It has been quite sometime since I had last written and I have to admit that I miss it (insert goofy grin here).
For the past few…weeks? Days? How long was I gone?
Anyway, for the past few…whatever…I had been occupied with downloading and watching anime, fighting the French as an Assassin-turned-Templar, babysitting my cute niece, working, and learning French. I had just managed to find a wee bit of time to jot down my thoughts.
A few days ago, I saw a random GIF while browsing 9gag. It was about an anime girl forcing an anime guy to strip in their school library. It got me curious so I read the comments section. Turns out that the animation was called Aku no Hana (lit. flowers of evil).
The title of the series came from Charles Baudelaire’s own famous poem anthology called Les Fleurs du Mal. I’m thinking that the author of the series was inspired by this book. The book itself was also featured in the series and the author, Charles, was also mentioned several times.
Intrigued, I downloaded the series and started watching. I made a dreadful mistake of watching it in the middle of the night.
Its a psychological anime and it is rather twisted. Very twisted. In comparison to Mirai Nikki, this one made the hair on my arms stand up. To be honest, the plot is deeply realistic and not as fantastical as Mirai Nikki or Umineko no Naku Koro Ni thus watching it is very disturbing.
(left) Umineko No Naku Koro Ni; (right) Mirai Nikki
Kasuga Takao is a boy who loves reading books, particularly Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. A girl at his school, Saeki Nanako,is his muse and his Venus, and he admires her from a distance. One day, he forgets his copy of Les Fleurs du Mal in the classroom and runs back alone to pick it up. In the classroom, he finds not only his book, but Saeki’s gym uniform. On a mad impulse, he steals it.
Now everyone knows “some pervert” stole Saeki’s uniform, and Kasuga is dying with shame and guilt. Furthermore, the weird, creepy, and friendless girl of the class, Nakamura, saw him take the uniform. Instead of revealing it was him, she recognizes his kindred deviant spirit and uses her knowledge to take control of his life. (© animefreak.tv)
The ending credits is every bit as creepy as the anime itself. You would hear a girl’s robotic voice singing the song Hana ga Saita yo. Unconvinced? Watch this…
ANIMATION VERUS MANGA
The artistry between the anime and manga are very different.
The anime version makes my eyes hurt as I watch it. Movement of the characters make the lines look all squigly, thus making my eyes hurt. It makes use of a type of animation technique called rotoscoping. Rotoscoping is a technique in which animators trace over a footage.The drawings are “mature” in a sense. No kawaii versions of it are present. It is not the kind of drawings that we are used to seeing in other animes. Because of the style, it helps give the series a more “sinister” feel to it. As if the plot itself isn’t disturbing enough. It took a while for me to get used to the animation.
I regret to say that I had not finished watching it yet to give an in-depth commentary concerning the series. I have yet to find out what happens to the characters in the series. So far, despite the plot, I really enjoy watching it. You get a sense of realism and a burst of feeling throughout. As I was watching this, I felt creeped out by Nakamura’s mind-control and blackmailing but at the same time enthralled (in a way) by how twisted the mind of this 14(?) year-old deviant.
If you like twisted and mind-blowing plots, then this anime is definitely for you. Just dont watch it at night. It kind of elevates the creepy factor when you do.
Oh! Did I mention that there is a live-action version of it?