This week’s installment of Scum’s Wish had some very uncomfortable moments in love as characters began to express their curiosity for each other in daring and bold ways. We built up to the moments that led up to last episode’s cliffhanger, seeing just what exactly drove Ecchan to give into her desires. After a brief flashback, she reveals Hana is her first love and had saved her from a train molester. In the present, Hana had invited Ecchan to sleep at her house. Eventually, with Hana questioning her love life and the proximity of her body due to them sharing a bed, Ecchan caves. She forces herself onto an unsuspecting Hana, kissing her passionately and completely giving into the desires she’s had for so long. Hana lies there, speechless. She can’t really give Ecchan what she wants, but she doesn’t know why. This event sets the tone for the rest of the episode, guiding Hana on a journey of self-exploration filled with confusing and awkward moments.
Deep down, Hana knows that pretending to be with someone will only hurt them in the long run. She didn’t expect she’d end up hurting people close to her as well. With Ecchan revealing she knows Hana doesn’t really like Mugi, the situation becomes rather complicated. Why can’t she return Ecchan’s feelings? After all, isn’t she just pretending with Mugi anyway? In theory, it should be just as simple to use someone else as a replacement. But maybe there’s more to Mugi and Hana’s relationship than we’re led to believe. Regardless, watching both Hana and Ecchan choking on their emotions was devastating for me. Ecchan’s words forced Hana to really look within herself. Black smoke overtook the screen as she basically plead with Hana, “I can’t stop now, let me be with you.” However, Hana didn’t budge. She didn’t know how to respond because she couldn’t find an answer for Ecchan. It’s not that she didn’t want to; She could tell Ecchan was deeply hurting, but something was preventing her from responding in kind.
Scum’s Wish delves deep into the often unexplored, ugly side of love in unrelenting fashion. The paradox is that it captures the disarray of their emotions with such elegance that it’s actually overwhelming beautiful. This episode’s strength comes in the the way it handles its theme, reminding us for better or for worse, we can’t really choose the people we love. It’s an elusive emotion that seems to manifest whenever it wants, regardless of our rational thoughts. This can cause some very painful situations when someone we really care about falls in love with us, but we can’t reciprocate (Wouldn’t it be so convenient if we could just return their feelings?). For Hana, this is the exact situation she finds herself under.
Hana begins to look within herself after the awkward event that occurred between her and Ecchan. She’s familiar with the pain associated with loving someone who doesn’t love you back, but she’s never really thought about what it meant to be the object of someone’s desires. Why can’t she return Ecchan’s feelings? Is it because she’s a girl? Hana is frustrated about the entire situation. After all, the last thing she wanted was to hurt Ecchan’s feelings. Her mom prompts Hana to go to the grocery store, where she walks all the way there in a daze. She’s so spaced out thinking about her problems that she even ignores Moca’s existence. She’s completely in her thoughts. She thinks back to the time where she uttered to the boy she rejected: “there’s nothing more revolting than the affection of someone you’re completely disinterested in, is there?” It’s as if those words are coming back to haunt her now. I’m starting to think that those words had more to do with her thoughts towards herself than the boy she said them to. The rejection was cruel nonetheless, but it says a lot about how Hana thinks of herself.
Eventually, Hana’s thoughts lead her back to Mugi. After all, there must be a reason why she couldn’t return Ecchan’s feelings, yet she could entertain intimacy with him. She sneaks into his room after finding the door unlocked in the morning. Mugi had just awoke to find himself having an uninvited hard on. When he noticed Hana was there, he was completely flustered. Hana invited herself into his bed and things got a little awkward when she caught on about what was underneath the covers. Mugi attempted to keep her curiosity at bay, but eventually gave in. He asked her to touch it. This moment caused him to remember a brief fling he had with another high school girl by the name Mei. Apparently, they had been hooking up for a while before she parted ways with him. Surprisingly, Mugi was crying, hinting that he might have actually fallen for her. We can’t really be too sure just yet. When we cut to the present, Mugi tells her maybe they shouldn’t. He remembers the pain of being someone’s toy a little too vividly for his tastes. However, he recalls how secrets have the ability to heal you and decides to carry on, pretending that this is all casual. He proceeds to instruct Hana on how to gently touch him to climax.
Right after she gets him off, Hana realizes something is not quite right. She touched him so easily, but when it came to Ecchan, she was frozen in place. Her realization severely bothers her, bringing poor Hana to the point of tears. She still doesn’t fully understand her feelings, but she so badly wants to. She wants to try to love Mugi so she can move forward, but things aren’t always so simple when it comes to love. And it doesn’t just ring true for Hana; that goes for every other character in the series. I’ll be surprised if anyone comes out of this story unscathed.
I’d like to lie and say things lightened up in the episode, but it really didn’t. This is a series that really doesn’t hold back in its depiction of pain. The show only gets more complicated at the end of the episode. When Mugi and Hana go out to eat at a restaurant when they bump into Ms. Akane who’s arm-in-arm with a young guy. She tries to play it off like they’re just friends, but with the way he’s suggestively grabbing her, there’s clearly something more going on. Hana is most definitely annoyed by Ms. Akane feigning ignorance. Mugi, on the otherhand, insists that they’re just friends. I really can’t tell if he’s this naïve or if he just doesn’t want to admit that Ms. Akane might not be as sweet and innocent as he makes her out to be. I’m really starting to feel for the guy, but honestly, he’s not the only one hurting. It’s not really looking good for anyone in this show, is it?
There were a lot of moments to unpackage throughout the entire episode. With Ecchan’s rejection, Hana looking inward for answers on love, Mugi feigning ignorance, and Ms. Akane’s new side squeeze, their love lives have become increasingly complex. We’re only three episodes in and we’re already on quite the chaotic path. Welp, strap on those seat belts friends, Scum’s Wish is pretty much guaranteed to be a bumpy ride.