Weekly Watch: Scum’s Wish – Episode 8

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So it seems that after an episode of weakness Scum’s Wish has managed to get back on its feet in what I can only describe as a truly excellent comeback.

As I was hoping, this episode brought the focus back to Hanabi and Mugi’s relationship, something which has been taking a bit of a backseat in the more recent episodes. I welcome this return with open arms. Their relationship is by far the most interesting and deeply explored aspect of the show, and it’s nice to see it return to the spotlight.

So Hanabi and Mugi finally decide to both confront their forbidden loves and confess their feelings for good before moving on from them and starting a proper relationship with each another. It seems that amidst all of the “using one another for lust” that these two kids have developed genuine feelings for one another. It’s one of many directions I predicted the show would steer itself towards, but despite that I’m actually satisfied with it. Scum’s Wish is a show that has been constantly overflowing with negative emotions and exploring the darkest sides of its characters, and these genuine feelings that have developed between the two are but a small glimmer of positivity in a sea of total despair. It’s a nice change and I welcome it. Wholeheartedly. I’m rooting for them to get together.

So how does it go?

Mugi meets up with Akane with the intention of confessing to her right there and then, but Akane, sensing something is amiss and wanting to assert her desire for control, decides to throw a wrench in his plans, and takes him to lunch. After a long, awkward meal, Mugi finally confesses his feelings stating that he is in love with Akane, or at least that he “was” before getting ready to leave.

And to no ones surprise, Akane reacts exactly as you’d come to expect, by claiming that she knew the whole time and that she also likes him back. Of course, she’s lying and merely wants to take control of poor Mugi and break both his and Hanabi’s heart in one fell swoop. Mugi assures himself that he won’t fall victim to her true nature.

Then we get to Hanabi. She arranges to meet Narumi at the swing park and after a brief chat between the two, she blurts out how she feels. Narumi responds with complete shock, before embracing Hanabi as tightly as he can while she cries her eyes out. After bottling up all of her feelings for so long, Hanabi has finally let then rise to the surface and it was so emotionally overwhelming that I felt a pit in my stomach. She knows that he’ll never love her back in the same way, even after confessing her feelings, and it hurts. It hurts a lot. This was by far the most moving scene the show has delivered so far and it hit all the right notes in every possible area.

Afterwards, Hanabi is left on her own where she contemplates everything that’s happened and how she feels towards it. She comes to the conclusion that she’s upset, but that she isn’t alone because she still has Mugi to cling to who she can now start a real relationship with. She still has a chance at love.

But of course, this is Scum’s Wish and nothing is ever going go that smoothly. In the shows typical fashion, the episode abruptly ends with Mugi being lured into Akane’s web of seduction and giving in to his former feelings by having sex with her.

I didn’t see this coming at all. I honestly thought Mugi was going to overcome his immaturity and realise that he’ll never be happy so long as he continues to pursue a woman who is only interested in using him for her own selfish and narcissistic desires. But Mugi did the complete opposite, instead resolving to become the first guy she’ll ever fall in love with. This scene was incredibly frustrating and actually made me quite angry. Poor Hanabi has no idea what’s about to come her way and Mugi is a complete idiot for making such a terrible decision. I was furious.

Not in a bad way mind you. It was a satisfying fury and I am extremely interested to see where things will go from here. It seems Hanabi is really going to have to fight in order to gain a genuine partner in the form of Mugi. Like I said, I’m rooting for the two of them to sort their issues out and start dating. For real.

On a side note, we also got to see a little more of Ecchan this episode too. Much of her screentime this week focused on her moving to a new school and spending time with an old childhood friend who’s interested in dating her. Even knowing she’s into girls, he seems awfully persistent to the point it’s kind of creepy and unsettling. I’m not sure what the relevance of this series of interactions is going to be or the lasting effect it’s going to have on the overall narrative, but it’s a welcome addition to the web of complexity that is the character relationship tree of Scum’s Wish and I look forward to seeing how it develops.

We also got a few seconds of Moca in a brief scene where she removes her trademark bow from her hair. It seems she’s finally dropping the cute little girl act and is taking the first step to becoming a real woman. The show doesn’t seem quite done with Moca’s story and while I didn’t particularly enjoy her focus as much as the rest of the casts, I’m interested to see if her character arc gets taken further, possibly in a more interesting direction.

This episode was the most emotionally draining and dramatic episode of the series yet. It’s incredibly rare for a show to be able to overwhelm me physically with its intensity, yet Scum’s Wish managed to do just that with this episode.

We have 4 whole episodes left, and I’m struggling to see just how much more this web can be spun before it breaks completely. I look forward to being surprised. Again.

Scum’s Wish is back on top and managed to deliver its best episode yet. What a show. What. A. Show.

 

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