News – A little bit of everything

First up, on the AKB48 front.

Yesterday, research student Tomomi Nakatsuka was promted to Team B!

nakatsukatomomiqr7

Of course, I’m already a fan of her. The again, why wouldn’t I be. She’s been put in the best team of them all! She looks like she’ll make a great addition to Team B, and I hope she does well in the upcoming B4!

Speaking of B4, it starts in a few weeks! The title of this new stage is Idol no Yoake. A set list has yet to be revealed (as the stage hasn’t started and the set list isn’t usually revealed until the first show) but I’ll post one up (and my thoughts on the stage, since its likely we’ll get a Live on Demand video of the first show) when the show starts in a few weeks.

Next up are some upcoming Gundam kit releases:
March:
– MG Unicorn Coating Ver. – 8,000 Yen

April:
– MG Sword Impulse Gundam – 4,500 Yen
– HGUC Nu Gundam HWS – 2,800 Yen
– HG 1/144 Ahead Smultron – 1,200 Yen

(info from Ngee Khiong, CyberGundam

I’m not too interested in the MG Unicorn Coating version, considering as I already have the regular release, but it will be interesting to see how this coating looks. I’m guessing something simliar to the recent releases of the Zeta Gundam MG’s.

Mg Sword Impulse is not too much of a suprise for me, but I am still excited. However, I wonder if this means Blast Impulse will be given the MG treatment as well. My thoughts? Not bloody likely. The Blast Impulse didn’t even get a proper Hg 1/144 release back in the days of Gundam Seed Destiny, which I though was odd, since Sword and Force Impulse got Hg kits. I would absolutely love an MG Blast Impulse though…

The HGUC Nu Gundam HWS is a suprise. Its not often that MS from the MSV series get regular kit releases, but this is another kit I am excited about. For reference, this is the Nu Gundam HWS:

fa-93hws

And I am pleased to see that the Ahead Smultron will be getting an HG release. I was afraid the only figure of it would be the upcoming Robot Damashii figure. Now they just need to announce an HG Masurao and I’ll be happy.

Gundam 00 S2 Episode 16

In the command center of the former AEU Orbital Elevator, Pang Hercule speaks to the people still stuck in the elevator at the time of the coup. He announces that he plans to reveal the brutality of A-LAWS and that he plans to wright the wrongs the Federation and the A-LAWS have committed. The Federation refuses to back down to the demands of Hercule and his coup forces, who they say want the Federation to disolve and that anti-government protestors be released from imprisonment. Sergei is watching things unfold, and he knows that what the Federation is saying are lies. Sergei thinks back to his younger years with Pang and his now dead wife Holly. He remembers that Hercule had always believed in people, and truly believed that the Orbital Elevators would be the path to a new and bright future. He had also believed the world would indeed someday unite. Sergei then gets a call from his commanding officer about a secret mission.

At the A-LAWS headquarters, Homer Katagiri worries that the coup will influence other soldiers and spread. At this time, Arthur Goodman tells him that work going on at the Orbital ring is almost done, and he leaves to take command of something there. Wang and Nena are watching this, and Wang comments that this is the beginning of the end. Back at the Ptolemaios, the crew soon learn that it is because of the coup that the A-LAWS forces withdrew from their attack on the ship. However, Sumeragi is hesitant to help the coup forces, as she wonders why the Innovators didn’t see it coming, as they do control Veda. Sumeragi decides to head towards the elevator, as she figures it will be the likely place to find out whats going on, and she figures Setsuna will be heading there as well. At this time, A-LAWS automatons are deployed into the station. Though the interior defences and the coup soldiers are able to hold them back, a number of people are killed by the robots, and one manages to access the surveilannce systems. At this time, a number of Kataron forces join the coup troops, and Hercule is alerted to a single blue Tieren being escorted up the elevator. Hercule realizes its Sergei.

Back at seas, Kati is angry that her forces haven’t bee deployed yet. Andrei and Louise discuss the coup, and Andrei remembers Hercule as a good man. Louise, however, thinks this doesn’t matter, and she thinks the only thing that matters at the moment is that they defeat the coup forces. Andrei remembers back to when he first entered the military. It was Hercule who helped him out at the time, since Andrei still blamed his father for his mothers death. Andrei also blamed Hercule as well.

When Sergei is brought to Hercule, Sergei tells him that the Federation refuses to meet his demands. Hercule wants Sergei to return to the Federation to relay to his commanders that they are not leaving the elevator, but Sergei refuses and decides to stay. They are interrupted by a news broadcast showing civilians being killed in the elevator. However, it is not the Automotons that are doing the killing. They realize the video has been altered to show coup soldiers doing the killings. Hercule doesn’t let this bother him, as most of the civilians are already prepared to leave the elevator, and Hercule says that these people know the truth, so they will expose A-LAWS for what they are.

At the base of the elevator, Mr. Bushido engages Setsuna with the Masurao, now in Trans-Am mode. Mr. Bushido has the advantage and proceeds to wail on the OO-Raiser, until Setsuna activates Trans-Am mode himself. The other Gundams quickly show up though, and are able to force Mr. Bushido into retreat.

Setsuna is now back aboard the Ptolemaios, and it is then that Sumeragi notices something odd about the formation of the Federation troops surrounding the Elevator. She has Felt check wind readings, and realizes that the forces are deployed in a way that they would avoid the debris from the elevator should it come down. She also realizes that A-LAWS must have another orbital weapon. And she is indeed right. In space, Arthur Goodman now commands the second Memento Mori.

I guess alot of people were expecting the Masurao/OO Raiser fight to continue right as the episode started, but it didn’t show up till around the end of the episode. Nevertheless, I thouroughly enjoyed this episode. It was nice to see Sergei in the spotlight, and all the action inside the elevator was really interesting. The way the video was edited to make it seem as if the coup force were killing innocents was diabolical on the part of A-LAWS, but if those people make it out of the elevator, they are screwed, since those people know the truth. However, it looks like one of the elevators may come tumbling down next week, seeing as how A-LAWS is aiming the 2nd Memento Mori at it. I do have a feeling that Sergei will meet his end next week, but I really hope he doesn’t. He’s such an awesome character, and I hope he sticks around till at least the very end. And I did enjoy the Masurao/ OO Raiser fight. This is the first time we have had 2 Trans-Am MS go at it, while in Trans-Am, and it was….wow. Even if it was short, it was godly awesome.

AKB48 Newsflash – Team B member Saotome Miki becomes a Research Student

So, I wake up this morning, and I am greeted with the following news over at Stage 48

Team B member Saotome Miki has moved to Team Research Student.

Cue me going WTF???

So yes, Saotome Miki has, for reasons I will talk about in a second, has left Team B and moved down to Team RS. This is indeed a sad day for me. I am a huge Team B fan, and Miki has been moving up to become one of my favorite members of Team B and AKB48 overall, so the news that she’s now now no longer with Team B hit me hard. I was so looking forward to seeing her in B4, and now no one will ever see her perform in it.

Now, the official reason as to why she has essentially been demoted has been said to be something along the lines of the management telling Miki they expected growth from her in team B, or that Miki herself said she expected to grow in Team B, and that she doubted that she was an asset to Team B.  All this sounds like a load of crap to me. I don’t buy the whole thing that she was expected to grow in Team B. How is that possible when they gave her absolutely NO solo lines…EVER. I believe that in all of the 3 stages Team B has done so far, she has 1 measly solo line in all of those, and it wasn’t even in B3. How can they expect her to grow as they say when they don’t give her the chance to. Its stuff like this that really makes me hate AKB48’s management. In fact, I have the perfect picture for them, one that convey’s my feelings towards them:

ffdelay

(sorry, but I just REALLY wanted to use this pic for something, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity)

I will still support Miki as a Research Student, and I hope that she gets the recognition she so greatly deserves while on Team RS. I do hope that she eventually rejoins Team B. And I really hope all this crap that keeps happening to Team B stops with this. They have essentially been beaten and bloodied far more than the other Teams. I’m sick of seeing them shafted as they have been.

So I’ll be signing off for today. Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring some happier AKB news soon.

Gundam 00 S2 Episode 15

As the Innovators reel and try to understand Brings death and why Tieria could possibly kill one of his own, Setsuna makes his way to the nearby Kataron base, seeing as he is still wounded from his encounter with Ali and Ribbons. When he reaches the hangar of the base, he makes it out of the OO’s cockpit, before collapsing as Marina rushes over to him. At this time, the Ptolemaios still doesn’t know Setsuna’s location, but they are currently headed to rendevouz with a Kataron supply convoy.

Back at the Federation Base, Sergei thinks about his conversation with Pang Hercule. Pang told him that he plans to take the Orbital Elevator as A-LAWS has no jurisdiction there. Pang tells Sergei that he didn’t come to convince him to join him in the coup, but that he wanted Sergei to simply not try and stop him, as he wouldn’t want to fight against a friend.

Klaus and Shirin are also meeting with someone involved with the coup, and he tells them that they want Kataron to simply stay to the sidelines and watch the coup happen, but he wants them to decide on whether to cooperate with them or not afterward.

On the A-LAWS carrier, Andrei once again screws up a chance with Louise when he mentions Saji in front of her, who she again claims she has forgotten about. Patrick notices this and offers to give Andrei some love advice. Divine and Healing are watching from afar, and Healing says that being human is not convenient as they can’t communicate the same way innovators can. At this time, Kati arrives on the other ship and is greeted by Billy. Both vow to destroy Celestial Being.

Back at the Kataron base, Setsuna is recovering from his injuries. He dreams he is back in the middle east, and see’s his younger self on his way to kill his family, as he was forced to do by Ali. Setsuna manages to stop his younger self and take his gun, but as he leaves the house, he see’s Neil standing there. Neil tells him that the only things that can be changed by the past are Setsuna’s feelings, and nothing else. It is then that gunshots are heard from the house, and the young Setsuna comes out, with the gun Setsuna took in hand. Neil tells  Setsuna to change in place of himself who was not able to change, and Setsuna then wakes up. Both Marina and Setsuna soon open up to each other, but are interrupted by news that the Ptolemaios resupplied at the Kataron supply convoy.

As the Ptolemaios reaches the coast, they come under attack by A-LAWS. The two Gadessa’s and the Emprus manage to keep the Gundams busy while the rest of the Mobile Suits head for the Ptolemaios. The only thing left to defend the Ptolemaios is the GN Archer, and Marie asks to take it out into battle.

At this time, Setsuna decides to leave with the OO despite his injuries. Meanwhile, A-LAWS if quickly forced to retreat, as news that Pang has successfully taken control of the Orbital Elevator. Setsuna learns of this, and figures that the Ptolemaios will head for the elevator, so he heads in that direction. However, when he reaches the elevator, Mr. Bushido is waiting there. Mr. Bushido quickly strikes against Setsuna. Setsuna says doesn’t want to fight at the moment, but Mr. Bushido ignores this and does something that shocks Setsuna, he activates the Masurao’s Trans-Am.

So this was a pretty good episode. Its really setting us up for big things to come, primarily Pang’s seizure of the Orbital Elevator. It will be interesting to see what happens next, but I’m betting all these events are leading up to a possible collapse of the elevator. Of course, the biggest suprise of this episode is the fact that the Masurao has its own Trans-Am ability. I guess this was the secret Pr. Eifman discovered, and it sure is a useful one. I also quite liked the scene between Marina and Setsuna, though I don’t see them as a traditional Gundam couple. I still think the main couple of this series will be Louise and Saji.

New Gundam 00 Mecha pics

Some new scans showing off the latest Gundam OO mecha:

34pm009

GN-009 Seraphim Gundam

AEU-09RG AEU Enact Suille Palace Guard Type

MSJ-06III-A Tieren All Region Type

6zud12

Masurao

Empruss

And this month’s OOV:

srwhotnews_hj_oov

GNX-704T/FS Ahead Forcing Scout Type

From the first scan, I’m more interested in the Tieren All Region Type. Obviously, this is probably some sort of mass-production version of the original Taozi. Whats most interesting is that apparently Sergei will be using this particular unit. I’m taking this as an indication he will leave the ESF and perhaps join Pang’s insurrection.

The Masurao is looking as fantastic as ever. This scan really allows you to see just how much of the Masurao is from the Union Flag. Heck, the arms and hands are practically the same as the original Flag. I’m glad they decided to go back to the Flag design for the Masurao, as the Flag was truly a brilliant MS design.

I have to say though, the spelling of the Empruss’ name is quite odd. I was sure it was Empress.

And this month’s OOV is truly unique. From what I’ve read, all the added equipment allows the Ahead to operate for a week nonstop, allowing to perform long scouting operations. Its also got 2 large GN Beam Cannon’s for good measure as well.


My thoughts on the latest AKB48 “issue”

Before I finish up my post on the latest episode of Gundam 00 (sorry for the long wait for that, been busy…) I wanted to post one something related to the new AKB48 single release, 10 Nen Zakura.

So, the list of selected members was recently revealed, and a good portion (or so it seems to me) of the AKB48 fandom over at Stage48 is in an uproar about it.

Why you ask?

Well its simple, Akimoto Sayaka was not one of the chosen members.

Yeah, that’s it…really.

Now, it is a bit odd though. Sayaka has been in every single since Aitakatta except for Yuuhi wo Miteiruka, so it is strange that she wasn’t selected for this new single. Now, I’m a huge fan of Sayaka. I think she’s awesome. And alot of other people think so to. So people were shocked and agry that she wasn’t selected. Some were so angry that they’ve decided to practically boycott this new single.

My response:

Eh…there’s always the next single.

I mean, its not like its the first single she hasn’t been in. But people seem to be treating it like this is some earth shattering event and that its an utter travesty that she wasn’t selected for this 1 single.

To those people, I say this: Shut up already.

What about all those members who have NEVER been chosen for a single (aside from BINGO, which every member at the time was in)? Hell, over half of Team B have never been chosen to be in a single, and god knows they deserve it. And there are plenty of talented members of both Teams A and K who have not been chosen for singles. What about them?

So one member who has been in every single recently is not chosen for the latest one. Big whoop. My advice. Shut up and get over it.

So thats my rant for the day. Thanks for bearing with me.


Oh, and before I sign off, I’d like to say congratulations to Team B. They owned the Shibuya-AX concert. Every sing from B3 excluding 1 made it into this 100 song concert, and the B3 opening song, Shonichi, was the #1 song of the concert (in that it was voted #1 by the fans). So congrats to Team B, you guys rock, and its about time people started to take notice.

Gundam 00 S2 Episode 14

As Memento Mori explodes, the Ptolemaios 2 speeds off, escaping the ensuing destruction. After the destruction has settled, Setsuna and the OO Raiser come to a large debris field cause by the explosion, and Setsuna notices that a large portion of the debris consists of scraps of metal from the Ptolemaios 2, which worries Setsuna greatly. However, he is soon alerted to a small craft combing the debris field; Nena’s Riaan. Setsuna is somewhat shocked to see Nena, and Nena tells him that the Ptolemaios has been forced to Earth, but before their conversation can go on any longer, Setsuna speeds off in the direction of Earth to find the Ptolemaios 2.

As a Federation spokesperson declares the destruction of Memento Mori as a act of terrorism, it is also declared that A-LAWS has been given complete control of the Federation military. Meanwhile, Hercule and Sergei are talking, and Hercule tells Sergei of a planned coup of the Federation, as it is believed among him and others that the Federation has simply become the puppet of A-LAWS. Back at the Ptolemaios, Ian finally awakens from the Medical ward. As he leaved the room, he sees a majestic landscape, and quickly realizes that he’s looking through a gaping hole in the side of the ship. The Ptolemaios has crash-landed on Earth. The others explain that they were forced down by the Innovators and their Mobile suits, and one mobile armor. As the others take some time to rest and help with repairs to the ship, Setsuna continues his search for the Ptolemaios. However, he soon comes across a gaping crater; an everlasting scar courtesy of Memento Mori. He is then alerted to the presence of an enemy mobile suit in the area; Ali’s Arche Gundam. Setsuna decides to pursue.

Ali leads Setsuna to the ruins of the Krugis Republic. Both Setsuna and Ali land their Gundams and come out, when from behind Ali, Ribbons reveals himself. He tells Setsuna that he knows all about him and his past, including his real name, Soran Ibrahim. He then goes on to reveal something shocking; He was the pilot of the O Gundam, the very Gundam that saved Setsuna 11 years ago. He informs Setsuna that he was their on a test run, and was supposed to eliminate everyone in the vicinity to maintain the secrecy of Celestial Being. However, he spared Setsuna’s life, and he was the one who recommended him to Veda to be a Gundam Mesister. Ribbon’s goes on to tel Setsuna that he wants him to hand over the OO Gundam, as Ribbons feels he should be its pilot, not Setsuna. Setsuna is clearly shocked by these revalations, and attempts to shoot Ribbons, but is shot in the shoulder by Ali. Setsuna quickly boards the OO Gundam, and he and Ali soon face off.

Back at the Ptolemaios, the crew soon learn that the Gadessa and Garazzo are closing in on them. Tieria and Allelujah head out in their Gundams to engage. Al heads to take on the Garazzo, while Tieria takes on the Garazzo. Things do not start off well for Tieria, and its apparent that Bring and his Garazzo have the upper hand. However, Tieria soon gains the upper hand himself. he uses the hands in Seravee’s 4 cannons to grapple the Garazzo, and then engages Trans-Am. In a move that shocks Bring, the backpack of Seravee breaks off and transforms into a Gundam; The Seraphim Gundam. Tieria manages to pierce the Garazzo’s GN field with the Seraphim’s arms. Bring asks Tieria if he can do this to one of his own, to which Tieria responds that he is not like them, he is human. The Seraphim’s arms then switch back to cannon mode, and destroy the Garazzo.

Meanwhile, Setsuna, despite his injury, has Ali on the ropes. Ali then notices a shuttle approaching. Its a Kataron shuttle, carrying Shirin and Klaus. Ali heads in its direction to take it hostage. However, he is denied this by the OO Raiser, now in Trans-Am mode. Setsuna proceeds to destroy the Arche’s fangs in a single huge blast, then to slice the Arche apart. However, before he can finish it off, he begins to hear Marina and the Kataron children sing. This stops him long enough for Ali to fly off in the Arche’s escape unit.

In space, Louise is meeting with the Innovator who pilots the new Mobile Armor, the Empress. The Innovator tells Louise that the Empress is a prototype of a unit she will soon recieve from Ribbons. Back at Billy’s lab on Earth, Billy shows Mr. Bushido his new MS, the Masurao. Bily mentioned he incorporated Professor Eifmans work on the GN Drives into this new suit. As Billy walks away, he tears up a picture from his school days of him and Sumeragi, saying goodbye as he does it.

This episode was just awesome. The biggest thing for me was the revelation that Ribbons piloted the O Gundam. This is sure to stir up some interesting development in Setsuna. The O Gundam was the one that saved him all those years ago, and he viewed it as a savior of sorts. Now he finds out that his savior was controlled by the very person who Setsuna is trying to destroy. If that doesn’t upset him, then I don’t know what will. Its also interesting that Ribbons feels a sort of entitlement to the OO Gundam. Its obvious why though, seeing as it uses O Gundam’s GN Drive, and is its successor in a way.

We also finally get to see Seravee’s secret, and it couldn’t be any cooler. I’m interested to see if both Seravee and Seraphim can operate at the same time. And of course, we are introduced to Mr. Bushido’s new MS, the GN Flag-esque Masurao. Its nice that they went back to the flag-style design for Graham’s new MS, as that’s the MS that really defines him. It will be interesting to see what new technology has been incorporated into it. When we find out, we’ll finally know what Professor Eifman discovered before the Thrones killed him.