Aku no Hana: 2nd Look
In all seriousness, what happened here? It’s such an odd design choice. Very unorthodox. I have to wonder if Japan is still on April fools.
On the good side, the background is nicely detailed. Almost OVA quality. They succeeded on the creep atmosphere with the music and the ambient noise, and that ED song is even creepier no matter how you listen to it. Plot wise, first half of the ep is anime original then it follows the manga pretty closely. The voice acting sounds like nonscripted making it a bit natural.
Now for the bad. The character designs I can tolerate but the animation is atrocious. Even for a rotoscope animation, it’s inconsistent. I expected more from professionals. The animation doesn’t fit well with the background designs. The characters have no faces unless they’re up close to the camera and their mouth movements don’t match up with the voice acting. Looks like the animation budget went straight to the backgrounds.
For now, I’ll keep this on the watch but the manga still excels.
– At first Nagahama (the director) refused the offer to direct the adaptation, because he thought that simply turning this manga into a pretty, clean-looking anime would be pointless. He says that he believes that when the mangaka draws this story he’s seeing something “else” which he expresses as a manga. So there would be no point in simply presenting it in animated form, at that rate you might as well just read the manga and be done with it.
– He thought if it was to be adapted at all, it should be done as a live drama. When he was offered the job the second time, he pitched the idea of using rotoscope. He was aware that the result would be different from the manga.
– 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.