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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?