I hate it when people write reviews for shows before a series ends as much as anyone (especially ones that dub a show godly after one episode), but the rating of this show in comparison to the ass-load of complete garbage airing right now (whose names I won't mention), combined with the average user's apparent misconceptions about it (comparing it to Symphogear? lolno), combined with its low popularity, made me decide that I have to say SOMETHING.
In short: I don't get it. I don't get why this is so lowly rated when, even after just the first episode, it's proven to be superior to
the vast majority of the other shows airing this season. Maybe it's the idol/music genre? Maybe it's the atrocious CGI rendering of the idols during concert sequences? Maybe it's the character designs—with HEART outlines in the girls' eyes and, sometimes, hair?
Those are the only problems I can really think of.
I'll admit, none of those things thrilled me at first. But when you think about it, none of these complaints really hold water. First of all, the show may be centered around idols, but the show has SUBSTANCE to go with it (I'll talk more about this in a bit). Second, yeah, the CGI for the girls during concerts is bad, but you shouldn't let a simple fluke with visuals detract your experience of the rest of the show. And thirdly, I lol'd at the hearts at first, but then I used my brain, and considered the contrast between the characters and their surroundings.
It's obvious that the girls offer a massive contrast with the world around them: their bright, shiny, hopeful colors compared to the dull, dreary, depressing ones of the planets and interiors of ships. When you think about it, it's simple but brilliant: the hopes and dreams of naive, innocent girls thrown against the rocks of a cold, unforgiving universe where entertainment is banned on many planets.
The animation used to portray these differences is quite spectacular (sans the CGI idols, of course). There is a great level of detail in landscapes that creates a perfect atmosphere for the premise of the show to play on. This includes the bright and colorful cityscapes. Character motions are fluid, with a good number of frames. Facial expressions are done really well, too.
Characterization is surprisingly good—even in the first episode alone. Nagisa is, quite frankly, a great character: she has a level head on her shoulders; she isn't too idealistic, but not too down-to-earth either; she has spirit, but isn't too eager; she is hopeful, but not overly confident in her abilities. The dynamic between her and her father, who is an Entertainment Administration official on a planet where the entertainment ban is still in effect, paints the perfect picture of just how much the situation affects the lives of citizens. Conversely, her relationship with her mother shows how she still loves and cares for her parents, even though her desire to be in AKB0048 pits her against their authority from the get-go.
The show made me get all misty-eyed in the FIRST EPISODE—and the two following it. Do you know what's required for that to happen? A vested interest in the characters and their plights. If I don't care about the characters at all, I don't care period. I'm looking forward to seeing what becomes of Nagisa in future episodes.
Currently, the other girls mostly show their characterization in their actions, making it easy to figure out their basic personality traits. Some are getting developed and having back stories revealed bit by bit, with more undoubtedly on the way. It's cool easy to see how they're reacting to their situation in a variety of ways—having second thoughts, remaining hopeful, complaining, being afraid, showing resolve, etc. It's also interesting to see some varying reasons for wanting to take this path in the first place.
In the end, the great music is just icing, really.
This show is NOT Symphogear. (It also is NOT Macross Frontier, though it is more similar to AKB0048 than Symphogear is.) In this show, music is just music: something people listen to to help them get through life, to be entertained by, to be moved by. (That's what the premise of the show operates on.) It is NOT a plot device. It is not some super-mystical force that gives you superpowers or stops murderous aliens. There *is* fanservice, unfortunately, but it is mild; not to the degree of Symphogear—no stupid, revealing outfits; no watermelon-sized tits, tasteless cleavage, or shameful pantsu shoved in your face. Nothing is contrived. And the characters are actually good.
After the superb first three episodes, I became kind of scared that the quality might change in the future; and though that fear turned out to be correct, the "worst" episode this show has aired so far is still better than the majority of other crap episodes flooding this season that you could have wasted 24 minutes of your life on.
Many will look at my score and ask "You praise it so much, yet you only give it a 7?" Well, look at my mean score. 7 is great coming from me (especially so early on). I hope that it continues to deserve it; maybe it'll even get promoted in the future. Who can say? Let's watch and find out.
In short: Look past your trivial gripes and see that AKB0048 has heart (no pun intended), and it has *substance*—a crucial thing the current cesspool of shallow, soulless anime lacks.
With the large amount of questionable things AKB0048 attempted, this show was inevitably doomed to fail. The large casts of characters, the doubtable synopsis and its variety of genres clustered together just to name a few. Most ridiculous of all, the director expected AKB48 singers, a real-life, popular idol group, to successfully convert into voice actresses. Furthermore, most soundtracks in the actual anime will be inserted directly from AKB48's popular debuts, and this all just seemed too convenient to work out. Thus, I walked into AKB0048 expecting some terribly scripted dialogues, incorrect utilization of AKB48 soundtracks, and tons more to name. But here I am,
telling you that AKB0048 can actually be safely described as multitudes of great things, one of them being a successful collaboration of impinging, tricky anime genres.
However, ignoring AKB0048’s flaws would be too generous. The plot of this Series was just too chaotic in the beginning, and awkward even to the extent of a laughable synopsis. Its attempt at mixing interplanetary mecha themes with the assemblage of idols, who are all such independent loli's, just seemed too silly to fit together. At first, I continuously questioned the silly premise of the story, but later I just decided to go along with it just due to the fact that I don’t have a time machine.
=Now the Actual Review Begins=
Even with all its flaws, AKB0048 proved to me that any future is possible.
Behind all this seemingly plugged up garbage plot, I found a pearl in the sea of sewage. Before watching this series, I constituted all my opinions about idols in a Western sense. Long story short, I live in a very industrialized environment where idols are all seemingly just good-looking people with no talent whatsoever. In other words, certain despicable individuals over the past years have influenced me to completely lose respects for others with similar occupations (even in anime). Ironically, AKB0048, a crew consisting of cute girls, has elaborated enough on idols’ daily lives that I’m actually reconsidering my view point on this world’s entertainment industry. How it has done so with the slice of life, comedy, & science fiction genres fascinates me even up to today.
As a male, I never understood why a vast amount of the female population have always wanted to become an idol (not a sexist statement, it’s a fact that most idol groups include females). But, that is not to say they all have such ambitions for the same reason. With different feelings, intentions, and reasons for becoming an idol, most people who desire to rise to a position of fame come from places scattered all across the board. With that being said, most successful idols do share one thing in common; the way AKB0048 depict these idols, they all seem like a determined bunch, despite their inabilities, adversities, or any obstacles in their way. Now the supernatural situation within ABK0048 doesn't seem as irrelevant, does it? This constitutional restriction on entertainment, although clumsily scripted, immediately creates a universe where young females are disallowed their dreams of perhaps rising to become an idol. Too bad even in a universe where interplanetary wars are supposedly happening, teenagers still don’t think when they act.
As the story starts developing, three young girls who want to become the 77th Generation of AKB0048 idols consistently meet more and more obstacles as the story progresses. The first few episodes explore some character’s family issues, backgrounds, personalities, and give a vivid detail of where the series is heading, while the whole entertainment ban theme over-arches all these episodes. Things get tougher the more you get into it. Haters, dealing with failures, and stressing over little details of your actions will all lead to shed tears. But in the end, you’re never the only one going through it. There are always people going through the same pain as you, as they walk the same path as an idol. This relationship then establishes friendships between the idols depicted in this series, and it is a very interesting concept of friendship that it illustrates, by simply dealing with every day issues. As the Series progresses, the intensity builds up as well. At first the plot was driven simply by a few science fiction references, but by the end supernatural and mecha themes are thoroughly explored. Though, don't get confused because although the plot is very detailed in its description; the overall mood of AKB0048 still remains to mostly be drama/slice of life. Even though the execution of mecha scenes in AKB0048 seemed needless and unnecessary, the appearance of mecha did contribute to illustrating (symbolic) difficulties that even idols have to overcome. But to an extent, this theme was probably exaggerated on too much, while lacking the correct coherence most mecha/shounen shows actually have.
Besides these heavily emphasized themes, AKB0048 also frequently (meaning, A LOT) transitions into comedy moments. These scenes often follow serious, dramatic moments, but rarely feels barged in through the whole development. In fact, the serious moments themselves appear to be melodramatic sometimes too. But, those are just the result of the conflicted traits within some characters, which essentially arouses a feeling of drama without the actual atmosphere being so just by itself. This makes even further sense because most of the characters are professional drama queens, which, as I mentioned before, makes up these lighthearted comedy moments within this anime. Just the over dramatic atmosphere itself being consistently interfered by clumsy, klutz moments are hilarious by themselves, but the show sometimes even makes fun of itself. I won't go into details, but let's just say perversely suggestive jokes occur frequently. Even in the one beach episode (ep10) and other possible candidates where fan-service was visible, the story still progressed and was always accompanied by those suggestive jokes mentioned above. In other words, fan service done correctly without being too distracting. Personally, this consistent aspect of the show made it a more enjoyable watch.
The developments of characters were incredibly smooth as the series played out. That is, to say, if you didn't get annoyed by them from episode 1. Some characters are very irksome when they are first introduced. Unlike most anime though, these annoying characters all change in some ways in AKB0048. It's not just subtle or slight adjustments either, it's life changing choices these characters decide on which makes the viewer so attached to them. These character developments don't just occur to a few selected people either. While there are obvious main characters with bigger roles, most other (side) characters actually get their own arcs, and have a re-occurring role(s) throughout this whole series. Please note that though the cast of character is about 2 dozen idols, AKB0048 was able to handle all those characters while getting the plot to flow well, and making sure nobody gets overshadowed for the most part either. Now, that's just a bit impressive.
For an anime almost made to commercialize AKB48's songs, I'd have to say it did a great job. Any fans of the real life AKB48 idol group should check out this anime (and vice versa), think of this show almost like a behind-the-stage TV series. The music was top notched in terms of the J-pop genre, but I feared for terrible synchronization with the animation, and luckily it didn't turn out bad at all. There were also notable background music playing and it's remarkable how just a lighthearted themed soundtrack can help scenes transition from one to another (especially from those dramatic to comedy scenes). Also, due to the lack of experiences it probably took a while for those AKB48 member to suddenly become voice actors. But by the end not only was the voice acting minimal quality, they all seemed to fit the character very well, so well that It should be considerably outstanding for those undergraduates.
Animation was good, and there were obvious efforts put into the character designs. Those efforts are exemplified by the motif of carving cute (loli-like; moe) things such as hearts with a very shallow curve into characters' hairs. Not only the characters, but it's choreography within those dancing scenes also seemed fairly unique. The animation even switches into a 3-D dancing crew during actual performances of dances, and my eyeballs were just overfilled with soothing joy. For someone who's impatient to the point that even waiting 10 minutes for a movie to start becomes a problem, I'd have to say it did a fine job entertaining me with those mesmerizing dancing performances.
All in all, with a few due casualties, I think AKB0048 deserves a better rating than what most viewers are giving it. While exploring the daily lives of idols, AKB0048 accurately depicts symbolic obstacles faced by those working in the entertainment industry. Although this anime is layered over by exaggerated, heavy mecha/supernatural themes, AKB0048 still manages to blend it in somewhat nicely into the rest of its plot, and ended up with a just right amount of varieties of genres. There's never any overly done action scenes, and the serious parts/arcs of this drama have nicely attached meaning behind them all. Though, do look out for comedy scenes caused by melodramatic moments, inelegant characters, and some referenced jokes which barely cut for PG13-audiences. As for recommendations, this series is a tricky one due to its vast amount of genres; however, I would recommend AKB0048 especially to slice of life fans out there, who won't mind a few awkwardly fastened mecha plot points here and there.
Thinking back on AKB0048 now, there may be hope for the entertainment industry after all. With such a surprising treat from the first season, I can safely say second season may be just as exciting. Now if people would just listen...
Well now, here's something that I was expecting to be a giant pile of horse crap. I mean, come ON, a show about AKB48 saving the world through song? That's so freaking dumb. And then I remembered Macross already did that... Wait... Kawamori Shouji is directing it? THE HELL? The director of Macross Zero, Aquarion, and Macross Frontier (among others) is directing a AKB48 anime? Color me intrigued. Series is composed by Okada Mari, who has some very good titles under her belt (Hanasaku Iroha, Gosick, Wondering Son). All in all, the production team seems solid.
So yeah, that's how I started watching this show, in
spite of all the ridicule I got from my friends. Am I sorry I watched it? Hell no, it turned out to be one of my favorites this past season. Please keep in mind that this review will contain spoilers.
In hindsight, there have been far worse plots then "let's save the world through song". I'm looking at you, Queen's Blade. But, seems that the story is not exactly that. In the future space travel is possible. But in a strange twist, entertainment is banned on many planets. While they do not go in depth into what "entertainment" means in this world, from what I can tell, singing, dancing and concerts are against the law. I haven't been able to find out too much about this, but apparently, in 1948, Japan passed the Entertainment Business Control Law which was similar, but much less intrusive, then what is presented in this show. All in all, it's not completely implausible. We've already seen shows where books are banned. At first we aren't given a reason as to why this is happening, but we'll get into that later. AKB0048 is a rogue idol group that sweeps in and hold illegal concerts on planets where entertainment is banned, while fighting off the DES (anti-entertainment army). DES actually uses live ammo, so the idols could very well get killed. Still, they fight back with non-lethal weapons. During one such concert of Lancaastar, four young girls, Nagisa, Yuuka, Chieri and Orine, watch the concert and decide to join the group when they are older. And so begins their adventures from passing the audition, to actually getting there, to becoming part of their beloved idol group.
The plot moves fairly fast. It takes two episodes for the girls to actually reach AKB0048 and another three for them to get to their first event. During that time, they train in both entertaining and fighting. Kawamori "The Troll" Shouji gives us an episode 3 right out of Macross, to the point where I was wondering if I downloaded the wrong show. Needless to say, all's well that ends well, after some high speed battles, songs and angst. Yup, that's our Kawamori. Also, there's a fan service episode at the beach... with plot in it. Don't see many of those.
Here's where it gets interesting. The characters are a joy to watch. Nagisa is determined, but detests conflict. Yuuka is outgoing, and enjoys being in the center of attention. Orine is shy and very soft-spoken. Chieri is cold, distant and extremely competent. Of course, she gets much more mellow once we learn her reason for being so cold. She also tends to be painfully blunt when trying to help, which makes her seem mean and only out for herself. On the way to AKB0048, they meet three more girls: Sonata, Suzuko and Makoto. Sonata is the youngest of the group, full of energy and well... adorable. Suzuko is quiet and very knowledgeable Makoto is shy, loud, and has low self-esteem. Not sure how she got there... to be honest. Once on Akihabastar (yes, horrible pun, I know) we meet the final two understudies: Kanata and Mimori. Kanata is Sonata's big sister and Mimori is Kanata's best friend. These two have been understudies for two years. That's a LOT. Of these characters, most get some decent development, while some are neglected for now. They act surprisingly realistic for this type of show, and the dynamics between them are quite good. They are, in a way, paired up to each other (Nagisa & Chieri, Yuuka & Orine, Suzuko & Sonata & Makoto, Kanata & Mimori). Still, some of the best character development comes from the current successors of Takamina and Yuuko, part of the first to learn the selection process. They will probably develop the characters even more in the second season, coming 2013.
The art is hit and miss. No, not hit OR miss. The normal art for the characters, the backgrounds and the rest is fine. I am very fond of the character designs. But, during the concerts, the switch to CG for some of the dance. It looks jarring, and really, I don't know why they keep doing this. Still, it's not unwatchable, even though the CG in the first couple of episodes is pretty bad. The action scenes are great. Well, he directed Macross, for Pete’s sake, they'd better be.
OK, this one's special. The main character are voiced by actual members of AKB48. Now, the girls of AKB48 are not voice actors, and that's painfully obvious in the first episodes. I got used to their voices fairly quick though, and they do a good job of making you feel the right emotions. The current successors are voiced by very experienced staff and do a great job. Not much to say about this, really.
AKB48 songs, what did you expect? Still, they are very good, and the singing battles are fantastic. I especially loved Beginner and Ooge Diamond. The emotions transmitted during those songs were absolutely fantastic (despair and team work, love and hope). There are a ton of songs, and they are all quite decent, but those two are fantastic. Oh, and the OP/ED are featured in the last episode, with the ED actually being a plot point.
This was entertaining as all hell. I couldn't wait till the next episode, and now I'm going to have to wait till 2013 for more. This show got a lot of hate, much of it before it even aired, just for being about AKB48. Many still bash it, even though they most likely haven't seen it. If you enjoyed Macross Frontier, you will enjoy this. Just watch it, and make a decision for yourself. I hope this review got you at least a little bit interested.
So, AKB was a series that not many people seemed to like, so with this review I’ll try my hardest to explain why it managed to win me over. And let me get one thing straight: it’s not like I’m some sort of idol fanboy. In fact, I hate the idol business. I really dislike J-Pop as a music genre. And I’m really not a fan of abusing moe and cute girls to pander to an audience. So yes: how on earth did this show manage to win me over?
For the people who aren’t familiar at all with AKB0048: AKB48 is an idol group, consisting
out of a huge amount of teenaged girls who sing songs and do other cute things. This series is meant to promote them: the main characters are all played by various members, most of whom have no voice acting experience, and the plot is about a world in which music has been outlawed and the girls run around and perform guerilla concerts as a sort of resistance. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Yeah, but here is the thing: the two main creators, the chief director and the main writer, are two of the biggest trolls around in the anime business: Shoji Kawamori and Mari Okada. And they were given a lot of freedom. I still don’t know who found that a good idea, but bless this person.
Now, to fully appreciate this series, you’re going to have to need to read inbetween the lines a bit. It’s indeed true that we have a bunch of idols who sing and fight evil enemy soldiers at the same time. But at the same time this series does some really surprising things as a show that’s meant to be a promotion of an idol group. I mean, usually these things are incredibly cheap and superfluous: cartoonified members of the group go on random adventures and try to be as cute or cool as possible. AKB0048 however, completely throws these conventions out of the window and starts to focus on the uglier sides of being an idol; how unfair the business can be sometimes, how hard it forces teenaged girls to work and how it forces some dangerous mindsets on them. This series, on one half is indeed cute girls doing cute things, but that other half is really dark to balance all of that out, with some really cynical messages at times.
Beyond that, this show also is just very well executed. The thing with this show is that nearly all voice actresses are completely new, so they don’t have a stereotype that they all try to fit in like what you’d have if people like Kugimiya Rie were cast and all. There are a lot of characters in this show, but none are unlikable or try to force their cuteness down the viewer’s throats. They’re all well-developed and all have engaging issues that actually differ quite a bit. Beyond that there is excellent animation and musical numbers: the performances in this series really work and its use of music is really excellent.
Having said all that though, the overall storyline of this show IS completely silly. The people who outlawed entertainment are nothing more than shallow villains, and somehow they keep getting beaten by a bunch of little girls despite being in armored tanks and mechas. For as much attention this series gives to entertainment and idols, so little it spends on the actual bad guys of this series. That really is the biggest weakness of this series: at times it will be really, really hard to maintain your suspense of disbelief. The sign whether you’ll like this show or not is probably at episode number two: if at that point the characters don’t interest you, then you’ll have a very hard time with this. That episode however does have the power to really capture its audience though, so if you’re interested in this series, do give it a chance and don’t be put off by the whole premise… too much.
I watched this simply because I'm an AKB48 fan..but I had my reservation about this anime. The design wasn't my style, I prefer less loli looking art. The storyline was just ridiculous with their premise of "moe space musical terrorists." However I decided to not judge the book by it's cover and watch this show, mostly because Shouji Kawamori of Macross and Mari Okada, who wrote Ano Hana, Toradora, Lupin the 3rd, all animes I enjoyed. There's also the amazing voice actresses cast that pulled me in.
Edited after more episodes.
At first I was expecting some kind of K-on/Idolmaster typical stuffs with the extra
mecha actions throw in for fun but Mari Okada managed to bring out the drama between the AKB0048 girls and make it an interesting and exciting. It's very storyline focus with very few "fanservice" moments compared to other animes. The background arts are beautiful as well, as expected from Satelight who are known for making very good background art.
There's many small references, to big plot story pulled out of AKB48's own history in this show. Okada, who's an AKB48 fan, herself included many references in the storyline but it doesn't make it hard to enjoy if you don't even know anything about AKB48.
Since it's hard to flesh out such a huge cast, the main focuses were placed on the leader, and the 2 potential aces of the trainee generation. However, there are changes in the other characters' personalities as the story progressed and you can feel they maturing as they struggle through their journey. Instead of focusing on the main senior members, the focus is on the journey of the trainees rather than the senior members who already made the team. The struggle between the senior members who don't want to give up their seats and the younger members who want to rise to the top give it an interesting conflict, among the mystery of the missing Center Novae, and the mysterious hidden being underneath Akibastar.
Not only that, the insert songs are very fitting to the scenarios, but that's to be expected of AKB48 who have over 400 songs that can fit any situation. If you need song in a scene with girls getting shot by mechas, AKB got Beginner. If you need a song for an episode about haters, AKB got Anti. If you need a song need to encourage impoverished citizens of a planet and give them hope, AKB got River.
It's not just a typical "moe" or "shoujo" anime. It have dramas, emotions, struggles that you wouldn't expect from such a cutesy cover art and it's definitely one of the underrated anime this season.
The disappointing thing is probably due to time conflicts with AKB's busy schedules, they can't do a 26 episodes anime and decided to do a 1 cour 13 episodes. There's many things in the storyline that shouldn't be rush. Since the anime BD did rank 3rd in highest sales out of all the anime this season, and is only 500k below the favorite, Hyoka, it's definite guarantee for a 2nd season so I hope that we will get another season that will go more in depth into the storyline.
Whether or not you should watch AKB0048 can pretty much be answered with two questions...
1. Do you like AKB48?
2. Does the dream to become a seifuku-clad guerilla idol that zips about on floating platform bravely fighting anti-entertainment mechas with weaponized stage props all while nailing the group choreography and keeping a tune sound like story-telling genius? (OR, more succinctly, could you really care less about a show's plot as long as you get to watch some moe chicks?)
If you answered "no" to either of these questions, AKB0048 is just not for you. When push comes to shove, it really doesn't matter how good
the animation or the voice acting is, if you want something with a solid (non-ridiculous) story, save yourself the time. AKB0048 is a gimmick to capitalize on the popularity of the Japanese army (scratch that) pop idols, AKB48, and the writer's never let you forget that. In all honesty, they don't NEED you to like this show; all they need for you to do is like AKB48. If you do, you'll watch it. If you don't, well they don't really need you to watch in order to ride this one all the way to the bank. AKB48 has enough fans that will watch this just because of the title, and considering that they are based in Akihabara, the cross-over connection between their fans and anime is already there. They aren't winning any new people over with this show. Heck, they aren't even trying to.
Now if you answered "yes" to either or both of those questions, AKB0048 will probably pleasantly surprise you. The animation is solid and blissfully free of still-frames like many moe/harem shows. The cutesy pastel character designs fit the overall feel of the show nicely, and surprisingly detailed and well-drawn backgrounds are perfectly executed and lend themselves to the mood with ease. The voice-acting cast is chock full of veterans and fan-favorites. While it's not going to be the performance of a career for anyone, you won't walk away wanting to stick a needle through your eardrum either. Surprise, suprise... the little gimmick of adding the AKB48 girls to the cast actually paid off nicely as well; they do a pretty stellar job for their first time around the seiyuu block. If you like AKB48's songs, the soundtrack is full of them. The opening and endings are sung by the AKB48 girls in the seiyuu cast and will undoubtedly sell through the roof just like any other AKB48 songs. Compared to other shows of similar genres (not that 'hardcore idol show' is a genre yet, but think along the lines of moe shows like this season's Saki Side-A or Upotte!, etc.), AKB0048 excels in the animation, music and sound departments. The story is never going to blow anybody away and will probably seem a bit silly to even the most die-hard AKB48 fans, but I sincerely doubt anyone is picking this up for the plot. Yes, the question above is more-or-less a general summary of the show's plot. And, yes, you will probably have to keep an eyeroll or two in check while listening to the characters' woes of cruelly being denied permission to wear a rockin' hairbow or declarations of undying love for the titular idols (apparently a love much deeper than that of friends, family or neighbors.. who knew?). Perhaps the successful concept of an idol anime might have an impact on the market or spark debates, but the show's actual material won't.
AKB0048 is a successful effort to cash in on the AKB48 phenomenon. Despite the obvious gimmick of the show, it doesn't offend its audience. The studio and producers have created a quality product that the fans will enjoy, even though they could have easily put in a fraction of the cost and effort and still have walked away with the weight of all 48 gajillion AKB48 girls in gold. Just like the idol group itself, AKB0048 is fluffy, entertaining and completely benign... and anyone who's already into that sort of thing will eat it up.
Final Rating: Totally relative to how much you like AKB48 already.
It's not often that an anime comes around that pulls one over on the audience as fast as AKB0048 does. Given what is probably one of the silliest premises ever in anime the writing takes hold and runs away with it, spinning a complex story of futuristic idols in a world where entertainment is banned.
I went into this show with incredibly low expectations and came away wowed. Although the show does not fall too dark there are some rather grim undertones - to perform their concerts in worlds where entertainment is banned the idols form two teams, a performance group and a defending group. The
idols on defense have to fight against an organization that uses live ammunition and is actively trying to capture or kill the 00 members.
Behind the concert and combat scenes there is also the mystery of just who runs 0048 and the implication is shady at best. Even then, and even among the tears, the show manages to also be bright, cheery and full of love.
It's an emotional roller coaster I recommend checking out, even (and especially) if you aren't a fan of the actual AKB48. I went into it knowing nothing of the original group.
First let me apologize for the mistakes I can make as I am from Brazil.
I have watched some Idol animes to know that this one is my favorite of them. I will try not to tell any spoilers.
The plot spins around 4 girls who as kids attended to the concert of AKB0048, an ''rebel'' group who makes concerts on planets where entertainment is banned, facing lots of danger they risk their lifes to bring joy to people, and show love. These 4 girls decide that one day they will join this group. I really think this is a great story, it is different from
what we are used to on idol animes. I mean, even though it is an idol anime it has a lot of action on it due to the fact that entertainment is banned in a lot of planets, and there are fights on it. There are also some emotional parts (nothing that resembles something like Clannad but it gets to you). One feature that i liked is the fact that they used the real akb48 names on the anime to refer to the ''original'' members.
The art overall has nothing really special, but it is well made, and the 3D characters on the dancing parts are really cool.
Well the soundtrack is the music from akb48 the real idol group from japan, so its really good. The music that the girls sing are also from the group so thats cool. I liked it.
I felt like every character were well developed and had enough time to make people fall with them. Of course there are the main ones that got more time but secondary characters also are important for the trama. If anyone is wondering, my favorite is Hikari Kimishima also known as Yuko Oshima the 9th!
I think i finished all 2 seasons of this anime in 3 days, and that is a lot, i just got hooked from episode to episode and couldn't stop, I really liked it and i feel that even dough there should be a third season, the second one has a decent ending.
I recommend it to anyone that seeks an Idol, musical, action or drama anime cuz this one has it all. It is between my favorite of the genre so give it a shot, it has kind of a slow start but it only gets better!
AKB0048, its sole purpose is to promote the real life group AKB48, an infamous japanese girls group. Honestly I have been an AKB48 fan since I discovered J-culture itself, but having it become an anime was an entirely different situation for me.
I was very skeptical about AKB0048, and for a long time when I see AKB0048 on other member's anime list, I would often ignore it because the synopsis sounded stupid enough.
But on one faithful day, I decided to download it and give it a try. Since the genre was "Music", one of my favourite genre's I downloaded the Blue-Ray edition... my life
The opening theme, ""Kibou ni Tsuite (希望について)" just blew me off my chair. I was greeted by extreme god-tiered animation and harmonic music. Although there were character spoilers and some side stories in the opening, I didn't seem to mind because the animation was just too good. As a musician, hearing the combination of instruments along with the energetic drumming and "hopeful" melody got me exited. I have to say this is a well-done quality opening as it perfectly suits the background of the story.
The ending theme, "Yume wa Nandomo Umarekawaru (夢は何度も生まれ変わる)" is just fantastic. I have never heard of such beautiful combinations of natural instruments and electro base + harmonic vocals before. In most anime's, I would often ignore the ending theme because they are not as "exiting" as the opening theme. However, "Yume wa Nandomo Umarekawaru (夢は何度も生まれ変わる)" just stopped my fingers from pressing the next episode. This ending theme had some sort of hypnosis on me, besides the music, the animation of AKB0048 member's shadow dancing just fitted into the music so well, I just couldn't resist!! And yes, this is one of the best ending themes ever.
Now, for the story review -------
In an alternative timeline, the Earth's environment is destroyed by a world war, forcing humans to leave planet Earth and strive in other planets. Entertainment and music becomes heavily banned in several planets as they are said to "move the soul" of an individual. (It certainly does) Can you imagine a planet where there is no music and entertainment? I certainly couldn't! Then out of the midst of despair, the infamous galatic group, "AKB0048" holds its concert on one of these planets under the entertainment ban and reintroduced music into the planet. In one of these planets, our main characters of the story are then introduced to us smuggling from underground sewer channels towards an AKB0048 concert as they have not yet experience a real life concert before. The intro roars to their ears (and ours) and the concert then commences! The next scene is most probably one of the most mind-blowing, exiting, awesome etc etc performance you will ever experience! The stage design, choreography, music, LIGHTS!, EVERYTHING was just PERFECT in those few minutes. Special "dancing software" was also used to stimulate real and accurate "dancing" while maintaining the cute and glamouring characters during some of the dance scenes. At first glance, it may seem kinda stupid, 3D computer models often don't go well with animation. Nevertheless, it went well with AKB0048 without disrupting the character's outward appearances, it also provided accurate movements and went well with the thrilling concert.
Our main characters, inspired by AKB0048 were determined to one day be a part of the group. They eventually managed somehow during the auditions (somewhere, contains spoiler) and undergo AKB0048 training. Yes, it applies to all the live groups today, when individuals have passed auditions, they are required to take "training" before they can actually perform in live concerts and release albums. The concept applies to AKB0048 anime as well but it will be dramatised in a few episodes to reduce some flaws.
Although AKB0048 lacked character development and story development, along with the universe history, I still enjoyed this anime because you will NEVER see another anime that has such brilliant concerts scenes and colourful, creative character designs.
After reading all that~ I must be a fanboy, and yes I am a fanboy of AKB0048. In fact, it made it to my top 5 favourite anime's. So the question remains, why AKB0048? Was it the awesome Soundtracks? The glamorous characters? Quality art? For some reason I do not even know myself when it comes to this.
Heres the answer, "it was fun!". Indeed it may seem weird to all of you who are reading my first review, however I enjoyed AKB0048 simply because it is basically about NOTHING, almost nothing at all! If you have ever been to a live concert, and had fun singing along with the melody, I would highly recommend AKB0048 because you do not even need to know or understand the story. You just have to allow the music and visuals to flow~ throughout your body and relax. Then AKB0048 shall be the most enjoyable "in-house" entertainment you will ever receive!
*(I would recommend you to watch AKB0048 AFTER a nice hot shower)*
Criticise if you must as I hope to improve my review skills so I can provide more accurate details on my next review.
By the way, for those who are interested in piano~ :
First, I’d like to mention that when I watched this anime a while back, I was unaware of how popular the idol industry was in Japan, let alone who the group AKB48 was. I came into this show expecting an enjoyable music-focused anime, and I was happy with what I got.
The best thing about this show is the mixing of genres. It has a futuristic sci-fi setting, which lays the foundation for the universal ban on entertainment. The group of idols also serves as a group of rebels who are fighting to bring their music to their fans all across the universe. I really liked
this premise and enjoyed the combination of their music performances and the fight scenes. That said, the plot about “saving the world” didn’t really go anywhere and could’ve been fleshed out more.
It has a huge cast of characters, and all of them are likable for the most part. I liked the concept of succession, which ends up being a major point of motivation for the new idols. Since there are so many characters, only a few get proper character development (mainly Nagisa and Chieri). Unless you find some characters particularly annoying, it’s easy to ignore the unimportant background characters and focus on the group as a whole (especially during their performances).
I liked the songs. I don’t listen to J-pop much, but this style of music appeals to me and the music is the main reason why I enjoyed this show so much. There were a couple songs I found cringey, but combined with the dance routines and the fight scenes, I still liked their performances.
It’s colorful and fun. I don’t really have any complaints. I especially liked the contrast between the bright stage during their performances and the dull backgrounds: it emphasizes the futuristic setting and and gives it an ethereal look.
I enjoyed it. I was looking for a music anime, and the music is what made this show for me, combined with the unique setting and action scenes. It was a mix of everything, and though the actual story had its flaws, it was a very entertaining show to watch.
while i see the title "AKB0048" im thinking this anime will be bored but after i hearing my friend talking about AKB48 in facebook and i give they link about this anime and in next week he says to me if "AKB0048 its anime from AKB48" (until that i dont know who or what is AKB48 xD)
but while see the 1st episode im know if AKB48 its girl band xD
now i`ll review this anime :
Story 8 : the story conered in this anime is about crazy rule.., yeah banning an "entertaiment" but where is bad there is good, the AKB0048 likes rebelion and they using
entertaint as weapon also they have real gun and some crazy robots
and many crazy things you will be see in there @_@
Art 7 : The art in here not just about drawing, there is song(maybe this will include in sound), the colour very clear and good the characters in normal stand or specialy in AKB0048 concert there is AMAZING,i like that and i love that
Sound 9 : The Dubber of AKB0048 its the real AKB48 peopple so that very cool and the sound of another character its cool too, music and dialog have same level there is like they singing while they talking xD
Characters 7 : in there many mystery thing i cant see because i see the normal girl, popular girl, android and some mecha @_@ but over all there is good character, from childhood friend until they joint AKB0048 77th Generation
Enjoyment 9 : im very exciting this anime, there have good plot and i cant wait for next episode in every week
Over all 8 : Over all the story in this anime is amazing they composing future,music,friendship,mecha in one time
I'm pretty sure people would hate me for this but I honestly thought that AKB0048 was better than Love Live! School Idol Project. This was because the idols in AKB0048 were fighting to put on shows and I think fighting idols are cool. I literally kept searching and searching to find a fighting idol anime like this. Not only that but the art style gave the characters this glossy look and I loved all their eyes! Most people said that this was as failure anime but, I thought this was an a outstanding anime. Somwhere along the line I had something that I could
relate to in real life, so if you want to give this anime a try go for it and maybe you'll find something you can relate to in real life.
With the coming of a new age for the Japanese music industry, it becomes difficult to get by without mentioning AKB48. A national phenomena, and a growing one overseas with a fandom somewhat familiar yet strikingly different to that of anime.
Speculation from media and fans alike have all pointed towards AKB0048 to being a anime cashout as required for the expansion of the 48 group empire, a journey into the world of animation.
Under the tutelage of Shōji Kawamori of Macross fame however, we receive a unique and interesting look into a microcosm of idol fandom and a surprisingly clever critique of the wrongs within the
idol industry and the media surrounding it.
Cue the sporadic tale of a couple of small town girls with a dream to become idols in a world where entertainment has become forbidden. A world of
inherit despair and over industrialization.
This is AKB0048. The story of the idols who you can meet.
0048 introduces us to a new age of prohibition within a universe that hungers for the underground performances of a group known as AKB0048, one which has carried on a tradition of entertaining fans across the galaxy by producing generations among generations of idols, much like the current day idol-making powerhouse.
We enter the lives of 4 girls bound by fate in an industrialized planet, seemingly lacking of all hope with their only source of entertainment being the guerrilla stage performances of AKB0048 who travel from planet to planet in the mother ship "Kachuusha". The group itself however is at constant war with the galactic authority known as "DES", ruthless and immediate in their judgement.
The 4 girls enter this world, some of them knowing little of the complications that come with stardom. A representation of the innocence that the young stars of AKB48 are thrown into as they are thrown into the field with little training to fend for themselves. DES, a representation of the harsh industry of entertainment that has since long seen the idol industry disappear, a monopoly dominated by Morning Musume, H!P and other groups who struggle to enter mainstream media.
From here, we follow their growth, struggles and their hope as they begin their journeys to become idols, a forbidden dream within a world that has abandoned the hedonistic values of music and live entertainment for a work-centric and hierarchical lifestyle with many living in poverty and without hope.
Girls who will undertake all of the challenges that their real-life counterparts have gone through, and more. Nagisa and Chieri in particular (both names a reference to Atsuko Maeda's flagship stage number"Nagisa no Cherry") become the center of the anime, with much of the events revolving around the relationship of the two, and those around them.
At the heart of the anime is a critique of the very being that made the anime itself possible, an inherit hatred for the nature of idol fandom, yet a love letter to the creator for having given the chance to set these ordinary girls free. Without handing out too many spoilers, many of the events revolve around common happenings in the idol world including the no-love rule, the challenges of the industry, rivalry, dealing with "haters" but more importantly, the fact that idols exist to entertain fans with little chance of any return, and over-rewarding the select, talented few who become successful. There are plenty of other gems to explore, but this is a taste of what to expect.
Art: With Idolm@ster having set the standard for animated dance routines and numbers, many will wonder about the capabilities of the CG animation featured in 0048. The CG animation makes dance numbers seem almost static, movements and dances are stiff. Accompanied with an oddly moving camera, the dances are short and interleaved with 2D animation. The CG does it's job however erratic it may be.
The idols look beautiful, with incredible detail and magnificent backdrops to accompany them. key moments of the anime are given particular detail and lead to some of the greatest closeups and close-ins in an idol anime.
The action backdrops set to the music of AKB are also a combined effort of 2d and CG animation, a stunning effort and very watchable. The idols seem to fight with a sense of finesse and purpose.
Overall animation is generally smooth, with hardly any frames lacking detail.
Music, Sound and Seiyuu:
The original music features are a combination of new music, and instrumental arranges of popular AKB songs. All of them placed with great care to evoke an emotional reaction from fans.
The cast are a combination of professional voice actors for the Senbatsu, and members of the real AKB48, giving the anime a true sense of authenticity. A move that will leave some skeptical, but appreciative for the amount of fan service that the producers provide. Mayu is great as Chieri, while Iwaka Karen's performance as Nagisa may leave a bit to be desired. The most surprsing performance is Kumi Yagami's "Sonata", a special performance sure to be appreciated by fans. Most of the AKB48 members are well casted.
The Senbatsu cast handles their roles fine, with Aice5 VA's Akemi Kanda and Yui Horei and Ryoko Shiraishi as Takahashi Minami.
Sound direction for stages, battles and everything in between while somewhat ordinary get the job done.
Character Development: With the number of characters typical of idol anime, it becomes difficult to develop individual characters. The Senbatsu retain the personalities of their original, real life counterparts in a very charming and complimentary fashion that would make the original Senbatsu blush.
The Kenkyuusei, being voiced by actual idols build character through their relationships with the Senbatsu, assigned by the writers individually and reflecting the kind of seniority apparently present in AKB48.
The writers intentionally and cleverly use the graduation and succession system to give the Kenyuusei a kind of shadow to follow, eventually retaining many qualities given to them by the Senbatsu. Through their friendships with the Senbatsu, the gain personality as an idol and a public figure. Through their friendships among themselves, they begin to grow as human beings how struggle with the realities set beside them. Much of their humanity, they throw away to become stars, martyrs to people and to other fateful wannabe idols.
Conclusion: As a deconstruction of idol fandom and anime, AKB0048 is a gutsy attempt at removing the campiness of idol anime and presenting an original and unique look at idol popularity through the lives of the "Kenkyuusei" who set to live out their dreams in an era of prohibition.
Despite the episodic feel of the events within the anime, AKB0048 manages to narrowly escape and disprove speculation of being a simple AKB48 cash cop-out. AKB0048 is an enjoyable ride for both fans of anime and 48 group lovers.
Give this one a go.
Recommended: Fans of AKB48, idol anime and curious lovers of musicals and stage acts. Fans of mecha and those disillusioned by AKB or hate 48 groups.
Not recommended for: Those with little understanding of idol fandom, those uninterested in music and the impatient.
AKB0048 is a story of a group of girls’ dream to become a part (some, as successors) of a famous all-female entertainment group AKB0048, or 00 for short.
A group of girls that rebels against the government thru entertainment and music? What a stupid idea. It’s so stupid that it actually turned out wonderful. Planets, under the entertainment ban, are dull and lifeless. Entertainment is their only catalyst. I can now imagine how bad our lives would be without entertainment.
AKB0048 has this excellent storyline that begins with a small piece, progresses, and links up all of the characters’ stories but still maintains those small
parts. What’s even better is that those small parts turned out to be the principal elements of its entirety.
With the ending, where the main characters get to stay on their home planet for a very little time, to meet a few fans and to, again, say goodbye, to sing a song while going on board the Flying Get, was a great way to end its first season. And ending with some mysteries still unsolved and an announcement of a new general election is just really harsh that it makes you want to watch the second season immediately.
Seriously. People should really stop me from watching animes that have this kind of animation. And people reading this should stop, too.
With an animation like that, I don’t think you’d settle for another anime that is animated with less quality. (Whoops. P.A. Works fan talking.) AKB0048, together with its superb production, plus some 3D graphics, will really allure the viewer to watch it repeatedly. Two thumps up for Satelight.
Also, both the opening and ending animations were really exceptional. You’d be amazed just by watching it. It was also really impressive to see those choreographies danced by the girls in the finale.
Moreover, from dull, dead, and gray, turning into these striking, vibrant, and not-too-vivid colours made it really worth the view and easy on the eyes.
Still, I found some errors (mostly, in the finale) that made it lose a point for me. At around one time, the backgrounds weren’t moving, some characters looked a bit odd, and the movements (dancing, singing, and common body movements) were not in sync (or maybe it’s just my copy). Also, there was this instance that it looked more cartoon-ish than anime-ic.
CGI was good, too. But, in some episodes, it looked like a video game, rather than an ‘animation’.
I am not a fan of AKB48. In fact, I didn’t know them before watching AKB0048. After watching the show, I started reading about them in Wikipedia.
A few songs, like River and Aitakatta, were used frequently and were sung from time to time. It just got to the point where it sounded aggravating. They should’ve used more songs. Worse is, the soundtrack mostly consisted with more AKB48 songs’ instrumentals. It just wasn’t reasonable. AKB0048 deserves more songs and musical scores.
Despite all that, there are a few songs that are actually good, like Shout Out Diamond, Sasae, and both the opening and ending themes (by NO NAME) Kibou ni Tsuite and Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru. These are just a few of the songs from AKB0048 that will make you forget the rest of the soundtrack.
For me, my favourite characters would be Chieri and Nagisa. (Well, mostly Chieri.)
Chieri Sono is the daughter of Zodiac Corporation’s CEO, a major military supplier for the DGTO. From the looks of it, Chieri has the biggest risk in joining 00. Unlike Nagisa, whose father is just an official in the Anti-Entertainment Admin.
Chieri was also the most evolving charater in the series. From a cute, little fan, to a mysterious, competitive, negative thinking, doesn’t-want-anybody-in-her-way, then to the friendly and looks-out-for-her-friends but still maintains her competitiveness type of girl. She was just the most amazing character in the show. Her straightforward attitude (but has a deep meaning behind it) is also really venerable.
Also. Nagisa and Suzuko were the prettiest girl in the series. And Sonata was the cutest.
All characters were very likeable. However, some characters, like Makoto and Suzuko, were given less performance than the others. Even Tsubasa had a bigger role than them. Characters, main or minor, should be given the right exposure and adequate appearances.
Enjoyment from this anime is average. People who will definitely enjoy this are those who like to watch musicals (TV series, movies, etc.) What made it more enjoying (for me) must be EveTaku’s fancy karaoke.
It had some boring instances, forced jokes, and don’t even get me started AGAIN on the repetitive songs. So, ultimately, the word “Enjoyment” is just for its story and characters (and some songs).
Overall, AKB0048 will manage to capture the viewer in the beginning, will push you away in the middle, and pulls you back with the last episodes.
Also, as much as this anime looks like it is for ALL ages, it isn’t. With gun pointings and shootings, bombs, lying, bathing suits, and girls under the age of 15 participating in combat, should not be viewed by young people. This SHOULD NOT be mimicked.
All in all, AKB0048 is worth watching. Just don’t expect for a lot of hilarious jokes and songs, okay?
Audiences can easily dismiss the "Three episode rule" while watching AKB0048, for that everything you see in the first episode is what you will see in the all the upcoming episodes. It's straightforward and the audiences can immediately tell if this is their thing or not.
AKB0048 the pure concentrated Shoji Kawamori crack, it's harmless, silly, over the top, visually stunning, and honestly embraces itself on its shortcomings. While these may not be the recipe of what makes a legendary piece, the show keeps viewers relaxed and satisfied.
I myself came into this show with zero knoweldge about AKB48, and ended up still knowing nothing about
AKB48, but one thing is certain, I am ENTERTAINED.
Story: The story is about the universe being banned from entertainment. That means no music and no concerts. The rebels known as AKB0048 are a bunch pop idols who defy the laws and bring music into peoples hearts. The problem with the story is fact that they took it too far with the plot as in a group of teenage girls facing off against male soldiers in war. Its not believable that girls can beat soldiers with guns. Very dramatic with too much crying among the female characters.
Art: It was okay I did not like the eyes of the females with hearts in them
and I get it there idols but it doesn't work for me. When they are singing its in 3d which I don't like keep it 2d.
Sound: No songs on this show stood out to me not memorable for viewers to go back to listen too.
Character: There are a lot of characters on this show and a few of them get a chance to shine I guess. The show doesn't focus too much on Nagisa which its strange since she is the main character.
Enjoyment: Not much enjoyment came from me everything seemed bland to me. Too much drama for these teenage girls about their idol status more than saving the world form boredom.
Overall: This anime did something fresh and different but sadly its not an anime that stood out. Ive seen better idol shows that kept it realistic unlike this show which it let it down. They did too much which they didn't have to just keep it simple and enjoyable. 4/10
This is a fun and bubbly show geared towards pre-teens and maybe teens. I like the music, its not really that bad. There are many characters and each and every single one seems to have a backstory that you get glimpses of. Character progression is pretty nicely done and it is nice to see how each one progresses from where they were to where they end up. The story is pretty far fetched but it keeps you intrigued with being more character based which isn't bad. For the adults, this show is not really for us, but it you have pre-teens and younger girls, I'm
sure they would really dig this show and the music isn't bad to listen to so overall, for adults, its fine, for kids, its pretty good.
AKB0048 first impression : "AKB0048 got anime"
But when I saw first episode : "Hah? Cyborg, sci-fi?" but Ihad survive, maybe next episode will be "Awesome""
Next episode :"Eeeee?? terorist, Naniii?? Spasu Aidolu? Joudan janai..!! , its very disappointing....
I found AKB0048 average. Its not bad or great. I believe the rank of this anime should be around 1500 not 3000. First the storyline isn't very realistic but it isn't really childish. The characters have thier own sense of style but are a bit too dramatic. The sounds are really clear and not postponed. The art isn't that good compared to others its not as realistic as others. I found the anime enjoyment average not really that tempted to watch it but still feel like watching it. Overall is ok and isn't a bad anime to watch. My opinions might change through the next
few episodes depending how well the storyline and the characters are.