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AKB0048 -next stage- Episode #07 Anime Review

4 min read

AKB0048 Next Stage Episode 7
AKB0048 Next Stage Episode 7
It’s succession time. And Sensei-Sensei isn’t the only one please by what’s discovered in the process…

What They Say:
At the start of the 21st century, an interplanetary war broke out. Earth’s ecosys-tem was severely damaged, and humanity was forced to flee the planet. On sev-eral planets of this new society, things that ‘disturb the heart’ like music and art are forbidden. That is, until AKB0048 is resurrected…

The Review:
Mimori awakens from her fever to find herself in Sensei-Sensei’s temple, where Tsubasa waits to guide her through the succession process. With her successor debut due, the group’s next concert will be a special for her – ‘Mimori Revolution’ – which will also be the point at which she takes on her new name. But certain people are paying close attention to the succession, and make some rather useful discoveries about the ‘Center Nova Phenomenon’ in the process…

I’ll note only that this is an idol ep, and not a concert / combat ep, and go no further into what that does for the episode’s appeal to me. If you’ve been following along with the series reviews, then that really doesn’t need much more explanation as far as the general sweep of like / don’t like goes.

Mimori’s succession – taking on the role Tsubasa once had, as the latest incarnation of Mariko – is obviously a big deal for her. Succession is a life-changing experience, not least because the gig involves essentially taking on someone else’s life. But for those viewing the change from the sidelines, the importance is maybe bigger, and the episode spends most of its running time looking at how the other AKB girls are dealing with the change. For some, there’s the fear that they’re losing a friend, that Mimori won’t be Mimori anymore; for others, there’s a kick in the rear about their own ambitions, that they’re maybe not taking the AKB gig seriously enough. Becoming a successor by necessity involves replacing other people – if you don’t have the personality to be able to walk over your predecessors, you’re not going to get to the top.

It’s an interesting look at the idol business, if somewhat idealised and shown only from the nicest possible point of view – I’d be very surprised if the fight to the top wasn’t a lot more cattish in real life, but our lead characters here are just too nice to really get into that sort of competition with each other. And I’m just fine with that. By the end of the episode, you have a group of likeable characters who are either seeing their idol dream come true (Mimori), or are taking positive steps to follow in her footsteps. It’s not what I’d call AKB0048 best work, but it’s certainly entertaining stuff.

But on the side, there are little hooks into the underlying tale of Sensei-Sensei and the fate of the Center Novae which would be far more interesting to watch – if only the series spent more than occasional fleeting moments on that side of the story. To be fair, it’s fairly clear that this is going to get a decent outing next episode, but I wanted that to get more airtime now, dammit. It’s a plotline that’s been being slowly eked out since early in the first season, and with it probably being the show’s “real” story my patience for waiting longer to get the big reveal is wearing thin.

In Summary:
This episode does okay with what it does, but it’s in territory that isn’t what I’d call the most appealing part of the show – although I’ll admit that that’s perhaps just a matter of taste. Still, AKB0048 has done a good job of appealing to both the idol and action sides of its audience, and next week looks to shift back to the latter. Looking forward to it already.

Content Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment: 27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8.2