I love Aku No Hana.
But I didn't enjoy it very much.
Does it sound like contradiction? Let me explain it.
If you were to ask a stranger what do they associate with Anime, they would either answer with silence or label it as "disturbing japanese stuff". Which, when you think about it, isn't necessarily that far from the truth. No one will be shocked by the fact an anime protagonist is a 14 year old girl with big breasts and pink hair. Japanese culture is different, things like that are just accepted. And Anime takes full advantage of the fact that those who don't watch don't care.
in such wacky world of anime Aku No Hana was created.
The first thing I noticed about Aku No Hana is its pace. It's slow. Instead of constantly pandering to the viewer, Aku No Hana methodically achieves its own pace. If you get annoyed by the fact there's lots of scenery shots instead of more dialogues and monologues, Aku No Hana isn't for you.
One of the strong points of Aku No Hana is definitely the art. It's realistic, somber, simplistic and depressive. You feel like the author wasn't trying very hard but still displayed human beings a lot more realistically than 99% of other animes do. There are not many bright colors, in fact Aku No Hana is dominated by grey, and I found that very fitting. No complaints from me, I can only conclude that the artwork was outstanding.
The opening themes were ok, but nothing that you'll remember two weeks after watching the series. The background music is very fitting, ranging from quiet piano pieces to sheer silence. The ending theme however was truly something else and a truly remarkable way to end every episode. If you like the series, you'll like how it sounds.
I quite liked the character development. The main characters face many obstacles throughout the course of the series, and always DO THEIR BEST. I question their morality, but their efforts are impressive. Yet, due to human imperfection most of the time they just flat out fail. And, even when they succeed they often question their decisions and/or feel regret. due to their incompetence. The motives that drive the protagonists are those of disobeying modern society and protecting their friends, which fits their age. You could also interpret it as if their incompetence comes from the lack of experience in life, which is of course due to their age. I didn't especially like any of the characters, but that's probably the last thing you'd want from an anime that deals with the topic of life's boredom.
The story is told not only through the actions of the protagonists, it's also told through the great audio-visual work put into this anime. And with all that said I still have to add that I didn't enjoy it in the traditional sense of the word. I think that you'd have to be disturbed for Aku No Hana to bring you joy, and that a psychological horror is a perfect description for it. Aku No Hana is creepy-and creepiness lies between the known and the unknown. And Aku No Hana walks that line almost perfectly.