Monday, April 8, 2013

First Look: Aku no Hana

Year: 2013 | Directed by Hiroshi Nagahama | Written by Aki Itami
Based on the Manga series by Shūzō Oshimi | Studio Zexcs

I have always been pulled in by creepy things, but maybe it's because I've known it earnestly that I'm a freak. There were talks about Aku no Hana  - mostly to negative vibes due to its rather controversial story (on degradation, masochism and utter humiliation of the male character) that implies it would turn your stomach upside down. When the anime was released a few days ago some viewers have said that they would have difficulty watching the later episodes because of their knowledge about the manga. I am not trying to brag here but I just don't feel off about the story. I have seen a lot of live action films that are way weirder than this. Given that the animation is a complete turn around from its manga look I have come to like it not because of the symbolism on its visual style but the realism it gives off with the details. At first, I share the same repugnance with the animation just like with everyone else. They don't look moe and not so very easy on the eyes. But in a way I have learn to appreciate its rotoscoped effects, thanks partly to Richard Linklater's film "Waking Life" and "A Scanner Darkly".  On the upside, though, I think this is a major achievement for Zexcs to have created an anime with Japanese people looking exactly like Japanese people. With a story that is screwed up as Aku no Hana I think it is only befitting for it to be interpreted in a realistic way even if the visual looks unconventional - at least in anime standards - so we could view the characters as real human beings with tangible emotions.

Aside from the occasional spoilers, I am thankful hitherto that I have not read the manga, it certainly saved me from having any expectations or disappointments. I am ecstatic to watch the upcoming episodes for all of its unsettling psychological war fares - because I live for that kind of stuff - as they keep me inspired and makes me feel less lonely in this cruel and harsh world. Out of all the anime's to premiere this spring season Aku no Hana is by far my favorite and the most interesting there is in my opinion. 

xoxo, Chin

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