It takes more than an assault in space to stop an AKB0048 concert, and despite the troubles that closed the end of the previous episode their event on the far from welcoming (as its name suggests) Tundrastar is all set to go ahead.
Given her injuries from that aforementioned battle, it seems inevitable that Takamina is going to have to step aside for the concert, with Kanata lined up to take her place despite her superior's qualms about the switch. Things are less complicated for the other stand-ins however, as they find themselves with some spare time to head out and play in the snow - a trip which leads them to see the hardships that the people of this planet are having to endure (clearly not, as the girls seem to think, solely because there's a ban on entertainment - nobody has ever had to suffering rationing on account of a lack of saccharine J-pop), while also introducing them to a group of enthusiastic youngsters who instantly recognise these understudies, proving that the group's guerilla concert can possibly do some good in this wasteland of a country.
Indeed, watching these youngsters romping around has given Mariko... sorry, I mean Tsubasa... an idea - to hold multiple live events at the exact same time to sow the seeds of confusion amidst the DES forces before unleashing the real concert upon the public. Thus, it's left to the stand-ins to make themselves known throughout the town with their opponents in hot pursuit - little do they know that at the main stage Takamina has taken it upon herself to drag herself from her hospital bed to take Kanata's place in the line-up away from her at the last second. It's a risky move that causes an uneasy freezing over of the pair's relationship, although seeing Takamina in action as she pushes herself to the limit seems to assuage any frustrations within Kanata's heart as they well and truly make up come the end of the episode.
Despite some flawed moments (the whole "they must be poor and starving because they have no entertainment" concept may be giggle a little), this was an unspectacular episode of AKB0048 that nonetheless worked pretty well, giving us plenty of concert footage - something which it has oddly shied away from quite frequently given its origins - and a mix of bitchiness and friendship between Takamina and Kanata that felt quite believable. It's not something that will live long in the memory, but it made for a colourful slice of entertainment that I can't particularly fault no matter how I might want to poke fun at it; instead, I actually found myself having a little fun watching it, even if the show isn't as grandiose as I suspect it might think it is. Besides, we got to see another outing for the glow-stick homing missiles - how can you not enjoy that?!