Aku no Hanananana

All this controversial talk about Aku no Hana has one true casualty: it spoils the surprise. So to share my suffering I will tell you why. And this isn’t a surprise about what the manga is about, which, well, I’ll talk about in a bit. It’s a surprise that will foil both manga fans and new people alike (like me).

After watching the first episode, I think I would be way more creeped out about it if I didn’t know it’s got these no-face rotoscoping, what the awesome post-rock track for an ending was, or that this covers not even the first chapter of the manga. If you went in knowing all this, it somehow detracts from the total experience.

Well, that still stops nobody. The show is not even live on CR for over 12 hours as of this screen cap.

10:38PM Eastern, Apr. 8, 2013

I think the enjoyment of Aku no Hana is going to hinge on really just two things. One, can the powerful manga carry itself over despite an unorthodox, to put it mildly, presentation? Two, do you like Mushishi for what Mushishi is good for?

At the hand of Nagahama, I’m inclined to think we’re in for a real treat. The rest is just a matter of finding something you like, or not caring about not finding something you like because it’s too good to let go. If you read Bakuman at all, you’ll know all about chapter ones for manga. And this episode one is a beautiful illustration where manga and anime fundamentally differ, or how guided viewing versus self-paced viewing fundamentally differ. If stuck on a set of rails, you can do a lot worse than Nagahama.

Most importantly, I understand why this would drive manga interest up, up, up. And at the same time, I totally find it acceptable to be a major turn-off. I thought Mushishi was a major turn-off until I was able to watch it with the right frame of mind. I think exactly the same thing applies to Aku no Hana except in an even worse way.

For the record, the average “hit” show on CR gets 5 stars on its eve, at worst 4.5. The ones that gets dinged usually drops to 4. On the flip side, for an anecdote, I vaguely recall Vividred Operation episode 1 had maybe 100 more views in roughly the same amount of time–but that was on a Sunday.

You know, Mariya Ise plays Nakamura. That is probably going to be a good ride. Hopefully the journeyman seiyuu will pop a good one here.

This is also one of the very, very rare instances that I wish I can read all of the manga before starting the anime. I guess a huge reason why this did not happen is because, man, 9 volumes and still going? Forget about it. Unless you’re some Urasawa masterpiece I don’t think I’m going to go there. Plus, it’s not over, so it is not possible to begin with.

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