AKB0048 08 - Pretenders

After I dropped Tsuritama, Pearz convinced me to watch AKB0048, which is of a genre that I don't usually watch: all-girl cast and mecha. I gave it a go I really liked the show, so this will probably fill that Tsuritama void. Up until this episode, the previous installments really focused around the understudies and their journey to become full-fledged idols. This week's focus was largely around the captain of the captain of the current team 00 and the dynamic between successor and understudy.

Continuing from the previous episode, the stand-ins performed really well and the concert went without a hitch. The scene above shows a cute moments between Chieri and Nagisa that I really liked. It really highlights Chieri's progression from a super serious idol-to-be to a much more friendly individual. Now that Nagisa and the rest of the 77th generation will be able to participate in a concert for the first time, will she finally set herself apart from the rest? Due her being the protagonist, I really think that Nagisa is destined to be the next center and revive the position. However, the only evidence of that so far was way back in episode 2, where the kirara shone with radiance for Nagisa.

One thing I really like about this show is how the dynamics between all four groups (current successors, and the three generations) are quite different. Last week, we saw the jealousy of the 76th generation because someone from the 77th generation was selected before them. We see that again this week, but again, they were looked over because they wouldn't be able to perform the set list. Nonetheless, the tension is there, especially for Megumi. She's really vocal about her frustrations and isolates herself from the rest of the group. Moreover, we learn that the current Sae is the only one of the 76th generation who became a successor. It appears Megumi's relationship has greatly deteriorated since Youko became a successor. According to the translated glossary, there are many empty spots on the current 00 team that aren't filled because there is no understudy with a soul close to any of the originals. It is this rather arbitrary succession process by an external power that is really creating all the angst and drama. If not, I'm sure plenty of them have the dancing, singing, and combat skills necessary for promotion.

And probably none more worthy of succession is Kanata. This episode really hammered home her admiration of Takamina, which hurt Takamina all the more. Just like the Kirara of Succession showed, Kanata has the leadership and determination to make her the spitting image of the original Takamina. Perhaps more to be explored is her quest for revenge, which is indeed still part of her. She may have even destroyed a manned DES craft during this episode.

Surprisingly, Takamina was able to avoid her death flag triggered last week. Saving the suffering for later, eh Kawamori? Aside from what was obvious from the conversation about prioritizing one's dream over those of others, I think there was a focus on becoming someone you're not. Thinking back to the episode when they had their day off, Tomochin wondered what it would be like if they lived as someone other than name they inherited as successors. Takamina may try as hard as she can, but she'll never fully copy the original Takamina because they're not the same person. This is something I think they shouldn't worry about too much. They don't need to be the same person; they should just keep what the original members had in mind: to sing, dance, and perform their hearts out to give hope to those listening and watching, and to work towards fully lifting the entertainment ban put into place by the DGTO. Looking forward to next week's episode.

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