「星屑セレクション」 (Hoshikuzu Serekushon)
“Stardust Selection”

You’ve asked and they answered.

…Okay, so you didn’t, but they still answered. AKB0048 presents to you……Kalashnikov-toting idols.

When they kept going on about try-outs in the last two episodes, you can bet boot camp was the last thing on their (and my) minds. Where I expected dancing and singing (oh don’t worry, there’s still loads of that) the show instead gave us a run-through of a Basic-Military-Training course. Nearly everything’s there, from the tiny bunks to broken showers, grueling training to crappy food. (Well, to them anyway. Steak is AWESOME, ya’ll know it.) And hell, I’d be fooling myself if I were to say that it ain’t more entertaining than watching them prance about on the dance floor.

I always wondered when the “Guerilla” part of the show’s description was ever going to feature, so it’s nice to see the show tackle this issue straight on with the auditions. What I certainly didn’t expect was for them to take it this literally by putting them in combat uniforms, giving them futuristic AKs and then pitting them against mechs. Now who in their right mind sends a bunch of preteen idol-wannabes to fight against mechs with nothing but a rifle? While I might be sounding sarcastic about this, I’m actually not. Playing to the pumping AKB48 insert Beginner, it was equal parts hilarious and epic to watch them struggle against an enemy they could barely damage while faring about as well as I expected. This is to say, not very well at all. What made the scene even more comedic (or possibly, more awesome) was how they tried to dramatize the whole affair with the explosions, tears and sacrifice when really, it was near impossible not to tell that a fakeout was going to come at the end. Come on, you didn’t think this was going to end up like a certain magical girl series, did you? (But honestly, I’d bite that. I really would. The manager would make a deviously lovely contractor.)

It’s also nice to see that this show is more than just performances and fights by giving precious time to properly flesh out the personalities of the girls. This episode showed just how similar Chieri and Yuka were; they appear to be resolute about their beliefs, yet their actions completely contradict what talk about. Chieri in particular stuck out her neck for Nagisa a second time even after repeatedly talking about how they should only be concerned for themselves. I did think that Chieri’s tension with the group did get resolved rather abruptly, but considering that most of the animosity between the girls was gone, perhaps I should be thankful they didn’t actually try to drag it out.

One of the negative things I noticed in the episode was how Satelight’s reliance on CG is starting to show in the dancing sequences. I’m not outright decrying the CG animation, because the smooth and well choreographed dance moves are legitimately good. (It seems to mirror the actual music videos very closely) However, the 3D models are jarring to say the least, thanks to the uncanny valley effect.

The other is the heavy-handed foreshadowing with the mysterious voice that’s been going on since episode 1. I get that the show obviously wants to paint us a bigger picture of the overarching story, but the way they’re pulling it off with the overtly-cryptic and exaggerated scenes makes it feel extremely silly and unnecessary.

Also, did the show actually try to clumsily incorporate anti-war themes with the simulation? Because if so, blowing up little girls and then saying “weapons cause hurt” ain’t exactly the way to go about it.

Full-length images: 02, 08, 11, 13, 16, 19, 24, 28, 32, 33, 34.

There was no preview at the time of posting. It seems that the PV only gets uploaded onto the AKB0048 website and youtube about 3 to 4 days after the airing of an episode.


  1. Move over American Idol. THIS is how you weed out weaker candidates. Put them in battle and make them wet their pants and suffer PTSD as they get gunned down by giant robots. Best selection round ever!

    Seriously though, I did get trolled a bit. The whole battle was played hilariously straight that I didn’t notice how it was obviously faked. It was awesome seeing Nagisa and Chieri take out a robot though. They have serious GAR potential as a team.

  2. I almost thought that it might be for real. I mean, it was pretty much just hair-heart lacking extras getting blown the fuck up (and while I’ll accept the paintballs, I’m gonna call shenanagins on the explosions), so who cares?

    I really did doubt they were going to off Chieri though, maybe one of the others, but Chieri? No way. She’s too HomuHomu to die now.

    Seriously wish they would quit with the CG Dancing. CG Dancing is for Precure EDs.

    1. Yeah it feel cheap and the rehearsal scene made it worst because the lighting in it didn’t help at all. If would have been awesome to see them cell animated rather then a cheap vocaloid production. I’d just glaring obvious that this in being inserted where it dose not belong. On the other hand the CG mech battles in EVOL the moment feels more realistic for some reason and the skinning work matches the the cell animation.

    2. For the life of me they could’ve left the vehicles and the craft as CG and spent more time sketching and drawing the dance sequences in 2D (even more OK if it were to be rotoscoped), as most viewers would have preferred (and even the likes of SKE48’s Rena Matsui, who’s also an IM@S player and in her Google+ page she pointedly criticized the use of CG). But as this is Satelite (and they’re doing CG-fied dance sequences since Macross Frontier’s Nyankuri Music Clip Collection), they would rather get the choreography right just as depicted in both the PVs (promo vids or music vids) and live-concert footage.

      1. Rotoscoped at its best is in still scenes with detail moment. Because they are choosing to do a panning scene (the camera angle is all over the place in this show) it would be a nightmare to rotoscope.

        They can improve the skinning on the girls to make is flesh out more the feel like plastic dolls on strings.

        The story and interact of the characters are good but something like the CG they can do better looks cheap. Am I enjoying this series. YES because the setting and premise is interesting, I just hate it when a visual element is so incongruent with the rest of the feel of a show.

  3. This anime , to me, is the biggest surprise this season.
    Just looking at the premise and genre months ago, I was almost sure this would never ammount to anything… But here I am praising this work

  4. This show was bottom of my list this season with expectations of dropping after the first two episodes. Now it’s flying pretty high in my to watch list every week. I mean seriously, a ship named “Flying Get” and mic-sabers? Sold.

  5. I think they are trying to make a pun… using AKs to protect the AKB0048 concert.
    The CG dancing sequence looked weird(coloured outlines?), I prefer the CG dancing in the Music Clips of Macross Frontier.
    Maybe I should download AKB0048 instead of streaming it.

  6. I’m glad they used Beginner. Although I was hoping they’d save it for another moment.
    I agree that the CG does look weird.
    Although that girl who keeps complaining is getting on my nerves.

  7. Fake out here? In Idolmaster Xenoglossia they murdered a bunch of female mechanics! A whole complex! I’ll bet we’ll be seeing dead idols in the near future.

    Killing underage girls for any reason sickens me, even if it’s just pretend. I don’t like this part.

    The Moondoggie
  8. If the gates of heaven are guarded by marines, then gates of anime heaven are guarded by combat idols!
    Pink hair, check
    Cyber (Yuri?) Goggles, check
    AK-47 , hell , check!

    1. You’d have to ask the design team about that, I’m afraid. Them artists, we can never know what they’re thinking. 🙂 However, the contrast between the characters and the world do make them stand out a lot more than your typical anime.

  9. To be frank, some people (including high-profile newsblogs) think the whole show’s nothing but yet another recording industry cash cow with questionable motives to condition the populace to embrace the whole franchise and to buy merchandise and discs, as well as other kinds of politically-incorrect actions incompatible with the outside world.

    Fuck all that shit, I’m not buying merch just because I’m watching and enjoying the storytelling, and am going to keep this and love to see whether it’ll live up to the hype. Pray that Mari Okada does it right this time.

    1. I assume you’re talking about that Kotaku article, eh? (Yes, I read Kotaku religiously :D) Won’t say they’re exactly wrong. AKB0048 is a largely a marketing push and is quite unabashed in that respect. But like I mentioned before, that’s not a quality indicator at all, and so far while not perfect, its been entertaining in its own right. Will liking this make me an AKB fan? Unlikely, but I’m still enjoying it.

      1. (offtopic) I lost interest in Kotaku after realizing that they look at Japan’s pop culture in the same way the curious line up to see the freak show at the county fair.

      2. I have the same feeling about Kotaku. After a while, I started to shift over to Siliconera because it seems more like they just love gaming in general so there’s little bashing of JRPGs or other niche titles and they just seem to take things at a more relaxed view.

    1. Given that the anime!Mayuyu eats like everyone else, I suspect that she’s augmented human with an artificial right arm. Show Spoiler ▼

  10. The use of CG in dancing sequences is ruining this for me. I really miss THE IDOLM@STER. The scenes in what looks like a shrine doesn’t make any sense and feels weird at this point as well. Overall it feels weird and unnatural at times but still I guess I’m enjoying it to some extent.

    1. The CG is kind of a turn off for me too but i can tolerate if i must. So far the series is great. I cant say about IDOLM@STER because i never seen it before and singing and suff like that in anime isnt me type of genre i watch but watching this caught my interest.

  11. Idols will die, horribly, if the manager of AKB has anything to do with it going by his other works (the previous mental anime and a number of their videos.) He seems pretty big on making little girls cry.

  12. I given this anime its chance, and now it is on my not to watch list… Mr Macross has created something that is so not him…. WHERE ARE THE VALKYRIES!!!! WHERE ARE THE SONGS AND CHARACTERS THAT HAVE DIRECT CONNECTION TO IT ENEMY??? ALL GONE!!!! And AKB48? I know they are very popular now, but seriously a anime? If it is good I dun mind, but the girls are plain stupid, who would put trainees straight to battle on mission 1? No one, and what with the heart shape in their eyes? And the CG also, feels weird and no I dun like it….

  13. I have to say though but the audience CG is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. The first episode audience wasn’t CG and there’s variety. In episode 3, some part there’s variety and some part they all look the same with some difference in the hair. Their faces however all looked exactly the same with the same dull expression.

    Other than that, even though the CG for the dance part was a bit odd, I actually still kind of like it. Plus the song even made it even more awesome!


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