24 CommentsFlowers of Evil / By Shinmaru /

Flowers of Evil 5 – A Pure, Platonic Relationship

aku-no-hana-best-scene-ever

How could anyone not be enjoying this show right now?

Of all the episodes so far, this is definitely the funniest, and it has a wide range of humor, from the silly physical comedy of Nakamura sneaking around and spying on Kasuga and Saeki’s date, to the grandiose ridiculousness of the above scene, and of course the darker, more satirical undertones lining the entire series. I expected the big date to be uncomfortable and more than a bit terrifying (and it’s definitely terrifying to Kasuga, particularly with Nakamura lurking around each corner waiting in delight for his humiliation), but I didn’t expect it to be so hilarious as well. Bravo.

What is perhaps the funniest moment of the episode also doubles as the most interesting: Kasuga’s “confession” to Saeki. It’s a great spin on this traditional type of scene and reveals ever more about how messed up Kasuga is. It’s not just that he lives in fear of anything remotely physical; lots of kids go through the “ewwwwww cooties ewwwwwwww” phase in their lives. This goes way beyond that, however. Something as simple as a kiss is an irredeemably filthy act. If Nakamura told Kasuga to pin Saeki down and kiss her whether she wants to or not, that would be one thing, since that would be pretty gross and creepy. But, nope, it’s a simple, “Kiss her, or I’ll make your life hell.” (OK, maybe it’s not that simple.) Hell, maybe she would have been into the idea, although judging from her reactions to Kasuga throughout the date, it was a bit difficult for me to decipher exactly how she feels about him. She seemed either bored or confused most of the time, haha.

The mere thought of soiling Saeki with any sort of physical intimacy is too much for poor Kasuga’s heart to stand. Nakamura says it all when she mentions it’s the first wall she wants to break. She’s not even being subtle about it by thrusting herself so close to Kasuga all the time, leaning in every so often as if she’s about to snatch a smooch, and touching him up and down every so often. Nakamura is basically brute forcing the message that a bit of physical intimacy isn’t the worst thing in the world, even if she’s stomping all over someone’s comfort levels while she’s doing it.

flowers-of-evil-saeki-angel

But that’s not even the most interesting part of the whole thing to me. It’s the confession itself: Kasuga wishes to enter into a pure, platonic relationship with Saeki. Sure, he frames it in this way partially to rebel against Nakamura and piss her off a bit, but this is what he wants, right? What strikes me is that Kasuga has to be forced with what is essentially social suicide to even have the courage to just be friends with Saeki. It’s a hilarious way to highlight how silly the expectations of relationships between men and women are. If you have a boy and a girl, the social expectation is that they will be romantically linked. Can’t they be just friends? Of course not! Men and women are never “just friends,” and that’s the way it is. Harumph harumph.

That attitude is, of course, the cause of a great many fuckups in relationships. Why even bother with the hassle of trying to be “just friends” with a girl? Someone’s going to fall in love and mess everything up, right? Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: Nobody can be “just friends” because nobody tries to be “just friends” in the first place. Kasuga puts Saeki on such a pedestal that simply being pals with her is literally the greatest moment of his life. I mean, what the fuck, right? But it’s not such an unremarkable point of view to someone who can’t separate attraction and friendship when it comes to the ladies. Hell, Saeki was actually pleased by Kasuga’s words because no boy had ever tried to be actual friends with her before.

Again, I can’t criticize Kasuga too much, because, as has been repeated many times in these posts, kids are big dumb dummies. I wasn’t at that Kasuga extreme, but I sure as shit wasn’t all cool and down to earth with girls as a youngster. (Like I am that old, ha!) It’s more when that childish point of view perpetuates into adulthood that it becomes a problem. I don’t really think I have the perspective to note how widespread it is, though, except that it pops up in media a shit ton.

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24 Comments

  1. Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    This show has been consistently the best of this season, so far. Two thumbs up, two big toes up. :)

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      It’s definitely been good.

  2. Coolwhip
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    I really wonder whether Kasuga is a deviant like Nakamura is saying. He realizes stealing her clothes was a blunder that he should’ve never made but he did it anyway and that’s a fact. I feel like if Nakamura puts him through more of these trials and tries to break down his “walls” then he may actually become more of a pervert than he initially was.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Nakamura’s clouding her sentiments in an extremist attitude, but the crux of what she’s trying to do — adjusting Kasuga’s comfort levels with physical intimacy — isn’t perverting him in any way. It’s the method that’s more warped lol.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Nakamura is trying to do something ‘good’ for Kasuga, though. Rather, she’s playing Tyler Durden here: pushing Kasuga to the boundaries of his beliefs and habits in a nihilistic attempt to destroy in him the attachment every social convention and rule, good or bad. They’re in that fucking basement, and Saeki’s gym clothes are the caustic soda she’s pouring on Kasuga’s hand.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Oh yeah, I definitely agree there. The end of Nakamura’s aim (in this instance, because obviously we don’t know what other specific “walls” she wants to break down) isn’t so bad, but the means are warped enough that considering Kasuga’s age and life experience, he wouldn’t quite get there in a way that would be beneficial for him.

  3. Pusswookie
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Bullshit, Kasuga wants to get in there and you and I know it. That’s what the whole point of some of the earlier scenes were; the ones where he’s thinking about her, then starts thinking about her thighs and so on, all the while the flower is growing and becoming more erratic.
    It was symbolic of his repressed sexuality that underlies his “pure” thoughts of her.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I’m not really disagreeing with that.

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      He’s probably conflicted about it, like many boys of that age and kind of sensibility are.

      I think this is one of the most interesting portraits of sexuality in teens I’ve seen in an anime ever. Makes me think of Evangelion, but without all the fanservice, giant robots, and bogus Christian symbolism.

  4. gedata
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Kasuga is luckier than he knows, I mean the one cutie he’s been pining for since episode 1 isn’t turned off by his boring hobbies.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      lol, when he talks to Saeki about surrealism and whatnot, the look on her face is what I imagine a normal person looking like if one of us were to broach the subject of anime.

  5. Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Dammit, I should have waited til a gif of “that” scene was available before I said my own piece. Where’d you get it?

  6. gedata
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Am I the only who thought “where the hell did Nakamura get that water bucket?” I mean, she wasn’t carrying it while ably prancing along the street. Maybe she found it and improvised the punishment.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Water buckets aren’t exactly difficult to find, so it didn’t break my suspension of disbelief or anything.

    • lmm
      Posted May 8, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      They’re in a park and she’s hiding next to a maintenance shed.

  7. Posted May 7, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I just realized the other day that the entire premise of the series is founded in a western/catholic approach to sex, this idea that it’s inherently wrong and that by having sex with someone, you defile them. How much of this story is directly attributable to the societal background against which it was created?

    • Shinmaru
      Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Hm, well, it’s also the extreme kind of attitude you see in a lot of anime.

  8. Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Sa sa sa sa sa sa

  9. Seppuk33
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    How does Flowers of Evil stack up to the other offerings this season or carry-overs from last season? I plan on watching Flowers when it’s all said and done as I find the corruption aspect interesting. I also want to see for myself how this whole rotoscoping thing works. Some guy on youtube was laughing at still shots from the show without watching even watching it. He was one of those manga diehards. I want to watch it even more after that because I hate it when people don’t give something a chance. Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s bad.

    From what I’m watching at the moment, my favorites are (in order):
    1: Attack on Titan
    2: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
    3: The Devil is a Part-Timer!

    • Pusswookie
      Posted May 8, 2013 at 4:12 am | Permalink

      That…sounds about right, yeah.

  10. Ramiel
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Loved this episode as well. I feel like the style that this show is using really showed itself the best in this episode, of all the ones so far.

    BTW Shin, when are you gonna review EVA Q?

  11. Killer Queen
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Well, one way or another, Nakamura is pretty much playing not one one, but all the 4 Men of Power from Salo: Or 120 Days of Sodom here.

    I mean, she’s sees Kasuga’s libertine potential and pushes him to turn him into a libertine like her, and serious punishment is noted when Kasuga does something “good”. I’m just quite sad that no classy music is involved. or a very destructively gorey climax.

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