Errr… Oh dear. AKB0048 Next Stage is starting to worry me a bit with how things are going. There are too many unanswered questions (and more keep on popping up!) and right now, we need answers ASAP.
Regardless of the fact this episode did give us quite a bit of information, I honestly don’t know how they are going to tie up the loose ends, and there hasn’t been definitely any signs- heck, not even a hint of who or what was responsible to killing Chieri’s father (yes Tsubasa did suggest that the D.G.T.O could be behind it, but will likely never come to light, but that isn’t the point). So with the current situation, I think we might be in for a third season- but it ultimately all comes down to how they plan to tie everything up in the finale next week.
This world where all the Center Novas are in a place called AKB48 Theater, that existed long before Earth laid to waste in the city of Akihabara, Japan where AKB48 was born. However the place Nagisa and Chieri along with the other sucessful Center Novas are in is not the actual physical location on Earth, but more of a place created by powerful emotions.
One of the interesting things we were able to see this episode is how the girls of ASKB0048 were all on the same train, except for Nagisa and Chieri. They dreamed of their precious home Akibastar. Only that glimmer of hope and happiness was short-lived as when they did return to reclaim their home, because instead of a warm welcome, they were rejected, despised and chased out by the people of Akibastar. That scene was heartbreaking and incredibly unfortunate, but it was bound to happen as DES has been doing their job of diminishing all hope and chose a psychologically oppressive, rusty color sky. But Nagisa refuses to give up, regardless how grim the current situation is. I am almost expecting both Nagisa and Chieri to have this Sheryl Nome (Macross Frontier – anyone who watched that it probably knows which particular scene I am referring to) moment of calming the crowd by purifying their hatred towards their group and reestablishing hope with a song from their hearts. Yeah it sounds cliche, but that’s the direction I feel they will be taking and I don’t particular mind about that as long as the song and the performance pulls my heartstrings.
Anyways it is pretty darn clear that Nagisa will be the trigger with Chieri included of course since when you put the two together they have the potential to reach the Center Nova’s radiance level.
But lets talk about Nagisa. She is the one who I have been paying very close attention to throughout the entire season. She hasn’t been promoted, and she is pretty subtle and to be frank, has been lingering in the shadows. Yes she did have her big moment such as standing in for Mimori and boldly announced that she is aiming to become Center Nova, but right after that- that was it. That was her big moment, and ever since I have been waiting for her next opportunity to show her true potiential since I feel that she is being underestimated for her quality and the amount of radiance she can bring out. Only a few, such as Yuuko herself acknowledged that Nagisa is a rival. On top of that, back in episode 1 (FIRST MINUTE), Nagisa had briefly seen this world before. She was in it, she was climbing those stairs as many, many others fell down to the pits of god knows where. And remember, this is what Acchan had told Nagisa, “Make your presence known.” <<< MAJOR. FORESHADOWING. MUCH? THIS IS YOUR CUE NAGISA. GO FOR IT.
Speaking of Yuuko. Oh my god, I feel horrible about her situation. The fact that she is trapped in that other world, unable to reach Acchan, I… I hope they are able to save her somehow. I would hate it if she were to be trapped there for all eternity. Yuuko doesn’t deserve that. To me the condition to disappear once having achieved the Center Nova radiance is absolute bullshit because that’s just not fair. It requires an extraordinary sense of unity that exceeds time and space. And the reason why Yuuko had failed to do so was because she needed to become one with everything, and instead (and we know so because Yuuko had said so herself) made a desperate attempt to protect Akibastar by embracing the price of being isolated.
But lets not forget the one who TOLD HER THAT was Mikako. So fuck you! Maybe it wouldn’t have had happened that way if you did not put that idea in her head in the first place!!!!! BECAUSE REALLY. BEING ALONE AND BEING UNITED AS WHOLE WITH EXISTENCE ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS.
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I think (repeat “THINK”) that Miichan told Yuuko that stuff about needing to be alone because she wanted Yuuko to trigger the initial transformation into a Center Nova and open the gate, but not disappear herself. With what we’ve learned, I think she may actually have been trying to protect Yuuko from fully disappearing. I think.
But it looks like what happened is that Yuuko channeled so much energy that she was thrown out of the normal world anyway, and here we find her in a horrible situation. Her soul wasn’t in the right condition to reach where she needed to go, and so she’s trapped on the shattered staircase of the idols’ dreams, stuck between worlds. She can’t climb any higher to join the rest of the center novae, and she can’t go back down to rejoin the others in the real world. Seeing her there with tears in her eyes is almsot more than I can stand.
Chieri, Nagisa, you have to save her. Now more than ever. You are the only ones who have been to that place: you are likely the only ones whose souls are truly suited to travel there, otherwise others would have stayed on the train with you. Open the gate and bring her back. Please.
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