AKB0048 09 - Under Gray Skies

Yes, I realize that episode 10 already aired. So my laptop died on me a bit over a week ago, and combining that with being busier than usual and limited computer access, I was only able to watch this episode just now. Hopefully when my new hard drive gets here, I'll be able to get back on schedule, especially with a lot of the new shows this season starting to air. Content-wise, I thought it was a great episode: it revisted the Megu/Sae relationship; it tied in the dreams of the four young girls from the first gureilla concert that they saw; and of course, the main focus was definitely the Takamina/Kanata relationship.

As suspected, Megu and Sae's relationship runs much deeper than just being generation-mates. But now, their realtionship is rather strained, especially after that argument they had the previous episode. For now, it looks like Mimori is able to quell any angst she had and get her ready to help support the concert. However, this issue will continue to persist until either she is able to get promoted or Megu and Sae are able to work things out together. Again, I look to the arbitrary succession system as the source that causes the rift between girls.

The understudies meeting with the four young girls on Tundrastar really prompted a look at how far Nagisa, Chieri, Yuuka, and Orine have come since their first encounter with AKB0048. Though they're not full-fledged idols yet, they're well trained and this marks the first time they were able to perform together in front of fans. Will Kawamori allow all four to stand on stage as successors together by the end of all this? Only time will tell. Moreover, they, along with the rest of the understudies and successors, were able bring joy and hope to a full-entertainment banned planet. Another thing of note is that Chieri's Kirara seems to be shining more frequently for Nagisa recently. Maybe this hints at her role in the show taking center stage (pun very much intended) as this arc heads to a close. Though some may see Nagisa as a rather bland main character, I feel that the trait that separates her from the rest of the cast is that she isn't afraid to speak her mind and she takes the initiative at times of indecision.

Finally, the Takamina/Kanata relationship continues to be the main course. Takamina is extremely determined to remain part of the group and "retain" her identity as THE Takahashi Minami. It was quite heartbreaking to see the scene where she tells Kanata to take off her uniform. Though Kanata just missed her opportunity to perform in such a big role, she had nothing but sheer admiration for Takamina's grit to give it her best on stage. It looks like this arc will reach its conclusion in the coming episode; I'm looking forward to it.