Aku no Hana

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Knorris908

-san
Kouhai
akunohanaanime.jpg


Genre: Drama, Romance, School, Psychological
Studio: Zexcs
Director: Hiroshi Nagahama (Mushi-Shi, Detroit Metal City)
Series Composition: Aki Itami
Music: Hideyuki Fukasawa (Vividred Operation, You're Under Arrest: Full Throttle)

Original Creator:
Shūzō Oshimi
Number of episodes: 13

Opening Theme:
"Aku no Hana: Kasuga Takao (惡の華 -春日高男-)" by Uchu-jin (宇宙人)

Ending Theme:
"Hana -a last flower-" (花 -a last flower-) by ASA-CHANG & JUNRAY

Synopsis:
Takao worships the class beauty, Nanako, from afar. When he is alone in the classroom one day after school, he notices her bag of gym clothes on the floor. He can't resist picking it up. He plans to return it, but the next day, all the girls are commiserating with Nanako that some pervert has stolen her gym clothes. Worse than that, their classmate Sawa quietly lets him know that she saw him take the clothes and will tell Nanako if he doesn't make a contract with her to do whatever she asks of him. And so their strange, tense relationship begins.
(Source: ANN)

Cast:
Mariya Ise as Sawa Nakamura
Shinichiroh Ueda as Takao Kasuga
Yōko Hikasa as Nanako Saeki

Ayako Uemura as Ai Kinoshita
Katsutoshi Matsuzaki as Yamada
Sayuri Hara as Mayu
Shinya Hamazoe as Kojima

Edit note: @Knorris908, I hope you don't mind I edited this post to contain info about the show... just my OCD kicking in, I think it's good to have the basic info as the first post in a topic. I hope you don't mind, but if you do please feel free to PM me!
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What the heck did I just watch?!?!?

Let's ignore the truly hideous animation, the sound not synching to the video, and the really poor character design...

NOTHING HAPPENED! The highlight of the entire episode was a bag fell out of a cubby hole? Really?

No spoilers code because there is nothing to spoil other than you'll likely want to sue the animators for the 24 minutes of your life back.

Not the worst anime I've ever seen only because I don't even classify this as anime...
 

ysef200

-chi
Kouhai
I started watching this and completely became confused and disgusted on how bad the animation and sound quality was.

All the characters were (from what I'm guessing) Rotoscoped actors. I don't even think this would be classified as "anime" if it wasn't for the beautiful backgrounds.

Now after watching this, I had to go read the manga to make sure this wasn't a mistake, but the manga is really good and this "show" does it no justice.

I'm gonna give it a second chance, in hopes that episode 2 won't be boring and drag like episode 1 did.
 

Knorris908

-san
Kouhai
QUOTE (ysef200 @ Apr 06 2013, 05:19 AM)I started watching this and completely became confused and disgusted on how bad the animation and sound quality was.

I agree 100%. I mean, the sound and artistry is why the story is on TV, right? The story itself is conveyed by print so animation "rarely" enhances the actual printed story in my experiences. It usually just gives us another way to envision what we've read, or a fast way to determine if we would like a story that we haven't read yet. (Again, all simply my opinion.)


QUOTE (ysef200 @ Apr 06 2013, 05:19 AM)Now after watching this, I had to go read the manga to make sure this wasn't a mistake, but the manga is really good and this "show" does it no justice.

I'm gonna give it a second chance, in hopes that episode 2 won't be boring and drag like episode 1 did.

Based on your statement that the manga is really good, I'm going to put it on my short-list of things to read, and I will also probably give the second episode a good look to see if this series has any chance of redeeming itself against what is a reportedly great manga.
 

JCDRANZER

- Sky King
Retired
I haven't watched the first episode yet but I found out about the animation at Sankaku and I just can't believe what they have done, the manga is known for it's art as being "pretty" but the anime just looks "FUGLY".
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I don't know if I can bring myself to watch this.
 

Barbobot

-the Pirate King
Retired
So I'm the only one here who really liked the first episode? Rotoscoping is obviously a turn-off for many people and I understand that, but I like what they are trying to do here. Rotoscoping was obviously an intentional stylistic choice made for the series that works really well to give the show a kind of crreepy, "somethings not right here" vibe. Which from what little I do know of the manga works in the story's favor.
 

Barbobot

-the Pirate King
Retired
2nd episode wasn't quite as good as the first. It keeps a kind of tense atmosphere through a fair amount of the episode that's set up pretty well, as you can feel the huge well of anxiety that Kasuga is feeling over how to deal with the gym clothes and Nakagawa, but it suffers in a few places. The pacing is still a bit too slow as I felt the episode was just going on forever.

And then there are some weird/unintentionally funny things from the rotoscoping. Now let me start by saying again, I do not mind the rotoscoping at all and even like how it brings out all the subtle body language that you wouldn't see at all if this was regularly animated. But it's just hilarious in 2 scenes. The less egregious is when Kasuga runs from Nakagawa. It's just kinda unintentionally funny to watch Kasuga run away flailing his arms in the rotoscope as he runs down the side of the hill. But that's not a major issue. The more annoying part is this:

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That's clearly a guy being used as a stand-in for a female character in the rotoscoping. They added the braids in an attempt to make it look more feminine, but he's still got those massive sideburns. They couldn't be bothered to doctor up that part a bit to make it look like a woman. And even if they had to use a guy as a stand in for a girl from lack of personnel, which I can at least understand, don't use that person for a close up scene to make it super obvious. Only use them in farther away shots.

These just made me laugh and broke up any tension that was there though luckily they are both early on in the episode. Luckily the Man-Woman is only shown briefly.
 

oneniisama

New Member
Kouhai
It's only going to draw out more and be a pain to watch and this is from a story standpoint and not just artistic look. They are doing 13 episodes which will do no justice to the story since the Manga is at 40+ chapters (ongoing) now and the anime is basically doing 1 episode equal to 1 chapter. Just read the manga and skip this tripe.
 

Knorris908

-san
Kouhai
Going into episode 3: Well, at least the sound synchs-up now...

There are weird and possibly intentional "mistakes" with the rotoscoping, like the woman who asks if she can help him, even though she has a full-on mustache drawn-in.. And our female classmate with the serious muton chops is still around. I keep wondering if Kasuga is going to kill the guy, or rape him... Very weird.
And to the rotoscoping's credit, I've never seen "crazy" come through in traditional animation like it seems to on her face...

It seems to me like the guy would have had a much easier time if he had simply asked her WHY she felt that she is a deviant... Might have given him a clue about what to do next.

Weird show. Disturbing in the same way an Edgar Allen Poe story is, so I guess that's why I keep coming back to it.
 

Kit-Tsukasa

-desu
Retired
Aku no Hana is based on an ongoing manga of the same name. The story follows high school bookworm Takao Kasuga, whose favorite book is The Flower of Evil (Charles Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal). One day, he impulsively steals the gym clothes of Nanako Saeki, the girl who he considers an angel. However, Sawa Nakamura catches him and wishes to use it as blackmail unless he forms a "contract" with her. Aku no Hana premiered during the Spring 2013 anime season and is licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

Aku no Hana is probably one of the most hyped titles of the season. I don't blame the fans despite not reading the manga. It's got a relatively unique and dark premise for a romance show. While it is by no means a deconstruction of the romance genre as School Days continues to hold the title, it approaches the events in a far more psychological and to some extent realistic manner. However, the anime remains full of holes albeit far from the stereotypical romance anime tropes. Story wise, it takes a while for the series to show a clear direction. In fact, it's difficult to even describe what this series intended to do until the relationship between Nanako and Takao began to solidify. From then on, it becomes effectively clear as crystal in terms of the overly dramatic development between the "love triangle" of Takao, Sawa, and Nanako. Ultimately though, the story doesn't seem to advance very far. Whether this is due to a limited amount of source material or because of just poor writing and presentation overall, the story leaves us with a bittersweet ending that more often leaves much to be desired than not.

Art...art is definitely the most controversial topic for this series. In terms of background, it's very good. Very fine details in the scenery with nice colors to match. On the other hand, from a character design aspect it is absolutely atrocious. Aside from not following the source, you could argue that it's a stylistic choice. However, this does not give it an excuse to not draw faces of other characters that actually speak lines. Speaking of dialogue, the animation is awful. I can't count the number of times of recycled scenes in a drawn out silent scene and of course the poor mouthing animation to the point that characters speaking don't move their mouth until after the line is finished. It is definitely the worst I've seen from ZEXCS in a long time if not ever.

OP/ED themes are corny but you can't really call them themes, especially the latter. The lyrics fit with the mood of the series but the tune is unbearable. Background music is average that fits with the series but drawn out and results in it being boring. Sound effects are few and far between with nothing particularly noticeable. Seiyuu is generally good.

Enjoyment? The series drags its feet and spends a lot of time with silent scenes and slow dialogue. For a dialogue driven show, it needs to keep the dialogue moving in order to keep my interest, especially with already poor character designs, animation, and a weak starting hook. Unfortunately, Aku no Hana fails to do that and continues to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. To me, every time Aku no Hana drags out a scene, it is like watching the 15 minutes of crying in the finale of Smile Precure! Stylistic choice or not, in my opinion, it is generally a bad practice as it's literally wasting the audience's time no productive development. Someone will always find a loop/plot hole in an anime series so it would have been more useful for those dragged out moments to be used in covering up some of these holes.

Overall, Aku no Hana had a solid premise with either a failed adaptation and/or poor execution all around. The hype is definitely well deserved as I see potential in this series but the anime presentation certainly gives me no incentives to read the manga, let alone recommend the series to any one. From a recommendations standpoint, Serial Experiments Lain and Mushishi have similar art and concepts to this show and probably the closest we've seen to "realistic art" since the former. Nazo no Kanojo X also resembles it to some degree along with the initial story setup. Mirai Nikki and School Days are probably the closest to this series in terms of the romance themes but overall, Aku no Hana is definitely unique in its own right. Though, it may be more well known for its "unique" art and animation for generations to come more than anything else.

Preliminary Score: 5/10
Final Score: 4/10
 

JCDRANZER

- Sky King
Retired
I sincerely DO NOT understand how Kit rates his anime....4/10...come on, I expected at least a 7 or 8 from you!
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I watched the anime from start to finish and then read the entire manga from chapter 1 to chapter 57, including that extra chapter all in one day and the series has mentally drained me. The anime was magnificent and the manga was just an incredible read.

It's a twisted coming-of-age story that ends in possibly one of the most "stinging" bittersweet endings I have ever come across because despite having somewhat of a happy ending, you will feel like there's a hole in your heart and damn is it painful....I honestly wanted more closure to the story but the manga ended pretty well.

The anime covers the first 20 chapters and captures the manga's feel so precisely, I believe the retro-scoping animation actually brings out the intensity of the story pretty well and I'm not sure if traditional anime style animation would have been able to capture it in such a "human" way.

Both the anime and manga get a 10/10, the score might seem generous but honestly, I could not lower that score. The music composition that created the perfect and true to the manga atmosphere for the anime was top-class.
 

ImTakes

sama
Retired
QUOTE (JCDRANZER @ Jun 01 2014, 04:02 PM)I sincerely DO NOT understand how Kit rates his anime....4/10...come on, I expected at least a 7 or 8 from you!
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I watched the anime from start to finish and then read the entire manga from chapter 1 to chapter 57, including that extra chapter all in one day and the series has mentally drained me. The anime was magnificent and the manga was just an incredible read.
It's a twisted coming-of-age story that ends in possibly one of the most "stinging" bittersweet endings I have ever come across because despite having somewhat of a happy ending, you will feel like there's a hole in your heart and damn is it painful....I honestly wanted more closure to the story but the manga ended pretty well.
The anime covers the first 20 chapters and captures the manga's feel so precisely, I believe the retro-scoping animation actually brings out the intensity of the story pretty well and I'm not sure if traditional anime style animation would have been able to capture it in such a "human" way.
Both the anime and manga get a 10/10, the score might seem generous but honestly, I could not lower that score. The music composition that created the perfect and true to the manga atmosphere for the anime was top-class.
I am glad you liked this one...I sure did, querido Capitano. While I may not agree with the 10/10 score, it was a fascinating story told from what looked like and felt like realistic angst ridden Japanese teenagers who came across as isolated, desperate, and lacking in any form of self respect or love. There were many times I wanted to slap the MC but Nakamura-chan took care of him just fine.

I have never been put off by different types of animation styles if the story is of interest to me. I am glad since I think I would miss out on some great stuff...Ping Pong the Animation comes to mind. Another great series that many put off due to the fact that it is animated by the Master's team and in such a way as to not be considered run-of-the-mill.
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I suppose folks who like panty shots, cleavage, and brainless, cutesy type, generic animated stories are always gonna drool over pretty colored banality...reading all the so-called critics on here and on MAL confirm just that so folks missed out on an realistic look at desolated teen youths who rage...rage...rage. Like Barbo-san said, the animation style was just right for this type of story.

I may watch it over again just to confirm what I sure as hell liked watching.

8/10 after I watched it last year when it was airing. Anyway, just my two anime cents.
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P.S. Capitano...here's a thumbs up from someone whose anime opinion I respect and always find an interesting read.

Anybody-sama Sempais Apr 18 2014, 06:12 AM
"Aku no Hana was pretty much the only slice of life show that I respect."

I'd say we are in good company.
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JCDRANZER

- Sky King
Retired
You know me, my scoring tends to be an impulsive score that is usually rated highly but I score it on how I enjoyed it and I just could not find any fault in the anime.

As for rewatching the anime, I sincerely hope not because I know I would want to read the manga straight after it. However, Aku no Hana's entire story is scorched in my mind, I tend to forget details in animes if someone just says the name of the anime to me, I sort of need to look at a picture to remember much of it but nevertheless I reckon I lose out on details when trying to remember it but I reckon if someone was just to say "What did you think of Aku no Hana?" in a year, I will remember almost everything about it including the stuff I didn't understand, such as (major spoiler material thoughts) in chapter 54 when Nakamura tells Kasuga in the end "Never to come back and meet her", do they from that point on never see each other again?? I sort of believe that to be the case because he has to dream about what has become of her life, however, to me he met Nakamura after finishing off 11th grade in high school, so like a year and half he would have started university. I reckon he hasn't met up with her since then but it would have been nice to know if they had kept in contact with each other but I don't think that happened and I don't think he will meet her again as he seems to be moving forward with Aya. That's actually why I sorta feel down by the ending because you really don't know the exact details, you are essentially left to your own imagination and I feel a little lost about it but it was an excellent manga because the story is scorched into my mind.
 

JCDRANZER

- Sky King
Retired
The anime closely follows the manga up to chapter 20 but I reckon you should read from the beginning, you will get through those first 20 chapters very quickly in less than 2 hours...I think I'm a slow reader.
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I would love to know your opinion of the manga.
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It only has 57 chapters and an extra chapter.
 

ImTakes

sama
Retired
QUOTE (JCDRANZER @ Jun 02 2014, 02:06 AM)The anime closely follows the manga up to chapter 20 but I reckon you should read from the beginning, you will get through those first 20 chapters very quickly in less than 2 hours...I think I'm a slow reader.
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  I would love to know your opinion of the manga. 
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  It only has 57 chapters and an extra chapter.
Gee....you give your Yaya way too much credit, querido Capitano.
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Ah! Almost forgot...thanks for the information but I highly doubt I will even bother reading the manga since I want to have a great summer and not be stuck in front of a computer reading about twisted teenaged angst and mayhem.
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JCDRANZER

- Sky King
Retired
You know just thinking about the manga gives me goosebumps, it's quite deep and it's twisted because most of the main characters are just mentally unstable. I just accidentally played the 8th episode and you get that tune, that I'm guessing is using the tabla (Indian drum set), played straight away as they are destroying the classroom....just hearing it, I swear to god I felt a physical impact on my chest.

This series gave me more "feels" than Oyasumi Punpun and that is a VERY BIG DEAL.
 
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