Aku No Hana continues on its twisted and disturbing path, with no sign of slowing down. Takao makes a key decision in stealing Saeki’s gym clothes, after the tense build up from last week as he descended into darkness. When he returns to school the next day, he is confronted by Nakamura, who reveals that she knows his secret and that she saw him steal the clothes.
Certainly, Aku No Hana’s animation and art direction are key components to its successes, which come in the form of inventive uses of the visuals to add to the plot. Takao’s feelings of helplessness and despair are only complimented and enhanced by the use of a dark colors that cut him off from the rest of the world and really allow us as an audience to delve into his psyche and to try to understand the reasoning and mentality of a teenager who is clearly disturbed.
In addition, the soundtrack is again noteworthy, serving to build tension perfectly, with sparse use of music when necessary and other times, utilizing beats that just add to every scene they are in. The different elements of the production meld together in a beautifully technical achievement that is just simply incredible to watch.
Let’s just get to the ugly already.
For a show that has a realistic look, I just can’t seem to completely buy into Aku No Hana’s plot, because it is just incredulous how far Takao’s thoughtlessness goes. I am already on the fence on Takao’s decision to steal Saeki’s gym clothes, because the way he seems to be unaware of what the consequences of such an act would be is just ridiculous to me. He compounds the problem by bringing the clothes to school so that he can confess to the act is even more unbelievable. Worst of all, his reaction to Nakamura’s knowledge of his pilferage is just to run away. Not only the act itself, but the way the way that the anime depicted it in an almost comedic way was just an unnecessary tonal shift that was abrasive to me.
Despite its problems, Aku No Hana remains one of the more interesting shows of this season, if only for its impressive achievements technically. The plot, at least for me, is challenging to believe and take as something that could conceivably happen in real life, but it shows hope and Aku No Hana should continue to be one of the most creative and unique series of the year.