- Genre: Drama, romance, school
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Lay-duce
There comes a time in every young lady’s life when her fancies turn to love and her feelings become turbulent. It is a wild time full of discovery and uncertainty that can be deeply terrifying, turning old friends into intimidating strangers and new ones into rivals. It is a strange time where everything that seemed so clear suddenly isn’t anymore and the familiar becomes mysterious. It is a distressful time where the weight of the world around you seems to be placed directly on your heart and you have to be extremely careful, lest every step you take breaks the fragile organ. But it’s also a time of joy and hope where a world of colours and sounds you never knew suddenly opens it’s doors. It is a truly savage season.
I can’t believe I wrote that all on my own. It almost sounds like a real blurb. Ok not that much but hey, I like it. I am currently taking my sweet time savouring a very dense and emotionally taxing but also brilliant anime and I have been tempering the experience with a slew of much lighter and less demanding shows. This is why I started O Maidens on your Savage Season at this time.
I don’t know much about studio Lay-duce, other than the mildly intimidating name. That sounds like a studio that could beat me up… But I have to say, they really put their assets to good use in O Maidens in Your Savage Season.
There’s not that much animation per see, but what is there is good. The entire production is really very conventional with straightforward camera work and voice acting. It’s just that it worked very well for the story they were telling. Also, and I realize this is entirely up to personal preference, but I happen to really like the art style and desaturated soft colour palette. In fact I liked it so much that I found it very difficult to reduce the number of screencaps I chose to keep despite the fact that a lot of them were looking extremely similar.
It’s one of those cases where the production is safe but obviously very competent so you end up with a great product even if it’s not particularly unusual. Not to mention that the art and colours I mention above, combined with the varied and detailed character designs are striking enough to make the series instantly recognizable in screencaps, and that’s saying something.
I have said many a times on this blog that I am simply not a fan of romances in general. There’s nothing wrong with the genre but it’s not my thing and I find that a lot of the standard tropes associated with it tend to annoy me a little. I am also extremely picky with drama, preferring a very light hand and subtle approach to it as I have no patience for melodrama. The point of this little disclaimer is going to be made obvious shortly.
The title “O Maidens in your Savage Season” combined with the few posts I read on the series had lead me to believe that the show was essentially an exploration of the many different facets of sexual awakening in young women and the different ways girls deal with it. This is actually not a very common theme in the fiction I have seen over the years (probably because I stay away from a lot of romance to be honest), so I was pretty excited about it.
O Maidens in your Savage Season is not that. It is in fact a pretty traditional romantic drama. To me it felt like a traditional ensemble cast shoujo romance with characters tweaked for a different demographic. There is some focus on sexual awakening in young women but it’s treated in one of two archetypical ways where most of the girls are confused, deeply embarrassed and somewhat terrified of their own sexuality and the ones that are more unabashed are also fairly joyless about it. An early episode had a poor girl screaming “I hate it” in the streets at the thought of sex in general.
As a whole the show was a bit sex negative as it did seem to complicate or even ruin most relationships and the one character that embraces their sexuality gets punished for it. But it’s not too preachy about it and does frame marriage and motherhood as positive experiences. As a romance it also frames well…romance as a very lovely thing that people should seek out.
It’s also traditional in the use of romance tropes, with a few unrequited loves, a couple of not entirely appropriate student teacher relationships, a contrived and over-complicated love triangle and a healthy dose of insecurities and self-sabotage all around. There was a lot of crying. However, there wasn’t even a hint of something anyone could qualify as creepy fanservice, it was careful about respecting consent for the most part and as far as I know, nothing illegal happened. This seems like a weird flex but let’s face it, not that many anime can say this.
Like I said, I am not the audience for this series. I don’t like any of those tropes at all, and there are just so many girls crying cause they’re not pretty enough or something that I can take before just wanting to say, get over it! And this is important because despite all of that, I still genuinely enjoyed the first half of the series. As in I was ready to watch 50 episodes of it happily. It was charming and sweet and despite how old fashioned it was with the treatment of the material it still felt refreshing. After all, a lot of young girls are a little terrified by their sexuality I assume. Especially in societies where it isn’t that accepted for girls to embrace it. It’s only in the latter half of the show, when the tropes started really piling on and the drama got cranked up that the series sort of lost me.
However, my enjoyment of a romantic drama is not something on which you can base yourself to judge the quality of such a series. The fact is, even I can tell that O Maidens in Your Savage Season is a very well made show with a lot of care and respect for it’s characters. I would not hesitate to recommend it to fans of romance or drama or pretty much most people except me. If you enjoyed something like Toradora, you will likely enjoy O Maidens in Your Savage Season, and it is very pretty to look at on top of that! And also, I did quite like Sonezaki and Amagiri as a couple once she got over most of her hang ups. They were cute, I wish we had seen more of them.
Favourite character: Joujo
What this anime taught me: Sex is scary
“Our hearts were drunk with a beauty Our eyes could never see”
Suggested drink: a Sophisticated Savage
- Every 3rd time anyone talks about “Sex” – take a sip
- Every time Kazusa is traumatized – take a deep breath
- Every time there’s a meeting of the literature club – take a sip
- Every time Hongo talks to her editor – take a sip
- Every time we see Izumi’s room – get ready
- Every time a girl runs away – stretch
- Every time we see Joujo – cheer!
- Every time anyone calls Sugawara pretty – take a sip
- take another if she calls herself pretty
- Every time anyone blushes – actually this happens too much to do anything
- Every time Mil sensei insults high school girls – wonder how he still has a job
- Every time anyone cries – get some water
- Every time Kazusa freaks out – take a sip
Of course, I took more screencaps. Who do you take me for! I put them on Pinterest too.