AKB0048 Next Stage First Impressions

This is the first of the Winter anime line-up! Just like the title, it has leveled up. 

Expectations: Moderate

Verdict: Good

Summary: It begins with Nagisa’s dream where everyone disappeared even the Kirara. Acchan appears and tells her the radiance is within her. Then she finishes her preparation for the understudies’ concert.  Tsubasa noted that the current understudies had the radiance that was last seen with Acchan. Yuuko predicts that either Nagisa or Chieri might become the next Center Nova. There’s a big announcement of a general elections and the return of the center nova position (which excites Yuuko the most). Everyone is quite anxious about this. While at the hotel, there were three AKB0048 members, Ayako, Sonata and Chieri who were captured and face an AKB Trial. They were charged and sentenced to 48 years in prison. Chieri says her stance and the AKB members become fired up. They end doing a rescue mission. This whole thing was staged by Zodiac’s president to observe the Kirara effect.

Thoughts: They really invested on the animation this season, it looks more HD now.  I like how there are more costumes and dance formations incorporated. If only, the songs were catchier. Anyway, it seems like this anime decided to set a darker tone this time around. Before, they merely had to destroy the machines and escape on time. But now, they have to accept that they can be made a spectacle.  Not only that, we also have a real villain in our hands…. And it’s a person won’t be easy to handle. It will probably bring out some really good angst unless it they decide to make it really cheesy. The weakest point of the episode is the character development. I think the changes were too sudden. I’m a bit bothered at how Chieri can speak her heart and that the Nagisa is becoming more self-righteous. Well to make up for this, it’s obvious who the main characters are this time around.  The core of this show is the growth and issues that we need to overcome. Hopefully those of Chieri, Nagisa and Yuuko really get fleshed out. Overall, the pilot episode has improved what has been established in the previous season. I hoping it runs for two cours. I don’t think one cour is enough to compress the vastness of the story.

Initial Rating: 8.5/10

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