Anime Taste Testing: Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo and Vinland Saga

Two very different shows, both of which almost never made it here in the first place.

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo/O Maidens in Your Savage Season

I almost forgot to put this one on my to-watch list at all – I suspect because, back when I was checking out the summer anime titles a few weeks back, I saw the name Okada Mari and mentally crossed it right off. I only remembered it was airing again when I chanced to read the premise on another site and decided it sounded interesting enough to risk. And I’m glad I did – while Araburu treads a pretty fine line between ‘refreshingly direct’ and ‘no, the majority of high school girls in Japan really don’t talk like this to/about their peers’, I love a good coming-of-age story, and this one hopefully won’t be written as excessively melodramatic or irritatingly fetishized. I’ll readily admit that the premiere made an impressively strong impact on me; the cast seems nicely varied, the subject matter approached with an equal sense of sensitivity and humour, and the visuals charming enough to evoke a few past, not-quite-your-typical-high-school-peeps anime such as Sora yori mo Tooi Basho and Just Because. In fact, although I still have some reservations, I’d say Araburu is my favourite new season title thus far. I’m very much looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Vinland Saga

Note that while I’m aware the first three episodes have already been released for this, I’m reacting here only to the first. No spoilers for the next two please!

Another title I very nearly ended up skipping over this anime season. I never went through the apparently quite popular Viking phase as a kid/teen, and the official trailers for Vinland Saga honestly didn’t do much for me either, being fairly action-heavy and in general focusing more on the fight scenes than anything else. The premiere though, while still featuring some of that action, strikes me as a lot more balanced in tone, with a good amount of attention paid to the societal and everyday life aspects of the story and its characters. On that note, as far as I can tell from a few sketchily-remembered history lessons back in the day, Vinland Saga is to be lauded for its research and realism; since the historical aspects are more my speed anyway, I can see the show being something surprisingly up my alley if it sticks to this kind of thing. Besides, while I’ve watched plenty of historical-themed anime before, I can’t think of a single series centered predominantly on Vikings, let alone one that’s had any kind of historical accuracy. If for no other reason, that uniqueness makes Vinland Saga well worth keeping an eye on. This is doubly the case if the production values remain relatively consistent, because even if some of the character designs aren’t really my thing, there’s some nice artwork and animation on display here, and it’d be a shame to miss out on it.

Question of the post: Have you watched either of these premieres, and if so, what are your thoughts? If you’ve watched both, which are you most excited about going forward?

11 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo and Vinland Saga

  1. There’s a Viking phase in prepubescence? I know the dinosaur phase is fairly widespread but the Viking one is new to me.

    My hope for the Vinland Saga anime is that it not cleave too closely to the manga. I love the comics but slavish adaptations turn me off, because I already know what’s next. My favourite adaptations are ones like The Saga of Tanya the Evil, which take advantage of the fact that cartoons are a different medium.

    Anyway you reminded me that this anime exists so I’ll check it out.


    1. Yeah, I remember a ton of people my age at school were into Vikings – though granted, it mostly seemed to be the guys.

      I haven’t read the Vinland Saga manga – I don’t read manga as such at all – so everything should hopefully be a pleasant surprise to me. So long as a story is well-told, I usually don’t mind if it follows the source material too closely or not.


    1. I didn’t feel that the first episode was rushed in any way, so I assume you’re referring to the pacing of the series compared to the manga? I haven’t read it, so I don’t particularly care one way or another how closely the show adheres to its source material, so long as the story is interesting and well-told.


  2. I coudln’t get into Maidens, which puzzles me, since I can tell this is Okada at her best (i.e. more like Hanasaku Iroha or Anthem of the Heart than Ano Hana or Kiznaiver.) I think I just wasn’t in the mood; I had a pretty tough time recently, and the less substance the better, currently.

    I didn’t know there were three episodes released already; I’ve only seen one. It’s fairly well done and has great potential. My favourite character so far is the merchant who was going to get wine. I really like him. Looks like we’re in the set-up phase, which probably means Daddy’s going to die and the peace lesson doesn’t sink in immediately. At least that’s what I’m expecting.

    They’re both solid shows I expect to enjoy at least a little going forward, with potential for top 5 material (neither’s probably going to beat Kanata no Astra; I really click with the director).


    1. Forgot to say I was talking about the Viking show in my second paragraph. Must have been confusing for a while. Sorry.


      1. No problem.

        Fair enough – sometimes you’re just not in the mood for something no matter how much it might otherwise appeal to you, and that’s okay.

        Yeah, that’s what I’m guessing for Vinland Saga as well. The OP perhaps gives away a bit more than it should in that regard, though I probably would have guessed anyway.


  3. I am hyped for both these shows as they are adapting some great source material. I am having doubts about Vinland Saga because Japan + Slavic names is always weird, but Araburu is gonna turn a LOT more character-focused than you’d expect.



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