169th G-View: AKB0048

Greetings Haunters of the night. It’s once again time for a G-View. What can I say about singing idol/musical themed anime? You either love them, hate them or see them as just another genre. I’m more in the 3rd. If I like the girls or the show caters to my tastes then I have no problem completing it, which is how I felt after the 1st episode of the anime I’m about to review, AKB0048.

Before we begin, I don’t know anything about the real life group this anime’s based on, AKB48 but if you want to know as much as possible, both about the group and yuri goodness within it, visit Yuri-Goggles

Themes: idols, mecha, music
Number of episodes: 13
G-Rating: 7/10
Plot Summary: At the start of the 21st century, an interplanetary war broke out. Earth’s ecosystem was damaged, and humanity was forced to flee the planet. In this new society, things that “disturb the heart” like music and art are forbidden. 48 years later, a legendary idol group is resurrected as AKB0048. Labeled as terrorists, they must take up arms to defend their careers and their fans.

 

Let’s get one fact clear here. The show is about a dystopian future where a communistic government, for some reason (The explanation in the plot summary can’t be the only reason.), banned all forms of entertainment across the galaxy and the ONLY ones who can bring joy and happiness and save the universe from boredom, is a group of female JPop idols. No videogames, comedy shows, exercise or even Chuck Norris movies, only pop singers who are trained in martial arts (Some of them anyway) and they combat heavily armored soldiers and mechs with lightsaber equipped microphones among other non-lethal neutralizing gadgets and their own battleship all while performing or protecting the performers. In short, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy this is not but I would rather watch this than a Katy Perry or Justin Bieber brainwashing glorifimentary.

Also, be wary of the fact this show has moe goodness a plenty. It isn’t K-ON level, just basic stereotypes. As the show continues through the episodes you see a good amount of character development, the bonds of friendship, determination, lessons being learned, and fears overcome. Heck, the show even tackles haters in a mild manner. While I do agree there are some haters out there who criticize performers because they legitimately want to see them improve, there are more who have nothing better to do than trash everything on television just because. Oh, and don’t even get me started on how the promotion system from rookie to successor works. While it’s simple to see how it goes on screen, explaining the process is another story. Let’s just say there’s a good reason why a second season was announced, because if the show were to end the way it did, we would have a lot of confused viewers who didn’t care about the fluffiness and legitimately wanted to understand what’s going on. In short, lots of unanswered questions.

And yet, despite all that, the show is both harmless and watchable.

Pretty lights.

As you can see from the above picture, the animation is quite colorful, especially during the “song of the week” performances. It literally is the simplest form of emitting a bright light through the darkness on each planet. Like I said, dystopian future where most of humanity is miserable. The CG works fine. It isn’t breathtaking like Mouretsu Pirates’ but it gets the job done.

The music is mixed for me. The OST’s fine but the songs themselves…some I liked, others were meh. I guess I was spoiled by Symphogear and Last Exile 2’s soundtracks.

Senior division.

The cast, side characters aside, are divided in two divisions, senior (Successors) and junior (Understudies), which are further divided in sub-divisions, but knowing there are two main divisions is more than enough for this show. The point of these groups is to become successors of the original AKB48, or was it 048? I dunno but it’s something like that. Basically successors get the title of the original cast members.

Obviously the story focuses on the junior division here. Instead of going through each one, I’ll mention my top 3:

Suzuko Kanzaki: AKB Fangirl turned understudy. Besides wearing glasses and me being a megane babe fan and all, Suzuko just has a certain charm to her that amuses me, especially when she gets REALLY involved in something. Oh yes.

Sonata Shinonome: Youngest junior member, adorable, energetic and usually addresses herself in the 3rd person. I also strongly believe she is Suzuko’s destined partner. They’re already partners in crime so why not eventually take it a step further.

Kanata Shinonome. Besides being Sonata’s older sister and another reason that I’ll get to, she looks so badass when going turbo and is a competent leader for the juniors.

Honorable mentions:

Nagisa and Yuka. I like both their voices and heads.

As always, if the show has yuri, I’ll talk about it before ending the review. AKB0048 has subtext galore, but there’s one specific couple that deserves the most attention, Kanata and the current Takamina successor. Their romance is the best and many nation members that saw the show will agree. I do hope other pairings shown this season will develop further the next. Either that or more KanaMina.

In conclusion: Some defined this show as “pandering”, I just see it as harmless. It’s kinda like a show about a moe singing jedi academy. You can tell before even reading this review whether the show’s for you or not but I hope to have at least encouraged some to give it a try. There’s a 2nd season on the way so why not see for yourself whether it’s worthy of a continuation or not.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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11 Responses to 169th G-View: AKB0048

  1. SilverFox says:

    I honestly loved this show, so does my daughter (for her it was mostly for how colorful it was when the songs come on). I saw the first episode out of curiosity and got hooked into it. I didn’t think I’d be one to be attracted to an Idol type anime but this one got me.

    The songs in the episodes are pretty good and I like that the show is taking it’s time with character development and not rushing to find out who sensei sensei is after just 13 episodes. I’m hoping next season we’ll get a deeper look into that and get a bit more information on the Kirara. Those little glowing guys are cute!

    You and I have the same choice when it comes to 2 of the 3 of your top ladies. I really like Kanata and Sonata. I like Kanata for the reasons that she is just that badass and her personality for a leader is great. Sonata is just so adorable with all her little animal outfits. I really wouldn’t mind seeing more interactions between Kanata and Takamina. They’re both cute.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Some people did call this a kid’s show and it makes sense. It is both harmless and kid friendly while older audiences who aren’t critics could find something to like about it. Yes, the song sequences were shiny and colorful and I like color. I’m also planning on checking out The Idolm@ster sometime, not Xenoglossia though.

      The Kirara look like your typical magical girl anime mascots but I agree, they are adorable. I also hope the next season will have the answers we seek and more yuri subtext (or canon) goodness.

      Hmm, I wonder who your 3rd favorite girl is? Could it be Makoto?

      Like

  2. SilverFox says:

    Makoto isn’t on my favorites list. Yes she’s cute in her own way but not enough to make my favorites. I actually like Chieri and Nagisa as my third favorites. I can’t really pin it down but these two characters really seem to compliment each other for most of the show. I guess it’s Chieri’s tough love tactics with the girls when she says her harsh criticisms and Nagisa’s easy going but determined attitude.

    Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      We all know Nagisa and Chieri are destined to fall in love with each other. Destiny has declared them future lovers.

      Like

      • SilverFox says:

        Those are my thoughts. Those two have literally fallen over each other since they got back together on the ship. Those can’t be just accidental coincidences. I really can’t wait for next season to see more of the subtext. Can only hope for a canon couple.

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Welcome to the yuri nation my brother! Let us do our best to expand the fandom and find/recruit more members to the noble cause that is showing the world how beautiful love between two women in animated form is. 3D yuri is tough but there are some who are promoting that as well. For now, yuri anime/manga is what my sector is focusing on.

      Like

      • SilverFox says:

        I wouldn’t mind actually meeting more yuri fans around my area. Then I could talk to people about specific anime without getting weird looks from my coworker who’s an anime fan (though not a yuri or ecchi tolerant one). I enjoy the anime and manga yuri so that’s probably what i’ll be sticking with for now.

        Like

    • Overlord-G says:

      Although there aren’t that many, you should also try out Yuri Visual Novels. They are out there somewhere. Also, I know how you feel about it being difficult to find people to embrace yuri with. I am the only yuri fan (That I know of) in my neck of the woods after all.

      Like

  3. rika23onroof says:

    I’m with you with the KanaMina bandwagon. The reason why I watch the entire show was because of them. Heck my hands are itching to write a fanfiction about them. I hope there will be more screentime for them on the second season.

    For me my top 3 favorite girls are Kanata, Sonata and Nagisa or Takamina.

    Like

  4. Christian Appel says:

    You should really watch and enjoy S2 – if not already happened.

    S1 is great, but S2 even more.

    KanaMina is still awesome and the yuri main/canon couple – alongside with other cute yuri side couples – Chieri x Nagisa have a great/cute relationship development until the great/cute end.

    You should take a close look what C x N wear at the final concert at the end, because they look like brides in wedding dresses.

    You should also take a close look on their Kiraras and which color they get at the planet concert near the end. It looks like red for love.

    S3 would be great.

    Like

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