So let me get my main gripe out of the way first. I absolutely hate the pure Engrish that is this title (Survival Game=Sababul Gebu). That aside, this show is absolutely hilarious and I really can’t explain in adequate detail why it constantly got me in stitches but I’ll give it a shot. One of the main reasons is that this is not a Survival Game like Gantz or Donganropa. This is a survival game like C3-Bu or Aoharu x Kikanjuu in that they use fething AIRSOFT guns. That is greatly mitigated by the fact that it is constantly pointed out by the 4th wall breaking narrator that they “imagine” much more violent and action packed instances including Yakuza style betrayal and execution, helicopters being shot down, cross country Australian Outback Mad Max-esque vehicle combat, and much more.
Onto the main character, we have a high school girl by the name of Momoka Sonokawa, a girl after my own heart. Putting up with a hard coded limit of bullshit, she is polite but despises people in general and ALWAYS gets her revenge. Moving to a new town area she starts the episode being molested and being subsequently rescued by a woman who points a Desert Eagle at the molester’s head and goes into great detail the force of a bullet from said gun and what impact it would do unto said pervert (imagine chunky salsa) to which police are called and arrest her. Remember the bit about the revenge? Lo and behold the sadistic daemon that is Mokarin.
Beyond that, we have the rest of the Survival Game Club in the form of the aforementioned Desert Eagle wielding President Miou Ootori, the purely Masochistic (and Momoka obsessed) Urara Kasugano, ditzy gravure model Maya Kyodo, genius cosplay enthusiast Kayo Gotokuji, and the mascot Platy, who is a sentient platypus. Because reasons.
This show really shines in its formula of short modules in each episode following a similar yet unique formula. Typically the girls end up on some crazy adventure and end with a tasteful (mostly) shower/bath scene after using violence to solve the problem. Sometimes they fight furry versions of Predator/Alien from the Alien vs Predator series. Other times they fight tactically brilliant lesbians obsessed with Maya. Occasionally they even fight themselves to a comical and amazing “everyone dies” ending. And to cap it off, they all squared up against the government’s National Survival Game Club. The show manages a beautiful meshing of the character’s personality with Miou’s strong willed attitude getting them in trouble and either bribing or fighting their way out of most situations, Maya’s “tactical assets” leading to trouble and dying first, Urara basically being a shield, Kayo being just an awesome individual and Momoka topping things with her insatiable sadism and desire to impart suffering (the bullying scene in the beginning was amazing).
Unfortunately, this is not all sunshine and rainbows. While the characters, VAs and comedy were all spot on, the show had a few shortcomings. Predominantly, the animation was of mediocre at best quality, and while a comedy can be forgiven its inconsistencies for some things, the drop in quality at random times kinda killed me as this show is only two and a half years old. The soundtrack left a lot to be desired and while the OP and ED were good, they weren’t the catchy ear worm that is Gintama, One Punch Man, or No Game No Life. I was also admittedly disappointed by the gunfire audio but I feel that’s something unique to me for the most part as most people don’t really care as long as its a more realistic bang than someone kicking a garbage can. Also while the stories are 90% perfect in my opinion, there’s some that just end lackluster and fall short, such as an arch where the girls go off to be hunters to help rural villages and give you a heart warming story then just jump to cross-dressing.
Again, the show does an amazing job of just making you laugh and cheering you along so that even when the girls lose, you are happy with the end. I managed to marathon through the 12 main episodes in an afternoon and found myself wondering why I didn’t watch this beautiful thing during its running in 2014. After picking up and dropping a few airsoft anime, I’m left adding this well above Aoharu x Machinegun simply because they found a way to go about making the action relevant albeit in a comical manner. I do however greatly recommend this as something that will make you smile and keep you laughing for a while. It’s not a perfect anime by any means but it’s sure a damn good one. So go watch it and leave a like and a comment before a legitimate Buddhist Monk smacks you with a stick.