Aku no Hana
A manga by Oshimi Shuuzou, Aku No Hana (Translation: The Flowers Of Evil) is the tale about stealing gym clothes, blackmail, teenage drama and the desire to do something different.
The protagonist of this manga is Kasuga Takao, an Unlucky Everydude middle-schooler and the the long line of misfortunes that get dealt to him thanks to his teenage hormones and his strange inability to let go of the Idiot Ball.
The story begins with the day ending and the homeroom teacher handing back the grades from the Math test. He then starts to yell at Nakamura, the silent girl who sits behind Kasuga, for getting a zero via intentionally leaving everything blank. Normally, you'd expect a girl like Nakamura to break down and cry or be seriously embarrassed.
But Nakamura just isn't that kind of girl. Instead, she tells the teacher "Shut up, fuckface.", shocking everyone.
As the day ends, Kasuga realizes on his way home that he forgot the book he was reading, a book by famous French writer Charles Baudelaire, which bears the same name as the manga. After finding his book, he notices that someone's gym bag is on the floor of the classroom.
Turns out that it belongs to Nanako Saeki, the girl that Kasuga seriously likes. He decides that it would be a great idea to steal the gym bag and take it home with him.
Luckily, nobody saw him...or so he thinks.
The next day, after suppressing his guilt by not admitting who "the pervert that stole Saeki's gym clothes" was, he rides home on his bike, only to be stopped by Nakamura, who suddenly starts demanding him to take her to the other side of the mountain overlooking the town. When Kasuga obviously refuses, Nakamura decides to let him in on a little secret.
The secret being that she saw Kasuga steal Saeki's gym clothes. Now if he doesn't form a "contract" with her, she's going to tell.
Kasuga's response is exactly what you think it is.
- All Men Are Perverts: Nakamura seems to think so. Kasuga's actions aren't exactly making this point seem frivolous.
- Angst: Loads of it.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: As mentioned in the synopsis.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: In Chapter 6, Nakamura delivers one to Kasuga, to the point where he couldn't even talk straight. Definitely not played for laughs.
- Art Evolution: Initially the character art had problems with proportions, and everybody was slightly strange looking, until the 12th chapter where everything normalized.
- Author Appeal: Kasuga can be often seen reading books that are famous for being absolute Mind Screws.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Nakamura.
- Break the Cutie: Gender-flipped with Kasuga. Saeki gets hit with it pretty hard as well.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Dammit, Kasuga.
- Character Development: Kasuga eventually starts to grow a pair and stops being so spineless. He even tries to openly defy Nakamura, with predictable results.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The thing about Nakamura that's odd despite her general mannerisms is the fact that she can be rather foul-mouthed while wearing the same emotionless expression on her face.
- Creepy Child: Nakamura's clearly got some screws loose...
- Cruel Mercy: Nakamura decides to congratulate Kasuga in asking out Saeki. Unfortunately for Kasuga, it's only because she uses the opportunity to force him to go on the date while wearing Saeki's gym clothes under his clothes.
- Dissonant Serenity: It is never a good thing whenever Nakamura smiles, and Kasuga knows it.
- Double Standard: According to Yamada, it's completely okay to fantasize of stealing a girl's clothes, but it's NOT okay to actually do the crime.
- Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): Saeki clearly rapes a Kasuga against his will.
- Expy: While it's somewhat common for some male protagonists in manga to angst, you can't help but think that Kasuga's an Expy of Shinji. He even Wangsts as much as Shinji, if not even more than him.
- Nakamura's hairstyle reminds one of Rei, let alone her somewhat emotionless face.
- Gonk: Kasuga's friends.
- Hannibal Lecture: It's like making Kasuga feel like a "fucking worm" is only way how Nakamura gets some form of pleasure.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Kasuga can't seem to stop doing this. Nakamura is just making things worse.
- Hypocritical Humor: Nakamura takes every opportunity possible to deride Kasuga and call him a pervert, but in Chapter 3, she openly admitted that's she's not exactly squeaky-clean herself.
- Idiot Ball: The reason why Kasuga's problems snowball into much worse ones is the fact that he tends to do the least sensible thing at the worst possible times.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Saeki pretty much earned her spot in this trope when she tells Kasuga that she doesn't care that he stole her gym clothes; in fact, the only problem she had with it was the fact that he never told her. Wow.
- In Love with Love: Saeki's friend accuses her of this for why she cares so much for Kasuga.
- Jerkass: Nakamura seems to enjoy torturing and manipulating Kasuga for no other reason than the fact that it's so damn easy to do so.
- Just Puberty: Kasuga's dad uses this as an explanation for his son's odd change in behavior.
- Magnificent Bitch: Nakamura again.
- Nice Girl: Saeki. Probably too nice for her own good.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When Nakamura's wrongfully blamed for stealing Mayu's lunch money, Kasuga sticks up for her. Unfortunately, this just makes Nakamura seem more suspicious, not to mention that he made it seem like he and Nakamura are together.
- Not So Different: Nakamura isn't the only one who finds the setting of this story uninteresting.
- Not So Stoic: Nakamura and damn, is Kasuga finding it out the hard way.
- Official Couple: Kasuga and Saeki.
- Oh Crap: Kasuga wears this expression so much that one must be afraid that his face might permanently be stuck that way soon.
- Out, Damned Spot!: Kasuga driven to near madness because of his misdeeds is a non murder-related example.
- Stalker with a Crush: While he doesn't stalk her, Kasuga's inner monologues of how Saeki is "his muse" and getting unnecessarily angry whenever his friends make harmless jokes about Saeki make him lean towards this trope. And then there's his actions of stealing her clothes...
- Those Two Guys: Kasuga's friends, Yamada and a character yet to be named.
- Three Amigos: Saeki says to Kasuga that she wants to be this with him and Nakamura.
- Too Dumb to Live: It's probably not a good idea to try and hide something from someone who knows your deepest, darkest secret, Kasuga...
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Well, no guesses to as who belongs here, but it's not just Nakamura. Kasuga does some really strange things out of his own free will.
- What Does She See in Him?: Saeki's friend basically says this when she finds out that Saeki is going out with Kasuga.
"What's so good about that hesitating introverted guy?!"
- Yank the Dog's Chain: It's like everytime it seems like Kasuga's caught a break, Nakamura makes an extra special effort to ruin it.