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Shuzo Oshimi’s second volume of The Flowers of Evil is just as disappointing as the first, although even more frustrating. Readers may find themselves starting to have certain characters grow on them, but as soon as this feeling realizes itself, an event in the manga occurs which will topple it completely.
Readers will cheer for Kasuga when he takes the girl he likes out, Saeki, out on a successful date, despite Nakamura trying to get in the way. While talking with Saeki, Kasuga does the one thing that will make Nakamura furious. The fleeting idea that Kasuga has stood up for himself and may not be a complete pushover is dashed by later events. Nakamura proves that she is not an easy girl to handle, and always seems to win out in the end.
If readers want a series that is goes from strange to frustrating, then this is definitely the series to pick up. Readers looking for a new series, who were not drawn by the first volume, may want to read the second. If they still do not find it appealing then put down the series for good.
A few good points about the series is that it caters to a very niche market, even though it may not have been intentionally written for that purpose. For those not a part of that fandom, the series is an anomaly that may either confuse or intrigue them. Flowers of Evil is a key example of one of those manga series that readers will either love or hate as a story, but cannot criticize the art as lacking.
The second installment allows readers to see that although Oshimi may not be able to cater to every reader he is still able to write well. His characters are gradually developing and have finally started to drag emotions out of readers, which was not seen in the first volume. Also, Oshimi has done well in keeping the storyline going with the constant drama that is created by tricking readers into thinking the plot will go one way and then twisting it against their expectations.
If anything, readers may continue reading the series out of sheer stubbornness, or because they want to try to understand how Oshimi works. What is it that The Flowers of Evil is trying to accomplish? This is the question they will want answers to, and it is up to Oshimi to deliver them.