It has been over a year since we last discussed Saki Sanobashi, also known as “Go for a Punch,” the alleged lost ero guro anime. Given the high likelihood of this media piece being nothing more than a hoax from the very beginning, it’s not surprising that no substantial leads have emerged since the original post in 2015.
However, that does not mean that people have lost hope of finding another title that resembles, at least a little, the plot of Saki Sanobashi. It’s strange how something so familiar-sounding hasn’t been created yet, right? With this in mind, numerous supposed images and titles have been connected to Saki Sanobashi. While some individuals merely use them as a reference for how the anime could look, others readily believe that a particular image or film is the real deal.
With that being said, let’s do what The Yurei does best: debunking false leads and information! Let’s take a look then at the typical pieces of media that are mistakenly believed to be Saki Sanobashi but are definitely not.
1. Gakuen Nanafushigi (ハイスクールミステリー 学園七不思議)
Released in 1991, this 41-episode anime series focuses on Mizuki Ichijo, a junior high school student whose grandmother was a medium. Due to this, Mizuki experiments with various psychic and mysterious phenomena at her school. Along with other classmates, they try to solve whatever weird situations come their way.
Why people think Gakuen Nanafushigi is Saki Sanobashi: There are two main reasons why people believe that. The first one is the aesthetic. The girls are wearing the usual Japanese school uniforms, and they look distressed most of the time. The second reason probably comes from episode 10, where the girls investigate the ghost of a girl who ended her life in a bathroom. This, along with multiple random screenshots that resemble the Saki Sanobashi plot, has made a lot of people believe this was the anime referenced in the original 4chan post. However, that is not the case.
2. Hontou ni Atta Gakkou Kaidan (ほんとにあった学校怪談)
This 1996 OVA is pretty similar in themes to our previous entry. However, it is targeted at a younger audience. Hontou ni Atta Gakkou Kaidan tells the story of three elementary school students who investigate supernatural events happening at their school.
Why people think Hontou ni Atta Gakkou Kaidan is Saki Sanobashi: Because of the image above. It looks similar to one of the characters described by the original OP, who has a hime cut and white hair. Although she looks pretty similar, if you look closely, the girl is wearing a kimono and not a school uniform. In reality, she is a spirit that appears to protect some scary-looking giant spiders.
3. Fake screenshot by a deleted Reddit user
This one is pretty interesting because we share responsibility with people thinking it is related to Saki Sanobashi. Looking for reference images for an anime that does not exist is, well, impossible, so we just took one resembling Saki Sanobashi from Google Images. Curiously, we were not too far off. This image was actually posted on the Saki Sanobashi Reddit 3 years ago. The original poster stated they made a fake screenshot of the anime, inspired by Go Nagai’s style. Surely inspired by the Amon: The Apocalypse of Devilman 2000 OVA, OP created a scene referencing the girls losing it while trapped in the bathroom.
4. Brain Damage – Shintaro Kago (ブレインダメージ)
Of course, something created by Shintaro Kago would end up on the list! This anthology is composed of 4 one-shots and according to its summary, each of them is brain-damaging in terms of shock value. One of them, and probably the most well-known, is named “Labyrinth of 4 People” (4人の迷宮) in which four girls wake up with no memories in a white room. As they try to escape into what seems to be an underground labyrinth, they encounter a masked killer.
Why people think Brain Damage/Labyrith of 4 people is Saki Sanobashi: Because of some screenshots of panels with girls trapped in a room and being massacred. As far as we know, there is no official or fan translation, so it is hard to know if the story resembles the Saki Sanobashi lore even more. However, since Kago is prolific in the ero guro scene and the themes are similar, people tend to believe this is the real deal.
5. Gakkou no Yurei (学校の幽霊)
Similarly to Hontou ni Atta Gakkou Kaidan, a few screenshots of this title are believed to be Saki Sanobashi. Released in 1996, this 6-episode OVA series belongs to a franchise that spans different media like anime, books, and live-action. The plot involves various bizarre “true stories” submitted by readers of a supernatural magazine.
Why people think Gakkou no Yurei 2 is Saki Sanobashi: Because of the cover of the first volume release where you can see another white-haired schoolgirl with a hime cut. Also, some screenshots, both animated and live-action, show schoolgirls in various stages of distress and locations reminiscent of the infamous Saki Sanobashi bathroom.
BONUS: Lady in the Sea of Blood (血の海の美女)
This one could be defined as peripheral to the Saki Sanobashi search, but it’s still worth mentioning. YouTuber Whang uploaded an update in his series about this lost anime two years ago. There, he talks about an obscure Japanese short named Lady in the Sea of Blood (1997), which most people thought was nothing but a rumor or lost forever. Finally, in 2019, they were proved wrong as it was found by the now seemingly defunct Twistedanger distributor.
Whang never stated that Lady in the Sea of Blood was, in fact, Saki Sanobashi. He only mentioned it as an example of how Japanese media can slip into the cracks due to various reasons such as limited releases, language, and copyright issues. Still, some people went along with the idea of this film or any of its other installments being Saki Sanobashi. Unfortunately, it seems nothing more like wishful thinking. While both hold some similarities in terms of gore and setting, they don’t seem related at all.
So that’s all for now, fellow weirdos! We hope that this comprehensive breakdown will help you make your search for Saki Sanobashi easier. While it might discourage you from continuing to believe, what matters is that, along the way, we are finding some fascinating pieces of Japanese media we would not know otherwise!
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Hi everyone! I am Javi from the distant land of Santiago, Chile. I grew up watching horror movies on VHS tapes and cable reruns thanks to my cousins. While they kinda moved on from the genre, I am here writing about it almost daily. When I am not doing that, I enjoy reading, drawing, and collecting cute plushies (you have to balance things out. Right?)