「それぞれの休日」 (Sorezoreno Kyuujitsu)
“Their Day Off”
It’s disappointing to see AKB0048 doing nothing to change my standing opinion that there’s nothing quite as boring as watching people doing jack on their day offs.
I get that shows have to occasionally tone down from all that action, tension and drama, so as to avoid being far too high-strung. Can you possibly imagine what a show like that would be like? Why, it’ll be like watching Gurren Lagann or FLCL! (…Wait, doesn’t seem like a bad idea…)
Alright, but for storytelling’s sake, it’s still a necessity to take the edge off once in a while to let the emotions of the audience settle. Even so, does that really mean 15 minutes of watching cute idols doing cute things while nothing happens? It does not advance the plot threads in any meaningful way, and if we’re talking about furthering characterization, the episode only served to reinforce the negative stereotypes I had of each girl because of their clichéd antics. The writing doesn’t even try to be somewhat clever like in the last few episodes, and the chatter between the girls felt exactly like that; mindless chatter that you just want to get away from.
The only thing to snap me from my boredom was the sprinklings of foreshadowing in the midst of their activities, most notably the mystery surrounding the graduation (disappearances) of 00’s centers from previous generations. These centers were chosen members who led the performances of the team, but their constant disappearances had forced 00 to scrape the role. Whether intentional or not, it is also a somewhat cleverly inserted irony that the disappearance of the last center happens to be the successor to the Maeda Atsuko (Sawashiro Miyuki) name, mirroring her real-life counterpart who is also “graduating” from AKB48 this year in August.
The saving grace of the episode thankfully came in its last few minutes, where we are treated to a better look at the successor group and supporting cast who’ve had little exposure outside of combat up until now. While they are primarily supporting characters, it’s really nice to see AKB0048 dedicating the time to establish clear motivations and backgrounds for them, something I wish show would do more often. It could’ve made all the difference in a series like Guilty Crown, one of its major flaws being the complete mismanagement of its massive cast that the audience never could connect with. (Well okay, it might not have redeemed the batshit plot completely…) So, credit where credit is due. The shows manages to each give each successor a certain amount of depth to their characters beyond the façade they maintain for their stage names, (especially Yuuko, who I daresay is my favorite character in the show) and got me really interested to know more about their natures off-stage, (Dare I say, more so than the core Kenkyuusei group.) so this is something I hope future episode will go into.
Sadly, I don’t really think it was enough to redeem the entire episode, of which the content practically amounted to the show plodding around. An episode about laziness should not be equating itself to similarly lazy writing. If this is the standard they’re presenting, I really hope this is the first and last break the story is taking. (Fingers crossed for the next “UMI DA!” episode)
~First off, apologies for the really late post. The past exam week has been much tougher than I initially thought and I haven’t had the chance to break away from the books until now. Once again, you have Moomba to thank for this week’s caps, and the amazing full-lengths galore~