Takao worships the class beauty, Nanako, from afar. When he is alone in the classroom one day after school, he notices her bag of gym clothes on the floor. He can't resist picking it up. He... See full summary »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Yôko Hikasa 13 episodes, 2013
Mariya Ise ...  Sawa Nakamura 13 episodes, 2013
...  Ken Kojima 13 episodes, 2013
Shinichiroh Ueda ...  Takao Kasuga 13 episodes, 2013
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Storyline

Takao worships the class beauty, Nanako, from afar. When he is alone in the classroom one day after school, he notices her bag of gym clothes on the floor. He can't resist picking it up. He plans to return it, but the next day, all the girls are commiserating with Nanako that some pervert has stolen her gym clothes. Worse than that, their classmate Sawa quietly lets him know that she saw him take the clothes and will tell Nanako if he doesn't make a contract with her to do whatever she asks of him and then their strange relationship begins. Written by MasaoSera

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April 2013 (Japan)  »

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Flowers of Evil  »

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The series is semi-biographical. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Unseen Flower.
22 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

I'll start this review off by saying that I think this show is criminally underrated. Got it? Okay? Okay.

To keep things concise, the plot revolves around teenager Kasuga who has a crush on class idol Saeki. Much to his detriment, he's very shy and his interactions with her is limited to him staring at her until she notices his gaze whereupon he quickly begins acting as if he was looking at the very interesting wallpaper behind her....quite hopeless, really. So far, this sounds like your average romance anime. Luckily for us, the plot takes a unique turn when Kasuga impulsively steals his crush's gym-wear after school and is subsequently seen in the act by class outcast Nakamura who blackmails him into forming a "contract" with her which involves.....details you will have to watch the anime to see! This begins the chain of events that is the story in a nutshell.

The first thing you'll likely notice about this show is the animation style it uses. If you aren't familiar, this show utilizes rotoscoping, which means manually animating over live action footage shot beforehand in contrast to simply animating the show. This aspect of the show has garnered it a lot of unearned hate. Admittedly, the animation had me a bit concerned at the beginning but it really grew on me by the end and helped give the show a strong sense of identity and unique nature. Due to the very serious and dark nature of the show, the unnervingly realistic character designs helped paint the mood very well. If anything, it is very much a strong point of the show rather than a weak one. I don't think the show would have been nearly as enjoyable for me had the characters been animated in a generic manner with gravity-defying hair and massive eyeballs.

The show itself is quite dark thematically, as it deals with topics such as bullying, depression and resentment. Interestingly enough, this show was heavily inspired by a book of the same name, The Flowers of Evil by a French poet, Charles Baudelaire and the book itself is featured in the show and used as a major plot point. So, you know....a little something-something for fans of poetry or philosophy. The imagery the show presents is gorgeous and beautifully embellishes the themes it presents. A rusty stop sign overlooking cracked cement on a cloudy day, a small book shop overshadowed by buildings surrounding it; the distant cracking of sunlight atop a purple morning sky overlooking a vast field, its grass swaying softly with the wind...various scenes of this show really do make for some pleasant wallpapers.

Voice actors/actresses do their job very well. Conversation doesn't sound overacted, and feels very genuine, tying into the very taut and real nature of the show. The music of the show is amazing as well, boasting a grand four individual opening songs in a thirteen episode season as well as one very unique ending song. The soundtrack itself is absolutely gorgeous in what it is trying to do; present a melancholic nature in the story. Having listened to the soundtrack myself, it makes for pleasant listening even outside the viewing of the anime. Several tracks were downright mesmerizing.

Without delving into spoiler territory, the ending of the show initially feels quite empty and leaves you with a metaphorical gaping jaw and almost left me feeling with a dreary sense of anticlimax in my mouth as it fails to resolve much. However, after a second viewing, I would say it ends on a rather interestingly good note. It's implied there will be a second season to this, something I would genuinely love to see, and would make the ending to this season appear that much better. The ending overall wasn't great, but it was by no means bad. I've seen my fair share of bad endings and that wasn't one of them. A second viewing experience and perhaps some speculation on the viewer's part will clear up any issue....at least, that was the case for me.

When all is said and done, I HIGHLY recommend this show. I absolutely adored it, and has earned one of the top spots on my list as far as anime goes. That being said however, it certainly is not for everyone. I can definitely see heaps of people dropping this show on the basis of the animation style alone, and even more so with the omnipresent dark themes but you would be stupid to do so as you would be missing out on one of the most unique and investing anime out there right now. If you're a fan of dark themes, complex romance and feel that the anime medium at the present is rather stale and needs some individuality struck back into it again, this is the show for you. Please support the fine chaps who made this by buying it and spread the word about it to encourage the production of a second season.

For anime similar to this when done watching, see: ~Monster ~Another ~Serial Experiments Lain


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