Monday, 13 May 2013

Flowers of Evil - Episode 6

Ignoring the whole water incident and the fact that, from the outside looking in, Kasuga and Saeki's first date looked disastrously bad, all seems to be well in the fledgling relationship between this unlikely couple - indeed, even a mixture of rumours, teasing and exclamations of disbelief aren't enough to put Nanako off the idea of admitting that yes, she is dating Kasuga.

Thus, everything is rosy in Kasuga's proverbial garden... at least, it is until he sees Saeki talking to Nakamura, which immediately sets off alarm bells.  However, it seems that even this isn't a big deal, as the two girls simply seem to have become friends, with Nakamura offering her support for the couple's relationship with earnest.  Maybe she's turned over a new leaf?

Yeah, right... of course this is only the next stage in her plan to terrorise Kasuga at every turn, asking Saeki what she's do if her boyfriend turned out to be a pervert over lunch in front of Kasuga before later torturing him with suggestions that his pure and perfect "angel" might just be dying for a roll in the hay with him.  It's the most delicious kind of conundrum for Kasuga to confront, but perhaps his bigger problem is a more direct one - the fact that Saeki has seen him and Nakamura at close quarters with one another during one of these sessions of bullying before getting the wrong idea entirely.  Given a chance to go and see Nanako at her home thanks to one of her friends after she takes the following day off sick, perhaps this is a chance for him to set the record straight; an opportunity which could prove difficult thanks to the  ever-present Nakamura and her wicked way with words.

For all the enjoyment of this series that I've had so far (and I use the term "enjoyment" in a decidedly twisted way given the show's proclivities), this feels to me like the best episode of Flowers of Evil so far.  As well as more wonderfully uncomfortable moments and conversations and the agonising realisation of what Nakamura is up to while Kasuga prefers to think positive for once, the real genius of this episode is the way Nakamura hits a bullseye in exposing the hypocrisy of Kasuga himself.  On the one hand, he places Saeki on a pedestal of purity and innocence (essentially denying her nature in the process), yet on the other... well, he's a teenage boy, so the rest writes itself.  Even ignoring the duality of his attitude and how that could so easily be tied into the hardcore of otaku-dom, be it towards anime or idols, it's still a scathing exposure of some very human traits - it's that which makes this episode another uncomfortable yet hugely enjoyable slice of drama to watch as its concepts seep into your brain.

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