Monday, 2 July 2012

AKB0048 - Episode 10

"Has the time come?" asks Tsubasa with a note of surprise in her voice.  It certainly has m'dear... it's time for a beach episode!

Of course, this doesn't simply mean that it's playtime for the girls of AKB0048 and their understudies - rather, it's an opportunity for all and sundry to take part in a gravure photo shoot, which of course means lots of posing in bikinis suggestively and so on.  Although the chance to frolic on the beach is exciting for many, Makoto seems to be starting to regret her diet, and the fact that fat is gathering (as she sees it) in all the wrong places...

In the midst of all the flesh and fan service, some more important questions do raise their head here once again.  For starters, there's the Kirara and their part in choosing successors - something which Chieri seems to be aware of and a piece of information which she shares with Nagisa here.  Above all else however, it's the strange history of the Centre Nova which comes to the fore - following previous hints about her past we get to the bottom of Mariko... sorry, Tsubasa's place in AKB0048 both past and present, as she seems intent on delving into this particular mystery herself, with little success.  There also seem to be plenty of people who want to ensure that the role of Centre Nova never comes back, even if we aren't entirely sure why.

It feels kind of odd to have an episode so chock-laden with cringe-worthy fan service flanked by some really important points of exposition, but that's exactly what we have here - I'm not sure I can call the mysteries brought up by the series "interesting", but they at least promise to add a little frisson to these closing episodes of AKB0048.  Besides, at least we've hopefully got the most over-bearing slice of fan service out of the way too, courtesy of an episode that could well see the use of the phrase "bee stings" replaced with "jellyfish stings"....

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