Random Curiosity

AKB0048 – 13 (END) »« AKB0048 – 11

AKB0048 – 12

AKB0048   12   01 AKB0048   12   02 AKB0048   12   03
AKB0048   12   04 AKB0048   12   05 AKB0048   12   06
AKB0048   12   07 AKB0048   12   08 AKB0048   12   09
AKB0048   12   10 AKB0048   12   11 AKB0048   12   12
AKB0048   12   13 AKB0048   12   14 AKB0048   12   15
AKB0048   12   16 AKB0048   12   17 AKB0048   12   18
AKB0048   12   19 AKB0048   12   20 AKB0048   12   21
AKB0048   12   22 AKB0048   12   23 AKB0048   12   24
AKB0048   12   25 AKB0048   12   26 AKB0048   12   27
AKB0048   12   28 AKB0048   12   29 AKB0048   12   30
AKB0048   12   31 AKB0048   12   32 AKB0048   12   33
AKB0048   12   34 AKB0048   12   35 AKB0048   12   36

「愛をうたうアイドル」 (Ai wo Utau Aidoru)
“Idols who Sing of Love”

What would you sacrifice for your dreams? Back in the first episode of AKB0048, this was the message that was fleetingly hinted at during the girls’ departure from Lancaster, leaving their home, family and friends behind so as to chase their idol dreams. 11 episodes on we see this same message finally being realized, as we bear witness the true extent of what the Lancaster girls have lost, as well as the consequences of their dream. For Nagisa, it has been the complete deconstruction of her former life, what with her father now being held in prison by DES, and her mother likely being in as ruinous a condition as her house. For Yuuka, we see first-hand the warm family she has been blessed with, a family that she has now chosen to leave behind yet again. True to AKB0048’s style, there is some meta-commentary going on about the realities of the idol business, with the theme prevalent throughout the episode being one not just of the personal sacrifice undertaken by each aspiring idols but also of the sacrifices, both literally and figuratively here, that the people around them have to endure.

The episode jumps almost immediately into Nagisa’s attempt to break out her father, only to find her father refusing to leave with her. And while Nagisa still believes it to still be her fault, it feels to me that her father understand the nature of the sacrifice he has willingly taken on for his daughter to continue pursuing her dream, and refuses to belittle the significance of it by leaving with her. The guilt however, only seems to further pile onto Nagisa with this failure, and the short, but succinct scene of her passing over the chance to see her mother indicates just how much she wants to avoid facing the sacrifices made for her sake.

I hardly get to see an aftermath, a consequence, played out to this extent, and it makes the subsequent development of Nagisa losing her voice from the accumulated stress – likely from the pressure of the role, and the realities she faced on Lancaster – all the more engaging, as her guilt continues to grow now that the other Kenkyuuseis have to cover for her. We’ve seen angst on the show before, but never a complete breakdown like this, making Chieri’s speech about her loss ring all the more true: Despite the support she received and sacrifices made for her sake, she still couldn’t handle the stress, and a breakdown like that would probably be the end of an idol’s career in reality. However you want to look at it, Nagisa seems to have indeed lost as an idol due to the lack of will and drive to see her dreams through. Of course, being anime, there is a strong underlying message of never giving up, and it’s almost certain we’ll see an emotional rebound from Nagisa in the final episode.

Where Nagisa’s situation shows us the sacrifices made by the people supporting the idols, nowhere is the idea of personal sacrifice exemplified more than in the star crossed relationship of Yuuka and Mamoru, their mutual longing forsaken in the pursuit of Yuuko’s dream to continue performing as a 00 member. It’s a development we’ve seen many times before – love being given up for a greater cause – and while AKB0048 certainly doesn’t quite seem to hit any emotional peaks with it, what was done here felt genuinely sincere in its execution and acting, which is more than I can say for most stories. Like many of AKB0048’s developments, there is a parallel to be drawn here with the workings of the actual group; idol groups like AKB48 always had partially sold on the fantasy of its idols virtuous, virginal image, with the group itself going as far as to impose a dating ban on its performers to preserve this. Putting aside the ethical implications of this rule as well as the questionable expectations of the Japanese media and public, (because, really, you could get an entire debate out of this) it makes scandals, especially those concerning relationships, absolutely destructive to an idol’s career. Each of these idols had to sacrifice the freedom in their private lives for the sake of their careers, which is the idea we’re seeing here, albeit framed in a different context.

This episode had plenty to muse upon, but alas, at the rate it is going it seems almost impossible for the show to give a proper conclusion by its end. There’s still so much that can be explored in the show, and I’m hoping for a second season looking at the Kenkyuuseis after succession that would make a brilliant follow up. AND YES, SECOND SEASON CONFIMED. REJOICE YE!

Full-length images: 05, 10, 18, 20, 22, 23.

 

ED2 Sequence

AKB0048   ED2   01 AKB0048   ED2   02 AKB0048   ED2   03

Preview

AKB0048   12   Preview 01 AKB0048   12   Preview 02 AKB0048   12   Preview 03
July 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm
11 comments »
  • July 22, 2012 at 12:47 pmSilivious

    I haven’t really been following the series all that much, but I might pick it up once the seasons finished.

  • July 22, 2012 at 1:47 pmWanderer

    AND YES, SECOND SEASON CONFIMED. REJOICE YE!

    Oh, there is definitely rejoicing going on, let me tell you. There’s just so much left to cover that there really is no way they could have handled it all in one episode.

    • July 22, 2012 at 2:39 pmFreddeh

      Asobi made my day with that news. HALLELUJAH!

  • July 22, 2012 at 3:56 pmArvee

    I would rather called this episode in my opinion, ‘The conclusion of Book 1′.

    And yes, hallelujah to season two!!

  • July 22, 2012 at 5:17 pmc2710

    when will it be? season 2

  • July 22, 2012 at 10:10 pmBaji

    Are you sure about Season 2? As far as I understand it they announced there will be “something” in 2013 and after seeing ep13 myself I tend to think it’ll more likely Movie or OVA than full season.

  • July 22, 2012 at 10:43 pmAni_BEE

    Even 2 episodes back way to many elements where still bring set up to think they would finish this series just yet. The whole first cour really didn’t have much plot either just a tone of charterer and world building. I’m excited to see what they will do with the second act.

  • July 23, 2012 at 12:25 amArbitrary_greay

    I wonder how pissed Chieri’s going to be about Yuka’s Kirara.

    Best part of the episode: ultimate Mayuyu in-joke “Yabya!”
    Basically, our dear Chieri seiyuu has this hilarious tendency to make up nonsense words on the fly: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xj57fw_yyyy-yyyyyy-yyyy_shortfilms (Also seen in the clip is the real life Yukirin/Kashiwagi Yuki.)

    Words cannot express how happy I am to hear about Season 2, as Season 1′s character development of the ensemble cast was ridiculously unbalanced. (Seriously, why is 76th’s Megumi getting more development than the majority of our so-called 9 main protagonists!?) Hopefully Season 2 will remedy that, although Okada is probably going to just introduce and develop more cameo characters instead. Sure, Minegishi showing up was cool, but I still want to see the characters we already have fulfill their potential.

    • July 23, 2012 at 1:27 amakb

      “I wonder how pissed Chieri’s going to be about Yuka’s Kirara.”

      No pissed at all. She’s way past that already.

  • July 23, 2012 at 6:33 pmNatchez

    Too bad this preview kind of came too late.

    • July 23, 2012 at 6:34 pmNatchez

      *Review. Also, not surprised that more attention has been focused on the more hyped shows of the season.