AKB0048 Next Stage Episode 7: Mimori Revolution
“I shall take on a new name today. I’ll become the eighth to hold the name of…”
The kenkyuusei receive confirmation that Mimori is about to become a successor, and feel a bit apprehensive over what kind of person the new Mimori will be like. Meanwhile, Kanata’s disappointment over being left the only 75th generation kenkyuusei is met by Takamina, who hints that she herself might be an obstacle towards Kanata’s eventual succession. As the Mimori Revolution concert starts, Mimori greets everyone and announces her new identity as Shinoda Mariko the 8th, to the surprise and joy of all the fans and idols present.
“00 is a place where you work hard to become somebody else.”
Yosh! It’s a Mimori Revolution everyone – or should I call her Mariko-sama now? Much of this episode focused on Mimori’s successor debut rather than diverging to other issues the show has raised in past weeks (including the Center Nova competition and Acchan’s eventual successor) which I felt wasn’t a bad choice, with that debut sparking off a great many feels. The kenkyuusei did voice their troubles over what Mimori’s personality would be like now that she’s become a successor – Megumi telling them that when Youko became Miyazawa Sae, everything about her changed completely. I suppose that holds true for Mimori as well, throwing away her old name and embracing the soul of someone else, though I’d like to believe that she’s changed for the better – becoming a more confident and skilled idol and living her dream to its fullest. She does look more mature as Mariko now, and I do see her being very fit for the role, despite looking very different to Tsubasa when she took up the name – each generation brings something new to the stage after all. And as Nagisa said, the love she has for her fans and her fans’ love for her stays the same regardless of who she is, and if anything, the support of that crowd is clear proof of that.
“Would you be willing to drive me out to become a successor?”
With Kanata being the only one left of the “cursed” 75th generation, it’s understandable that she’s feeling pretty let down over all of this. To be honest, after the events of last season I’d kinda taken for granted that Kanata was pretty much set to succeed Takamina, with the only obstacle being that the 5th Takamina herself was still around. Kanata seems to be banking on the idea that she might succeed someone else though, even though her soul is practically qualified – she’s already gone through what sounds like a very similar fever of succession that Mimori went through, and even Takamina herself sees the original Takahashi Minami in Kanata. It’s that whole issue again of how far Kanata’s willing to put her own self-interests forward – it might be easy for someone in Mimori’s position to tell her to be a bit selfish, but it’s true that Kanata won’t get anywhere by holding herself back. It’s quite similar to the Center Nova competition between Yuuko, Chieri and Nagisa – while they’re friends, they’re also rivals and won’t stop at anything to achieve their goals.
I didn’t expect Mii-chan, the former Minegishi Minami to be allied with the Zodiac Corporation and Chieri’s father. She was always a bit…weird, but I’d thought of her as firmly on the side of the idols. Perhaps she’s only turning towards Chieri’s father for her own purposes though – if the Center Nova phenomenon is initiated properly, then by recreating that moment she may be able to get one step closer to finding out what happened to Acchan. It’s essentially what Tsubasa aims to achieve by bringing back the Center Nova position, but Mii-chan clearly thinks there’s something to gain from allying with Zodiac and their experiments on Kirara. It seems the phenomenon needs 3 components to occur – a concert involving combat, an atmospheric disturbance and high quality dualium crystals, which seem to be the same substance that resides in the giant underground Kirara cave. To recreate those conditions, it seems DES and Zodiac are going to go further than ever before – attacking Akibastar, AKB’s home planet with no entertainment ban on it whatsoever.