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Anime Review – Scum’s Wish

Alexis Albright, Reporter

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Rating: 

I always somehow find the heartbreakingly beautiful anime.

It was 2 a.m., and I was watching Akidearest. She was reviewing “Scum’s Wish,” and only a few minutes into the video, I knew I had to watch it for myself. That’s saying a lot, too, because I normally don’t have enough free time to watch anime anymore. In fact, I binged and finished it in a couple days. At the end of the last episode, I found myself crying, but I’m not sure if I was crying out of joy, sadness or frustration.

Summary

“Scum’s Wish” is not for the faint of heart. Its complicated plot battles topics such as unrequited love, sex, and I would even go as far as to say, infatuation. The general tone of the anime is serious, except for the occasional laugh every few episodes.

It centers around two characters: Mugi Awaya and Hanabi (Hana) Yasuraoka. Basically, they are in an unhealthy relationship where they use each other for sex and imagine the person they love as their partner. They seem like the perfect couple in school, passionate and romantic, but that is not the case at all. They use each other to fill their loneliness.

This is describing the plot in the most simplest terms, because as the anime progresses, it becomes more and more complicated. So much so that here’s a diagram to understand it all:

It’s a lot to take in, isn’t it?

What I liked

The art style is gorgeous. I mean, look at this:

This is the art for one of the manga’s covers. This is art goals right here.

The anime’s style of drawing is elegant in its own way. The animators really know how to draw the emotion in each of the character’s eyes, especially Hanabi. When she felt troubled, you could tell. Also, when there were notable moments, the animators made very detailed scenes like this:

And the ending theme song (turn captions on while listening) is powerful and fits the anime well. It provides subtle hints of the characters’ personalities and again, the drawing style is unique and gorgeous.

The writing is remarkable, too. There wasn’t a moment where I rolled my eyes and thought what a character had said was vacuous.

The anime starts off with Hanabi in an empty classroom, and she has a flashback of holding hands with her crush. She then says, “I thought he was my soul mate. There’s nobody better than you.”

The art style, mixed with an interesting opening, immediately drew me in. In fact, I craved more after each episode, especially when it ended with a cliffhanger. I remember constantly repeating: “Just one more episode.”

Then it was suddenly 4 a.m.

As for the characters in general, they are extremely human and realistic. I’ve noticed some anime make their characters unrealistic, so it was refreshing to see personalities and actions representative of what actual people would do, such as Hanabi using Sanae for fulfilment of emptiness.

The character development was astounding, too. When Noriko realizes she suddenly doesn’t want to be with Mugi anymore, I was so proud of her. While she is very annoying, I was happy she decided to move on, because she could definitely do better than Mugi.

What I didn’t like

I know the characters were deliberately made with terrible personalities, and I applaud the producers for making them realistic, but I just generally disliked them. They are terrible people. I often found myself shaking my head and saying, “You get what you deserve” and “That’s a horrible thing to do.”

I especially had a strong dislike toward Akane Minagawa, a music teacher in Hanabi and Mugi’s school.

She seems docile, amiable, airheaded and an overall a decent person, but in reality, it’s the complete opposite.

Akane gets fulfilment of toying with men (she has an infatuation to be desired by them), and she sabotages Hanabi’s relationship with Narumi because she enjoys the brokenhearted expressions on Hanabi’s face, especially when Akane says she has sex with Narumi.

She even gets a happy ending. She doesn’t deserve it.

That’s definitely one thing I have mixed emotions about: The ending.

While I liked some things about it, such as Hanabi and Mugi not ending up together (because they were an extremely unhealthy couple), and the fact that they all progress as people and move on, I just didn’t like how the ending was pleasant and sudden. They could have made the ending as twisted as the anime is.

 

Narumi and Akane end up getting engaged. Akane says she will still cheat on Narumi, but he doesn’t care if she does that. And the only reason he likes her is that she reminds him of his deceased mom. She has “long, flowing hair” that, when he saw her for the first time, moved a certain way that immediately reminded him of his mom.

Yeah, their marriage will totally last long.

In a way, though, it was the only fitting ending.

Hanabi makes peace with Mugi, Narumi and Akane get engaged and Noriko models. Sanae cuts her hair — because that’s always a sign of character development — and only sees Hanabi as a friend instead of a love obsession.  

This is why I have mixed feelings about the anime. It’s the correct way to end it, resolving different types of unrequited love, although I was slightly dissatisfied.

Also, one thing that made me slightly uncomfortable, is when Hanabi calls Narumi “big brother.”

For a few episodes, I thought they were step-siblings, and I thought Hanabi liked her stepbrother.

Japan has a tendency to make incestuous anime, so I thought this was going to be similar to Oreimo, where the brother and sister like each other.

That is not the case at all.

Narumi and Hanabi are just childhood friends who are close like brother and sister.

It would be weird if they started dating. Narumi is a teacher, and Hanabi is a minor. The same with Mugi and Akane.

Except Mugi and Akane do mess around, but I won’t go into detail about it.

Overall

Despite my criticism of the ending, I really enjoyed “Scum’s Wish.” Even if it did make me feel a little depressed after some heavy content, I liked seeing the perspectives of each character and how they develop through the anime.

I recommend this anime because of its mature storyline and beautiful art style. The voice actors are especially fitting for the characters as well.

I give it 3 stars out of 5 because the story jumped all over the place and the ending was somewhat dissatisfying.

Even then, I was very impressed overall and hope to read the manga soon.

If you would like to watch “Scum’s Wish,” here’s a link to the website where I watched it. Remember to watch at 2 a.m. like I did, so no one can see your tears of joy and frustration.  

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