This is another “Women and Weaponry” submission, potentially closer aligned to “Stella!” and “Girls und Panzer” than “Upotte!” (and I have reviewed all of them, so give them a spin if you haven’t already). For this one, “Sabagebu! – The Survival Game”, it follows a group of high school girls and their daily lives in their survival game club. It all begins with Momoka Sonokawa (Madame Peace Sign), who is a transfer student to a new school. While on the train to school, she is bothered by a pervert when some woman pulls out a pair of side arms to confront the molester, only to get arrested instead. Yeah, it’s usually not a good idea to be yanking guns out to dispense some harsh justice. People freak out, even if they are just airsoft pellet ball weaponry.
Momoka follows this odd lady when she sees her at her school, tracking her over to a run-down building and discovers the Survival Club. The rest of the club are (right to left):
Maya Kyōdō, second-year and gravure idol
Urara Kasugano, first year and a bit of a masochist
Miou Ootori, club president and filthy rich (she pulled the guns on the train)
Kayo Gōtokuji, club treasurer and a cosplay freak
Platy, club mascot
The series showcases their adventures together, so, on one sense, it is a caliber of ‘nothing’ show, like “Adventures of the Going Home Club” or “Joshiraku”, but they trip off into these ultraviolent fantasies, where it becomes a type of yakuza grindhouse film where everyone dies. The shows are more or less independent of one another, as everything resets for the next show as if nothing really happened before it, but you do get a flavor for the amount of sheer strangeness that goes on. It gets even more weird when Momoko goes to the arcade to play a light gun game against (and I am not kidding) Fried Chicken Lemon, a really creepy, pervy overweight otaku who is amazingly amazing at this game.
This is strictly for laughs. Even “Stella” had some soul-searching moments in it, but this show throws reality out the window just to have a good old time. And when the Survival Club of “The Immaculate and Pure Ladies Academy” comes into town and throws down a challenge, sit back and enjoy the mayhem. I am a big advocate of heavy-light-heavy-light in my anime watching. Unless I am in a big rush to close out a series (I can do a 12-run shot in three days), I catch my dramatic show in the morning (just before I go to work; gets me up for the day) and my comedy for the evening (can’t rile things up too much afore beddy-bye time).
This is a fine show for that, and you will have a goodly time with all the slapstick, broad humor, free-to-float mayhem that ensues, along with some (I assume) Japanese cultural references. Even if I don’t understand it, I can appreciate it.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Cute, but it can push too hard)
Plot 7 (“Misfit” standard story, but done nicely)
Pacing 8 (Rather explosive at times)
Effectiveness 8 (A high degree of ‘unusualness’)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would be “Wedding Peach”)
Overall 8 (It works for me)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Whatever it costs, do it.