Posted by psgels on 27 May 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

Aku no Hana, you have balls.

I’m probably going to get a lot of people making fun of my tastes again, but heck, it’s not like I suddenly started caring about that or anything. This episode was an amazing aftermath-episode. One of the best in recent years. I mean, it was just perfect for me, it hit all of the right notes.

Let’s start with by far the most controversial part of this episode: the start. Five minutes in which the characters just walked. Yeah, first of all I have not seen anything like that in anime ever. Yeah, I really admire the guts of the creators to actually do that. I loved it to bits, and not just because of its novelty value. What we saw there was an incredibly intimate moment. What we saw last episode was just all hell breaking loose. They completely wrecked the classroom. Instead of just cutting to the next morning and show the superficial reactions of Kasuga’s classmates for shock value, the creators showed the mood he and Nakamura were in on the journey back. Nothing was said, we just experienced it. I’ve never seen any other anime do this, even though it showed so many emotions nonverbally.

And then there was the rest of the episode. I mean, that was some fantastic build-up. Bit by bit, the creators moved closer to Kasuga’s fears of being found out. The responses by the students, the responses from Saeki, everything was just perfect. Seriously, no overacting whatsoever in htis episode! This was by far the episode with the most convincing acting I’ve seen the entire season.

At first I felt a bit let down by how Kasuga’s name was conveniently obscured everywhere, but Saeki more than made up for it by showing that she very well knew what was going on. I mean, that was one heck of a cliff-hanger, even for this series’ high standards.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

23 Responses

  1. Avatar Deadlights says:

    I couldn’t agree any less

  2. Avatar Upscaled says:

    Well, I couldn’t agree any more with PSGels. That was an amazing episode. I’ve seen some movies do this, long moments without dialogue. Tarkovsky comes to mind, for example. But for it to be done in late-night anime, and a TV series at that, was so refreshing. I had initially toyed with dropping this after the third episode. But I’m now convinced that the creators know exactly what they are doing.

  3. Avatar Dop says:

    I am totally with you on this, it was the perfect aftermath.

    When Kasuga and Nakamura were walking home hand in hand from their frenzied night of destruction, the music was all kind of ambient, and it seemed to me very much like the feeling of coming down after a really good party. The climax was last episode, and this is the afterglow.

    Then when Kasuga was going to school, the music was much more sinister and foreboding, in keeping with Kasuga’s fear of what would happen when he got there.

    One of the things I love about this show is its sound design, and here it is using sound to convey the feeling to the audience. You don’t need to tell people what the characters are thinking and feeling, you can just intimate it through mood.

    I have to agree with Upscaled. The creators do know exactly what they are doing. There is a clear vision here to make something unique, and I love that.

  4. Avatar Sophism says:

    It’s implied that his name was obscured on the blackboard by Nakamura.

  5. Avatar Arno says:

    Thank you for letting us criticize your tastes psgels.

    I watched the silent part. No comment.

  6. Avatar Kurisu says:

    Also agree with the rest. Brilliant episode! And what a cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see how Nanako reacts next and how Kasaga handles it all.

  7. Avatar nicheitch says:

    Great episode.
    The music in the background when they walked was perfect for the mood.
    However, I wonder if they will be able to reach the climax in the manga with only five episodes left.

  8. Avatar YourDream says:

    I’ll represent one of the people that didn’t like this episode.
    I’m all for alternate unique ways to create build-up and tension, and I’ll admit, that minute or so when Kasuga was standing in front of the school and thinking about what the reactions of his classmates would be, I was breathing heavily and my heart was racing with his.
    But it was too long. I’m certain the walking sequence was much longer than five minutes (as said in psgel’s blog), including Kasuga walking with Nakamura as well as the morning when Kasuga was walking by himself. And if they weren’t, they certainly felt that long. Not to mention the beginning of the episode recapped the last episode, and that took 3 minutes or so. So basically including the opening song, nothing happened until ~12+ minutes into the episode, and that’s already halfway! I was genuinely irritated that the show kept me waiting for so long.
    I’m aware they paced it so the episode would end on the cliffhanger it ended on, and if they had showed two chapters from the manga instead of one, the pace would have to be double the speed it was. That would not be good for this show (probably), so they picked the better option. But nevertheless, I didn’t like this episode. It was an episode that connects episode 7 with 9, not the best episode thus far (which psgel’s score implies).

    • Avatar manlyflower says:

      Ya, I really do love this series, and honestly the sound this episode around was one of the best I had heard thus far, but I did think the scene was dragged out too long.

    • Avatar Avalon says:

      I was actually watching the time and the recap ending at 1:20, the opening at 2:52, the first sound made after the walking was at 9 minutes exactly. Saeki first said his name at 13:40, though of course he had his inner fears/monologues before that which started at 13:12.

      Obviously I’m not trying to prove you wrong or anything, I just thought the numbers were interesting. I thought the initial walking scene went on slightly long, but other than that I loved this episode and the risk it took.

  9. Avatar headachebaby says:

    LOVE this anime! And it keeps telling us this is episode # out of 13. I will definitely miss this anime when it’s over and that’s just around the corner. It’s such a pain to wait for every next episode.

    The beginning of the anime was long and done in the best way possible. There was no conversation but the message was conveyed very well with the music and characters’ body language.

    What actions will Saeki take knowing what has happened???

    Rotoscoping is awesome when it’s done well like this!

  10. Avatar oroboros says:

    Amazing follow up to the best episode of the year. No problems with the first 8, 9 minutes. Pure poetry in settling down from that incredible high, that Dionysian explosion of the vandalization of the classroom.

    Glad you agree. :)

  11. Avatar Carlos Another says:

    Man, i can’t agree anymore with Psgels on this amazing episode

    The walking part somehow reminds me of Endless Eight in Haruhi Suzumiya, looks boring yet interesting, but of course that walking part is much, much more interesting compared to that. The fact that Saeki actually knows the truth kinda surprises me, I thought she won’t notice that evil flower on the wall and cry until Kasuga confess it to her, you know, like those normal female character.

    • Avatar Hogart says:

      Not that I’m saying this to offend, but: “can’t agree any MORE”, not “can’t agree ANYMORE” :)

      It’s just that Deadlights already slipped up on this phrase in the first comment.. maybe this is a sign that agreeing with psgels will have dire repercussions on one’s grammar? (Just kidding!)

  12. Avatar JaK says:

    and in the end they will end around festival and considering the BD sales this will never get s2 and hence the time skip portion will never be animated which is pretty damn good in its own way

    • Avatar manlyflower says:

      I’m concerned about whether or not they will be able to animate even up till the festival :(((((((((( Considering the pace they are going at, they have so much to fit in just to get to that point.

  13. Avatar RABUJOI says:

    We agree that this was a fantastic episode that had big shoes to fill after the final minutes of the last episode, which are repeated in the cold open here and will resonate in our heads for a long, long time. It will go down as one of our all-time favorite scenes in anime.

    The long, silent walk that follows, with hands clasped together – two people walking in a new world they’ve both created, is just astonishingly beautiful to watch, and Kasuga looks as lost and worried as ever the moment Nakamura has to break their grip to go home.

    We also like how the show not only devines a very plausible reason why the class doesn’t immediately suspect Kasuga (that ink was very black and very opaque!) only to have the very illustration that graces the copy of The Flowers of Evil be the dead giveaway to Saeki that he did it.

    With this latest cliffhanger, Aku no Hana continues to be a series whose next episodes we look forward to more than any other show for a long while. We’re dying to see how this turns out!

    One aside: as she was the one who first broke out the ink, part of us wondered whether Nakamura always intended for Kasuga’s name to be obscured, thus making the culprit unknown and open to rumor by the rest of the class. That being said, she knew he gave Saeki the book, so Saeki at least was always going to figure out that it was Kasuga.

  14. Avatar imredjimmy says:

    Wow. This was even better then last’s episode. I don’t think I’ve ever been as emotionally invested in an anime that much since Bokurano. There are just so many things about this show that clicks with me.

    Simply, wow.

  15. Avatar danpmss says:

    Just used your arguments on My Anime List (including the font and URL, of course :D)
    That was the best episode analysis i saw so far, congrats!!
    here’s the link:
    http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=606303&pages=5&show=80#msg22378329

  16. Avatar aryan says:

    it was incredibly well done

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Fire Force – 9/10 [Spreading Malice/Promise]

Fire Force is an anime that shows more than it tells.  For that reason, I’ve saved up two episodes to have something more to talk about than a simple recap.  Let’s go!

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 24 [Rehabilitation Training]

Welcome all to another subdued week of Kimetsu no Yaiba everyone. This week is rather quiet comparatively, as we focus in on a few specific characters. Exploring Shinobu’s motivations, Tanjiro’s effect on others and Yaiba’s breathing techniques. So without further ado, let’s dive in. Starting off, Zenitsu is really losing a lot of the good-will […]

DanMachi2 – Episodes 9/10 (Berbera/Argonaut)

DanMachi, you’re making this hard. Overall, this season has been incredibly disjointed…the latest episode (10) is a perfect example of that.  It’s like half the animation team is working on one fight, while the interns get the other (and debatably more important one!)  In the same episode!

Dr.STONE – 11 [Clear World]

Ladies and Gentleman who actually read these posts, this is an important week for Dr.STONE. As this week we meet Kaseki, perhaps the greatest old man of the season. Dr.STONE doesn’t stop there though. Introducing us to the wonders of glassmaking and giving us another heartfelt moment of technological progress. Enough of that though, in […]

Mononoke – 6 [Faceless Monster Part 1] – Throwback Thursday

And so begins another arc of Mononoke, though this one is shaping up to be my favorite so far. This week we get the introduction of a new spirit and a commentary of personal perception, wrapped in a fast paced episode. There is plenty to talk about, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, the […]

Mix – 21-22 [If…/Affection for His Sister]

It is well and truly baseball season on Mix, as one game leads straight into another in this doubleheader. I often refer to multi-episode posts that way, but this is the first to live up to the name. Meisei’s fluke of a win against Kaiou West paves the way for a pitcher’s duel in their […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 23 [Hashira Meeting]

This week Kimetsu no Yaiba picks up right where we left off last time. As Nezuko confronts her demonic side, Tanjiro doesn’t know when to quit while he is ahead and our two favorite boys return. Enough of that though, onto the episode itself. This week was much better than last week, and I think […]

Dr.STONE – 10 [A Flimsy Alliance]

This is a tough week for Dr.STONE, as it has to follow up the brilliant “lightbulb” of last week. However, for as much as it serves as cool-down episode, I think this week succeeds. As Dr.STONE temporarily closes the book on Tsukasa, introduces a new antagonist for the Village, and a great alliance is formed. […]

Mononoke – 5 [Sea Bishop Finale] – Throwback Thursday

Fair readers, if the first arc of Mononoke was a Horror, this one is without a doubt a tragedy. As the Sea Bishop closes with unexpected twists, deep seated guilt and somber tune. Let’s dive right in, shall we? This week, Mononoke closed out its second arc, the Sea Bishop. Compared to the first, it […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – II Lost Butterfly Anime Review – 91/100

Long time no see and strap in cause this is going to be a long one. I will preface this review with the assumption that you have seen the first movie of this trilogy and this movie as well as the assumption that whomever is reading this knows what a command spell is. So basically […]

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]