Aku no Hana Episode 7: Puberty is a Force of Nature

22 May

By: Stephanie Weirich

Adolescence has never looked so damp before.

Adolescence has never looked so damp before.

First off, let me just say something. Just one thing.

DAT ENDING.

THAT was the kind of emotional catharsis I was waiting/hoping for! If you know anything about me (which you know a bit) I’m a big fan of adolescent psycho-sexual release that happens to involve calligraphy ink and the most terrifying song ever recorded.

So what exactly happened? I’m so glad you asked because I am so ready to tell you!

Kasuga brought Saeki printouts from her missed day at school, which leads to Saeki’s mother allowing Kasuga into Saeki’s room where they have a heart to heart. Or rather, Saeki let loose some of her feelings, mainly that she believes herself to be a weak person and that she thinks Kasuga is stronger/more intelligent than her. She also reveals that she’s trying her best to read Flowers of Evil for Kasuga. She then asks him if there’s anything he’s hiding from her, because she does indeed think that Kasuga and Nakamura have something sexy going on.

You probably don't want to know.  Just trust me on this.

You probably don’t want to know. Just trust me on this.

If only she knew, man. This earnest outpouring of honesty really gets to Kasuga, and by gets to, I mean that it makes him feel guilty, finally, for everything that he has done. He’s also struck by the realization that he’s not good enough for Saeki as is. He then goes to a park and has a good cry. This is where Nakamura finds him and is thrilled to death with how pathetic he is, especially when Kasuga asks her to tell Saeki that he stole her gym clothes.

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Nakamura arranges to have Kasuga meet her at school, with Saeki’s gym clothes at midnight.

See ya then sucker!

See ya then sucker!

They meet, she makes him follow her to their classroom and when he starts asking questions, Nakamura very nonchalantly tells him to shut the fuck up because she is the human equivalent of the majestic Honey Badger.

Honey Badger don't care.

Honey Badger don’t care.

Once in the classroom, she tells Kasuga that it’s time for him to write everything down on their blackboard about what a horrible deviant he is. Initially, he refuses, saying that he doesn’t want EVERYONE to know, just Saeki. This makes Nakamura lose. Her. Shit. She screams at him that he’s just as boring and shitty as everyone else and that everyone uses such polite words and actions to hide the fact that they all just want to fuck and that that is boring (this, I think is the important takeaway from this episode, so we’ll get into it after the recap).

Nakamura is real grabby.

Nakamura is real grabby.

She then ends their contract and tells Kasuga to never speak to her again. This lights a fire under Kasuga’s proverbial ass and he, in a frenzy, writes everything out while screaming. They then proceed to destroy their classroom until they’re lying in the middle of the wreckage, exhausted and breathing heavily as though something terribly sexy just occurred. The final moment of the episode is Nakamura happily and seductively calling Kasuga a deviant.

Get it gurl!

Get it gurl!

That final scene guys is a winner and it demonstrates all of the things that are excellent about this show. The release featured there also very much ties into what Nakamura is saying about sex being boring, and that instead, she’s looking for a true deviant, a true force of perverted destruction. Why? Well, because that scene WAS sex. It was probably better than sex for these kids. All of their pent up aggression, the rage that comes with being so totally repressed while in the heat of puberty, that all needed to be let out and typically, we tend to associate that release with sex. Particularly in Japan. And particularly when we, as Westerners, think of Japan.

 

What do I mean? Well, when we think of Japan, the first place that a lot of us go to is the sheer weirdness that we perceive as being an inherent part of the culture. Typically, that weirdness ends up being displayed in very sexual ways, such as tentacle porn, dirty panty vending machines, Soapland, love hotels etc. We come to expect the Japanese to be a very sexual people, or at least very weird when it comes to sexual proclivities. What we aren’t considering is how the very repressive structure of Japanese society is leading to that outpouring of sexual interest. It is the outlet by which they can let out just a little bit of what they bottle up inside themselves by necessity of fitting into the very rigid structure that is Japanese society. Sex just happens to be the most socially acceptable way by which to channel that repressed energy. Sex, and the myriad industries that go with it in Japan, is the perfect complement to the concept of honne and tatemae. It’s something that can be kept private, away from public view, even if it’s occurring in public (such as going to host/hostess clubs or Soaplands). It’s a designated safe space by which you can let loose without judgement.

This is NOT socially acceptable.

This is NOT socially acceptable.

This is what Nakamura is railing against. This is boring to her. It’s not enough. Nakamura wants to tear down all of the walls that imprison her within Japanese society. She wants to destroy what it means to even be Japanese and she wants Kasuga to show her how it’s done because she perceives him to be the real deal. She wanted a partner that would truly show her the other side of existence within this crumbling town. Nakamura feels so much rage due to the existence that she is forced to live that she wants nothing more than to let all of that rage out so that It can destroy, and then create, a new world for her. All in all, it’s like she doesn’t want to be Japanese, or she wants to live outside of Japan’s societal rules but just doesn’t know how unless it involves destruction and chaos. That is the true meaning of deviancy for her. Not sex. Not perversion. Not stealing gym clothes or kissing. Just pure, good old fashioned destruction of everything around her that others hold dear. Nakamura is a character that was created to be a huge “Fuck You” to Japanese society and its perceived shortcomings.

This is the happiest she has ever been.

This is the happiest she has ever been.

So all of these kids are blooming in different ways. They’re all experiencing puberty and the wrongness that comes with it. And none of them know how to truly deal with all of the emotions that are welling up within them, and none of them know how to deal with how that relates to society at large. This sort of social commentary wrapped up in psycho-sexual drama/horror is one of the things that makes Aku no Hana an absolute joy for me personally.

Also, can we agree that that last scene looked absolutely fantastic? Seriously, I want to watch it again. I just might too.

Seriously, this scene is stunning.

Seriously, this scene is stunning.

So that’s about it for this episode. Let me know what you thought in the comments!

Until next time deviants!

Until next time deviants!

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3 Responses to “Aku no Hana Episode 7: Puberty is a Force of Nature”

  1. Artemis May 22, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Truly, that one was hell of an ending – easily making this my favourite episode of the series so far. I was wondering when and how Kasuga would finally snap, and snap he certainly did! Now that he seems to have thrown in his lot with Nakamura, it’ll be interesting to see if he regrets it once the high of releasing all that repressed emotion fades away and he’s left with the reality of the situation.

  2. suddendeath May 23, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Just to let you know that i LOVE reading your thoughts on Aku no Hana. every time i watch an episode I immediately come back here to see what you had to say. its like im watchign it with a friend by my side. keep it up!

    • entropypieplate May 29, 2013 at 5:18 am #

      Hey man, thank you! I really can’t articulate how special that makes me feel. So, thank you again for the very kind words. I am happy to be your anime watching friend.

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