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Sabagebu! – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「YES!!」 by 大橋彩香 (Ohashi Ayaka)

「MISSION1 / 入部! / 入部と言ったな?あれは嘘だ / 本当はリアルなサバゲをやるつもりでした」
(MISSION1 / Nyuubu! / Nyuubu to Iittana? Are wa Usoda! Honto wa Riaruna Sabage wo Yarutsumorideshita)
“Mission 1 – Joined the Club! / Didn’t your Join? I was Lying! / I Really Wanted to Play a Real Survival Game”

I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into when I hit the button, but all I know is that I really, really liked it and want more.

General Impressions

When I first heard about a slice-of-life kind of show that focused on girls who were crazy into survival games, I had no idea what was going to happen. Would it be a show that took itself super seriously and fill itself with a ton of flashy explosions and a barrage of gunfire? Or would it be super disappointing with school girls awkwardly trying to wield handguns and fuwafuwa-ing around? Amazingly, the show managed to hit a perfect middle ground with a combination of eye-candy, humor, and the breakage of the fourth wall.

Momoka and the Narrator

If there were anybody or anything that made this show work so well, it’s definitely these two. Starting with Momoka, she is literally the reason why I made it past the first few minutes. Not only is she how I envision a realistic school girl would be — nice and cute on the outside but wicked and nasty on the inside if you poke hard enough. And as if watching her get revenge on the nasty geezer who tried feeling her up on the train wasn’t enough, I had a field day when she finally snapped and paid back those two bitches in full plus some change.

On the other hand, the Narrator in this show does such a good job at poking fun at things that I wish other shows would do it more often. From calling out characters when they derp on terminology to actually appearing in the show as a Guile/Sagat inspired character, he does a great job at reminding us not to take things too seriously and take the show for what it’s worth.

Looking Ahead

After watching Barakamon earlier today, I wasn’t sure if there was going to be another show that would grab my attention and have me wanting more. Boy, was I wrong! Somehow, this show manages to combine two things, slice-of-life and action, that are normally on the opposite ends of the spectrum and brings them together with a glue made up of interesting characters, really funny jokes, and gun eyecandy. Toss in the random moments where the fourth wall is almost broken and the “imaginative” scenes when the gunfights happen and you have a pretty awesome show. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be coming back for more next week!

 

July 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm
29 comments »
  • July 7, 2014 at 11:17 pmPancakes

    Just caught this after getting tired waiting for the streaming sites to post it. Like most people was pretty confident it would be another C^3 or one of those dime-a-dozen cute girls doing cute things (CGDCT) SoL shows. God how wrong I was.

    Sabagebu is all but a satirical gag on the CGDCT genre, a D-Frag! that replaces games with (airsoft) guns, complete with the fourth wall breaking narrator and all. Without a doubt that damn narrator owns the show, some of those quips killed my sides. First tells you to turn off the TV, laughs off the infamous “running with toast in mouth” trope, makes a hilariously accurate comment about the current state of “edginess” in anime, then tells you at the end nothing is going to change, see you next week. If the humour keeps up this show will be in the running for comedy of the season.

    Sabagebu, giving new meaning to the phrase boob shot.

    • July 8, 2014 at 12:27 amReverseTales

      Glad to see that the main character has depth (depth charges, since she’s crazy) to her. They took the whole bunch of cliches, e.g.

      timid character roped into club -> discovers latent ability -> overconfidence -> etc.

      super charisma -> sparkles

      and took it over the top, which was hilarious to see.

      It’s also great to see that Sabagebu! leans further towards the military side of things than C3-bu. Like the traps, drugging the food, the glorious selection of guns, the blood spray, and the ghillie suit. It’s like… the action/comedy from Full Metal Panic! let loose in the shoujo genre.

    • July 8, 2014 at 12:49 amTassadar

      While I mostly agree with you, you make it sound like C^3 was bad or just straight fluff, while it was anything than that. Actually, it was pretty hardcore, considering how serious some of the characters used to take their airsoft hobby, like Yura and Rin…

      • July 8, 2014 at 12:17 pmPancakes

        C^3 isn’t fluff, if anything it’s the gun version of GuP that focuses on coming of age and sports competition. It might be spiced with a bit of CGDCT, but C^3 remains rooted in the sports genre. The show is never bad (I enjoyed it), but the sports focus is what separates those who liked C^3 from those who found it lacking.

        What I as referring to, however, was the belief that Sabagebu would be of a similar mold, adhering more to the seriousness of the sports genre and its established tropes rather than going full throttle into satire and comedy. We expected survival games and competition, instead we got told to turn off our TVs if that’s what we wanted. I think we all know where Sabagebu is going :P

      • July 9, 2014 at 12:22 amReverseTales

        Whoops, didn’t mean that C3-bu was bad or anything. When I said “cliches”, I generally meant series that centred on club activities.

        The first example happens a lot in sports/competitive series, the second seems to belong to the shoujo genre.

        There are more, but I chose these two specifically because they were both in C3-bu and Sabagebu!.

        I didn’t think C3-bu was really bad or anything, but… it was fluffy? They focused more on the “people interacting within clubs”, and less on the action. The random hallucinations that the main character had were also a bit odd. I could never tell if that shrine thing was real or not.

        On the other hand, I felt Sabagebu! really struck a nice balance between things. The transition between what was real (the action) and what was not (the damage, i.e. blood) was less jarring, because there was none and we were just told outright what wasn’t real. It also managed to pack comedy, drama, action and characterisation nicely into a single episode.

    • July 8, 2014 at 5:15 amJohn Hayabusa

      >Sabagebu, giving new meaning to the phrase boob shot.

      And very literally. Seeeing that Jill Valentine cosplay, I wish Jill and Claire will be the stars of Resident Evil 7. And I think I should finish watching C3-Bu.

  • July 7, 2014 at 11:37 pmWanderer

    I wasn’t entirely sure what I watched after watching this, but I’m pretty sure I want some more. Momoka’s hidden cynical sadism makes her much more interesting of a protagonist than the standard “person forced into joining a club” that often ends up in these situations. Not only does she get to do the tsukkomi, she also gets to take revenge. >:)

    Although I still can’t get over how the twintailed club member clearly stole her name from Cure Lemonade.

  • July 7, 2014 at 11:49 pmMekem

    Surprisingly good. Momoka is crazy feisty and I like it! Takes none of that bullying stuff lying down and pays it back in full! Great fun to see them play around with those bullied transfer student tropes. The gunfight was great too, none of that friendship and being-useless monologues like in C3-bu, just good action and military cosplay (and Jill Valentine cosplay).

    • July 9, 2014 at 7:29 pmKarmafan

      Its been quite a while since I continuously LOLed all thru an episode of a series. This one is a keeper.

  • July 7, 2014 at 11:51 pmWaffles

    Looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger with an eyepatch.

  • July 8, 2014 at 1:03 amdaikama

    C3-Bu this is not and for me that’s a good thing. What makes this show work is that it does NOT take itself seriously (or whatever C3-bu was trying to do). It actually goes the opposite direction with pervasive satire. Smart move IMO, and well executed (key). I read a bit of the source material, and so far, IMO this is a solid adaptation that could very well turn out better than the source.

    Momoka and the Narrator

    Momoka was definitely a welcome surprise from the cliche overly shy, unconfident, zero friends, etc. female lead. Still, without question narrator-kun is easily my favorite “character.” His commentary pretty much made the show for me (vast majority of LOL moments). I have to agree with Takaii here in that other shows should try something like this more often.

    Definitely in for EP 02. If Sabagebu EP 01 is any indication, I’ll be sticking with this show all season… unlike C3-bu.

    • July 8, 2014 at 7:59 pmBear

      Now this is a case where the adaptation greatly exceeds the source material by not taking it too seriously and adding it’s own material. The Narrator was a welcome addition and my favorite too. Momoko goes from being something of a cypher in the manga to having an interesting personality. Her payback to the girls for the bullying was epic and the fight scene was much more interesting than the equivalent scene in the manga.

  • July 8, 2014 at 1:06 amSmokex365

    The girls are down, call the medics!

    What’s with all the legal disclaimers this season. This is the 2rd series this season with some sort of disclaimer in it somewhere.

  • July 8, 2014 at 1:24 aminanis

    i liked the fanservie

    and the narrator xD

  • July 8, 2014 at 1:47 amewok40k

    shut up and take all my ammo!
    added to watchlist

  • July 8, 2014 at 2:41 ammagoiichi

    http://randomc.net/image/Sabagebu/Sabagebu%20-%2001%20-%2030.jpg You mentioned Guile/Sagat, but a parody of Arnold Scwarzenegger came to my mind first.

    I loved it, completely different from C3bu, which I loved, and this first episode sold me.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sabagebu/Sabagebu%20-%2001%20-%2040.jpg It’s not every anime where you see the boobs get blasted, literally. I shouted “noooooooo” at the screen. Imagination is scary and Momoka is clearly the final boss.

    I like how the cosplay chick was cosplaying as Resident Evil’s Jill Valentine during the fight lol.

    • July 8, 2014 at 6:22 pmBear

      I think that counts as a war crime! Certainly a crime against humanity!

    • July 14, 2014 at 4:50 pmYou know, for kids!

      What’s going to happen to them?

  • July 8, 2014 at 6:19 amVaans

    Tits shot! I I think she actually hit her areola like a bullseye. Momoka is a good main character. She ain’t no timid girl, she has spunk!

  • July 8, 2014 at 8:45 amShiden

    “I know what the title says, but don’t go expecting real survival games. Turn off that TV and go to sleep! ‘Cuz if you don’t watch, you can’t complain.”

    That was where I fell in love with this show. XD

  • July 8, 2014 at 9:58 amGermanguy

    Yeah, Schwarzenegger cosplay :) Jill Veletine cosplay…

    and in the Preview we see Matrix combat movements :) This Show dont take itself serious, and i love it :)

    • July 8, 2014 at 10:10 amGermanguy

      and Magic Girls “Transformation” sequences, too in their own way of course

      And when the Battle music began, some seconds it remind me of FF7 typical Combat music…

  • July 8, 2014 at 1:30 pmStilts

    I thought this could be good, and takkun came into the season super excited about this.

    WE WERE BOTH RIGHT!! (Though takkun was more right.) Such a funny show. You’re right takkun, the narrator and Momoka really made this one come alive!

  • July 8, 2014 at 7:48 pmYou know, for kids!

  • July 8, 2014 at 11:41 pma box like hippo

    Reminds me of a better version of Stella Girls Academy with a few better characters (no offense to SGA). Def has some great humor and set pieces, and the animation is nice. Fourth wall stuff is always great when done right, and this so far shoots it in the bullseye.

  • July 9, 2014 at 4:11 amSoliloquy

    This was actually damn good. I like it every time I see a main character who has a spunk to speak back to whomever harasses her. Reminds me of the main character from Skip Beat. I would love some more kickass characters like this.

  • July 10, 2014 at 10:12 amewok40k

    I love the shows that don’t treat themselves entirely serious – and this one definitely breaks the fourth wall!

  • July 16, 2014 at 11:27 amGermanguy

    Ep 02:

    My Summary:

    If you love Comedy and Girls playing with Weapons and love also Animes that do not take themselves seriously, then this is the best fit for you

    in Short. Good. But you must love their kind of Comedy :)