Sabagebu! – Special – 01

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For those of you who plan to purchase a Blu-ray copy of Sabagebu!, know that… I’m about to spoil the bonus episode that comes on that disc!

For, indeed, I’m not sure if Sabagebu! Special 01 would have much impact if you knew exactly what you were getting into. So be warned! Look away if your disc is still in the mail, cause here we go!

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Entitled “Now There Were 5,” Sabagebu! special is an 11-minute summer vacation escapade. The girls are going to the president’s summer home for some relaxation but no one is fooled: they know Miou will turn it into a survival challenge of some sort, some how.

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And she does, except the obstacle course is not really important, nor all that challenging. Not till they get to the sharks, anyway.

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No, really this episode is about fan service. Knowing, psudo-family-friendly, fan service.

The girl’s strip down when they get to the mansion. The girls wear school swim suits as they trek across the obstacle course. Kaya gives a history on swim suits and on mythology that involve stripping Momoka in her imagination. Maya’s clothes are ripped off and she’s molested by eels.

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Urara gets especially frisky with Momoka’s anus, crotch, and under garments.

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Then Urara gets kicked back into the shark-filled lake and is eaten quite quickly. As her blood begins to spread, Miou proudly says she’s happy they’ve all made it. Then, as the narrator brings us away, Urara’s skull bobs to the surface.

Then there were 5! (counting Platty)

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Woo! That was some fan service! Knowing or not, it was more than a little eye-rolling.

Likewise, even if the girls were annoyed by it — Momoka even throws Platty AT THE SCREEN to get us to leave them alone — I’m not sure how I’d have taken this during the regular season?

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Thank goodness it was still funny!

Sabagebu! has fantastic timing and, above all else, knows how to pull out a surprise just when you think you’ve seen it all. No! I’m not talking about the surprise reveal that the sharks were real: I’m talking about the possibility that they just KILLED OFF A CHARACTER FOR LAUGHS!

Bravo, Sabagebu! Bravo!

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Sabagebu! – 12 (Fin!)

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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!

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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!

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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?

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Sabagebu! – 11

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Sabagebu enters it’s final run without a care in the world and, truth be told, we couldn’t be happier! Sure, we appreciate the continuity of Girls Survival Club and enjoy seeing their world fleshed out, but Sabagebu has always placed wacky one-off humor over a season spanning narrative.

On with the synopsis!

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Episode 11 opens with Momoka making a gun-run to Joe’s for Miou. This is a total red herring though, as Momoka never makes it to Joe’s and, instead, is side tracked by a pastry shop. One thing leads to another and Miou’s gun gets plastered with decorative candy ornaments!

The dueling narratives — what Momoka means and what the shop keeper thinks Momoka means because she’s seen Miou’s gun and not Momoka’s cell phone — is fantastic and classic Sabagebu. Even better, it’s a rare case of Momoka not trying to take advantage of someone and being totally bewildered by the results.

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Momoka can’t hide the damage to Miou’s gun for long but her fear of reprisal (I assume Momoka has no capacity for sympathy) is short lived as the chocolate bar grip and weight make the gun more stable and comfortable in Miou’s hand and the cherry/teddy bear combo work as a fantastic site!

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Soon the entire club is back at the candy shop, getting their guns and gear outfitted in candy deco, to the embarrassed horror of Momoka. We can assume the candy shop clerk was none to happy either, still fearing the Momoka as a blood drinking Yakuza. (end act 1)

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Momoka, Kaya and Maya watch a news cast by an old man who’s witnessed the most graceful person walking in high heels ever and, in cinderella fashion, he’s offering a reward to see that person again. Momoka obviously goes all in but has no experience in heels.

Enter Friend Chicken Lemon to the rescue, sort of! Lemon gives Momoka (and we the viewers) a quick history lesson on high heels and culture then begins to train Momoka in their artful use. Unfortunately, this involves walking down a road covered in dog $%IT while balancing a glass of water on Momoka’s head…

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I loved the show’s ‘censored’ dog poop being strawberries. Not only did it tie back into to the previous act but softened the totally gross moment of Lemon sliding across it.

Momoka makes her debut in front of the wealthy man but is unable to be as graceful as he wants. Lemon comes to the rescue again, sort of, and reveals that he was the original walker all along. In a nice turn of events, Lemon is rewarded for his fetishism and act 2 comes to a close.

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Maya is hit first again!

Miou brings a giant, high value crab to share with her club, which has everyone drooling over it’s taste and or cash value. Unfortunately, the crab is still alive and gets into a fearsome fight with Platty. Then it attaches itself to Maya’s face and starts laying eggs!

Double unfortunately for the girls, when they finally over power the crab, Platty joins the frey on the crabs side. Apparently feeling a bond with the beast after locking claws with it, he takes it on a run and a battle ensues across the whole school and town.

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While this final act was not a direct parody of Gainax’s horrible girls with airsoft’s final episode, it gets pretty close. The entire school is drawn into the action, the weapon’s are over the top, and the bodies are piled knee high as the girls chase Platty across the campus. It’s a nice nod to the show we all think about when we think about why Sabagebu may have happened, without needing to homage directly.

The final battle is also nice and consistent with Sabagebu lore, as Maya is the first to get gunned down, followed by Kaya, and then Urara (who Momoka uses as a human shield again). If anything, I was surprised Momoka’s mom and/or sally didn’t end up in the fray by the end but I’m guessing Sabagebu is saving those characters for next week’s final horah!

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The episode comes to a close with the girls accepting the crab into the club, only to accidentally cook him in the hot springs. It’s a clever little end to a cute, mean spirited but often funny show.

I’m gonna miss you Sabagebu. I really will. xoxo

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Sabagebu! – 10

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Momoka discovers an old treasure map, while desperately searching for money in her room. Totally broke, she hatches a plan: spin the treasure map as a jumping off point for an adventure and maybe, just maybe, Miou will cover the travel expenses for what Momoka believes will only be a handful of childhood allowance yen.

The plan works and then they jump out of a plane!

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Team Survival dashes about Momoka’s old town behind a pair of dowsing rods. Unfortunately, the rods work too well and anything of value attracts their attention. Even wealthy women’s faces, which surely cost a fortunate to make!

Then the team bumps into the Yakuza!

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But it’s okay! The Yakuza give the girls a ride to Momoka’s old house where they discover the treasure is an old poem from a purer hearted Momoka, who asks her future self to cherish friendships above money.

Kaya is moved by the letter and shares her own childhood poem, which Momoka mocks horribly before being shot to death. (end act 1)

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The papers are a buzz with rumors a national idol has gone missing! However, she’s just hiding at the survival clubhouse and has gotten fat.

Then she learns self reliance from Momoka, through Momoka’s grande speech about brutal self centeredness. Then she loses her excess weight and crushes the boy who scorned her. (end act act 2)

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“Oh! Maya died first again!”

The girls crash land in the jungle on their way to a survival game but fins themselves hunted by a quirky-but-deadly adversary who appears to dress his victims in ‘little mouse girl suits’ after shooting them to death.

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In classic predator fashion, the attacker is invisible and has a shoulder mounted energy weapon. Fear not! Momoka betrays all her friends and ultimately takes down the alien, who appears to be a cute’ish cat creature. Then Momoka is congratulated by an alien elder for being so devious and cold hearted… which results in the elder’s short life.

Then Kaya, who we assumed was dead earlier, shoots Momoka and the girls regroup in a hotspring… only to be ambushed by ALIEN style aliens! (end act 3. end episode)

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As should be obvious by the lengthy synopsis, this week’s episode was was packed with content and I can not begin to do it justice. In simple terms, Sabagebu! number ten is totally bonkers, has three totally unrelated acts that are each completely all over the place and the whole thing was excruciatingly funny!

From Momoka’s regular penchant for betrayal to Miou’s new found understanding that Momoka is actually, entirely, an awful human being, to Kaya finally getting the upper hand against Momoka (twice!) the show balances expectation with satisfaction. Kaya’s revenge in particular feels great, considering how often Momoka has dodge the bullet earlier in the season.

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From None of the elderly residents at Momoka’s old house caring (or objecting) to the invasion of teen girls to the cat-predator silhoette looking enough like Sally-Sensei to fake me out, this week’s little details were spot on too.

That’s it! I can’t hold it back anymore! Well Done Sabagebu! This week you’re getting a…

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Sabagebu! – 09

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Josephine (aka Platty with paper ears taped to his head) is dragged to Dog Paradise by Momoka for some a french food and doggie nosh.

Unsurprisingly, Platty is not thrilled with this and soon he and Momoka are fighting, which draws the ire of Inugami-san, the starry eyed owner-hippy of the shop.

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Soon Platty and Inugami’s dog are competing to see who’s the best, with Platty only accomplishing his tasks through Momoka’s brutality.

Things fall apart, Platty’s not-dog-ness is revealed, the shop is lit on fire and everyone saves face when Platty is willing to jump the fire (to bite Momoka’s face) and Inugami’s pup is not.

Then Miou shows up atop a lion. (end act 1)

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Urara’s pleasant moment down the ocean (actually the school pool) is ruined when Kaya brings up rumors of a classmate drowning and subsequently haunting the pool.

Urara and Maya laugh this off as nonsense but things get serious after Sakura-sensei locks them in for the night.

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Without windows, phones, or even clothes, the three girls rapidly descend into madness. Fear of hypothermia, needing to use the toilet and general survival club mania all come to a head and the group decides their only chance of survival is to experience brutal pain.

Then Miou shows up in a sexy combat bikini, drawn by the chance to fight a ghost, only to find her comrades in tatters. (end act 2)

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Miou finally starts an act showing up at the beginning! She’s taken the Survival Club to Australia and they will be fighting old people on a mixture of trucks and motor cycles and even a heli-plane!

Momoka suspects this whole act is the result of Miou watching a certain movie recently, but quickly gets into the fun when she discovers Fried Chicken Lemon will be driving a semi for her.

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Unfortunately, the other girls don’t warm to fighting the elderly in time and Maya, Kaya and Urara all find themselves gunned down. At least their deaths fuel Miou’s thirst for victory, as she rides past them on her motorcycle embroiled in a duel with a preachery-looking elderly gent.

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Momoka remains entirely unaffected by shooting those who could be infirm, and slaughters her way from one end of the race to the other. In her grandest moment, she convinced Lemon to take out the heli-plane by driving off a cliff and into it, before she thanks him and bails to safety. 

Later, everyone celebrates with a happy soak in the hotel pool. The Sydney Opera House is behind them. Much much time later, the most senile of the geriatric survivalists is found in the outback. (end episode 9)

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Sabagebu! number nine remains all about brutality and brutally defying our expectations — and the absurdity is still quite delightful!

Expect that old man who’s taken the entire act to lift his rifle will finally make a difference? Nope! Momoka shoots him in his moment of minuscule triumph.

Expect Momoka’s thoughts to linger on Lemon’s sacrifice as she holds his glasses? Nope! Momoka tosses them over her shoulder with a smile and trots off to victory.

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You tell’em, Granny!

Episode nine also showed us that Lemon and Sakura’s returns over the past weeks were not simple hints at a greater world. Rather, that both characters exist fully in the world and will be around often, even if only as side characters. (Heck, Lemon was almost in this episode as much as Miou!)

Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that i don’t get the sense Sabagebu! is going anywhere with anything, nor trying to make a point, nor especially pretty, this show would easily hit a 9+ each week. As is? It’s remarkably good at brightening my day with laughter, parody and violence.

…And that’s good enough for me!

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Sabagebu! – 08

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Maya convinces Momoka to model for an amateur photo shoot. Unfortunately, Momoka runs into Fried Chicken Lemon, the light-gun champion she defeated a few weeks back, is in attendance. Worse, the Camera Men of Death show up and go all-out against Momoka to snap her panty shot.

Momoka wins at every turn, thanks to some help from FCL, but is ultimately undone by her own kindness. (end act 1)

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Maya shrugs off Momoka’s post panty-shot photo session fury with the words “there’s no such thing as a bad fan.” Little does Maya know how wrong she is about to be proved at their snowy-mountain top show down with the Immaculate and Pure Womans University Survival Game Circle.

Arriving in santa-costumes (Kaya!) complete with skimpy skirts and reindeer antlers, the girls find themselves out classed by the IaPWUSC. Even Momoka is gun downed quickly.

However, Serious fighting is not on LaPWUSC’s agenda and they proceed to chase Maya and gun off all of her clothing. By the end, she’s naked, in a barrel, floating down a river with the girl’s rabidly swimming after her, eating her own words. (episode end)

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Sabagebu! Eight brings us more than its share of fan service, but it does so in such a mocking, annoyed way that I just ate it up. Just think about it! What other show has the gal to pull out a ‘skin’ episode built around fandom being full of pervs and, regardless of their sympathetic reasons for falling into perv.dom, that they are jerks and pervs and hurting people?

I also appreciated the return of Friend Chicken Lemon. Not as a character per-see (he’s not much of a character, really) but I enjoyed that Sabagebu! has a world—a persistent world—to draw actors from and won’t just toss us a new disposable character every episode.

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“They have so much money to waste” – Momoka after the Camera Men of Death return with more cameras.

The first act really drives home how wasteful everyone is in all their endeavors. From the CMoD’s unending supply of expensive equipment just to score a meaningless panty shot on a girl they don’t know, to Momoka herself, he blasts an uncountable number of hairbands at them to protect herself from being photographed by some meaningless pervs. Again, everything was delivered with Sabagebu’s signature liveliness and humor but it was still social commentary.

Color me impressed!

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In many ways, this week’s second act was also poignant: be mindful of what other’s have experienced, lest you experience it yourself.

That said, this is a smaller message and much more of the arc was devoted to simple abuse of Maya, skimpy clothes and over-the-top things going wrong and, for that, it stood out as the funnier of the two segments!

The Survival Club’s ‘transformation sequence’ in particular was excellent this week, due to the addition of santa-garb. While I do not condone Santa and guns during the X-mas holidays, it sure does make for a humorous juxtaposition.

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Another week and another bubbly half hour of fun from Sabagebu! This show continues to surprise me with its depth and flexibility—and even more so that it doesn’t lose sight of why we are watching in the first place along the way.

Above all, Sabagebu is a funny show and it’s fun to watch. Many many thumbs up!

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Sabagebu! – 07

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While lost in the mountains, the Survival Club stumbles upon a village in distress. Vermin (raccoons, deer, etc) are devouring the village’s food supply — but the girls can’t bring themselves to shoot the cute little creatures. Then they meet an old hunter and learn about hunting culture in Japan and, ultimately, are incensed to become legal hunters. (end act 1)

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The girls attempt to ‘feel like men’ by dressing up but Momoka can’t get it right. Enter Kaya’s cosplay skills and soon Momoka is transformed into a mega hottie prince. Being Momoka, she wanders off from the group and tests her skills as a lady-killer. It goes great until she goes to far and all the wolfishly boy-hungry girls of her girls-only-school chase her around. 

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Trapped in a room with a tiny window, Momoka is forced to strip and smear herself in oil to escape. The clothes she left behind start the myth of a fairy boy living on campus and being naked in the bushes leads to some awkward photographs. Also, some leg-grindingly awkward molestation by Urara.

What am I watching? Love Stage?? (end act 2)

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A stranger invades the school and the club sees their chance to shine…only to get completely destroyed. Uraura’s bangs are cut straight, Maya ends up in a track suit with french braids, Miou ends up in pig tails. Even with a minigun the attacker can not be stopped!

Turns out it’s Momoka’s mom, who wanted to slip onto campus undetected in order to give Momoka lunch without embarrassing her in front of her class mates. It’s weird. It’s funny. It’s another sign that Momoka’s mom is not what she appears!

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There’s a great “im going off to die” warrior vibe to the old man hunter, musically and visually. it’s snot bubble funny too, since the last gunshot he fires off in the distance would usually signifying his death…but he’s fighting cute and physically harmless woodland creatures!

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Additionally, the opening arc was very very very very talky about the decline of hunting in japan and the process to get a license and the law around it. I can’t verify how accurate the info was but it’s interesting to think that an bonkers crazy anime could actually be an effective marketing tool for a societal concern.

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Act 2 was a little weaker than average. I guess it was funny but it was so short, like the Yakuza plot last week, it just didn’t grab me that much.

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Act 3 was short too, and light on humor but, because it flashes back to Act 2, the segment felt like it was part of something larger. Besides, who doesn’t like Momoka’s weird ninja mom?!

I can’t wait for a Momoka’s Dad episode. Who knows what kind of weirdness that’ll cook up.

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Another good week but a hair down from last week and certainly Sabagebu! is struggling to top the toilet incident two weeks ago. I can’t really complain though. The weirdness is just more specific and more personal than the other B-list comedy competitors this season.

Above all else, the Survival Club Girls are having FUN! And it’s fun to watch them have it.

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Sabagebu! – 06

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Miou and the Student Council President Isurugi Yayoi clash, except Miou is too dense to notice this and Yayoi’s revenge plots are utterly ineffective against the various members of the Survival Club. Yayoi’s plans are so crap that, without fail, she must be rescued by Miou each time she gets in over her head with another club member.

By the end, the evidence of these ‘saves’ convinces the whole school that Miou and Yayoi are an item, which serves as a finishing blow and, for the first time in her life, Yayoi is forced to skip a day of school. (end of act 1)

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Act Two: Miou, Momoka, Kaya, Urara and Maya watch a B-rate Yakuza film. Momoka thinks it was stupid and shrugs off ‘the silly ending’ which involves everyone in the clan betraying each other and the winner being shot dead by a previously fallen, assumed to be dead ally.

Then Sakura rolls a fancy office chair into the club room (which she’s presumably earned by sleeping with the school principal) and everything goes sideways. Suddenly dressed as Yakuza, the girls launch into gunfight mode and everyone is gunned down predictably by Momoka. Momoka even manages to avoid the ‘last man standing gets shot at the end’ moment…

…Only to be killed when she sits in the office chair which suddenly falls over. (end of episode)

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Sabagebu! mixes up its formula this week with an extra long opening arc dedicated to a new character in Yayoi and the decadent crazy that is Ootori Miou. From the opening scene in a Student Council meeting, where Miou responds to the Prez’s call for questions with “Why do our teeth squeak when we eat Spinach?” we see how difficult it is to be a sane person in this show. You either turn your brain off like Miou’s followers among the other club presidents (who consider her antics “pure”) or you get made like the Yayoi and Momoka.

Unfortunately for Yayoi, her veins contain none of the ice-fire-blood violence fuel that propels our dear Momoka.

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“Remember viewers, there’s nothing a machosist hates more than a fake sadist.”

Starting with Urara, because beating on a masochist should be easy, Yayoi launches a string of plots to snipe away members of the Survival Club and ultimately ruin Miou’s happiness. Each plot is reasonably funny, though none match the final show down, where Yayoi discovers Miou’s weakness is the zen-like kindness of an elderly lunchlady and a hatred of cafeteria veggies.

Seriously! How could anything top a young woman’s decent into madness leading her to physically and mentally become an old woman obsessed with tea and kindness? Yayoi is so into her role that, by the end, she can’t even deliver a finishing blow and is only ‘saved’ by relentless gossip that she works in the cafeteria to be closer to Miou each day.

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The yakuza arc was smirk-worthy but predictable and, honestly, we’ve seen this set up before. Without the context for bad yakuza films, which I don’t have, there wasn’t much going for it.

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Over all, this was a great episode! It delivered tons of chuckles and character development (through the Prez’s dossiers on each girl) and Yayoi is a reasonable opponent to throw at the club. It even closes post credits with an unexpected zoom in on Yayoi taking a bath and being appalled that she’s being filmed!

Break that fourth wall baby! Break it good!

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Sabagebu! – 05

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Miou becomes a monk and the club gets abused by a sadist Buddhist monk, who turns out to be a con-man after Miou’s money; Urara hides on the ledge outside the 4th floor bathroom window and refuses rescue because she broke the toilet and was unable to flush her donkey turd away, and Momoka does battle with her inner demon and angels over stealing a valuable air soft gun. 

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Miou’s decision to jump into Buddhism is probably the weakest of the three arcs. It was kinda funny to see the Monk so blatantly enjoying smacking anyone who moved—to the point that he and Momoka start pestering the other club members in order to get them to move—and it was great to reveal that he was just a con man at the end of the arc but it was fairly one note. In the key of Thwack!

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In contrast, Urara’s arc was non-stop, totally insane hilarity.

The gist: Urara breaks the toilet handle before she can flush and, to her horror, friends come to her rescue. Driven out the window in shame, she only draws more attention, which culminates in Miou calling in air cavalry to Urara’s rescue.

This results in helicopters being shot down, and a mournful salute to six soldiers/pilots we’ve never even been introduced to. It’s fantastic and requires no previous understanding of the show to get into (I don’t think anyway) and is worth a nervous peek if you’re curious.

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A Master Airsoft-Smith creating a “national treasure.”

The final arc pits Momoka against her inner good and evil, which are presented as typical angel/devil girls in skimpy clothing, plus side arms. It’s a good little piece, but kinda out of left field since Momoka hasn’t been presented as having sticky fingers before but there are plenty of gags to be had. My personal favorite is pictured above. (love the idea of throwing an airsoft gun on a pottery wheel)

Even by Sabagebu!’s standards for random and bonkers, this week was RANDOM AND BONKERS…In a good way!

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Sabagebu! – 04

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Momoka is challenged to an arcade shoot out by an Otaku who turns out to be the national champion. In the final moments of her assured defeat, she embraces victory at all cost and clobbers the man over the head with her pistol and wins the day.

Ep 4’s opening arc is packed full of wacky humor. Mio, who has nothing to do all episode, appears in a floating bubble and gives Jedi advice to Momoka. It’s cute, unpredictable, and has plenty of fun at the expense of otaku light-gun games and their players.

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The second arc is all about Momoka getting really fat because she doesn’t read nutrition labels and eats like a pig. It’s a hilariously bizarre chapter and while it certainly isn’t nice about fatness as a topic, it’s nice to see a topic so rarely brought up in anime.

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The final arc is dedicated to the final member of the survival club team: Platty, the otherwise non sequitur animal character. Tying into Momoka’s lack of attention, Platty (and several of the girls) have been eating breakfast at her house for the past few weeks… and she’s only just noticed!

Driven by the sudden realization that she knows nothing about this animal, and annoyance that her mother so readily feeds everyone, Momoka becomes a stalker. The end result is… a shoot out with her mother late at night, which her mother wins, proving how little Momoka knows about anything!

This show is just so unpredictable I can not help but love it. In a sea of ‘yeah I saw that coming a mile away’ story lines and character interactions, Sabagebu!’s surprise factor is priceless. Thumbs up!

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Sabagebu! – 03

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Welcome to week 3 of Sabagebu!, the wacky-show-that-could I initially disliked (and still regularly spell wrong). This time around we’re introduced to the Survival Club’s advisor, Sakura-san, a young woman with a big heart and a habit of attracting trouble.

To the club’s dismay, Sakura has volunteered them to remove a nest angry of hornets from the school grounds. To show how serious she takes her job, Sakura comes dressed as a bear… because reasons.

All in all, it’s a cute chapter and it also let the animators show off some bad ass pant ball alt-costumes for the girls. Maya’s skull face bandannas were especially nice.

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The second chapter is dedicated to Haguro, a little blond girl who Mio dishonored during a carnival. It’s complicated, but boils down to Mio righting a wrong, but seeing no need to ‘pay out’ everyone who wasn’t able to see through the carnival’s con.

Haguro challenges the club to a fight but Momoka comes alone, because NO ONE INSULTS MOMOKA AND GETS AWAY WITH IT. Battle ensues and Momoka wins, after a short interlude involving a cat puppet and an oddly English play on words.

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Considering Haguro is a middle schooler and does not appear to be a regular cast member, I’m curious to see where this show goes. Without the structure of a tournament, its hard to know what it will do with itself next. Maybe they keep introducing characters week after week for a chuckle and move on? Maybe that’ll work. Maybe not.

Wherever it goes, I’ll be watching.

7_ogk

Sabagebu! – 02

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Urara, Maya and Kaya each gets their own mini-chapters. Urara is revealed to be a psycho and masochist, Maya a wimp and Kaya a pragmatic combatant. Each is PULVERIZED by Momoka in one way or another, solidifying her place as most lethal of the group.

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This week expands on characters and solidifies Momoka’s place in the group. Urara’s chapter is physical, and reveals her demure exterior to be a ruse hiding a jealous, wrathful interior and deep obsession with Mio, who is revealed to be her childhood friend.

We get wrestling and fighting and it lovingly goes absolutely sideways when Momoka fights back. To my surprise (and Momoka’s!) Urara’s beat-down results in absolute love-struck loyalty. Will this powerful alliance last or will it’s foundation on BDSM lead to a rocky future?

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Maya’s chapter is all about boobs boobs BOOBS! Maya doesn’t have much else going for her and she turns to the group for help over coming her fear of a certain disgustingly sticky Japanese food she needs to eat in a commercial. Unfortunately for her, Momoka is jealous of Maya’s boobs and, with Urara’s help, makes friendly assistance look more like GitMo style torture.

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As with the rest, Kaya’s chapter is as much about Momoka as anyone else. Here we see the two end up in a heated gun fight for reasons unclear, only to then form a short alliance when the three other girls join in and attack them. Kaya and Momoka are clearly the pair to beat but, Momoka is first to break their alliance by shooting Kaya in the face. Right after Kaya announces that they tied.

Sabagebu! remains totally over the top, crazy fun to watch, and Momoka’s plain girl with wrath issues (and a gamer’s heart?) is deliciously brutal entertainment. While I can’t imagine every rating it above a 7 because it’s just not very pretty or thought provoking… or innovative, I am very glad to be watching Sabagebu! this season. If you have time amidst all the great shows this summer, you should be watching it too!

7_ogk

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!

7_ogk