Posted by psgels on 23 May 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

AKB0048… I…. give up…

I want to hate this show. I want to rant about what an incredibly stupid and pandering premise they settled with. But I can’t. I have no clue why, but this show has this amazing energy and charm. The idol shows did it again, even though I hate idols and J-pop. This is the umpth show that went “So you hate idols? Well, here is a really good anime about them, so there!” Some other examples of this are the current Natsuiro Kiseki and its use of idols to bind the cast together, but the past also was full of them: White Album? Unique romance with balls. Fancy Lala? Incredibly genuine character-study with an amazing ending. Full Moon wo Sagashite? It had heart-wrenching second half. And then there was Skip Beat which was hilarious, Key the Metal Idol was really well made, Symphony in August was really well done for one of the few non-fiction anime out there and Perfect Blue was just the perfect gritty look at the business. Sure there have been plenty of duds, but I’m still amazed at how much good and daring stuff the genre brought forth.

The only problem: how on earth am I going to blog this in this already incredibly busy season? the only thing I can come up with is blog it together with Aquarion Evol, since they have so much staff in common, being both helmed by two of the big trolls of anime out there: Shoji Kawamori and Mari Okada. The thing is: in these first four episodes went along as well as Aquarion Evol, if not better, and Aquarion did develop a few issues along the way which I don’t see coming as easily with AKB0048. It’s just unfair to prefer one over the other at one point. The individual entries will probably get a bit shorter than usual, but I do want to highlight both, because I’m enjoying them a lot.

AKB0048 is very genuine and despite its huge cast it actually keeps track of everyone. It’s very charming, but what surprised me also were some of the production issues so far: here is the thing: most of the main voice actresses in this series are members of the real AKB48 group (or whatever it’s called) and have very little experience, if any at all. And yet they are all doing a really good job at bringing their characters to life! They aren’t trying to stuff themselves into stereotypes either. That was one of my biggest beefs against that Idolm@ster show (or at least the first three episodes that I managed to last) and what prevented me from enjoying it unlike a lot of other people: everyone felt like a stereotype. Here instead the characters have a much better defined backstory, motivations and personalities that don’t need to be shoehorned into archetypes. And thank god there is no Kugimiya Rie either.

Also, I’m not sure because of who this was, but one of my beefs with Macross Frontier was that as soon as someone started singing outside a concert, it still felt like everything was taking place in a recording studio, with random instruments appearing from out of nowhere and all. Here though, when characters are singing for leisure, it really feels that way.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Now, as for this week’s episode of Aquarion Evol: bloody Nora, what a plot twist. I should have known from the couple of Mari Okada and Shouji Kawamori in a series that tries to be as over the top as possible: to think that there were points at which I actually tried to take the love triangle between Amata, Kagera and Mikono seriously. They’re the same person. Of course. With that, all makes sense. I like that though: it’s a satisfying twist after all that bloody build-up and this episode lead into it pretty well. That dream sequence in particular was awesome, and actually among my highlights of this series.

And Shoji Kawamori, did you again just pull the “it really looks like one of the main cast members died but h/she turns out to be fine in the end?” I’ve seen too many of your series to know where this is going, unfortunately. It would be an awesome twist if I were wrong, though, but the dead sign that Zessica is fine is that bit at the start of the episode where she talks to Mikage: whatever that was leading up to hasn’t happened yet.

Why I really liked this episode by the way also had to do with that this episode went back to the city of the first episode, and showed in a completely different light now that it’s destroyed and evacuated. Earlier I complained that this show didn’t do anything about continuity. I really have to take that back now. At this point, there are tons of scars in the landscape of events that happened in the past, from this destroyed cities to Andy’s filled up holes. One notable exception is that we still don’t know who the heck does the maintenance on the mechas in this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

16 Responses

  1. DmonHiro says:

    My reaction to AKB0048:
    Before episode 01: Wow, this show’s gonna be absolute shit. The premise is retarded and it’s just a big add for the idol group.
    After episode 01: Well, that wasn’t so bad. The songs are nice, the voices are surprisingly good and it’s got a certain charm. Still dumb though.
    After episode 02: Well, the characters sure are interesting and the DES are a bigger threat then I expected them to be.
    After episode 03: HOLY SHIT! Are you freaking kidding me? Damn, that was an excellent episode. I’m sold! Bring on the next episode.
    After episode 04: This is still top notch. I can’t believe what a great job everyone’s doing. What’s going on? This show was prime C-list fodder. It was supposed to be shit. Also, DAMN Sonata is so adorable!

    • ChobitsChi says:

      I wholeheartedly agree!

      I was mentally ready to trash this show, to laugh at its ridiculous premise, to hate it with passion…
      Instead, I fell in love with AKB0048 and I don’t regret this one bit!

  2. Qwerty1 says:

    Is AKB0048 really that good?

    I tried watching the first episode but couldn’t get to the point of believing a story revolving around idols being outlawed… and the cg was a little creepy at times… and those hearts in everyone’s dead eyes…

    • DmonHiro says:

      You fell in a small trap. This actually DID happen in feudal Japan, when all forms of entertainment were forbidden to anyone but royalty.

  3. Scruffy says:

    Aquarion Evol .. WTF was that?? The last 2 episodes have been awesome (I was on the borderline of dropping it while Mikino was doing her pouty thing. But what on earth do they mean that he’s the same person? Was he divided into 2 halves when his mother was kidnapped? Very wierd.

    One other thing .. is it Netorare if it’s your other self that takes your girl??

  4. Blob says:

    @AKB0048. You guys just like watching little girls running around, right? This show is so much male oriented, it’s freaky…. i don’t think I’ve ever encountered a show that was tailored so specifically to gender aside from hentai and yaoi. The plot is pure nonsense that never gets any explanations at all (and i doubt it will) and the dialogues are pretty bad, but what freaked me out the most was the all male audience of the first concert and the absolute void of any significant male character, both father and boyfriend are just filler characters at this point (again a doubt there will be more to it). It’s based on the AKB48 concept so this should not surprise me, but imo this anime topped the freaky factor of the actual AKB48 group.

    • psgels psgels says:

      … and yet, the one who recommended this show to me was a girl. ;)

    • DmonHiro says:

      You’d be surprised how many females like watching little girls run around, my friend. And if you’re creeped out by a show that has yet to do anything creepy just because it has little girls in it, you are the one with the problem.

      • Blob says:

        @DmonHiro

        Heh….. I’m not creeped out by little girls running around, I’m creeped out by the dynamic this show has, which mainly has to do with the AKB48 franchise than anything else. It’s not that AKB48 don’t have any female fans, there are plenty but it’s the fact that the original and the utmost purpose of this group is to cater to male otaku culture and this show is pretty much in your face about it in a way I haven’t encountered before. Speaking of which the manga of the same franchise had actually softened the effect by introducing a guy as main character. Perhaps you chose to ignore it or like this anime despite it and that’s fine, doesn’t mean that I have some sort of problem for not doing the same.

        • Blob says:

          “Perhaps you chose to ignore it or like this anime despite it” should be “Perhaps you chose to ignore it or like this anime despite it or because of it” forgot to add it, but it that applies too and it’s all ok btw.

    • Anca says:

      The script writer is also female, and she’s one of the few that can write scripts that always resonate with me (<- also a girl).

  5. tktym says:

    Lots of girls in Japan love akb48. . .just as they love ayumi hamasaki, mostly because they want to be like them in a sense like how all boys want to be like micheal jordan or insert sports star here. Of course most of the men in Japan who like them are the standard otaku types, but the group is suprisingly mainstream and are pretty much getting so big that people(most Japanese people) dont really associate the whole “only for dirty old men/otaku” stigma that was there when they first came out years ago when they were marketed as cute high school girls (seriously they were in high school girl outfits all the time when they came out) Now though They are serious(using that term loosely) singer/perfomer/idols whatever. Hell, some of the most popular members of the group e.g. Tomomi Itano is pretty much the spokesface of the Docomo cell phone company (or is it softbank? I forgot) her picture is everywhere!

    I do find it interesting that people are finding this show good. It’s not my cup of tea(I’ve gotten pretty sick of anime and all its pandering as of late so I don’t watch much anymore) but I’ll at least read psgels reviews of the show. . . if he continues to blog it. . .

    @demon hiro
    “And if you’re creeped out by a show that has yet to do anything creepy just because it has little girls in it, you are the one with the problem.”

    now that isnt neccesary, if you cant discuss something without trying to throw veiled insults at someone for voicing their opinion, then maybe you should not say anything at all.

  6. RABUJOI says:

    This isn’t just an anime thing…if there’s a death scene like Zessica’s, there’s virtually NO WAY she’s actually dead. Even if we saw her lying in state, embalmed and all, we’d have our doubts. She’d pretty much have to be blown to bits or cremated or something before we’d actually believe the show killed off a core character.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:52 AM)
    @Aidan If the “recent comments” is failing to show up this often, it may be a problem with the plugin or maybe even the theme itself, the site is outdated. If you can do anything on your end you can try.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:39 AM)
    Okay for now, the Featured Posts box will have only 6 thumbnails in it until the next few reviews, since for some reason I can tag helghast’s OST review but not any of the previous episodes.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:33 AM)
    Or not. WordPress make up your mind.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:33 AM)
    Looks like recent comments disappears when we have more than six.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:30 AM)
    @Aidan I’ll try tagging 6 more to see if it’ll do a similar thing at 9 posts.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:29 AM)
    Ah crap. Almost forgot.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:28 AM)
    If you set it to three then the featured Posts category only shows two for some reason.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:26 AM)
    Weird…
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:26 AM)
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:25 AM)
    Like so? Hmm….Might be better to only show three of them though.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Joker Game - 08 1

Joker Game – 08

Well Joker Game managed to pull a twist I didn’t see coming and what makes it rather amusing is that it did it unintentionally. For you see it took the entire episode for me to figure out that I wasn’t watching the antics of another spy of the D-agency only to figure out that this […]

Flying witch 07b

Flying witch – 07

One of the thing that Flying witch always does it right is how it establish the chemistry between any characters, while at the same time maintain the consistency in their personalities. It feels like if you give them any random characters in any random situation, pretty much the show can hit it off. Last week […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 08 1

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 08

I feel bad for the artists and animators who made the opening and ending for this show as they don’t seem to be getting much use. Not that I am complaining of course as if the choice is between a catchy theme song and more content then content wins every time. Though it is a […]

Kiznaiver - 07 4

Kiznaiver – 07

To some this may be the strongest episode of Kiznaiver to date. However to someone like myself I find myself mixed on what I just witnessed. I have said before that what I like about this series are the aspects which are distinctly Trigger which would be it’s sense of wacky humor and character chemistry. […]

Mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga – 08

Again this week Mayoiga succeed at bringing a big screw-you to us audience. The cliffhanger last week is quickly revealed, and we come to learn that Masaki is not a ghost, nor is she a witch, but simply that… she had visited the Lost Village before. Big surprise! It really is a ridiculous anti-climax, but […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 06

If you haven’t heard by now, the second season of Attack on Titan has been delayed till 2017 because Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is far too awesome for Studio Wit to handle in a single year. I really couldn’t care less about the delay since I already know what’s going to happen in season […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 07d

Bungou Stray Dogs – 07

This week the plot revolving the Azure King was resolved and it raises the conflict of sense of justice between Dazai and Kunikida. Like what I suspected last week, all the new characters are in play in this episode and now I get the hang of Bungou Stray Dogs storytelling now. The new characters will […]

Joker Game - 07 3

Joker Game – 07

You know, I am beginning to wonder just how do those lessons go at the D-Agency. Is it something like “Ok, class. Today I will teach you how to summon dolphins with a whistle. After that we will go over the magic rituals of Aleister Crowley and finally have a refresher on the finer points […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Latest Reviews

20160513001913_1

Lucid9: Inciting Incident Video Game Review – 85/100

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the […]

The Totem Warrior

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 3: Haoliners inputs

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Nüwa’s Growth Diary

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 2: Chinese Anime shows

As much as I hated the term Chinese Anime (Anime stands for Japanese animation, strictly speaking), this is the exact term for those shows. Their influence from the Anime was so heavy that apart from the voice cast and some scene settings, you can’t tell those apart from the original anime. With that said, judge from […]

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular in their mainland and some parts of Asian countries. With the success of Kung Fu Panda (half-produced by China) and its power on movies industry (China IS the main market for feature films now), it is worth it to take a look on this current trend and see how they are different from anime.
While my fellow bloggers are the ones who more specialize in Games and Manga, I will be the one who cover World Animation (by that I mean anything animated other than anime and American big studio animation – they got way too much coverage already). Like majority of you guys I am not from China, my Chinese is as good as my Japanese (which is to say NONE), so this is actually goddamn difficult to look for titles, and the information I could find are sacred here on top of that find a suitable sub for it, most of them does not even have an English name, thus the title and the synopsis that I give you here are just a rough translation. So behold. This is our very first attempt to cover the animation of china.

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 1: Computer Animated Wuxia shows

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular […]

asagao to kase-san

K-Off’s Ongoing Manga Recommendations (embedded links)

If you frequent the frontpage of Imgur or r/manga often, you may have seen some of my past manga recommendation lists before, but here’s some ongoing manga that I’ll recommend for now. This is in no particular order of best-worst, I’ve also embedded the links to the scanlations into the images for your convenience. 1. […]

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne Two chapters so far. Ah love, that sweet nectar which all seek to experience. And truly there is nothing more romantic than gathering up your courage, inviting the girl you love up to the roof, taking her by the shoulders and proclaiming with all your […]

kQtrlYU

Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei video game review- 35/100 (avoid it like the plague)

To preface, I’d call this the poor man’s Fire Emblem if it wasn’t so damn expensive for its quality, not to mention so difficult to find. Here in New York City outside of lower Manhattan, there’s game stores in Brooklyn, Queens, Flatiron, and Newport, to a total count of 12 game stores in a 20 […]

413420_20160420220647_1

DanganRonpa 2: Goodbye Despair Video Game Review – 90/100

There may be those of you who know this series more by its anime adaption instead of it’s video games and if you haven’t watched the anime of this I highly recommend that you don’t watch it. Instead play the games which have been recently ported to Steam. The reason I say this is that […]