Draw your weapons and take aim, because Sabagebu! is coming at you!
Momoka Sonokawa was just minding her own business on the train one day when she encountered a pervert. Before she could do anything about it, a girl named Miou appears, brandishing two pistols and and scaring him off, only to be arrested herself a few minutes later for possessing firearms.
Later Momoka sees this same girl at her school and follows her to a run down building. It turns out Miou is the president of the school's Survival Game Club, and it doesn't take long for Miou to capture Momoka and force her into joining them.
Over the course of the series, Momoka and her new “friends” will take part in multiple battles against enemies from other schools, a rival from the same school who wants to see the club shut down and even each other (on multiple occasions). With friends and classmates like these, will Momoka even make it to graduation?
I never had any expectations for Sabagebu. It was never given any attention when I made that "season previews are worthless" post sometime before the summer season aired. I just saw that it was one of those "girls using weaponry" anime, remembered how I didn't give C3-bu much of a chance when it aired a year ago, noticed that it was the first thing to air in the season (even though it was due to being a pre-air), and gave it a shot. Was kind of surprised at how fast-paced and violent the premiere was, so I watched the second episode. And then the third.
And now I've finished the entire series.
- Watch out Witchcraft Works, because I think you've got competition for the best "hidden gem" of the year. And considering how fucking insane you turned out to be, that's saying more than America's word that West Africa will be ebola-free within the next five years.
What the advertisements for this show failed to get across to me is that Sabagebu is a black comedy, a genre that's kind of rare in anime and even rarer in shoujo. Sure you have plenty of 90s-era John Hughes slapstick knockoffs getting produced every season, but in terms of comedies where the humor deliberately comes from the characters being assholes (on purpose) in the vein of "the only good sitcom airing right now" It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia? With no attempts at being heartfelt, and whenever it does, it pulls the rug from under you? I don't think even Milky Holmes at its peak was this cruel.
And whilst the other characters contribute their fair share to the proceedings, the main reason this show works is because of the main character: Momoka. Why? Because she's just so impossible a character to sympathize with to the point that she becomes extremely interesting. While not exactly on the level of great British assholes like Blackadder or Bernard from Black Books, I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that Momoka is quite frankly the biggest asshole you'll ever see in any other anime this year, and quite possibly the last few. Nothing about her is kind. She's not someone you'd ever want to be with in reality. If this was a romantic drama, she'd be that character that single-handedly ruins the series with forced conflict and a deal with the devil.
- Thankfully, Sabagebu is a skit-based comedic series that actually has a "reset button" license. Oh, one of the girls caused a helicopter to crash and killed two pilots in the process, sending them to meet the devil? Eh, nobody cares about those extras, so let's not turn her over to the police and just publicly humiliate her for the fact that she couldn't flush a toilet.
Once Momoka's behavior grounded me into the series, all the writers had to do was create short scenarios that exploited her, as well as the rest of the cast, for comedy and creativity. There's quite a few gags that don't really work (the fat stuff, the stalkers on the mountain, the school president thing that went on twice as long as it should have), but each episode always had one that was really great and it's paced quick enough so that you don't stare at a skit for too long trying to extract a laugh from your dirty ugly mouth.
- The punchlines get a little predictable as time goes on because it's pretty obvious before too long that someone's going to suffer by the time a skit ends. But it's done cleverly enough, again similar to Sunny, that it never really grows stale.
- And even if the jokes don't satisfy you, at least you can't deny that Sabagebu has great action chops. I haven't actually seen Aldnoah Zero's fight choreography despite the praise for it, but I'd be surprised to hear that it was of much higher quality than this show's "old people riding jeeps whilst shooting at youngsters" action.
- This ain't like the shitty "punch one spot multiple times and use stills for dramatic effect" stuff that Akame ga Kill seems to think qualifies for action. It isn't unstylized powerpoint like Tokyo ESP. It's not the utterly incompetent "couldn't hit the broadside of a barn" crap that Jormungand indulged in. No, this is hands-down expert gun stuff that isn't quite as good as Black Lagoon, but is worthy enough to stand in its shadow. And that's better than most gun action we get in Hollywood these days (fuck you shaky cam!).
There's not really much more I can say about Sabagebu considering it's a plotless comedy that never takes itself seriously. I do urge people to give it a shot if what I said appeals to you, because I don't think it deserved the low amount of attention it received whilst airing. Just be aware that the first episode is a little rocky and the second is when it starts to find its footing. If you're not hooked by the third - you monster - then the rest probably won't appeal to you. I definitely don't consider it the best anime of the year (Space Dandy, Tiger and Bunny: The Rising, maybe Terror in Resonance but I need to see how it ends first). Has a few too many "mehs" for me to really rank it too high, let alone consider it my favorite "cute girl" anime.
- That said, barring some explosion of quality next season, it's definitely going into my top ten anime for this year.
'I know what the title says, but don't go expecting real survival games!'
Do you enjoy an anime where girls battle out with guns? Well, there have been a lot of anime that fit that category such as C3 and Strike Witches. I know I've seen a few, and this anime is one.
There's nothing much to say about Sabagebu honestly. It revolves a hig-school club called the 'Survival Games Club' and we look into the crazy shenanigans these high-schoolers are put up into. Momoka, the character focus of the group, transferred to this high school and is forced into the club by its president, Miou. From
there, she leads her own not-so-ordinary life.
Now, what's good about this anime is the hilarious comedy. It never failed to make me laugh every episode. From the characters to the main story, it just brightens your day. The anime takes in many forms of comedy, whether dramatic or just plain stupid. Sometimes it just became Nichijou, but with a bit more understanding.
'This is all in the girls' imaginations. You can't die in a real survival game, so don't worry!'
I must really give props to the narrator. You probably never seen a lot of narrators in anime, so this kind is not wasted. He is definitely an awesome person whom I will never stop laughing at.
The characters are sweet and have nice personalities which has some similar tropes for a typical comedy anime. Momoka has a two-sided personality, Miou is rich and loved, Maya is a beauty who always die first out of the rest, Urara being a masochist always wanting to be near Momoka, and Kayo is a cosplay fanatic who doesn't talk much.
But I feel that there is some character development in Momoka, as she has a liking into the club and make many memories with it.
There are other supporting characters whom I find are always very funny in their own ways. Some of them reappear in different episodes and they love to create chaos or just fun to the club, or Momoka.
In the end, the characters are a funny bunch in their own aspects.
I'm not quite fond with the art in this anime. The character designs are quite stale, with weird hairstyles and body shapes, despite some of the characters have weird body shapes for the sake of comedy. The scenery is a bit bland and nothing interesting to see. The gun battles can be fun and exciting to look at, but the damage done seems a bit boring.
But still, facial expressions are amusing. I quite like the designs of the guns the characters have. The opening and ending visuals are nice with a taste of action and comedy.
The opening song, sung by Momoka's VA, Ayaka, has a great energy feel along with the beautiful vocals. The ending song, sung by the cast, has taken a more funny approach with the lyrics, along with nice dancing music. Honestly, I can't stop grooving at the ending song.
The background music varies a lot. Sometimes, in special occasions, they may play an interesting theme that matches. Otherwise, it has nice relaxing music that sounds like it come out from a typical slice of life anime. Nothing wrong, really, but it is good to listen. The voice acting is great, with a lot giving emphasis to their thoughts and feelings for comedy sake. There are some recognisable voice actresses in the anime.
No one should take Sabagebu seriously. It is definitely worth the laughs from the viewers like me. I enjoyed this anime very much and it brightens my day a lot.
Certainly, I would never see girls running around a battlefield wielding guns ever again, unless a season two arrives.
Plain and simple. That's the name of the game with this show. Sabagebu is a solid comedy that had surprisingly great potential early on, and then somewhat dips a bit below later. It never gets bad nor does it ever become amazing, but it does suffer from a few problems here and there. I was hoping for something akin to a successor to Yuru Yuri (I believe the director of both shows might be the same person, but I am not sure) and it was not quite that. Of course I cannot fault it for it not being something that it was not setting out
What I can fault it for are things like its music. One thing that drove me insane with this show was its extremely small soundtrack. All the songs are fun enough, but it is honest to goodness something akin to only two or three songs that just keep getting played over and over again, multiple times an episode. I'm sure plenty of anime do this (especially comedies), but never has it been so blatantly obvious to me.
The cast and voice acting are top notch however. Even the strange perverted otaku Lemon ends up being a ton of fun and always a pleasure to have around. The protagonist is definitely unique among your typical ones too and her cruel nature becomes the butt of most of the game's gags. Every now and then the show would remember the airsoft theme, but it feels odd how rarely utilized it actually is. From the getgo it tells you not to take it seriously, but even for comedic effect the shootings can be somewhat rare. That being said, what this show does best is shake things up. The circumstances and setting for each episode vary so greatly that you sometimes can question if the writer was changed constantly. It's a lot of fun too since it will refer to things like Predator, Alien, Chuck Norris, Arnold, and Otaku culture. It's a mix of a lot of different things so some episodes will feel familiar while others will be completely out there.
And despite the cast being so strong, I felt that most of them got no real time to shine, especially the cosplay fanatic and the model. I certainly never got tired of the show and always enjoyed every episode, but I wouldn't really say it's something I'm going to miss now that it's over. It's just your solid seasonal comedy. There's generally one every season. Nothing wrong with that either. I recommend everyone follow a show like this over the weeks as it can always bring a smile to your face even during rough times.
Welcome to the Survival Game Club! A place where we imagine battles with fake guns and take comedy to the extreme!
The anime was something I was unsure to watch, with it's bright palette it didn't seem to suit the military genre and I didn't know what to expect. After watching the entire series I can safely say it's something that I enjoyed from the start to finish. The anime was hidden due to the strong Summer line-up such as SAO 2, Glasslip and Barakamon. It didn't get as much justice as it should have in my opinion.
With the anime following the comedy route, you
see a lot of interactions between all the characters to make retorts and scenes as hilarious as possible. The story follows Momoka, a transfer student at a new high school and she gets roped into joining the Survival Game Club. The rest of the series follows Momoka meeting the members and their antics as the year progresses in the club.
They have games where they battle as if it's a real war and use their imagination to show blood and action scenes. With that being said, the battle scenes are something that I find really interesting. They take the normal scene and add special effects, slow motion, and music to make it different from the norm. The stunts and tricks they do amazed me due to the fact that it's something you don't expect from an anime like this one.
A big point that got me interested in this show, was that it wasn't only about survival games. With the show really making it emphasized that the anime would be about the club and their interests for survival, the anime has some episodes that stray away from that and bring out new concepts. You get an episode where Momoka gets a little too fat and has problems dieting, an episode where Maya tries to get over her dislike of natto, and an episode about modeling. The show isn't focused on one main idea and it does a great job showing that.
Characters are a big factor that can be a hit or a miss for almost anyone. The characters in this anime were unique to say. You're given someone who loves cosplay and solely joins the club for that reason, a girl who turns into a masochist, a model, and a senior held back due to misconduct. The cast seems pretty diverse and it adds for some really interesting interactions from them all.
Momoka is a character that really drives this anime from her facade and interesting personality. On the outside shes introduced as a sweet person, but is actually sharp-tongued and easily angered. She loves to get revenge and is the complete opposite of how people view her. She's someone you can't really connect with since her personality is all over the place and it really catches the viewer to see what she'd do next.
The other main characters all have unique personalities to keep some puns and jokes coming along the way, but some are obvious and you'll catch on right away. You get character develop for once in an anime with no story or plot to follow, surprising I know. You see change in the way Momoka views the club at first and towards the end. Her personality changes a little and you can see all the events that she went through did affect her in some way.
Art is something that i'm generally picky about, but this got me right away. With the bright palettes you get a sense that the anime isn't dark and it fit the mood of the anime right away. The scenes where the battles take place and the imagination of the characters make the battles much better and fun to watch. The background for each scene is top quality, the detail in the forests, backdrop and school are really on point. The guns are all really nicely drawn and has details that each one specifically only has and brings a sense of realism to them.
The sound is something that really brings out the anime and supports it greatly. With a wonderful opening to begin each episode, it's catchy and is one of the few that I never skip. Then you get an ending sung by the whole cast that gives a nice closure to each episode. The background music always fit each scene. With the anime having serious scenes and more mellow scenes, you get background music that fit each one and brought out the feelings that the characters are trying to give off. The voice actors in this anime are great. They all gave each character life and made it much more enjoyable to watch. Even the side characters have great voice actors and they all stepped it up to show emotion and comedy.
All in all I feel this is one that was over shadowed by the hype and praise that some anime got. I recommend anyone who just wants to watch a comedy and laugh till their sides hurt to check this out. It has great characters, wonderful art and a nice soundtrack to go along with it. It's not perfect, but it does a great job working with what it has.
Were you ever caught off guard by an anime reference - big or small - in another series? There are actually more anime easter eggs to uncover than you may have imagined. Here are 50 anime references your may have missed.
The sports of survival gaming involves a lot of action and thrilling showdowns. Unfortunately, this sport is still not given the awesome show it deserves, and we now take a look at how survival gaming is misused in the anime medium.