AKB0048 07 – 08

W-Why is there blood in my cheerful idol anime!?

Annnnddd we’re back with more AKB0048!~ Apologies for the lack of a post last week, I was … busy. (Which is code for “I got a new video game and couldn’t stop playing.”) Plenty has happened in the last two weeks, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Now, on to episode 7 + 8 …

Generation Rivalry

Must … resist … Mean Girls reference …

The last couple weeks have introduced us to an entire new generation of understudies, as if there weren’t enough names to remember already! The 76th generation girls are nothing like the 75th or 77th however, partially because they’re snotty and  rude but mostly because their hair doesn’t have any sparkle or shine, and I like my idol’s hair sparkly AND shiny. Anything less then those high standards will not do. (Megumi’s drill hair almost makes up for it … almost.)

There importance is, well, they don’t seem to have much importance beyond fanservice for AKB fans (lemon head for example) and filling another antagonistic role in the plot. If anything I’d say their appearance and actions are a good example of the stress and unwarranted jealousy that come with being an understudy, especially one who’s a generation behind. I’d imagine there’s no guarantee that being an understudy means you’ll succeed as an idol at some point, so the more time that passes and the more girls who give a better impression are a sign that you’re not good enough. However rather then put that aggravation and emotion into improving their skills, like Mimori and Kanata, these girls seem to be more focused on forcing their emotions on to others. (Trying to get Chieri kicked out of AKB, for example.)

“Hair dye is just too expensive these days. A-Am I right?”

Their sudden relevance is due to Tsubasa needing understudies to fill in for four of the current idols, who are attending a peace ceremony. Kanata takes over Takamina’s role, Mimori takes Kojiharu (pheromone attack~), Megumi takes Yukirin, and Chieri takes Yuuko. Ordinarily this would be a moment full of moe gaiety … moeity, if you will, but the 76-ers lost their composure at the thought of Chieri getting priority over one of their own, and Megumi made sure to voice this. (THOSE … BLAND LITTLE … *ahem*)

Their antagonist role was further developed (mostly by Megumi) in episode 8 when all of the 77th generation were asked to perform as stand-ins for a guerrilla concert. (hehe “guerrilla concert”) Again, bringing up what I said before, rather then dwell on their failure to become stand-ins like the 76th, the 77th generation put their focus on improving and even learned the dance routines they didn’t need to know. Thanks to that they were able to become stand-ins. Did the 76th do that? No, they were probably off somewhere brooding in their own monotony. Maybe I’m being harsh on them, but they went on the offensive first! It’s no wonder one of the highlights for me this week was a good ol’ Linda-style headbutt into Megumi.

TAKAMINA

Classically trained in power vocals and the art of mech warfare.

More secrets were revealed the last couple weeks regarding the succession-process. The kirarara (is that one too many ras? It’s Ararararagi all over again!) have significance beyond being cute glowing squids, they’re the ones who are able to see the future of each AKB-name. The mirror of the future in episode 7 had a shock none of the current idols could see coming, that Kanata is destined for the Takamina name even more-so then the current Takamina.

That puts the current Takamina in a very awkward position, playing role model to Kanata but all the while knowing she’s destined to fulfill her name and only her name. (If you’re not putting it together, that means Takamina will have to graduate before Kanata ever gets the chance of being a full on AKB0048 idol … at least, I think.) Takamina’s struggle was handled very well, since she seems to be a very introspective character her emotions show through her actions, like going mech-crazy for example. At one point I thought they were going to kill off her character, but it didn’t get THAT intense. Instead, her unwillingness to let go of her rank led to some impulsive decisions in the middle of combat, resulting in some nasty scrapes and bruises. Yuuko’s resolution to Takamina was strangely intense. That girl is definitely hiding something about her past. Takamina’s dream should come first, and I agree, as sad as it is for Kanata’s position.

On Production …

At least it’s blindingly colorful, like the text colors in this post.

FTL JUMP.

I don’t generally like talking about the production aspect of episodes, because I’m very uninformed when it comes to technical stuff and I won’t pretend to know what I’m talking about, but ah episode 8 LOOKED AMAZING. The Mech action was surprisingly not derpy at all and was way better than I’d expect from an idol/music focused show. I’ve found AKB0048 to be one of the best looking shows of the anime I’m watching this season, from the stellar background art to the animation. (Again, my idea of “good” animation is anything better than like, Togainu no Chi or something.) The CG in the performance scenes still looks whack, but I’ve gotten used to it.

My one complaint would be the lack of actual AKB music! What’s up with that? Idolmaster did an awesome job of showcasing one or two songs a week, but nothing like that from AKB.

~ Weekly Idol Ranking ~

#1: Chieri Sono

Chieri got a lot of focus in episode 7, and once again she’s stolen my fanboy heart!~ She’s finally warmed up to her fellow idols and shared some cute moments with Nagisa, as well as some emotional tearjerkers with Kanata. She’s opened up a lot as a character, and now I can 100% say I’m her fan! I’m glad she was able to work through the issue regarding her father and the DES, but I don’t expect the problem to disappear for good. Eventually she’ll most likely be face to face with her father and now she knows that the other girls are there for support.

#2: Kanata Shinonome

Kanata continues to impress me. She’s consistently stood up for her fellow idols, worked hard to become a stand-in, and can now even join the front lines in a mech! Her past, I’m sure, has helped her to become so determined and it shows every week. However, it’s sad to think that her chance of becoming an idol is far off with the current Takamina standing in her way. Maybe she’ll be able to succeed a different role?

#3: Suzuko Kanzaki / Sonata Shinonome

They’re on the list for that awesome train scene, standing up against the 76th generations rude comments. First Sonata defends her sister and then Suzuko follows through with a headbutt. Need I say more?

Extra Thoughts:

  • Sae is a former member of the 76th generation and the only one from the generation who is a current idol. You can’t deny her tomboy charm!
  • Yuuko’s “romance” is back in the picture. I’m skeptical about where it might go, considering her ex wasn’t very supportive of her in the first place. I don’t want to see her get hurt again … and I’m sure he doesn’t want another slap in the face. Yuuka has been really slipping into the background so I’m glad these new plot points are there for her.
Final Thoughts:

Two more outstanding episodes!~ Surprisingly, or maybe not, AKB0048 has become one of my most anticipated shows each week! While I’m enjoying other shows like Apollon and Sankarea, I can’t say I look forward to them quite as much as I do AKB. Somehow every season I get attached to a show that I never thought I’d enjoy, and this time it’s all about the idols. Not only is it fun to watch, but it’s fun to write about and speculate over. (Isn’t that what anime is all about in the end, entertainment?) I feel as though lately I’ve been losing touch with the side of me that watched anime because I just felt like it, not because I felt like I HAD too, which is why I’ll probably be cutting down on the shows I watch next season and only sticking to the ones I truly enjoy watching week after week.

Oh man, I really didn’t mean to make that all about me. >< The next few weeks I’m expecting to be very exciting, with the promises of guerrilla concerts and generation DORAMA. I’m curious to know where the show is heading for endgame, since we’re unfortunately approaching the end of the show’s run. Will anyone get promoted by the end? *crosses fingers*

Have a favorite idol? Is it a different girl from your original favorite? Let me know in the comments, if you feel like it!

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I enjoy watching anime, when I'm not burning toast or sleeping through college.
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15 Responses to “AKB0048 07 – 08”

  1. Mitsuki says:

    I have to agree.
    I usually watch one show a season. I thought it’d be Accel World, but somehow AKB0048 totally overpowered it for me. Well maybe because I actually expected nothing to come out of this show it’s surprisingly rather good.
    I loved Chieri when designs came out and loved her throuhgout all the episodes so far.

    About speculations on promotion someone will fill Acchan’s spot. Feels kind of right to me.

    • BlackBriar says:

      It’s usually the shows you don’t expect much out of with seemingly uninteresting elements that turn out to be great and well done. They turn into surprise hits. Good examples of such would be Ben-To, C³: Cube x Cursed x Curious and Senki Zesshou Symphogear.

      • Hawthorne says:

        Now I really want to check out C3 … XD

        • BlackBriar says:

          You should check it out. It’s a pretty good series. Ask Karakuri. She’ll vouch for it big time since she blogged it. And plus, there are some whacked yanderes in it.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Glad you’re enjoying it Mitsuki! I’ve realized lately that sometimes our expectations let us down and it ends up being the shows we had no expectations for that impress us. Or something like that. ´▽`

      Ah, I totally forgot about Acchan! (… how could I forget that creepy picture in episode 4) I’m kind of hoping Yuuko will take her spot, she seems extremely dedicated and very talented and I loved her speech to Takamina at the end.

  2. Ying says:

    I loved these two episodes so much. Like you I didn’t think I’d end up loving this anime so much since I usually never watch idol shows XD.

    I understand the 76th generations hate, but that doesn’t mean I like them. Taking that sort of attitude towards another generation that is busting their butts, unlike you, is just stupid -_-. I think Takamina may end up graduating eventually (I’m hoping for a second season) because Kanata seems to be acting more and more like the leader of the group so I don’t think she can succeed anyone else.

    My favorite idols are Chieri, Kanata, and Yuuko. With Chieri beating the other two by a tiny cm because I like her design best XD.

    I wonder if the thing with Yuuko still having a boyfriend is going to be a problem in the future. After looking into AKB some more I found out they kicked a couple of girls out (the lesser known ones) because they where caught in a pic with their boyfriends. It’s called the “AKB scandal” if you want to check it out, but it seems idols in general aren’t allowed to have boyfriends or even a whif of a past relationship in Japan.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Ah a second season would be glorious. ´▽` (I’m not giving up hope on a BD special episode just yet though!) Takamina graduating would be very sad, but Kanata’s position atm is also sad. (Agh this show drives me crazy! ><) I guess it’ll come down to whether or not Takamina is willing to give up her own dream so that her understudy can further pursue her own.

      Chieri’s fanbase seems to be growing more and more! XD She’s on the top of my list as well, with Makoto and Orine just a bit in front of her.

      I did not know that was a thing. (I feel like I’m learning more about the actual AKB every week.) Those are some very strict rules they have. Hm, I hope this doesn’t hurt Yuuka!

  3. BlackBriar says:

    These two episodes did the series justice with good progression. I continue to like this. Keep ‘em comin’, Hawthorne!!! There was a healthy dose of development for Chieri in this. It was odd seeing her being the one down on her luck and getting a pep talk from someone else, and by Kanata, no less. Haha, a reversed situation. Karma sure can be a pain.

    The most interesting thing to take from this was the reveal of how succession works in the group, something which has intrigued me ever since I learnt of the succeeding generations. The sensibilities of the succession rules are a bit weird especially the rule stating that a current successor must “graduate” in order to give the spot up to the next successor. It’s the source of all the hostility among the girls.

    The space fight reminded me so much of Gundam Wing even though it’s been a long time since I saw it. A whole new game. I mean, come on, there was even blood in this. First, everyone was getting knocked around by explosions and all they got were bruises but now there is actually bloodshed involved. Things are getting intense. This show is definitely from the same studio that produced Symphogear.

    • Hawthorne says:

      I … didn’t even think to look at it that way! (*recalls memories of Chieri encouraging Kanata*) Role reversal is such an amazing thing. ´▽` I love watching the bonds between all the girls develop each week, they’re individual understudies and yet they feel like one coherent unit.

      I agree, leaving it up to the Kirara is a weird way to go about it too. I can’t help but feel it would be a lot simpler and less stressful if girls kept their own names instead of having to fill a set amount of roles. Like you said there seems to be a lot of hostility in the current process.

      I just jumped into the Gundam series the other day (starting with the original MSG), but I’ll get to Wing eventually. >< But yes I definitely see the similarities between the two (Symphogear and AKB)! We’ll probably be seeing more of this bloody fighting soon too with the guerrilla concerts and stuff.

  4. Hoshi says:

    ~EXACTLY! 76TH GENERATION IS JUST JEALOUS BECAUSE THEY ARE PLAIN AND LACK THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF SPARKLES TO BE IN AKB0048. NOT 77TH GENERATIONS FAULT YA’LL ARE PLAIN. *cough* Though the 76rs irk me A LOT, I enjoy the drama they bring as it keeps me incredibly entertained and even more excited for the next episode just so I can tweet snappy comebacks at them.

    Chieri’s development is quite odd for me. I’m so used to her being more drawn back that seeing this sudden progression of becoming more social with the girls and showing emotions she hadn’t before caught me off guard. Though she’s changing, she still isn’t my favorite idol. I’m more for Kanata~

    I almost screamed when Takamina got hit! I was like, “NO YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME AKB0048. YOU AREN’T THAT KIND OF SHOW!” The show is definitely getting more and more intense, especially as more secrets are revealed and the DES gets more tactical (I think that’s the right word lol).~

    • Hawthorne says:

      HAHA! Those 76rs deserve all of our rage! ´▽` No wonder only Sae got promoted from the 76th gen, she’s the only nice one of the group … and her hair is sparkly too. I loved your tweets, they were pretty hilarious!

      Same here Hoshi, definitely caught me off guard as well. I have to adjust to the new, more open Chieri. (Which is a good sign she’s adjusting to being in a group I guess!)

      lol! I was pretty much the same during that scene! Takamina was throwing up so many death flags, so I was all at the edge of my seat and everything during that fight! Don’t play with my emotions, AKB! D; Ugh, I love this show.

  5. Moni Chan says:

    Remember when this show was all cute girls and fluffy things. Yea I don’t remember either. Wait erase that, the girls are still cute. You know before the blood got on them and what not

    • Hawthorne says:

      I WANT MY FLUFFY BACK! D< hehe

      I am liking the shift in tone though, adds even more excitement into the mix!

  6. […] an exciting twist on the idol “genre,” and Takamina’s battle in episode 8 was more than enough evidence to suggest that the staff have it in them for more well-choreographed […]

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