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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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 01:16 AM)
    And read the TV Tokyo story outline that was presented by the Eva Committee and see how much of the story was perfectly planned from the beginning and that aside from some religious imagery cake-dressings the core themes were already preset from the initial phase and not straw-grasping by observant fans.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 01:11 AM)
    @Aidan: That’s generally the criticism I hear of Nasu fans, great to see they cope by passing it on to other works. It’s exactly what Evangelion ‘did’ that makes it one of the best, and what it did was to deconstruct the whole medium and introduce themes and styles of story presentation that were new to the genre. Its legacy is the effect of its greatness, not the cause.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 01:06 AM)
    *always
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 01:05 AM)
    @jerkocaust: you award has the choice to stop watching a any point, that’s on you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 01:01 AM)
    I despise the act of covering for a shows flaws by saying of symbolic and psychological crap that could just be pure coincidence and not even creator intent.
    We aren’t denying Evangelion influenced the industry but Bam if it’s going to be hailed as one of the best anime of all time then it’s what it did that matters. Not what it inspired.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 12:58 AM)
    “Now the characters are emotionally a bit blank because that’s what Anno wanted. To show the mental isolation of the protagonist they needed to keep him separated and tormented.”
    Or…it’s poor characterization. Seriously you are giving Anno way too much credit.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 12:40 AM)
    Okay, random boring fact (and showing of my nerdiness) apparently Robin William’s was an Eva fan, there is also an Eva refererence in the film one hour photo.
    And while on the subject of anime/manga references in films Buronsons sanctuary is referenced in The fifth element.
  • jerkocaust
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 12:38 AM)
    @Ham lol no its more like im too balls deep after all these years to stop exactly because ill feel like ive completely wasted my time. How stupid u r
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 12:37 AM)
    I kind of feel sorry for Moyoco Anno though living with him through his mental illness, I also question, always have wondered what the source of Hideki Anno’s depression had been, was he simply born bipolar? Or was it an event?
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 12:33 AM)
    And jerkocaust, m8, if you have followed the series for years as you mentioned you both:
    a) apparently have as much leisure time as me, or perhaps more, which is ok and sign of prosperity.
    b) you are also interested enough in the Eva series to keep following it so far afterrall these yaears. So it has grabbed your attention and mentally engaged you, which is what art’s meant to do.

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