Aku no Hana raised quite a fuss this year, about – quite predictably – the rotoscoped animation. I honestly thought the unusual style fit the show well, even if it could’ve used some more intense light/dark contrast like the manga’s art, and it looked better and better with each episode. Easily my favorite of the spring season, and possibly my favorite show not carrying over from a previous year, Aku no Hana was a deliberate, excellently-plotted series with a number of extremely powerful crucial moments, though due to the way it ended it is desperately in need of a second season it will likely never receive.
I had an incredibly hard time deciding between this moment, the rainy hilltop showdown, and Nakamura: Deito Ninja for inclusion on this list. But in the end, there’s really no other moment that better represents Aku no Hana as a whole than Kasuga’s beautifully-directed downward spiral around the classroom.
The haunting ending theme, which had always slowly faded in during the closing seconds of any episode to great effect, is on full display here, in all of its distorted, arrhythmic glory. While the cinematography for the scene is excellent, it truly is the music that gives it such tremendous power.
This is Kasuga’s big release – after holding everything in for so long, after holding everything back for all this time, it is in this moment that he finally lets everything go. All the suffocating pressure of his most repressed desires is unleashed upon the classroom, a black paint that covers every surface and a destructive energy that topples all the desks and chairs. And in the center of it all, at the heart of the flower of evil, lies the gym uniform. The sick bond he shares with both Nakamura and Saeki, the first perversion to bubble up out of a container ready to burst. Nakamura dances with delight. Kasuga rages with passion. In the moonlit classroom that night, they achieved their first taste of pleasure, the blooming of the flower of evil.
But really, we all know what the ACTUAL best scene from the show is: