AKB0048 Episode 12: Restrained Nagisa
“I’m sorry…it’s all my fault.”
Nagisa, Chieri and Orine escape the DES, and return to the wota, where Nagisa informs them that she wishes to rescue her father. The wota manage to smuggle them in, however Nagisa’s father is unwilling to go, and tells her to escape while she still can. Overcome with the trauma of seeing her father locked up and her mother in a bad emotional state, Nagisa loses her voice to the shock and is quickly replaced in Seaside Cherry by Chieri, who tells her not to quit AKB until she has lost to her. The concert starts with Oogoe Diamond, and Yuuka is torn away from Mamoru when told to retreat, only having realized each other’s love recently.
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Expanding on the backgrounds of characters we’ve yet to explore much about, we carry on with Yuuka and her relationship with Mamoru, who actually does love Yuuka in secret as well. It gave me feels (though the rest of the ep did too) when Mamoru’s picture of Suzuko was shown to actually have a Yuuka one hidden underneath, and it was emotional to see them reconcile and profess their love. Somehow I think Yuuka having to leave Mamoru in the end at Tsubasa’s request was a reference to AKB48’s rules against love, which has caused a few scandals in the past when they’ve been broken. Still, I do hope they have their happy end, especially now that the pairing has become canon.
Of course, the main focus of the episode was on Nagisa. It was absolutely heartbreaking when she lost her voice all of a sudden, and is now merely a backup dancer in the song she was going to sing solo – it’s as if she’s lost her voice within AKB, and that passion with it. Damn, I would have loved to see the Kirara surround her and making her shine blindingly brightly. Obviously she feels that she’s the one to blame for her father’s detainment and her mother’s depression (I think that’s what it is, anyway) but they are making sacrifices fully knowing that their daughter will be happy, which is what true parents will do. The father turned out to be a decent guy forsaking himself to keep Nagisa in AKB, though he didn’t show it to her directly.
It’s pretty fitting that Chieri was the under for Yuko back in that concert, since she’s displaying the idol passion that Yuko feels, immediately grabbing the chance to sing Seaside Cherry and confronting Nagisa directly. Though it’s quite harsh to Nagisa and her lost voice to tell her directly not to quit until she’s lost to her, it’s clear that Chieri is taking her dream quite seriously, and is willing to pursue it at any costs. I didn’t miss the glow of light when they were talking, which might hint that something involving them both will happen next episode. NagiChie still has a chance – it’ll end in a beautiful romance, I’m sure xD
Similarly to Chieri, Yuko is at odds with Dreams are Forever Reborn, and should be – with lyrics about passing on dreams to the next generation (which is what AKB0048 is all about) it defies her ideals of going to any length needed to achieve her dream. However, I’m glad it’s managed to give Takamina the conclusion she wanted, and though we probably won’t see Kanata lead AKB, I know she’ll be a great leader.
It all ends next week, and man, what a great run it’s been. I don’t think Nagisa’s just going to let everything end like that without taking a stand for the AKB she loves, though I do wonder how things will turn out with Tsubasa calling for an emergency retreat – it certainly looks like it’s happening, so perhaps a regrouping or new turn of events will appear. All in all, I’m fully expecting a dazzling ending that will shine brightly until the curtains close for the last time.
- It’s shaky for me to speculate on the new Kirara when there’s a lot it could represent, so I haven’t mentioned it.