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FLOWERS OF EVIL #1 - - Special Review

Evil will scare you on its own schedule.

When I finally got around to watching cult flick AUDITION a while back and found myself more often bored and unintentionally amused than ever actually, y’know, scared, a friend rather succinctly described most J-horror to me as being something like a carny in a monster costume at a beat-up haunted house. He’s lounging on a wicker chair around one spooky bend, he’s reading a newspaper, and he seems generally bothered when you amble down in a cart on the tracks. He doesn’t greet with you a ghoulish howl or a devilish cackle, but rather an indolent sigh, and he them makes you wait as he gets up slowly, readjusts his mask and utters a half-hearted, “Boooooo.”

You’re getting scared today whenever he gets around it, and even when that moment comes, you’ve really got to meet him half-way by acting afraid.

Which is to say that the better part of FLOWERS OF EVIL’s 22 minutes feels like you’re watching an animation student’s thesis project on rotoscoping. Scares aren’t quite the driving purpose, nor is narrative - - but gee, isn’t it impressive how the characters move so much like real people?

I guess I should’ve taken a stronger hint from the title. After all, it is inherently boring to watch flowers grow.

This show’s name has popped up a number of times when some of you users talk about the shows impressing you the most this season. It’s certainly… unique, and in a field with so many titles that can be so easily interchanged, perhaps there’s merit to that alone. It’s hard to keep appreciating such uniqueness, though, whilst watching dramatized high school boredom that feels like as much of a chore as the real thing.

Call me mildly interested in why the anti-social girl gives such frank back-talk to her teacher, and maybe a little more interested in the little lint-ball monster who seems a lot like the Homunculus in FULLMETAL ALCHEMISTand let’s call it a day.

Watch this episode, "Flowers of Evil" here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

AURON570on April 26, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.

I think approaching this anime as a horror anime is pretty stupid.

Marshal Victoryon April 26, 2013 at 12:52 p.m.

This is one that at 1st was on my gona watch list... then just never bothered with.

@AURON570: Ehh some sites i go to the comentors think its horror /shrug.one of the reasons i have have stayed away cause it didnt look horror-ish at all.

Edit : some sites catorgize it same as the manga Drama , Pychological . But then again some posters belive its horror so :/

zaldaron April 26, 2013 at 1:03 p.m.

I think you can do your self a disservice if you try to categorize anime to much. The best anime defies categorization, and brings in things from several different types.

Now haven't seen this one so it may do that badly, but the live action J-horror shows I have seen are much more scary than any American shows (which are basically torture porn. Friday the 13th is disgusting but not scary, the ring is better, but Ringu...*shiver*. The closest American film to hit this mark is Don't Look Now...a horror masterpiece.

metalsnakezeroon April 26, 2013 at 1:58 p.m.

The story goes in to really interesting areas of a case study of a boy understanding where he stands in this world. However, the animation doesn't do the show justice. I recommend checking out the manga Tom.

YotaruVegetaon April 26, 2013 at 5:50 p.m.

To make an even closer comparison, the titular Flower of Evil looks like the hairy eyeball creature from Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East.

I knew zero about this show before I watched it, other than the rotoscopped characters. By the end I was like "What is this? Where is this show going?" With most anime, you have a general idea where it's going. I don't know if this show is horror, fantasy, sci-fi, or just a slice of life show.

I also liked Audition because it was like this. It wasn't that it was a super scary horror film, but because it took place within the confines of normal life.

Sophismon April 26, 2013 at 8:55 p.m.

It's not horror. Although it will get pretty horrifying, it's not because of any supernatural elements or serial killers rampaging through.

The first episode is slow paced indeed, because it's setting up the main character's boring life in a small town where absolutely nothing happens. It even re-enacts his everyday morning walk to school midway through the episode.

He's the kid everyone knew in school (Or if they didn't, they were that kid.) that reads books above their grade, thinking that this makes them better than everyone around them, in fact, reading them not for necessarily the enjoyment or enlightenment they get out of it, but because they hope it'll make them special. This is particularly evident when Kasuga, the main character, muses to himself: "And yet Saeki probably doesn't know I read books like this."

I urge you to at least watch the first three minutes of the next episode before completely dismissing this, because I do think the director cut the first episode a minute too soon at least. It's strange too, as this is Mushi-shi's director, meaning he does know how to keep a slow-paced series interesting, but I think slightly missed the mark on Aku no Hana's first episode.

Darokion April 30, 2013 at 9:34 p.m.

I actually like the sparse music, the slow pacing, the rotoscoping, and all of the strange elements in the show. It seems to be developing a sense of it's own place in a way that Another was trying to, but was sabotaged by how heavy handed it was.

There's a sense of dread to everything that leads you to know that things are only going to get more twisted and demented as time goes on. When it does explode into it's brief spurts of activity, it delivers that activity like a hard slap in the face from out of nowhere, then gives you a long time to feel the sting of it.

YotaruVegetaon May 2, 2013 at 12:54 a.m.

This may be my fave show of the season.

This is not a Horror show, but it is a horror show: the horrors of being a middle school student.

Still have no idea where the show is going, and I love that. It could end in a hatchet murder, for all I know.

Dig Deeper into Flowers of Evil

Anime adaptation of Shuuzou Oshimi's Manga

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