Well now, where should I start...
I was couple of weeks late into the series. When everyone was done hyping and spazzing about Aku no Hana, I was just about to check out the first episode. When I saw the animation, it was definitely something that is not the norm. It's like they filmed a real life dorama and then animated it frame by frame. Needless to say, I was impressed. It makes the animation so alive and gives so much personality to the characters. Take the walking of each character for example. Simple things like that, in my opinion, what makes Aku no Hana, in term of arts and animation, so much win.
|(c) Doudoude Dou|
And then there's the story itself, which is, if not entirely original, it sure is close. Aku no Hana means the Evil Flower in English. It derives from Takao Kasuga's favorite book. He is the male protagonist of this series by the way. The book is complicated and deep as shit, and triggered some very twisted, evil and sinister thoughts. Takao did quote some of the work inside the book earlier in the episode but after the third episode, the story itself takes the center stage.
I personally believe that the story/plot only started when they introduced Nakamura Sawa, the female protagonist who is so fucking original, I fell for her in an instant. She is like the book itself, triggering dark thoughts. Whenever she takes off her glasses, and she only did so with Kasuga, you know she means business.
Nakamura, in Kasuga's mind, is someone who is lonely and is fighting not to drown in this mundane world. Kasuga, for Nakamura, is someone that is similar to her but is afraid for the others to find out. Her mission is to make Kasuga comes out of his hentai closet.
Nakamura Sawa, to put it simply, reminds me so much of myself that she becomes my muse. Oh, and I think she is awesome as fuck which is why she deserved to be in my most favorite characters list XD
Everything about Aku no Hana is twisted. The ED especially will give you the creep but at the same time so addictive. The somewhat fucked-up OP too is pretty telling that this series is not your average anime series.
There are couple of episodes that left me speechless but I'm sure everyone will agree that nothing can actually prepare you for the greatness of the ending of episode seven. It was liberating in more ways than one, not only for the protagonist but also for me personally as an audience. Then there's episode ten where Kasuga was once again got stripped by Nakamura. The revelation that he had however what makes the episode so enjoyable for me.
At the end of every episode of Aku no Hana, I often felt somewhat hollowed. It makes me craving for more. It has been a while I got this excited for an anime. In fact, I can't remember the last anime that got me all worked out like this. Needless to say, I think Aku no Hana is a very awesome anime. I definitely recommended it to everyone. I forced my minions to watch it and as predicted they got hooked on it too. They all agree that watching this show is an experience in itself. I guess it helps people coming to terms with their own inner demon, if they have any.
Some people may have complains about the pacing of this show. Well, I don't. I thought it was necessary for the build up of, most often than not, a heart-pumping-fist-in-the-air, ending of each episode. Having said that, their avant-garde ending of the show kind of left me in a blur. I had to watch it for a couple of time to get what it was trying to say. It was all bunched up together incoherently. You either love it or hate it.
I do hope they are not trolling us with the hint of Part 2 of this show. While waiting for that, I am going to make sure that I pick up the manga for reading. It's just that good.
Aku no Hana... a show that I expected nothing from but get everything and more. I love every minute of it.
Arts & Animation 10/10
p/s: did you know that I have the same moles on my face just like Nakamura's. One on my left cheek and the other on my chin. Talk about coincidence!