AKB0048 Episode 2 – Friends and Rivals, Dreams and Reality

Note:  Although it technically began back during 12 Days of Anime with my post on the first episode, this post marks the beginning of my (hopefully regular) writeups on AKB0048, a scifi-idol series from 2012. Check back often as I continue to write about this series (and other shows) going forward!

Sometimes, a small change in perspective makes a whole world of difference.

AKB0048‘s opening episode was filled with the optimism that AKB represented to Nagisa, Yuka, and Orine. As young teens growing up on the dystopic Lancastar, AKB represented a shared dream of a world of song in the stars beyond their industrialized home, a hope that they might be able to stand with AKB and fight against the DES and entertainment bans. But in episode 2, we get our first look at how AKB isn’t just an image for music freedom – AKB represents a wide variety of ideals for many people across the galaxy, and the group faces a diverse set of challenges as a result. And through Chieri’s reappearance on the journey to the second auditions, we learn for the first time that the fights and challenges facing AKB’s idols don’t always come from the enemy.

Continue reading “AKB0048 Episode 2 – Friends and Rivals, Dreams and Reality”

A Relentless Hope – The Optimism of AKB0048’s Opening Episode

(This post is the second of my 12 essays for the 2016 edition of 12 Days of Anime, a joint project between many anibloggers. For more info about the project, check out appropriant’s introductory post here, and check out the full blog spreadsheet here if you’re interested in the work of everyone participating!)

The dystopian worlds we see in fiction don’t usually leave much room for characters to dream. The Sybil System of Psycho-Pass determines your future job; freedom is perhaps an illusion in the post-apocalyptic world of Shinsekai Yori. We see characters struggle in each of these stories and hope for a brighter future, but it’s hardly the same as a certain group of girls with a vision of becoming school idols to save their school. But amidst a backdrop of entertainment bans and militia rule, AKB0048‘s opening episode fights against this reality, daring to envision a song of hope and life. Continue reading “A Relentless Hope – The Optimism of AKB0048’s Opening Episode”