Rbastid's avatar


  • NYC
  • Joined Mar 13, 2010
  • 37 / M


Mar 23, 2016

I gave in to a DVD sale plain and simple, that's my only reasoning behind buying AKB0048….jeesh.

Story - 8/10

So I came into this series with very low expectations. As a series it checked all the wrong boxes, girl's idol group, cutsie, and fighting robots, because lets face it for every Evangelion and G Gundam, there's a thousand Gravions and Fafners. For the most part I only purchased it because I was looking for something new, it was inexpensive and I needed to spend a few more dollars for free shipping. Was I ever pleasantly surprised.

So the main story line follows a group of young girls training to join an idol group/ mech fighting force as they attempt to bring music and happiness to planets that are currently under a total or partial entertainment ban. But instead a majority of the show focuses on how these young girls deal with pressure, the thought of having to compete against friends, and the reality that being this type of pop idol isn't all fun and games. 

This is a great example of not judging a book by it's cover. Sure there are the dance numbers, bad songs and the obligatory battles, but a majority of the series focuses on a great story with well written character interactions. 

Animation - 6/10

For the most part the show is beautifully animated. The design and detail put ion the locations and different planets is some of the best in recent memory. They also did a brilliant job using shadows and accents to really make the visuals pop. This is what we've come to expect from the world of HD animation now and they didn't disappoint. 

Unfortunatly the characters are very generic and typical for this type of series. Half the time it seems they just looked around at other series, like K-On or Kokoro Connect, and copied every female in them. I know they had a lot to deal with, having thirty or so characters, but even the slightest bit of originality would have been nice here, and seeing how they had that for the backgrounds you know they could have done it with the idols too.

While the character design left much to be desired, they use of computer animation left you wanting to turn the series off. While this is usually one of the aspects i use to nitpick series, so i'm not always just praising the art, in AKB0048 it really became and annoying distraction. They used the style whenever the girls would partake in a big dance number and it was always strikingly out of place. The dimensions of the characters were bad, the movement was somehow a mix of robotic and gelatinous, and overall it just was a poor choice.

I do have to highlight one specific scene for praise. It's not for the animation itself, but the content of the animation. Early in the series Nagisa is racing for the train that will take them to the AKB auditions. As she reaches the train it's already started taking off, the doors open and her two friends come out and grab to pull her aboard. Everything about that scene echo's the escape scene in the original Transformer's animated movie, where RC is pulled aboard by Springer. Now it might just be a coincidence, but it'd pretty awesome if they were giving a nod to one of the best animated movies of all time.

Sound - 4/10

I pretty much came in assuming the music was going to be bad, even for Idol standards, and it was. The show had to put out so many songs, so they went for the cookie cutter approach. The tunes were terrible and the lyrics were simplistic drivel. 

On the bright side we got a  great mix of all the female V.O. artist from pretty much every series that's been released over the last few years. They all were great in their performances, even if some did get a bit grating by the end. Not to mention there are very few things in the anime world as annoying as Nagisa constantly shouting out the name Chieri like an imbecile.

Characters - 8/10

With so many characters you'd think it would be impossible to give them backstories. Heck there are shows like Towa No Quon, The World God Only Knows and K-On! that have a limited amount of characters, and hours and hours of show, and yet we learn nothing about them. Somehow AKB0048 finds a way, even in just simple terms, to give us enough information to at least know why the girls are here and what they are trying to accomplish. The series shows that things don't have to be overly complicated in order to give us decent characters, something many newer series can learn from.

Now with that said, there's not a ton behind who these girls are. There's one group who, in their early youth, saw 0048 perform and decided they wanted to be just like them, bringing joy to the worlds that have a complete entertainment ban. Of those girls, Nagisa and Chieri stand out as the two main characters in the series. They've grown to be quite opposite of each other, with Nagisa just wanting to make the band with her friends and Chieri determined to just become the best, which at first seems like her way of trying to protect these other girls from the reality of being in the band, but as the show progresses she just appears to be a generally terrible person. (which we know will change in season two because things always have to end on a positive note)

As is common with these shows the characters who play a supporting role often become much more likable than those main characters, and here it's no different. Characters like Kanata, who wants to avenge her father's death at the hands of the DTGO, and Sonata, who wants to be like her big sister, prove to be developed much better than our stars. Others such as Makoto, Suzuko, Mimori and AKB member Yuko aren't as fully developed, but their characters bring the comedy and heart to the series, while Minami fills in a secondary villain roll as another selfish and unlikable member of AKB.

They even managed to make many of the secondary characters likable, despite very limited screen time. Mr. Ushiyama, Papa cook and the WOTA members (a military force that fights along side AKB) all do their part to make sure the show isn't as generic as it could have been.

Overall - 7/10

While the rewatch-ability isn't high for someone with my tastes, I can say this is a show that should be given a chance. With favorites such as FLCL, GTO, X and Trigun it would seem this series would score a zero for me, but they went far beyond the outward look of "Girly Fluff" and gave us a pretty solid series.

Even with the simplistic songs and all too neat ending I wasn't disappointed. I can honestly say I look forward to popping season two in my DVD player and seeing where they decided to go with the mysteries behind AKB0048. 

8/10 story
6/10 animation
4/10 sound
8/10 characters
7/10 overall

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