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 ALCHEMIST… and let’s call it a day.
Watch this episode, "Flowers of Evil" here and decide for yourself.