Posted by psgels on 13 May 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

Aku no Hana is about the secrets that we all try to hide from each other. How a person may protect him or herself with layers. Kasuga was the most apparent example for this, but Saeki also of course has this. Whether this is as extreme as Nakamura seems to suggest in this episode is a matter of time, but she sure gave Kasuga quite a scare with it.

Now, is Kasuga a hypocrite or not in his actions? Is he running away while refusing to believe that Saeki might enjoy sex? Is that some sort of defence mechanism in order to prevent himself from going crazy, or does he genuinely believe that Saeki is as pure as a goddess? I also don’t think that Nakamura is right either: on one hand she rocks for trying to peel away the layers that Kasuga puts up. But in her mind, people are either normal, or incredible perverts. No inbetween.

Another thing I noticed in this episode: this series really likes to play with the reflections in people’s eyes. I’m not sure whether this is an artefarct of the rotoscoping or not, but it has a really interesting effect. Anime is famous for its eyes and all, but I still love the attention to detail that this series puts into the movements of the eyes of its characters.

This show may be rotoscoped and low-budget, but what I’d still love is if it were influential. I’n not asking people to take over the rotoscoping. Instead what I hope is that animators of series with bigger budgets will take cues from the nonverbal communication in this series, and let themselves be inspired by it.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

14 Responses

  1. Airies says:

    I dont think nakamura thinks that way. I think she thinks that everyone is a pervert but she took a liking to kasuga cuz she saw him do something perverted which she wont let go until she satisfies her own perverted-ness. Idk I just dont think she thinks that way you said.

    • manlyflower says:

      BTW Psgels I’m pretty sure you mean Saeki instead of Kaori.

      But, yeah, I felt it to be more like Nakamura hates the world because of all the shit worms who don’t understand their own pervasion, and seeing Kasuga give into that pervasion fueled her own. Of course, Kasuga is that other extreme, who thinks that an individual like Saeki can be entirely pure, while Nakamura says otherwise.

      It seems like a vocalization of something along the lines of the classic battle between human beings as inherently good or inherently evil, although of course pervasion is much more complicated than that dichotomy.

  2. nodbgp says:

    I think the whole thing here is way deeper than perverseness, after all the series name is “flower of EVIL”. As I see it the perverseness is just the surface of the ocean of wickedness that permeates the core of these characters, perverseness is just the pipe they are using blow steam because they still lack self-knowledge or because they are still too afraid to accept how rotten they are, or at least I hope so, because if all this shit drama about a shit uniform don’t escalate in something really fucked up then this will become the biggest disappointment I have had with an anime in a long while.

    As for the rotoscoping, it gives so much to this series that the whole “crazy” atmosphere only exist thanks to that, and the sound direction off course. It adds so much that I if it weren’t for this I would have dropped this on the first episode, since except the said atmosphere and Nakamura there’s nothing special about this show, especially not as special as people are making it to be.

    • manlyflower says:

      You should probably wait until the next episode then. (That or the episode after the next.) I can guarantee there will be a product of the escalation, and it will be very disturbing, and coming very soon.

  3. Sp@rda says:

    I highly doubt it will be influential as this is one of the worst animations we’ve had over the past years.

    • madmind says:

      Really? The animation might look rough most of the time but thanks to rotoscoping we get a freakishly high frame rate almost constantly. Compare that to many other shows. Very often you get this: moving mouth, four to five frames of full or partial body movement to change the pose of a character, then back to a moving mouth again. Very often this results on an emphasis on poses, mostly exaggerated ones. And, of course, there’s the lovely panning shots, which have characters standing in beautiful poses but not moving at all. Oh, and there’s very often the shot of a group of characters looking at something while not moving at all, best served with your usual panning. If you’re not sure what I mean by all that, take a closer look at Hentai Ouji for example.
      I’m sure the first episode of Aku no Hana alone has used more frames than some series will use in twelve episodes.
      And yes, I too really hope that some animators will look at the animation/rotoscoping of this series and go “Oh, so this is how humans normally move? Let’s do that with a higher budget!”. The very first seconds of the first episode of the main character walking down a street is a perfect example of the vast difference in terms of movement. Here, the character is looking around and not looking straight forward so there’s a lot of eye and head movement, he blinks a lot and irregularly, there’s no animation cycle at all, and you can even “feel” which leg he moves at any given moment).

      • Ann says:

        You think japanese animators use panning because they don’t know how people actually move? Maybe in some backwater tiny studio they don’t but on overall I’m afraid you’re mistaken. You can’t spit out the amount of animated shows per season the way Japan does doing traditional animation, never mind that proper rotoscoping requires a lot of time. Aku Hana uses minimum effort and tries to pass it as “style”, not my thing visually but whatever, point is if studios started to animate traditionally they all would go bankrupt within a year if not less. Traditional animation is time consuming and therefore very expensive, especially if you consider the risk of a commercial failure.

        • manlyflower says:

          At what point is it trying to pass off it’s rotoscope animation as “style?” It literally just gives it to us, as the choice of animation. But not even that, my biggest issue with people talking about Aku no Hana as being cheap and using “minimum effort” is the amount of effort they put into background. I have almost never seen a background as incredibly drawn so consistently. Yet everyone calls the show cheap? I don’t get it. Not liking the style is one thing, but calling it cheap seems to me like people are passing quality judgments based on their own preference, which is kinda bull.

          • Ann says:

            Perhaps you don’t see it because you haven’t see it done correctly yet or didn’t noticed it was rotoscoping when it was done correctly, that is understandable but the rotoscoping in Aku no Hana is badly done and is so far up the uncanny valley it’s not even funny (this is not an opinion, it is a fact), but giving the subject in this show it sort of “fits” hence it’s making the best with what it got and _is_ passing it as “style”. Not making detailed background for this sort of animation would be really dropping the ball in this case.

  4. someloser says:

    who the fuck is kaori? are you not paying attention again?

  5. Shippoyasha says:

    Meh. I hate treating this show like it is doing amazing things with meaningful silence aspects. I have faith in the traditional anime styles

  6. leftofcenter says:

    I just know I love the ending song and end up listening to it everytime.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:16 AM)
    Keep in mind mature plot elements are different from graphic violence. A lot of times you are shocked because of sympathy for the circumstances of the characters, not their actual vicarious pain which you feel. As things move away from live-action and become animated the less it looks human the less natural respond it elicits. That’s why a lot of anime have emotional deathbed monologues to help hammer home the point.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:03 AM)
    @Aidan: meh … I think Madoka could’ve also been better if it used a more rigid style. I heard a lot that the moe made it more shocking for some people, I guess I can see that even if I don’t personally feel that away at all. I think Madoka was a good series that brought a wider shonen type of audience to more adult themes, but some of the fan-praise to me is a little halfbaked and unfounded.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:49 AM)
    I’m fairly fond of the artstyle sunrise used back in the 90s also.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:46 AM)
    Actually with old artstyles in mind, I watched an old ova called california crisis recently, the character design stood out for me, the ova itself is fairly trashy however, more of a guilty pleasure.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:31 AM)
    I still don’t like the art in madoka regardless though.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:29 AM)
    “Even if a series which has detailed backgrounds and a sharp dark tone features moe characters the show would be considered lighthearted and Moe, and any violence will come off as forced or even comical.”
    Madoka says otherwise.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:24 AM)
    But still even in terms of cutesy looking female characters, I’m still going to pick the old art over the new usually.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 04:23 AM)
    In general I would prefer character designs fit in with their genre usually. I do however believe that moe, fanservice and those oldskool designs have their place and where they are or aren’t appropriate.

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