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AKB0048 -next stage- - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 14 January 2013 00:47
Following the trainees' successful debut concert, AKB0048's manager, Tsubasa, makes a shocking announcement. She intends to revive the New Single General Elections - as well as the Centre Nova position, despite the history of the position's previous holders. It gives the understudies a lot to think about - but a raid by DES forces that sees Ayako, Chieri and Sonata captured and brought before a show trial gives the girls more immediate problems to deal with...

With Crunchyroll not having season one up (yet), anyone staying legit is having to jump in here. That's not ideal, but this episode at least gives a fairly good feel of what the series is about. With concerts, military raids, show trials, and the odd hint at the show’s underlying mysteries, there’s a little bit of everything here, all wrapped up in the the exuberance that’s been typical of the show all along. If you’ve seen the first season, it’s a triumphant return and a sign that showrunner Shoji Kawamori isn’t planning on letting up any; for everyone else, it’s enough to say that if you enjoyed this episode, you’ll likely get a kick out of the rest of the series.

As far as real-world idols go, I have very little interest. Between the way they’re, well, idolised, the ways their popularity is milked and manipulated, and they way their fandom treats them, I find the whole scene frankly a little creepy. Put them in anime, though, and I seem to get far more of a kick out of the idea - you get to focus on the good (for the most part - season one had one episode in particular that carried as message that I really didn’t agree with) without the bad that goes with the scene. It becomes more of a feel-good experience.

THE GOOD: It's back. Kawamori madness, and idols doing things it makes no sense for idols to do - which is really half the fun.

THE BAD: Kinda sucks for Crunchyroll viewers to not have access to season one - hard to make sense of a lot of what happens in this episode without having seen it. Suspect we won't have to wait for it for long, though.

With Love Live! focussing on the more down-to-earth side of things, AKB0048 can go for the more extreme and ludicrous end of the market - the idea is as silly as you can get, but the way it’s executed makes it simply fun to watch. Between this and Vividred Operation, winter Sundays have become a lot more fun.

AKB0048 -next stage- is streamed by Crunchyroll.

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