AKB0048 Episode 4: Frustrations

“What’s the big deal? The singing and dancing…all I care about is avenging my father.”

Summary

The understudies watch a live concert by AKB0048, and go backstage afterwards to meet the opening act – the 75th generation understudies, known as the “Cursed Generation”. One of the members, Kanata, turns out to be Sonata’s onee-chan, and disapproves of her joining 0048 due to the harsh life that sometimes doesn’t always pay off. This is quickly proven during their first practice the next day, where some harsh words from Chieri causes Kanata to run off, crying.

Impression

It’s interesting that the last two people joining the understudy “group” were actually already understudies from a past generation – the Cursed 75th Generation, named for its high rate of either failure or dropping out. What surprised me was that even after 2 years, they’re still there as trainees, with no mention of getting promoted to be a successor. And Nagisa & Co are the 77th generation…so what happened to the 76th?

It’s not that they aren’t good, (because as Chieri said, their level is around that of the proper members) but more a problem to do with the whole ability to shine like an idol should, similar to that time when the Kirara shone for Nagisa. Maybe the manager thinks that Kanata and Mimori don’t have that radiance, and it was bluntly put when the crowd at the concert never got excited at all until the real AKB0048 members turned up.

Perhaps the lack of being a true idol, in Kanata’s case, comes from the fact that all she wants is revenge against DES, and never joined 0048 because she loved to sing. Secretly though, I’m sure she doesn’t hate singing, and just has to let herself accept the situation and slowly grow to love what she does. Her motive behind not allowing Sonata to continue was huge foreshadowing – I think there’s something more than just the tired dance workouts and routines. What was especially chilling was the need to have the “soul of an idol”, which may or may not be a literal thing.

The little bit over the “center” of the group was interesting as well. From what I gathered, the center is the person that leads the group and coordinates everything, something like a de facto leader of sorts. I’m guessing that would be someone like Takamina, Yuko or Acchan (though she’s leaving, both in the anime and IRL) but in terms of the 77th gen, Nagisa or Chieri seems to be fit for the job. They’re pretty much main characters anyway.

It was quite an uneventful episode overall, but that’s to be expected given how much action and tension we’ve been subjected to over the past few weeks. Onwards with the training arc!

“I’m counting on the more experienced members to set a good example”.

  • Chieri…why you so cold~ And after not being a morning person as well.

Vantage

I love cute things.

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9 Responses

  1. TimesTicking says:

    I finally got to see an episode without mecha XD
    Since 75th Generation is the cursed one then I’m guessing the 76th Generation was the failures.
    Didn’t know Acchan was leaving AKB48 O.o
    I wonder what would happened to the manga AKB49 O.o

    • Vantage says:

      I wonder why there are so many generations yet not too many numbers behind the member’s names – you’d think they’d go through more than 9 Yuko’s after 77 generations, given how often people graduate from the group.

      And yeah, Acchan’s leaving sometime this year apparently. I don’t read the manga, but it doesn’t sound too bad from the synopsis xD

  2. Eva says:

    I’m guessing the 76th all died. LOL. XDDD
    What? Either that or they mysteriously vanished or were captured.

    • Vantage says:

      …And are now being tortured in some dark dungeon by the totalitarian govt? xD If anything, that dodgy shrine thing probably has something to do with it.

  3. Spoon says:

    “The little bit over the “center” of the group was interesting as well. From what I gathered, the center is the person that leads the group and coordinates everything, something like a de facto leader of sorts.”

    I don’t know how it works in the series, but in real life the Center is the girl who wins first place in the Senbatsu election (it’s a popularity contest). The winner was Yuko on 2010, and Acchan on 2011. This girl takes the central position of the dance formation on stage.

    But the Center is not the leader. At least not in the real AKB. The leader of AKB is Takamina, as shown in the 2011 documentary. She has been given this role due to her qualities as a leader, not as an idol. In fact, she ranked 7 in the last election, not even close to be one the of the most popular members lol. But she’s the group maintainer, what makes AKB works as a team.

    • Vantage says:

      Oh so that’s what they get for winning the Senbatsu election. I’ve been wondering what that was all about lol, it featured in the AKB documentary.

      Aren’t the results of the next one being announced in two weeks or something? I hear Mayuyu’s been pushed up a couple of ranks from her 5th last time from the initial counting yesterday, and Yuko’s got a lead so far due to Acchan not participating.

      • Spoon says:

        Yeah, I heard Takamina is 5th right now, so I hope she will do better this time than last year.

        Anyway, as you see, the center position is totally unrelated to the role of leader. And if you watched the documentary then you know what makes Takamina such a great leader, and it’s not something a popularity contest can give you.

        Still, I wonder if they anime is trying to introduce a “center = leader” concept to the table. I hope not, since it doesn’t make sense in the first place. Besides, too much focus on one person can’t be good for the team dynamic IMO.

        • Vantage says:

          Hopefully she’ll maintain 5th at least then xD I want Mayuyu to overtake Yukirin for 2nd somehow, though it’s unlikely. And yeah, I see what you mean xD

          The end of the ED hints at Nagisa being the center, which would be okay, since Nagisa’s not really leader material even though she’s the main character. Someone like Kanata would do a better job.

          • Spoon says:

            The end of the ED does have Nagisa in the center position, but the end of the OP shows a double-center formation with both Nagisa and Chieri in that position. I gotta admit I think that’s a bit more interesting than going the obvious route of having only the main character as center. We’ll see what happens.

            As for leader… there’s only one team of actual members, so the captain should be the leader, but it seems the anime doesn’t even have the captain position lol. Again, we’ll have to wait and see what they do.

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