…Those are some pretty manly side burns.
|…Yes, the character above is supposed to be female. Well, here I am, attempting to blog Aku no Hana weekly. I honestly can’t say that I ‘like’ the manga, but I … admire it I guess? There was not a single thing about the plot that I wasn’t cringing at, but at the same time, I certainly couldn’t stop reading it until I caught up to the current scans and will definitely read it to it’s conclusion.|
First things first, let’s talk about how big of an idiot Kasuga is. No, taking his crush’s gym clothes was not a smart thing to do. However, as you could tell from the first episode, the town they all live in is incredibly dull and really, finding Saeki’s gym clothes was probably the most interesting thing that Kasuga has had happen in a very, very long time, so I can see why he’d do it (oh yeah, and hormones). Though this is all my own speculation there. Anyways, this is definitely a turning point for Kasuga’s life. …Only, it’s not a very good one. Now he’s stuck with a huge feeling of guilt since his crush is feeling severely creeped out and insecure. Not only that, but he’s now on edge because obviously he would be a social pariah. Or at least he’s convinced himself that he would be one (and judging on everyone else’s reactions, he’s probably right), so he can’t really do anything and apologize. That scene with Kasuga fading into the abyss was nice imagery there.
…Which brings in the stupidity part. Now, Kasuga could do a number of things with the clothes. He was the one who stole them, but there are a ton of ways he could remove any and all association he had with them. He could burn them, throw them out, hide them in someone else’s desk, toss them in the river, or any number of other things. But no, this is the kind of show where he’s going to sit there in his regret and do nothing about it. Plus Nakamura pushing him into a corner doesn’t exactly help the situation. But really, if he did get rid of them and Nakamura called him out, who is the class more likely to believe? Everyone has labelled her as a freak. …Though to be honest, Kasuga is the quiet type with his nose always in a book, so him protesting might not be that believable. Plus he has no spine.
Anyways, I’m pretty damn sure that Kasuga had some kind of remorse in the manga and said things to himself like that he was going to return her clothes. He still took them of course since puberty got the better of him, but he kept trying to justify it to himself in his head by saying that it wasn’t a big deal and that he’d just return them the next day. He was still a huge creep about it, but the difference here was that Kasuga took the clothes, thought “hehehe, I’m a bad person” and the guilt didn’t fully bitchslap him in the face until later. Maybe they will skip over some of the other events in the story since they’re already going off script a bit and speeding up some things. If they don’t though, I have absolutely no idea where this is going to end on episode 13. Even this episode was kind of slow.
If you’re wondering why absolutely no one reacted to Kasuga carrying around a bag of Saeki’s gym clothes (which I know I was, until I actually examined the name on the bag), it’s because he hid them in his own bag. That’s his own name on there. The only thing suspicious about him right now is the way he’s acting. ….Though you might have picked up on the fact that Saeki’s bag was also pink and the one Kasuga was carrying around was blue. I didn’t.
As for Nakamura, she’s definitely… something. They haven’t quite gotten to her, uh, more interesting threats yet, but she’s definitely beyond the norm of the town at the moment. For one, she’s not telling anyone about Kasuga being a huge pervert and instead making Kasuga form a contract. I don’t think that this style of animation accurately expresses just how much of a freaking lunatic she is. There’s not really a big distortion to her features (unlike the manga), so it just looks like your average girl threatening someone. …Or maybe they’re doing it on purpose because we’re not supposed to see how much of a psychopath she is until later? I do hope they up the level of her facial expressions when she shows more of her personality though, since right now, it’s really lacking impact for me. Other than that, I don’t mind how choppy everything is. The realistic body movements are interesting to watch.
The intensity is there though, in a way one might not have felt from the manga. With a book, you can flip pages and skim through the parts where Kasuga is sitting there, wanting to tell people about the misunderstanding, but doesn’t. With the anime though, you have to sit there and watch him. …Or I guess you could skip that or fast forward too, but this is making me appreciate the amount of time they’re planning out for scenes. You read books at your own pace. You can’t really do that the same way when watching something. That scene with Kasuga wanting to tell people about the gym clothes, but doesn’t, you can pretty much FEEL the pressure he’s feeling (or at least I did). It was a really powerful scene of desperation.
So yeah, this is the kind of show you’ll watch and cringe at, since the characters are all slowly ruining their lives. But at the same time, there’s something really intriguing about it all. I’m definitely worrying about pacing, since episode 1 was soo sloooow and episode two was significantly faster, but at the same time, SLOOW. Though with this slowness, some of the scenes are being done really well. Not all of them, but there are a few places, like the part I mentioned above with Kasuga sitting in class feeling guilty. Hopefully things start picking up soon… There’s no point in telling people to get over the art and focus on the plot if the plot is moving so slowly that the story isn’t interesting anyways. In any case, Aku no Hana certainly isn’t for everyone.