Momoka is girl of the year. Any girl who can get away with wrapping natto in a sushi roll and slapping her club mate in “assistance” of her natto prejudice is worthy of my vote😉 Momoka’s initial introduction, revealed competence and brutality, and promising future have all earned her a warm place in my heart…at least until the day we clash and I out shoot her in a match!
When I first saw this show on the upcoming list, I assumed it would be like many of the other girl battle club shows: the hilariously fun Girls und Panzer, and the disjointed but imaginative Stella Jogakuin Koutou-ka C3-bu. There are definitely similarities with the airsoft weapons and re-imagined survival games, but Sabagebu! explodes into a different dimension more colorful and complete than any of the others. Unique characters, witty dialogue, and creative scenes come together for comedy that just slightly beats out Nozaki-kun for first this year. You just can’t get any better than a crab piloting a helicopter, a crab being saved by a platypus-like creature, and a crab accidentally cooking in the hot spring.
Momoka is actually highly unlikable at the start. As a transfer student with one too many moves under her belt, she has learned how to people please and avoid the wrong type of attention. While I understand her desire to meld in as quickly as possible, I also can’t help but find the fake smile incredibly annoying. Erase the nervous marks! Stop with the ingratiating act!
The instant that her facade cracks and we see the twisted personality beneath, I breathed a sigh of relief and liked her instantly 10x better. Even if she were the evilest person alive (which sometimes I think she is), at least we know about it and can act accordingly. Momoka is made up of what would normally be vile and pungent tendencies, but due to the cute packaging and attitude, they actually come across as some of my biggest laughs of season.
Almost from the beginning of her participation in the survival club, we see just how unforgiving she can be. No transgression goes unforgotten; every action receives a consequence–regularly with interest. One of my favorite examples of this is actually what I believe to be her first display of punishment. The moment a pair of jealous and conniving girls are made to confess to her, instead of forgiving them in the usual s’life girl way, she happily puts the torments right back on them. Every shoe thumb tack and aisle trip is remembered and compounded upon for the most satisfying of paybacks.
Forgive the horrible art above, which in no way detracted from the actual scene. While it’s terrible to be Momoka’s enemy, you can’t feel safe as her teammate either. She is more than happy to step on the “corpses” of her friends in battle, or use another as a shield (again, see above). When cornered, Momoka won’t hesitate to volunteer those around her as sacrifices for her freedom. Forget alliances or surrenders. Just as she never forgives, she also never truly lays her life in the hands of another, and never trusts a white flag. It doesn’t matter if you’re a little kid, or the oldest granny–she will shoot you and move on without a thought.
And if you think Momoka’s fierceness will pale in time…think again. Her mother, Sonokawa Kazue, is undoubtedly the most formidable foe in the series and can out maneuver and shoot every single member of the Survival Club. Blood ties are no barrier. Messy hair is enough reason for a fight. Kazue’s Smith & Wesson will pin you down and make you love every minute of it.