One thing that I’ve noticed about a lot of Mari Okada’s anime original scripts: the one thing she has trouble with is being interesting while building up. Especially in the first halves of her longer series have these flashes of brilliance intermixed with dull slice of life. Take Hana-Saku Iroha’s long wring of random episodes, Aquarion’s boring romantic set-up in its first half, or even Kuroshitsuji II’s first four episodes that were nothing but random hi-jinks. We too are now on that point for AKB0048 unfortunately, but the end of this episode did remember to actually deliver.
And it did so with some very weird succession rules that showed even more what a strange organization this AKB0048 is. So everyone is set to become a succeeding member of one of the founding members of the AKB, and who gets to succeeds is decided by strange flying blobs based on very vague criteria, they are ruled by a strange shadowy figure who writes unnerving lyrics. And also: we’ve seen people talk plenty of times in this series about “graduating”, however nobody has actually explained what that entails to.
Rating: * (Good)
There was so much trolling going on in this episode of Aquarion. Where to start: Amata was consciously abandoned by his parents, causing him to have a bad childhood, Ah, and you finally see them again? Too bad! Seriously, can’t we ever make these people survive and have them take responsibility for what they did? Shoji Kawamori was all over this episode, but the most apparent really was the ending, in which the main source of the conflict turns out to e environmental destruction. I already found it strange that there was so little of that in this series.
It made for a very fun episode though, and I definitely enjoyed it. It’s definitely nice to have such over the top plot twists combined with interesting characters here. They’re not all interesting of course: Mikono YET AGAIN did absolutely nothing, but Zessica and Mikage have really grown on me, Kagura really got his time to shine here, and even Amata has gotten interesting to watch now that we’ve delved into his back-story.
Also, now that we’re near the end of the first half of 2012, I think I can say this confidently: Aquarion has the best soundtrack of the year so far. Yeah okay it was copied from the first Aquarion and all, but still: it blows all of the other soundtracks this year simply out of the water due to its massive size, sheer versatility and consistent epic tone.
Rating: ** (Excellent)