Sabagebu! Survival Game Club! Review

sabagebuStory:
Momoka Sonokawa transfered into an all girls’ school hoping to make something of herself. What she never saw coming was being dragged into a bizarre survival club named Sabagebu, filled with gun fanatics with way too much time on their hands.

Violence:
Even though all the violence is from slap stick and paint guns, the show enjoys showing you what the characters “imagine” seeing, which shows all the gun shots as if they were real. Lots of blood, though often rather comically done. The show is ever reminding viewers via narration that it’s not real, but if the sight turns you off, skip this title.

Language:
With the violence ranked up, the language is a bit higher than previous shows too. So more sh-ts and a few b-words flung about. Nothing as excessive as a typical American film, but not PG either.

Nudity:
Due to more than one female character digging another, nearly all the characters being female AND what male characters there are pretty much being pervs, there are a lot of body jokes and implicated sexual references. There are even a few scene with characters getting clothing shot off (no kidding) and whatnot. Although no detail is shown, it’s nothing you can easily ignore. That said, I oddly didn’t find much of the show offensive. Perhaps because everything was so sarcastic and over-the-top. Even so, definitely not PG.

Theology/mythology:
There’s not much to worry about here, besides the usual idle remarks about God or Buddha made in passing. Nothing about doctrine.

Personal impression:
When I started this show up, I didn’t expect to like it all that much. And I have to admit that while I was amused, I was only convinced I was getting something different on episode two. That’s when I realized just how strange and sadistic the main character was and how fun that was going to make this show. If you like heroines that do the exact opposite of what a heroine usually does, you’ll love this title. That said, the comedy is pretty over-the-top at times so I could see how it might turn people off. The art and music are pretty bland, but in a comedy-based show like this it hardly matters. Also, there’s very little in the way of character development, something that actually runs against this show. Because, while it’s amusing, it has little substance and thus can be forgotten rather quickly.
If you enjoy sadistic comedy and/or a show that never takes itself seriously, this is a fun watch. Just be sure you give Nichijou and Pani Poni Dash a try too. They are the real bread winners of the comedy section. And they, shockingly, have development. Which is probably one of the reasons they’ve stuck around in fans’ minds longer.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: PG13
Genre(s): Comedy, slice of life, action
Company: Pierrot Co.
Official streaming: Crunchyroll
Screenshots:
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Extra: The non-traditional

g4Even though the series itself flopped, a combination of slow pace and overall stereotypical characters pulling it downhill, Glasslip did have one rather unique element I just don’t see that often in anime. Or, really, in media in general. An asexual character.

Now before you blow up my site, hold tight for a bit of a ride. Oh and uh, spoilers for this show, so ye be warned and stuff.

Early on in the series Sachi was proving to be a horrid stereotype: the silent bookworm who has a weird crush on her best friend and has some kind of illness that confines her to bed once in awhile. Cause that card is never played in anime, right? Sure enough, she only seemed to get worse as the story went on. Until a slight change began. Hiro, another side character, acted on his crush and started to hang out with her. And she actually… changed. Over time, I began to notice she liked and looked forward to his presence in her life, giving smiles when he was around and looking forward to suggesting new books for him to read. They never really “dated.” In fact, all their interactions where at her house, in her room, quietly reading and, occasionally, talking about what they read in the cafe or walking. It was a slow, yet comfortable new relationship. However, this is not to say she fell out of love with the main heroine, Touko. In fact, a burst of jealousy causes her to use her new relationship with Hiro in an attempt to refocus Touko away from the new boy in town. When the plan fails and she begins to lose her new relationship with Hiro, she realizes just how important both friendships are to her. And near the tail end of the series she makes a confession that made me blink quite a few times in surprise. Sachi admits that she loves both of them and does not want to lose her relationship with either, wishing always to be near both Touko and Hiro (while this could be seen as simple friendship, and Touko probably took it that way, the context of the rest of the show heavily suggests something deeper).

Now before you say, “hey doesn’t that make her bi, not an asexual?” recall that important part up above: she’s content without physical intimacy. In fact, at no point in the show does she initiate any kind of sexual or even sensual contact with her loves. Instead she seems happiest just being around them, being a quiet part of their lives, closer than simple friends, but not lovers in the traditional sense of the word.

Of course that could change in her future, but within the confines of the show, Sachi is an interesting and very diverging character from the typical anime tropes. Not only does she pose the idea that a character can be attracted to two genders at once, but she also is in no hurry, and might not ever even want, to seek out physical intimacy with her crushes. And for all the many short comings of Glasslip, I have to give them props for Sachi. While she still has some stereotypical aspects, she is perhaps the most well constructed character in the show. It’s too bad she was only the side character, as her arc actually had legitimate development and a small OVA set on her might have actually been more interesting than Touko’s slow and rather tedious trail (which I’m not sure really changed her much in the end).

Regardless of your personal position on sexual orientation, it’s a real breath of fresh air to see a character who wishes to be close to others, especially those of another gender, and not require said relationship to end in marriage and kids. Not everyone wants that in life. For some, all they want, all they really need, is to be understood, accepted and supported. I for one am happy such an idea was posed in a recent show. Although it would have been far better if the show Sachi was in was, well, a better show. Because even with her decent and different arc, it’s still not quite enough to justify slogging through the slow twelve episode trudge that is Glasslip.

HaNaYaMaTa Review

hanayamataStory:
Naru loves fairy tales. She often spends her days dreaming of being whisked away by a fairy to another world. When she pays a late visit to a nearby shrine and meets what seems to be a Fae dancing among the roofs, she’s sure her wild fantasy of adventure might be granted. But her encounter is with no winged wonder, but a transfer student by the name of Hannah, a lover of Yosakoi dance and committed to pulling Naru into her dancing world of color.

Violence:
As a slice of life, this show has a very low amount of violence. In fact, there’s really nothing to say in this spot besides a scrape from falling. That’s about it.

Language:
Again, nothing to report here. Aside from maybe a sh-t here or there, there’s nothing to fear in this section. Very tame show.

Nudity:
Alright, I’m more than happy to report that we’re in the clear here too. It would have been easy for this show to resort to panty shots at nearly every turn. But we’re spared. This show might have mini skirts, but that’s about as bad as it gets. The teacher at one point records the girls dancing, aiming for their legs to get more views, but other than that…. nothing.

Theology/mythology:
As is usual for these shows, we see the girls around shrines, occasionally even praying there. But no doctrine is spoken of and it’s a pretty rare occurrence. This show is far more focused on dance with a splash of drama than it is about much anything else.

Personal impression:
I’ll admit to being a bit surprised by this title. True, most of what you get I saw coming: cute girls doing cute stuff with pretty colors. But there were a few times of actual heart as well. Some of the characters are actually a bit better written than expected for a show of this caliber. Issues such as living up to parental expectations, separated parents, and sibling misunderstanding/estrangement, show up at various points. Although none of these issues are dealt with quite as deeply as I would have liked, they are somewhat addressed and rather realistically so. The only story issue I really had was with the very end as it seemed badly rushed.
That said, this series was actually decent overall. The characters were nice, the art pretty and the music chipper. It didn’t really excel at anything, but it didn’t really fail either. It pretty much stayed right above the mediocre line. Just enough to keep me watching. If you have a better show to watch, by all means. But if you need a good clean show to dip into, this one is a decent watch.

Personal rating: All ages

Episodes: 12
Language: Sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genre(s): Slice of life, drama
Company: TV Tokyo
Official streaming: Crunchyroll
Screenshots:
h1 h2 h3