Length: 12 Episodes
Genre: Action, Comedy, Military
Momoka Sonokawa is a first year transfer student that arrives at Aogiri High, which predictably, is an all-girls school. She unexpectedly meets third year Miou Ootari and gets dragged along into the wild world of survival games. Can Momoka survive being a part of Miou’s wacky band of gun-toting airsoft enthusiasts?
Each twenty-something minute long episode is broken up into 2 or 3 segments, and I definitely liked the fragmented episode layout due to the rapid-fire nature of the storytelling. Sabagebu! wasn’t going to tell some grand overarching story anyway, so I think it’s better that they focused on storytelling in fun-size chunks, rather than stretching out a single narrative over the entire length of an episode.
During their survival games, the members are “killed”, but this only happens in their imagination, and they eventually return to the land of the living in order to continue giving us the comedy we very much deserve.
I found the comedy to be consistently funny with nary a joke/quip falling flat. It was also great to see a few pop culture references make their way into the show. Predator, Chuck Norris, and even Michael Jackson, among others, are mentioned to great comedic effect. There are also a few instances where the viewer is given a crash course on things like Japanese child safety laws, and schooled on hornets and platypuses. The person that said television rots your brain obviously never saw an episode of Sabagebu!. I feel smarter already.
Here’s a closer look at the five lovely young ladies of the Aogiri High Survival Game Club.
Momoka: While Momoka may look like your average teenage girl on the outside, on the inside, she’s a merciless, cold-hearted young woman who will stop at nothing in order to get what she wants. She doesn’t hesitate to backstab her fellow club members and would even battle her own mother to get her way. Those traits aren’t all bad however, as Miou finds them to be very useful in the survival game atmosphere.
Miou: Miou is the eldest of all the members of the Survival Game Club and is also the president. She’s blunt and to the point, practically never mincing words. Coming from an affluent family, Miou uses her fortune and power to aid her in her club-related efforts. Whether it’s purchasing high-quality natto beans for Maya or calling forth a squadron of helicopters to rescue Urara, she often uses her wealth to benefit other members of the club.
Urara: Urara grew up childhood friends with Miou and she vociferously eliminates all who stand in the way of her love for her, but that all changes once Urara gets a taste of Momoka’s vengeance. From that point forward, she shamelessly seeks Momoka’s affection in the form of violent, and oftentimes fatal, encounters.
Maya: When she’s not taking part in survival games, Maya puts her “assets” to good use as a gravure idol. She’s a second year who is almost always the first to “die” during those survival games. She’s nice to a fault, and at one point, is the object of Momoka’s scorn due to her immense breast size, so they act as a double-edged sword, of sorts.
Kayo: As the club’s resident otaku and cosplayer, Kayo hides her obsession well, but it occasionally rears it’s head and we get a rare glimpse of the real Kayo. She’s the treasurer of the club and is essentially a genius, having an IQ of 160 while grading out at the top of her class.
The quintet of girls each bring plenty of quirks that help endear them to viewers. My personal favorite was Miou, but I’m sure there are strong cases to be made for each and every one of the girls. There are also several other interesting characters that bring the funny, such as Sakura, whose has an unfortunate habit of putting herself and others in ludicrous situations, and Kamo, a sort of bipedal platypus-like creature that usually accompanies the club members wherever they go, just to name a couple. As a whole, the characters are extremely entertaining and elevate the show to another level, in my opinion.
For all intents and purposes, Sabagebu! is an average-looking show. There isn’t anything that is done amazingly well, but there really isn’t anything that disappoints either. I don’t really have anything negative to say, so I’ll just end by saying that the series displays more than enough visual flair to stand amongst its peers and not necessarily feel that it’s visually inferior to them.
While I found the OP to be average at best, I loved the ED and couldn’t skip no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t help myself. The background music is fitting and compliments the on-screen goings-on very well. The voice acting is also well-done, with the narrator playing a huge (and hilarious) role in the series. I don’t think the show would have been quite as funny if it was lacking his frequent input. Overall, the audio is fairly high quality and adds a lot to the show.
The yuri hopes and dreams rest on the shoulders of Urara, and she proves more than capable of bearing that weight like a modern day Atlas. The yuri involved in Sabagebu! falls into Type III of the different kinds of yuri, as outlined by the incomparable Lena K. herself. Urara’s feelings towards Momoka begin as jealousy (due to Miou’s sudden interest in her), but eventually turn to affection after Momoka awakens Urara’s inner masochist. Urara becomes a glutton for punishment at Momoka’s hands and eagerly awaits for Momoka to serve up the goods. While Momoka doesn’t really reciprocate Urara’s feelings, she never hesitates to oblige and dish out the pain (or in Urara’s case, pleasure). At one point, Momoka does show some concern for Urara’s well-being, but that’s the closest we get. It was far from romantic, but it was still nice to see her being kind to Urara, for once. I salute you, Urara. May you forever live on in our little yuri-loving hearts.
If you enjoy great comedic anime, Sabagebu! is most definitely worth your time. It’s a slapstick comedy that revels in absurdity and pushes the envelope in terms of ridiculousness, with plenty of WTF moments to go around. It may not be the most yuri-centric show out there, but it’s definitely the funniest one with a yuri twist that’s been out in the recent past, at the very least.