July is here already and there is no better way to start the month off with a new volume of Shuzo Oshimi’s The Flowers of Evil series. I apologize for being wrong in my last post about the series, it looks like volume 10 was out sooner than I expected and it isn’t the final volume!
One of the biggest things that stood out to me with this book is the artwork. The cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous.
The cover really prepares you for some awesome artwork inside. In particular there is a 2 page spread towards the end of the book that maybe rivals some of the imagery in the earlier books where Nakamura and Kasuga are in the school at night.
At times I would get lost in the art, looking at the grittiness of the hatching in several shots. The environmental shots are amazing, it is one of the best parts of manga, they tend to focus more on settings. Several areas in the book have periods where you get to look at the artwork instead of reading word balloon after word balloon.
This series really hits on the storytelling notion “show not tell”. The facial expressions and more aid the lack of text. Seeing a characters reaction is more powerful than being told how the character is feeling. This might be one of the best volumes I have read.
Seriously though, I can’t get enough of the art in this series, my words don’t do it justice.
In terms of story, after volume 9 I felt a big plot twist was needed or some more conflict. While I think volume 10 may have wandered in one section a bit, the progression of the story was sufficient and didn’t leave me disappointed. Who knows, the area that I felt wandered a bit, could still have a role in the story in future volumes, it’s one of the downsides of reviewing volumes as they come out and not the story as a whole. So take that personal feeling about the story with a grain of salt.
I am very high on The Flowers of Evil, I haven’t had a series keep me this engaged for a while. Very excited for the next volume from Vertical.