Review based on watching 8/13 episodes... will likely update.
As Baudelaire says in his Introduction to the Reader "In repugnant things we discover charms". Aku no Hana does the same thing, it shows urban decay, the boredom of everyday life, the sexual pre-occupation of teenagers, and challenges us to find beauty in something ugly.
For anyone out there who is a little bored with the standard anime fare and looking for something to challenge their intellect, I would recommend watching The Flowers of Evil. The artwork is unique, very detailed backgrounds combined with an animation style that almost feels like watching live action. How often in daily life are the faces and features of the people we pass mearly a blurr? The sequence at the end of episode 7 is very beautiful, and the modified version of the ending theme that plays matches well and I like it very much.
The story centers around Kasuga Takao, who is a quiet second year high school student who is always reading from "The Flowers of Evil" a collection of poems from a French poet Charles Baudelaire. Kasuga has a crush on one of the girls from class, Saeki Nanako and sees her as his "muse & feme fatale". One afternoon he leaves his book in the classroom and when he returns to retrieve it he finds Saeki's gym clothes in a bag on the floor. Against his better judgment he takes the clothes home in a panic. One person witnessed his irrational action, the class deviant and loner Nakamura.
From there Nakamura and Kasuga for a sort of tentative friendship, one that often leads to embarasshing conversations, sexual tension, and general discomfort as Nakamura continues to push Kasuga further and further along in order to "break down" the walls that he has created around himself.
The full work of the original "Flowers of Evil" can be found on-line http://fleursdumal.org/poem/099 and for those interested in the series I can only anticipate that the poetry would help understanding the story as it unfolds as well as providing interest in its own right. The work seems to deal heavily with the nature of sin and the human condition.
The ending theme is a little difficult to listen to, and I'm sure people will say it almost dosen't qualify as music. With that being said I actually *like* the ed theme, and I think it fits well with the story. It says right in the song lyrics that it's "harsh" to listen to... and I think that this really mirrors the theme of the show. It might be harsh to listen to, but as Baudelaire says in his Introduction to the Reader "In repugnant things we discover charms".