This is where the [Aku no Hana] anime changes things. Director Hiroshi Nagahama’s weapon of choice isn’t poison, but an axe. By rotoscoping characters, he’s completely destroyed the layer of superficiality that the manga labours under and delves straight into the dark soul of Flowers of Evil. For many, this is unforgivable, but for me, it’s more just revealing of the seemingly widespread disdain anime fans have for facing anything that removes their blanket of unreality, where certain times and places like the rose-coloured high-school setting are magically protected within a bubble of nostalgia and innocence. Quite frankly, fuck that shit.