School life, with an added unnerving edge rarely seen in fiction. Until the latter stages of The Flowers of Evil's manga, I had thought of it as a sort of fictional suicide note where the normality of life would eventually crush its lead. And the anime amplified that feeling tenfold with the realism added by its rotoscoping (both titles are low-budget yet artistic) and its ambient soundtrack. The execution just gives off a feeling of undefined dread.
Flowers and King of Pigs are different and the same. The emptiness and bleak school life is an obvious linking factor but Flowers relied far more on atmosphere and puberty / sex. Pigs doesn't have a sexual edge (all-boy school; younger characters) and, instead, focused heavily on preteen violence. Flowers does have what you could describe as physical bullying by Nakamura, but it's nearly all psychological, where as in Pigs it was more balanced.
When you strip away the violence and sexual aspects of the two, what you're left with is a desperate desire to escape the shackles society imposes on children as they grow up and/or enter adolescence. The leads in both series are pushed to breaking point by peer pressure and the need for social conformity. read more
Similar art style as well as tone. Both Dwaejiui Wang and Aku no Hana tackle heavy topics. Worth checking out if you are into one or the other. They are also both probably considered 'hit-or-miss,' but I really enjoyed them.
Aku no Hana and King of Pigs share a similar theme of descent into darkness and it brings out the raw inner brutality of someone who is truly evil, while others are faced with a dilemma of watching themselves turn into monsters from a depersonalized perspective.
King of Pigs is dark, and it is nihilistic, but if you follow that philosophy you might see the beauty of it. It is in no way meant to actually illustrate that evil triumphs good, it is just to show that evil is there, and some people handle its presence differently.
Nihilism presented as animation. Both are by the same South Korean director & studio, and the themes explored are very similar. Sadly, the animation is limited to stiff (though expressive) low-budget CG.
In 'The King of Pigs', two former friends sinking in despair meet for the first time in 15 years and find themselves reminiscing over their middle school experiences. Typically violent Korean school culture (as depicted in fiction, at least!) gets injected with the struggles of trying to rise above a social hierarchy where the rich have free reign to intimidate and abuse those without money. One psycho child temporarily gives hope by fighting against those oppressing others, with the two leads left watching on helplessly as the situation spirals out of control. Thoughtful emptiness is all it leaves you with.
'The Fake' is also about abuse of the poor, but from a different angle: RELIGION. A swindler has an unwilling priest deceive clueless rural folk and steal all of their money, while a horrible excuse for a human (a man that steals from and hits his daughter) happens to be the only person aware it's a scam... yet no-one believes him because of the sort of person he is. Violence and despair follow. Unlike with Pigs, it's hard to sympathise with anyone by the end of Fake, and the change of stance over religion at the end rams home the pointless emptiness of it all.
There's very little else like these two titles. Anime is WAY too mainstream for Japanese studios to allow such bleak, unhappy films to be made. There is a film called 'Tatsumi', which adapted numerous short stories from Yoshihiro Tatsumi (the GOD of adult-orientated manga and a master of nihilism) into an animated movie. Unfortunately, because it was done by a Singaporean studio, MAL won't add it to their database. But I STRONGLY suggest looking it up. It's far more anime than Korean CG films, at the very least. read more
Both anime are directed by Sang-ho Yeon and overall they have a very similar stile and vibe. Both focus on social problems, like bullying, domestic violence, prostitution, alcohol abuse etc. They both have amoral protagonists, who come from a lower class, and use whatever means necessary in order to survive. These anime also have a dark and depraved atmosphere, and have a lot of violence, gore and obscenity.
The main character had a terrible experience in the school/institution they were in and getting called derogatory names.
The main character made friends in the school/institution environment while the story progresses but an unwanted event happened that broke the friendship.
The main character became really violent due to the circumstances.
The main character inevitable fate in the front of many people were quite similar.
Both contain graphic violence that may turn off some of the viewers, especially the animal abuse scene that is present in both shows.
Both shows are dubbed as edgy shock value dependent shows, but tell the effects of bullying to the victims in a hard way.
Both shows are made by studios that have no apparent name in the mainstream, yet become more popular in these recent years. read more
While the plot of both anime may be different, both have a similar tone and deal with disturbing and taboo themes. Both anime have a lot of violence and murder, and focus on characters who have suffered a lot during their childhoods. Both anime have characters with nihilistic views on life, who, in order to survive the violence and torture in their childhood, decide to become "monsters". So, becoming evil (or monster) is a key element in both anime, which is what makes the two similar.