The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games and life converge

And Then Someone Was Gone: Sabagebu! OVA Review

“Let’s face it, comedy is a dead art form. Now tragedy, that’s funny.” —Bender, Futurama

The first Sabagebu! OVA was released on September 24 and follows one of the Survival Game Club’s summer outings. Despite a seemingly-ordinary train ride and Urara’s perversions appearing, things appear quite normal. However, this summer outing is no ordinary one: Miou has devised a fiendish assault course over the lake that the girls must traverse using all of their ingenuity and cunning. After a gruelling effort to reach the end point, Urara is knocked into shark-infested waters and promptly consumed, to Momoka and the others’ horror.

  • After three days and three nights, my cold’s finally disappeared, and with my spirit mostly restored, this weekend was productive as it usually is. This blog post was actually quite unexpected: this morning, after having woken up from a normal sleep free of illness-induced dreams, I finally decided to check out the first of the OVAs.

  • With my “cold weather’s coming” cold passing, the skies today turned a moody grey and snow began falling. I typically get sick twice a year for around three to four days: once before the weather switches from cold to warm during the spring, and once before the weather switches from warm to cold during the autumn. It’s accurate to within a week, and as it stands now, it’s time to break out the long-sleeves and autumn jackets.

  • I was wondering what was the factor behind the limited discussion of the OVA was, and after seeing it for myself, it’s not difficult to imagine why no one out there has provided a discussion, or even screenshots of the OVA. Maya’s presence in the cabin is actually quite restrained compared to what Urara and Momoka are doing, and Momoka will have none of Urara’s antics.

  • This assault course, though a watered-down version of TheRadBrad’s Wipeout in Trials Evolution, looks quite difficult to complete, bringing to mind some of the challenges seen in Japanese Gameshows. Individuals who take the time to follow the link will be treated to some seven minutes of some of the most amusing Trials Evolution gameplay I’ve ever seen, and in fact, this was probably the video that inspired me to actually purchase the game.

  • I have yet to actually beat Trials Evolution, despite having purchased it in December 2013. I think I have most of the Terminal Velocity maps unlocked, and records show that the last time I played was back when I wrote my SoniAni halfway point reflection post, which was some eight months ago now.

  • Despite Momoka’s reservations about the school swimsuit look, the others convince her to continue onwards with the obstacle course. The first portion consists of an inclined plane of 100 percent grade, which Urara attempts to take advantage of and consequently, is knocked back to the starting line.

  • While Kayo painstakingly tries to make her way across the horizontal bars, Miou bypasses it by walking over top the bars. Doing arm-over-arm on horizontal bars is quite difficult, and even though I train to keep my fitness up, doing the bars still leaves my arms and shoulders a small amount of soreness. When I was in elementary school, I was able to swing around on these bars without any difficulty, and even though I’m absolutely certain I can lift far more than I did back then, it is a little interesting to see the differences in endurance.

  • The inclusion of eels in the pool toes the line for what can be acceptably shown here. Because this is an OVA, certain details are paid to here that were not present within the TV series, and if I had chosen to take the screenshot a few hundred milliseconds earlier, I’m sure this blog would go straight to the 14A category (as of late, it’s been inching towards the PG-13 rating). Again, Maya succumbs to the eels while the others make it through that section of the obstacle course without too much difficulty.

  • The final section of the obstacle course features sharks, and although everyone makes it across in once piece, Momoka and Maya’s swimsuits suffer some structural damage and failure, respectively. However, Urara’s depraved tendencies means that Momoka kicks her back into the shark pools, where even her super-strength cannot save her. The OVA ends on a shocking note, and while I realise this post is essentially a spoiler for the OVA’s events, I’ve chosen not to include screenshots for those specific moments.

  • One does wonder if Sabagebu! has applied Bender’s claim that tragedy is a greater comedy than comedy itself to the OVA. With that said, the OVA marks a welcome return by Ssabagebu!, and thus, my reservations about the next OVA is outweighed by the fact that Sabagebu! delivers comedy exceptionally well. Regular programming resumes after this post, with a talk on Shirobako coming out before October draws to a close.

Clocking in at around ten minutes, the Sabagebu! OVA is in the same vein as the TV Series, although becuase it was intended to be for the Blu-Ray release, the OVA is decidely more risque than the TV series, turning Urara’s crush on Momoka into something that’s off the charts. Sabagebu! has been finished since late September, so the OVA does bring back the humour that had made the TV series particularly entertaining to watch. With that said, the ending is macabre, even by Sabagebu! standards; Urara’s fate is ambiguous here simply becuase Sabagebu! has never drawn the line between fantasy and reality, allowing characters to respawn freely. While the episode’s title suggests that Urara might be finished off, Urara is also known as the “Unkillable Twintail”, so my money’s on her returning to the second OVA, which is set to release on October 29. My money’s also on a month-long wait to see said OVA.

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