OP: 「惡の華 -春日高男-」 (Aku no Hana: Kasuga Takao) by 宇宙人 (Uchu-jin)
「運命の出会い」 (Unmei no Deai)
“A Fateful Encounter”
Aku no Hana has been highly requested as a “To Blog” show this season and although I’ve never read the source material, I can see that it’s going to turn out to be a controversial piece. There’s a haunting atmosphere that surrounds the anime and sets up the mood to reflect what you would expect out of this type of show. You’ll see what I mean if you’d just give the show 24 mins to play.
The true intentions and bulk of the plot is not revealed within this first episode. However, the audience gets a grasp of all the key characters and components of the story. The story follows the protagonist named Kasuga Takao (Ueda Shinichirou) and not much is revealed other than – he is your average high school student. He has a family (nothing wrong with that), he’s not an outcast because he has friends and he loves to read this particular book called “Les fleurs du mal” (which the anime is titled after). He has a crush on this girl in school named Saeki Nanako (Hikasa Yoko) and no signs really point to interactions between the two other than in the classroom. Not much else is revealed in this episode other than another girl named Nakamura Sawa (Ise Mariya), who is introduced but that’s all you see of her for now. The episode ends with an empty classroom and Takao stumbles across Nanako’s gym clothes. Unknown to the audience yet, Takao ends up stealing them – which sets the story up for Aku no Hana.
So why are people so drawn to Aku no Hana and what makes this series so anticipated? For one, I’m not watching this series for its animation. That’s mean to say but I’m glad that Zexcs has an untraditional approach to drawing out this anime. You can really see some realism reflected in the “fatter” girls and boys. It’s unique but it’s not fluid and some audience members might be turned off by it. I just wanted to mention that this shouldn’t be considered a complete write-off since a lot of anime have unique styles and that’s no reason to stop watching. One of my personal favorites of all time, Fantastic Children had an odd style as well but it turned out to be an exception anime. As a result – yes, it’s odd at first glance, but it doesn’t deteriorate too much from the intentions of the show.
Aside from that, the anime has far more potential than it leads on. I promised not to look into source material – however it’s hard to encourage readership without giving hints of what is to come. Without spoilers, Aku no Hana is essentially a show that shows a different perspective of growing up. It’s definitely not a very easy show to swallow because it’s humiliating to watch, and difficult to keep your eyes off of at the same time. This story is gripping because there’s an uneasy tension that’s hard to pinpoint throughout the series. It’s not to be taken light-heartedly since it’s meant to keep you thinking, and bring about interesting encounters that makes you cringe. It’s distributing to say the least so don’t say I didn’t warn you. The songs also add to the dark and daunting atmosphere, especially that tie-in with the ED which sounded like the inner subconscious of Takao.
Unfortunately, due to my weak stomach – I won’t be blogging this series past the introduction. However I encourage those that like psychological dramas to try it and let me know your thoughts. It’s a very symbolic show as well (with the evil flowers blossoming) and there’s bound to be a ton of controversy about the direction of this series. Even I’m curious to see how it’ll all end – but for now, I’ll be reading the manga first.
ED: 「花 -a last flower-」 (Hana -a last flower-) by ASA-CHANG