The main strong point of this show the visuals. Since it's an animation, the singers can put on performances that would put a human actor to shame. The concert sequences burst with color (and good music), and the mecha combat sequences are similarly full of pretty explosions. And the show mixes the two together, giving us combat sequences with a rocking soundtrack or concerts with a backdrop of mecha and explosions. Both seasons end with massive concert-battles that bring down the house. It's not just
music videos, but they're definitely a big part of it.
The other place where this show really shines is the character work. Despite having Loads And Loads Of Characters
, nearly everyone in the group gets solid Character Development
as they learn to be an idol, follow their dreams, and work together to fight for their fans. Even supporting characters like Makoto get A Day In The Limelight
. And in the second season, they develop some of the mystical elements in the backstory and build a pretty solid mystery plot around it.
My main complaint is the Black And White Morality
. The DES are all fanatics that hate entertainment, and worlds under an entertainment are grey and polluted factory towns, while the heroes' home world of Akibastar is colorful and clean. The Zodiac Corporation
, the antagonist in the second season, isn't much better. Now, it's not like they can really make you agonize over the morality of J-Pop, but it does mean the DES get a bit ridiculous at times.
Also, towards the end of the second season, the plot gets explained a little too thoroughly
, and they can't go five minutes without saying "it's because of Dualium/Kiraras/The Center Nova!" As creative as it was to see Zodiac trying to exploit the power of idol singing, I don't think they needed to go that much into it.
Still, these are forgivable complaints. I hadn't even heard of AKB 48
before this, but I had a lot of fun watching it!