WHY? After much consideration (and wholly ignoring this stupid poll), I conclude that I am a fan of Kawamori Shoji. It doesn’t mean that I like anything he does by default – as even with Macross I have a deep-seated resentment for the shit he pulls. However, I do try to like the projects he involves himself with, and besides, I survived watching all of Idolm@ster (which sucked, no matter how hard I tried to like it). And so, I find myself watching the first episode of AKB0048.
For those who are unfamiliar with this blog, I do not review shows and this is post no exception. The service I attempt to render is entertainment, not taste manipulation. My posts are personal logs that I choose to make public. With these personal notes out of the way, let me get into this episode, which much to my surprise, I ended up liking by the end despite pretty much being filled with stuff I don’t really care for.
But yes, I did like the episode! By what miracle did this show catch my interest and hold my attention? I think more than anything it’s the sharper focus on three (four? WTF happened to Chieri? Will she meet Nagisa, Yuuka, and Orine in the auditions and have turned into this diva bitch? I HOPE SO) leads. At first I was apprehensive about a huge cast, but soon enough I realize that this was a Minmay-esque underdog rise-to-the-top kind of story – only that with real underdogs because the leads are pretty much w/o obvious talent (unlike Minmay, Ranka, Sheryl, etc.).
At the end of the episode, I had to eat up a whole lot of slick-looking fluff, but it wasn’t so bad due to the production values. But let’s consider one aspect of the setting:
Banning entertainment as a means to control a population is sure pretty out there (and by out there, I mean the ridiculous part of Kawamori’s imagination where Aquarion EVOL and the like come from). Entertainment is a great way to control a population, and such provided by the most asinine, inane, saccharine, popular (but not populist) song-and-dance offerings of idols is the least subversive thing a government should worry about.
But no, this is not 20th Century Boys. The political backdrop only really sets up a semi-involved family drama with Nagisa and his Bureau of Censors chief father. The mother supports her in undermining dad’s authority and gives her leave to run away and join the circus. See Yuuka, she’s not a coward. Nagisa grew in character within 20 minutes of storytelling /sarcasm.
Are the girls cute? They are, especially after they did a little growing up. I was afraid for a moment that this’ll be a show of grade-schoolers. Is the music catchy? I didn’t get caught, but if I survived Idolm@ster’s crap I think I’ll be okay. The question I ask myself as I resolve to continue watching this show is whether the charms of the cast (and hopefully the music) would grab hold of me like K-On!! and not piss me off like Idolm@ster. I’m not expecting a Ranka Lee level star especially since Kanno Yoko isn’t involved in this production, but it would be nice for some kind of approximation.
So this will be my personal storyline watching this show. CAN SOMEONE BE LIKE RANKA BY THE END OF IT ALL? C’mon I’m not asking for that much. It’s not like I’m asking for Mylene Jenius or anything.
As is my terrible habit, I will let guests show up and give their thoughts on things. But remember, this show and blog series is a Ranka Lee contest as far as We Remember Love is concerned. I’ll be inviting judges relevant to Ranka’s own rise to galactic stardom. But you never know who might show—
I don’t think you should be surprised.