by Marlan Moore | staff editor
I picked up the first volume of Flowers of Evil from Vertical for two reasons. First, because I wanted to see what Oshimi’s original art looked like. Second, because I wanted to know if the anime strays from the manga at all.
Flowers of Evil‘s art is – as expected – very different from the rotoscoped anime of the same name. Mangaka Shuzo Oshimi’s art style is full of detail missing from the anime. Environments are more developed, and characters are – oddly – more animated. Oshimi draws her characters with a roundness to them — their faces are all circular, probably to emphasize their youth and “innocence.” Even the story’s antagonist, Nakamura, looks cute here, versus her more devilish look presented in the anime.
As for story, it looks like the anime follows pretty closely. Volume 1 starts where the anime starts — with Kasuga in class, followed by him stealing Saeki’s gym clothes and getting into a “contract” with Nakamura. It ends around episode 4/5, making me wonder if the 13-episode anime is looking to get picked up for a second season (the manga’s 9 volumes long and counting).
The one thing I really miss from the anime is the pacing. While the manga’s writing is definitely solid, and it’s nice that it does feel a little quicker than the anime, there are moments the anime really slows down and lets you really live them — like when Kasuga is afraid he’s about to be caught in the classroom.
A cool addition to Vertical’s printing are fun facts between each chapter. Did you know the school library used in the manga is modeled after Oshimi’s high school library? He even went in and took photos for reference. Makes me wonder if they filmed the scenes for rotoscoping in the same place.
All in all, if you watch the anime, you may want to pick up at least one volume of the manga to marvel at the art and find out a little more about Oshimi. And if you’re just looking for a new manga to read, Flowers of Evil is a good place to go if you like slice-of-life stories with a little more depth to them.
[NOTE: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the SPJA.]