It seems like almost entirely the wrong way around of doing things, but after seeing their first promotional video broadcast across the universe, and before even performing in concert at all, it's time for the wannabe AKB0048 member's first ever handshake event!
Things seem to be moving quickly all-round for our budding stars as they, and more specifically Orine, receive their first batch of fan mail. At least, that's what they think she's received, but the truth is rather more sinister - a video message proclaiming nothing but hate for her, and even threatening to plant a bomb in the arena if she dares turn up at the scheduled handshake event. Charming lot some of these idol otaku, aren't they?
Needless to say, this threat and message shakes Orine to her core despite the best efforts of both her friends and other AKB0048 members to help her, although she does at least find the steely nerves required to ignore the message and turn up for the event - a good job too, as she quickly finds herself meeting her first ever proper fan. Things look set to take a turn for the worse however, as the originator of Orine's hate mail turns up to pay her a visit - a short-lived one incidentally, as DES forces appear to put paid to any hopes of continuing the event, while the ensuing chaos rather changes the dynamic between Orine and her hater.
Once this episode introduced the concept of "haters" into its sweet world of wannabe idols, I was really curious as to where it would take the concept, and I can only express massive disappointment that the episode ended by effectively saying "hey, it's okay to hate an idol and send them death threats, you're really just trying to be kind and improve them!" Err... no. A thousand times no. What seemed like a perfect opportunity to point out that there's no excusing this kind of thing turned into a rather saccharine validation of such abhorrent behaviour, which is almost as disturbing as the behaviour itself - a clear case of money and profitability wining out over common sense and frowning upon the extremes of fandom. But hey, at least this episode brought us glowstick missiles and itasha mecha to make up for that rather creepy vibe to the end of the instalment!
Except it doesn't actually make up for that at all, does it...