About Jesus Delgado Reynoso

An indie writer. Fantasy, fiction, and videogame lover.

Dark Entries

The title is a Bauhaus song. Honestly, though, it has nothing to do with it, but I’m going to put it here for you to listen. Enjoy!

“Dark Entries” by Bauhaus

There are so many times when your mind goes blank. Total emptiness breaks through your brain, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or maybe you can, but it’s hard to think clearly. The sounds around you become a distant echo, gradually disappearing.

There are so many distractions; all of them become one, forming a massive wall made of everything and nothing, all at once. Any inspiration to do anything is kept on the other side of that wall; it’s so hard to break that you end up going back at the beginning to the point of giving up.

It is part of any creative process to lose sight. It is part of any creative process to make one, three, thousands of mistakes as long as these don’t keep us on the floor. We learned that from movies or some others from good parents. Perhaps it’s easier said than done for a good percentage of people; of course, I made this up, I didn’t look for any statistic to give.

Motivation is just a little bit of what someone needs to write constantly. The balance between life and the inner self is also another bit of what it takes to keep writing in form.

I am not sure if other factors determine what we need to reach a specific goal. Whatever that goal you set, of course, this last point is different for me, and it is different for you, just like it is different for each individual among millions.

Dark is always there to consume us. We usually call them the inner demons, but we don’t know if those demons are just the negativity within ourselves. I am not a person who believes in a certain mindset; you know, that bullcrap we hear from self-improvement books. Our life stays the same while the author’s wallet gets fat.

What is the actual advice, then? I’ve looked at some of my past posts on this blog, and I asked similar questions. There are points in life when we need to take a break, ask ourselves questions, see if we’re heading in the right direction we wanted.

How long do we have to keep asking ourselves questions, though? I’m curious for real. May we ask a successful friend or family member, and we’ll find out that most of them have questions too. Even when we look at those families that seem perfect, I bet they wonder about things. Who knows.

It’s good to have a distraction once in a while. Music, movies, friends, games, or anything that releases your stress can be good for a recovery process. A good song, your favorite, is a tool that could give you a push. Sometimes we need a little push or a heavy push; it all depends on the kind of darkness you’re into. See if there’s something that would help alleviate stress, or see if you actually need a little extra from somebody else. The only thing that matters here is that you don’t remain in the dark. Or at least look for something within and bring it to your reality.

Now I feel somewhat guilty. I feel like I’m the one talking like those self-improvement phonies. But I have to be honest, though, and say that this post was for me. I wrote it for myself, and I don’t even know why I’m sharing it. I guess that is the purpose of a blog. There are different sections/pages on this web, and everything’s coming from my brain. I hope someone enjoys it, at least.

Let’s Have a Look

We walked for two hours after dinner. Some say it’s good to take a walk after eating, but my stomach hurt. Helen, my friend, seemed to be happy, though. She was weird in high school, always wanted to walk at night carefree. We’re adults, and she had the same fascination for the after-hours. 

“Hey,” she interrupted my thoughts, “Want to check it out?”

I followed her gaze; there was a huge cemetery in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t realize we were this far from civilization. I shook my head. 

“C’mon, chicken. It’ll be fun.” 

She looked at me, smiling; I recognized those eyes, just like when we were teenagers. I was speechless. We’re adults now, girl, but the words never got out of my head. 

She grabbed my arm to drag me with her. The gates were closed, but the walls weren’t tall enough. She was crazy. I couldn’t believe we went from a normal conversation at Cici’s to invade a goddamned graveyard. 

Helen was braver than me, that’s for sure.

“Help me up.” I frowned when she said that. I thought she only wanted to have a look from outside. 

“No,” I responded, “I don’t think I need to explain why this is so wrong.”

“Don’t worry, chicken,” she hit my shoulder with a playful fist, “you don’t need to come with me. Help me up.” 

I don’t know why I ended up helping her. “I’m going to wait a few minutes and then leave, okay?. Do whatever you’re supposed to be doing inside quickly.”

She left without a single word. I lost sight of her. I repeated out loud that I was about to go, but I didn’t get a response—complete silence. 

In the end, I went inside to look for her. She made me jump with a boo, and laughed at me. I recovered from the scare and called her idiot, and then I smiled. 

“Want to have a good look at the place?” She asked. 

I nodded. I guess this could be fun. 

Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? Volume 1 | A Light Novel Review

Title: Do You Love You Mom and Her Two-Hit Mullti-Target Attacks?
Volume 1
Author: Dachima Inaka
Publisher: Yen On
ISBN: 978-1-9753-2800-9
ASIN: B07D2B5ZWD

Let’s have a quick look first. The light novel got an anime adaptation in 2019. The reception was mixed, from regular to terrible, but not for the story or characters; many people mentioned an Oedipus Complex. When we talk about anime, you know it’s easy to expect a lot of weird stuff. At the same time, though, people on the internet are getting offended by everything; apparently, any letter from the alphabet is an insult, so I can’t take any of their opinions seriously.

I am here to have a look at the light novel.

For some reason, the government in Japan is concerned about teenagers and their relationship with their mothers. That’s why they asked schools around the country to give students a survey. Masato, the protagonist, filled everything and wondered about the last question: If you went on an adventure with your mom, would you become closer?

This is the beginning of a story. After that, our second (or perhaps main) protagonist, Mamako; Masato’s doting mother. She is described as a housewife who could easily pass for a teenage girl, a transcendent being.

Masato feels very annoyed by his mom; she cares too much about him that he’s tired. I’m not going to lie; the boy is kind of a dick to her at the beginning. Although I believe a lot of people might remember being annoyed by their parents.

There’s a character named Shirase, whose name means inform in English; I learned it because every single time she speaks is to tell us she’s there to inform. A joke she kills immediately. Shirase is the person that distributes an MMORPG videogame… oh no, wait, I meant MMMMMORPG (Mom’s Massively Maternal Multiplayer Making-up-with-Offspring Role-Playing Game.) Yeah, that is what the genre is called.

This light novel is of the isekai genre, so it’s unnecessary to explain that Shirase, using Masato’s computer, transports both mother and son into the game. At first, Masato was happy because he would be the protagonist and perhaps the hero of a fantasy videogame until he noticed his mother, Mamako, was there too.

It all starts like any other fantasy game. They start with assigned stats and quests. The first quest is to choose the sword they’re going to carry along the journey. For some reason, Mamako was able to retrieve two swords. By this point, we know that the game is a beta version; thus, the characters believe that’s why the mother was able to do that. The overpowered trope is with most isekais, so there’s nothing strange here.

Mamako pulled out the lava and deep-sea swords as well. The legendary swords that only chosen could use, and she’d just picked two of them up.

However, it is predictable that the game is about mothers, so I don’t need to tell Mamako IS overpowered. And the series points out a lot that she doesn’t even know how to play a game, so everything she does is unintentional except when protecting Masato.

As with any MMORPG… right, MMMMMORPG, I’m sorry. The protagonists need a party to help them in the adventure. They recruit two characters; Porta, the loli of the group that works as the party’s support member; and Wise, the tsundere that functions as the mage. And that’s it. That’s all you get from these two characters, a loli and a tsundere; they are the definition of both stereotypes, and there’s nothing else.

I know that most anime characters follow these tropes, but here is what they are. There’s no trace of personality that could make them likable. Porta is adorable, yes, but she’s just a little thing in the background picking up loot.

I have to say that the protagonists are the stars. Masato is another trope, but his relationship with his mother makes him a unique character in a good way (and weird), and he grows throughout the story. Mamako is adorable, and she’s the reason the story has some progress; she even makes Porta and Wise look a little bit like something.

The world does not seem attractive, but I’m not going to blame the author or so. I believe we don’t see much of this world because it is the first volume of a light novel (light is the keyword here.) However, there are not many signals that there’ll be something to pick the reader’s interest. This situation is the same case as Porta and Wise. The story is set in a fantasy game, and that’s it—a generic fantasy world.

I must admit, though, that the reading is enjoyable. It is actually well enough to make you enjoy what is happening, and some of its imagery is very good despite any idea anyone may have of a light novel. Overall, I recommend it to any hardcore isekai fan. The characters and world are, as I mentioned, a pure representation of the usual stereotypes, but the mother is something that no one has ever done before, so kudos for that little addition.

For me, this first volume of Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? was not interesting enough to get the next number. I got tired of the isekai formula, and I believe there are better light novel series of the genre.

I could keep going if you ask me to. Other than that, this is my last review of the series.

There’s one important question now:

Is this light novel as creepy or disturbing as some people say?

No, I believe people are exaggerating a little. The light novel, however, is a mixed bag. I can understand that some of the situations that happen are very weird; we’re talking about mother and son here; it wouldn’t have anything strange if the things I talk about happened to the other party members.

The majority of Masato’s comments said that it’s weird to have a mother that looks his own age and others that she’s cute for her age.

Geez, she’s cute. No, no, no, wait, wait! That’s my mom! She’s, like, forty! Well outside the acceptable range of “cute”! Not the point anyway!

There is one part that went a little bit far. It did last a few lines, but that one part, I understand some readers got uncomfortable. The party was fighting a giant slime, and Mamako’s clothes dissolved after an attack. Her son tried to protect her, but he fell on her, and both of their bodies were slippery. And it didn’t help that Mamako herself said something like this:

“N-n-n-no, Ma-kun! We’re parent and child! I know you love me, but how could you push me to the ground and dissolve my clothes like this?! At least…at least turn off the light!” She continued to shine brilliantly.”

It was uncomfortable to read all of a sudden. As I said, the light novel is not like this all the time. I admit it surprised me. However, the rest of the light novel is your normal isekai full of the purest form of stereotypes. The ecchi tones are not even present, just in a few lines, but it is not nearly as disturbing as the internet is making it look.

Feel free to share your thought if you’d like. Do you agree? Do you disagree? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

Light Novels

I’m a person who enjoys anime. Most anime series are easy and fun to watch. It has a lot of genres for all types of individuals. I enjoy all of them; if I feel like a high-action and funny anime shows, I watch a shonen anime (One Piece, Jujutsu Kaisen, just to name two). If I want to watch some comedies, Asobi Asobase and Konosuba are my favorites.

Suppose I want to watch something more serious; romantic, paranormal, sci-fi, or other genres that take themselves more seriously. In that case, there are so many recommendations I’d probably make in the future.

As some of you already know, most of the anime shows came from Japanese comics, better known as mangas, with a few exceptions. Some people like to collect merchandise, and that includes the sources from their favorite shows. One of my friends is a hardcore One Piece fan; he watches the show on Crunchyroll and collects the mangas.

I’m not much of a collector, but there are a few shows that I loved so much I got tempted to acquire the mangas. Boogiepop and Others, Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World, and Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! are just a few shows that I loved so much no I want to collect the original material. I was surprised, though, when I realized these shows didn’t come from a manga. These shows came from something called light novels. It was the first time I heard of such things as light novels.

As an avid reader, the term got me intrigued. At first, I thought a light novel would be pages full of dialogs with one illustration to complement it; you know, left page the image, right page the dialogues, something like that. I was wrong.

What is a light novel then?

A light novel is a style of Japanese light novels for young adults, although there are some series for adults. Most of these novels have an average length of about 50,000 words, which is the minimum word count for a traditional book to be considered a novel.

Bookstore in Macau (photo I took from Wikipedia)

Many light novels, like their manga older brother, is serialized. There is more than one volume of each series. I like to think of light novels as books for anime/manga fans. This format is becoming very popular, with publishers like Yen On and J-Novel translating them into this language; I believe some English original light novels exist. Perhaps it’s a format that’ll become something more in the west. For now, it’s a niche that will get some strength; time will tell.

Another similarity with mangas is that some of them get compiled as omnibuses, two or more volumes in one book. The first light novels that I bought were the Boogiepop series, which unfortunately didn’t get translated past volume 6.

Today you can buy the English version of the Boogiepop light novels, whether you’d like to buy the six individual volumes or two omnibuses like I did (image above). Just saying!

How is the content like?

Light novel is an accurate term to describe these books. They are easy to read, follow, and finish. There are no heavy descriptions as you usually see in traditional novels. There is a general description of the world and the characters; the reason is that you’ll find a few illustrations in the books. These are basically manga-like drawings of the characters and a situation so that you won’t get lost.

All of this work very well to complete what a light novel is. On one side, you have some descriptions, first-person or third-person point of view, depending on the story; and on the other side, you know how the characters look because you have an illustration.

One thing does NOT replace the other

I am sure new folks looking at this format may wonder if these light novels would replace traditional books one day. Short answer: no.

If you’re new and feel curious about them, you might think that the light novels are like YA (young adult) books that are very popular in any bookstore. Sure, but you need to divide the soul of your favorite book into two: its narrative and illustrations. One is not going to work without the other, even if you add more images. Needs to be a balance between the two to make a light novel.

Also, it is important to mention that this format is clearly written for manga and anime fans. Of course, this does not mean that someone else should not read it; quite the contrary. I believe this is an excellent opportunity for two kinds of hobbyists to approach the other. The anime and manga fans look at literature, and the literature fans look at the anime and manga. For me, this is another good way to break stereotypes, open our minds to other media, and realize there are many exciting works created in different formats for all tastes.

Give light novels an opportunity. I’m sure you’re going to find something interesting.

Love is a Mixtape, by Rob Sheffield | A book review

Title: Love is a Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time
Author: Rob Sheffield
Publisher: Crown Archetype
ISBN: 978-1-4000-8303-9
ASIN: B000N2HCMY
Copyright © 2007 by Rob Sheffield

I read the Kindle version of the book. It is not relevant, but I must say digital goods are very comfortable.

The book is an author’s autobiography. Here we’re going to find a good place filled with nostalgia. Rob is the narrator, and he’s going to tell us the story of how he met Renée and how the mixtapes became a considerable part of his life.

The mixtapes defined Rob, his passion for music, and his current work. Mixtapes helped him to gather new bonds. Mixtapes made him grow to be the person he is today.

But how is the book written? The book relies on imagery. His memories are well-put on paper since we can imagine everything he’s describing.

We have a couple of time skips, which are required because, as readers, there are many things irrelevant to a story. Just take a look at our own lives. Would you like to read a book about every single second of your life? I sure won’t; there are days, weeks, or even years where nothing exciting happens.

Rob succeeded in taking us on a nostalgia trip. There are many references to the most especial decades of rock and pop, the seventies to the nineties. I could not help but smile whenever I read something about the bands or genres we loved and danced.

We must remember, though, that life is not perfect. Life is not hundred percent about love and success. In everyone’s life, there will be a loss, and this is not an exception. Sheffield, as the title states, talks about something more than just his love for the mixtapes.

I suddenly realized how much being a husband was about fear: fear of not being able to keep somebody safe, of not being able to protect somebody from all the bad stuff you want to protect them from. Knowing they have more tears in them than you will be able to keep them from crying.

Rob Sheffield

It’s hard to think about losing someone. It is even harder to believe that that loss could come at any time. Death is unpredictable; one day, the love of your life is here, and the next that person is gone. This is a lesson the author accidentally gives to the readers. The nostalgic trip among the mentioned decades is part of the story, which is so well-written that dialogs are unnecessary. There are just a few dialogue lines, but these are just a complement to those memories he’s telling.

After Renée died, I assumed the rest of my life would be just a consolation prize. I would keep living, and keep having new experiences, but none of them would compare to the old days.

The second part of the story is where Renée dies. This is not a spoiler; it is mentioned in early pages that it would be an important part of the book—the loss.
Loss is part of our lives, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Everything needs to change, and moving away to give space to the new generations is a cycle the world has.
In the end, we don’t see a devastated man. We actually see someone that has accepted his life as it is.

The nineties moment has been stomped over so completely, it’s hard to imagine it ever happened, much less that it lasted five, six, seven years.

The decades, just like our lives, come and go. Nothing lasts forever, and just like the decades of music we loved, they will eventually vanish; but the songs are going to keep playing to remind the future teenagers that there was life before the 2000s.

Love is a Mixtape is a nostalgia trip. It is the mixtape that took the form of a book, the words that will make us look at the past and appreciate the moments we shared with our friends, family, and loved ones.

This is a book written in the United States of America, and of course, the life Rob describes might not be relatable to many people, especially the readers from foreign countries. However, the fascination for music and the constant references to those particular decades in music is more than enough to fall in love with this work. It is unfortunate, though, that perhaps in the future, most of these references, including the mixtapes, will be forgotten.

Unreliable Head

Long ago, I visited Guadalajara, Jalisco, in Mexico. I was excited when I put my foot out of the plane. The city from the airport looked like most Mexico cities, but I can’t tell you how it changed when I arrived at my hotel in the downtown area. There are a few things I hadn’t seen before, but there are so many details I’ve forgotten due time; it happened five or six years ago, so do not blame me.

I walked down its streets, enjoying the light breeze while I walked past the museums and college campuses. There was a concert close to a park, a couple of blocks from a place with a name that would make you lose your head if you know what I mean.

It was an enjoyable mix of different genres and bands. I stood in front of the scenario for more than two hours. Then I returned to my hotel, and for some reason, I felt like a lot was missing; you know, the sensation you feel when you forget something, and you need to go back and look further.

The only difference is the fact that it was darker. People were leaving downtown and a few night owls came to enjoy night bars where they play the music I hate most. The majority of places in this country play that genre, and I tend to avoid them. That time, though, I felt like it would be better to enjoy all moments, good and bad, to have a better grasp of what a tourist would like to know when visiting a city this big. I did not enjoy any of it, but the experience I lived is now part of me.

The irony came a few days back when I tried to remember every single second of my trip, but I ended up thinking about those bars instead. I didn’t dance, my nose was burning for the smoke, and the smell of pee blended with the place. Ask me about the churches, the museums, and the concert; I barely remember a damn thing. The city I loved most, my head tricked my memories into the parts I disliked.

The Eye of the World | A Book Review

The Eye of the World version I read

Title: The Eye of the World
Author: Robert Jordan
Publisher: Tor
ISBN: 978-1-250-25146-6
Copyright © 1990 by Bandersnatch Group, Inc.

The Eye of the World is the first entry of fourteen books, and a prequel, that The Wheel of Time has in the series. The book narrates in third person the story of a young man called Rand al’Thor and his friends.

The book presents itself with a lot of descriptions, a world building that I personally find fascinating. It is one of those books that, even though takes a lot of time before any action, it is enjoyable. Robert Jordan indeed took a lot of inspiration from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps A LOT.

This first entry has a lot of fantasy tropes, more specifically from Tolkien, which could be considered as an unoriginal story; from the start we meet Rand al’Thor as the normal young man that does not show anything out of the ordinary. Then there is this woman named Moiraine, known as something called the Aes Sedai, or the female Gandalf as some of the comments out there said. Also, we have her guardian, and the two Rand’s friends that join him on his adventure.

No one can deny that there are so many similarities between Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and Jordan’s The Eye of the World. The inspiration and the tropes are there. However, does this make it a bad book or a carbon copy of Tolkien’s work. I say no. The situations and tropes are there, both the characters in both series are so different among themselves that make Rand’s gang unique. Yes, at the beginning we have the “hero’s journey” with the protagonist that seems like any other person and ends up being something else. But our protagonist, his friends, the Aes Sedai (basically powerful sorceress in the story), the guardian, and other characters, are very interesting. I feel that every step they take; every town they visit, every character they met, have something substantial to add to the story and they’re not only there to be a burden or a “filler” to force us to believe the world is alive. No, the world feels very alive.

“As the Wheel of Time turns,” Moiraine said, half to herself and with a distant look in her eyes, “places wear many names. Men wear many names, many faces. Different faces, but always the same man. Yet no one knows the Great Pattern the Wheel weaves, or even the Pattern of an Age. We can only watch, and study, and hope.”

One of the things that interests me the most about the series is the symbol, a snake eating its own tail, and as the story goes there are many hints that the world has been through many cycles, with different names, and different forms. This, among other words within the book, make of The Eye of the World… no, The Wheel of Time as a series, one of the most impressive world buildings I’ve read in fantasy literature. The rhythm could be a little slow at the start, but as you go through the pages the gears will move faster.

This is the first book of fourteen, as I’ve mentioned above, so I guess I don’t need to say that the conclusion of The Eye of the World is the start of a long journey for our protagonists. The Aes Sedai, just as Gandalf, leaves a lot of mystery for the main characters to solve.

Do not let the similarities get you, though. The Eye of the World, with its obvious inspirations, is different enough to help you enjoy the book. The character and world building is so good you just want to know more about the world itself, and I am sure we’ll know a lot more on the following entries.

Welcome, New Year 2021

There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, there is always a civilization at the other side of that tunnel. It is always a good thing to see something waiting to be discovered. Although, we know that in that little or big community there’s always A GROUP waiting, (un)intentionally, to make things worse for the rest of society. This is life! Imperfect all the time, and I am not going to lie, that’s exactly what makes everything more interesting.

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

I am eager to see what’s coming for us. I won’t say there is something, a goal, waiting to be fulfilled—most of the time these New Year goals are nothing but a lie. Of course, that depends 100% on us, but you know what I mean. My suggestion is to make what actually makes you happy without being careless of the important aspects of life; your family, your income, and the pastimes that make you whole.

We tend to believe the lie that there is a purpose for each one of us, which is A LIE. Do not get me wrong, though; I guess it is good to have something to believe in. The problem is when we depend on that belief, sit on our butts and wait for that “life purpose” to come and say hello to us. That is not how it works. The true purpose is what makes us whole, as redundant as it may sound with the previous paragraph.

The world is getting tougher each day that passes. If you are reading this, it means that you are privileged enough to have internet. Just like I am. Keep in mind that there are people out there that are really struggling; it is sad that it is physically impossible to help everyone in need, although we can do our best to keep our families and loved ones safe. Occasionally lend a hand. It is easy to make hash tags and trends on social media without moving an actual finger. It is up to you and me to truly do something for our fellow humans.

I am not going to bother to insult that people traveling (job-required does not count, they are cool) or partying. Just want to let you know if it weren’t for this dumb “Cancellation Culture,” and the WP politics, I would let you know my real thoughts on this post. You all need a leash.

With no further thought, I wish you all a HAPPE NEW YEAR! May your dreams come true and the story unfolds the way you wish.

Pre-Christmas 2020

A new Christmas is coming. A few hours left before the most beautiful celebration of the year; a holiday most people love to spend with their families. I dare you to tell me a prettier day. It only rivals with Dia de Muertos, though this is a bittersweet celebration, and that put it just a little beneath Christmas.

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

The year 2020 has been crazy, not in a good way however. Sometimes we just need to look around to see the countless things outside that keep us apart from each other. Society, even though technology helps us stay in touch with everyone, it seems it is exactly a tool to keeps us apart from each other. The visits at the restaurants were curious because we had seen a table with a big family; but each member texting someone else. That communication is even worse now. The best recommendation to endure and help our respective nations is to avoid contact as much as possible.

How are you going to spend your Christmas? That is a difficult question to answer. I know some folks miss their families so much that they are willing to risk health and safety measures, which is not responsible, and it is understandable at the same time. I’ve said it on previous posts that, personally, I don’t mind being alone, but that does not mean that everyone has to do the same. In fact, a majority is social; I am nothing but an exception. I really want to believe that there will be a reward at the end of the tunnel for those that are suffering. I want to believe that they, the ones respecting the rules despite dealing with personal issues by themselves, are going to be very happy once this gets better. Let’s just keep in mind that nothing is going to be normal ever again. This should be a lesson for everyone, to take care of each other, friends, families, and strangers alike.

I also know that “this should be a lesson for everyone” is just a wishful thinking. If another pandemic comes in the future, a lot of people is going to make sure to screw everything up. So you do you, my friends!

And for those that actually care (have a brain), I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)

This was quite a ride. I was not expecting something much from Flowers of Evil (Aku no Hana,) but the results were fascinating. The anime is an adaptation of a manga of the same name.

The anime starts with Takao Kasuga, a student whose favorite book is Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal that has a crush on Nanako Saeki, a pretty girl he idolizes. Later, Takao stays late in school; before leaving, he finds Nanako’s sport class uniform and, as you can guess, the boy hesitates. He was about to put it back, intentionally or not, but there was a sound that made him run away from school, taking the girl’s uniform with him.

This is where the conflict begins. Takao believed he could get away with it and just give it back when no one’s looking. Bad luck shows up when one of his classmates, Sawa Nakamura, tells him she saw him taking the uniform, and if he does not want her to give him away, he should follow her orders.

The story goes beyond a boy stealing female clothes. Most anime shows with a starting point like that would be part of a comedy or something along the lines to give us a good laugh. However, Flowers of Evil is not the typical high school comedy or slice of life; it’s very far from being considered one of the mentioned genres. This is the first time, at least for me, that I see something on a screen an animation that presents the many conflicts of growing up, to fit in a society and their expectations; self-discovery is what the author is bringing to the table. If we think about it, being young is easy compared to being an adult, but it is also terrifying to see as we grow up how things are not going the direction we wanted.

As we really know what we want, our inner journey to personal discovery could be scary. And the series, indirectly, tries to tell you in its own way with a dark atmosphere that teenagers are vulnerable in a world where you must adapt, without a clear clue on how to do it, to be considered normal. Nothing is straight to your face, the images, the music, the silence, and the protagonists don’t grab your hand along the journey, but it is clear what the story is trying to tell you.

The general atmosphere are what grabs you from the first second until the end of the credits of each episode. Sometimes you just hear the sounds of the town, the anime wants you to pay all of your attention to the characters and what they have to say, perhaps its own way to discover yourself as well (as if you were a teenager) and remember when some of your decisions, meaningless as they had been in school, could mean the world when you wanted to be accepted but something, or someone, was there ready to make everything fall apart in a few seconds.

Everything adds to the general mood of the series. Its music is something you don’t expect, especially when the credits start rolling. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the feeling of uncertainty is present at every corner; the sole mention of an “other side” makes you believe there’s something deeper in the meaning of maturity. The choice of music at the end of each episode is strangely scary and yet beautiful. There’s an actual message, a poem about a flower; I recommend you look it up after watching the show.

Best choice is bad choice

The irony here is that the artistic choice of using a rotoscoped animation affected the show. Let’s be honest, most shows and movies that use that kind of animation tend to look weird or just bad (not all of them, to be clear). However, I don’t see the Flowers of Evil any other way. The animation, as bad as it could be, was the best choice for this. Rotoscope animation, along with the story, the music, and the characters themselves are a perfect combination of a story about the fear that comes from our natural cycle. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to look at it that way; I bet a lot of people have avoided the anime the instant they saw the type of animation used. Although I don’t blame them, judging something by just images is not a good thing, they might miss a great experience doing that.

A great experience hard to recommend

The anime is really good, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I don’t regret a single second I spent in front of the TV watching the show. Sadly, it seems the anime was not very popular, perhaps for the animation, as I mentioned on the previous paragraph; this means it never got a second season, and it will never happen. I am talking about an anime that its thirteen episodes were aired in 2013.

I said it was one of my greatest experiences in anime, but it is hard to recommend when it is incomplete. At the end of the thirteenth episode we have a glimpse of a second season, something that never happened and never will. I guess you could watch it and see for yourself what it is about and then move to the manga to get the full story; but the music and the overall atmosphere from the anime is going to be missing. It is sad to see the anime incomplete.

If you want to watch Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil) Crunchyroll is your place. The anime is available for FREE (with ads) or for Premium users. Click here to watch it on Crunchyroll!