One of the most incredible things I’ve noticed about this show is the sheer amount of emotional and narrative changing events that happen in each episode. It feels like with each weekly installment, things just keep getting more complicated and depressing. And episode 3 of Scum’s Wish has once again been jam packed with new developments and has taken things to a whole new level.
Picking up right where it left off last week, we find out Hanabi’s reaction to Ecchan’s sudden and forceful kiss. Rather than feeling consoled or grossed out she ends up feeling burdened and afraid that someone she has no feelings for is completely in love with her. She feels sorry for Ecchan, but she uses the situation as a means to punish and hate herself even more as her situation is similar: she loves someone who doesn’t love her back as well. She see’s herself in Ecchan, and she pities herself as a result, spending the remainder of the morning in a depressive slump. She’s beginning to understand that her whole situation has had severe consequences on both herself and those around her and it’s bloody depressing.
Meanwhile, we also get more insight into Ecchan’s character and how she really feels. We’re taken back to when they both first met and how Ecchan’s feelings developed over the years. She really does love Hanabi, and her kiss was a gamble that she took, hoping that Hanabi would feel the same way as she does and show some affection back. And after realising that Hanabi doesn’t feel the same way, she merely cuddles up to her and apologises. I feel terrible for this poor girl.
Then Hanabi, in her self pity, decides to go visit Mugi for some comfort and walks in on him at the most awkward of times: while he’s aroused. Completely oblivious, Hanabi just crawls into bed with him and cuddles into him, and despite Mugi’s best efforts to cover things up and save himself the embarrassment, she notices and ends up getting physical with him which ends with her getting on top of him and breaking down into tears, stating “I want to try to love you, Mugi”. It seems that there may be more to Hanabi’s feelings than even she herself is aware of.
It’s been made very clear from this episode that through their false relationship Hanabi has become very comfortable around Mugi. This is obviously due to their intimacy, but it seems there may be a reason that runs even deeper: she appears to genuinely care about him and I believe there’s a desire to feel loved by him buried somewhere in there.
We also learn a lot more about Mugi as well. It turns out Hanabi isn’t the first girl he’s been physical with, and in the past he lost his virginity to another student while in middle school. It turns out she was the girl every guy wanted to lay, yet Mugi kept it secret because of how the whole thing made him feel. She used him purely for sex and there was no emotional attachment whatsoever. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? And to make matters worse, it was all over in the blink of an eye when the girl ended up moving away to another school and brushed the whole thing off as “fun” before saying her goodbyes forever, without a care in the world, leaving Mugi alone and empty with nothing but the real feelings he has for his tutor to his name. Mugi’s backstory is just as tragic as everything else we’ve seen so far from the other characters, and it definitely explains a few things, such as how he’s less flustered by the physical aspects of the relationship and why he doesn’t appear to be new to any of this. He’s been in this situation before, and he’s willfully doing it again despite knowing how painful it is and how nothing good can possibly come of it.
And to top it all off, we also learn more about Mugi’s tutor, Akane. Turns out she isn’t the perfect goddess she’s been made out to be all this time, and is just as selfish, flawed and twisted as every other character we’ve seen so far. Turns out, she’s an unfaithful cheater and a humongous liar, when both Hanabi and Mugi spot her out and about with another man who’s clearly more than a friend, and she even has the audacity to tell the two of them to keep it secret and make no mention of it to anyone. A character, who up until now we’ve believed to a flawless and perfect woman in a sea of flawed and troubled teenagers has been revealed to have just as many faults and issues as everyone else, something I certainly didn’t see coming at all.
This whole revelation also makes Hanabi furious. Mugi is very clearly deeply hurt and in denial about Akane’s true nature, and Hanabi simply won’t stand for it, going as far as declaring to herself her hatred for Akane. Up until this point, she viewed her as “better” than her, but now she realises she’s just as flawed and selfish as she is, and she won’t stand for it.
With this episode, Scum’s Wish has once again topped itself in every single way imaginable. It’s honestly become one of the most well written, fantastically presented and emotionally engaging romance focused Anime I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. Everything from the emotional weight carried by each of its characters, to its realistic presentation of their flawed and selfish nature, to the shows wonderfully crafted and situational dialogue is just perfect in every single way. I honestly haven’t felt this way about a series in a long, long time and I literally have nothing to complain about.
For a show that’s primary focus is the flawed nature of its characters, Scum’s Wish is, so far, a completely flawless show. The series focuses on a whole bunch of controversial subjects, yet it treats each of them in the most mature way possible and never stoops to the low levels of fan-service, and I wholeheartedly respect that presentation.
I have absolutely no idea where the story will go from here. There are so many potential directions it can take. But I’m hoping it goes somewhere where this quality can be maintained.
It’s been a long time since I watched a show that I felt had the potential to wind up earning a place in my Top 10 shows and Scum’s Wish looks like it could end up there if it keeps this up.
These are exciting times. Very exciting times indeed.