Monday, 30 April 2012

AKB0048 - Episode 1

On a world where entertainment is banned, there's only one way for an idol group to perform - with their own spaceship to allow them to perform "guerilla" concerts.  Well, that and a lot of Tasers.

It's as one of these concerts that we meet our protagonists, a quartet of young girls that manage to sneak their way into the midst of an AKB0048 event - despite the massed crowds gathered to see them, it isn't long before the local armed forces arrive with water cannons and machine guns, determined to stop this outbreak of spontaneous entertainment at all costs.  Clearly, these are men who have seen what Britain's Got Talent can do to a nation, and you can almost see the flickering shadows of The X-Factor playing across the pupils of their cold, dead eyes.

Anyhow, I digress, and as we skip forward in time a few years we see that although AKB0048's guerilla concert hasn't changed the world, it has shaped it markedly - activists are now openly petitioning for entertainment to be allowed, and the powers that be have complied to some extent.  Still, with curfews in effect and what little entertainment there is heavily regulated within the industrial town of Lancatstar. where everyone has to travel to work and back uphill both ways, there's little opportunity to have much fun at all.  AKB0048's presence hasn't been forgotten however, particularly by three of our aforementioned quartet of girls, and as they get word of an audition for new members to the group, it's clear in which direction this particular adventure is headed.  Each of these girls have their own problems to confront however as they begin their journey to become galactic superstars in a world that has nothing but loathing for their inflammatory ideas and lyrics... or maybe they just hate cheesy pop music.

Despite trying my best to take this show's opening episode seriously, I have to admit that I laughed non-stop through the entire opening scenes of AKB0048 - seeing pop idols fight off an army with magic wand and ribbon Tasers and complaining about the use of water cannons is unceasingly hilarious, and the entire heavy-handed concept of the banning of entertainment (let's face it, faux-lesbianism aside there's nothing politically revolutionary about AKB48) and the way it's smashed unashamedly into our thick skulls throughout this instalment is rather more unintentionally amusing.  That said, I really enjoyed watching this opener, if only that I can see reams of comedy gold coming from its dumb concept - while part of me hopes that it doesn't take itself too seriously, another part of me really hopes that they do play the series with a straight bat so that I can tease it mercilessly over the coming months.

If nothing else, it has to be better than watching The Voice...

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