|Episode 13 - For Their Smiles|
|Romaji||Egao no Tame ni|
|English||For Their Smiles|
|Ending||Niji no Ressha|
|Japanese||July 22, 2012|
|North America||September 23, 2013|
Idols Who Sing Of Love
The Young Girls' Trial
For Their Smiles (笑顔のために, Egao no Tame ni) is the 13th and final episode of Season 1 of the AKB0048 anime series.
The girls make it away safely, but both the main members and trainees protest, and Tsubasa relents and allows them to return to Lancastar. Dazzling the stage with their presence, Chieri allows Nagisa to take the lead halfway through Seaside Cherry, and they complete the song beautifully, following on with Kibou ni Tsuite and Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru, aided by the main members who act as defence against the DES. Together, the trainees make the Kirara radiate blindingly bright, and Nagisa reunites with her parents briefly before the idols leave, towards their next stage.
The episode begins with Tsubasa informing the girls that the planned live concert on Lancastar will not be able to go ahead due to a planned attack from DES which is expected to be on a massive-scale. As soon as the words are out of her mouth, the girls, especially the trainees, are protesting in disappointment. Chieri argues that everybody will be waiting for them, so they don't care if they die, but Tsubasa sharply interrupts her by telling her death is not something to be taken lightly.
Yuka asks if Lancastar will fall completely under the entertainment ban if they leave now, prompting support from Mimori. Nagisa realizes that if they can never go back to Lancastar, she will never see her parents again. Tsubasa tries to ignore the girls' arguments, saying that they will be meeting up with the Katyusha. With that, she ends the video call, leaving the girls stood alone, wondering if the concert will take place or not.
The scene cuts to Tsubasa in the control room, her assistants informing her that they have joined with the Katyusha and for now, DES have given up. Tsubasa reminds them to stay aware of possible threats but her own mind quickly drifts back to a memory of when she was a member of AKB0048, along with Acchan. Tsubasa is complaining to Acchan about how nobody will be waiting for them, due to the fact there are no WOTA on the planet.
Acchan considers this, then tells Tsubasa that she reason she goes to see the audience is because she wants to. Back in the present day, Tsubasa wonders aloud what she should do.
After the girls have finished there showers, Sonata mumbles about how the DES scared her when they said that they hated AKB0048. Suzuko firmly reassures her, telling her that the DES are wrong to hate AKB0048 and that it is a band full of smiles, love and happiness. The scene cuts to Chieri, Nagisa, Orine and Yuka, getting changed seperately from the others. Chieri comments on how she had wished to return to Lancastar one day because she enjoyed the summer the four of them had spent together so much.
The scene cuts to Takamina on her way to ask Tsubasa about the concert, when she is interrupted by Yuuko. Yuuko tells Takamina it's not up to them to help out the trainees and they should be the ones learning to get through this with their own power. Yuuko offers to go and see Tsubasa with her, well aware that Takamina intends for this to be her last concert so Kanata can take over her name.
Tsubasa is still musing about Acchan's words to her from back when they were in AKB0048 when her thoughts are suddenly interrupted by an incoming video call from Kanata and the rest of the trainees. Kanata begs Tsubasa to let them perform the live concert on Lancastar, despite Tsubasa's objections. Chieri yells that they want to see the audience, making Tsubasa jump due to the similarity of Chieri and Acchan's words. An incoming call also arrives from Yuuko and Takamina, asking the same thing of her. All of a sudden Tsubasa's control room is flooded with video calls from the AKB0048 successor members, begging to be allowed to go to Lancastar for the concert. Just as quickly as they arrived, the video calls cut out and the screens turn blue.
Kirara float around the room, echoing Acchan's words, and begin to spread around the ship until everybody can hear them. As a result of the immense number of Kirara appearing, the Kirara Drive begins and Tsubasa wonders aloud if Acchan is still alive and is the cause of this.
The scene cuts to a war-torn Lancastar, thousands of crouds pushing, shoving and protesting with anger that they are not allowed to enter the AKB0048 concert. Mikako Minamino is also there, and suddenly spots the humongous burst of light emerging from the clouds, aware instantly that it is AKB0048. She directs the huge crowds towards the direction of the light, setting off a stampede. Meanwhile in the control room, Tsubasa begins to weep as she thanks Acchan for always lighting the way as the video calls regain connection. After a sudden change of heart, Tsubasa declares that they're going to Lancastar and the party is beginning.
From his prison cell, Nagisa's father hears the pound of music, specifically AKB0048's. Mamoru and another male are driving an army tank through the streets, commenting that if they're going to help defend AKB0048, they should do it in style. Mikako continues to lead the stampede towards the concert, encouraging them to shout even louder for their idols. Finally, the long-awaited AKB0048 ship descends amongst the crowds as their first song, Nagisa no Cherry, begins.
Chieri, leading the others, begins to sing, ignoring the incoming DES shots. Nagisa, having taken on a more minor role, is struggling to even sing, focusing on keeping up with the dance more than anything else. Meanwhile Nagisa's father comes to the realisation that the music he heard is from AKB0048 when the Chief Mamoru was in the car with appears offering an escape to the concert. Mamoru approaches him, telling him that his own daughter, Nagisa, is up there too, in her very first performance.
Back on the stage, Chieri offers Nagisa her microphone. Chieri says that she doesn't want this to be a competition and nothing good would come of being against one another. She tells Nagisa to unleash her feelings towards the entire population of Lancastar and hands her the microphone. At this moment, a group of fans call out for the two, and Nagisa spots her own mother amongst them. A shout from Mamoru causes Nagisa's eyes to move towards the mine entrance, where she spots her father, too. Their presence gives Nagisa the confidence she needs and for the first time in a while, she manages to sing, solo.
At this moment, Chieri's Kirara splits in two, one representing Nagisa and the other representing Chieri. The trainees not supporting the performance of Cherry Cherry Boy squeal and hug each other in delight and happiness for Nagisa. After the next verse, the song is over.
All that is left now is the encore of Yume wa Nando mo Umarekawaru, to be performed by the entire 77th and the 75th Generation. The successor members take up their defensive positions, ready to fight DES if needed. Whilst the girls are performing the song, floods of Kirara begin to appear, attracted to the idols within the trainees. In alarm, Tsubasa realizes the radiance of the Kirara is just like the night that Acchan disappeared. She comments on how not only Nagisa and Chieri are glowing, but the entire 77th and 75th Generations have the same radiant light surrounding them.
All of a sudden a large attack hits the side of the ship, forcing the trainees to the ground. Chieri pulls out her Micsaber, but is stopped by Kanata, who reminds her the successors are there to handle defense due to the importance of the song. The sucessors begin to continue the song, this time on flying plates rather than the stage. Takamina watches Kanata proudly, happy with her decision to graduate, before rallying round the rest of the succesor members to help defend the 77th and 75th Generations. Takamina falls, but manages to get back up, assuring the rest of the successors she only has a scratch, when all of a sudden a Kirara appears.
At this moment in the Holy Grounds, Takamina's soul suddenly shifts to the closest of that of the original Minami Takahashi.
All of a sudden Sensei Sensei's voice resounds throughout the control room, repeating the same two words over and over again: 'Center Nova'. The Kirara meld into images of the nine trainee members, and Tsubasa realizes he means that one of the trainees is destined to become the next Center Nova.
The final song of the concert is Kibou ni Tsuite, the dance the girls do a reenactment of the opening of AKB0048. Whilst the 77th and 75th Generations sing, the successors are still busy defending, holding out well against the army of DES forces. All of a sudden, DES begin attacking spectators, including the area where Nagisa's parents are. Nagisa quickly attempts to come to the rescue, but is hit by an attack from a DES machine and falls to the ground. Mamoru begins his attack as Nagisa begins to get back up and Chieri appears to help her out, both armed with Micsabers. Their Kirara suddenly form an impeneterable shield of light, protecting them from all DES attacks. No sooner than this, Yuuko appears armed with two massive Micsabers, dealing serious damange to the DES machine. Mayuyu extends her robotic arm and begins firing bullets at a fleet of incoming DES mechas, destroying them with one hit.
Takamina appears and instructs Nagisa and Chieri to return to their concert, assuring the pair that they'll take care of the DES.
The trainees all return to their performance of Kibou ni Tsuite as Nagisa's father looks on proudly. As the radiant light from the Kirara begins to envelop them even more, Tsubasa and Mikako begin to panic, reminded of what happened to Acchan a few years ago. The Kirara reach their peak point of brightness, but after the light has cleared, the 77th and 75th Generations are still there as the song ends, prompting relief from Mikako as they shout their thanks to the crowd.
The Kirara that had spread throughout the ship fade away, a relieved Tsubasa commenting on how lucky they were to have made it through the concert. She promises herself that if a trainee becomes a Center Nova, she will find out the truth of what happened to them.
An exhausted Mikako is still lying by the concert grounds, breathing heavily, scraping up a clump of Dualium in her hands. She wonders aloud if that could be the reason for the phenomenon of the Center Nova at Lancastar. Nagisa steps off her flying plate to greet her mother, launching into a big hug with her. Her father's approach is quieter. Nagisa apologizes to him, but he simply asks why she is apologizing. At this point, Nagisa and Chieri receive a call from Yukirin to retreat through their earpieces. Nagisa runs towards her flying plate, crying as she goes before flying into the distance with Chieri, as the trainees begin to retreat to Yakusoku Yo.
Mamoru and Yuka meet again and Orine apologizes to the DES machine she built, which she named "Sakura", and for it was destroyed. Yuka and Mamoru share a high five before Yuka quickly makes her excuses and leaves, trying not to get too upset. Takamina and Yuuko are greeted by Tsubasa, who whispers the good news about graduation in Takamina's ear.
Yuuko can tell exactly what Tsubasa has just told her and gives Takamina a congratulatory thumbs-up.
As the understudies realize it's time to leave, they give their audience one final smile, and leave.
- The second season of AKB0048 was announced at the end of this episode.