Posted by psgels on 20 June 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

Every season, there is one series that in one way or the other reminds me why I still love anime. Aku no Hana is one of them, and this episode only established this even more. Even this late in the series, it still pushes the boundaries of television series, and tries to see what it can get away with. This episode took guts. It could so easily have been incredibly boring, and yet they pulled it off. This was just art.

I mean, when you look at synopsises of this episode, there is one thing you’ll realize: nothing happens! Yeah, I guess Kasuga and Saeki formally break up and all. But take a look at most of this episode: long stretches of Kasuga just walking around, long stretches in which absolutely nothing is said. And yet these parts were so full of emotion.

Is that what teenaged angst feels like? Is that what it feels like to be in a completely hopeless situation? Heck, this episode was about the emptiness in Kasuga’s heart, and it did not portray this through dialogue, or plot. But rather through just animation and sound. The nonverbal communication was absolutely fantastic here. The atmosphere! I can’t believe how well it was carried throughout the entire episode!

Also, the climax. Perfect use of all that build-up!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

15 Responses

  1. notintheface11 says:

    I lose patience with this show a lot because I feel like Kasuga’s indecision could be resolved by anyone with the slightest bit of backbone, and this is someone who finds Shinji Ikari to be a well-written and believable character. But that dream sequence… man. That was the most atmospherically gorgeous part of this show yet, and that’s saying a lot. My favorite parts of this show have been the long stretches where nothing is said and you just drown in the music and the visuals.

    • Puran says:

      And this is why this anime is controversial. If you aren’t drawn in by the music and visuals, the pacing will be horrible for you and you will be bored to death.

      But I’m with you, so far I’ve really enjoyed sequences like the one in this episode. The visuals and the music really drew me in. It’s also been quite a while since an anime even attempted to do something like this… Maybe Ghost Hound (although it’s not quite similar)?

      • KaZuHiro says:

        That’s it! Ghost Hound’s music, mood and aesthetic really drew me in! This is almost the same feeling when I watch Aku No Hana.

  2. YourDream says:

    Let’s make an rotoscope anime of the 3100 mile marathon in New York. That’s potentially 52 days worth of nothing but walking! I’m sure psgels will love it!

    • psgels psgels says:

      Actually, that may have been a purely sarcastic comment and all, but if the creators can trim it down to a reasonable length, add a ton of context, inner conflicts and relatable characters… then I’d want to watch it. :P

    • Well... says:

      Get your facts straight. A marathon is 24.2 miles. Dumbass.

      On a more serious note, thanks for the reviews, psgels.

  3. tirthasg says:

    Psgels I recommend you to read the manga as well.Then you will get to why manga readers such as me hates this anime! The feeling you talk of are just more pronounced in the manga.

    • Vonter says:

      I don’t think so. The anime certainly has more things going on but the pacing is completely different and also the feeling. IMO in the manga some of the situations are unintentionally comical because of the exaggerated expressions. I also didn’t felt the setting as foreboding as in the anime.

      But well is just my opinion, I just liked the anime better.

      • JaK says:

        the raw feeling i got from the manga turned to lolwat in the anime :|

        • Puran says:

          I don’t intend to bash the manga, but to me the manga was more of a dark comedy. Maybe it is because before I read it, I read online that it was supposed to be really disturbing or something, but it didn’t unsettle me at all. I do think it’s an interesting manga though.

          The anime has more or less forced me to take it more seriously.

      • Sabella says:

        I have to agree that the manga just doesn’t have the same feel as the anime (or, in my opinion, the same deftness of characterization and mood). This is one of those rare instances where I’ve found the anime staff has vastly improved upon the source material. But YMMV since there are a bunch of people out there who loved the manga and hated what they saw of the anime adaptation.

        • Spike says:

          That’s because it’s less of an ‘adaptation’ and more of a ‘re-interpretation’. If you read 2ch, you would see that the few remaining manga readers that didn’t bail out after the rotoscoping fiasco and very uphappy at changes in tone and liberties taken. They took a possible gold mine and turned it into a salt mine.

          • toobad says:

            Well too bad then that the mangaka himself loves the anime director’s approach and has even said he’s a little frustrated with himself that he didn’t do an equally good job with certain parts of the manga, because now people may find it disappointing if they start reading after having watched the anime.

  4. Rich says:

    I am very frustrated with the main character. He cries a bit too much. He whines a little too much. Can’t make up his mind (granted I can understand that to an extent).

    Very good show when I let it build up a few episodes to get away from all the cliff hangers. I think I stopped watching this show around episode 4 and then returned to watch 5-11 in one go.

    Not my favorite anime but its well done. Cool story!

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:50 PM)
    *for.
    Also I finished out Amanes route in Grisaia and am genuinely pleased with how it rounded out as being/capped off.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:49 PM)
    Shame they can’t be relied on from anything else however.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:48 PM)
    Ah, .hack bee-train can always be relied on for good music.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:48 PM)
    I recently rewatched petite cossette actually and it still holds up for me as an atmospheric, creepy and trippy and dreamy macabre story I wish Shinbo was still that good.
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 08:44 PM)
    As much as I love .Hack’s score, I can’t help but feel that Le Portrait de Petit Cossette has Kajiura’s best score.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:37 PM)
    I will agree that the tsundre archtype should have been Rin and not Kugimiya pseudo-lolita’s, far less irritating, less of a love/hate thing for me. That said I don’t care all that much for finding the personalities of fiction characters all that attractive, it tends to be the character designs, more often I end up wanting to black eye most tsundere characters, actually alot of characters.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:32 PM)
    And I also read that “realistic tsundere manga” I believe I mentioned it a few times on here, I never really got into reading it, can’t really remember the title.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:30 PM)
    I rather like Yuki Kaijura’s music for fate/zero, don’t care about kara no kyokai’s soundtrack, madoka or sword arts much.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 PM)
    @Gedata: God they didn’t even research it correctly.
    In regards to clannad theres an example of one which I retrospectively am more critical of and find the drama remarkably silly in parts.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:38 PM)
    @gedata: For my own sanity after a while I began skimming episodes and following flawfinders posts here and there.
    @Vincent: Must rewatch that one and flags of our fathers sometime, need to get round to soldier of orange also.

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