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ecdrewello1

  • Boston, MA
  • Joined Oct 6, 2011
  • 29 / F

The Flowers of Evil

Apr 16, 2013

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". 

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall

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Kioshi555 says...

Nice, finally someone's review that can help me explain why I found that show quite...crap. 

My problem with such shows is that they are like yelling you "Hey, I'm the deep show that only some special people would be able to grasp..." and then tries to shock you with abnormal events etc. And this "shocking" and "different" piece of work to my eyes is actually typical. Yes, as typical as an ecchi anime can be for example. It may be something rare for an anime but it's a not so rare idea taken from movies, books, poems and pretty much everything else. So first of all, to my eyes, the show lost the originality that wants to demonstrate.

However, simply something like this is almost never a reason for me to not like an anime and so here comes the important thing. As you very nicely point out in your review the goal, let's say, of this anime is this: "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." This is the part I don't understand so I'd like you to tell me where the hell you found the beauty in this ugliness? That's where I disagree with the whole concept. Reality is based on contrasts. The basic rule of our world is that both ugliness and beauty coexist. As such, the concept would be indeed great if beauty and happiness were exctracted from within an ugly, crazy and disgusting situation. In whatever way this might had happened, it doesn't matter. But I saw nothing like this in it. So tell me if you mind, where do You see the beauty in this madness? This is my second and most important reason why I didn't like it. Because in Aku no Hana I was constantly observing an one-sided world that everything is awful, everything is crazy and sinister. Nothing more.

In the end after taking all these in consideration I didn't find an actual or deep meaning in the story. After all the whole thing truly seemed to me as it was created for the sole purpose of being the common "alternative", "meaningful" piece of art and I was really disappointed...:(

Well, I don't think that I explained it as well as I wanted and my english are really poor so yeah I hope I can make sense. I'd like to read your response though. :p 

P.S.: I deffinitely agree on your other points except from the story related ones. 

Jan 8, 2014
AnimeShima says...

I agree with the overall rating and I gotta say that I kind of like the ending and I think it suits the anime more than the opening song. Overall, great anime so far.

May 27, 2013
PandaBeard says...

I am currently watching this anime. I love your initial entry for it. I agree with you so far, especially with the animation style. I am in even more agreence with you about the intellectual components one must have to watch it. The end theme is a little abrasive. To the comment response LesboPonyArmageddom(Yikes) to you I say grow up. Keep reviewing with your heart and your head. 

May 10, 2013
ecdrewello1 says...

::sigh:: I might have been a little vauge, but I actually *like* the end theme... and I think it fits in perfectly with the story, it's just not a conventional song.  

Apr 21, 2013
LesboPonyArmageddon says...

fuck you the ending theme is great

Apr 20, 2013