AKB0048 10 - Gratuitous Gravure

This week's installment of futuristic space idols feature an obligatory beach episode with the fanservice in midseason form. Being an idol the show, there's no way they'd skip out on one of these; I mean what's a better way to promote your group than showing scantily clad girls on the beach? Though it definitely contained less plot than its predecessors, this week's episode reaffirms the issues at hand, provides a bit more insight into some of the characters, and certainly sets itself up nicely for the next episode. Bring on the suffering Kawamori; you don't scare me!

I don't even own a pair of yuri goggles, but I knew what they were nudging at here. It looks like we didn't get a resolution from Takamina's last line in the previous episode about how the name "Takamina" belongs to Kanata. In fact, I think this'll probably be the extent of this issue; Takamina, though with some doubt, will continue as a successor as long as she can; Kanata will continue to be an understudy despite having successor level skills. With only three episodes left, I hope we can soon see this system get turned on its head and finally find out what this shady Sensei-sensei is all about.

We were already given hints that Tsubasa was a former member, but some new knowledge that we get is that she performed side by side with the last Center Nova, Acchan. From her talk with Yuuko and Mii-chan, it appears she's still clueless about the disappearances of the Center Novae, yet is trying to bring back the position. It sort of leads me to question her character a bit: Acchan's disappearance on stage that day prompted her to join the support staff, yet after all these years she hasn't really found anything on it; she just seems to be blindly obeying the rules and eating up whatever Sensei-sensei tells her to do. What's more important though is what the Center Novae saw; if it caused Mii-chan to run away and quit, it's probably something dangerous right? 

I guess we'll finally see Tsubasa make her move because she's planning to make Chieri/Nagisa the next Center Nova; Mii-chan and Yuuko wouldn't be too pleased. Speaking of which, in the day-off episode, Yuuko said that Mii-chan was rumored to be spotted on Atamistar; I wonder if she recognized her and got in touch with her. Though even if she did, Mii-chan seems pretty adamant about preventing the position from resurrecting and wouldn't tell her anything. Looking at the preview next episode, the group is returning to Lancastar. Will Yuuka's (ex)boyfriend make a reappearance? Will Nagisa finally be able to get some legitmate screen-time now that we're back on her home-planet? Will Chieri's fixation on Nagisa's supposed "idol radiance" finally make her snap? Most importantly, what will we learn about Center Novae position? Sunday can't come soon enough.