Ok, this episode, this show is real dumb… but it’s the right kind of dumb. This episode was genuinely really fun for me. Yes, the girls are as dumb as they look. They actually believed 2 things:
- They would be put in a combat situation as child soldiers with the barest of combat training and no live-fire tactical exercises.
- They will be fighting combat mecha, as unsupported infantry only armed with AK-47s (0048s) assault rifles.
Seriously. But it should be clear by now, that this is something that any viewer of this show must get past. This is a show that is committed only to present a feel-good spectacle featuring the hopes and dreams of teenage girls. Everything else is just collateral that supports this. It cares little about logic, and even adherence to the tropes it appropriates from other genres or traditions (shounen/shoujo, mecha anime to name three).
Some of you may be like me who need spectacles to follow certain guidelines to remain interesting if not entertaining. Either relax this need now, or drop this show. It will only enrage you. I can get behind a faux sci-fi version of the “friends let’s accomplish our dreams together” story, but that’s me. With that out of the way, let’s talk about some things I personally found interesting.
Whiners unite. There were a group of girls who protested how they are being required to do combat training, and eventually fight in battles. They are stupid because they should have known that coming in, if they were truly fans of AKB0048. They should at least know that there are parts of the galaxy where the Entertainment Ban isn’t lifted yet and concerts can be raided, posing physical risks to both the band and the fans. They actually thought they could be successors without being able to do everything the current generation does?
Nagisa and co. (except Chieri) are also as ignorant, which is quite unforgivable given how they saw AKB0048 in combat twice. Of course, Nagisa was already shown to buck authority by running away from home and defying her father – she will only be shown to buck the authority in the wrong. She will obey anything the AKB0048 organization tells her at this point. All this ignorance will be forgiven after the live fire exercise wherein our protagonists will shine the most among their peers.
This means that the selection process is serious about making cuts. And if I understand correctly, this was the first, final, and only cut. The selection round is over, and these friends who met on the cruise ship (including Sonata who didn’t even pass the preliminary auditions) would now be official understudies.
This also means that the selection is more about friendship powers (or core team values LOL) than it is about talent: combat or performance arts. But like I said, I’m going to relax and not think about this much at all (which I can and did – almost to the ruination of my experience; I am a Human Resources professional after all where competency, talent, and performance evaluation are all part of my tools). These girls will be talented and competent enough after the training they do as understudies.
This training will probably involve a number of silly tasks that don’t seem to directly involve singing, dancing, and combat – as chop saki kung fu flicks (and The Karate Kid) showed us in the post-Bruce Lee era.
I’ll be watching.
Dumb Lacus too dumb to give a rating. No one is rising up to Ranka idol power-levels.