The urge to decorate has long since been ingrained into our minds. On the plaster walls of Christian catacombs in Priscilla, Rome, untrained artists from a millennia ago attempted to paint rather crude depictions of Jesus’ life. Although many of these fairly rough paintings may be outdone by any number of first level art students across the globe, the quality of the paintings is insignificant and even more notable for their ineloquence. These paintings, much like any number of modestly decorated rooms or ornate households, are simple reminders of the ideals that the homeowners aspire to.
Vandalism for the most part is far from exempt from this; after all, vandalism just translates to unwanted redecorating. So when the two leads of Aku no Hana decide to raze through the classroom which once taunted them for so long, I couldn’t help but let out a small yelp. When Kasuga and Nakamura creep back into the classroom late at night, the first step towards a horrifying, yet beautiful scene of chalk, paint, and screaming began. The final result is a classroom which has ceased to be a classroom, just a space which is equal parts frightening and liberating. It’s also covered with the word hentai.
The result, like the Christian catacombs previously mentioned, is crude, unprofessional, and, like much of architecture, serves no physical function to account for its form. But these things are besides the point: for Kasuga, whose room is made up of books which he can only pretend to understand, and to Nakamura, whose vision of a her town is so stale that her room is just as plain to reflect that, the classroom is the only place which could do for their redecorating. And when the two do choose tear down everything, both of them seem truly liberated. For just a single scene, time seems to slow down, paint flies out, and utter chaos breaks loose – all while a girl dances her ass off in the middle of a room. It’s exhilarating.
In the end of the day, one could say that the two are merely “inflicting art” (which is a generous statement, considering that they fucking trash the place) onto the classroom and it changes nothing about their circumstances, aside from adding the possibility that they can get caught. I suppose that any person who states this would probably be right – what the two are doing won’t change that they’re stuck in a town filled with scum and that they won’t be leaving for a long time. They’re not going anywhere and no amount of chalk, painted flowers, or gym uniforms is going to change that.
When one take a step back and realize how impractical this is and how much effort this takes, one may wonder whether any of this is truly necessary. However, the modest effect on their lives only speaks to how important this really to them. All of this, no matter how inefficient, silly, and futile, is worth that tiny glimpse of freedom and a small grin of satisfaction when the entire class discovers it the next day. No matter how short-lived and seemingly unnecessary the couple’s creation is, could possibly taste sweeter, even if the feeling lasts moments before the fear of being caught sets in.
Nakamura’s and Kasuga’s impulse to destroy and trash the classroom is the same impulse which drives architects and civil engineers to construct million dollar homes, in spite of knowing perfectly well that a simple house will do just fine. More than often, we can call the artistic impulse to be impractical and wasteful because at times, creative expression can seem utterly pointless, no matter how much one admits to be helpless when in the face of one’s surroundings. But regardless, the impulse is a necessary one because that tiny, insignificant reminder of what one wants is worth it, even if that little reminder is just a “fuck you!” to everyone you go to school with.