This will not be pretty.
The endless circle of torment begins in the first episode of Scum’s Wish. The tale of a high school couple who date each other not out of love but to ease, cool and cease the pain of unrequited feelings. Hanabi is in love with a man she’s known since childhood, Narumi, who is now her homeroom teacher. Her feelings will not be realized as Narumi likes Akane, another young teacher. To complete the four sided square of sorrow is Mugi, whose interest lies in Akane, his middle school tutor. Hanabi and Mugi are dating but both made a pact not to fall in love, only to experience the intimate feelings to ease their loneliness. They are in a word replacements for the romance that cannot be. In this episode which takes place from Hanabi’s perspective, we are meet the characters and are introduced to their interesting and sad dynamics.
Basically Scum’s Wish is a bummer of a romance show and I couldn’t be happier. Oh how long I’ve waited for something to follow in the footprints of the heartache of White Album 2. Who else to deliver the show then director Masami Andou as well. This was a great first episode that right away set the tone and mood for the series. It’s a mature romance with lots of intimacy, however there is an ugly shade to it all as Hanabi and Mugi are only with each other to in a sense pretend. This is something they both agreed to, give each other everything but the heart. This is going to lead to nothing but complications later as feelings are sure to grow between the couple as they go further and further. and with if the other characters, whom we haven’t met, are going to do what I think they will…this could end up being quite an explosive romance.
For characters Hanabi is instantly a fantastic lead. She’s blunt and has a near yandere level hate on for Akane, critiquing every aspect of her being. Mugi is a fairly normal guy, there is not much to his character yet. Hanabi stands out for having the most personality right off the bat with her death glares, baaakaaa’s and attitude. Narumi and Akane are like a totally normal pair of 20 somethings and we meet twin tails in a flashback. She seems to have some issues with Hanabi. It’s not so much the cast that instantly gets this show going but rather the events, the set-up, the pacing, this is a great beginning to the story. No time to mess around, Hanabi and Mugi are a couple already and now the trouble begins.
The presentation was quite interesting. Some scenes are done like a comic with various panels on the screen. There was not a lot of motion in some of these scenes and at times it felt like an animated manga. Especially in the way the characters move, it felt a little odd at times but I do like this show’s style. Like Kimi ni Todoke it goes into these really glamorous still frames at times. Voice acting was great in this episode and Sayuri’s ED is perhaps my favourite of the season so far. 96neko’s OP is like any Vocaloid or ani-rock Internet song, it rocked a lot harder then I figured a song in this show would.
Overall I felt the first episode of Scum’s Wish shows great promise for a heartbreaking and mature romance series. With the right amounts of twist and drama I feel this could possibly be one of the best shows this season. For me this is my second favourite first episode next to Konosuba 2, and if this show even does a fraction of what White Album 2 did to me…my word. I see great potential here and I hope it goes well! Two loves that cannot be…oh my. I’ve been wanting a good romance series for so long, I do hope Scum’s Wish is the one!