“Show Me Love (Not a Dream)”
After the brief moment of affection from Ecchan, Hanabi processes what it means to be the object of someone’s affections. Mugi reflects on his own prior relationships, including a intimate partner. As Hanabi and Mugi contemplate their feelings towards one another, they discover a secret about Akane that threatens to change everything.
The brief yuri moment with Ecchan set in motion a significant transition in Hanabi. She is beginning to establish there is a difference between emotions surrounding an intimate (close) friendship versus intimacy involving feelings of love. Viewers witness Hanabi processing the question Ecchan posed to her. Why did she (Hanabi) not subdue the pain of unrequited love for Kanai using her instead of Mugi? Was it because Ecchan was a girl? No, Hanabi was developing feelings for Mugi that exceed the boundaries of their original pact.
As Scum’s Wish progresses, this evolving emotional maturity continues to mold and transform the characters. What is exceptional about this series the diverse, expressive ways in which the characters are portrayed. Frequently, a series will construct some emotional turmoil that an arc will follow from the beginning, with little resolution until the very end. For example, Hanabi is beginning to realize that she desires more than the initial arrangement she has with Mugi. Rather than these feelings remaining hidden until the series conclusion, the protagonist expresses her emotional shift openly with Mugi. Similarly, when Hanabi becomes uneasy over Akane’s dishonesty, she confronts the sensei rather than spending several episodes harboring troubled emotions. Because of the consistent shifts in growth, it shall be intriguing to compare the character’s former selves with the end result.
– Emotional depth and growth of characters.
– Conflict and turmoil is addressed in short spans of time; rather than waiting till the series conclusion.
– Moca just appears randomly in this episode and tries to taunt Hanabi. I thought the scene was pointless. To be fair, this is such a minor distraction/complaint. This series is still amazing.
I had mentioned in previous episode reviews that Scum’s Wish would not be afraid to push the boundaries of what it would explore. Despite having predicted as much, I found myself feeling angry about some of the events that transpired. Not because they hurt the story, but because the people inhabiting the story were hurt.
This is all thanks to how organic the characters in this series feel. Even the shock of Sanae’s actions at the end of the last episode are given sufficient background in the first scenes this week, explaining how she met Hanabi and grew close to her. What’s more, Hanabi’s pained rejection of those feelings reflects her current state and feels natural as she tries to sort out why intimacy with Mugi feels so much easier than it does with anyone else. Their transforming relationship is a symptom of the hopelessness that Hanabi feels when seeing how Kanai feels about Akane, but a surprising encounter at “Banny’s” late at night seems to strengthen her resolve.
With everything that happens, it’s easy to almost forget that Mugi gets some significant background this episode as well. We see that he’s no stranger to ‘fake’ relationships, and why Akane represents something more to him. His willful ignorance of what’s going on may be a defense mechanism, but it’s proven to Hanabi in a very short time just what the difference between them is.
Akane’s revelation seems all the more disturbing considering how pure she felt until now. With both Kanai and Mugi enamored by her, viewers’ perspective until now mirrored theirs. Their ‘blind’ love keeps them from seeing the imperfections, but Hanabi’s clarity gives us a chance to see things as they really are. Perhaps to no ones’ surprise, they’re not pretty. Hanabi remarks that her insight gives her something she hadn’t felt until now, and I can’t help but feel the same way. I’ve never been in Hanabi’s position, nor do I have any good reason to resonate with her character, but as much as I shared her anger in that moment I’m not sure how Scum’s Wish will affect me through the rest of the season.
– Has the music actually gotten even better? There are some Your lie in April quality pieces in this soundtrack.
– The characters feel very natural, and never as if they’re acting on plot convenience.
– Keeping in line with my not exactly bad points: If you’re easily triggered, I fear this series may break you.
This post is part of our seasonal episodic review series. To view all the posts in this series, click the following link: Viewing Party