Sunday, 31 January 2016
The Flowers of Evil, Volume 1 by Shuzo Oshimi Review
Kasuga is a schoolboy obsessed with Saeki, his classmate. One day after school he spies her gym clothes at the back of the empty classroom and steals them - but bad girl Nakamura saw him and is gonna blackmail him with his dirty secret!
Shuzo Oshimi’s The Flowers of Evil explores teen sexuality from the perspective of early pubescent kids who’re just beginning to experience it. But it’s also a very Japanese book in that sex is so repressed over there (have you seen their pixelated porn?! I mean, me neither...) that these kids, understandably already confused with their desires, express them in ways some might consider perverted - stealing gym clothes or blackmailing someone because they’re too shy to tell them they like them.
Unfortunately there’s not much else to this book. I suppose it’s a worthwhile subject but the material isn’t enough to fill a 200-page comic. I’m not even sure why it’s called The Flowers of Evil besides the facts that the author is a Baudelaire fan and Kasuga reads his poetry in the story - otherwise there’s no connection that I can see here. But then, not being one for poetry, I’ve not read Baudelaire so maybe I don’t know that he wrote a poem about horny Japanese schoolkids?
Oshimi didn’t hook me with the premise and this first volume didn’t wow me either - maybe teens will get something out of this? For a supposedly racy topic The Flowers of Evil is pretty dull stuff.
The Flowers of Evil, Volume 1