Sunday, 3 March 2013

AKB0048 Next Stage - Episode 9

Things certainly took a dramatic turn in last week's AKB0048, with DES and the Zodiac Corporation laying waste to and ultimately taking control of Akibastar, while Yuuko's transcendence into the role of Centre Nova immediately resulted in her disappearance.

With the remaining members of AKB0048 either locked away in hiding in the temple within the depths of Akibastar or on the run from DES in their damaged spacecraft, it's hard to know where the group should turn next - for those who witnessed the entire thing however, the first question they want answering is regarding Mii's involvement in proceedings and why she "sold out" the group and their home planet.  The answer she gives isn't perhaps the most consistent or satisfying - it's hard to reconcile her desire to protect the group's members with her work with the Zodiac Corporation - but it does give us some more insight into the power of the Centre Nova set against Mii's tale of how she stepped back from the brink of disappearing like some of those who went before her.

There isn't all that much time for recriminations or finger-pointing however, as it isn't along before DES are back on the tail of the group's ship after their attempts to contact Akibastar are intercepted.  Low on energy and with some serious damage, it seems as if the craft is all-but a sitting duck - if only they had a top-notch mecha pilot that they could count on to oppose the DES forces....  Needless to say, Mii seeks to redeem herself and prove her willingness to protect the group with her actions, thus saving the day if only for now.  It seems as if our focus will now return to Nagisa, as she vows to become a Centre Nova to both stop the Zodiac Corporation's plans to weaponise the group's abilities and rescue the former missing Centre Novae.

The second half of last week's episode felt, to me, like absolute justification for sticking with this series through thick and thin as everything it had built up to came flooding out in a stupendous ten minutes or so - against that backdrop, this week's instalment has a lot to live up to and understandably doesn't hit quite the same high points, but it nonetheless proves to be a compelling and well-constructed progression of the story that once again cannily brought out its best material to close the episode in suitably spectacular fashion.  It's enough to leave me further pondering whether the series as a whole could have been better paced or whether it genuinely needed the length of build-up it received, but as of right now I don't care too much, as it feels like the show is perfectly placed to offer up a fantastic set of closing episodes if it manages to keep running along these lines.

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