O Maidens in Your Savage Season
Episode 6

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 6 of
O Maidens in Your Savage Season ?

I sometimes wonder if O Maidens in Your Savage Season was specifically designed to be read by the viewer/reader through their own experiences. To a degree that's true of all literature, but Okada's approach to this particular work seems to me to be more open about that facet of consuming it than others. Depending on your experiences as an adolescent, your interpretation of the show could be drastically different from another viewer's. I can only base this on what I, and to a degree what my sisters, went through. You can only base your interpretation on what you lived or are living. While this is to a point true for anything you decide to analyze, the fraught subject of our teenage years brings this show closer to home, whether you reject everything it has to say as silly melodrama or not. That's a strength of it, I think, but at times it does make writing these episode reviews more difficult.

In any event, over the course of these five episodes, Momo has come to be my favorite character, and boy do I feel for her this week. She's put herself in the uncomfortable position of trying to mediate between her two closest friends, and that's never an easy or an enviable spot. She feels she needs to do it because Kazusa and Niina are her best friends, and whether or not she has a crush on Niina, she doesn't want to lose that friendship. She doesn't want their low-key competition over Izumi to destroy that, and a part of her seems to believe that if the Izumi thing gets out of hand, she'll end up having to choose between them. She can't understand why Niina won't just tell Kazusa that she has no interest in Izumi and is instead going to work towards making the misunderstanding worse.

For Niina though, it makes sense. As she said to Momo in an earlier episode, she's never had close female friends before. Kazusa and Momo are her first, and that Kazusa can't see past her exterior beauty really hurts her, as does the fact that she honestly seems to believe that Niina, knowing about her crush on Izumi, would deliberately ignore that and go after him. Niina's looks have done her no favors, and she sees that coming back into play with Kazusa's behavior. That her instinct is to punish Kazusa for this isn't very nice, but it is in line with my own experience of adolescent behavior, where logic often means something totally different than it will in a few years.

What's more interesting is that none of the three girls are even considering what Izumi might want or is thinking. He's already told Kazusa that he's not interested in her sexually, and the old childhood friends trope doesn't always work out, no matter what fiction may tell us. Niina may not be interested in him, but that doesn't mean that he is similarly (dis)inclined. He may not be quite as conflicted as Sonezaki, but his heart may not have caught up with his hormones yet.

Sonezaki herself is almost painful to watch. I can't decide if she's truly ready for a romantic relationship and is just conflicted about it or if she feels flattered that someone likes her and thinks that she ought to do something with that. She's still so deeply uncomfortable with the idea of sex (which she can't seem to separate from romance) and what people think of her that my inclination is to say that she's not ready for this relationship she's accepted.

Probably the most uncomfortable storyline right now is Hongo's weird and inappropriate relationship with Milo-sensei. The fact that he's clearly interested in the adult teacher he was talking to this week is encouraging, but I do wish that he'd stop messing around with Hongo. The blackmail excuse only goes so far here, and by this point he's risking his teaching career far more than if he'd admitted to messing around online in the first place. He needs to shut Hongo down once and for all. Hopefully the female editor will step in and guide Hongo's writing, as well, because as of right now, only Kazusa seems to have any adults she can actually talk to (even if she's not very good at it) and a few of these other girls could really use an ear to hear them out.


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