Blu-Ray Review: Scum’s Wish – The Complete Collection

What would you do for love? For Hanabi that answer is blurred one but within the events of Scum’s Wish she’ll come to terms with her feelings and discover what it means to truly love someone. This aside what can one expect from this Blu-Ray release of Scum’s Wish? Well let’s take a look and find out.

Synopsis:

Hanabi has loved her older friend Narumi for years, but she’s still in high school and not only is Narumi now her new homeroom teacher, he’s also clearly in love with the music teacher, Akane. And as awkward as being the unwanted third in a romantic triangle can be, things become even more twisted for Hanabi when she learns that another student, Mugi, is in love with Akane.

That leads to a strange idea: since the ones that Mugi and Hanabi are in love with aren’t available, the two unrequited thirds start to explore the idea of becoming each other’s substitute surrogate relationship. It’s not about romance, of course.

Just sex and convenience. Or at least that’s what they keep telling themselves as love’s wires become hopelessly crossed and ensnarled.

Our View:

Love can be complicated, cruel, disastrous, deceptive and beautiful; but when it involves High School Student Hanabi and her long-time crush Narumi it can also be hurtful. Enter the world of twisted perception, idealistic views on love and that strong urge to feel loved in this well crafted and beautifully animated series known as Scum’s Wish. Be warned this isn’t some light hearted romance story; it’s cruel, vindictive and visualises adult content in a mature, but respectful, manner that doesn’t cross over into fan-service. This is a true animated romance drama with sexual exploration.

Adapted from Mengo Yokoyari’s manga of the same name, and released at the same time as a live-action TV drama, Scum’s Wish focuses on the adolescent dreams of High School student Hanabi Yasuraoka who, ever since she was a young girl, has had a crush on an older friend, and neighbour, Narumi Kanai.

This relationship has developed over the years, of which we see through flashbacks as the series progresses, and has led Hanabi to call Narumi as “Brother”. Regardless Hanabi knows her desires, and that desire is to confess her feeling to Narumi; but sadly it isn’t that simple.

As with any romance story the main character is reluctant to express their true feelings in the fear of being hurt and not receiving the same affection back; but upon entering High School Hanabi discovers that Narumi is her homeroom teacher.

Overjoyed by this new realisation Hanabi becomes contempt in her current situation but in doing so Narumi ends up finding his own desire in the form of a new music teacher, known as Akane Minagawa, and as such becomes infatuated with her.  Naturally this discovery hurts Hanabi and fears that she may have missed her chance with Narumi; but soon enough she realises that she isn’t the only one that’s hurt.

Mugi Awaya, another freshman at the school, and former student to Akane, has – just like Hanabi – deep feelings for an older person and in this case Mugi has feelings towards Akane just like Hanabi has feelings towards Narumi. It’s here where things diverge from the expected and become slightly abnormal; as without any feelings towards each other they decide to pretend that each other is their desired partner.

This sees Hanabi believe that Mugi is Narumi and Mugi believing that Hanabi is Akane. Twisted desires indeed but this deception soon leads them to explore each other in a more mature and sexual manner; all the while being respectful to each other’s wishes in trying to gain the real affection of their desired partner.

Desires aside for the moment the story then begins to throw even more curveballs into the mix as Hanabi’s school friend Sanae Ebato, nicknamed Ecchan, begins to doubt Hanabi’s relationship with Mugi and in turn confesses her own feelings of love and desire to Hanabi. Through an emotional scene Sanae explains that she has developed feelings for Hanabi ever since they met and as such Sanae now desires Hanabi for herself.

That’s not all as Mugi’s long-time childhood friend Noriko Kamomebata, who was often referred to as princess during her younger years, has developed her own love interest in Mugi but due to her shy and timid nature is unwilling to act on them other than tearful emotional outbursts.

Six distinctively different characters all interconnected with desires and the further we progress the more sinister and darker it gets. Akane, the adorable music teacher and object of desire for Narumi, is nothing more than a succubus controlling men at her disposable and when Hanabi uncovers this truth she attempts to best her by finding her own men to control; which naturally begins to lead down dangerous paths.

Mugi meanwhile is already aware of this fact and begins to act on his own with Akane in hopes of returning her to the respectable woman he once knew but instead ends up becoming ensnared in her own lies of deceit.

Secrets, Lies, Deceptions – it’s all here and for our main characters they will have to shed their morals and beliefs in order to understand who they desire and what love actually is. Scum’s Wish is story unlikely any other and while it has a lot of mature themes, sexual interactions and depictions of sex it does it in the most beautiful and sensitive way possible. This is not a fan-service; this is true romance on a twisted scale.

Extras:

As one expect from Sentai Filmworks related release the inclusion of supplementary content is limited but we do receive a selection of Japanese trailers for Scum’s Wish, of which have been translated with English subtitles, as well as the textless opening and closing animations for the show itself.

In addition to these we also have the inclusion of Sentai Filmwork related trailers; of which include Princess Principal and No Game No Life Zero which are also being released in the UK via MVM Entertainment. It’s not an extensive list of supplementary content but it is more than the bare minimum we usually come to expect.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:39:18 (Disc 1), 1:13:06 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Animated by Lerche, the same animation studio behind titles such as Assassin’s Classroom, Monster Musume and Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle, and based on the original manga by Mengo Yokoyari  comes Scum’s Wish. A story which sees six characters desires intertwined by their own twisted agendas in the pursuit of love. For high-school student Hanabi this is about confessing her love to long-time-friend Narumi and for class-mate Mugi it is about confessing hs desires to tutor Akane; but when Narumi and Akane meet their desires become entangled in the rope of deceit and lies.

In this scenario Hanabi and Mugi agree to go out and pretend they are each other’s desired partner until they have obtained them; but in doing so they open Pandora’s box of deception and love. What starts as a coping mechanism soon develops into real feelings and insecurity of their own morals and soon enough Hanabi and Mugi begin to doubt their own sense of love and romance.

Scum’s Wish is well thought out story that explores different avenues of the characters that are being portrayed on screen; but more importantly this isn’t a harem of your typical anime series. It’s a beautifully animated story that looks to portray the struggles of being in love and how it can affect the midset of your morals.

Regardless of the story that it is trying to tell it is tailored to mature audiences without delivering the fan-service elements. This means that while depictions of sex are presented on screen they are done so in a moderate fashion that makes it approachable without feeling awkward.

That aside I was surprised to discover that Scum’s Wish features both a Japanese and English dub with both offering different takes on the story that is being portrayed. Personally for me I felt that the Japanese audio track provided the more realistic experience; but the English Dub does do a good job of representing the characters on screen and features a relatively strong of voice actors including Brittney Karbowski.

Initially I expected Scum’s Wish to be an anime of desired taste, i.e. catered towards those of romance; but after watching the first episode I was hooked and wanted to know more and this continued throughout until its somewhat expected ending. Naturally due to the context of this series, and what it portrays on screen, it’s not going to be for everyone; but due to the way its presented and animated it’s definitely a series I would suggest watching.

Score: review-stars-5

Scum’s Wish will be available on Blu-Ray from the 11th March 2019. Scum’s Wish is also available to Stream on Amazon Instant Video for Amazon Prime Subscribers.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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