The girls of the survival game club throw one final, perfect outing in episode 12. As always, It’s charming, delightfully absurd and honestly funny but above all else, Sabagebu 12 delivers surprising character development and even bigger over the top antics without losing it’s characters and focus in the process.
Truly, Sabagebu 12 is the best finale I’ve seen since Teggen Toppa Gurran Laggan… Time for some synopsis!
A mysterious and untreatable disease is sweeping Japan and the government has unleashed the National Survival Game Club, an elite but rarely active survival club style imaginary military force to round up the infected post haste!
Unfortunately Momoka has all the illness’ symptoms: Fever, skin that is turning green and her voice sounds auto-tuned. Even more unfortunately, Sakura-sensei has already reported Momoka’s condition and the authorities are on their way.
Intermittent skirmishes and cameos lead the girls to an abandoned church, which is quickly surrounded by government troops. However, news of Momoka’s escape is broadcast all across the land and soon allies arrive to make a final stand.
Fried Chicken Lemon, Momoka’s Mom, The forgetful old woman and the old man with the cowboy hat, the Hentai Photographer trio, the Yammy fat idol and even the middle school girl are all there, quick roping from Platy and Crabbie’s chopper.
“Why protect me? I dont deserve it!” cries a voice modulated Momoka
“Youre right. Your vengeance is extreme. You are cruel to the weak and suck up to the strong. You casually crush others underfoot for your own desires. However, I’ve never been bored with you by my side,” replies a stead fast Miou. “That’s more than enough for me.”
Touched and finally coming to feel their friendship Momoka and rises and epic battle ensues.
What elevates episode 12 to genius is how in character it stays, despite upping the ante in every way: Momoka is as devious as ever, but unable to act due to being sick; Miou is there to lead and to tackle the thrilling challenge at hand; Maya is there because she’s overly nice… and needs to get shot first… in the boobs; Kaya is there because it’s an Otaku’s dream for such a battle, but she’s also pragmatic and the only club member to wear a gas mask to avoid Momoka’s infection and Urara is there because she truly loves Momoka with all her warped heart.
As each friend goes down, the newly caring — newly having fun for fun’s sake — Momoka actually feels loss for the first time. Platy’s chopper is even shot down with a SAM. Finally, Urara shields Momoka one last time, this time without being purposefully used as a human shield and the emotional damage is done.
The Virgin Mary statue cries, a dove flies over head and in a swell of classical music, Momoka surrenders, tears in her eyes, at last in love with her friends.
Then the civil servants receive word that a cure has been found and that it’s simple, over the counter stuff and that they can all go home.
Everyone dusts off, a bit embarrassed about how emotional it all got and the episode ends.
Except the episode isn’t over! It’s Christmas now, inexplicably, and the club is trying to put together a surprise birthday party for Urara, who never gets to experience a special time of her own due to the date of her birth.
Preparations fail spectacularly: Sakura-sensei bleeds all over the birthday card, Miou decorates the cake before cooking it, Kaya makese paper cranes instead of streamers and the ‘bear’ they purchased for Urara turns out to be a real bear and goes off to terrorize the locals.
So the club ties up Momoka and gives her as a present and we end with Urarara sharing a bath with Momoka, happy as a clam, and the narrator saying ‘see you in hell, baby!”
See you in hell, baby!
As a finale, this was picture perfect. Cheesy, packed and exploding with insanity, but charming and off all the shows this season, it even gave the protagonist some growth!
Who knew a show that’s already featured road-warrior style battles with the elderly and an homage to the alien/predator franchises had bigger sharks left to jump?