In the seventh volume of the Flowers of Evil readers are sent to a completely new time and locale. Takao and Sawa have been forcibly separated. Takao is now living in suburbs of the big city. His parents have new lives in a small apartment and their past for the most part has been forgotten. Now and then little cracks appear in that facade but for the most part they are playing their roles to become a normal happy family.
Takao is in a new school; your average model student. And while he is just as awkward, Takao has made some friends and is even occasionally being asked to be social as a new high school student. Even more intriguing is the fact that Takao might have already found himself someone to open up to. Like Sawa this person can see that there is more to Takao than meets the eye. But in this case it is her who reintroduces him to literature.
"Unlike [other manga], The Flowers of Evil understands that ’strength’ comes from great insecurities and weakness. However, this ’strength’ is not about climbing mountains and emerging victorious. This involves strength in crossing the dark side of the mountain and how to bask in it—nourishing our personal demons...By loving this manga I recognize what a sick and twisted individual I have become. While I can still say that I am not truly deviant, Flowers of Evil is a great reminder of my own thirst for power and my own personal corruption.” —Otaku Champloo