In the third volume of The Flowers of Evil, Takao must make a decision. He now has an opportunity to break free from the social shackles that Nakamura has placed on him, as he has a chance to be loved by someone he has affections for. This could also be an opportunity to be accepted by the masses in his small community. But with this choice comes fear and self-reflection.
After having an chance trip to Nakamura's place, where he got to experience the world his only "friend" has grown up in, he realizes that for both teens, there is very little future to look forward to as they are raised in the boonies. Their lives are mapped out before them. For most adolescents these days, life will continue to be blase at best, miserable at worst.
Can they change things together? Do they want to even bother?
“Oshimi uses surreal imagery—a wall of eyes, a fun-house mirror, a giant sink hole—to suggest that Kasuga’s normal teenage discomfort with sexual feelings has become something more powerful and destructive: shame...That said, The Flowers of Evil is a shockingly readable story that vividly—one might even say queasily—evokes the fear and confusion of discovering one’s own sexuality. Recommended.” —The Manga Critic
"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