In an attempt to catch up I’m going to combine two episodes in one for this one. But really: the only reason why I’m slow with this is my schedule. This really was a major episode for the characters. And not just one of them, but a whole bunch.
For a long while I kept wondering why Nagisa was the main character. This episode she got her chance, and she showed that it would be for her stupidity. She’s the only one stupid enough to suddenly make such a giant declaration when everyone is trying to be perfect. An incident that is bound to be able to get some publicity since the rules of AKB can be so strict sometimes. And yet she tries so hard. Cutting off one’s hair is a gret symbol for character-development.
And then there is Mimori, and I now see what the creators were trying to do with her. She grew from a walking boob joke to someone really interesting to follow in the way that she continues to grow, but in the end sacrificed too much, taking her body into neglect.
Kanata and Shiori meanwhile finally had a little moment together again in order to develop their relationship, and in particular the problem that Kanata still has not become a successor. Then there is the talk of the new Center Nova, who Hikari and Shiori are working towards becoming. It’s still build-up at this point, but the characters do a great job of showing why it’s so important for them.
And I think that is the strength of this second season. Like I expected, the focus is less on criticizing the idol business (it’s still there, though), but more on the characters. And so far, it has really succeeded in bringing out the emotions of all of the new characters. The huge case makes sure that it can keep switching between all of them and their stories. And it’s doing a pretty good job of developing them all. It’s the thing with series with a huge cast: you can’t have characters that are as well developed as with series with a small cast. The trick is the big picture: give everyone attention, and make the cast come alive. Highlight a few characters as the main characters, but don’t excessively focus on them at the expense of others. AKB does that pretty well.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)