Scum’s Wish is the latest anime from Lerche, which is a studio more known for action series. Strap in for a wild roller-coaster ride of depression, broken hearts, and cheating.
But even darker.
Plot Summary: seventeen-year-old Mugi Awaya and Hanabi Yasuraoka appear to be the ideal couple.
They are both pretty popular, and they seem to suit each other well. However, outsiders don’t know about the secret they share.
Both Mugi and Hanabi have hopeless crushes on someone else, and they are only dating each other to soothe their loneliness.
Mugi is in love with Akane Minagawa, a young teacher who used to be his home tutor.
Hanabi is also in love with a teacher, a young man who has been a family friend since she was little.
They find in each other a place where they can grieve for the ones they cannot have, and they share physical intimacy driven by loneliness. Will things stay like this for them forever?
Unique Art Direction
Scum’s Wish uses a washed-out color pallet, which helps visualize Hanabi’s mental state. She’s in love (which leads to some vibrant colors), but she can’t act on it (which leads to the washed-out look).
Another cool technique Studio Lerche uses is still art overlayed on some of the scenes. Scenes that use this style look like they are ripped from the manga, which is cool to see and adds a unique look to the series.
A Tale of Unrequited Love
Scum’s Wish does not hide that it’s going to center around the pain of unrequited love.
Hanabi is in love with Narumi, who is her homeroom teacher. Despite Hanabi calling Narumi “brother”, they are actually neighbors who have known each other since Hanabi was a child. Mugi is in love with Akane, who used to tutor Mugi. He is surprised to see that Akane teaches at his school.
Akane and Narumi appear to be in a relationship, which leads to Mugi and Hanabi using each other as replacements. Things get borderline sexual, so you might want to keep an eye on your shoulder.
Despite some softcore escapades, Scum’s Wish does a good job of showing how painful unrequited love can be. So don’t worry, it’s not all fetishes and ecchi.
A Story That’s Not For Everyone
Without spoiling too much, Scum’s Wish is really going to drive a wedge in the community during later episodes.
Themes of unrequited love, teacher-student relationships, cheating, and emotional manipulation all come into play. These are fairly dark and heavy themes and could turn off anyone looking for a typical romance (which is something this season is lacking).
On top of the themes, the future cast will largely end up being unlikeable. As the title implies, they are all scum that are slaves to their desires.
Emotional Masochists Should Apply
You have to enjoy some emotional beating to get into Scum’s Wish. There is a lot of melodrama, which can feel cheesy at times, but darker themes are nice to see in the romance genre.
Basically, don’t go looking for sunshine and rainbows. But, if you want some dark themes and characters with flaws, then you’ll find something to love.