AKB0048 5 ~ I wanna be a clone
June 1, 2012
AKB0048 episode 5 didn’t have any of the battle action (or even song and dance routines) we have come to expect from this series, but what it did deliver are several bizarre mysteries that continue the world-building, as well as deepening the story. First I comment on the incredible scenery of Akabaster, the AKB0048 home planet, then I look at the following mysteries: 1) Tomochin, 2) the Center, and 3) Quadruple-S.
As beautiful as the other shots were, it was the last one (the water train station) that really got to me. It is obvious that a lot of thought went into filling out the ideas for the world in which these characters live. Akabaster is VERY different than the home world that Nagisa and her friends come from, which was sooty, and dark. Akabaster is also meticulously planned, while still being organic (of example the streets wind about, and there are different levels — streets aren’t flat and on a grid). I like the way the streets are constructed with paving stones and brick, instead of asphalt; it gives the city an old world feel, even while they are surrounded with futuristic technology.
There’s something mysterious about Tomochin-san
Are you ready? If so, good. The original Itano Tomomi (“Tomochin”) performs “Clone”.
Of the three mysteries, I think this one will have the least impact, since most successors are not blood-related. It does start to open the door a bit on what exactly is meant by succeeding a former member. Here genetic material and the “Laws of Tomochin” both go into re-creating the successor.
All of the past centers have graduated in mysterious ways
The mystery about the disappearances of girls who previously held the Center position, but left AKB0048 seems more likely to have plot impact. At the very least, there was a lot of discussion about how the position has been eliminated since Acchan left. Yuuko Oshima aims to bring back the position (and fill it herself).
Even successors are forbidden from investigating Quadruple-S
And finally we get the mystery surrounding Sensei-sensei. My guess is that Quadruple-S is actually some sort of artificial intelligence, or possibly a brain in a vat. Either way, it is some disembodied consciousness that guides AKB0048 as a replacement for Yasushi Akimoto. I am most interested in this aspect of the show (after the combat concerts), so I hope this becomes a big part of the series going forward.