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AKB0048 Next Stage – 09

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「青い裏切り」 (Aoi Uragiri)
“Blue Betrayal”

This week on AKB0048, we get the aftermath of the DES attack — and things aren’t looking good at all, as Yuuko’s disappearance is confirmed and AKB themselves seem on the brink of destruction. Despite this however, our heroines manage to temporarily avoid capture — which ultimately gives much needed time for some necessary character development and for contemplation of what to do next.

And first up on the menu? The confrontation of Minami, whose betrayal is revealed to all, along with an explanation of how she ended up dealing with Zodiac in the first place. Interestingly enough, this then leads to a discussion of two important topics — the revelation that those that become Center Nova either go all the way or lose all their radiance, as well as the confirmation that Dualium and Kirara are important entities that have allowed for interstellar flight. In the end though, the former definitely takes the cake as the more important of the two — both because of how it’s something that I actually never thought about and because it just highlights the ultimate double edged sword becoming Center Nova entails. Talk about living a difficult life! It’s one thing just fighting off armies while balancing insane schedules… but to have the potential apex of your accomplishments resulting in a disappearance you might not want… phew* Tough stuff.

While we’re on the topic though, it’s also interesting to note how Ushiyama actually puts the question out there of whether or not the Center Nova that have disappeared even want to be rescued. Admittedly, it’s something I haven’t contemplated before… but now that it’s out in the open like that, it’s intriguing to think that what Tsubasa and Minami want may ironically end up not being what the missing Center Nova want.

Moving on though, another big thing for me this week was the realization of how terrible the understudies must be feeling right about now. After all that hard effort, time, and dedication spent getting in and trying to become successors… they just so happen to be there at the one moment where AKB’s on the brink of annihilation. Of course, while in a way this scenario could be considered a curse, it’s notably one that’s potentially a blessing as well — considering that they hold the key to potentially ensuring AKB’s future survival, the defeat of DES and the removal entertainment bans across the universe, release the Center Nova in the other world, and really just change what has been the status quo for a while now. All they need is a hero to rise up…

…and under what better circumstances would there be for one — or multiple — of them to rise aside from impending total defeat? As Minami shows this week herself, it’s times where you have nothing to lose — times where you may as way go out fighting — where you’re the most lethal. On that note, it looks like Nagisa (and Chieri) will strive towards — and probably achieve — Center Nova status in order to attempt a rescue of Yuuko and the others. And that’s all fine and dandy… except for the fact that it looks like it’s something Chieri’s father wants as well, now that Yuuko ended up being unable to control her awakening. His intentional reassignment of Nagisa’s father seems primed towards coercing Nagisa into becoming a Center Nova, and it’ll be interesting how things work out from here, especially seeing how the Flying Get seems to have had a fateful arrival at what looks like a key planet of some sort — one that seems like it may well hold some important revelations within it.

March 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm
24 comments »
  • March 2, 2013 at 7:47 pmYojimbo

    I love how the director incorporates real life AKB member’s endeavours into the anime. On that note, it was a good design decision to have Mii-chan attone for her sins this way rather than have her shave her head >.<.

  • March 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm†Croos†

    Come on Guys!
    Forgive Cherie’s dad. I bet he just want to make his dream come true.

    Anyway, from what I am guessing now, I think they are on earth. The birthplace… bahhhhh its common sense anyway. No need to explain.

    • March 2, 2013 at 10:15 pmWanderer

      If Earth where you are normally looks like that, I think you have a problem. :P

  • March 2, 2013 at 8:01 pmWanderer

    While we’re on the topic though, it’s also interesting to note how Ushiyama actually puts the question out there of whether or not the Center Nova that have disappeared even want to be rescued. Admittedly, it’s something I haven’t contemplated before… but now that it’s out in the open like that, it’s intriguing to think that what Tsubasa and Minami want may ironically end up not being what the missing Center Nova want.

    From what Acchan said when she was disappearing (we heard it last season) I suspect she is indeed where she wants to be. Odds are that’s the case for most of the center nova. But Yuuko, I believe, will want to return, if she’s in her right mind. She has promises and responsibilities to keep in the real world. There are people there who still need her. And Yuuko is too determined a girl to abandon something she’s said she will do. If a way can be found, I think she will return.

    IF a way can be found. Nagisa’s planning to something no one has ever done: step into that other world, and then come back again. Chieri is rightfully worried about her. Some folks have suspected that Chieri was going to leave to deal with her father, but I cannot believe she will willingly abandon Nagisa when she knows her friend might need her help.

  • March 2, 2013 at 9:54 pmLaziness

    Them piloting skills (◈_◈)♭

    • March 3, 2013 at 12:29 amCroos

      The force was with her.
      Quoting it like Star Wars.

  • March 2, 2013 at 10:31 pmSniperk

    I lol’ed so loud when Mii-chan said that she would start again as a Kenkyuusei that I actually scared the others that were in the room with me.

  • March 2, 2013 at 11:30 pmkahiry

    This anime is killing me! ;A;

  • March 3, 2013 at 12:15 amsjneow

    lol nice throwback to Miichan’s scandal

  • March 3, 2013 at 12:35 amCroos

    Why do I fell that Kawamori is mixing AKB48 and Star Wars together.

  • March 3, 2013 at 1:46 amLin

    “His intentional reassignment of Nagisa’s father seems primed towards coercing Nagisa into becoming a Center Nova”

    Wait, didn’t he say he was going to use Chieri for that? I mean, after getting told Yuuko disappeared, he said “It seem that girl, Chieri, is my sun after all”, so I think it’s pretty clear he’s banking on Chieri to become Center Nova, not Nagisa.

  • March 3, 2013 at 2:21 amgandalf8

    A great episode with an amazing song-and-fight sequence when Mii-chan trying to protect the Flying Get while it prepares to make an emergency space jump. Looks like even if she’s graduated from AKB0048 she still has her LAS piloting skills intact. Although how she can still make her Kirara glow after shes stopped being an idol raises some more questions about what exactly are the Kirara.

    Some points to ponder:-

    -Does anyone remember who the current ace LAS pilot is? I think it was either Sae or Sayaka, but I can’t be really sure.

    -Didn’t know LAS’s were equipped with a music player. I guess when you want to psyche yourself up for battle, playing some tunes can help you get into your groove, ehh?

    -Nagisa is finally proclaiming her intent of becoming a Center Novae. Although with DES finally getting serious, the chances for her to increase her idol powers are faint at best. Maybe the planet they just arrived at will hold the key to make it happen.

    • March 4, 2013 at 6:29 amCoker

      -Does anyone remember who the current ace LAS pilot is? I think it was either Sae or Sayaka, but I can’t be really sure.

      It’s both of them (known as Twin Towers among the fandom), but Sae is often seen more in aerial engagements in the LAS.

  • March 3, 2013 at 3:55 amfragb85

    Mostly exposition episode, since its going to be the low point of AKB0048. Nagisa is finally found a purpose to become Center Nova. Typical of her though, its to save someone else as opposed to having idol ambitions. I guess they’re really trying to hammer her as the next Acchan.

    Much like the previous season Nagisa will be the focus of the last arc and like the last season it also seems to involve her dad. Which I find odd, since Nagisa hasn’t really been in the radar of popularity among the understudies. Or did her declaration a couple of episodes do it? Because I see no reason why Zodiac would be interested in her father.

  • March 3, 2013 at 6:04 amSeedStriker

    First, we get the right version of the Battle of Coruscant and now, the girls are now on Dagobah for intensive training… Oh Kawamori, you magnificent bastard!
    The fact that the dualium is basicly the dilithium crystals of SC clarify now that the DGTO is basicly Star Wars’ Trade Federation, operating by orders from Kawamori Papa (aka The Emperor)

  • March 3, 2013 at 7:00 amCoker

    Next-gen Miichan did a blazing Millia out there (with glasses, almost thinking of Max’s specs).

  • March 3, 2013 at 8:05 am†Croos†

    I don’t like Mii-chan to be a Kenkyuusei again but I really like Tsubasa to become a Kenkyuusei again.
    http://puu.sh/28aHP

  • March 3, 2013 at 10:22 amArbitrary_greay

    I got Mai Otome flashbacks this episode. After WindbloomAkibastar’s invasion by forces who want to investigate the power of Otomeidols, our motley cast are split between the crew on an epic road trip to the mystical Origin of Powers, while another are holed up in the home base. (albeit not captured)

    And YEEEEESSSS BLUE ROSE! FUCK YES WMINAMI MOMENT. WHERE IS MY NO3B I WANT MY NO3B GOODIES.

    • March 3, 2013 at 11:28 amSniperk

      I second that request.

  • March 3, 2013 at 2:14 pmShroompat

    Nagisa Steps up to the plate!

  • March 3, 2013 at 2:22 pmSmithCB

    Hella epsiode! Thinking forward about how things might go There’s been a lot of talk about Nagisa and the Center Nova position, including it being a ‘two-fer’, or duo with Cherie. Even the OP and ED show the two of them together. Show Spoiler ▼

    Whoooo-boy! It will be interesting.

    • March 3, 2013 at 2:59 pmLin

      I don’t think Miichan has the kind of radiance needed to induce the Center Nova phenomenon anymore. She pretty much said so herself: the Center Novae who step down lose their radiance. Obviously, she still has some in her, as shown in the fight, but it must just a part of her former full radiance when she was an active member.

  • March 3, 2013 at 11:45 pmFuu

    When did they write this episode? They must have added Uchiyama’s “I knew she’d get deceived by a man soon or later.” line was eery. And then TakaMina saving her!

  • March 4, 2013 at 12:26 pmNobody

    If what Miichan says is true about the Kirara, then does that technically mean the Center Novas have been abducted by aliens?