Spoiler alert! I’ll write about some of the characters and their development which you might not want to read before watching the show
I’ve never been a massive fan of anime high school shows. Aside from a lot of the writing problems I usually have with them, they never really captured that feeling of coming into a new chapter of your life. I recently graduated from my old school and starting my new one definitely felt different. Like I’m thrust into a world that I’m not really comfortable in. And I never really got that feeling from any high school anime. I know most of them aren’t going for that, but it was something that I was looking for and I wasn’t expecting to get that from O Maidens in Your Savage Season. I found the way that the characters were introduced to be lazy, it had unnatural exposition, and visuals that didn’t add to my experience whatsoever. It felt like any other high school anime that I would tell myself that I enjoyed when I really wasn’t. But I don’t think I was ready for what became of it.
Sex is a theme seen in a lot of tv shows, movies and stories in general. It’s the most natural thing humans can do so writing stories about it isn’t weird at all. But most of the time, I find that the stories about it come to the same conclusion. That sex isn’t everything. We see stories of people whose life surrounds looks and attraction, how sex turns them into monsters. And while I can’t say that I am very bothered by that, I feel like it never interests me. I already know that sex isn’t everything, so why am I told this over and over again? And going into O Maidens in Your Savage Season I was kind of expecting this exact thing. But in the development of one of the four main characters, I could tell that this wasn’t going to go there.
In the series, a character by the name of Rika Sonezaki has a deep hatred of sex. She thinks the people partaking in it are superficial and that the word is disgusting. That everyone is out of their minds and can only think about pleasuring themselves. But as we see in the series, this changes. Shun Amagi, another student in the same class as Sonezaki, is revealed early to have a crush on her. But she brushes it off as either trying to make fun of her or that he only sees her body. However, as we see, this isn’t the case. Shun goes as far as to write a 50-page essay (not sure if it was that long) about why he loves Sonezaki so much, and that changes here. She is introduced to something new, something unexpected. She is, if even just slightly, moved out of the reality that she’s the only sane person in the world.
Earlier this year I wrote about My Roommate is a Cat and how much I loved how the main character was written. How wanting to become a better and more social person made the show more refreshing and interesting to watch and I feel similarly with Sonezaki. How she has the realization that boys are human too. We see her struggle through this new world with the help of her partner, and we get to see how that changes how she sees the world and the people living in it. Maybe we shouldn’t see sex as an emotionless act of pleasure, but that it’s a way to show someone how much you love them. Maybe we shouldn’t demonize sex but just see it as a thing. Maybe sex is something.
And I don’t any character symbolized this more than Sonoe Juujo. She’s a character whom you would typically see as the bully or someone with a sad backstory which made them the superficial self that they became. And while that seemed to be what Sonoe was turning into, I think they did something really interesting with her. As Sonezaki becomes more open to the world of romance, we start to see another side of Sonoe that we don’t see earlier. She genuinely tries to become friends with Sonezaki, we get to see her nostalgic side and how she doesn’t care about sex as much as we might’ve thought. She’s a bait-and-switch to both us as the audience and Sonezaki who slowly starts to respect her, even after their accidental pregnancy. And what I find so interesting about what aside from how surprising it is, is that she symbolizes the world in the eyes of the main characters. How she starts off as a pretty one-sided character but become more and more well-rounded and human.
There are of course other factors that make this show such a good one like Momo coming to terms with her attraction to women, Hongou’s need for validation or Izumi’s fear that his attraction to Sugawara contradicts his love for Kazusa. But in the end, it was really Sonezaki who saved the show for me. When she started to develop more of an acceptance for sex, that’s where the show became more of an interesting one and I can’t ignore that.
Ultimately, O Maidens in Your Savage Season wants to tell you that the world isn’t always the way that you think it is. You’re not cleaner than everyone else, you’re not dirtier than anyone else. You’re not the only one who thinks about it, you’re not the only one with problems. Cause everyone is everyone.