Flowers of Evil ep5: refreshing? Not so much.
Nakamura and I have something in common. No, it’s not that we’re both obsessed with deviant behaviour and cross-dressing. It’s because we’re both waiting to see something we know it’s there, we’re just having the damnedest time trying to see it. Flowers of Evil, I was told was a depraved, dark story with a twist that would turn the stomachs of viewers, acting as almost a barrier of entry to enjoyment in the show. And I’m sorry, but I’ve yet to see it. This is veering dangerously close to a romantic comedy. A dark romantic comedy, but still something that I find less than intimidating or thought provoking. I was promised the depraved story akin to Sundome, but I’m getting more of a kinky episodic good time akin to Nana to Kaoru. Please episode 5, liberate me from this misconception! Show me I’m wrong!
So begins the highly anticipated, but already tainted date between Kasuga and his goddess, Saeki. All the while, with a goofy, but always creepy Nakamura tailing them from behind. She’s anything but inconspicuous mind you. And it shows just how ridiculous it is to add cartoon-ish fantasies to real life, and the same may be true in the reverse, too. Anyway, Kasuga guides Saeki to the bookstore of his choice. It’s a place where he comes alive, expounding on all the benefits of the bookstore. He even recommends his creepy Flowers of Evil book to Saeki. Of course, before he can get too high on himself, Nakamura shows up outside the store demanding a meeting. She tells him to kiss Saeki. I swear the way she pins up Kasuga, you’d think it was almost erotic.
The date continues with a couple of awkward moments until we get to the scene at the park. Saeki is about to end the date when Kasuga kinda freaks out from the pressure Nakamura’s been pushing on him to be a perv. He turns the tables by gentling asking her to be with him in a purely platonic fashion. What the hell is this? Is he falling on the sword in the name of chivalry?! Is he throwing himself in the Friendzone on purpose?! Dude! You do know that’s purgatory right?! You do know that many a man has never made it out of there, and it’s only escapees are champions among manhood, right?!
Well anyway, this is where Kasuga’s neurosis peels away into heavenly delusion, as she accepts his proposal, and he mentally shoots off towards heaven. Both of them can freely admit that they enjoyed the moment. Which is why it’s the perfect opportunity to ruin.
I don’t know exactly if it’s anger, or a combination of emotions that makes Nakamura freak out, but something causes her to explode from the shadows. Worst of all, her sudden prank has partially exposed Kasuga. His white shirt now exposing the white gym top he’s wearing underneath, Saeki’s white top, in case anyone forgets. The date ends on an imperfect note to be sure.
A wet and panicked Kasuga finds and confronts Nakamura, who continues to go on about him being some perverted deviant, while Kasuga steadfastly rebukes her notions. Nakamura tells him that she’ll continue to hang back and see how his little relationship plays out, though she wonders if Saeki was able to peek at her gym outfit underneath his clothes. She then skips off happily, perhaps self-assuredly.
I believe this was a good, though slow paced episode. And I enjoyed the atmosphere in it. Sure I could see some viewers being a bit bored during some scenes, but it did what it had to do. I think it’s important to see the tension and the awkwardness of this date. It’s perfectly realistic to have all the awkward pauses and breaks in dialogue, as if the characters really didn’t know what to say next. Kasuga and his neurosis seemed to be most at home in this situation, but most importantly, he didn’t freak out. Well he did freak out a bit, but those times were all instigated by Nakamura. As off-kilter as she seems, I’m quite glad that wasn’t a bucket of urine she used. Oh man, I hope this show doesn’t have urine in it…
That reminds me of the point I made at the beginning of this post. I’ve gotten the feeling up until this point that the show is really just a dark, and very dry romantic comedy where much of the drama is melodrama. It’s stuff grossly blown out of proportion in importance and scale. And the tension is drawn from these misconceptions and miscommunications. I’m having fear that any big reveal will be something we don’t see until near the end of this series. We’re practically at the halfway point now. So I may get a proverbial rock thrown at me for this, I believe this was a good episode. But overall, I believe the show disappoints me a bit. When you’re told that a meal is spicy, you don’t want it to tingle a little. You want it to knock your socks off. And right now, though the meal is decent, it fails to knock my socks off.
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