Everyone knows singing and dancing is stronger than military guns and mechs.
AKB0048 makes a glorious return with its second season, AKB0048: Next Stage. For fans of the series, you’ll feel right at home. If you’re new to AKB0048, I implore you to check out the first season as well to fall in love with the series and music. In this anti-entertainment universe, there’s no rap or dubstep here folks; only J-pop songs of love and determination on this stage.
As a mild fan of the actual J-pop group, AKB48, I automatically love this series. The series starts off with Nagisa’s dream foreshadowing the events to come. However, we can’t start off all gloomy. So what happens soon after? A concert, of course! Not long after the understudies’ debut at the end of last season, the girls are now performing well on stage along with their senpai. The choreography and insert songs are absolutely catchy and visually stimulating. While the crowd itself is a bunch of copy-paste 3D models, the girls themselves are animated so well I don’t even care about animation shortcuts.
At the end of the concert, Tsubasa-san makes an announcement that was slightly revealed at the end of the last season: the return of the General Elections and the position of Center Nova! The Elections are an annual tradition for AKB48, allowing fans to vote for their favorite members regardless of their position as a regular member or understudy. The return of the Center Nova position is also a big thing, considering the position was considered too dangerous when the previous Center Nova, Atsuko Maeda the 14th, disappeared in a flash of light. This development is sure to pick up the confidence and rivalries of the girls, which I greatly look forward to.
It’s not AKB0048 without the inter-member drama. Some lingering feelings from last season are still prevalent, including Takamina’s awareness of Kanata and Nagisa’s inferiority complex towards Chieri. My hopes lie in that Nagisa will quickly realize that she needs to step up her game early on. I kind of hated that she moped for about 60% of last season. This calm is definitely not without the storm as Yukirin, Sonata, and Chieri are kidnapped in a covert DES attack.
GO Rating: 4.5/5
With song, dance, weapons, and mechs, the girls of 0048 save the day. This first episode does a great job establishing the pairs that may be butting heads in the future. But what is going on behind the scenes with Chieri’s father?
Continue to watch? – Yes
Continue to review? – Yes