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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  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 11:52 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: just look at Yukinon. She has major problems to get over before she can consider a relationship with anyone. In the end Haruno was right: she relies on Hachiman too heavily and it isn’t good. If anything they need space to let her disentangle her emotions and find solid ground to her life.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:42 AM)
    Now time to watch Fate/Zero and see what the fuss was all about.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:41 AM)
    I think that’s a great and fair review of UBW. I would’ve gave it 8/10, but hey, close nuff’.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:48 AM)
    How would that be toxic?
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:31 AM)
    From a critical perspective it was rock solid. Directing, writing, soundtrack – all were excellent. A great cliffhanger for this arc of the teenage condition.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:27 AM)
    ratsgnoF: thanks, may skim through those later.
    Personal reaction to the finale: welp. Things are a complete mess, Yukino x 8man would be a toxic relationship and Yui x 8man would be far healthier, potentially even good.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:43 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:40 AM)
    Here are some of the monologues that weren’t really shown in the anime. They’re very well written. https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/first-memorandum/ https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/second-memorandum/
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:11 AM)
    Ah, then yes, almost certainly. I’d go as far as to expect the author also spends significant time with teenagers to capture their mentality so well.
    I imagine it’d be easier for teens to get emotionally invested, but I’d also say there’s a deeper level they wouldn’t really ‘get’ until older. We can evaluate what we see with a hindsight teens cannot have, so we aren’t worse off for being older.

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