Posted by Armitage on 8 August 2019 with categories: O Maidens in Your Savage Season, Series which were Dropped

Um, okay. deep breath So, this show introduced a character who’s a walking red flag; a loud, wailing warning sign with the capability of turning any and every potential viewer away. And it somehow tries to humanize him in a way? The show tries to do the near impossible task of explaining his psychology to help us at least understand who he is as a person even if we cannot relate. Even though he is an out-and-out pedophile!! Does it succeed or should you stop watching now? Read on to find out!

We continue straight from last episode’s cliffhanger of sorts. But it all turns out to be much ado about nothing (expectedly). Izumi just wanted to talk about the things on his mind to Sugawara-san and he wanted to do that somewhere private; hence, they took the subway. She tells him how she feels that trains are like boxes carrying all these people: rich, poor, happy, lonely. All with the different lives they lead, united by the destination they are headed to. It’s quite a beautiful analogy. And I have got to say Sugawara-san is amazingly wise and mature for a 15-year old girl. There, she sees a man get up from his seat and get off at the next station. She grabs Izumi and ushers him along to rush after him. They eventually encounter each other and even though the exchange is brief, you could feel the emotions and the fact that they were once part of each other’s pasts, expressed through cold glances, shaking voices and blushed cheeks.

He is introduced as Saegusa, a dance teacher under whom Sugawara-san served as a protege in her younger years. He took a particular liking to her, not because he could see her untapped potential and exemplary talent. But because, to put it crudely, she was her type. Saegusa, you see, was into little girls. Their girly nature and pure innocence. Someone who you should hate right from the get-go. Someone who’s mere existence should be avoided. A tumor. But there was one thing that separated him from being completely irredeemable. He never touched Sugawara-san. Never laid a finger on her. Even when she wanted him to, he just turned her down. Which made her feel unwanted and rejected. But he had his reasons. He said that if he were to be physical with her, she would no longer be a girl. Having sex would change her. She would mature. She would then be a woman and would no longer possess her girly charms.

And I know, that is no justification for his demeanor or his proclivities, especially considering that he is a mentor to so many young girls. But it does let you see things from his perspective; messed up as that may be. I had a friend, who was a virgin up until recently. She was afraid of having sex, of the awkwardness and of not being good enough. Of being underwhelming for her partner. But she decided to fight her fears and get through with it. And it wasn’t horrible at all. It was quite a wholesome experience for her. All this time she was afraid of it for nothing. And that experience changed her. Made her more accepting of her body and confident in herself. And today, I look at her and I see that she isn’t the same person. She has matured, in the best way possible. This show deals with sex and how it affects us as people; both physically and psychologically. More specifically, it deals with how it affects girls. Not everyone will relate to everything. But you aren’t supposed to.

Meanwhile, we also dived further into the stories of Hongo-san and her continued struggle to figure out her way around hormones and sex drives; all for the sake of her artistic expression, of course. Sudo goes out on a date with Sugimoto-kun and it turns out to be kind of crappy with him being all proud and boastful about being the man and paying for his share though it only saved her a couple hundred yen. You could really see how she is struggling with dragging a relationship along when she has no feelings for her partner. And Kazusa, who has taken a narrative backseat for the past few weeks trying to figure out who Izumi really likes.

But the best moment of the episode really comes when Sonezaki-san goes to the school terrace to return Amagi his report, along with her critical review, obviously. Seeing him start reading it immediately, Sonezaki-san protests and the pages all fly astray. They get down to try and collect all of them and all of a sudden, one page catches Amagi’s eye. It’s the one on which he asked Sonezaki-san out. And she has written her response on it in red ink. It’s not a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. It’s actually something so characteristic of a lonely girl, who has been ridiculed for her looks and who found her refuge among books and fictional characters because they don’t call her ugly. She replies in response to Amagi’s question: ‘If you would be so kind.’, which immediately made a teenage boy in his school uniform scream with happiness and a twenty-something girl watching it all happen to wipe her tears of joy. It was beautiful.

And if it isn’t clear enough by now, I would still strongly recommend that you continue watching to see this lovely cast of characters develop and even if some parts of the story are too dark and uncomfortable, it’s all being handled with utmost care. So much so, that I believe that the payoff at the end will be worth it.

6 Responses

  1. Going by the manga, I’m hoping that the thing with the dance teacher isn’t dropped and that it comes up again, also I don’t know how accurately the series depicts people with those proclivities, its strange that he seem to be a celibate pedophile, they aren’t usually like that.
    Granted yes this part of the manga did raise an eyebrow with me and while somewhat uncomfortable, I do think the series went about it in a non-exploitative manner.

    • Also for your curiousity, the anime is now on chapter 12 of the manga.
      The manga also doesn’t use the word pedophile but rather lolicon.
      I think the prior word is more alarming and has stronger impact.

      • Armitage Armitage says:

        Yes, I definitely agree. It’s baffling what all is acceptable in the anime medium sometimes. For me, ‘Lolicon’ is just something invented to justify someone thinking like a ‘Pedophile’. But yes, the former word does have a lot less eyebrows raised.

        And it’s a good point you brought up that the show is at around chapter 12 because the manga ends in a couple of chapters and there are hardly enough left to adapt. So, I feel that we might as well end up seeing some anime original content. That should be interesting!

  2. Avatar Amagi says:

    I really like Sugawara for feeling “real” and Hitoha in general so far. Momoko was boring till now but I liked her latest episode. As a loner her feeling of relief after being alone again was as relatable as the semi-misunderstanding with the guy believing the talk about her father to be some big issue and proof of trust when it was actually just a simple answer to a generic talking topic from her PoV.
    The other two characters feel kinda annoying to me, it’s too much animelike overreacting and blushing. Granted, as asexual virgin I might have no clue about what puberty does to normal people but I feel like this should be conveyed well enough with the development of the other characters who act, in my opinion, more natural, even Hitoha if you consider how socially awkward she is.
    Still a way better romance related series than 99% of the stuff out there. I wonder how much of it is influenced by Okada’s directing or if she is simply adapting the manga (which I haven’t touched yet) word by word so far.

    • Armitage Armitage says:

      Yeah. I do understand how the stories of all five characters won’t be equally interesting to any viewer. Personally, I am most interested in the character analysis of Sugawara-san and most intrigued by the narrative arcs of Sudo for giving a very relatable perspective on most relationships nowadays; ones in which both people involved drag the other and themselves along, and Sonezaki-san for the portrayal of an actual healthy, constructive modern day-relationship. But I can understand your reasoning as well. And I think Mari Okada seems to have a lot of creative authority here, being both the director and the mangaka. And the results are clearly evident. I feel really positive with her approach and intent with the story and can’t wait to see more!

  3. Avatar Tayo Jones says:

    Why haven’t you reviewed the latest episodes?

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