Embracing Summer with a beach episode!~
|Thanks everyone who voted in the semi-final round for the Aniblog Tourney, we managed to narrowly beat our opponent and are now moving on to the finals against a tough opponent. The finals go up tomorrow and we’d appreciate your votes if you love what we do here at Meta!~
Now, on to AKB … I mixed things up a little bit this week and used less pictures for an easier viewing experience. If you want to see the pics just open up the spoilers underneath each section!
The Takamina / Kanata Dynamic
As a character Takamina has seen some of most extreme changes of all the AKB idols. She’s gone from the encouraging, confident older sister-type character to slightly desperate and overreaching, and more recently in episode 9, frustrated and determined. It’s strange how even the smallest bit of competition can change a person, and despite her initial spirited conviction even Takamina is affected by the presence of a possible threat.
Once again I’m torn on my feelings towards her actions this week. One side of me wants to cheer her on for working up the strength to perform in such a physically demanding concert, but the other side of me is angry at her for ripping that glimmer of opportunity right from under Kanata’s feet. Sure, the position was always hers to begin with, but the way she handled the situation was what rubbed me the wrong way. While I don’t throw my full respect behind Takamina, I do admire her persistence and aforementioned determination. She shouldn’t worry about losing her position anytime soon because she clearly has the skills and star-power required even if the Kirara don’t necessarily agree.
My full respect goes behind Kanata however, who has dealt with a rather contentious personality for some time now without ever losing her cool. The way she went and picked up Takamina after the performance without a hint of negative opinion says a lot about her character, and it reminds of the way Takamina used to be. It’s a bit of a role reversal that reveals more reason for the Kirara’s choice in naming Kanata the future successor. Everything went back to “normal” in episode 10 thankfully, with Kanata’s childish and adorable admiration returning and Takamina becoming cheerful again. Also, I SHIP IT.
The Disappearing Center Nova
Brought back into light this week by Yuuko was the disappearing act of the former, and final, center Acchan. The mystery surrounding her sudden vanishing has led to a lot of discord within the cast. On one side is Tsubasa, the former Mariko, who was dancing alongside Acchan when it all went down. Her true intentions were revealed this week, to find the truth behind Acchan’s fate. Resistance towards promoting a new Center is also supported by the second prior holder of the position, Minami. All hints lead towards an unfortunate possibility, that the Center Nova is much more than just the leader of AKB0048 and in likelihood is a very risky position among the group. Why else would Minami feel the need to run away? But what exactly does this mean for Acchan?
It’s still up in the air at this point. I can see a couple different scenarios, such as Acchan having been promoted to a much higher and more powerful position within the AKB faction (sensei-sensei, perhaps?) or she lost the influence of the Kirara. Whatever the truth is, the possibility remains that the Center Nova position could have some very dangerous consequences, which is where Yuuko comes into the picture. Her determination, while admirable, seems a bit misguided. She witnessed the disappearance of Acchan and still wishes to take the position. Is it bravery, or is it recklessness? Maybe it’s simply a prideful resolve? Whatever her reasons, I found Yuuko to be a bit childish this week in the way she talked to Tsubasa. She’s knowingly breaking rules, which is not the first time she’s done so, and was undeservingly blaming Tsubasa in some ways.
Gah, I want to know more! Who would have thought AKB would have such a ominous mystery thrown into the story. Can we get Oreki thrown into this for some help, perhaps? I imagine Acchan’s fate won’t turn out to be something bad in any way because the show is surprisingly lighthearted when it comes to resolving plot lines. A happy ending seems likely, but we shall see!~ More worrisome however is the likelihood that Nagisa or Chieri will end up fulfilling the position. Minami/Tsubasa pointed out in their conversation how bright the Kirara shined when they were together. Yuuka might have a rival.
BEACH PICTURE DUMP.
I was complaining some time ago that I felt the show had an odd lack of music and performances for a music themed show, but in episode 9 we not only got one of the futuristic concerts we’re used to seeing from AKB0048, but a second more down-to-earth performance by the up and coming girls of the 77th and 75th generation, as well as minor distraction concert mid-episode.
Despite the lack of flashy animation and seizure inducing strobe lights, the final performance led by Nagisa, Chieri, Orine, and Yuuka without a doubt the highlight of my viewing experience. Not only is it beautifully sung, but the lyrics connect almost perfectly with the story of the characters and their abundance of warm emotions. They’re the four that started this tale of weird musical suppression, and it was touching to see them together singing with the same powerful emotion that inspired them however many years ago as kids. Even more powerful was the scene of the four local girls being encouraged to the point of hearts showing up in their own eyes, possibly indicating that they’ll also be AKB idols in the future.
The other big performance was entertaining as well, in an entirely different way. The liveliness of the music and the choreography were fun to watch and even more enjoyable to listen to. It’s no wonder their singing brought such excitement to that town!~
~ Weekly Idol Ranking ~
#1: Suzuko Kanzaki
Suzuko impressed me the most this week. Leave it to the megane to be more insightful then anyone in the cast. I love that she helped Makoto improve her confidence by erm, squeezing her into that bathing suit. At the same time she also encouraged her by letting her know her body is perfectly fine as it is and that fake changes weren’t necessary at all. Suzuko is like the quiet supporter, always positive and never judgmental, and I think that makes her perfect for the manager role she’s going after.
#2: Makoto Yokomizo
|Makoto, you hilarious girl, you! If she had more confidence she’d probably be a big hit, but at the same time I think it’s that “grumpy” (as Sonata would put it) personality that gives her a unique charm.|
#3: Kanata Shinonome
I think I’ve written enough about Kanata by now for you to know why she’s on my list this time. (I feel like I put her on my list every week …) One thing I hadn’t mentioned were the “d’awwws” I let out when she put on that AKB uniform. Only to have it ripped away by that hag, I mean … Takamina. I SHIP THEM ANYWAY DON’T HATE ME.
- Minami had the diamond in her hair/eyes just like Tsubasa, pretty much confirming that all graduated girls have the same change. I prefer the hearts. :3
- Suzuko’s reason for joining AKB0048 wasn’t to become an idol, but to become like Tsubasa and manage the girls. That seems like an odd goal, so I wonder if the Kirara would even choose a girl if she has her eyes set on the manager, not the idol.
- Beach episode done right? I would argue so. I’m somewhat disappointed that my favorite character, Makoto, got such weak development in her “focus” episode. She was hilarious as expected though, so I can’t complain!