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Flowers of Evil, Volume 1 Paperback – May 8, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“Oshimi uses surreal imagery—a wall of eyes, a fun-house mirror, a giant sink hole—to suggest that Kasuga’s normal teenage discomfort with sexual feelings has become something more powerful and destructive: shame...That said, The Flowers of Evil is a shockingly readable story that vividly—one might even say queasily—evokes the fear and confusion of discovering one’s own sexuality. Recommended.” —The Manga Critic

“[The Flowers of Evil], living up to its name, is a story that starts out very much like a seed that has only just been planted. That seed may represent Kasuga’s perversion, his progress towards becoming a different person, or perhaps Kasuga himself. The principle that matters is that this story will continue, that with Nakamura’s aide and instruction, we shall eventually see this seed sprout into a flower. What will its color be?...Vertical has truly picked a wonderful, new manga to add to their already colorful repertoire.” —Monor Manga Impressions

About the Author

At only 30 years of age, Shuzo Oshimi is already considered a seasoned veteran of the Japanese comics community. Winner of the most important comics awards for newcomers, the Tetsuya Chiba Award in 2001, Oshimi has been penning quirky slice-of-life dramas now for a decade for major manga publishers such as Kodansha and Futabasha. Raised in the slow laid back hills of Gunma, in mid-eastern Japan, Oshimi wished to someday escape his community for bigger pastures. Living solely off of comics and books, he is a man of words and that shows in his very humanist stories. While he has drawn nine series in the past decade, Oshimi's star began to climb just recently in 2008 with the release of his first hit Drifting Net Cafe. This horror-themed homage to the legendary Kazuo Umezzu work, Drifting Classroom, was adapted into a live action series and propelled Oshimi onto an international stage. He would soon reach new heights in 2009 with his most recent series Flowers of Evil. In 2010 and 2011, the property quietly landed on numerous must read lists and has helped revitalize the shonen genre.

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Product Details

  • Series: Flowers of Evil (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical; Tra edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935654462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935654469
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Zombie Jackal on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vertical has always had a knack for picking manga that is either outright bizarre or a classic. This falls into the former category. [Minor Spoilers] The story starts off with a normal, rather dreary boy [Kasuga] who has a crush on a girl. Kasuga then goes back after school late to retrieve his book and happen to sees his crushes gym clothes and can't resist taking a look, and ends up having to steal them. And Kasuga gets caught by a stoic girl [Nakamura]. What ensues is that Nakamura blackmails him outright and forces him to do things that just digs his hole deeper. What makes this manga is Nakamura and the Kasuga. The girl isn't random or eccentric, everything she does is deliberate and calculating. But outright sadistic in her actions and turns our innocent main character into her human toy. The art just works for this manga, it has a subtle unique style that makes every reaction between the psycho and main character work. Sharp lines and interesting dialogue. I would highly recommend this manga because it is definitely unique, Nakamura does not blackmail him to she can extort him for cash, or force him to simple thing. She forces him to do things that creates genuine tension since you don't know what she's going to do or how to react to him. It's not your typical slice of life drama. It's a tale of a silent, manipulative devil.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vitaliy Fridman on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The new manga Flowers of Evil from Vertical is a really interesting look at the the world of perversion... Wait wait, I meant love. The mangaka, Shuzo Oshimi states in the book that he wants people to really recognize what "Perversion" truly is and question, "What does perversion mean to me?".

The story is set in middle school with our main character Takao Kasuga, who's a definite bookworm and in particular reading the work of Baudelaire, Flowers of Evil. As most boys of his age he has a crush on the class idol, but is often too scared to even try and approach her. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Nakagawa Nakumura who is considered the class bully. After a certain event that occurs early on, she latches on to Kasuga and binds him into a contract, of which the details aren't fully explored, we just know that she has blackmail information on him. The story really develops from there and we are treated to a realistic look at how certain events can shape your adolescence.

It's a perverse tale, but has some great ideas to take out of it. Reading this, I couldn't help but feel like the situations Kasuga faces, while not directly like mine, are paralleled to my youth. It's a quick and easy read and I'd highly recommend trying it out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Manga Maniac Cafe on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback

ZOMG! I feel a bit guilty for enjoying this tale of blackmail as much as I did. In a moment of complete stupidity, shy, timid Takao steals the gym clothes of the girl he is crushing on. Little does he know that this one lapse in judgment will bring about his downfall. Witnessed by Nakamura, the weirdest girl in his class, she threatens to rat him out to their classmates if he doesn't do everything she demands. As he spirals deeper in to misery, Takao is at his wit's end. How does he get Nakamura to leave him alone, without being outted as a perv in the process?

I haven't laughed this much in a long time. I couldn't help myself. Poor Takao is such a wimp. And an idiot to boot. I hope those clandestine sniffs of Saeki's t-shirt and shorts were worth the pain and embarrassment that this hapless middle-schooler is destined to suffer. Nakamura is one tough cookie, too! She is relentless, and she won't let Takao get away with anything now that he's under her power. I felt so bad for him! He's like a little puppy that keeps getting whacked with a newspaper. And darn me, but I kept laughing at all of his discomfort.

Even as his relationship with Saeki, she of the enticing gym clothes, blooms, his dealings with Nakamura keep bringing him nothing but trouble. His friends are rapidly ditching him because he's too busy dancing to Nakamura's tune to hang out with them, and his mother is fit to be tied because of his strange behavior. I fear that Takao will need serious therapy sessions if this continues much longer. I am eager to read more of this series, because I'm curious to see where it goes.

Grade: B+, leaning towards an A-
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Weiss on June 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After watching the first season of "Aku no Hana" (Flowers of Evil), I was left with that cliffhanger ending, and wanted to know what happened next, without waiting for season two of the anime to be released in N. America. So I decided to start reading the manga. Notably, the manga's illustration style is different from the anime, which isn't traditional style at all because it is rotoscoped with life actors and, for some, it looks 'odd'. I think the manga illustration quality and style is quite nice. But the real mystery was what happened after season one ends, hence, I've been buying (and enjoying) the manga series.

This is not a series for young people or the faint of heart. It's blunt, coarse, and details events that are not for the squeamish. It is a brilliant blackmail setup by a middle school girl who witnesses her male classmate succumbing to a momentary weakness. This girl is both sick and sadistic, yet brilliantly clever in maximizing the leverage she obtains in the knowledge that could destroy her classmate's reputation and scar him for life. By chapter three, the reader is trapped on a juggernaut that gets ever closer to embarrassing discovery, skillfully maintaining plausible deniability, chapter after chapter and keeping the tension not only going, but intensifying when you cannot imagine it getting anymore uncomfortable.

A love triangle develops, as our male protagonist becomes infatuated with the female classmate with whom his obsession led to a certain act which made him vulnerable to the blackmail by the other female student, but it is not your average love triangle. In fact, many things are inverted, because our male protagonist is not quite right in the head, which is probably why he idolizes his favorite writer/poet, Charles Baudelaire.
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