Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish) – 1

Attraction, love, fulfillment, and an emotional bond. Human beings are quite complex, but we were never meant to live alone. Scum’s Wish is a show that speaks to my very soul – as an adolescent we discover who we truly are, what kind of person we are, what we believe in, and look to carve ourselves into the world. I too recall these many twists and turns in a time of my life that was volatile, turbulent, and exploratory. There is something absolutely wonderful about that sort of self-exploration and the ways that we look to stave off our own loneliness.

Hanabi Yasuraoka, our protagonist, is actually quite taken with her older friend from childhood. Unfortunately, he is interested in another woman, Akane Minagawa. Hanabi meets a young man Mugi Awaya, who in parallel with her, pines over Akane. Their straits are similar – neither one can currently be with their beloved due to these circumstances. They end up spending a lot of time together and through no other reason then their mutual loneliness, decide to become involved with one another. Although they make it clear that there are two terms to their engagement (Neither of them can fall in love with the other and if their targets of affection are ever up for market, the relationship is off). While there is something truly sad about the two young adults with a void in their heart, I think it’s a testament to mankind’s ability to persevere that they are able to comfort one another in survival. The terms of their relationship appear to be completely sexual, as though to fill the gap their unrequited love is supposed to fill.

While under normal circumstances I think some would find this creepy, because of the nature of both Hanabi and Mugi, it takes on an entirely different nature. From Hanabi’s perspective, she is completely innocent and broken – Mugi might have some experience himself.

Hanabi may be broken and scorned, but her spurning by omission shapes who she is – her desires to fill the gap in her heart and explore adult levels of intimacy may guide her as a young adult or it may give her a false sense of reality. We’ll see where her character ends up.

Rarely do we see a show willing to explore the dark depths of these human aspects – almost a cruelty of monogamy and seemingly unfair twist of fate. The overall theme of adolescent identity development, sexual exploration, and involved discourse on human nature is definitely thought provoking – it’s up to Scum’s Wish to show us how far it’s willing to explore these themes.

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