Posted by psgels on 10 June 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

This show. This show seriously continues to amaze me. Last week’s episode ended with Nakamura and Kasuga ran off. This entire episode dealt with that aftermath. The pacing was incredibly slow. That leads to either lots of dragging on, or a really personal episode.

For me, it’s the latter. Holy crap, the characters got their chance to really act out their emotions here. Finally, both Kasuga and Saeki were completely honest with their feelings, and they actually dared to speak their minds. And with this, it has become clear that they haven’t done so throughout the entire series. I can’t believe how many series have done this wrong, and yet here is a series that gets it right!

The problem with indecisive characters is pacing. The feeling of “Just get on with it already!” when characters take forever to confess to each other, it’s just not interesting to watch. Aku no Hana is different, though. First of all, it really sets itself apart by insisting that it’s not another one of those “will they won’t they”-series: that’s far from the point of this series. It’s about teenagers feeling empty in society, it’s about the layers that people put up in front of each other. The love triangle is just a plot device to explore that, rather than the other way around. That’s how I usually like my romance: as a side-dish with substance, rather than a full on main course that overpowers everything.

Also in romance, things have to be brought believably in these kinds of things. Last week I wondered why Saeki fell for Kasuga, and well, the reason turns out to be one that gets very often abused in romance series: coincidence. She fell for him when he asked her out, because she’s young and nobody has done that before. And she fell for him HARD. I actually buy that, probably due to how good the acting has been (try to pull that with a cardboard cut-out character and I will be raging).

And holy crap, that climax. That climax was amazing, the awkward silence in which everyone agreed to part ways, the knowledge that everyone pretty much disappointed everyone, and yet all three of them were unable to leave due to the police showing up. The police was absolutely wonderful as a wake up call for everyone to realize what just happened, and let things sink in. Thank you for ending the episode not on the cliff-hanger of Saeki’s acceptance that things weren’t going to work out, but dragging things out a liiiittle bit longer. Seriously the atmosphere in this show is just brilliant.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

11 Responses

  1. RABUJOI says:

    We feel this was the best episode since the seventh (when the classroom was trashed), and we rated it accordingly.

    With all the work this show has done about walls people put up within themselves, there are also actual physical barriers that irk both Kasuga and Nakamura, which play a big role here in dashing their dreams of leaving the town behind.

    Going “beyond the hill” is a lovely, romantic notion of starting anew with an adventure…but actually biking up and over a mountain in heavy rain with Nakamura in tow, before Saeki or the cops catch up? Easier said than done!

  2. Spike says:

    Still the ugliest show in the past 6 seasons.

  3. Oroboros says:

    I disagree with the assertion that it was mere coincidence.

    Saeki thought Kasuga was unique, i.e., intelligent beyond his peers, and being loved by a unique person made her feel unique as well.

    Nakamura hoped Kasgua was a true deviant, and by being with a deviant she could accept her own deviancy.

    Hence the disappointment of both with Kasuga’s confessions of mediocrity. In turn they, too, were disappointed with their own mediocrity. :(

  4. headachebaby says:

    Another great episode. Wow…talk about the dialogues and Kasuga’s confession. He’s ordinary but wants to be different, which makes him different by such thoughts.

    Both girls are pretty disappointed in Kasuga and what he cannot be for them. Or is it that he is scare to go either route and it’s safer to be ordinary.

    Yes, I would like to be rotoscoped ^_^.

  5. Sobakus says:

    I think the style is Ok. That I don’t like is this “overly depressed” feeling 1st episode gave me, without explaining why it’s so depressed… Should I continue watching it? Psgels describes every episode the way I’m starting to think that everyone must watch it. Like it’s the most important anime in a long while…

    Does this series has anything, ecxept depression?

  6. leftofcenter says:

    I look forward to watching it, but not, because I know it is going to end soon (as all things do). The music gets me, the animation gets me (everything does not have to be perfect people!), and the story line is unpredictable…

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 02:00 AM)
    @Vxien, Not sure who that recommend is for but whoever it is has seen death note. It’s like recommending Cowboy bebop. Anyone calling themselves an anime fan has likely already seen it and anyone that hasn’t…should watch it immediately.
  • Vxien
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 12:41 AM)
    Might I recommend Death Note if you haven’t already.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.

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