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If you can’t read the message, the full-sized image is linked in the picture above. Name is censored to protect identity of an individual mentioned.
Who knew a message of light can be found in something so twisted? This picture was from a while back when I decided to re-read The Flowers of Evil by borrowing the manga volumes from my library. To this day, it remains on my phone.
In some ways, this ties into what happens in the final chapter of the series. Anyone who’s read it knows what I’m talking about. The finale was a message to confused teenagers out there that being down isn’t the end.
Though it makes me wonder if the depressed reader the speech is addressed to had a sense of hopelessness that drew her into the manga. Maybe she read the actual book herself. Did her older sister browse Volume 1 to write what she wrote? Well, it doesn’t help that the back cover has the tag line, “You’re a pervert, aren’t you?”
I hope this person knows that she is loved, no matter what preconceptions people have of her. You don’t need everyone’s love. Just one small connection will move your heart slowly but surely in the right direction.
Let this image bloom in your mind that something beautiful can come out of pain.
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"I’ve given up. I quit…everything."
When you’re in high school, things are often taken at face value. If you can build that value, you’re on your way to having a successful life. Of course, deep down, teenagers may resent what they have to do to get ahead. The Flowers of Evil’s Nanako Saeki, was a popular girl in school who managed to get the target of affection of the timid Takao Kasuga. The two went out at some point. However,because of the presence of Sawa Nakamura, Saeki becomes warped as she becomes jealous of the Nakamura/Kasuga relationship. While drama involving teenage love happens, this dilemma becomes demented out of confusion. What price has evil wrought?
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Perhaps one of the most awesome things you can appreciate as a manga collector/reader is the beauty of volume covers drawn in every series. Every volume cover represents a glimpse of what is to come in each volume. At times, certain series covers highlight a specific character that has a heavy presence or shining moment in the volume. One series whose volume covers stood out to me was Shuzo Oshimi’s "The Flowers of Evil." For those who collect the volumes, you will notice that every 3 volumes, there’s progression from light to darkness to possibly light again and the artwork is used to reflect change. “The Flowers of Evil” represents life itself.
If you’re curious about what I’m trying to say, here’s an analysis of the 3-volume arcs using the covers I mentioned.
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"I’ll peel it all off. All the skin you’re hiding behind."
This world…is corrupted. It is filled with temptations that want to sway our hearts. Our hearts tend to harbor dark desires that we don’t want anyone to find out. If we get caught, we are labeled as perverts. But what is a pervert? Shuzo Oshimi tries to answer that question throughout his thoughful yet twisted ”The Flowers of Evil.” How much of that skin should we put on to live a life not affected by judgment?
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Ever grow tired of the fact that a majority of shonen titles are always about friendship, hard work, and victory? What if the world of “dark” shonen titles takes over the spotlight? In a 2012 manga retrospect at Otaku Champloo, Khursten Santos wonders what direction shonen manga seems to be heading towards to when she talks about the amazingly-written, coming-of-age shonen title, “The Flowers of Evil”. Is it changing for the darker perhaps?