Sabagebu! focuses on protagonist Momoka Sonokawa, a transfer student who is coerced into joining the school’s survival game club by Miou Ootori. The first episode initially paints her as a gentle, caring type who succumbs to bullying since she has the attention Miou. However, it doesn’t take too long for Momoka’s true self to come out.
Momoka is very much a person who puts herself first. She isn’t above revenge or using others as shields and sacrifices. Much of the humour in Sabagebu! comes from Momoka’s treatment of the people around her.
It’s probably a good idea to mention that the survival game club involves airsoft games. They are shown as real gunfights, with the narrator occasionally chiming in to remind viewers that what they are seeing is actually from the girls’ imaginations. Regardless, there are plenty of epic shoot-outs.
The other members of the Survival Game Club are an interesting bunch. Miou Ootori is the president; she is actually eighteen and has been held back a year.
Second member is Maya Kyodo, a gravure idol and almost always the first to be taken out when the whole team engages in a battle.
Third is Urara Kasugano (not Cure Lemonade). She develops a masochistic love for Momoka’s beatings.
The fourth member is Kayo Gotokuji, a girl who loves cosplay. She only joined the Survival Game Club because it was an opportunity to dress up. She often wears strange ghillie suits.
Finally, filling the role of team mascot is Platy; a platypus that looks more like a plush toy than anything.
Of course, there are other characters besides the club members. These are often people who are part of rival survival game clubs, though there are few other recurring characters who have no connections to survival game clubs.
Another element that is quite prevalent in Sabagebu! is pop culture. There are a lot of references to action movies. When you consider that the events viewers are watching are what the girls are actually imagining, that makes it quite funny.
Sabagebu! is well worth watching if you’re into comedy. It’s not too rare to find Japanese word puns that don’t translate too well, but that isn’t the case with Sabagebu!. The humour comes from the visuals and Momoka’s personality in general.
An anime that never takes itself seriously, which is exactly how a comedy should be. The humour also mixes well with epic shoot-outs, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this is the best airsoft anime available at the moment.