At this point in Shuzo Oshimi’s The Flowers of Evil, our hopeless lead Takao Kasuga is officially under the spell of Sawa Nakamura. It’s up to the reader to decide just how deep her strings plunge, but the wicked activities and plotting between the two is coming to a head in volume five. After absconding with an entire classroom’s worth of panties, Kasuga and Nakamura are now thinking about what’s next. What salacious step could take them that much closer to the “Other Side” they desire so badly?
While Kasuga and Nakamura have fun by themselves, Kasuga’s former crush, Nanako Saeki, is onto him, and her friend wants to report them to the police immediately. Obviously they have something major planned for the upcoming summer festival, so why not put a lid on this lurid pair before they cause anymore trouble? Unfortunately for her friend, Saeki is still lost in hope that she can turn Kasuga away from Nakamura. His rejection of her only made her lust for him—and specifically for what he saw in and brought out of her—that much stronger.
I gotta hand it to Oshimi, his story hasn’t quite gone in the direction I initially expected. What started out as an innocent mistake surrounded by the butterflies of a school crush spiraled down a particularly interesting hole. On occasion the line between the narrative being honest and straight up masturbatory is blurred. Saeki stripping and throwing herself at Kasuga seems like a sequence that was conceived and drawn with one hand, but the turn that results from it sends the series toward another unexpected fork.
The Flowers of Evil is getting dangerously close to catching up to the ongoing Japanese run, so it may take a while to see how things play out. Those who can’t get enough of Oshimi’s series can look forward to the upcoming anime adaptation, which is set to debut in April. The anime is being helmed by Mushishi‘s Hiroshi Nagahama, with newcomer Shin’ichirō Ueda in the role of Kasuga. Here’s a recently released teaser:
The Flowers of Evil sounds a bit darker when described than it really is. It can be dark, yes, but playfully so. Like looking back at your own problems and mistakes in school, everything seems magnified ten-fold by the moment. The Flowers of Evil spreads the seeds of blossoming lust, rebellion, and self-discovery in a way that’s true to that period of life, while digging a tunnel twisted enough to keep things interesting.
Publisher: Vertical Inc.
Story & Art: Shuzo Oshimi
© 2013 Shuzo Oshimi