1K a Day – “It Inspires Me” March Edition

Eleventh in the 1K a Day Motivational Series, in which I talk about something that happened in the previous week that could have or did prevent me from writing a minimum of 1,000 words on a given day, or possibly talk about something that provided support to get me through the day.

It’s the last week of March so it’s time for the next Inspiration post!

A friend and I were discussing old favorite anime series this past week, and he brought up several shows that I had managed not to watch yet, among those: Aku no Hana, or Flowers of Evil. Hear the complete ending theme (ED to those in the know).

I wasn’t told much about this show, only that if I liked other anime such as Serial Experiments Lain, which was such a bizarre, slow-burner of a show, I might like Flowers of Evil.

This may come off sounding like I didn’t like the show, but let me assure you up front: I adored this show.

Now then. I would never, ever, recommend this show to anyone. It is by far the slowest paced piece of media I’ve ever had the pleasure to consume. The premise is simple. Kasuga is a disaffected teenager who feels superior to his classmates because he reads Baudelaire and other literature/poetry while they gossip and do their schoolwork. He has a crush on the best-performing student, Saeki. He attracts the attention of the class deviant, Nakamura, when she catches him stealing Saeki’s gym uniform from their classroom. She drags him down a spiraling path of perversion and deviance, never caring who gets hurt along the way.

It’s a show about that crushing oppression teenagers feel and how every little thing, no matter how unimportant, is a huge crisis and the end of the world. It’s a show about how people let themselves feel important when they achieve something they view as superior. It’s about the destruction of social perception.

It’s about all those things and more, but it never states them outright. It will make you feel like you did in your darkest moments as a teenager.

So why do I gush about the show even though I say I’ll never recommend it? It’s the slowest progression of anything I’ve ever watched. Every major moment is teased and wound up until you feel like you have to burst before it is released. Every major moment gives you the time to wind down and reflect. Flowers of Evil is a series of meditations and cataclysms. There is just something about it that was fascinating to watch. Should you watch it? Probably not. It’s not for everyone. It’s probably not for even a large minority.

And then the pivotal question: Why does this show inspire me? At its heart it is a philosophical meditation. It is the essence of the type of writing I enjoy, the type of reading I seek out. Like The Waking Life, or Brave New World, or Primer, or Gaiman’s Sandman series. They make you think even while they’re entertaining you. You can’t watch or read them once and take everything in. The experience is only the beginning, because the reflection is the true journey.

Flowers of Evil made me sit and reflect about it, to think about it while I wasn’t watching it, to understand its meaning and message before I went back to it. It may not have engaged me on an emotional level as often as it could have, but it certainly kept me engaged with other thoughts and feelings during and after each episode.

THAT’s where I want to be. I want my writing to be stuck in your head, keeping you thinking about it, talking about it, long after you’ve turned the last page.

Am I there yet?

Find that which inspires you and be inspired. Go and create. And always remember to write the hell on, writers.

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