Love, sometimes is not all sunshine and rainbows. There are times where we stumble, times we make mistakes, and times where we question whether it was real at all. Through the ups and downs however, is an opportunity to learn and grow, if we are keen on grasping it. While the journey for one’s love may be long, it must start somewhere: first love. Sometimes it’s sweet. Sometimes it’s bitter. And sometimes, it is more complex than you could’ve hoped for. When it is at last reflected upon through the lens of hindsight and not the recklessness of the present, what lessons could be gleamed from its surface. And, what answers could lie in its depths.
First-year of high school. Spring. A season of new meetings and new beginnings. It is here, two people meet and share a secret unbeknownst to others. One, [Hanabi Yasuraoka](https://i.imgur.com/9iF5lQK.gif). Her secret, she is in love with her teacher, [Narumi Kanai](https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/scums-wish/images/6/6c/62163.webp/revision/latest?cb=20210922021129), who she’s known ever since they became neighbors when he was in junior high. To each other, they are childhood friends, sharing a bond that is most similar to those of siblings. But to Hanabi, she views him as a love interest and her first love. The other, [Mugi Awaya](https://i.pinimg.com/736x/31/0c/55/310c5550d7176830d1d98282bc15e838.jpg). His secret, that he is in love with his teacher, [Akane Minagawa](https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/scums-wish/images/7/74/DA3B415A-8A00-49E9-A394-591E7C5C8DE3.jpeg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/250?cb=20210703071435), who he’s known ever since she tutored him when he was in junior high. To each other, they are simply former student and former tutor, but she is his first love.
Such similar circumstance, Hanabi and Mugi have. To be so close to the object of their desires, yet so far from obtaining them. In their shared loneliness of unrequited love, they propose a contract: to use each other as substitutes in place of those who’s love they cannot have, and, if one were to end up with their crush, that their relationship would end. And thus was this contract formed: two, longing for their unrequited love, substituting each other for warmth, and hoping that they would be chosen by their crushes. Truly, a Scum’s Wish.
# A Character Driven Story
People are riddled with shortcomings. All of the main characters in this show are messed up in the head somewhere a little. Be it cowardice, naivety, exploitation, or just being lost in the labyrinth of your mind. Over the course of the 12 episode cour, as our two main characters seek out their respective crushes, these shortcomings will be plain to see. And not just for our main characters either. The supporting cast play major roles in impacting the decisions our duo makes.
I’ve noticed recurring themes of honesty, acceptance, and moving on throughout my rewatch. As those around Hanabi and Mugi confront their inner desires and move on, perhaps it inspires Hanabi and Mugi to be more honest as well. A quote I quite like from xxxHolic (if I’m recalling that right) is ‘through interactions with others do we change ourselves.’ This will especially hold true here through action-reaction: as someone stumbles through their character arc, that change is observed from others and thus do they act as well.
# Downward Spiral ‘Romance’
As if the synopsis wasn’t a bad enough situation, as the series progresses, our characters will find themselves in increasingly riskier situations and worsening train-of-thoughts. To be clear, I do not find this as a negative, but rather a strength of this series. For, as bad as things get, we can always set ourselves on the right path. As our characters stumble and lose their way, how might they find a path that they could live with. For the faint of heart however, do note that this series is technically rated R mostly due to nudity and sexual actions.
Let this not deter you though, it’s not like it’s suffering all the time. It’s not like 50/50 balanced, but there are some light moments mixed throughout.
# Production – Visuals and Score
As far as the school-romance genres go, I’d rate it quite high. There is no sakuga or moments of impressive animation, but the overall quality is consistent: likeable animation style and interesting storyboarding/cinematography. There is no, overused “powerpoint animation” that is thrown around these days; there is a neat mix of cuts, fades, character animations, changing facial expressions, and sorta picture-in-picture storyboards.
The music reflects the mood well. I find its use is very selective, thus making creative use of silence as well. This paragraph is mainly to admire the use of “Heikousen (平行線)” by Sayuri for the ED transitions. Always hits hard when the string lead up starts <3.
This is not your usual romance of a singular pursuit set back by misunderstandings and convenient drama. No fluff or particular moments that melt your heart. This is a story of hatchling adolescents discovering their meaning of love. It has its ups, and its downs. Sometimes, first love doesn’t work out. But you may yet learn from it and have better idea of what it is your looking for.
Honestly, I recommend this for the general anime viewer. It’s a different take on the school-romance genres; not because there’s sexual content nor because it’s a love polygon. It’s different in that, ‘is this a romance you should support?’ It brings into question, what are you searching for, and would you consider it to be the real thing?
The anime is a full adaptation of the manga of the same name. There is a [sequel manga](https://www.crunchyroll.com/comics/manga/scums-wish-dcor/volumes) (the rare Crunchyroll Manga exclusive) that serves as **epilogue** if you are interested titled “Scum’s Wish Decor” that takes place some few years after. To reiterate, do NOT read Decor if you intend on watching the anime as it is **epilogue**. It is great closure and I’m happy for everyone’s ending.
I personally really enjoyed it for all the reasons above. I give it 9/10 even upon rewatch, though like my previous WT, I rate everything quite highly. I think some people get caught up in the recurring debauchery and fail to look beyond it. There are other themes, moral lessons, and closed reasons for each character’s actions. I think the anime ending was the best outcome I could’ve asked for.
# Misc. Info
Source: Manga (Winter 2017, 12 TV Eps)
Streaming Platform: [HIDIVE](https://www.hidive.com/tv/scums-wish) EDIT: [Amazon Prime](https://www.amazon.com/Scums-Wish/dp/B01MT7VQN0)