Aku no Hana 02

By the way, I’m also watching Suisei no Gargantia and Shingeki no Kyojin (since when did people stop translating anime titles?!) and enjoying both, though that Mikasa character annoys me for some reason.  But definitely my favorite is this Aku no Hana thing!!  Yesterday I took a peek at the manga and saw how different the art was, which kind of explains why so many fans are exasperated.  It’s very different, huh.  I guess it would mess me up to if I was a fan of the manga and then was confronted with this~  Anyways, I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT THE MANGA M’KAY?

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Visually I’m reminded of Kiriko Nananan, and I don’t mean anything deeper by that statement, so just take it at face value (I like Nananan).  And then all of the ambient sound reminds me of stuff like Ghost Hound.

So, in this episode, dude is marveling at the shampooey fragrance of Saeki’s clothes when he hears a clatter behind him and ends up stuffing the whole thing down his pants.  I bet that if Nakamura, it must have been her that made the noise, hadn’t done that then dude would have gotten his fill and put Saeki’s clothes back where they were.  Don’t you think?

As soon as Takao, that’s the dude’s name, arrives home, we get a short demonstration of the disfunctionality of the Japanese family.  The kid is acting extremely weird, Mom shows verbal concern, kid runs upstairs and Mom forgets about it.  From firsthand accounts that I’ve heard, this is actually pretty normal in Japanese households.  If that had been my Mom, she wouldn’t have left me alone at that point, trust me.

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Anyway, the voice acting is splendid, it really is.  And note that this Nakamura girl orders Takao to take her beyond a hill, right after Takao muses that he can’t escape beyond the mountains etc etc.  So it’s like she’s trying to help him leave, but of course like many of us that pray we could do X or Y, he falters when the actual chance of doing it is right before him.  Which means he’s scared, or he doesn’t really want to leave, or maybe it’s a mixture of both.

The general rule is that as a man grows older, he considers more and more different types of women attractive.  (Nothing more snobbish aestheticswise than a kid).  The popular explanation is that older men get desperate or perverted or both, and that what they are doing is willfully “lowering their standards.”  I don’t think that’s right at all.  I’ve actually had deep and meaningful conversations with older men (back when these older men were around the age I am now, in some cases) were I was told that as men grow older they simply appreciate beauty better.  I don’t want to get all metaphysical, but I would even say that as you grow old you start getting a sense for the link between minute physical details (include mannerisms and speech patterns in this) and actual spiritual traits.  But enough, my point is that I think Nakamura is quite cute, but I understand that younger fans might not think so.  Plus the manga fans are probably aghast, as the manga Nakamura is classically prettier and thinner.  Or should I just say thinner?  Is that it?

Next to the portrait of C. Baudelaire, there are some volumes by a Yoshihiko Hanazawa, which as far as I can tell does not exist but is probably code for Tatsuhiko Shibusawa, who translated French literature and wrote on the occult.

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The conversation during gym class is the best.  The dialogue and the images are just stupendously perfect.  It’s so freakin’ real!!  If the best kind of escapism is into a reality not your own, then this kind of scene is just superb.

(So, basically the prime spot for adventure in a Japanese classroom is the next-to-last seat in the back, near the windows.  Not the last, because that’s reserved for the alien/crazy person that will rock your world.)

Saeki is awesome in the last scene.  The only possible reason that Takao could have for calling her into the library after class, in Japanese schoolworld terms, is to confess he loves her.  We see that she has concluded this right off the bat, as she’s extremely nervous, hoping she’s wrong but already bracing herself to reject the boy.  (The gym clothes thing is not in her mind at all).  And then you just gotta love how Nakamura pushes him toward Saeki, so that he’s almost on her chest but not quite, and then he himself goes forward and finds his way there.  So this boy does have some potential for mayhem after all.

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Now, as to the freaky ED song, well, we’re kind of used to this sort of experimental stuff coming from Japan.  I’m always very cynical of these experiments, but in this case I think it does the job, though maybe that’s because I like the show so much already.

~ by Haloed Bane on April 14, 2013.

13 Responses to “Aku no Hana 02”

  1. I think the freaky ED particularly works well because of all of the ambient sound throughout.

    In a way I hate watching this show. I actually hate those coming of age movies that are supposed to be so funny. Watching people being awkward is not fun for me. However, this show is so intense … there were so many scenes that I can imagine other anime including, but they would go for a comic mood, whereas this show always seems to reach for creepy.

    • I see. If watching people being awkward is not fun for you, I suggest not visiting Japan 🙂 The show’s definitely doing a great job of being creepy. It reminds me of Osamu Dazai’s work, where you cringe at every turn, always with a morbid curiosity to see what’ll happen next.

  2. Like for Joojoobees, this show creeps me out. I want to stop watching every second of the way. Though not because I hate awkward people, but because I hate seeing this character driving himself into a corner. It taps into that fear of mine of doing something stupid and forever be labeled as a weirdo.

    I have issues. Haven’t we all?

    • Yeah, but as you said, some people get obsessed with their issues and drive themselves into a corner. There are books that shouldn’t be read at certain ages, too.

      • Oh I used to read Flowers of Evil at around the MC’s age too(another reason for me to identify the guy) and it did make me feel intellectually superior to others and be all mopey. But it didn’t make me overly idealize girls and steal their gym clothes. Heck, the book was on the damn school program too, so they didn’t think it was too much for us.

        • Gym clothes fetish is one of them Japanese thing..

          I do remember browsing through Flowers of Evil at an early age, trying to find out how evil it was. But I only really read the whole thing about age 27-28.

  3. (since when did people stop translating anime titles?!)

    Since forever, dudebro! See: Soukou no Strain, Mai Hime, Ano Natsu, Bokurano, Mahou Shoujotai Arisu, etc. Shin Mazinger is Shin Mazinger, not True Mazinger. People seem to be evenly split on whether they prefer Shoujo Kakumei or Revolutionary Girl and I’m sure I’ve heard Tetsuwan Birdy on more than one occasion. No-one ever bothers rendering Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai in English (or in Japanese, if they can get away with it).

    I think it usually comes down to how silly the translated name is and the preferences of the person who translates it first. In Shingeki’s case, the official English title is “Attack on Titan”, which is horrible and awkward and not very good English at all. Sometimes people use “Advance of the Giants”/”Attack of the Titans”, but “Shingeki no Kyojin” is shorter, and honestly I think it’s got a nice cadence to it.

    Oh, and if you haven’t yet you should check out Valvrave. It is magnificent in its complete ridiculousness.

    • Well, I know sometimes they don’t get translated, but I feel like the percentage of untranslated titles is higher.

      I honestly don’t have time for ridiculous shows, I barely have time for non-ridiculous ones!! But I’ll keep it in mind.

  4. I was curious about this series after reading your 2 blogs on it. Then I checked out a couple of reviews including the forums at MAL, and found the kind of reaction usually reserved for people who kick small defenseless puppies and throw them out on the street. So I just had to watch this and found that it’s a pretty effective and creepy story. The rotoscope thing that has so many people in arms only adds to the sense of awkwardness and dread IMHO. Quite different from most of the stuff out there this season. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Yeah, because I am a generous soul, I assume that everyone berating the series does so because they’re a fan of the manga, which does look (from the little I’ve seen) totally different. I can totally see how someone used to and in love with a series would be very upset at an anime that looked so differently. But on its own merits, these two episodes have been absolutely brilliant, rotoscope included.

  5. I’m not familiar with the manga and I don’t care to be – I’m just an anime fan. So far I think Aku no Hana has a lot of potential, but because of issues with the pacing I’m not convinced that the series will live up to it. Episode 3 came out a little while ago and things are still dragging badly.

    • There are two roads they could take: a) making these 13 episodes into a gripping, self-contained whole, disregarding the flow of the manga; or b) keeping to the pace of the manga, ending the 13 episodes inconclusively, and then hoping that the sales volume is large enough to keep the story going in a second season. It looks like they’re going with road b…

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