Posted by psgels on 1 April 2013 with categories: AKB0048, Anime Reviews



The first season of AKB0048 was a big surprise for me for taking such a silly premise, and actually creating something good out of it. Here is the second season, and was it as good as the first? Nah. Still, it’s worth watching if you watched the first season.

The direction for the sequel is slightly different from the first. The first had a lot of fun with criticizing the idol business next to telling its story, showing its darker sides. The second season takes this the other way around, by celebrating it instead. everything here is glorified, instead of played down. It’s got an interesting effect, and it is great to see these two sides of the coin together. But standalone it does miss something.

Mostly because I find idols to be incredibly cheesy, and this series just goes all out in glorifying them (like, what I was afraid of that the first season would be). That’s a bit of a bummer, because it does make the series a lot less interesting in terms of its plot.

So it was up to the characters and the music to save the day! They did partially. There is a lot of good character-development in this sequel, and the rather large cast has a lot of moments for even the side characters to show off themselves. The series has a really large cast, and unfortunately it does look like a bit of a mess because of it, but the advantage of this is that this series can come from out of nowhere to deliver something heartfelt and genuine.

The disadvantage of such a messy cast of characters is that some characters just don’t work. For variety’s sake this does not have to be such a big problem, but it kind of is when one of those characters is the main character. She never really knows what her role is in this series until it gets forced upon her in an entirely non-subtle way.
One-Sentence Review: AKB0048’s sequel is not as good or interesting as the first season, but it’s still quite an entertaining, albeit messy, animated musical.
Suggestions:
Macross Frontier
Simoun
Mouretsu Pirates

4 Responses

  1. I think you seriously got a problem with idols and jpop psgels, otherwise the review wouldn’t be as harsh :(

    True, the second season could not live up to the first, so I guess in relation to the score you gave to the first season, it is somehow justified.

    But looking at the whole picture: It basically is a series about idols, and what is their job? Right, bringing hope to people. And how can a series possibly illustrate that aspect better than AKB0048? It was quite a big journey, and the series often surprised me by their innovativeness and by the logic that was built up over the whole series.

    Just a few examples, why this shows is superior to any other similar show (maily in terms of genre of course):

    Remember the fact that DES was always just a bunch of random useless bullies? In other series, villians are stupid, because they are designed to be stupid. But here, we had the illegal bets on successors, which really made this much deeper: The anti-entertainment fraction made a lot of money with the idols, so they never actually even tried to take them down. But as that was discovered, in order not to lose their faces, they had to – and they just easily destroyed Akibastar, which makes perfect sense for an organisation that big.

    That is just a very tiny piece of all the parts that AKB0048 really consists of. Looking at details, there are some issues (the pacing in the end is horrible, Kawamori why :/), but looking at the whole image that was presented, it suceeds exactly in that, what is was made for.
    If you analyzed the logic behind everything, there was a lot of sense to it, actually more, than in Zetsuen no Tempest for example.

    Taking a hilarious setting seriously is better than the best setting built on half-assedly, destroying the very setting in the progress.

    This accounts for Girls und Panzer as well, it was a really great and creative show, that knew how to entertain on a high level. Sadly, many did not watch it.

    Oh, and there are two details I want to comment on:

    The ending had pacing problems, everthing was a bit rushed. So tell me, why the fuck did you pull out an episode like that Kawamori? ep 23 was just crazy shit. Really. I get the idea, that the discovery of the dualium was important for the plot progressing. BUT – why on earth did you send them to a strange Mushoom planet with strange creatures living on it, that are seriously called “Funghi”? Oh Gawd, Kawamori you shall be called “epic mushroom guy” from now on. (His technical designs are still utmost epic!)

    But anyway, there is one thing that pisses me off really much. Remember that awesome-looking spinning cube thingy that was always shown next to Chieri’s father and which got a lot of screentime in the ED? It looked really important! But what was about it in the very end? All it did was spinning around awesomely. Come ooooooooon.

    Still, the series inspired me a lot, and as a musician and jpop fan, there was enough in it, to make this series on of my all-time favourite.

  2. mnscoaiy00understudies says:

    Yes! I had been waiting for this. I have gone a little crazy waiting…and waiting…and waiting…. I thought you’d given up on 00!

  3. mnscoaiy00understudies says:

    Anyway. Yes, everything was a bit rushed. Yes, there are some issues. But honestly I think it is enjoyable enough to deserve a slightly better score.

  4. Avalon says:

    While I can partially agree that when the first season was great, it REALLY WAS GREAT! Slightly more so than the great episodes of this season, but I was getting so sick of the angsty/jealous characters in the first season. Yea, they had valid enough reasons to be depressed, but when it takes up the vast majority of the first season then it is too much.
    I really liked how this season had much less of that. Mainly Chieri had those moments, but it made sense and it was much more bearable.

    My two cents.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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