AKB0048 – 05

Do I have your attention now, reader? fufufu

Once again, I’m trying this new posting style! Bits and pieces of summary are here and there, but it’s mostly thoughts/analysis and whatnot. Now, on to AKB!~

Recreational Day Antics

New and old pairings … or as I like to call them, my new ships. (´∀`)

With the realization that their only free day of the month has arrived, the girls (including the current AKB0048 idols) all spent the day in their own fashion. For some it meant more training, for others it meant shopping, but for the viewers it meant plenty of hilarious idol-life moments to keep us entertained on the off-day. While not a very crucial episode as far as the anti-entertainment storyline goes, episode 5 improved on an issue any show with a large cast might suffer from, interpersonal relationships. From what I’ve seen of anime with large casts, typically pairings (or tripl-ings) will become obvious within the first few episodes and only minor interactions will ever happen between the individuals of the groups. For the most part that seems to have been avoided in AKB0048. While there are still more apparent pairings that get more screen time and dialogue (Nagisa and Chieri, and Yuuko and Orine for example) the rest of the cast is meshing very well together.

The new recruits weren’t the only ones meshing however, because the current AKB0048 idols also found their way into the mix, some getting more development then others. Surprisingly the one who got the most development was Tomochin, who I’ve barely noticed beyond one or two still shots. Her family lineage dates back to a whopping 11 Tomomi successors, their household is like a breeding station for idols! While impressive, it brings up an interesting point which I’ll talk more about later.

Did I mention there’s a bath scene?

Succeeding the Successors (Part 2)

I don’t want anyone to be replaced. :<

Last week I talked a little bit about centers and leads, but this week I want to discuss (or I guess, question) the general idea of succeeding an idol. (Do they actually do that in the real AKB48? ><) Anyway, a lot of questions sprang through my mind this week while listening to any of the numerous talks regarding “successors”. For example, why or when does an idol ever feel the need to step down, and who decides which recruit takes on the name from then on? Or, are there other names besides the current girls and Acchan whose names can be taken up?

It seems like a complicated process to be honest, but my most important question is, will the new recruits completely replace the current idols, or will they join them under other names? By the looks of it the current idols are quite young and dedicated to the group. It could be a long time before any of them decide they want to “graduate” and allow someone to take their place. Nagisa and her friends could wait years and still not have a position. Then there’s the other mystery behind the disappearance of the centers that I won’t even attempt to explain. I doubt the centers were killed, but maybe they’re brought to a secret place to act as the people who decide which girls succeed who? AGH, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS.

They should all just join together and be one big happy idol family … FOREVER!

Loss and Gain (aka Tomomi v.11)

KIRABOSHI … close enough.

I’m not sure if the new generation fully comprehends the fact that becoming an idol means losing their name, or if they truly don’t care, but if anything it seems like a huge blow towards their own identity. Maybe the topic is too serious for a relatively upbeat show like this in the first place, but then I remembered that Tomomi mentioned …

“Perhaps I’ve been working all my life to become Tomochin. But sometimes I wonder, what it would be

like to live as someone other than her.”

And Atsuko also said …

“You work hard to become someone else.”

Which seems to imply that becoming an AKB0048 idol is much more than dropping your name, but actually becoming that girl’s persona altogether. That’s pretty … intense, don’t you think? Losing yourself to become someone else, though I might be interpreting the dialogue wrong. If it’s true that puts hefty limitation on newer generations, who I’m assuming have to fit their personality to match one of these personas. If Tomochin’s family went to the length of “breeding” new Tomomis, I can only imagine how far others take it. I only brought this up because it seems like such a serious topic laced into an otherwise straightforward premise.

I’ve been trying to work out in my head who could possibly replace who, again assuming their aren’t other possible names for the recruits to take. Nagisa seems like an Acchan and Chieri like a Mayu (also because Chieri is voiced by Mayu), but who knows! I feel like I can’t really speculate without full knowledge of what’s going on!

~ Weekly Idol Ranking ~

So, to make these weekly AKB posts more interesting and personal, from now on I’ll fill you in on my top three idols of the week with some quick blurbs. Then, if you feel like it, you can do the same in the comments!~ One of the benefits of having such a large cast of characters like AKB0048 is that many viewers start to grow partial to certain characters more than others (Idolmaster, for example CHIHAYA<3). Feel free to include both the current idols and the hopefuls in your list, I’ll be sticking with just the new recruits!~

#1: Makoto Yokomizo ~

Makoto, aka Grumpy, made me laugh more than any of the girls this week. She might be the most “plain” (as Yuuka might say), but her sullen personality and hilarious facial expressions more then make up for her lack of unique features. (We can’t all be born with sparkly pink hair after all!) She had been falling mostly into the backdrop the past few weeks, though she still managed to squeeze a couple shots of those classic Makoto faces, but this week she got some more screen time by being paired up with Kanata in a “sexy” workout led by Haruna. The other idols better look out, because now she has both funny and sexy faces at her disposal!

#2: Suzuko Kanzaki ~

Linda got more screen time this week as well and much to my delight she got to spend time with the adorable Sonata, such an odd pairing!~ While the other girls went about their day training or learning more about their senpais, Suzuko got down to business to find the identity of “Sensei Sensei”, despite being told not to by Yukurin. In the end nothing much came out of it, but we got to see more of her “diehard fangirl” side as well as her sisterly side. (And for those of you who enjoy ecchi, there’s some bath scenes too.) What I love about Suzuko so far is that she comes off as a quiet-type character, but unlike most quiet characters she’s not timid. She speaks her mind confidently and reminds me a lot of of the current Mayu successor … just without the obsession for food.

#3: Nagisa Motomiya ~

I have a lot of respect for Nagisa, being able to put up with Chieri and all! Their “friendship”, if you can call it that, felt so one sided up until the end of this week’s episode with Nagisa always trying to make things work between them and Chieri turning the cold shoulder. As expected of Nagisa, she once again pushed forward with their relationship unwilling to give up on the closeness they shared as kids, and eventually Chieri was able to warm up a bit and dance with her. Nice work, Nagisa! (Y) Nagisa has grown on me as a protagonist and this week showed why, she has so much drive and never gives up even when things don’t seem hopeful. Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll even support her as a possible center …

Scenery Porn … AGAIN.

Is it acceptable to be in love with art?

Extra Observations:

  • Tsubasa has another name, “Mariko”. She’s got me curious now, what with all that ritual stuff and the diamond reflections in her hair and eyes.
  • “Sensei Sensei’s” identity remains hidden! I have no speculation of who it could be, though possibly a code name for Tsubasa? Hm, I don’t know.
  • Daisuke Ono’s character IS a man, or should I say “was”. There aren’t too many transsexual characters out their that are portrayed as anything other than a stereotype, I wonder where they’ll take this Ushiyama character … if anywhere.

To wrap things up, I enjoyed this episode despite the lack of high-level drama I’ve grown accustomed to! For a laid back episode it had it’s touching moments as well as its downright hilarious moments, but I’d love to get back to the dancing and singing as soon as possible. While quiet episodes like this have their charms, I’m desperate for a developed storyline! I get they want to be idols, but where’s the conflict with the anti-entertainment government!? I want action, and singing, and all those other shallow elements that I love! I have fully accepted my shallowness, now give me my electrified hair ties and microphone sabers! Until next time!~


I enjoy watching anime, when I'm not burning toast or sleeping through college.
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16 Responses to “AKB0048 – 05”

  1. Erza says:

    the general idea of succeeding an idol. (Do they actually do that in the real AKB48? ><)

    Obviously not. That would be creepy as hell.

    are there other names besides the current girls and Acchan whose names can be taken up?

    Yes, there are a lot of names still available. The thing is that the current members are the top ranked ones, so while I expect most of newbies will take names from the available ones, I’m pretty sure at least Nagisa and Chieri will replace current members. Nagisa will probably be Acchan, and Chieri will be either Yuko or Takamina.

    @Tomochin’s creepy family. This is an inside joke on a song called “Clone”, the b-side of a Tomochin single. I don’t think there’s more to it than this. I mean, if taken seriously, this just feels creepy and inappropriate for a series that is trying to promote AKB lol.

    I have a lot of respect for Nagisa, being able to put up with Chieri and all! Their “friendship”, if you can call it that

    Don’t forget Chieri saved Nagisa’s life multiple times. That’s more than enough reason to “put up” with her IMO. Chieri may seem cold, but you don’t put yourself on the line for someone you don’t care about. Besides, I don’t think Nagisa finds it hard to be with her. Rather, I think she feels drawn to Chieri somehow. You know, kirara follows Chieri, Nagisa follows Chieri… there’s kind of theme there lol.

    Tsubasa has another name, “Mariko”. She’s got me curious now, what with all that ritual stuff and the diamond reflections in her hair and eyes.

    Mariko is an AKB member, and it seems Tsubasa was her successor. I suppose she now uses her real name, Tsubasa, because she’s graduated. Additionally, this would mean the name “Mariko” is up for the taking!!

    • Hawthorne says:

      Woah, I know who to go to for all my AKB related questions now! Thanks Erza for answering them!

      Ah, that makes a lot more sense then if there are more names to be taken. I was worried we might see early departures of some of the current idols, but it’s good to know both the new recruits and the current idols can coexist as successors. ^^

      “Clone”? (*adds to list of songs I must check out*) That’s interesting that they’re adding in all those subtle shout-outs to AKB history, I’m not a long time fan so I would have no idea! >< I suppose that takes down the creepiness ... just a little. I'm not denying that Chieri cares for Nagisa on some level, but from what I've seen so far Chieri seems to care more about her career as an idol than her friendships from the past. I just think she has different priorities then Nagisa, since the latter always puts herself before others. If anything I'd argue that Chieri is the one being drawn to Nagisa! Whereas Chieri was always distancing herself, Nagisa seems to always be surrounded by others. That makes sense! I figured as much, and now I really think Suzuko will take on Mariko's name. XD

  2. skylion says:

    I’ve quite enjoyed the last two shows, as it portrays a big old slice of idol life. It’s in familiar ground since IdolM@ster came around. This is the desire to be unique, yet to follow in the footsteps of something larger than you. That is a great narrative to follow, as it pertains, not only to idols, but to all of us.

    Very happy to see Linda and Sonata pair off, they riff off each other’s personalities quite well. Very demure bath scene (complete with infuriating rubber ducky). I enjoyed the two part joke with the cyborg looking for seconds of rice. (Still can’t get over the fact that she might go after it…Linda be warned)

    • Hawthorne says:

      Well put, skylion! It’s definitely been interesting watching these girls transform from normal teens to idols, but they have a lot of work left to do! Like you said, it relates well to our own lives, but thankfully we don’t have mechs around trying to kill us for singing. >< The bath scene was surprisingly reserved, I thought they might hike up the fanservice more than that for sales. XD Don't underestimate Linda! keke

      • skylion says:

        Yeah, Linda has probably researched everything abut IdolBorg, and has countermeasures planned. But then Chef Papa did go out and buy a bigger rice cooker.

        Sales? Extra scenes for the DVD/BD?

  3. Joojoobees says:

    The receiving the name of someone else is a Japanese tradition. If you look at the biographies of people from the Sengoku period, for example, they often had multiple name changes. People changed their names when they joined new clans, took on new masters, or got new jobs (all three of which were often inter-related in traditional Japanese society). Even today, if you read about traditional craftsmen (e.g. ceramics makers), you will see that many times they take on the name of a famous person from the past, whose traditional style they have been trained to keep alive.

    TL;DR version = It’s a Japanese thing.

    • skylion says:

      Hattori Hanzo (and not just a Pulp Fiction/Sonny Chiba reference) is a good example.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Ah no wonder I didn’t fully understand it! Traditions in Japan seem so odd to me because I’m obviously not around them, just as I’m sure some American traditions look crazy to people living in Japan! XD

      Thanks for the info. Joojoobees!

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Do I have your attention now, reader? fufufu. I don’t see how she can’t get anyone’s attention. The “Pheremones” are well welcomed here. It was nice to see mostly everyone in a non-training state to better learn their personality and lifestyle.

    I’m sensing growing yuri atmosphere among the girls, especially with Nagisa stalking Chieri to become better friends (Hibiki and Tsubasa/Chris) and Mayuyu and Sonata’s skinship. It’s becoming like Symphogear, which shouldn’t be surprising since both series use idols as the main plot and are productions of Satelight.

    Yikes!! I’m scared of Mayuyu. Beware of gluttons passing themselves off as skinny girls.

    The things that are creepy is that bizarre family that breeds idols to look like each other (that was really disturbing) and the fact that the former centers all seem to have disappeared.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Doesn’t it seem like tons of series lately have yuri vibes? AKB has yet to top Hibiki/Miku so far imo, but Nagisa and Chieri are right up there with the best of them! XD

      Mayuyu is not to be trusted when around food!~ That girl sure can eat, she must have a super high metabolism or something! >< Tomochin's family was very creepy, the way they all spoke at the same time and whatnot. I want to speculate about the disappearances ... but I'd probably be WAYYY off.

  5. Hoshi says:

    ~Personally I’ve always been really interested in the idol business for both Japan and Korea. It’s so…mysterious. You never really know what goes behind the cutesy girls, pretty boys, and flashy music. Suzuko is being the fangirl that’s trying to find that out as she’s investigating S-Quadruple and Sensei-sensei (which is probably the same person, no? There’s four ‘S’s in Sensei-sensei).

    With the whole ‘becoming someone else’, I think idols have to create some sort of image that caters to the public and fans, as well as hide the less-than-appealing parts of themselves.

    Also, the whole Tomochin thing was CREEPY. I don’t think they needed to go that far…

    • Hawthorne says:

      Ahaha I can only imagine how luxurious some of the more popular idols live! I mean, as long as you’re not fighting against mechs during your live concerts I’d assume it’s not that bad. (-, – ) Good point on Sensei-Sensei, who could it possibly be … I’m dying to know.

      Seems like such a hassle! But it’s understandable, the audience should come first after all. ^^

      But they did, and now we’re all scarred. XD

  6. Foshizzel says:

    Oh man we have the same ranking for our number one idol! Cause were so awesome with Makoto Yokomizo <3 <3 <3

    Interesting episode with a few characters pairing up with others! I freaking died watching Suzuko and Sonata hanging out together even though Sonata has a real sister I sort of saw those two more as siblings…

    LOL @ the Tomochin family Ahahahahah what…the..hell…STAY AWAY! I think they are all clones fufufufu.

    Overall good episode and ALL DAMN THE SCENERY PORN <3

    • Hawthorne says:

      Makoto yesss!!!~ She was such a star this week. (´∀`)

      Suzuko and Sonata need to team up more often! I even like them more together then when she’s with Kanata. But I’m sure Sonata could team up with anyone and still make us hng. >< I'm telling you, the Tomochin clone army will rise up soon and nobody will be safe!

  7. Jrow says:

    I don’t watch AKB, however…

    First, my attention was gotten, and second, love the ranking list and the whole blog overall. I’ll continue enjoying AKB0048 vicariously through you. 🙂

    • Hawthorne says:

      heh Sexy Mimori worked like a charm. XD

      Happy to hear that though! I’m glad the extra time put in is worth it in the end.

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