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Post Reply Flowers of Evil Discussions
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20 / M / Louisiana
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Posted 4/8/13
I actually didn't mind the rotoscoping that much, I thought it was refreshing if nothing else. Sure the characters could be a bit more attractive, but whatev. The thing that irks me, is that the whole design aesthetic is sort of reflecting the cynic's idea of "realism." I'm expecting an angsty train wreck out of this show, but it won't be very fun if the director is trying to bash the idea of "this could actually happen" into your skull. I'd rather it develop something like a horror movie.
r3in3 
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Posted 4/8/13
A lot of the posts on here talk about how slow the first episode is. I think people are just disappointed because it was a lot more like real life vs. the usual hyperactive and stereotypical high school anime we are all used to.

I can't say that I love the style of the art but I am going to at least give this anime a chance before ruling it out. Since I have not read the manga I am hoping that the story evolves into something interesting.
runec 
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Posted 4/8/13 , edited 4/8/13

kitsuneshoujo wrote:

Ok for those of you who are ragging on this show for the characters being "drawn poorly" this was done in rotoscope fashion. This is where the animators draw over live action stills, frame by frame. It fits the anime, because the characters in the manga look similar.

If anime didn't evolve and get better and have been art styles, it would be stagnant, and would still look like anime from the 60s.

If you cant look past the artistic style they went for, for a creepy manga, then you will miss out on a great story.


Rotoscoping is a technique from 1917. This ain't about evolution. It's also extremely poorly done rotoscoping. Its essentially the most low budget animation style possible short of using talking head sprites. Choosing rotoscoping is pretty bad to begin with, but then doing it so badly on top of that is a sin against animation. -.-

Don't try to blame the audience for the creator's lack of quality. There's a reason no one uses rotoscoping like this these days.

If you want to see GOOD rotoscoping, look at Snow White.
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57 / M / Quirm
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Posted 4/8/13

hpulley wrote:

Really wanted to like this one. I heard about the animation, the rotoscoping and don't generally like it but that part wasn't so bad. I just found the pacing very slow. I skipped parts. I never skip parts... Maybe I'm just in a bad Monday mood? Perhaps I will try it again later in the week.. I didn't like Arata much today either.


It's like we're twin sons of different mothers...

I didn't find the rotoscoping particularly bad, exactly. But it made events seem mundanely real-life, uninteresting, and slow-paced. And, it didn't tell much of a story for the most of the episode. I didn't feel like I was right there present, watching; it felt like some kind of distant gazing globe experience. Snippets of unimportant conversations, walking to school the same way for too long and then repeated later; just the same ennui over and over. If realism is the tone they were trying to set, that school life, day after day, is boring, and that also many people aren't all that attractive in real life, then they succeeded. It just didn't hold my interest all that much, and I found myself literally nodding off several times.

The little bits where personalities showed through did set the scene for some things to come, possibly. A fairly attractive girl, high grades, admired by her classmates, a possible glance towards Arata (spent less than a minute on that). A showdown with the teacher by a rebellious girl who isn't going to back down for anyone (another minute or so). Arata's love of books, but not necessarily being successful in other scholastic areas, and looked on as odd by his classmates, not particularly heroic, and gets bullied a bit, no friends who are all that close to him, so not all that likable. (another few minutes there). Just about everything that happened of significance in this episode would have fit into one of those little animated 4-panel shorts, (like Encouragement of Climb). They could have at least ended it with actually seeing the event we know is coming according to the plot synopsis, him taking the gym clothes and the rebel girl seeing that instead of the ending sound-bite preview hinting that's to come. At least there would have been a bit of tension to end it on.

In the end, I didn't really like it or hate it, I just haven't seen enough yet to decide whether I like or identify with any of the characters or not, which is make or break for me to watch a whole series. I'll still watch a couple more eps at least though, to see what develops. At least it wasn't just a collection of the same old cliches, which this so easily could have been, so it's got that going for it anyway.
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27 / M / 昼寝の王国
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Posted 4/9/13
I think the whole first episode was just setting up the characters, and, well, the setting. It wasn't enthralling by any means, but it was good enough. I don't think every episode will be like that, although it will probably still be slow compared to the majority of anime, especially shounen anime. The ending of the first episode was a great hook, and I'll sure as hell watch more of this. The whole thing was just so damn dark and creepy that I can't help but to be fascinated by it. Hopefully it will turn out to be as interesting as it seems like it will.
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Posted 4/9/13 , edited 4/9/13
I'll just quote directly from an interview between the mangaka and the anime director;


- Oshimi (the mangaka) says Nagahama is right about the way he creates the manga: the original story is something that exists in his head, and he draws what he sees in his mind. So basically the anime and the manga are two different versions of the story that exists in Oshimi's head. By the way, he was also aware that due to the rotoscope the anime would look different from his work, and he thought it was an interesting idea.
- Oshimi also says that he thinks Nagahama has a very deep insight into the story, and firmly believes that he's taking it in the right direction. He also very much approves of Nagahama's wish of the anime leaving the viewers with a scar.
- Oshimi was pretty much "in" on the whole thing, they tested the rotoscope method on him.
- The interviewer asks about the impact the visuals would have on viewers, and Nagahama says he's well aware that a lot of people will go "what the fuck" and "this is gross," "I hate this, I'm not watching this." But he's pretty much okay with that, too, because he thinks it's fine as long as it leaves an impact on people. Viewers may dismiss it right away, but some may check it out later and find it interesting, or they may come across the manga, recognize the title, and read that.
- Oshimi says that he once got a fan letter from a high school girl who wrote that when she read the manga in middle school she thought it was stupid, but she tried to read it again when she was older and she found it very good. Nagahama says that this is what he's going for, to leave an impact, even if it's negative. He's trying to create something that one can't just ignore or dismiss.
- Oshimi also says that the anime has many scenes that he wishes he would've drawn the way they are in the anime, for example a scene with Kasuga and Nakamura in the classroom.
- Also, he confesses he's writing the manga with the intention of murdering the readers with it (metaphorically, of course), thinks the anime is doing the same, and relishes the idea of the viewers getting slaughtered, jokingly of course. (lol #1)

They leave the following messages to the fans:
- Oshimi: He guarantees that those who feel very strongly about Aku no hana will enjoy the anime. However, chara-moe types, those who go "Nakamura-san, unf unf" will probably feel betrayed. (lol #2)
- Nagahama: Since it's so different from the usual anime, he can't say that everyone will love it. But those who watch the first episode and think "I want to see more" will not have their expectations betrayed.


It's not a question of lack of skill, or lack of care concerning the original manga, the anime is PURPOSELY stylized in this way to create something different to the manga - the director specifically said he didn't want to simply recreate the manga in a traditionally animated form - because he believes viewers may as well just read the manga if that were the case. It's a deviation of the manga, and both the original writer and directer are happy with it.
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46 / M / KC
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Posted 4/9/13

hgibson88 wrote:

It's not a question of lack of skill, or lack of care concerning the original manga, the anime is PURPOSELY stylized in this way to create something different to the manga - the director specifically said he didn't want to simply recreate the manga in a traditionally animated form - because he believes viewers may as well just read the manga if that were the case. It's a deviation of the manga, and both the original writer and directer are happy with it.


I definitely agree with this.

I think the whole controversy is that 1) this breaks the conventional styles of anime and 2) it isn't the adaptation that fans expected. And when you upset fans, well... you know the result.

Here's the main thing I noticed: this show follows film conventions, not anime. In particular, I'm struck by the similarity to northern European "artsy" films, especially Swedish ones. Ingmar Bergman was a pioneer in the way he treated landscape as a character. That influence has touched films ever since. Go watch the original "Girl With A Dragon Tattoo" to see what I mean.

That influence is clear in this first episode. It's moody and all about setting a tone. It's too realistic in one sense for fans. We are not given the pretty images from the manga. The city is dirty, broken down, and the students look like what we'd see in real life. And then it's not realistic enough. The intentional "bad" use of the rotoscope creates faceless entities--great symbolism--from a distance. It's that contrast, that tension, that helps drive the mood for this episode. It's entirely intentional and it works, whether or not you actually like the style. From a film critic point of view, the first episode is a success.

It's obvious that the art direction choices are going to drive a number of fans and viewers away. On the other hand, I think these choices will draw in viewers that normally wouldn't watch anime.
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M/F - Michigan
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Posted 4/9/13
I agree with Pandito. If I was one of those folk that hate anime (probably because of otaku-association), and I came across this anime, I would probably enjoy it simply because it doesn't have the typical BESM on girls and the over-pretty scenery. It's realistic. The people look like they would in real life, not caricatures.


Honestly, I wonder how many people have read Baudelaire's poem. Perhaps if you did you would see how well the anime matches it in its artform. The manga is based on the poem, it isn't just a story with the name of the poem that references the poem.
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Posted 4/9/13
Today my copy of Volume I of the manga arrived, I've read it, and I stand fully by my observations that the anime is an excellent adaption.
It sets the tone and atmosphere of the story so much better than the manga does, it makes it better. The manga opens and there's literally a 2 inch horizontal slice in the first frame to show what the town is like, that's it, then it jumps straight into the classroom - the anime spends a few minutes to set the tone of the story, in this mundane, repetitive world where everything is rusting and decaying, and Kasuga is trapped in that world. It's all about the mise en scene, which the anime develops wonderfully.
People are just mad that Nakamura is no longer pretty, but that's not what is SUPPOSED to be attractive about her; it's about her darker, primal inside, which Kasuga will eventually relate to, because he feels it too, through his love of Baudelaire.
I'm glad to see that more people are enjoying the anime!
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19 / M / United Kingdom
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Posted 4/9/13
After hearing about the almost universal amount of hatred coming from the Anime community about this show, I honestly wasn't expecting anything that great coming from this. Sure, the rotoscoping is awful; but it's intentionally done, and I commend them for doing something different. The rotoscoping adds an almost uncanny amount of detail to the facial expressions. Sexual remarks become extremely vile when matched with the facial expression of the character who spoke it. The musical ambiance, and the background help carry along the feeling of dread that this series portrays. Every second of this episode, even when nothing was going, felt extremely uneasy.

Overall, I liked the first episode. Well, I hated every single moment of it, but that's the entire point of the series. The manga is full of nothing but horrible things, and the adaption does a hell of a job portraying it. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm not excited to watch the next episode.

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46 / M / KC
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Posted 4/9/13

RoyalMoon wrote:

Overall, I liked the first episode. Well, I hated every single moment of it, but that's the entire point of the series. The manga is full of nothing but horrible things, and the adaption does a hell of a job portraying it. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm not excited to watch the next episode.



Seeing "the beauty in ugliness" is the entire point, right?
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M/F - Michigan
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Posted 4/9/13
I think the underlying hatred of this show is because its not a pretty feel-good romance. It's unsettling, creepy and real. Reactions seem to also be similar to the French people of Baudelaire's time. He got prosecuted and his poetry was banned because it was so shocking and ugly.
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23 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 4/9/13
if they wanted to do a grotesque feel it work reading the manga just because i can't handle that which is rotoscope

also that protagonists is a freaking tool with zero testicles
runec 
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Posted 4/9/13

kitsuneshoujo wrote:

I think the underlying hatred of this show is because its not a pretty feel-good romance. It's unsettling, creepy and real. Reactions seem to also be similar to the French people of Baudelaire's time. He got prosecuted and his poetry was banned because it was so shocking and ugly.


I don't think so. Again, its not that this is some revolutionary art style or that people are turned off by the story. It doesn't look creepy and exotic. It's looks cheap and lazy. That impression is formed instantly before we even know the story. It's a terrible move as it turns people away before they even get into your story.

Why should I care about your story when you didn't care about its presentation?
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23 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 4/9/13
people just do yourselves a favor and read the manga you'll be spending your time being more productive doing that than discussion why this anime looks like this and people don't want to watch it

also teenagers at the age of 14 are idiots if you are a parent please sit down with your kids turn off the tv and hit them

idea came from bender
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