We reach this penultimate episode of AKB0048 with danger aplenty in the air, as Orine in particular looks all set to be the victim of weaponry partly made by herself before she ascending into the world of pop idolisation.
Somehow, our group of understudies manage to escape the immediate attentions of their pursuers thanks to the WOTA forces - only to decide to dump themselves into even greater peril as Nagisa insists that she has to go and rescue her father from internment as a traitor to DES. With the other girls backing her up, off we set to try and save Nagisa's dad... but does he even want saving? As he quite rightly points out, being broken out of jail by AKB0048 would only make his situation worse, and to compound matters Nagisa's inability to do anything for her father is made worse when she sees the state of the garden her mother once took such care of.
Such is the shock of recent events that when it comes to final rehearsals for the concert, Nagisa has lost her voice entirely under the psychological strain, and before she knows it she's relegated to being a backing dancer, while Chieri snatches up the chance to take on Nagisa's solo role in the concert. This is almost enough for Nagisa to want to throw in the towel - something that Chieri will have none of. Thus, it seems as if we're all set for a climactic final concert to tie everything within the series together.... or are we?
After all the build up to the Lancastar concert, it has to be said that the climax to that whole endeavour was a real damp squib - I really hope the series has more in store for its finale, otherwise we've just been served up a massive anti-climax. That aside, this was a pretty decent episode that took some of its plot threads (particular that involving Nagisa's father) to a satisfyingly logical conclusion, even if the whole "character loses her voice from psychological issues" thing has been done to death. It almost feels as if there's too much to fit into the show's final instalment next week now, so my curiosity has been decidedly piqued as to how it's going to tackle all of the resolved issues with so little time left to do so.