A break from rails and bewbs to feature guns and silliness. The over the top comedy that left the fourth wall crying in the corner and replaced by an empty chair. Overactive imaginations and slice of life. A masochist and a platypus club mascot. Constant interjections and proclamations by the unseen narrator. Madness you say? THIS. IS. SABAGEBU!!!
Well, the focus of the series on Sonokawa Momoka, an ‘ordinary’ girl who has done the transfer shtick one way too many times. At first one would seem that Momoka would end up being a typical slice of life protagonist. Well typical in the sense the girls from Nichijou are. She seems more normal than some of the protagonists these series, hell, I couldn’t help but relate to her in many ways. Internal monologues on a situation, and other silly things those with weird imaginations yet with no outlet will have em.
I mean I had play-by-post roleplaying and what have you, but I wasn’t an artist or a good writer, and I dunno, something about Momoka ‘connected’ with me.
The premise of the show is that Momoka, by devious tactics, is Shanghaied into joining the after-school “Survival Game Club”, which is basically an airsoft club. Headed by the dual Desert Eagle wielding president, Ootori Miou; the buxom gravure idol Kyodo Maya using an M4A1 CQBR; the cute yet somewhat masochistic Kadogano Urara utilizing dual GLOCK 26 pistols (the 26C full-auto airsoft replicas); and the cool-headed cosplayer Gotokuji Kayo (often dressed as Jill Valentine armed with dual MAC-11s); the purposes of the club is to run ‘survival’ games. And that has got to be the longest run-on sentence I written in a long time.
The show is segmented, with two or so per episode with varying lengths, each can be taken by itself but also builds up on previous segments. So your typical slice of life. The narration is snarky and the pop culture references are both subtle and full blown out. I mean you got a parody of both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris appearing, as well as the narrator referencing Japanese law and making comments about the youth of today.
The show’s appeal to me though is the guns and silliness. Airsoft guns are practically harmless if used properly, yet in the minds of the main characters, and pointed out by the narrator, their imaginations grow wild. From the very first shot of Momoka shooting what seems to be the Tokyo Marui M1911A1 (with adjustable rear sights and other added ‘premium’ features), the soft thump of a gas blowback airsoft pistol is transformed to an actual firing gun, complete with gunpowder wafting around and a noticeable recoil.
Momoka’s first shot is much like Isuzu Hana’s experience with the firing of the Panzer IV’s stubby gun. That electrifying thrill up the spine. The series goes uphill, downhill, through the hill, and over the hill from this point on. It isn’t achieving the comedic parody that was Magical Witch Punie-chan/Dai Mahou-Toge in terms of its silliness, but it seems to me its close. It’s as If you took things that made Nichijou, Upotte!, Arakawa silly, fun, and random, added an extra dose of military/airsoft from C3 Stella Women’s Academy, the snarky narrator from Okami-san to Shinchinin no Nakamatachi, and then came up with this show.
Overall, I like it. The characters are relatable, the laughs come with enough time to breathe, you got typical amazing animation of the firearms, and I’m sitting here with a grin on my face enjoying the ride.
By the way, I only took select screenshots for Episode One. If you want more, wait till I do Episode 4 or 5! Or go watch yourself! What are you waiting for? THIS IS SABAGEBU!!