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.
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?