If you thought that meeting fans for a handshake event was too much, too soon for our training AKB0048 members, hold on to your hats as things are going to start moving even faster in this week's episode.
With the group invited to a meeting to promote piece, and perhaps assist in moving a step closer to a time where entertainment isn't heavily regulated and beaten down with military force, it's clear that somebody will have to stand in for the members sent to said meeting during the concert which happens to clash with it. In a change from the usual protocol, on this occasion understudies will be granted an opportunity to serve as stand-ins, meaning that some of our wannabes are going to get their big chance on stage. Most notably, Chieri, Mimori and Kanata are chosen to take up such a role, much to the disgruntlement of some of the previous generation's girls in Chieri's case in particular.
As the stand-ins begin the harder than ever training to take the place of full members of the group, and with the rest of the girls at a loose end, it isn't particularly surprising that things get a little bitchy, and it's Chieri who catches the flak for this as others finally realise the secret of her parents and their place at the forefront of supplying the anti-entertainment DES forces. Accusing her of being a spy sends Chieri into a depressed tailspin as she hides away and neglects even turning up to rehearsals, leaving it to Kanata to find her and win her round. Speaking of Kanata, some nosiness from a handful of AKB0048 members reveals the truth behind the selection process for successors, while also delivering some uncomfortable truths for those who stumbled upon it...
To its credit, things are moving pretty quickly within the world of AKB0048, which at least gives the series a sheen of tension and excitement as a result. While I'm hardly on the edge of my seat for any of its latest developments, and for all of its dafter elements, the progression of the show's story is solid enough and doing just about enough to hold my interest - assuming it's going to follow through on taking us through the first concert of some of these understudies things could get pretty interesting next week.