Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo, or O Maidens in Your Savage Season, is another series I've been watching for a good while. Based on the manga series by Mari Okada, the series revolves around a group of high schoolgirls attending a literature cub meeting and reading books that would otherwise be considered raunchy if not for the fact that they had become classics. As a way to break the ice, each girl is asked what they wanted the most in life before they died, and one girl's wish takes the girls on a journey through the awkward stages of adulthood.
The show isn't that much of an easy watch. To me, there are many moments that can be cringe-inducing, and uncomfortable. But...that is *exactly *how it's like to grow up. You start feeling the changes taking place in your body; your hormones start acting up; you may start picking up on things that you hadn't before, etc. For all intents and purposes, that is where the show shines. Growing up sucks. Let's all be honest with that statement. How each girl copes with it is also different.
The protagonist of the series, Kazusa Onodera, is absolutely terrified by the concept of sex, but it becomes even more complicated when she realizes that she was in love with her childhood friend Izumi Norimoto. However, I feel that because of her mind being too preoccupied with the latter, that often comes into conflict with her progress in forming a relationship with Izumi. This is one of my main gripes about the series because while it's apparent that the Izumi x Kazusa relationship will take up a majority of the plot, especially how we now have a third wheel coming into play, but because I find nothing to latch onto, I can't bring myself to care for whether they become a couple or not.
Niina Sugawara is considered the crane of her class because of her fair appearance. There's some interesting things to her such as her having taken an acting class or how she can read into people's deep desires, but there is also something...disconcerting about her. Later episodes give more insight into this, but she is still a pretty weird girl. Unlike with Kazusa, though, Niina is more open to her wants and desires which often led her into receiving attention from creeps.
Momoko Sudo is Kazusa's childhood friend who also shares her fear of sexuality. At first, I felt that there wasn't much to her character, but one of the later episodes implicates that Sudo may be shifting towards having feelings for unconventional people, judging by her interactions with Niina. This might prove to be interesting.
Rika Sonezaki so far is my favorite character. The president of the literature club, Rika at first comes across as a prickly young lady who judges other girls as being harlots. Yes, while she started off being unlikable, it is actually her interactions with another student Shun, and she started to develop. I'm serious, the ending of episode 5 is one of the most beautiful moments I have seen in a long time.
Lastly, there s Hitoha Hongo who is an inexperienced author who also writes more...lewdish works. Because of her inexperience in regards to sex, her writing can at best be taken as the writing of a middle-aged man. I am so far loving her interactions with her teacher. Of course, nothing comes out from that, but it is nevertheless sweet. There are other characters such as Izumi who has a deep, deep love for buses and transportation (to the point that the first episode ended with the memorable WTF moment); Yamagishi who became the advisor of the literature club reluctantly; Shun, a young man who treats Rika with dignity; and others.
The opening and ending themes are also fairly good. Voice work's good. The animation is also decent. There are some moments where it feels that the animation and lighting are delicately crafted. Overall, the show is not necessarily one of those must watch of the season, but the growing up aspect of it really resonates.