HIDIVE actually released an extensive sneak peak of the first episode of O Maidens in Your Savage Season a couple of days before the show officially premiered in Japan. I would’ve jumped on that…but I kind of forgot. On the flip side, it turned out that the sneak peak version omitted the very last scene so in a way, procrastinating worked in my favor. Yippee…
I’ll admit to being pretty skeptical of O Maidens in Your Savage Season (the title is great though). The reason is that this is an anime written by Mari Okada, based on a manga she herself wrote. I don’t hate Okada as a writer. I’ve liked plenty of the anime she’s written for such as Anoahana and Gosick. Hell, I liked Fractale and Black Rock Shooter and I’m pretty sure I was one of ten people who did. Okada has however proven to be pretty inconsistent at times, lending her pen to almost as many duds as hits. So naturally, an anime that is more or less her creation doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing to me.
Still, I was more than willing to give this show a shot. The plot is admittedly dead simple, just five girls in a high school literature club realizing they’re obsessed with sex because, you know, hormones. But you know, for a medium obsessed with high school, alluding to sex, sexualizing teenagers, or some combination of those three, you don’t see many anime about teenagers dealing with puberty and the increasing interest in sex that comes with it. Having an anime such as Maidens is potentially a good thing. Lord knows its demographic could use something like this to relate with.
So far, I’d say the show is off to a pretty good start. It does get over the top with all the innuendos, bantering, and face making but given the subject matter, you kind of have to err on the silliness. I still like how things progress here. The story begins with the literature club reading erotic novels which perfectly establishes the comfort zone of these characters. One of the members, Niina (Chika Anzai) then proceeds to bluntly tell everyone that experiencing sex is on her to-do list. This begins to put everyone on edge, making them realize they can’t escape the hormonal reality that they’re trapped in.
The one most affected is the show’s apparent protagonist, Kazusa (Hiyori Kono). Though she’s in love with her childhood friend and neighbor, Izumi (Shimba Tsuchiya), the latter’s popularity with the girls pressures her into keeping those feelings to herself. With Niina’s sudden talk of sex, this conflict resurfaces and it ultimately explodes when Kazusa accidentally catches Izumi masturbating to some porn (or is it hentai considering that it’s “animated”?).
It’s a pretty bold way to end the first episode and I’ll admit that it does leave me very curious to see the follow-up. I mean, there’s no going back from that. What used to be an innocent friendship is now flipped entirely on its head and both of the participants need to confront its transformation. The only thing that worries me is whose Okada will take, if she intends to take any. To be frank, I think Kazusa is being irrational here. Yes, seeing your friend jerk off is not the first thing you want to see but expecting that he wouldn’t be interested in sex is still unreasonable. Not to mention, it kind of makes Kazusa a hypocrite as she herself can’t get sex off her mind. It’d be pretty annoying if the story sides entirely with her.
Another character worth mentioning is the club president, Rika (Sumire Uesaka). Though she leads the erotic book talk, Rika dislikes hearing people actually talk about sex. After Niina decided to talk about it, Rika gets more agitated with the horny classmates around her but her lashing out only results in bullies calling out her virginity. It’s a pretty uncomfortable scene though it does a little uplifting when one of Rika’s male peers defend her looks. Maybe Kazusa and Izumi aren’t the only shipping this show has in mind. I’d like to see it happen, either as a foil to the main romance or just as a satisfying resolution to Rika’s arc.
The other two characters, Kazusa’s best friend Momoko (Momo Asakura) and Hitoha (Tomoyo Kurosawa) are only briefly explored this episode though we’ll probably learn more about them soon enough.
So far, O Maidens in Your Savage Season is looking to be pretty good, possibly even being one of Mari Okada’s hits. Of course, what matters most is whether or not the show will stay that way for its duration. Time will tell.
OP: “Otome-domo yi” by CHiCO with Honeyworks
ED: “Yume Cinderella” by Momo Asakura
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