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「輝きを継ぐ者」 (Kagayaki o Ysugu Mono)
“Inheritor of the Name”

Well dang, with an episode such as this, where do I even start?

Continuing off from the previous weeks, we got Chieri and Mimori becoming more and more popular as time goes by — and we all know what that means. Yup. The talk’s all about succession — particularly the potential of succeeding Acchan — and our main candidates find themselves under more pressure than ever to gain that great honor. In turn, this brings out quite a bit of revelations and some nice commentary to go along with it.

First and foremost on the list of course, is the revelation that AKB’s next photographer is none other than a former Center Nova — Minegishi Minami the 5th to be exact. She’s been on the sidelines observing for a while now, but with a new Center Nova about to be named, it looks like she’ll be taking a more involved role than ever before — both to investigate the “Center Novae Phenomenon,” as well as to try and guide the new generation to success. And on that note, she starts out quite well — giving Yuko some extra perspective by referring to the Center Nova as someone akin to a photographer; one who captures the all the radiance around them at the right moment.

Next up is the discussion about the “fever of succession,” which seems to be something Tsubasa and Minami seem to know quite well. It’s described as a kind of test to see if one’s able to take on a particular name… but the way they describe it — particularly Tsubasa saying it’s the first time she really felt Mariko — makes it seem like there’s definitely more than meets the eye here. In many ways, it’s already been hinted at for a while now that there’s something more, but this has probably been the closest we’ve been toward something actually tangible. Combine that with the supposed energy the Kirara have/can produce and one wonders if they aren’t souls or the life force of those that have previously graduated, and the act of succession involves the uptake of the respective soul/life force of the person a successor is taking the name of… or something. Would be quite interesting if it indeed turns out something similar and Sensei Sensei turns out to really be some kind of amalgamation of former graduate in some spiritual form.

Moving on, another thing I felt was particularly notable was the whole discussion with Nagisa about how “miming won’t lead to succession” — which is a comment that both holds true in the AKB universe and in real life. It’s just a nice commentary about how it’s okay to strive towards being someone or following someone you idolize, but if you just go about it by imitating them, that’s all you’ll be — an imitation. There’s no way an imitation will exceed the capabilities of the genuine article, but taking bits of the genuine article, learning from them, and incorporating what you’ve learned with your own strengths could. In the end, there’s just that fine line between straight out imitation and “emulation” — the latter of which while similar to imitation, is slightly different in the context that you’re using a base as a foundation for greater heights, rather than just using the base. Nagisa realizes this difference this week and really starts coming to her own this week as a result.

Ultimately though, the biggest thing involves Mimori, who tries her best to perform despite going through the fever of succession. One would presume she did enough to succeed someone (or create for herself her own name), but darn it, they sure chose quite the place to leave us hanging. Next week just can’t come soon enough!

Additional Comments:

  • Inserts this week: RESET, Oogoe Diamond, Ponytail To Shushu
  • Thanks to SaberMochi for helping with the caps! :D
  • Happy Lunar New Year to all ya that celebrate it!
  • February 10, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    26 comments »
    • February 10, 2013 at 5:49 pmWanderer

      No links to images in the review itself? How unusual.

      Episode was such a tease. They spent the whole episode teasing us, and then they didn’t even give us the reveal at the end. I want to know who she succeeded! If the girls are going to succeed anyone and not form their own team, I want to know who. And I want to know how we’re supposed to handle it, because calling them by a new name after all this time is going to be… difficult.

      • February 10, 2013 at 7:17 pmNatsu

        I shed so many tears pure estatic joy…best show this season without a doubt AKB0038 2013 WHOOOOOO!

    • February 10, 2013 at 6:09 pmfragb85

      Nagisa was awesome this episode! Stopping the concert to making a bold declaration could have ruined her idol career, but instead both the crowd and the kirara loved her for it. That took balls ovaries of steel.

      I was wondering when Nagisa would step up to the plate being the MC but she did it with quite a bang. The best part is that she did it entirely on her own unlike Chieri whose boost was largely the result of her dad’s manipulation.

      • February 10, 2013 at 6:38 pmLin

        That’s bullshit and you know it. Chieri’s boost was mainly the result of her declaration during the trial, and her dad had nothing to do with what she did there. It was purely her decision, just like Nagisa’s in this episode.

        • February 10, 2013 at 6:46 pmfragb85

          Except both the raid to capture her and the trial was directly the result of Zodiac’s manipulation, Tsubasa even pointed out how conveniently easy the rescue was. I’m not bashing Chieri, but the fact is her dad engineered these events to put her in live TV and boost her popularity for whatever evil plan he’s made.

        • February 10, 2013 at 6:52 pmLin

          But the trial didn’t make Chieri popular. What she said there did it. Chieri could have stayed put like the others, but instead chose to speak up to the court. That courage that she showed there was what initially boosted her popularity, and even if somehow her dad knew that she was going to do that and was part of his plan, it doesn’t chance the fact that she decided to do it on her own, just like Nagisa in this episode.

        • February 11, 2013 at 8:24 amSessha

          Stopping the performance was really low… couldn’t she have done it elsewhere? Anyways I just loss all respect for Nagisa and I was just starting to like her :P

        • February 12, 2013 at 7:13 pmFraye

          Well, Sessha. I think we will see both good and BAD reactions toward what she did on next episode. >:) Mah, you could also say that is one of what I am looking forward too.

    • February 10, 2013 at 6:10 pmKamo;Driver

      I was just thinking that Mimori will end up succeeding Minegishi Minami come next week.

      I’m glad Nagisa finally overcame herself and found the goal she wants to pursue. She’s going to shine bright, succeeding Acchan as the new Center Nova!

    • February 10, 2013 at 6:32 pmArbitrary_greay

      Why didn’t Kanata get succession fever last season? Can the Kirara tell if a position is open or not, and be able to inflict the fever only if so?
      With that kind of reasoning ability, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kirara were technology-magic instead of bio-lifeforms, in the end.

      http://randomc.net/image/AKB0048/AKB0048%20Next%20Stage%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2015.jpg

      The series producers have been favoring Mayuki all season, but add in the alpaca, and this cap has too many shades of shout-out awesome.

      • February 10, 2013 at 6:38 pmWanderer

        In regards to your question, presumably because the soul of the original Takamina wasn’t free to start merging into Kanata.

        Totally missed that Mayuyu’s hair is draped over Yukirin’s head in that picture when I first looked at it. Somehow that just makes it cuter.

    • February 10, 2013 at 7:48 pmArbitrary_greay

      LOL I just realized that people were speculating over Chieri succeeding Mayu at the beginning.

      And Chieri has a small alpaca plush in her room as well.

      What fourth wall?

    • February 10, 2013 at 11:32 pmFuu

      Mimori becoming Sumire would be a cute twist! Otherwise my original thought that Kasai “Tomo~mi”

      • February 11, 2013 at 12:05 amFraye

        I think I was “MARIKO”‘s blurred image there. :3 This could get some hype!

      • February 11, 2013 at 3:39 am†Croos†

        The real twist would be, Mimori becoming Aachan the 14th

        • February 11, 2013 at 5:22 pmFraye

          That is a twist… but I doubt anyone would really hope for it. Or do you wish for it, Croos?

        • February 11, 2013 at 7:07 pmBenigmatica

          That’s unlikely… I mean, Nagisa will obviously becomes Acchan in the near future while Chieri might become Yuuko or maybe Mariko.

    • February 11, 2013 at 1:18 amYojimbo

      For some reason, I can’t shake off the feeling someone will get killed off Michael style…

    • February 11, 2013 at 5:37 amShroompat

      Man, i first thought this series was gonna be shit but here i am on the second season singing along and thinking the characters are insanely cute!!

    • February 11, 2013 at 6:15 amThundershock81

      Once again this show proves its awesomeness. If people are still underestimating AKB they are seriously missing out.

      There are some fantastic anime showing atm but this one always gets #1 on my watch list as soon as its released.

    • February 11, 2013 at 7:56 ampokpok

      Character design bugs me , I gonna stick with Love Live and Idolmaster

      • February 11, 2013 at 3:41 pmShroompat

        i actually think the character designs for this are slightly better but that may just be me…. Also the dancing animations are epic >__<

      • February 11, 2013 at 5:28 pmFraye

        Yeah… First time I saw the character designs, I was like o,o” Hearts in the eyes and hairs. Heck, it was almost everywhere. But now, I find those things extremely cute. You could even say they charm me in. :3 <3 <3 <3

    • February 15, 2013 at 10:39 amSera

      The conversation between Yuuko and Minami was interesting (timely, even) as Minami spoke of “losing her radiance” much like how the real Minami is currently the focus of scandal. It’s funny how there are certain parallels to the real AKB48 that ring through in the anime. Like Acchan disappearing (Acchan graduated last year). Maybe I’m reading too far into it, but it would be interesting to see if they include Tomochin’s graduation this season as well.

    • February 16, 2013 at 11:27 amYusei2011

      This anime rocks!!!!

    • February 17, 2013 at 12:56 amYusei2011

      Mimori is Mariko