Aku No Hana, Depression, Nihilism, BDSM & The Pattern Of Life.

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I remember wanting to read Aku No Hana – or The Flowers Of Evil – when I was about 12 years old, it was right after I finished Onani Master Kurosawa, which blew my mind seeing that I had never ever read something similar; So after reading that, the most recommended manga of the time was, yes, Aku No Hana, I clearly remember reading the synopsis and while interested, I didn´t think a story about some dude stealing girls sports garment was gonna make for much of a psychological trip.

Fastforward two years later, and the anime adaptation came out in a way that´ll be remembered years from now. I mean, how could they change the pretty artstyle of the manga to God awful rotoscoping?! Is what I thought, 14 years old at the time. But hey, I´m a girl open for everything, so, two years ago, I watched the first episode, and while I tried to like it, my 14 year old mind missed the rush that I wanted, and so, I dropped the series on its first episode, not understanding, comprehending or appreciating that was is in fact one of, if not the biggest psychological and emotional ride that I was gonna experience in an anime. Two years later, now 16 years old with a bit more emotional experience and knowledge on the actual Fleurs Du Mal, Baudelaire, BDSM, depression and a concerning connection to the entire cast, I give Aku No Hana another chance, man, I woefully welcome you to one of my new favourite manga and anime of all time.

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This is not a review, nor is it my intention to conclude this post with wheter or not this show is good or bad, or wheter you should watch it or not, because in all honesty, I can see why some people wouldn´t like the anime, it weights a lot emotionally, the rotoscoping might put people off and the fact is, if you´re like 14 year old me, the show will feel really friggin´ slow and mundane.

But hey, that might be you, or not, because while watching this in 2 days time, the rotoscoping never bothered me once and even after finishing the anime and reading the manga the sudden switch of artstyles was actually kind of appreciated, the rotoscoping gives it humanity, while the manga is a surrealist experience all on its own.

Anyways, enough about that, my end goal with this post is none, I just kind of want to talk about Aku No Hana.

Personally, I felt an uncanny connection to Kasuga and even Nakamura, the suffocating feeling of living in a small, shitty city with the same shitty people that are stuck in a neverending cycle of eat – sleep – study – reproduce, eat – sleep – study – reproduce, eat – sleep – study  – reproduce  – die.

And then there is you, that one person who thinks he thinks outside of the box, who reads french poetry infront of everybody to showcase your intelectual dick, even though you probably don´t understand its themes or what it´s trying to tell you – damn – you frightfully realize, maybe you´re just another product of the system, maybe you´re just as much of a, in Nakamura´s words, shiteater like the rest of them, or maybe nobody is, and maybe everybody is complicated in their own ways, maybe we can´t put a name on our actions, and maybe we do all that just to feel a bit superior to our peers, because, fuck, I read french poetry, I don´t like her like a sexual being, she´s my muse! my pure angel! she can do no wrong!

Or at least, that´s how I perceived Kasugas character, who thereafter quickly gets entranced in the world of the real freak of the story, Sawa Nakamura, who, spoiler alert, not only makes him wear the stolen garments while asking Saeki out, but also makes him feel like he is the pervert, the freak, the outcast of society or the only person in the town who knows, who knows that there is more beyond the cycle of life.

Yes, Sawa Nakamura is definitely depressed, Sawa Nakamura just so happened to find Kasuga with Saeki´s clothes in his hands and for once Sawa Nakamura thought she found someone. Not romantically, not even a friend-sy way, but in an oddly sexual, bdsm-like relationship of submission and power that she can only and exclusively find with Kasuga, because who else would have taken all her shit and keep shut, even in his situation? Nobody. No one in his or her sane mind would´ve have let her do what she has done and praise her like some type of godess or celestial being for it.

Y´see, I know depression, and the later relationship of Kasuga and Nakamura is one that you can only get in if you´re in a certain state of mind that mixes sympathy with sadness, guilt and a messed up craze.

Their relationship is everything, but it is definitely not friendship. As I have mentioned, they´re relationship comes closer to that of a master and slave, believer and a godess than one of mutual understandment.

There´s also a third layer on their relationship, see here Baudelaire, the writer of Les Fleurs Du Mal and Jeanne Duval, his evil mistress who tortured him in every way and got money off of him on every possible opportunity, while the philosophy of Baudelaire is incredibly relevant to the story of Aku No Hana, who represents both characters is a difficult thing for me to decide, on one hand Nakamura could represent Baudelaire, and Kasuga his mistress, but on the other hand, I feel like Baudelaire-Jeanne could also be traced to Kasuga-Saeki, or Kasuga-Nakamura.

What is for sure is that Aku No Hana shares many things with the history of the poet and his revolutionary philosophies, highlights including the “art is long and time is brief” philosophy which in the manga can be traced to Aya and her desire to become a writer, just to become another part of the system.

The “the church can´t surpress love, so they disinfect it with marriage” which traces back to all the sins Kasuga has commited and his marriage to Aya as if to set their relationship into stone, the correct way.

The “All men and women know, from the moment that they are born that all pleasure lies in evil” which is scattered around the story mixed with the feeling of anguish and later blends with his philosophy on the public, “The public must not receive a delicate perfume, it exasperates them. Give them carefully selected garbage.” which is something Nakamura is especially concious of, because we don´t care about smart poetry or, thinking outside of the story, we don´t care about the injustice of other people, all we want is cheap entertainment and in the story of Aku No Hana, sex, sex and sex.

In the end, Aku No Hana is magical, poetic and most definitely disturbing.

Aku No Hana is reality in its dirtiest way, Aku No Hana is best appreciated if one has gone through the same things the cast has gone through, that, or maybe I´m just like Kasuga, and maybe I´m just a pretentious Tumblr-twat who thinks she´s a super dramatic heroine, but in reality is just one more individual in a collective, disgusting mass of superiority and inferiority, let´s just hope I don´t meet my Nakamura anytime soon and, remember kids, don´t steal anyones clothes, or you might end up in a double suicide.

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