[Review] Aku no Hana – Like Fireworks

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As the final credits rolled, I couldn’t quite come into terms with what I had just witnessed. Did this series just end with a five minute clip of scenes that have yet to be fully animated and a title card saying, “End of Part One”?  Did this series just conclude itself with flashbacks and an entire scene from the first episode, played in reverse?

This is what Nagahama was getting at? The culmination of all twelve other episodes was this? It’s absolutely unfathomable to me. Even the worst finales of this season wouldn’t even dare to go where Aku no Hana went and it irrefutably mars my impression of anime. One could argue that this is ‘art’. As if there were some deep, underlying message underneath an episode that plays out like a commercial for a second season that has yet to be confirmed.

I hate, hate, hate, hate this ending but there’s nothing I can do about it.

Aku no Hana had its moments and it was certainly promising early on. There were certain parts that played out with a beautiful poignancy to them and there were scenes that crept under your skin. There are powerful performances here that are worth watching, most notably Nakamura’s. But like fireworks, Aku no Hana lets you in on a brief yet captivating sight only to fizzle out in the end.

Aku no Hana remains to be an unsatisfying journey. Kasuga and Nakamura might seem like they possess depth (a boy who tries to separate himself from the masses, and a girl who wants nothing to do with her conservative hometown), but this level of complexity isn’t even worthy of being the centerpiece of any respectable psychological drama,  especially for a series that runs for 13 episodes. The writing is quite simplistic when compared to a number of films and books of the same ilk. While the interaction between characters becomes repetitive and a chore to sit through. Eventually, the long pauses stop contributing to the atmosphere and eventually acts as padding as the series clumsily plods towards the finish line.

Aku no Hana is a cheap imitation of better things. I have to apologize for even likening this to the stellar film, All about Lily Chou Chou. Sitting through five hours of Aku no Hana only to be rewarded with an artsy commercial deflates any kind of fondness I had for this series.

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5 comments:

  1. Looks like this is one of those love-it-or-hate-it series! To be honest, I never got around to seeing this, not particularly because I was put off by the art or anything but simply because I didn’t have the time. I’m surprised that you ended up disliking it even after giving it a fair chance and even liking the beginning of it. I guess the novelty of it couldn’t last forever and there are some things that you can’t justify by calling it ‘art’. An interesting thought in and of itself.

  2. Have you seen Kazoku Game? I’m just basing this on your reviews for Aku no Hana and Shokuzai so it could be wrong, but it seem like the kind of show you’d enjoy.
    If you haven’t watch it you should definitely give it a try when you have the time.

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