With the group lost in deep space and all seeming lost, there’s plenty of time for a talkie episode that explains what’s really going on…
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…
Bad times for Nagisa’s father – on top of being transferred to the mines, he’s also just heard of the attack on Akibastar and that his daughter’s an on-the-run criminal. Yuuko, meanwhile, has disappeared, just like the Center Novae before her, and in line with the predictions of Chieri’s father. Oh, and the Flying Get is adrift with a damaged engine, meaning the girls can neither fight back not go looking for Yuuko. But that gives Mii-chan time to explain her actions…
…which, unsurprisingly, were all with the best of intentions – creating an open gate to the alternate universe where the Center Novae before her are believed to have gone, and using that to rescue them from whatever fate they’ve found there. Her one mistake was in underestimating Zodiac, and Chieri’s father’s ability to betray just about anyone when it suits him to.
The withdrawal from Akibastar and the abandonment of the concert hall means that there’s really no need for the girls to play idol any more – most of the episode is given over to an info-dump that makes explicitly clear a lot of the things that the series has been hinting at until now, around the kirara, their origins, and how that fits in with the disappearance of the Center Novae. While it’s not quite as entertaining as a good battle scene, it’s useful stuff and helps set the scene for what we know is coming next – the creation of another new Center Nova to carry through on Mii-chan’s initial plan.
Which, since that by necessity involves a high-stakes battle, means that we’re going to get more of the aspect of AKB0048 where it really shines. Like a Center Nova about to disappear, as it happens. We get a taster of this towards the end of the episode when the near-disabled Flying Get gets tracked down by a DES warship, and the promise of more to come – which is just fine by me. With the series heading towards its climax, I think there’s far more to be taken from the show’s action and adventure aspects that from the quest to become the next successor – but we’ll see soon enough if Kawamori’s thinking the same way.
A chance to catch breath, explain things, and make it fairly clear what needs to be done next, this week’s episode still manages to feel tense and exciting. If only it could’ve been like this every week.
Content Grade: A-
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 27” Apple iMac, 2.9GHz Core i5, 32GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.8.2