Monday, 4 February 2013

AKB0048 Next Stage - Episode 5

The elections might be over, but there's no rest for the girls of AKB0048 as they swing straight back into action by shaving their heads and posting tearful YouTube videos at the behest of their management.  Wait a second, that isn't right, is it?

In fact, no sooner has election fever died down then it's straight back into the world of guerilla concerts, with the group sent off to the planet of Baltistar in the face of what is almost certain to be some tough resistance.  Rather than follow Chieri on her debut as a member of AKB0048 proper, we instead get to follow a group of the remaining understudies as they're sent to infiltrate a forced labour camp, going undercover for rather vague reasons by the powers than be.

In the midst of this group is Makoto, who seems to have taken her election "failure" harder than most, opining that she's never going to make it as an idol while the rest of her colleagues seem to have taken the results in their stride.  Of course, this means that Makoto is ultimately the focus of this episode, as the group come across an underground casino which serves as a group for the wealthy to place bets against AKB0048's successes and failures in combat.  Eventually, the interlopers are rumbled (although not on account of the frickin' huge hearts in their eyes, amazingly), and as things get a little challenging on the asteroid which is the home of the camp in question it's left to Makoto to save the day, thanks to some inspirational words from one of her fans.

Aside from the usual dose of mild craziness that this show's core plot always provides, this was another pretty run-of-the-mill episode - some of its revelations could be interesting moving forward (although I bet they won't make any more out of the underground casino in story-telling terms), but everything panned out across the episode just as you'd expect it to, thus offering few surprises beyond just how many plot holes managed to make it through onto our screens.  After the emotionally charged instalment provided last week, it simply doesn't cut it really despite being closer to the core of what this show is all about, leaving us waiting to be fed some more clues about what the Zodiac Group's ultimate goals are.

No comments: