I’m a week behind with this one, so I’ll be doing two Weekly Watch posts on this series this week. I had no time to watch Anime at all last week and most of this week, so I fell behind. But now it’s time to get back on track!
So with episode 5 we had yet another explosive episode with a ton of things happening and lots of raw emotion all tied together in what still remains to be a well executed and emotionally engaging narrative at every turn. Scum’s Wish has still yet to show any shortcomings, and it’s freaking great.
While the last episode focused primarily on Akane and her true, nasty, manipulative self, this weeks episode brings the spotlight back on Hanabi and Mugi, and their own dark pasts that shaped them into the people they are today.
We learn that Hanabi was abandoned by her father when she was very young and became emotionally detached as a result, due to needing to keep a brave face on for her devastated mother. With her emotions numbed, and hurting inside, Narumi was there for her, and always treated her with kindness, giving her someone she could run to and depend on. It seems there’s a far deeper reason for her crush on Narumi, and it’s nice to see the show exploring exactly why she’s so infatuated with him. He was her safe place growing up and the one person she could rely on to keep herself from breaking down entirely.
As for Mugi, we finally get to see what’s been going on in his head. It turns out Mugi is no idiot and that he’s completely aware of Akane’s true nature. He knows she’s manipulative and that she’s a massive bitch, but it doesn’t affect how he feels about her. The reason? I suspect it’s because he see’s a lot of himself in Akane. As we learned previously, Mugi lost his virginity to a girl he didn’t love, and used her to satisfy his own sexual urges, just like Akane herself does to all the men she toys with. I suspect that Mugi see’s a commonality between him and Akane and that he’s developed an obsessive desire to be with her because of it.
As for Hanabi and Mugi’s relationship, it’s clear that things have gotten more serious. They swore they would never get emotionally attached yet, they’re slowly beginning to care more and more about each other. But as a result, in this episode, they start spending less time with one another, to prevent things from becoming too real.
And this distance brings the two of them to satisfy their sexual desires with other people. Hanabi continues to sleep with Ecchan, and Mugi reconnects with the girl who took his virginity from him and has sex with her in a motel. It’s some really heavy stuff, and these characters just keep making matters worse for themselves.
The two of them meet up the next day, and lay together on the roof, and after a long silence, Hanabi throws herself at Mugi and passionately kisses him like she’s never done before, with them both confessing to one another that they slept with other people. This moment was extremely emotional. If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: these two have something. There’s some real, genuine feelings happening between these two, whether they want to admit it or not. It’s becoming real.
Later that night, they go back to Mugi’s place, and Hanabi tries to go “all the way” with Mugi. While their attempts are unsuccessful due to Hanabi’s body not being ready, this scene speaks a lot about what’s going on in that head of hers. Hanabi is desperate for progress. She wants to advance her relationship with Mugi to a level where she can compete with Akane. She wants to lose herself by going all the way and giving in to her desires tenfold.
Fortunately, Mugi seems to be okay with things not working out, and cuddles up to her, wanting to keep her warm.
Parallel to these scenes, we also get to see Akane and Narumi together on a date. Akane tries her best to seduce him, but none of her advances seem to work for one simple reason: Narumi genuinely loves her and wants her love in return, not her body. He’s completely oblivious that he’s being played by her. Interestingly enough though, while saving her from a drunken fall, he Narumi refers to her as “Hana”, which adds yet another twist into the puzzle. Why would he refer to Akane as Hana? Out of habit? In any other show, sure. But I don’t think so because this isn’t any other show. I think there’s more to Narumi than meets the eye.
However, Akane takes this opportunity to seduce Narumi by playing the jealousy card and prying into how he feels about Hanabi, and through this trick, she finally manages to seduce him into having sex with her, finally getting what she wants.
From a directing perspective, this moment was pretty interesting, since both intimate scenes played out with another, with the scenes switching back and forth in a very appropriate and some what depressing parallel. It’s a minor detail, but I really appreciated it.
Going back to Hanabi and Mugi, after their failed attempts to go all the way, Mugi poses an interesting question. He asks Hanabi if she wants to “start dating for real”. Hanabi avoids the question and tries to leave and Mugi unsuccessfully tries to stop her. This is getting serious now.
Afterwards, Hanabi curls up in her room and ponders her loneliness, coming to the conclusion that she’s completely isolated. She feels as though she has no one. Poor girl.
And what would an episode of Scum’s Wish be without an emotional punch in the gut right before the credits roll. At school the next day, Hanabi passes by Akane in the hallway, and with a smile that I can only describe as a representation of pure evil she proudly declares that she finally had sex with Narumi, which appears to completely shatter Hanabi emotionally on an unseen level. What a bitch.
So it’s been yet another week and Scum’s Wish has yet to show any signs of weakness. It remains an incredibly solid show with a highly engaging narrative and the emotional state of each of its characters continues to grow to more realistic and complex heights. I honestly haven’t seen an Anime handle the mental state of its characters or its emotional storytelling this well in years. Possibly ever. The branching paths of raw feelings and character decisions just continues to grow and expand in unthinkable directions and I honestly have no idea where this is going.
Scum’s Wish is one of the most intense shows I’ve ever seen from Anime and is one of the best shows I’ve seen in a very long time. If it keeps this up all the way to the end, it will most definitely be making my favourites list.
I can only see this show continuing to go up from here.