|The First Handshake Event|
|Romaji||Hajimete no Akushu-Kai|
|English||The First Handshake Event|
|Opening||Kibou ni Tsuite|
|Ending||Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru|
|Japanese||June 3, 2012|
|North America||September 23, 2013|
Their Day Off
Kirara of Succession
The First Handshake Event (初めての握手会, Hajimete no Akushu-Kai) is the 6th episode of Season 1 of the AKB0048 anime.
The 77th Generation have released a promo video announcing the upcoming debut of the team, and a handshake event has been scheduled for all of the idols. One day, Orine receives fan mail that made it through to her due to the lax screening process, and gets a nasty shock when she finds out that it’s a hate video, threatening her to not show up at the event. Though she turns up anyway, her self-confidence is shattered until she meets a little girl who’s a big fan of hers, and she encounters her hater just as the DES forces attack the stadium.
The episode opens with the promotional video supporting the 77th Generation of AKB0048, featuring the girls at play at the beach, training at dance, and vocal practice, along with a brief interview with Makoto, Sonata and Orine asking who they would like to succeed (Makoto says anyone, Sonanta says Love-Tan, and Orine says Sashiko-san), and ending with a sunset shot of all the girls on the beach. In the living room, Tsubasa Katagiri shuts off the TV and informs the girls of the purpose of the promotional film. While most of the girls are excited, Makoto freaks out due to her appearance, and Tsubasa informs her the film has already been broadcast across the galaxy and Akibastar. As Makoto bemoans her fate as the "whale waisted idol", Tsubasa tells the girls that they will be attending a handshake event on a pro entertainment planet, in order to meet their new fans and gain feedback. Yukirin, Sayaka, and Takamina then enter and explain the importance of handshake events, including acknowledging the fans and picking an outfit that says the most about them as members of AKB0048. Yukirin and Takamina offer the 77th Generation girls their clothes to borrow for the handshake event, but Sayaka intervenes and warn the young girls that Yuki and Minami are the "Twin Towers of Bad Fashion", much to the two girls' dismay. Thus, the girls decide to go shopping that afternoon before lessons. At a shopping center on Akibastar, most of the girls are trying on new clothes, including cute looks, sexy looks, and animal mascot costumes. Chieri stands off to the side, watching the girls stress out about the choices and what they will wear to the event.
Back at the mansion, the girls are exhausted. Yuka scolds Nagisa to not wear her school uniform to the handshake event. Sonata then bursts in with mail, stating that Orine has a fan letter. Orine opens the letter and a
data chip falls out. Yuka places it in her cellphone and an image of a masked boy shows up. At first Orine is excited, but then the boy starts to rip Orine to shreds for thinking she could even come close to being Sashiko. He warns her to quit AKB0048 before the handshake event, or he will set a bomb off there and finish AKB0048 off. Just then, Tsubasa breaks in and rips the video away from the girls, stating that fan mail must be screened before its sent to the girls. She informs the girls that Sashiko was a previous member of AKB0048 who graduated only two years ago, and was very popular with fans. As such, she attracted many fans, but also haters, and the same goes for those who aspire to inherit her name. She tells Orine that if she cannot handle the haters, she doesn't belong in AKB0048.
On the railway to the dance studio, Orine is still struck hard by the words of her hater, and is observed by Chieri. At the dance studio, Orine has a hard time concentrating, and falls on the floor while dancing. Chieri comes over and scolds Orine for letting the hater get to her. As Orine cries and runs away, Nagisa confronts Chieri over her thoughtless comment. Chieri then stuns Nagisa by saying she doesn't want Orine to quit the group over this, otherwise her dream won't come true. Ushiyama then goes to get Yuka and Orine, ordering the other five girls to continue practicing.
In the ladies room, Takamina comes running in, needing to use it. She hears Orine crying in one of the stalls and asks if she's all right. Orine opens the door. As Orine cleans up, Takamina offers her a towel. She tells Orine that everyone has haters, especially her, as all people who succeed to the name of Minami Takahashi are made the team captains of AKB0048, and people are expecting her to live up to the past incarnation. When Orine inquires further, Takamina bolts for the bathroom.
Later that same night, Orine stands on the balcony looking out at Akibastar. Nagisa joins her, and Orine explains that when they were growing up, she felt nobody was watching her. She always had a desire to be seen by people. She tells Nagisa that depsite her doubts and fears, she will still show up at the handshake event, inspired by Minami's words.
On the planet where the handshake event is taking place, Suzuko explains to the girls the history of the handshake event as people file into the makeshift stadium. Tsubasa then tells the girls that while the current members of AKB0048 are on break, the 77th generation members will step in and take their place at the booths. After they all get dressed and ready (and Yuka scolds Nagisa for wearing her school uniform and Chieri her boys clothing), Tsubasa orders them to the booths, and Orine goes, even though she is so nervous she knocks her drink over.
As the girls arrive, they notice there are no lines to greet them initially. But then an Orine fan, a little girl named Yayoi, approaches with her big sister. The little girl offers Orine her hand, and Orine takes it and shakes it. Orine is overwhelmed with emotion and thanks Yayoi. After this, people begin to file into the booths and greet the girls. All of them are impacted positively by this until Orine's threatener appears. He moves to confront her, but Chieri quickly moves in front of her, stunning the threatener by welcoming him and thanking him for coming.
Just then, an explosion rocks the stadium. The trainees immediately assume it was Orine's threatener, but the boy insists it was not him, and runs away. As the girls go to catch him, Orine stands in their way, telling them to let him go. Tsubasa comes on the girls' intercoms and informs them that DES is attacking the event. As they attack, Orine spies the little girl who came to see her earlier and runs to help, while Kanata and Mimori show up holding microsabers for the girls so they can attack. As most of the girls run to attack, Mimori, Orine, and Suzuko are directing fans out of the stadium, when Orine notices her threatener knocked over. She runs to help
him, but he refuses. He yells at her for even thinking she can replace Sashiko, and states he will protect her name. Orine suddenly realizes that in his video, he had Sashiko memorabilia all over his room and that he loves her. Just then, a DES craft comes crashing down towards them. Orine moves swiftly and saves Sashiko's fan. She tells him that he is her first hater, and asks him to tell her what she is doing wrong so she can become more like Sashiko. Just when Orine and her hater are about to be attacked, a group of WOTA breaks into the stadium to fight alongside the girls. As Chieri fights a massive DES robot, Takamina swoops in and throws Orine her microsaber. Orine runs into the battle as she asks Takamina to save her hater.
Takamina smiles as she realizes Orine has acknowledged that that haters are good in a way, cause they show you what you are missing and help you get better. With the help of the Wota, the girls are able to drive away DES. Yayoi then runs up and thanks Orine for her help, while her hater runs away. Chieri then sees that there is something special about the DES robots.
The next day, Tsubasa delivers a letter to Orine. It is another video from her hater. Although he still thinks Orine has a lot of work to do, he does see a bit of Sashiko in her, and if she works hard, she may be able to succeed her. The girls celebrate as Orine holds the video to her heart.
- Takamina mentions that all successors to the name of Minami Takahashi are made team captains of AKB0048.
- Tomochin and Mayuyu do not make appearances in this episode.
- This is the first episode where Atsuko Maeda is not mentioned.
- This episode marks the first appearance of the bodyguard group, the WOTA.