These Anime shorts… just completely my speed. I love how ridiculously deep-cut they are, and nothing could be more straight from my brain than an in-character prelude to the closing credits dance number. I was never the biggest fan of that thing until this very second. The rolling arm motions are for a lottery machine! Rintaro counts in French because fencing terms help him remember the moves! Mei says STA-AFF with a weird, addictive pronunciation! No one wants to hear out Touma’s concerns regarding the choreography! All of these insane details (RINTARO’S EXPLANATION OF THE SLASHING MOTION!!!) made me go watch the closing credits again, and I loved it so much. This bizarre, non-canonical short absolutely made me appreciate Saber more as a show.

Nothing’s going to top MetsubouJinrai Game for me, probably, but an entire short where Zooous gets clowned on by Storious and Legeiel, Storious gets clowned on by Legeiel and Zooous, and Legeiel gets clowned on by Zooous and Legeiel? Outstanding. Incredibly funny, throughout. Huge props to the creative team for having Legeiel’s actor mention that he has maybe one definable trait, which is so mean. The costume stuff for the other two is minor in comparison to No One Knows Why You’re Here, and I love that this ridiculous sub-series went there. Easily the best use of the Book Club, and it’s not even a contest.

Saber’s a very earnest show. There’s a disarming sweetness to it, where interpersonal disagreements are as catastrophic as any apocalypse. Like, Rintaro is the first new Sword of Logos guy we meet in the show, and he’s just the most direct, caring dude. That’s the template that everything for the SoL swordsmen spins off of; even the jerks and dummies are never cruel, really, just misunderstood. So it’s delightful to see that – short Kento – they’re all hot-headed assholes here, with Sophia being an impulsive and chaotic leader who is electric-shocked and superfluously-skateboarded enough to really scream at Ogami. It’s perfect? I wouldn’t trade the sweetness of Saber for nearly anything, but this story about five members of the Sword of Logos disintegrating into acrimony under the pressure of an escape room is kind of making a good case for itself.

I really love how much Sophia hates Daishinji in this? She just absolutely destroys him here, and it’s exquisite. (“I don’t trust Slash today” is a catchphrase equally as heroic and memorable as “I’ll decide how this story ends!”) Between that and her Trash Tassel introduction, this is maybe the most I’ve ever enjoyed Sophia.

Yuri is a terrifically bad scene partner, leaving Tassel to fluster his way through the weakest one of these shorts so far. There’s good gags in it – Saturday Dad is the funniest version of Tassel’s opening narration – but it’s a more uncomfortable form of comedy than the rapid-fire version of the other shorts. This one lets non-sequiturs hang in the air, and allows a brusque Yuri to steer an increasingly disjointed pre-credit sequence into nearly Dadaist waters, but it’s more clever than it is laugh-out-loud funny. I liked it okay, but there were long strings of me nodding approvingly, rather than cackling like a lunatic.

Aw, that’s a let down. I thought this was going to be actual flubs, not just more ridiculous versions of scenes we already saw. I wanted to hear these actors lose it! What I got instead was cute, but not exactly the heights of humor that this series hit previously. Sophia being an on-set diva was probably the best part, with Storious’s fixation on Corn Soup being a close second. Everything else… it was fine? Weird, not super funny.

As a whole, I thought this series was exceptional. Incredibly high marks for the first four episodes, and a few gems scattered in the final two episodes. Saber really came through on these animes!