above the performance. Even when the police try to force the idols to surrender on their own ship, the girls work together to best them. As the idol group takes their leave after a glittery finale the four girls vow to join them some day.

T-Too much fabulous … c-can’t go on …

In current day Nagisa and Yuuka attend school where they soon learn AKB0048 is having open auditions. Orine works in a factory because her parents both passed away and Chieri is mysteriously gone. The girls record their audition performances, but Nagisa struggles. On their way home Yuuka meets up with her boyfriend.

The three girls all get through the first round of auditions, but Nagisa realizes her father would never let her go because he’s a government official and the anti-entertainment laws are still intact. Yuuka breaks up with her boyfriend for not wanting her to go while Orine reminisces over her sad past. Later on Nagisa overhears her friends saying the main reason for applying was to be together.

Nagisa decides she’ll go despite her father’s position and as she leaves she is confronted by her mother, who offers support and ties a handmade bow in her hair. She makes it to the train just as it’s leaving, but Yuuka and Orine work together to help her aboard. They make it just in time and head off to the next phase of auditions.


Hawt’s Top 48 Pics of the Week:

When “AH YES” just isn’t good enough.

If anything, you should watch this for the sparkly sweat bubbles.

Loved the tone of this scene.

Nothing is better than an action shot!

Let me just put this out there to start, but that had to be the wackiest, most inexplicable premier I’ve seen so far this season, did someone really think it’d be a good idea to combine idols and oppressive science fiction? (And you say this isn’t the first time?) Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of AKB0048’s strangely entertaining, hyperactive (and most definitely fabulous) plot, but if you’re someone whose hoping for an intricately woven, compelling story then you should probably just back out now, these are girls fighting oppression with music, and robots, and electric hair decorations … you get the idea.

So, if you can look past the strong possibility of a campy, contrived story that panders to AKB48 fans, then you might find yourself enjoying this as much as I did. I predict that the show will have two types of fans, those that are watching for the laughs and those that find the drama somewhat touching and sincere. I’m sort of wavering in the middle right now because I found the mech portions (pfft, mech idols …) pretty hilarious, but the interactions between the characters were sweet and felt less artificial compared to the rest of the episode. The three friends in particular (I’m a long way from remembering names) for instance were all very endearing, Nagisa had a very emotional family plotline, Yuuka had to come face to face with her unsupportive boyfriend (yes, there are actually males in the story), and Orine had possibly the most pitiable and touching back story of the three. All in all, I really like the character and would say they are the strongest aspect of the series so far, putting in the realistically acted drama I’d hope for in a show like this.

For fans of beautiful artwork, I’m sure you’ll appreciate Satelight’s work on this show. The CG animation looked cruddy compared to the normal animation, it didn’t feel blended all that well … especially when you have 20 or so idols who are all doing the exact same movements at the exact same time, it’s creepy! Hopefully we’ll get some hand drawn animated performances (Idolmaster comes to mind), but it wasn’t all that distracting I suppose, there’s been worse. Visually the series looks fantastic. There’s always that feeling of gloom in every scene (as if the sky is always overcast), which goes well with the themes of oppression and unhappiness. I noticed a lot of odd touches were added to the show as well, like the abundance of hearts popping out everywhere, in eyes and hair for example.

The music didn’t stand out as much as I thought it would, maybe I couldn’t hear it that well over my laughing at the rainbow war machine, floating platoons of dance, and sparkle explosions, but it was nice to listen to overall. The most memorable for me was the second insert song after the initial performance. Well, I’ll be blogging this with hopes of many more laughs and heartfelt moments to come. I’m an instant fan for most idol and music related shows anyway, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this to some degree. Until next time, see ya~

Dat smile!~


I enjoy watching anime, when I'm not burning toast or sleeping through college.
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20 Responses to “First Impressions – AKB0048”

  1. Hoshi says:

    ~I don’t watch shows like this AT ALL, but for some reason I was thoroughly entertained. It’s an incredible lulzy plot and some of this stuff is just so over-the-top ridiculous for me (I mean, SPARKLY HEARTS IN THEIR EYES!), but it was fun to watch! I’ll probably end up watching this to the end with no regrets lol.

    And omg why can’t they have cool floating platforms for real concerts, like Kpop concerts.

  2. Karakuri says:

    Hawt, your replacement for Symphogear has arrived (..kind of)! Ahaha this was so fabulous, it hurt. It was also hilarious for all the wrong reasons.

    …Yeah, I’ll be watching this xDD

    • Hawthorne says:

      Yesss!! lol I had to watch some Star Driver afterwards just to cool myself down from all that fabulous.

      Woo!~ I’m glad people will be watching, even if it’s for the laughs! xD

  3. lvlln says:

    I didn’t find the characters or drama at all convincing, but what I did love was the animation in the first 5 minutes. The CG is still clearly a generation or 2 behind where it needs to be in order to blend it properly with regular animation, but I love that the show is trying it, pushing the boundaries, like Black Rock Shooter did last season. There’s a smoothness to the movements in CG that is just so difficult to do in regular animation due to the difference in framerates.

    Overall the episode exceeded my expectations, but only because my expectations were so low and because of the animation in the first 5 minutes. The characters and setting are… pretty bleh.

    • †Croos† says:

      From what I foresee, the drama will get heavier and heavier.
      Audition are suffering.
      Being and AKB48 regular is suffering. Its either Show ▼


    • Hawthorne says:

      That’s a very good point! BRS did an amazing job last season with CG (I thought at least), and AKB’s wasn’t that bad either. I do like CG, but there’s something about regularly animated dancing that I love … the fluidity with the rest of the scene for example, especially in close ups. The CG in AKB seemed to be mostly used in faraway shots though!

      Hm, I hope you’ll stick around a little longer even though the characters/setting didn’t impress you much, it seems plenty more characters will be introduced next week (from what I’ve seen of the PV), which could just make things worse, or all the more fun! ><

  4. †Croos† says:

    Being an AKB0048 trainee or just being a member is suffering.

  5. xochandaox says:

    I actually dont know of this AKB48, however depending on how the next few episodes are rated I will try it out ^^;;

    • fan says:

      AKB is huge right now in Japan. It’s surprising to hear people that follow Japanese culture, even if it’s just anime, to not know about them. They have a huge demo with kids, teens, girls..hell..everyone. They’re even the first artist to win 4 Billboard music award in one night and first idol group to win Japan’s prestigious Record award as well as only artist in Japan to sell over 1 million copies in 2 days or less and top digital chart (which is for people who don’t follow them but still like their music)
      I recommend Beginner, River, Kaze wa Fuiteiru, and Give me five as the top AKB48 songs you should check out.
      Kawaii idols singing about society issues while ripping their arm off in Beginner..what’s not to love 😐

      many of their songs have stuffs about suicide, cute love, sex, society issues, they cover it all. For Give me Five, they even learned instruments and created AKBand.

      • Hawthorne says:

        Woah, I had no idea they were so popular! I only know a tiny bit about idol units, and I thought they were more localized to the area they’re in. I was clearly wrong! >< In America there aren't really many "pop units", there's boy bands and pop groups, but they're typically 3-5 members, not 15-20! xD I'll definitely be checking those songs out since this anime has raised my interested in the group! Thank you! (New music for my iPod is always nice.)

        • xochandaox says:

          Ahha.. See now I feel silly for not knowing XD

  6. skylion says:

    I had no expectations going in. As Hawt says: Fabulous. I found the concert and the resultant fight to be so absurd. Yet it puts the pedal to the floor in it’s absurdity, goes by so fast it vaults into crazy awesome. Cattle prod hair decs? What? Yes, cattle prod hair decs!

    • Hawthorne says:

      Absurd is putting it lightly. XD I think that’s a strong selling point though, craziness might not always be best for the story/characters, but as far as entertainment goes … I was hooked!

      I have to wonder if all their accessories are weaponized … hm, I will be impressed if we also get to see exploding hairpins and razor sharp ribbons. (y)

      • skylion says:

        ZOMG, one can dearly dearly hope. To heck with pretty sparkly mahou shoujo make up kits. I want weaponized make up kits. Binary eye-shadows that when combined create invisibility. Laser beam lipstick! Restraint scrunchies! Obscuring mist cheek rouge! Foundation that turns sticky allowing a girl to climb walls!

  7. Joojoobees says:

    I really enjoyed the battle concert. I agree the integration of 3D could have been better, but the mech portion looked great, and seeing idols attacking the police with laser swords and etc. was fabulous.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Nothing is more fabulous than battle-idols with weaponized accessories and hearts in their eyes. xD I agree, the mechs looks great! I hope we get to see more of them soon!

  8. BlackBriar says:

    Wow, this was out of the box and refreshing. Nice use of animation and 3D. The battle concert was awesome and in some ways, seeing the mechs while the idols were singing reminded me of Senki Zesshou Symphogear. I’m officially adding this to my watch list.

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