So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, waifus & husbandos, best boys and best girls……. let’s talk about the birds and the bees.
*sounds of scattered running*
WAIT, WHY YOU RUNNING!? It’s just a— Oh, fuck it.
Now when you were probably at high school, you’re at that stage in your life that changes are coming whether it be to your body, your emotions, some of old habits die hard in favor of something more pleasing and welcoming and even the people around you and those you known most of your life……
Yeah, it’s puberty.
And I found a show last year in the Summer season that did capture that and made me ponder about these things after watching it. Also a show I had on my Top Anime of 2019 last year.
Yep, it’s O Maidens in Your Savage Season…..and I have to admit, I almost called it Savage Garden for some reason. So….. what is this tale about?
When they were little kids laughing and playing together, Izumi Norimoto and Kazusa Onodera were like siblings. But as their bodies matured into middle school, Kazusa began seeing him as something different; unfortunately for her, so did the other girls. Ostracized, Kazusa had no choice but to distance herself from him going into high school. After joining the literature club, however, she finds friends that keep her mind occupied. Known throughout the school for reading aloud sex scenes in literature novels, the club’s reputation has kept all teachers from accepting the task of being their adviser.
During a discussion about what they would put on their bucket list, one of the girls says one thing: sex. This single word sends ripples throughout the five girls, as the thought of sex begins taking over their daily lives. And, after walking in on Izumi during a very private moment, Kazusa is sent into a spiral of emotion that forces her to face her true feelings for him. Now, with their hearts racing and the literature club facing immediate disbandment, the five girls must work hard to keep both their sanities and their club alive.
Well, that’s the first episode out of the way described by the premise.
Now, while I am a guy, a straight cis black guy if you want to use that, I can empathize of what these girls are going through and boy, they are going through some stuff, I’ll tell you that. I mean, we know about the first episode at the end where Kazusa walked in on her childhood friend Izumi doing….. things and stuff (<_<…..>_>) and freak the fuck out and rightfully so (I’d say why he didn’t lock the door but then again, no one was home so he’ll figure he’ll go nuts and bust a–you get the point). Of course, that goes over to her crush on him and that more girls are crushing on him, some whom she said look more attractive than her. You know, a self-confidence thing and yeah, that’s something that can stress out a teenage girl.
But wait…. here’s more….
There’s Niina, whom is described as a beauty from all the boys but she doesn’t give two flying fucks about them…all but one and it’s….. Izumi? Yeah, she’s crushing on him as well and that’s quite a conflict considering with him and Kazusa. Then there’s Momoko and thing with her on the show is her wondering about her interest in guys…..but she figures out for herself, “Yeah, I’m gay for girls” and given one guy she was going out with on there is kinda of an asshole……I don’t blame her and yet the girl she’s crushing on…..is attracted to another guy.
Now with Hongo……she writes erotica novels and she wants to gain an sexual experience by meeting her adult online chatroom friend and…..oh boi, he’s actually a teacher in their school and she blackmails him into some shit from keeping their club from disbanding and later on……yeah, this is the part of the show where things get worrying (not in the quality of the show, mind you) but to be fair, nothing graphic goes on here. Like, you get some sexually suggestive things but never R-rated shit, this is strictly PG-13. With that, you’re probably thinking that from all the crazy shit she’s done, I shouldn’t sympathize with her. Yeah, she has done some crazy shit but the intentions of them were never malicious in any way. Naive and a bit misguided but nothing villainous.
With Sonezaki on the other hand, her arc is the most challenging in my eyes. She’s known for being this prudish girl (mainly because of strict upbringing) that no one really likes that much and to be fair, a character like that could be unlikable if they were written horribly. She isn’t the case here. Sure, at first it seems like that but she does grow on you and her relationship with Shun Amagiri, a boy in her school that has a crush on her and it’s possibly one of the sweetest moments of the show. She even befriends a girl that she normally don’t like but as the show progresses, they’re cool with each other.
The writing and the character progression are easily the strongest proponents of the show and it can be done right when your writer is Mari Okada….and the original material of this is also by Mari Okada. Yes, the original author of the manga series actually wrote the screenplay of the anime adaptation. Usually, when that happens, it’s 50/50 if it turns out good or not but it turned out to be stellar.
Animation-wise, this has that polished, clean look going in with the vibrant settings, the character expressions whenever something happens and it all fits within their aesthetic and Lay-duce did a outstanding job animating this. The music always has this quiet and soft tone in the opening [“Otome-domo yo. (⼄⼥どもよ。)” by CHiCO with HoneyWorks] and ending [“Yume Cinderella (ユメシンデレラ)” by Momo Asakura] songs along with some dramatic tinges in the score in the show’s dramatic moments.
Thankfully, this show came with an English dub near the end of the year 2019 and Sentai Filmworks delivers on them dubs. Britney Karbowski nails her role as Kazusa from the stressed-out moments she has to the mannerisms and the high voice I always notice of hers. Another highlight has to be Avery Smithhart as Sonezaki stole the show for me a lot and the rest of the main cast got their moments in like Juliet Simmons, Natalie Rial and Elissa Cuellar as Momoko, Niina & Hongo, respectively. Cuellar shines the most around Episode 10.
FINAL VERDICT: This show was a real treat to watch in the summer season of last year. Dealing with adolescence isn’t exactly a brand new bag for some media but when it’s done with much care and outstanding writing and characterization, you have to gave applause to something like this especially when it’s from a POV that’s vastly different from mine and I can respect that.
O MAIDENS IN YOUR SAVAGE SEASON is now streaming on HiDIVE both sub and dub. A physical release has not been announced at the time of this writing.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and at least no one mentioned eff-eu-cee-kay’ing in some way.
O MAIDENS IN YOUR SAVAGE SEASON – animated by LAY-DUCE/licensed by SENTAI FILMWORKS