Monday, 22 April 2013

Flowers of Evil - Episode 3

To Kasuga's immature and inexperienced eyes, his life is pretty much ruined as this third episode of Flowers of Evil begins - his reputation with Saeki is dirt, Nakamura has enough dirt on him to hold him hostage to her whims, and even his attempts to dispose of the evidence of his misdemeanour prove unsuccessful.

If he thinks the talk about the missing gym clothes are going to go away, then he's also mistaken, as it remains a hot topic thanks to reports reaching the teaching staff that a suspicious character was seen in the area around the time that said clothes went missing.  Of course, Nakamura is having a ball with all of this, and when Kasuga fails to write an essay on his feelings that she demanded of him she seeks to abuse and embarrass him yet further, despite still wanting him to hang out with her after school.

Thus, this episode is really a look in on the decidedly weird relationship shared by Kasuga and Nakamura - one of hatred and distrust (for themselves, each other and the wider world in general), but with an odd and almost inexplicable sexual undercurrent running through it.  Come the end of the episode, Kasuga is even standing up for Nakamura in front of the whole class in the wake of another possible theft - is this love, friendship, or merely the Stockholm Syndrome at work?

It's this aspect of the show which ensures that Flowers of Evil remains decidedly fascinating - our two main characters are a psychologist's dream, and the rapid, lunatic twists and turns in their relationship is the kind of thing that you could dig into an analyse for hours.  For now though, I'm more than happy to just sit back and watch them play out against this enduring atmosphere of reality with surreal tinges; even when I find myself internally criticising a character's actions, part of me is both willing to accept and glad that they are the way they are, as it's this which lends the show its compelling nature.

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