Aku no Hana 11 — An Empty Shell

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Like most teenagers, Kasuga has this burning desire to be a person of consequence. He doesn’t want to accept that he’s just like everyone else. He wants to be different.

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I think everyone has this desire as a teenager. Some of us never grow out of it.

“We all have that special dream when we are young,” said Bishop Kelly.
The others at the table murmured, nodded.
“There is no Christian boy,” the Bishop continued, “who does not some night wonder: am I Him?  Is this the Second Coming at long last, and am I It? What, what, oh, what, dear God, if I were Jesus? How grand!”
— Ray Bradbury, The Messiah

While most teenagers settle with being the messiah, Kasuga’s dream is to be a deviant, like his idol Baudelaire. A bit odd, perhaps, but it all amounts to the same thing. The desire to be special, to be different from all the other “normal” people. To be able to look down on them smugly and say, “thank goodness I’m not boring, like all these other ’empty shells’.”

I was the same way, of course. I lay awake at night wondering if I were Him. At some point, as I grew older, I realized I wasn’t. Actually, I knew that all along. But what I did realize is that that was okay. That I was already special enough, just as I was. That all the people I had looked down on as “normal” and “ordinary” were actually all extraordinary people. The problem wasn’t that I was becoming an ’empty shell’, it was that I was so blind as to see everyone else as ’empty shells’ in the first place.

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But Kasuga is still afraid of being an empty shell. And Nakamura believes in Kasuga, the empty shell, believes that he can become a deviant. So Kasuga turns to Nakamura for the validation that he can become someone special. Of course Nakamura is also a teenager and indeed does see Kasuga as an empty shell. Saeki, on the other hand, seems to accept him as he is. (But probably not, who knows what in the world is going through her head. Craziest one of the lot.) But Kasuga is right in that Nakamura probably needs him more than Saeki does.

Further Thoughts

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Rolling on the floor laughing after this line. Oh, teenagers… I had assumed this was a line of Baudelaire’s but a quick search didn’t turn anything up. Anyone know?

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This is a good show, but it can be really, really boring. It seemed like the second half of this episode didn’t have any dialogue. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I wouldn’t know since I was barely paying any attention by the end. As I’ve said many times before, it’s an excellent show in the way that it plays with your emotions. That unfortunately doesn’t mean I take pleasure out of watching it…

5 thoughts on “Aku no Hana 11 — An Empty Shell

  1. Dude, let’s go with he wants to be a deviant because a girl wanted him to be. yes he admitted that he’s not special. But instead of trying to accept it and create something of himself, he simply started to cling to someone “who believed in him:”

    In a way, he’s just doing what he had been doing to Saeki before Nakamura shows up: He’s starting to praise and treat Nakamura as a goddess. In a wabi-sabi way that there is perfection beneath her Alex DeLargean imperfections.

    1. Yep. And just like he thought Saeki needed someone to worship her as a goddess, he thinks Nakamura needs him to be a deviant who worships the devil.

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