AKB0048 Next Stage Episode 6: Inheritor of the Name
“I’m also…I’m also going to shine!”
Rumours are abound over a possible new successor being chosen, with the Kirara of Succession forming an image of the original Acchan signalling the imminent appearance of Acchan the 14th. As Mimori comes down with a fever, Tsubasa quickly realises that the fever is heralding her succession. Nagisa, having finally decided she wants to aim for Center Nova too, takes down the Yuuko posters above her bed and proclaims her intentions at a Senbatsu concert while standing in for Mimori.
Succession – it’s something that’s always seemed a pretty distant goal for many of the kenkyuusei, but with recent events, its not surprising that a few select members are much closer to succession than they might think. In the public spotlight are the two kenkyuusei who have recently become Senbatsu members, Chieri and Mimori. Chieri’s overwhelming popularity has always resulted in her being very firmly under public scrutiny, but now people are openly speculating about how close she is to succession, and the possibility that she might end up succeeding Acchan. While Chieri is of the opinion that it’s an honour just to succeed a name in the first place, Yuuko’s clearly pointed out the significance of succeeding Acchan of all people – and I’m sure it’s something Cherry must have at least thought of given how ambitious she is. Now that the Kirara of Succession in that underground cave has shown up with the original Acchan’s face, it’s safe to say that we’re finally getting close to one of the biggest revelations this show will present us.
Before that though, we have the imminent succession of Mimori, whose fanbase seems to be growing each episode – and I admit, while I was pretty indifferent to her before, I’m starting to grow towards her just as I did with Makoto after the bungee jumping escapade last episode. However, I still strongly believe that Mimori’s succession and the speculation over Acchan the 14th are completely separate issues – everyone is hinting that she might be a contender for Acchan’s name, but that would be make the whole struggle experienced by Chieri and Nagisa pretty anti-climatic. Besides, the goals harboured by Mimori aren’t that of the Center Nova – she’s always come off as a hard working and devoted idol to me, but not one suited to stand behind the overwhelming radiance that is required of someone in the center position. Still, I’m very interested in knowing who she’ll succeed – and who knows? It might turn out to be a name we least expect.
That brings me to something Ushiyama told Nagisa – that miming someone else won’t lead to succession, and that apart from the essence of the idol’s soul, the goal they harbour is also a key cornerstone towards succession. And from what we’ve seen, that does make sense – Kanata is in line to succeed Takamina, and all along she’s displayed confident leadership qualities that match that of the current Takamina, as the de facto leader of AKB. Therefore it all depends on what Nagisa herself is aiming for – and perhaps it’s Nagisa’s indecisiveness over her own goal and what she thinks she’s capable of that’s stopping her from getting anywhere. Her outburst and desire to shine just as brightly as Yuuko and Chieri, as a competitor for the Center Nova position will bring her into the running for succession too, and hopefully as the 14th Acchan, who if I remember right wasn’t the most amazing singer, but had an amazing presence and radiance on stage.
We also saw a lot of Yuuko’s competitive drive today. She seems so determined to witness the radiance she saw from Chieri and Nagisa once more – where combined, their radiance is similar to the one given off by Acchan the 13th. She was also going around at the suggestion of the former Minegishi Minami the 5th, taking pictures of all the idols to try and catch them at their brightest, which didn’t seem to work too well. Apparently, it only works if Yuuko’s own self can resonate with the radiance that’s being emitted from a potential Center Nova – and of course, that position on stage isn’t one Yuuko’s ever stood on before.