AKB0048: The Greatest Show on Earth

When AKB0048 originally aired last summer, I got to episode six and dropped it. I didn’t have much free time. Why would I waste it watching a show about idols?

A few days ago, I came back. I watched an episode and was hooked. A couple days later, I’ve watched every episode and can’t wait for the next one. I’m still not a fan of idols (they’re retarded, as is their “music”) but do love AKB0048. It is a glorious show. Here’s why I like it.

Middle School Girls Being Middle School Girls

AKB0048 offers one of the most accurate portrayals in all of anime of middle school girls. They talk about love and friendship all the time while they treat each other like crap. They’re complete bitches, and I love them for it.

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What’s more, the bitchiest of them all are rewarded with fame, popularity and glory while the nice girls are left in the dust. But all of them have their fair share of tears from all the horrible things they do to each other. Their tears are delicious. By the way, in case you’re wondering, Takamina is the best idol.

Poking Fun at Idols

I have to wonder if the creators of AKB0048 might secretly agree with me that the whole idol industry is retarded. Note that:

  • The idols are effectively terrorists fighting an “entertainment” ban. If entertainment is redefined to necessitate invading independent countries with an armed militia, I think I would support a ban as well.
  • The girls are recruited for uncompensated(?) child labor. They get one recreational day a month, which they are expected to use practicing. This organization must violate every labor law in the books. Oh, and they’re turned into child soldiers.
  • The girls “succeed” an idol from hundreds of years ago and take on her name. There are no new idols.
  • And most damning of all, all the music is literally generated by a computer.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. This stuff is hilarious.

War, War, What is it Good For

Just try to tell me that the idols’ fan club isn’t bloody awesome:

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Yes, they take out tanks with their glowsticks. I mean come on. How much better can this possibly get?

Plus the idols themselves take on mechas with lightsabers, flying on floating platforms in the middle of their concerts while singing and dancing. They go on infiltration missions to free political prisoners, and sneak into space stations to blow things up. All while singing and dancing while epic cheesy techno music plays in the background. BEST SHOW EVER.

Beautiful Messages

Despite being utterly ridiculous with characters who are mostly complete asshats, the show still manages to get in some episodes that carry beautiful messages. I was particularly moved by the latest episode, where our clumsy and useless idol is rescued when infiltrating the enemy space station by one of her fans:

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Now that’s the makings of a true fan. Then she has no choice but to respond to her fan’s love and jump off a cliff to bash in the generator switch. She misses and fails the first time but gets it right the second. Before she dives, she delivers quite the profound motivational message:

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Those are truly words to live by.

5 thoughts on “AKB0048: The Greatest Show on Earth

  1. The Chief Director is Magnificent Bastard of Anime himself, Kawamori Shoji. No less should be expected as these series came right after Aquarion Evol.

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