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 …|
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.
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.
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?
- 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.
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!