OK, anyone who didn’t know there was going to be a second season of “AKB0048”, you have to watch “Tokyo Mew Mew”. A lot. There were so many loose ends, it was like the first time someone tried to sew, so we HAD to have “AKB0048: Next Stage” to bring everything to a conclusion…..of sorts.
So, we pick up right where we left off, trying to get the 77th generation of AKB0048 ready. We still have the same problems: artistic rivalry, the evil forces of the anti-entertainment army in hot pursuit, self-doubt and uncertainty if any one of them can really make it. However, they do throw in new problems that complicate things even further, in that the Anti-Entertainment Forces are now becoming more aggressive and Chieri’s father (that girl is the blue-haired attraction in the front row), is bound and determined to get the Center Nova Phenomenon to take effect, so he can take advantage of everything for some galaxy-consuming power grab the likes of which no one has ever seen.
It’s just, for me, the cast was/is getting almost too large to handle properly. We have broken them down into factions or groups to tell the story better, and each of the groups (The Trainees, the Old Guard, the Support Staff) get their time in the sun, but I would have preferred more interaction between the overall groups, and not just merely within. Another aspect of this show, which is crucial, are the songs and I care so little about them. Maybe I’m not into J-Pop or the songs just do not have enough driving hooks for me, but it is all so very, very bland to listen to. You would think a series about music would have better songs to go along with things.
Also, there is a high degree of cattiness, stopping just short of personal sabotage, but I wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of a lot of these performers, as they struggle to be good enough to be part of the Main Body. Then, there is the whole Center Nova issue. This person is the ne plus ultra of all the singers and the entire performance really revolves about her. But there is a curse that comes with it, thus the reason not to re-open the position.
Well, that gets knocked into a cocked hat when the DES decides that now it the time to raid the home planet and all things breaks loose. Is AKB0048 done for? Have the forces of darkness and non-entertainment triumphed? Can someone tell me why they all the girls have some kind of reflection in their eyes, whether it be a heart or a sparkle? I could answer these questions for you, but that would mean you don’t have to watch the show.
It’s not all that terrible, but it just seems a bit too sunshine and lollipops for my taste. But, then again, I am an old fogy, so it’s not for me. Youth must be served!
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Good artwork, despite the tropes)
Plot 7 (Not much new improvement)
Pacing 7 (Can get bogged down in spots)
Effectiveness 7 (Gets frustrating as you want better pacing)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘save point’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Ouran”)
Overall 8 (The course of love never runs true)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Music is truth.