AKB0048 Next Stage Episode 9: Blue Betrayal
“Are you going to run away again?”
The Flying Get manage to escape from Akibastar, and the idols on board question Mii-chan about her motives and the fate of the Center Novae who are sucked beyond the gate into the “other world”. When DES manages to intercept their transmissions and attack them once more, Mii-chan decides to save the AKB she could never let go of, and fights them head on.
DES and Zodiac have really scored an overwhelming victory this time, managing to overtake Akibastar completely aside from Sensei-sensei’s underground temple, which is being protected by some sort of barrier. But everything else on Akibastar is ruined – it’s gone from being a lively futuristic city to a complete wasteland, and in a way, it symbolizes the significant defeat that AKB0048 and the entertainment world in general have had to suffer. DES have even taken down everything related to the idols on the internet, and with the Flying Get itself in an unknown location it’s almost as if AKB hadn’t existed at all. While Tomochin, Kojiharu, and Akibastar’s population should be safe underground, how long will they be able to stay like that Rubbing everything in nicely is Chieri’s father, who has decided to directly transfer Nagisa’s father over to Zodiac’s Dualium excavation project, being the oh-so humorous and likeable man he is. Ugh.
“I’ll become Center Nova, open the door to the other world…and save Yuuko-san no matter what.”
On board the Flying Get, things aren’t looking great either, with the Kirara Drive and engines damaged after DES mounted an attack right before they managed to warp away. Much of the episode focused on Mii-chan, who was the one responsible for assisting Zodiac and is therefore the one who is undeniably in the wrong here, despite how noble her intentions might have been. To save the Center Novae is all very well and good, but crossing over to Zodiac’s side to fulfill those conditions was a pretty desperate act to do – not to mention that Mii-chan clearly didn’t have a plan once the gate was opened, and definitely wasn’t counting on Yuuko to be immediately sucked in to the other world without any control over what she was doing.
Anyway, Mii-chan’s first-hand experience as a Center Nova opens up more questions rather than giving us answers – it seems like the Kirara are attracted to a certain type of soul – the passion of an idol – and power themselves up for them, to the point of revering those with ultimate radiance: the Center Novae. Mii-chan’s vision of these…otherworldly beings within the Kirara stretching their arms out to her really drove home how little we know about the Kirara – their desperate grabbing at Mii-chan was chilling to say the least. She also mentioned that disappearance revolved around a constant aspiration for the ultimate radiance – and if this falters for even a minute, you lose whatever radiance you have. That almost makes it sound like only the very best are allowed to go to the other world – but then is this supposed to be a reward? Is leaving AKB involuntarily supposed to be a good thing? The Kirara are attracted to those who shine, while those who shine the brightest are taken away by the Kirara – for what purpose? And as Ushiyama said, do the Center Novae even want to be saved in the first place? It’s unlikely any of these questions are going to be answered until the next Center Nova appears – with Nagisa more determined than ever to rise to the challenge.
Yet another DES attack occurred this episode, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was orchestrated by Chieri’s father, who continues to be an insufferable git. The stakes were higher this time too – it’s not so great if you end up having to eject your pod while in space, yet not fighting at all would result in damage to the Flying Get and the risk of the entire ship getting captured by DES. It looks like Mii-chan’s days as an idol aren’t quite over yet – as Tsubasa said, it’s not that easy to forget the purpose you once lived for from inheriting a name, and she proved her desire to protect AKB by going all-out against DES despite the disadvantages she was faced with. Also, she’s starting again as a kenkyuusei? I see what you did there, Kawamori…clever stuff. Anyway, they seem to have ended up in a weird, leafy planet full of greenery, which is admittedly a first in for this series usually full of technology. No prizes for guessing that this planet probably holds some important secrets.