AKB0048 12 is full of little drama-bits but manages to keep its direction until we get to the understudies performance. Let’s see, we get Takamina, still not 100% after her injury, considering retirement, or graduation as they call it, to make room for Kanata. Heavy stuff, but there’s so much going on here that it only gets one little scene. Then there’s Orine, who’s just made the horrible discovery that she used to help build weapons for DES, the enemy. That deserves a little more time, and there’s Chieri, who is really just as blameless or guilty as Orine is, to talk sense to her. And then there’s … I forget, who gets injured and can’t perform, ruining her chance to finally take the stage with … I forget. There’s just too many damn girls in this show. On a happier, though bittersweet note, Yuuka and her ex-boyfriend Mamaru, make some sort of peace. Mamaru says he would not love the Yuuka who isn’t in AKB0048 (a complete turnaround for him from episode one), but he could love the one who is. But he’s in love with Suzuko. Such mixed signals don’t seem to deter Yuuka and we get a tearful goodbye bit during battle. And I really thought Mamaru was going to get killed this episode …
But the big stuff lands squarely on Nagisa’s shoulders. Learning that her father is in prison for being on the pro-entertainment faction, she announces that she’ll rescue him. The WOTA soldiers are all for this sudden and dangerous change of plans, such devotees are they, and soon she’s at her father’s cell, but he refuses to leave. Talk about mixed signals! He still thinks he can talk to the ruling DES members and says he can’t be rescued by a traitor. I don’t know who the bigger fool is, Nagisa for thinking he would leave, or her father for believing he can talk his way out of this. Also, he acts like a total dick to her, but I guess he’s always been like that. Then, after passing by her mother’s house and seeing its unkempt state, it gets too much for her and we get an iDOLM@STER type crisis–she loses her voice. You’d think that none of this can’t be solved by a good concert, but that’s canceled before it gets very far. Whatever’s going to fix Nagisa up, whatever decision Takamina makes, will have to wait until the next one. I wonder if we’ll see this planet again?
Space Brothers 16 finds them all STILL in those damn pods. They’re getting more agitated, and so am I. Didn’t I write the same thing last week? Well, it’s even worse. Though we do get some answers. JAXA is basically playing mind games with the applicants. Now group B has the broken clock, and group A has the alarms ringing in the middle of the night. In other words, we get to see the same accusations all over again, except with different groups. Another annoying thing is that no one has bothered to notice that Serika had been preparing too much food. You’d think the team would think to have someone else also keep an eye on the inventories. Other than that it’s the usual pointless bickering from the usual suspects. Get them out of there!
Muv-Luv Alternative 3 … Interesting. Yui, the girl we followed through two episodes of dread, mayhem and despair, is all grown-up now … and apparently has been shunted aside. All she does this episode is standing around and disapproving of everything, especially the hot-shot American pilot new to the Yukon base, where all the overrun countries build more mecha. Bridges, the hot-shot, apparently sent here for fighting with another pilot, otherwise doesn’t seem to deserve this treatment. But mainly this episode is about all the new pilots fighting and bonding. We got Tarisa, the feisty little one, VG, an Italian who makes romantic asides during battle, and otherwise smiles and shrugs a lot, and the Swedish babe Stella. They try to one-up each other, they team up for mock battles, they invent nicknames, the usual. It’s routine but after the doom and gloom we had before it’s rather a relief. Oh, for a change of pace we meet the team of Cruska and Inia in all their cold, incestuous mystery.