Looks like I’m watching Scum’s Wish weekly now. It seems I’m really warming up to the idea of watching a things on a weekly basis.
The initial premiere for Scum’s Wish was, without a doubt, the strongest opening episode this season. It set the dark tone of the series perfectly and it fully established the main characters and their messed up situation.
And I’m glad to say that with this second episode the series has continued to remain just as fantastic in the presentation of its characters darkest desires and the exploration of its controversial themes.
In this episode, we’re introduced to a girl named Noriko, who happens to be Mugi’s childhood friend. Noriko also has very strong feelings for him, feelings that naturally for this show, are not mutual. Regardless, Noriko clings to Mugi and is extremely vocal about her feelings for him, which doesn’t sit well with Hanabi who coldly knocks her down a peg by flat out telling her to back off and stop clinging to “things that aren’t yours”.
Aside from being extremely cold and nasty, what makes this all the more interesting is that Hanabi feels the need to protect her relationship with Mugi from Noriko’s feelings, despite the fact that it’s all a fabrication created as a means of physical and emotional comfort from the loneliness of their morally forbidden crushes. They’re both using each other to satisfy their darkest urges, and it seems Hanabi is so dependent on the crutch provided by Mugi, that she’s willing to resort to savagely beating down Noriko’s innocent, genuine feelings.
We also have a moment where Hanabi attempts to make a move on her crush, Narumi, while they’re alone together, only for the moment to be interrupted by the sound of Mugi’s crush, Akane, playing the piano in the room next door. Narumi comments on how “beautiful” Akane’s playing is, showing he clearly has feelings for her, which only serves to hurt Hanabi and cause her desire to be with Narumi to reach even more unattainable levels.
This episode also had some interesting things going on with the relationship itself. Both Hanabi and Mugi appear to be getting closer as “friends”, with both of them being a lot more open with their conversations and bringing more of their personalities to the forefront. A particular stand out is a some what comedic scene where they both sing karaoke together and scream into the microphone without a care in the world. On top of that, we see the two of them share yet another intimate moment where Hanabi mistakenly calls Mugi by his name, as opposed to her crush. It seems the relationship between these two broken kids is becoming more complicated than it already is, and it’s very clear that the entire situation is getting progressively worse and worse. Nothing good is coming of this chaotic turmoil of unrequited and unknown love and lust.
And to further add more problems to the mix, we’re shown even more one-sided love in the form of Ecchan, Hanabi’s only close friend who also happens to be in love with her. She spends much of the episode trying to get close to Hanabi and after being invited to a friendly sleepover at Hanabi’s house, the show does the unthinkable and has Ecchan act on her desires and kiss Hanabi as she sleeps. Hanabi then wakes up and catches her in the act and the episode abruptly ends.
Narratively, Scum’s Wish has continued to break all of the conventions these kinds of stories tend to have by portraying each situation in a realistic and gloomy manner. Most shows about unrequited love or taboo crushes often play it all up for laughs, yet this show does the opposite and has each of its characters suffering from heartache, loneliness and self hatred as a result of them believing that the feelings they have and the actions they take based on them are “wrong” and “immoral”. I genuinely thought that Ecchan’s feelings were going to be nothing but an afterthought in a story that is already filled to the brim with unrequited love and lust, yet it’s become another thread in the tapestry of despair that is the narrative of Scum’s Wish. How farther can this whole thing go?
As for the shows visual quality, it remains as strong as ever, with everything continuing to look absolutely stunning. Not a thing looked out of the place and the directing and animation were spot on. Scum’s Wish is the best looking show of the season, not necessarily in its animation quality or in its art style, but in its ability to convey the mood of each scene and the emotions of its characters so perfectly. As impressive as it is visually, Little Witch Academia has nothing on this kind of visual artistry.
Scum’s Wish continues to be a positively outstanding series with a unique and emotionally engaging narrative and I honestly can’t find a single thing to complain about so far. This series is definitely not for everyone, nor is it for the faint of heart, but as a person who enjoyed the likes of Aku no Hana, Inside Mari and Oyasumi Punpun, I am loving every minute of this. I can’t wait to see where this all goes.