Monday, 15 April 2013

Flowers of Evil - Episode 2

With temptation laid before him, life is about to get very difficult for Kasuga - after managing to initially resist that temptation, his desires get the better of him before the pressure of having someone walk in on him leads to him unthinkingly stealing the gym clothes of classmate Saeki.

No sooner has he done this than Kasuga is wracked with guilt about his actions - feelings made worse when an announcement is made to the entire class (with a tearful Saeki standing at its head) that her gym uniform has gone missing.  Unsure of what to do next, Kasuga is left in a near-constant state of panic when he isn't lamenting his actions, and things are about to get even worse...

Whether it's true or not, after school the day following the incident Kasuga finds himself running into Nakamura, who wastes no time in telling him that she saw him steal the uniform, trying to use it as leverage for him to take her where she wants to go.  Although that plan doesn't quite work out - Kasuga simply runs away screaming - it certainly lights a fire under our protagonist.  The trouble is, doing the right thing and returning the clothes is easier in principle than in practice, and in failing to do so Nakamura's plan really begins to swing into action as she threatens to take away something precious to him - that something seemingly being Saeki.

So ends another deeply atmospheric episode of Flowers of Evil, which seems to be more than making up for the pitfalls of its visual techniques with superb sound design to bring menace or malice and a feeling of threat to every scene.  It also does a surprisingly good job of fleshing out Kasuga as a character - yes, he's stupid in all sorts of ways, but his predicament still manages to eke out a slither of sympathy towards him as a viewer as things go from bad to worse.  It might not look the best, but in terms of story-telling and its slow, careful build-up so far, I'm still eager to see more.

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