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AKB0048 Next Stage – 10

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「絶叫パラダイス」 (Zekkyo Paradaisu )
“Screaming Paradise”

Going into this week, I was expecting a bunch of different things… but none of them were anywhere close to what actually happened. I mean, a planet filled with hallucinogenic mushrooms, “space monsters,” and some Zodiac miners to boot? That was… quite something. And well, I can’t say I was particularly pleased with the episode — considering how close we are to the ending and the series of high tension episodes we’ve been getting lately… But at the same time, there were some admittedly nice things here, so I suppose this episode was a bit of the good ol’ hit and miss.

For one, I did quite like seeing Kawamori’s Macross influences show up this week. The whole use of songs/music to transcend language and cultural barriers has been something utilized many times prior for that series and it was nice to see it utilized here for the most part. It just links well with AKB’s purpose and is a solid commentary about how sometimes, even the most different of people can get along. It’s just nice to see that from time to time — despite it being a repeat from the Macross series — especially when it plays a role in letting us see once again that the members of AKB0048 are still, deep down inside, regular girls with a desire for some semblance of a normal life. There’s a kind of “innocence” element in play here — contrasting heavily with the dose of reality represented by DES and Zodiac.

Speaking of Zodiac, this week also gives us the decision by Chieri to try and confront her father — pushed in part by Nagisa and the acceptance her father gave her in regards to joining AKB0048. I can’t see Chieri’s father really changing face at this point in time, but what this does set up is a two-pronged branch of side plots that will likely lead to our climactic finale in three weeks time. To say the least, it’s definitely going to be interesting seeing how the Chieri + Nagisa side works out — especially with the new realization from the AKB team that they may yet be able to take back Akibastar.

And well, that’s about it for the most part. For your reference, this week’s insert (spearheaded by Sayaka) is named “Uhho Uhhoho” and sung by Team K.

March 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm
24 comments »
  • March 9, 2013 at 7:11 pmYojimbo

    Lol @ Sayaka and dem bongos >.<

  • March 9, 2013 at 7:44 pmWanderer

    This was a rather odd episode. On the plus side, the girls seem to be improving in their ability to focus the energy of dualium. On the minus side they did so in an out-of-nowhere concert with space-gorillas on a little nothing mining planet in the middle of nowhere. Not inherently bad, just a little strange, and felt kind of plot-light for an episode this late in the series.

    Also, Chieri! I said after last week’s episode that she was worried enough about Nagisa’s desire to become center nova that she wouldn’t abandon her just to follow her own desire to chase down her father, and yet there she went, willing to do just that. Fortunately (sort of) Nagisa went with her, but still. Does she really think she’s going to accomplish something running off like that? “Why, I never realized you didn’t approve of my reign of corporate oppression, terror, xenocide, and murder; my daughter. I’ll just stop doing all those things immediately.” Somehow I doubt that’s how things are going to work out.

  • March 9, 2013 at 10:13 pmfragb85

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but AKB0048 might be the first anime I’ve seen where people literally get high on shrooms. Also Kawamori must be on them too since this was definitely a strange episode, since it seems focused on world building this far into the climax.

    To be fair, it seems that it was needed since the show has been written into a corner and needed some means for AKB0048 to fight back after they suffered a crushing defeat. In this case Mariko has discovered some sort of Dualium EMP to take back Akibastar.

    It also sets up Chieri’s inevitable confrontation with her father though I doubt she’ll succeed. I more worried about Nagisa’s father, since he’s on the same destination that our main couple is going to and Nagisa will surely see him again. Hopefully Nagisa’s dad hasn’t taken any pineapple.

    • March 9, 2013 at 10:24 pmWanderer

      Nagisa and Chieri are a pair of idols with center nova potential heading to the headquarters of the guy who has been trying to capture idols with center nova potential so he can experiement on them to control the kirara. If they walk into that place, they’re not going to be walking out on their own. Illegal laboratories and inhumane experiments seem likely to feature prominently in their futures.

      • March 9, 2013 at 10:53 pmfragb85

        I don’t know about inhumane experiments since his objective was simply to capture one for whatever purpose so we can only speculate. Its a pretty broad moral stretch to cross even after razing a city. We’ll just have to see next episode how far into the evil douchebag quotient he is in.

    • March 9, 2013 at 10:27 pmLin

      “I more worried about Nagisa’s father, since he’s on the same destination that our main couple is going to”

      Nah, Nagisa’s father was transfered to another department, not to another planet. He’s still in Rankastar. The girls are going to Itazurastar so they won’t meet.

      • March 9, 2013 at 10:56 pmfragb85

        They gave Nagisa’s dad screentime last episode and he was mentioned again this episode. Something is definitely up for Nagisa otherwise she wouldn’t have been written to go along with Chieri.

      • March 9, 2013 at 11:04 pmLin

        Nagisa always follows Chieri everywhere, that’s nothing new. As for Nagisa’s father, he’s still in Ranakastar so I don’t know what could happen to him. At the very least I’m pretty sure the girls aren’t going to meet with him.

    • March 10, 2013 at 9:39 amCarVac

      >High on shrooms.
      Cowboy Bebop?

  • March 10, 2013 at 1:20 amMightnare

    Yep, pretty sure Sayaka is related to Basara.

  • March 10, 2013 at 6:04 am†Croos†

    I bet Cherie’s mother was also an AKB0048 member and became a center nova.
    It must be one reason why Cherie’s dad is try to make someone go to the other side of the world.

    OR Cherie’s dad is going to use the power of the center nova to control everyone in the world.

    Like this episode, the Dualium reaction can reach through people. If he had that power, he could control the world/universe. Hence why he quoted “Chieri, you be the star that lights up the stage” which means he will be using her and “Your father will be the sun that illuminates the galaxy.”

    • March 10, 2013 at 9:30 amGermanguy

      Yes, sound for me that this Dad want to Control the Dualium reaction.. becoming the “Sun”

    • March 11, 2013 at 9:49 amEmbok

      It’s not possible for Chieri’s mother to have been a Center Nova due to the rules regarding contact with males. Plus there would be a picture of her on the wall back in AKB0048 HQ on Akibastar, so someone would have realized it by now.

  • March 10, 2013 at 11:56 amFuu

    I wasn’t that surprised. Kawamori likes to add some sort of “save the environment/wildlife” side plot to all his shows. I wasn’t expecting “UhhouHHoho” though. Okaro~
    I have a feeling that “Tonari no Banana” will be next week.

  • March 10, 2013 at 2:07 pmLuna

    I love all the AKB pictures can you post more? Thanks ^^

  • March 10, 2013 at 6:15 pmKeroro Gunsou

    Dare I say….Season 3?

    • March 10, 2013 at 7:13 pmcowazaki

      Hard to say… Sayaka Nakaya (Orine) graduated from AKB48 then Sawako Hata (Suzuko) and Kumi Yagami (Sonata) are graduating soon. Then again they can always make a movie or just hire them like normal voice actresses.

      • March 11, 2013 at 10:49 pmFuu

        Nakaya Sayaka has always wanted to be a VA. I hope is she does well! I feel like some sort of project is gonna be announced soon. She graduated because her audition required her to not have an agency.

    • March 11, 2013 at 8:53 amBenigmatica

      It won’t happen because those two idols cowazaki mentioned will graduate.

      Maybe Kawamori will wrap things up for AKB0048 for the last 3 episodes!

    • March 11, 2013 at 12:04 pmxiao32615987

      I thought the news was that those two graduated to pursue careers as voice actresses, in which case getting them back for further 0048 wouldn’t be difficult.
      Anyway, as much as I would love a continuation (as a movie or TV anime) or anything that would further explore this well crafted sci-fi universe that I enjoy so much, I would rather they focus on ending this one well. Judging by episode 13, I think they’re more than capable of doing so.

      • March 11, 2013 at 9:36 pmKeroro Gunsou

        They can replace characters and the voice actresses. Do Chieri and Nagisa ride the portal express and have to get home somehow? Now I’m really looking forward to the end of the season.

  • March 10, 2013 at 7:11 pmcowazaki

    I am so happy seeing Mimori in recent episodes. She looks so badass as a senbatsu+Mariko.