Well, that was quite the finale.
And so we have reached the final episode of Aku no Hana, one of the most controversial anime series in recent memory. Where do I even begin on what I saw?
Picking up right after the end of the previous episode, Takao hesitantly opens the door to Nakamura’s room. For someone so emotionally disturbed, you have to wonder what could be inside.
Dismembered doll heads?
Writing on the walls?
Her secret stash of eroge games?
Unfortunately, the answer is none of those. (Can you imagine if the reason she called herself a deviant was because she was secretly an otaku who loves playing eroge featuring little sisters? What a deviant!).
Instead, Takao finds a rather plain room, with the bare necessities: futon, desk, and uniform. It doesn’t even look like she spends a lot of time in there. Nosy little Takao pokes around a bit and finds her notebook. He’s surprised to find that it’s a diary about all the things they did together, and stops on the day they tried going up the hill. Takao is moved to tears after seeing how hurt she was by his actions, and I thought it was great to finally get to see more about what goes on inside Nakamura’s head.
Nakamura is none to happy to come home and see him reading her personal thoughts. She grabs the notebook and runs off, with Takao chasing after her. He finally catches up to her at the riverbank where they first met and both of them fall to the ground. He tries to tell her that he wants to go beyond the hill with her, which only makes her more furious.
Which brings us to the strangest part of the entire finale. The rest of the episode is essentially a flashback to everything that happened in the series, straight from the beginning before everything got out of control. From there, it flashes forward to scenes that appear to take place way later. There’s a fire burning, a girl with blood dripping between her legs, someone dragging a baseball bat down the street; those are only a few shown during the flurry of images flashing on the screen, accompanied with a choir of voices. If you didn’t already realize, these are scenes taken straight out of the manga, taking place later on in the story. It’s a nice tease of what’s to come, but it can be a little disorientating to watch too.
And with that, Aku no Hana has come to an end. Or at least, this is the “End of Part One”. I honestly don’t know if they’ll be able to make a Part Two because of the cold reception this series got during its debut. In the anime industry, DVD sales are the backbone to the success of any series. With so many criticisms online and a rather narrow target audience, the chances of this getting the greenlight for a second season seem slim. Still, I ended up enjoying what a lot of people thought was the worse anime of the decade. The series was tense throughout and did a great job establishing that atmosphere, which isn’t an easy thing to do for an anime series. It even had spots of brilliance such as the destruction of the classroom. Despite my optimism, the series was a very bumpy ride thanks to inconsistent animation quality, a very long and slow buildup, and generally unlikable characters. Despite what everyone says, I still think Aku no Hana is worth watching at least once, if only for the experience.
For my full thoughts on the series, make sure to check out my review.