NSFW disclaimer. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
This just about sums up my take on the show
English: Scum’s Wish
Season: Winter 2017
Length: 12 ep. x 24 min.
I think I did hype this show before it aired. The designs look great, there are drama to be had, and most importantly, did not shy away from sex, at all. Frankly, that’s practically unheard of outside of hentai anime. But the more I watched Scum’s Wish, the more I struggled to understand it.
Be forewarned; Scum’s Wish is loaded with instances of Netorare (NTR). If you dislike infidelity/unfaithfulness, then run as fast as you can away from Scum’s Wish.
[Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead]
If you ever wondered exactly what would a high school romance drama anime look like with lots of sex, Scum’s Wish is that show…. and then some. We start with our central lead, 16 year-old Yasuraoka Hanabi. Yasukaoka has a one-sided crush on her teacher Kanai Narumi, who also happened to be her neighbor since childhood. She realizes that Kanai actually has a crush on fellow teacher Minagawa Akane.
Love triangle established
But the love polygon doesn’t stop there. Yasuraoka finds out that fellow student Awaya Mugi has a one-side crush on Minagawa, who was Awaya’s former home tutor, and the two of them strike an alliance of unrequited lovers… by pretending to be dating each other. I don’t know in what world is that realistic, but it exemplifies the fluid relationships in Scum’s Wish; there are more relationships in the show than the number of characters involved, and that is no small feat given a cast of nine recurring characters.
And that is the biggest issue with Scum’s Wish; it crams in so some many relationships that I don’t even know who to root for anymore. That is also not helped by the characters themselves, half of whom are basically just looking for sex partners from relationships, and the other half just use sex to express their attachment or instability.
Exhibit A: Awaya -> Minagawa
Minagawa was basically addicted to sex since high school. To her, sex is a way to give meaning to herself; by making out with popular boys and boys in relationships, she can then justify her self-worth because she was able to “do” boys that others desired.
Awaya, on the other hand, knows of her reliance on sex after watching her go out with other guys, and yet he still falls for her precisely because of her sluttiness. He actually finds her “fragile” and “sympathetic”.
This is borderline ridiculous characterization in a romance story, and makes it hard for me to root for either character in whatever relationship they find themselves in.
Exhibit B: Awaya <-> Yasuraoka
Having witnessed their respective crushes (Minagawa and Kanai) hitting it off, Awaya and Yasuraoka decides to go out with each other. This “fake” relationship soon turns physical, and the two of them even promised to give each other everything but their feelings.
Including her body?
The answer is emphatically YES
This ain’t your normal high school coupling, I can tell you that. I honestly cannot make sense of this relationship at all, except to say that they just…. wanted to “relieve” their frustration with unrequited love?
Exhibit C: Ebato Sanae (Ecchan) -> Yasuraoka
Yup, this a yuri pairing.
This attraction is completely one-sided. Yasuraoka saved Ecchan from a train groper when they took the same train to take the high school entrance exam, and Ecchan loved Yasuraoka ever since. They are friends, but ever since Yasuraoka became depressed over seeing her crush falling for another woman, Ecchan and Yasuraoka got more…. physical. All while Yasuraoka is in a “fake” relationship with Awaya to cope with the same issue.
But even this yuri sub-pairing is not immune to love triangles; as it turns out, Ecchan’s cousin has a crush on her.
Exhibit D: Awaya -?- Hayakawa Mei
Turns out, Awaya’s first time wasn’t with Minagawa, but rather with his upperclassman from middle school, Hayakawa Mei. Somehow or another during the story, Awaya has a one night stand with Hayakawa again. I honestly don’t even remember exactly when or why, but it was, again, while Awaya was “fake” dating Yasauraoka.
Exhibit E: Minagawa x Tera….. You get the point.
There are so many relationships for sex that I lost track of the real story here. One that is supposed to be about how Awaya and Yasuraoka deal with love rejections. Or one about Minagawa changing her licentious ways. I think. Or maybe the point of story is just sex and sex and sex?
Honestly, I was too busy taking screenshots of all the lewd scenes (笑) that I didn’t take screenshots of many things else. The anime looks good, designs are great, especially her (Kamomebata Noriko, “Moca”):
Lerche is generally good when it comes to animations, so no surprise in this aspect.
I didn’t cover all the other relationships that I had gripes with in this show, but frankly the ones I listed should be enough to drive the point home. If nothing else, Scum’s Wish is an anime that injected a harsh reality of NTR and sex that is sorely missing in non-hentai shows. However, Scum’s Wish also exemplifies the issue of cramming eight volumes of manga material into a mere twelve episodes at breakneck speed: the drama happens so fast that one gets sucked into the immediate events and lose track of what the story is even about in the first place.
If you must watch it, watch it for the sex and drama. Don’t watch it for the characters or romance.