“Acchan was my inspiration. My dream of becoming center and surpassing her is what has kept me going!” 



Tsubasa tells everyone that all the idols have a day off today, and the kenkyuusei go off to do various things and meet different AKB members. Suzuko and Sonata try to investigate the mysterious Sensei-sensei, while Nagisa and Chieri go out to town and meet Yuko. Makoto, Kanata and Mimori do some training to try and change their personalities, and Yuuka and Orine meet Tomochin, who brings them back to her house. All the members talk to the kenkyuusei about what it takes to become someone else, and what keeps them going.

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It’s a day off! We really got insight to everyone’s personalities, from Mayuyu’s tendency to eat a lot or Kanata and Makoto’s lack of err…pheromones. Underneath all the comic relief though, there were quite a few hidden revelations and lots to speculate about, including some possible Nagisa x Chieri. Flag raised!

Before I forget, I should jump straight to the elephant in the room – the AKB0048 benefactor “Sensei-sensei”, or S-Quadruple. I’m going to assume that they’re referring to the mysterious entity that Tsubasa sometimes prays to, who issues random prophecies from time to time. It seems the current members are aware of Sensei-sensei’s presence, but either aren’t willing to talk about him (it?) or don’t know much as well. The fact that it’s taboo is hanging there as well, and is something definitely more to do with a dark side of AKB that not everyone knows about. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Sensei-sensei is the anime representation of the real-life AKB48 producer Yasushi Akimoto either.

It’s been mentioned and hinted at in the past, but it looks like with this, we’re coming out into the open with the fact that the kenkyuusei eventually become a member literally – and throw away their old name and turn into one of the current members. The whole family of Tomochin’s that are brought up to become Tomochin on purpose seem to be a way to ease that process (though marrying men that look like Itano Tomomi might be too much) because casting aside one’s personality and becoming someone else might be a point of trauma that’s used later on. Also, Tranny-sensei calling Tsubasa “Mariko-sama” does hint that Tsubasa used to be Shinoda Mariko before graduating – and remained with AKB as their manager, using her real name. She does kinda look like Mariko after all.

Since the whole transformation thing has been proven, I can see Nagisa becoming Acchan the 14th, maybe not quite yet in personality though the looks are definitely there. The current Yuko wants to be Acchan as well, which raises the issue of whether the center position gets brought back. I can bet you that the weird disappearances of everyone that’s been the center is almost guaranteed to be related to Sensei-sensei, if not some higher force that’s coordinating AKB.

So it’s pretty much been character development this week, though it’s definitely not unwelcome. I don’t mind these lighter, more cheerful episodes, especially when it contrasts some of the angst like we had last week.