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Flowers of Evil, Volume 1 by Shuzo Oshimi

Flowers of Evil, Volume 1

by Shuzo Oshimi

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  1. 00
    The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine (Akiyama)
    Akiyama: The Tulip Touch is a British children's book written in 1996. The viewpoint character, Natalie, is the daughter of the manager of a large country hotel. At the age of eight, she becomes best friends with Tulip, a girl from a poor family who has no other friends. Tulip has a vivid imagination and likes to play weird games with Natalie.… (more)

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Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana) is a story about a quiet, bookish boy called Kasuga, who is in year 2 of middle-school (13 or 14 years old) in a backwater country town in Japan. Having read Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal and similar books he knows he has a greater insight into the true nature of things than the sheep-like philistines around him. He has a crush on the class beauty, Saeki, but he's too shy to make a move on her.

The story starts when Kasuga, having done something very stupid in connection with Saeki, ends up being blackmailed and bullied by Nakamura, the girl who sits behind him in class. Nakamura rapidly reveals herself to be an expert bully - inventive, sadistic and unpredictable.

I've previously read two of Oshimi's other manga, Inside Mari and Shino-chan Can't Say Her Own Name. I was a little disappointed in this one. Flowers of Evil has had rave reviews by manga fans but neither the art, nor the story, quite lived up to my expectations. I was in two minds about continuing with it but the final chapter was so surprising that I decided to keep reading. Volume 1 ends on a sort of cliffhanger as Kasuga is put in an . . . interesting . . . situation by Nakamura. The reader must suspect that Nakamura has something horrible planned for Kasuga, but will have to wait until the next volume to find out.

Perhaps I should warn potential readers that this is quite a perverted story. Not in an erotic way, more in a weird way . . . ( )
  Akiyama | Jun 16, 2014 |
I'm giving this 3.5 stars. I want to read more in this series... so rating may change. ( )
  CaliSoleil | Mar 5, 2014 |
(This is a review of Volumes 1-7)

I discovered Aku No Hana thanks to Anime-Planet's hilarious forum thread about the adaptation sickness this series is currently going through.

Aku No Hana is the tale of a boy named Kasuga who idealized a girl named Saeki and one day he steals her gym clothes. His classmate Nakamura sees this and uses it to blackmail Kasuga, threatening to out him as a pervert.

At first I thought it would go into School Days territory which was something I was dreading because I absolutely cannot stand a single freakin' character in School Days, especially since the character Saeki seemed like a perfect pure little buttercup combination of Orihime from Bleach and Kotonoha from School Days. Luckily, it veered from that direction, or maybe it didn't and I just didn't hate these characters...

Or maybe it's because it takes it time revealing the actual people behind the characters. Kasuga thinks of Saeki as this pure angel, his muse, chaste and perfect, and the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes he's wrong. The story takes it's time doing that, as opposed to, once again, School Days where Makoto was just a wishy-washy indecisive horny prat who played games with the girls.

I powered through all 7 volumes over the course of a day and I really quite enjoyed it. It's a twisted love triangle done...compliantly. I still am not a fan of the desperate wailing ball of naivete that is Saeki, and Volume 7's story just isn't as interesting as the previous 6 but all in all I'm quite enjoying it. ( )
  AnarchicQ | Oct 30, 2013 |
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"Takao Kasuga is a bookworm. And his favorite book right now is Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil. ... Nakagawa is known as the class bully. ... Together, by chance, they shake up their entire rural community as Takao tries to break out of his shell in a random moment of passion and affection...not directed towards Nakamura. And contrary to Takao's predictions, the girl he was falling for, Nanako Saeki, responds by eventually accepting the bibliophile for who he is. Or at least, who she thinks he is."--Amazon.com.… (more)

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