DVD Review: Flowers of Evil – The Complete Collection
04/11/2015 Leave a comment
Just how far will you go to keep a secret? well in Flowers of Evil not that hard it seems but what did we think of the series and this release by MVM Entertainment? Find out in our review!
Darkness lurks everywhere, in every human heart, and sometimes it takes just a second of weakness for it to take root. For Takao Kasuga, that germination begins when his obsession with his beautiful classmate Nanako meets the opportunity to “borrow” her used gym clothes. Unfortunately, his loathsome act of laundry theft is witnessed by Nakamura, the strange girl who sits behind him in class. Soon, Nakamura’s own dark obsessions begin to hook their twisted tendrils into Takao’s miserable existence.
Blackmailed into a “contract” under the threat of having his guilt revealed to his entire class, the former bookworm who could spend hours reading Beaudelaire’s “The Flowers of Evil” now finds himself entwined in Nakamura’s growing fantasies as she leads him down the garden path to damnation. As their blossoming relationship becomes ever darker, even the seemingly innocent Nanako is pulled into the nightmare.
Just what are Nakumura’s ultimate plans, and will the increasingly trapped Takao really be willing to carry them out? What you sow, you must ultimately reap, and there’s certain to be a harrowing harvest ahead!
Whichever way you look at it Flowers of Evil is a sadistic and twisted show that doesn’t get any better the more you progress through it and yet despite this it somehow it manages to catch our attention by being that ‘little bit’ different to what you may have expected. Is Flowers of Evil worth watching however? Well that’s all down to you but in our eyes you aren’t missing out on much – especially if you were hoping for some kind of on-your-seat thriller action with violence; such as those seen in Another.
The Flowers of Evil follows the story of Takao Kasuga, a normal high-school student that likes to hang-out with friends and read books; however after a hard day at school he discovers that Nanako Saeki, a girl he has a crush on, had left her Gym uniform behind and so he decides to do the ‘perverted’ thing and take a look at them or so you might think. Complications arise and in an attempt to not get caught Kasuga ends up stealing the Gym uniform and returning home… and this is where the story gets a bit sadistic; but in a relatively toned down manner.
Another classmate, the mysterious and creepy Sawa Nakamura, saw Kasuga steal the uniform from class and ‘intrqiued’ by his perverted nature she promises not to tell anyone about his secret if he shows her his true nature. It’s an obscure statement but it’s one that involves Kasuga doing all sorts of bizarre tasks; including wearing the Gym Clothes and vandalising property around the school. It all starts off tame; but as the series progresses the challenges get more and more sinister, including one that sees Kasuga wear the Gym clothes on a date with Saeki herself. At this point in the story the show becomes relatively stale, the challenges set by Nakamura don’t seem ‘intrusive’ in daily activities and while the fear of Kasuga being caught is still there it doesn’t portray out of the show resulting in no empathy of caution being played out onto the viewer. The only interesting aspect about the show is when Sakei finds out the truth – at which *SPOILERS*she does not mind his actions as she believes its not his true nation*SPOILERS* a confrontation between the characters is ensued; just not in a way you might imagine.
Flowers of Evil sets itself up to be a sadistic, intrusive series that could play mind games on viewers and cause disruption for those in the show; but in actuality it’s a story showing a boy coming to terms with his feelings – whether or not it be the girl he has a crush on or that of his pervasive nature. Either way i get the feeling that an ‘quicker ending’ could’ve been taken by our protagonist and as such it could’ve ended many episodes before it actually did – and it would still make sense; but that’s just my view.
Storyline and its progression aside, all of which is relatively slow and steady, the animation styled used in this anime is worth mentioning and, to put it bluntly, is more interesting than the story its trying to portray using it. Why Exactly? Well as opposed to traditional 2D, CGI or visually-aided animation the studio opted to use rotoscoping; a process that sees the events of the episode filmed live and then sketched into an animation.
It’s a strange process – and one that’s not done often due to its time consuming nature– but it really makes this Flowers of Evil series shine and stand out from the rest; however even with this unique style of animation being played out i can’t help but think that Flowers of Evil would have worked better as a live action film (or at least a TV series) rather than an anime as at least that way the emotion behind the characters could have been seen more in real-time.
As with only Sentai Filmwork produced releases the only extra features are for a selection of trailers; some of which have been licensed by MVM Entertainment for a UK Release, such as Devil Survivor 2: The Animation.
In case you haven’t already noticed theres no textless opening or closing songs either as this particular show doesn’t really have them; it’s a bit like From the New World whereby the opening animation is just text on pieces of the show itself meanwhile the ending is just text on a black background. In other words its nothing exciting and as such its not included as an extra.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:40:44 (Disc 1 & 3) , 2:06:55 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 192kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
The Flowers of Evil is a uniquely adapted anime series that sees normal high-school teenager Takao Kasuga turned into a delinquent by Sawa Nakamura after stealing another class-mates gym clothes one day after school. The story, as a whole, is intriguing to say the least but other than a “i will keep watching to see what happens next” vibe the series offers nothing in terms of suspense, entertainment or sympathy – it just feels lifeless and cold. It does however illustrate how peer pressure, both hormones and blackmail from other people, can effect a personality – so its more about real life situations than entertaining values. Or at least thats one way to look at it rather than it being a slow dreary story that takes awhile to get going.
There is of course some interesting moments in the series, for instance when both Kasuga and Nakamura go on a rampage in their classroom or the moment Sakei discovers what ‘really happened’ to her gym uniform but – just like everything else in this series – it just seems to shrug it off and have no negative effect on the protagonist. We are, in some form, watching someones life unfold on screen and it’s not a very entertaining one at that but at least it does offer something different to the norm; if you are willing to give it a go that is.
In regards to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment than the UK Distributor has opted to release it across three DVD discs with each disc housing around four to five episodes per disc. It’s another ‘different to the norm’ but it does mean we receive a ‘better quality’ product in terms of picture quality; as there is now more space on the disc for the actual content. Audio wise than this set is Japanese only with English Subtitles, which is slightly strange as there is only a small amount of characters and – by look of things – would be an easy show to dub; but nevertheless its subtitled only with both clear audio and readable subtitles throughout.
Flowers of Evil may look like an entertaining show but it’s actually one of those “i will continue to watch just to see if something interesting happens” types of shows and as such you will find yourself sitting through endless minutes of landscape style shots and narrative segments while waiting for something to happen. When something does happen however you may well be intrigued but it wont’ last for long. Anime is a niche genre as a whole and this particular anime and the potential target auidience for this can be quite small; however the way MVM Entertainment have released this show – by copying those already done by Sentai Filmworks – makes for a great release that should suffice to everyone’s needs.
Flowers of Evil is now available on DVD within the UK.