Saki Sanobashi (Cursed Japanese 80s OVA?)

 Warning: The post might not be suitable for all audiences.

“Some weird anime about naked girls stuck in a large bathroom without doors, having a philosophical debate about not getting out of the room. After losing home and starving for some days everything goes downhill…”

In 2015, the late 1980s or early 1990s horror anime OVA was mentioned on 4chan – an anonymous image-based bulletin board where anyone can share images and post comments – coming from a threat that asked users about the most disturbing things they've seen on the deep web. The OVA (Original video animation) is said to be thirty minutes long which was the standard running time back then and features three to nine high school girls trapped in a bathroom without any means of escape.

They all eventually commit suicide in a gruesome manner. Attempting to drown herself in the sink, one girl asks for assistance from another.

Depending on which version you read, the other girl succeeds; in others, she can't take to end her own life. As another method of death, the girls smash their heads into the toilet walls until they bleed to death.

Although there is no concrete description of how the characters took their own life, we can agree that they all ended up dead in the end. The OVA has little to no "horror music" accompanying the girls' gruesome deaths, adding to the creepiness of the scene. In some versions, ambient music or Buddhist mantras play throughout the film. Many have said that watching the OVA would make them sick. Others have pointed out that it was a cursed anime and that it was from a shady animation company or even a snuff film. But to what extent is this true? Indeed, Japan in the 1980s are known for producing content that would be controversial to western audiences. Sometimes, these contents are not even broadcast in the west or are censored heavily before being released to western audiences. Anime such as Angel Cop, Battle Royal High School, Genocyber, and Violent Jack is known for its shockingly violent content that can be disturbing for some. However, what makes Saki Sanobashi stands out from the rest of these OVAs is that nobody can find it.

There are many attempts made by the internet community to try and find animation studios behind the project, directors known for such violent genres as leads, and OVAs that are similar in context to the described anime by the anonymous user back in 2015. There have been many leads throughout the years such as Kazuo Umezu (Who is known for his creepy horror content in his manga) and Shoujo Tsubaki (A film released known for its very depressing and dark storyline which gave it the reputation of the most controversial anime of all time). Many of these leads have led to nothing thus far. 2019 saw the creation of a subreddit dedicated to attempting to locate the lost anime, uniting the community together. That year also so the OVA being covered by famous YouTubers such as Whang who gave summaries on the progress of the search.

Some online users have pointed out that there is a possibility that the anime belongs to the Ero Guro genre – focusing on eroticism and brutality – which is known for not having works in that genre archived.

It was later claimed that the original 4chan poster faked the Saki Sanobashi story as a joke, and without any definitive verification, the OVA's existence remains up in the air. Many users in the community have pointed out the discrepancies in the Reddit post, saying that it does not match up as robust evidence to the original post on 4chan. This has been considered a hoax and many have taken this with a grain of salt. Still, the search continues while fan works have been popping up at the same time, most of it being work-in-progress art or mock-up images of the title screen.

In 2020, a new Reddit forum was created titled SakisanNoBashitsu. This is due to the original Reddit threat not being taken seriously due to the number of memes and false leads that are presented by those in the community. The breakaway intends to solely focus on finding Saki Sanobashi rather than posting content that does not relate to the search. Often, the original Reddit group would have the title “I have found Saki” with an accompanying image or video that does not further strengthen the already fruitless search.

There are much anime works in from the 1980s to the 1990s that were not archived as they are made by unknown studios who would release their works on home video formats without prior showings on television or in theatres. This method of distribution would often lead to the contents of the VHS not being preserved properly and thus, being lost to time. As well as a web-novel series, an Avant-garde film starring Sakura Stardust is in development so fans might get a good interpretation of what the lost anime might be.


Popular posts from this blog

Minato-ku Girl Phenomenon Revealed

Exploring the Honour Culture of Japan

Gachi Meaning Explained