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AKB0048 – 06 & 07 »« AKB0048 – 04

AKB0048 – 05

AKB0048   05   01 AKB0048   05   02 AKB0048   05   03
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AKB0048   05   07 AKB0048   05   08 AKB0048   05   09
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AKB0048   05   31 AKB0048   05   32 AKB0048   05   33
AKB0048   05   34 AKB0048   05   35 AKB0048   05   36

「それぞれの休日」 (Sorezoreno Kyuujitsu)
“Their Day Off”

It’s disappointing to see AKB0048 doing nothing to change my standing opinion that there’s nothing quite as boring as watching people doing jack on their day offs.

I get that shows have to occasionally tone down from all that action, tension and drama, so as to avoid being far too high-strung. Can you possibly imagine what a show like that would be like? Why, it’ll be like watching Gurren Lagann or FLCL! (…Wait, doesn’t seem like a bad idea…)

Alright, but for storytelling’s sake, it’s still a necessity to take the edge off once in a while to let the emotions of the audience settle. Even so, does that really mean 15 minutes of watching cute idols doing cute things while nothing happens? It does not advance the plot threads in any meaningful way, and if we’re talking about furthering characterization, the episode only served to reinforce the negative stereotypes I had of each girl because of their clichéd antics. The writing doesn’t even try to be somewhat clever like in the last few episodes, and the chatter between the girls felt exactly like that; mindless chatter that you just want to get away from.

The only thing to snap me from my boredom was the sprinklings of foreshadowing in the midst of their activities, most notably the mystery surrounding the graduation (disappearances) of 00’s centers from previous generations. These centers were chosen members who led the performances of the team, but their constant disappearances had forced 00 to scrape the role. Whether intentional or not, it is also a somewhat cleverly inserted irony that the disappearance of the last center happens to be the successor to the Maeda Atsuko (Sawashiro Miyuki) name, mirroring her real-life counterpart who is also “graduating” from AKB48 this year in August.

The saving grace of the episode thankfully came in its last few minutes, where we are treated to a better look at the successor group and supporting cast who’ve had little exposure outside of combat up until now. While they are primarily supporting characters, it’s really nice to see AKB0048 dedicating the time to establish clear motivations and backgrounds for them, something I wish show would do more often. It could’ve made all the difference in a series like Guilty Crown, one of its major flaws being the complete mismanagement of its massive cast that the audience never could connect with. (Well okay, it might not have redeemed the batshit plot completely…) So, credit where credit is due. The shows manages to each give each successor a certain amount of depth to their characters beyond the façade they maintain for their stage names, (especially Yuuko, who I daresay is my favorite character in the show) and got me really interested to know more about their natures off-stage, (Dare I say, more so than the core Kenkyuusei group.) so this is something I hope future episode will go into.

Sadly, I don’t really think it was enough to redeem the entire episode, of which the content practically amounted to the show plodding around. An episode about laziness should not be equating itself to similarly lazy writing. If this is the standard they’re presenting, I really hope this is the first and last break the story is taking. (Fingers crossed for the next “UMI DA!” episode)

~First off, apologies for the really late post. The past exam week has been much tougher than I initially thought and I haven’t had the chance to break away from the books until now. Once again, you have Moomba to thank for this week’s caps, and the amazing full-lengths galore~

Full-length images: 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 09, 10, 13, 16, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 31.

June 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm
20 comments »
  • June 2, 2012 at 6:45 pmFreddeh

    Anyone else getting a strange feeling that something tragic is going to happen to the current successors? This whole episode kinda felt like a huge death flag to that end.

    Then again, this episode was probably just meant to be a ‘downtime’ episode like Asobe said…

  • June 2, 2012 at 7:00 pmFencedude

    What, no mention of how fucking terrifying the Tomo-chin clones are? I mean jesus.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the episode, but its definitely about time to get back to the show’s core competency: Music and Combat

    • June 2, 2012 at 7:05 pmAsobi

      Terrifyingly hilarious. Their existence almost seems like a parody of some crazy anime trope.

    • June 3, 2012 at 3:01 amJohn Hayabusa

      What, no mention of how fucking terrifying the Tomo-chin clones are? I mean jesus.

      Yup. I find them to be really, really creepy. Well creepiness aside, I think this episode is good. The girls could use some recreational time and explore more about AKB0048.

  • June 2, 2012 at 7:06 pmWanderer

    We got exploration of a number of characters, and highlights on two significant mysteries, and you think this episode was a waste? There’s just no satisfying some people. :P

    It is possible that the development of the current successors is just to make it more poignant when they’re killed off later in the series, although I’m rather hoping things don’t go that way. I like the girls, especially Yuuko, and I don’t want to see them gone.

    I quite liked this episode. I think I’ve watched it a good half-dozen times by now, while I’ve been waiting for you to review it. It was your reviews that got me into watching this series, so I admit it’s kind of disappointing that you didn’t like this episode as much as I did. I agree that they can’t do very many slow episodes like this, but I felt that this one was handled quite well.

    • June 2, 2012 at 7:19 pmAsobi

      I feel like, first of all, I should be apologising for the late post. Orz

      Well, let me clarify. The episode wasn’t entirely a waste, for the exact reasons you mentioned. But it was disappointing that most of the episode was spent following the girls on their random activities that didn’t quite add anything to their characterization (And their activities were rather plain and boring). The whole pheromones shebang was probably the most guilty of this, and only served to reinforce stereotypes of the girls in question (Kanata as a tomboy, etc.)

      • June 3, 2012 at 5:03 pmSkattack

        The whole pheromones scene was to solidify the theme of how becoming an idol means working to become someone else. Even someone who had what makoto was trying to acquire isn’t perfect (mimori). This connects back to tomochin’s family who shows the extreme of this theme since her entire existence is to literally become someone else.

        And did you not catch Nagisa’s huge case of PTSD surrounding chieri? They really worked in the whole traumatizing aspect from ep3. Everyone’s actions during this entire episode connected in such brilliant ways. It’s like you tuned out and let all the dialogue and details fly over your head Asobi.

  • June 2, 2012 at 7:15 pmGuardMonkey10

    I rather enjoyed this episode as well. It gives us a chance to actually care about the current crop of successors. Otherwise, what would we care if they died tomorrow? I’m an old slice of life fan. This series could go grimdark in a heartbeat, so I’m ok with this.

  • June 2, 2012 at 7:17 pmspfleet

    this has nothing to do with this anime, but…

    is weird, i can’t go to the home page of this site. i get an error 404 for the home page, but i can still access this anime entry. any1 else having this problem?

  • June 2, 2012 at 7:50 pmskylion

    That damn duck again. Damn Damn Damn Duck.

  • June 2, 2012 at 8:04 pm†Croos†

    Why do I feel that Cherie is going to be a cyborg?

    • June 2, 2012 at 10:05 pmWii-KLAC

      or maybe ryoko/fine side?

      yea come on i so certain this series will do something symphogear related in any form hey Maeda Atsuko also be fine (same voice too)?

  • June 2, 2012 at 9:20 pmZephyr

    Hmm. I don’t know… I feel like I have to ask what exactly your expectations are in regards to the story.

    I mean, from my standpoint, it seems like you’re giving the series’ plot/story a lot more flak than it deserves. Sure, the things the idols did during their day off aren’t much off the norm and pretty straight forward… but I mean, what else can you expect? The music/idol genre in general is something that lends itself to a lot of cliches just because of its nature… so I mean, “slow/generic” episodes like this from time to time are to be expected. As such, to expect a music/idol focused show to maintain its action throughout like Gurren Lagann or FLCL is just completely unrealistic in my opinion, considering those two are exceptionally popular/high rated shows that only come along once in a while.

    Also, in regards to the plot… the “batshit” comment really feels overblown as well. It’s far-fetched definitely… but at the very least helps differentiate this show from other music/idol shows. It’s not necessarily a strong plot… but the typical music/idol show doesn’t necessarily need one in the first place, nor should be expected to possess an awesome plot either. As long as the music portion works out, it feels to me that anything else is a plus in typical shows of this genre/focus.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand what you’re saying… but I really didn’t find nearly as much fault in this episode as you seem to have. There are some stereotypes present… but in this age, it’s not surprising to find them either. Furthermore, without knowing the end result, we don’t know if they’ll stay stereotypical or not.

    And also, considering how great the music aspects of this series are, it just feels like the large amount of flak regarding this episode might turn away some viewers as a result, and that just seems a bit unfair to the series from my standpoint.

    But yeah… that’s about it… I guess all I’m saying is the expectations in regards to plot/story for a show of this genre shouldn’t necessarily be high. It’s more of a show for just watching and enjoying the music in my opinion eh… especially because its basic foundation revolves around the real life version of the band… and in ways serves a bit of an advertisement of their work, rather than a pure anime.

    • June 3, 2012 at 6:12 amWanderer

      I don’t care about the real idol group one bit, and while I find the music to be nice, I’m not going out of my way to find more or anything. Despite that, I’m enjoying this series, based solely on its own merits. It is entertaining in and of itself. You shouldn’t sell it short by saying “well, it’s an advertisement project” or anything like that. It’s good enough, by itself, to make me like it.

      • June 3, 2012 at 12:35 pmZephyr

        Oh yeah that’s not what I meant at all eh. I’m just saying in some small way it could be construed as an anime meant to describe the group a bit and also garner some attention to it. My bad, phrased it a bit wrong.

  • June 3, 2012 at 1:59 amfragb85

    I liked the episode. It allowed some development of the actual AKB members as well foreshadow something darker in their inner circle. I’m not really minding the sterotypes. When a show has a large ensemble cast stereotypes are inevitable. We have a straight man(Nagisa), a jerk (Chieri), a nice one(Orine) etc. Its needed to define and contrast each other. Really the plot is supposed to be bizarre from the start, and I expected it from the start.

  • June 3, 2012 at 9:41 amcow

    As an AKB48 fan, I am extremely excited and happy that RandomC is covering AKB0048. I enjoyed the episode but I could also see where Asobi is coming at.

  • June 5, 2012 at 12:42 pmAni_BEE

    It seems that all former idols have diamonds in their hair from the Tomo-chin seniors we saw this episode. lol

  • June 9, 2012 at 9:25 pmWanderer

    Another week, another late post? Ooh, wait, this one’s even later! Maybe episode 7 will air before you get to episode 6! :D

    For some reason I find that thought more amusing than anything else.

    • June 9, 2012 at 9:27 pmWanderer

      …You haven’t reviewed a new episode of the other series you’re doing either. I’m not watching that one, so it doesn’t matter to me for that reason, but it does make me wonder if everything’s all right.