Sabagebu! – 01

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Sonokawa Momoka transfers to a new school and, through an absurd sequence of events, is roped into her new school’s most popular girl’s clique… which runs the Airsoft enthusiast / survival game club. However, Momoka is no pushover and quickly distinguishes herself as ruthless and most lethal, to the approval of all.

Sabagebu! is a knowing comedy about how absurd silly high school comedies have gotten. It’s narrated, which Momoka can hear; it has a anthropomorphic duck character, for no reason, and each of the 5 girls is as ridiculous (yet archetypal) as can be.

Sabagebu! also pokes fun at recent ‘serious’ dramas about girls with over active imaginations who love Airsoft, by presenting each shoot out as if it were real, blood spatter included.

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But what makes Sabagebu! enjoyable isn’t just the cast’s 8th grade syndrome, nor is it that the show knows not to take itself or its genre’s conventions seriously, nor is it just how happy each girl is to run around with guns and occasionally break the 4th wall. No, what sold me on Sabagebu! was Momoka herself (voiced by Ohashi Ayaka).

When was the last time I saw a show where the lead girl seemed meek and sucks up a ton of embarrassing abuse, only to reveal that, when the chips are down, she herself lives for revenge? Not just blow-up mad freak out revenge, mind you! We’re talking cathartic, make those who harassed you all episode swallow their own medicine with a look of pure ecstasy on your own face while dishing it out kind of revenge. In short, Momoka has as much fun as everyone else, as crazily as everyone else, and broke my expectation in the process!

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1 thought on “Sabagebu! – 01”

  1. I finally got around to watching this, based on your praise as well as Kotaku East naming it one of the five anime to watch this season. I was pleasantly surprised; while the promo art looks very “kiddy”, the humor is actually very mature and witty.

    I particularly like the irreverant voiceover guy (who must be related to Space Dandy’s narrator), mirroring the show’s already very irreverant and unapologetic tone, and the fact that the sounds of the guns and gushes of blood are merely the imaginations of the characters getting really into it.

    I also appreciated that for once, the protagonist (Momoka) isn’t your typical sweet lamb in the woods. She’s initially quite apathetic and even weirded out by the survival club, jaded by so many moves to new schools and the routine of fitting in.

    The fact that she partially joins due to the automatic popularity it nets her, furthers the theme of opportunism and cynicism too often missing from “newbie” protagonists. But it also flows into the other club members: everyone is a little devious.

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