Stranded on an unknown planet with a damaged ship, things are looking a little tricky for the AKB0048 crew as this week's episode begins. Still, it could be worse - they might have ended up on a junk planet having to sing along to Dare To Be Stupid.
Beyond that, it isn't all bad news, as the planet has a breathable atmosphere if nothing else, leaving the successors tasked with exploring and finding out what they can about the planet while repairs are on-going. This brings them some interesting encounters with the land's flora and fauna, whether it's hallucinogenic mushrooms or Pokemon rejects.
Indeed, it's once such Pokemon-lite making friends with Orine that leads us to the real revelations about the planet, as an aggressive turn from the parents of Orine's cute new friend leads onwards to an attack from Zodiac Corporation forces, who it seems are using the planet to mine dualium. When it comes to placating those angry beasts however, there's only one thing for it - to sing at them! Between this and a little fighting action, the danger passes, although not before Chieri and Nagisa send themselves on a seemingly suicidal stowaway mission.
I suppose I have to give some credit to this week's AKB0048 Next Stage for turning what looked like it was about to become a throwaway episode into another opportunity to reveal some additional details about the show's wider world and pertinent plot points - admittedly this wasn't done in the most spectacular fashion, but it just about worked well enough to be passable before giving us a fascinating twist in its closing moments that could well make or break the series. Needless to say, I'll be watching on to see where this show is ultimately headed.