Yare yare daze… Scum’s Wish was a beautiful show yet tremendously gut-wrenching at the same time. This anime really took me by surprise since It evoked a cornucopia of feelings that I’ve never felt before from other romance anime shows (maybe I haven’t watched enough). It bravely explores the deep complexities and hardships that might arise with falling in love with someone who may not feel the same way towards you.
The entire narrative of Scum’s Wish centers around unrequited love. This anime plays out like a mental atrocity exhibition since the two main characters that we are introduced to at the get-go, Hanabi and Mugi, are only superficially with each other since the ones that they adore most unfortunately love somebody else; so they’re basically licking each other’s wounds since they want something that they can’t have. While I haven’t experienced any similar relationship dilemmas to these two characters, (and hopefully I never do) I totally felt their pain because I’d be personally torn if I found myself in a similar situation. Through the other characters that slowly enter the fold, some bonds do get tested or drift apart since some of them bear a different perspective on love. I thought it was going to be a heaping pile of melodramatic tripe, but I really ended up empathizing with all of the characters, even the ones that I didn’t really like initially.
On a visual standpoint, I thought it was excellently crafted. One of the qualities I liked about Scum’s Wish was it’s muted color palette. Through this kind of artistic lens, I feel like it was able to expressively capture the state of desolation and insecurities that a lot of the characters were going through. I also loved how some moments would occasionally have a black inkblot darken the screen briefly from one scene to the next. These transitions made some moments carry a lot more emotional weight and poignancy to them, and it never felt jarring or out of place to me as a viewer. I also liked how it presented the sex scenes (even though their was a tad bit much in my opinion). Usually these brief snippets in most anime shows that do include them tend to veer towards hentai territory, but I thought it was handled with care in this anime since it elucidated how dicey and uncomfortable it can be to intimately open up to another person; it wasn’t simply there for the sake of titillation.
The music utilized in Scum’s Wish was finely put together as well. The OP and ED thematically captured the fickle state of emotions and desires that are percolating within the show, and it always made me feel immersed with getting to know each one of the characters through their ups and downs.
All in all, Scum’s Wish is an anime that I really admire. It showed that while love can be complicated and bring out both the best and worst out of people, it’s still worth trying. While it definitely may not sit well with some people due to some contentious themes, I’d still highly recommend to give it a chance since it paints a very unique spin on the romance genre.