AKB0048 Next Stage – 04
「新選抜総選挙」 (Shin Senbatsu Sousenkyo)
“The New General Elections”
Continuing off from last week, the remaining General Election results are in and the final spread ends up looking like this:
For the most part, the end result wasn’t particularly surprising. Seems like the biggest one was the one last week in Mimori’s selection, which ultimately set up for the Understudies managing to take two of the top ten spots. Quite the feat to say the least—though I suppose Chieri rising up to 6th place was also a great feat that ran contrary to some beliefs as to what would happen—but it just attests to how special this group of Understudies are.
Notably though, most viewers ended up not being too far off in thinking Chieri would try to remove herself from consideration in some shape or form after last episode, as it’s revealed that she desired to quit AKB0048 should she end up being selected. Ultimately, while the result ends up as expected (Chieri deciding to stay despite her selection), the whole scenario sets up quite the “exposition” in terms of what being an idol and the General Elections are really about. In the end, it was about recognizing the additional responsibilities the heroines have now. Their choices are still their own, but it’s no longer representative of just themselves—but of all the fans that love them, chose to vote for them, and spend their time and effort supporting them. That, as well as recognizing that just because they’re all competing against each other for recognition, it doesn’t have to be something that makes them spiteful or tears them down. Rather, it can be something they can use to create unbreakable bonds and to drive on even stronger. Sure, it’s a bit idealistic and breaks down a bit when applied to equivalent real life situations, but it’s a very powerful statement regardless.
In any case, the General Elections are some crazy stuff. I can only imagine how crazy they are in real life! But yeah, everyone was just letting their real emotions show now that they had the chance to, and it was some pretty emotional stuff. We a bit extra in terms of development for Tomochin and Takamina, and it’s just quite well pieced together.
Anddd last but not least, let’s not forget about Yuuko—who once again declares that her 1st place win is only one step toward her ultimate goal of becoming Center Nova and exceeding Acchan. Suffice to say, she does it with quite the flashy show too. At the moment, it doesn’t look like anything’s going to stop her, but it looks like before it’s all said and done, Chieri and Nagisa will have their own say in things. Combine that strange cut of Sensei Sensei repeating Acchan’s name shortly afterwards… and there’s some intriguing developments in store. All this and I haven’t even mentioned the ongoing Zodiac Co. plot line either! Phew* Next Stage really taking things to another level this season.