Episode five of AKB0048 sees us move forward a month after the current group of understudies began their training at Akibastar... and whaddya know, it's a day off for them too just as they were getting into the swing of things.
So, what do you do when you finally get a precious day off from your idol training? Well, that depends who you are - while Chieri goes off shopping, Sonata is determined to have some fun in the bath (no, not like that, get your minds out of the gutter) and some of the other girls find themselves dragged into some kind of training or other, whether it's to try and make them sexier or try to toughen them up a little and make them less feminine.
In the midst of all this, Sonata is coaxed into helping Suzuko investigate the identity of the mysterious director of AKB0048, known only as Sensei-Sensei - so good they named him twice. Of course, this proves to be beyond our young wannabe sleuths (cats are so distracting, aren't they?). Elsewhere, we learn the hard work that goes into becoming the successor to Tomochin in what is possibly one of the creepiest things I've ever seen in anime - a family who looks to protect their bloodline by ensuring they always have daughters that look identical and with the exact same traits, right down to marrying men who look like Tomachin themselves to ensure this. Out there someway, an idol producer is making mental notes about a new way of printing money...
I have to confess, I'm not entirely sure what the point of this episode was - aside from the information dumps noted in the paragraph above it made for a pretty unspectacular affair, whether it was trying to hit the slice of life angle or something completely different. Maybe it's just that I don't care enough about any of the characters to feel privileged to have learned a little more about them, but it seems too early in the series for this kind of episode when there's still so much training and the like left - events which would potentially increase my interest in the characters enough to be interested in the asides delivered here. As it is, AKB0048 continues to be pretty polished but ultimately empty more often than not... it's just like being a pop idol really, I suppose.