Created By: Mengo Yokoyari
Directed By: Masaomi Ando
Episode Count: 1 – 12 Complete
Audio: English, Japanese
Classification: 15 (BBFC)
Licensed By: MVM Entertainment
High school student Hanabi has fallen in love with her neighbour and ‘older brother’ figure Narumi. Unable to confess her feelings to him, as Narumi has just become her homeroom teacher, Hanabi settles to watching him from afar. Having soon discovered her crush has feelings for the music teacher – Ms Akane, everything begins to appear hopeless and jealousy sets in. Hanabi isn’t the only student that has fallen for a teacher, as a boy named Mugi is in love with Ms Akane. With both students longing for their forbidden loves, the two come to an agreement – to fake a relationship to satisfy one anothers loneliness and unrequited love. In other words, a pact to become ‘friends with benefits’.
So this is kind of a bitter sweet story, revolving around Hanabi’s first love. Having spent many years living close to Narumi, the two became as close as siblings. Along the way, Hanabi started developing romantic feelings for him and that became her downfall. In Mugi’s case, he fell in love with his tutor in middle school. It was only by coincidence that a few years later they would both end up in the same school. This show isn’t just about Hanabi and Mugi, as we also see the relationship between these four grow even more complicated with the addition of two more students. The one thing this show excels on, is portraying the complicated relationships between the characters.
As both Hanabi and Mugi deal with their unrequited love by technically using one other as replacements, they are both the recipients of someone else’s affections. Where Mugi is Prince Charming to his childhood friend Moka, a girl that lives her life with a Fairy Tale complex. She is honest about her feelings about him and hopes to keep Hanabi from using him for her own ‘needs’. Then we have Hanabi’s best friend Sanae, these two girls met on the day they both took the same entrance exam for high school. Here we have the hopes for a Yuri relationship, as Sanae gives into her emotions and confesses her love for Hanabi. Now the way all these relationships happen is a bit far fetched, but the reactions to certain situations seems to be fairly accurate in how I think their characters would have really responded. Now in regards to how Narumi responds to the truth about Akane, well that man is more like a saint or has just evolved into a higher human being. I personally think she got off far too easy.
So there is more inner turmoil fighting involved than anything else in this series. With no fist fights, grand displays of valour and ‘true love wins over all’ moments, the show is more focussed on each character’s emotional development over romantic outcome. Where others accept their lost love and move on, some tend to bury it almost and settle for the ‘best friend’ status instead of losing them completely. With two very surprising outcomes for two of the main relationships, the show ends with more of an unfinished storyline instead of everyone getting a ‘happily ever after’.
Scum’s Wish was created by Mengo Yokoyari and debuted as a manga series back in 2012. The whole story was completed in 8 volumes by 2017, all of which are available to buy in English from Yen Press. Just before the final volume was released in Japan, the anime series began airing on Fuji TV at the beginning of 2017. This 12 episode anime was produced by Lerche studios, an animation studio that was founded back in 2011 and over the past nine years has produced some very memorable shows. Including Danganronpa The Animation, Assassination Classroom, School-Live!, Radiant and Monster Musume.
Better yet, if you did enjoy this series and wanted more, fret not as there was also a live action TV drama created under the same name back in 2017. You may have to dig around a bit online to watch it, but it is there. To finish off the franchise, one last manga volume was printed entitled: Kuzu no Honkai décor. Unfortunately this volume was never picked up for a western release, so your best bet is to either start studying your kanji or try and find some bit of an accurate translation online if you’re that curious. Better yet, contact Yen Press and see if they would be interested in publishing the last volume of this series – you never know!
Bonus Features Include:
- Japanese trailers
- Clean Opening & Closing
Scum’s Wish, a show that follows the ups and downs of a teenagers’ first love and heartbreak. Exploring the emotional turmoil, the eagerness to grow up into adulthood, the raging hormones and slowly learning exactly who you are by yourself, instead of part of a couple. Although it failed to keep my attention for long, the series dealt with unrequited love and the multiple characters with ease. In the end, the plot was too ‘bittersweet’ for me, as I prefer to watch more shows with ‘happy endings’.
Until next time, take care, stay safe and somewhat sane!