Recognized as one of the most engaging series in the world of shonen manga (stories with male protagonists), Flowers of Evil shuns the genre's otherworldly conventions to tell down-to-earth stories of the trials of young people as they stumble into love and sometimes back out again. This new-style romance comedy of rural teens centers on the lonely, bookish Takao's search for his own identity, under the influence of Charles Baudelaire's poetry classic Les fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil). Bound by emotion and circumstance to the beautiful Nanako, the girl he desires, and the scheming Nakamura, the girl whose torments put him on the path to adulthood, Takao is also challenged to settle his differences with his parents. Flowers of Evil creator Shuzo Oshimi was recognized as one of the most gifted of the young generation of manga artists, and in 2001 received the Tetsuya Chiba award.
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