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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:

  • 10th Place – Kishida Mimori
  • 9th Place – Miyazawa Sae the 10th
  • 8th Place – Itano Tomomi the 11th
  • 7th Place – Kojima Haruna the 8th
  • 6th Place – Sono Chieri
  • 5th Place – Watanabe Mayu MK3
  • 4th Place – Kashiwagi Yuki the 6th
  • 3rd Place – Akimoto Sayaka the 10th
  • 2nd Place – Takahashi Minami the 5th
  • 1st Place – Ooshima Yuuko the 9th
  • 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.


    ED3 Sequence

    January 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm
    • January 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm†Croos†

      Actually this “General Election” was planned by Sensei-sensei so that Nagisa will become a mature CenterNova or Chierie and Nagisa becomes the first dual CenterNova.

      • January 26, 2013 at 9:30 pmNatsu


      • January 27, 2013 at 4:27 amVaans

        How did you know? Did you ask Sensei-sensei?

        • January 28, 2013 at 4:48 amBenigmatica

          He’s just speculating… And besides, we all know that Sensei-sensei is actually Akimoto in disguise!

          Still, I have a feeling that Nagisa would be number one on the next elections!

        • January 28, 2013 at 7:07 amLin

          The election is a yearly thing. There won’t be another election in the anime unless there’s a time skip, and that’s unlikely.

    • January 26, 2013 at 11:37 pmFreddeh

      Imo, AKB has been far too underrated since it came out, and this season only gets better and better, can’t wait to see what they have in store, as the amount of stuff that has happened in only 4 episodes this season is phenomenal!

      Though I will admit they trolled me into thinking some stupid twist like Nagisa taking one of the top 3 spots was going to happen with all the talk of ‘well I don’t think we have a chance anymore’, etc.

      • January 27, 2013 at 7:51 amdimasok

        Same. I was thinking for a second that she would take the 1st place :)

      • January 27, 2013 at 8:21 amZephyr

        Yeah for a moment there I thought so too. XD

    • January 26, 2013 at 11:41 pmbeeboobeeboo

      Holy. Wow. I was going to say something about Chieri, but then I saw the old school Louise banner up top, and now I forgot what I wanted to say.


    • January 27, 2013 at 12:41 amCarVac

      Man, I loved the change that came over Nagisa over the course of the episode, and how naturally it happened.


    • January 27, 2013 at 12:44 amAlec

      Nagisa is now finally starting to look like an awesome character.

    • January 27, 2013 at 2:13 amfragb85

      My goggles were through the roof this episode just look at all, those screencaps. Also did Nagisa and Chieri’s kirara kiss each other?

      Its a decent arc to say the least and thankfully Nagisa is coming out the better for it. Hopefully it now goes back to the Idol Space Battles.

    • January 27, 2013 at 2:14 amDa5id

      Woah, new flashy banner all of a sudden!

    • January 27, 2013 at 4:27 am†Croos†

      S-Quadruple saying “Center Nova-a-a aachan”, The new lyrics last season, Nagisa’s father preparing a new management for entertainment.
      Something big is somehow going to happen for AKB0048 group. Its like a big stage is going to happen in the future.
      This also goes for the Zodiac group which is planning differently.

    • January 27, 2013 at 4:36 amVaans

      I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about this episode. Chieri’s part was the most intense. Seeing her hyperventilating got me really worried there, like she would collapse on stage. Fortunately that didn’t happen.

      Congrats to all of them. But is not over yet! The successor of the legendary Acchan is getting nearer and nearer.

      Gawd, I love this show!

      • January 27, 2013 at 4:50 amVaans

        The General Elections is awesome, but what made me more psyched up is Sensei-sensei’ announcement of the next Acchan. Dammit! Just tell us who will be the next Acchan already!

        • January 27, 2013 at 8:19 amRigelin

          If it’s not Nagisa, I’ll cry.

        • January 28, 2013 at 5:53 amVaans

          If it’s not Nagisa, I’ll rage!

    • January 27, 2013 at 5:51 ammac65

      Not a comment on this show, but who’s responsible for that amazing RC home page change…

    • January 27, 2013 at 6:12 amacolyte

      Looks like fragb85′s reply to my comment last episode is accurate.. That Nagisa may only get her spotlight in the Center Nova arc..
      @fragb85 Umm I just thought they bonked their heads/face~

      • January 27, 2013 at 6:27 amacolyte

        Btw.. to you guys who are planning to go to Japan.. I didn’t know this when I went last month so I felt like a failure.. There are 6 reserved front row seats for foreigner fans in the AKB48 concert hall if I read the website correctly.. So apply for those seats if you’re planning to stay in Japan for less than a month, as they have concerts everyday..

        Wasted opportunity T_T

    • January 27, 2013 at 9:01 amThundershock81

      Best show this season – calling it right now.

      • January 27, 2013 at 9:49 amNatsu

        now tell me you really believe that

        • January 27, 2013 at 10:16 amLaziness

          “Best show this season – calling it right now,” seems to indicate that he/she believes it no?

    • January 27, 2013 at 10:52 amArbitrary_greay

      “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.”

      Compared to the real life AKB, this part is both a little true, but mostly false. The scenes shown in the excellent credits sequence today, with all of the huge stories conveyed with single still images, were definitely taken from real life post-sousenkyo footage, which was some of the hardest stuff to watch for me because of all of the raw emotions and bonds on display, some of which I felt the members didn’t really want to be displaying to the camera for everyone to see, but were just so overwhelmed that they had to regardless of who was watching.
      It’s not just Sousenkyo, either. One of the reasons I couldn’t enjoy this episode as much as anime-only fans probably will is that I just came off of an absolute roller coaster that was the Request Setlist 2013, an event equally full of popularity politics, possibly more since people can show support for groups, cliques, and member images rather than individuals, and the anime version just kind of paled in the face of 5 days of a culmination of seven years of history. The way members were so happy for each other when certain songs representing various members ranked in certain positions was so clear to see. So many tears of happiness, of solidarity.

      It’s not really the competition itself that drives members to graduate, but when the competition is working with loaded dice, when management pretty much sabotages some girls despite fans proving their popularity, that bonds between members no longer suffice. Even Zodiac’s intervention here hasn’t reached that point. Merely showing favoritism can strain relationships, but there have been real life AKB examples were friendship has triumphed. (Most notably Miichan and Acchan, the original Nagisa no Cherry situation)

      I said that I couldn’t take in the Election stuff this episode that seriously, but the things that only the anime has, the Zodiac, SSSS, Center Nova, and Kirara sub-plots, make AKB0048 a worthy watch in its own right. I can’t wait to see where they go with it.

      Oh, and BRING ON THE CHIERIxNAGISA FIC. Show is so not subtle about them. They are going to make so many Kirara-babies together.
      Love the consistency of the SonataSuzukoMakoto trio of awesome in various combinations, as well.

      • January 28, 2013 at 5:00 amv3000

        According to a mutual friend, the episode is more of a tribute to the real-life elections, replete with its drama and pageantry. Although some AKB purists may scoff on how this episode worked out, for the most part I’m reading other comments — lots of mixed reactions in most places, some have even gone far enough to provoke debate and considerable queries about the world’s largest pop group.

        • January 28, 2013 at 7:42 pmArbitrary_greay

          Don’t get me wrong, the execution of the episode, especially the election drama, was very good. I can’t imagine it being any better than it was.

          But it’s just my personal taste. I fell off the anime bandwagon five years ago because of idols, so I guess I just tend towards the 3D a little more than the 2D, and this episode arrived just as I had gone through 5 straight days of sleep-deprived live-streaming the RH2013 concert with all of its unscripted 3D drama. 0048 had a tough act to follow, with my personal taste stacking the odds even more against it. Doesn’t make it any less good of a show.

          As for the questions it provoked, I felt that 0048 did end up keeping things a little happier than they are in real life. I am actually quite uncomfortable with the real-life election because of the things it represents and causes. But in the end, 0048 is obligated to paint the group in a positive light, regardless of some of the problematic elements that the show takes time to examine. (One of its major strengths over other idol shows) This ain’t Mai-Otome.

    • January 27, 2013 at 12:03 pmBlack Gekikara

      That Yui-han reference Chieri pulled though >.<

      This anime is perfect the way it pulls real life AKB situations into it!

    • January 27, 2013 at 6:59 pmWanderer

      So few comments… There are not enough people watching this series. It’s almost enough to make one cry at how much people are missing.

      • January 27, 2013 at 7:03 pmNatsu

        comments on randomc don’t determine how many people watch the show if anything you should look at views and that still doesn’t

      • January 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm†Croos†

        Not everyone likes idol shows.
        And Natsu is correct its based on the view.

        This is my analysis:

        10-20 comments” and “1k-20k views” = unpopular show
        100+ cooments” and “10k-20k views” = its either an awesome show or war between fans, anti, and people oblivious on WTF the people in the post are talking about.

        30-45 comments” and “7k below views” = decent anime
        10 or less comments” and “10,000+ views” = popular ecchi show/ more ecchi FullCap screenshot.
        50 comments” and “500 – 1k views” = this guys are over hype with the show. Show Spoiler ▼

        • January 27, 2013 at 8:56 pmWanderer

          Ok, I’m looking to try to find somewhere where it tells me how many views a post has, and I’m seeing nothing. Am I blind?

          As for idol shows, my response to them in general is “meh.” They get about as much attention as any other “cute girls being cute” show does, and since most of the ones I’ve seen are set in a generic world with a generic plot, that’s all they really are. They rely on their idol name for selling power rather than going to any real effort of creativity.

          AKB0048, whatever else you may say about it, did not do that. An entire universe was created for this series, with worlds and history and settings and so on. The people making this series cared enough to actually MAKE this series, rather than just coast on the name, and it shows. They made something here that appeals to me: someone who is not interested in idols, and not particularly interested in idol shows. I think if more people would be willing to actually try watching this series with an open mind they would like it, but a lot of them are still just dismissing it out of hand and not even giving it a chance.

        • January 27, 2013 at 9:12 pmCarVac

          You’re right, the view count seems to have disappeared…

    • January 27, 2013 at 9:12 pmFraye

      AKB0048 episode 17: A very good episode yet again. It made tense for the whole 20 minutes! This is the first show to make act like this. This is strange. The surge of emotions. The nervous expectation. ALL OF IT was a very good experience. The thrill I got and how I enjoyed this whole show was truely amazing. I know that the next episode will be down toned a lot… why? because this episode is already the peak of everything!… but I know that it would be must watch! This show has a lot stored in it. Its just waiting for its critical limit and then explode at its most forceful and powerful finale. Time is of essence but timing is the most critical. Another GLORIOUS and EXCITING MONDAY because of AKB0048. I hope everyone has the same good week start like me too. -winks-

    • January 28, 2013 at 8:06 amsjneow

      I chuckled when they announced number 8, a nice reference, in many ways

      ranking of the last General Elections of real live AKB48, Itano Tomomi as been ranked number 8 for the past 2 years.


      • January 30, 2013 at 10:46 amFuu

        I thought the same when Kojiharu was 7th. She switches from 6th to 7th every year. But they did the opposite in her speech. She was worried because she was ranked 11th in the predictions, but once again got her normal Kami7 place.

    • January 28, 2013 at 8:11 pm†Croos†


    • January 30, 2013 at 6:45 amVaans

      • January 30, 2013 at 6:46 amVaans


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