Miss my review last week? Check it out here!
As the episode starts, we witness the beginning of one of Moca’s life-long dreams coming true: a date with the love of her life, Mugi. She wakes up with a start, literally sparkling with happiness as we get an inside look at her Princess-styled life.
She dresses herself up as her Dad unceremoniously interrupts and comments on how her accessories and makeup seem like such a chore. Moca comments that her looks are for Mugi, and that she wants to get his attention with her outfit, hair, and makeup. Comically, Mugi barely gives her a second glance as they meet up for their date.
The two go to a movie, where Moca courageously puts her hand on his in an attempt to validate her feelings. Mugi takes her hand, but she comes to the creeping realization that they aren’t really compatible. Still, her love for Mugi is so strong she wants to cling to the memory of this date forever, even though she wonders if she’d every truly be happy that way.
The two then go to dinner, and Moca tries to preserve her dream by going home, but ultimately breaks down and confesses her love earnestly to Mugi, who then capitalizes on her feelings and takes her back to his room. Moca’s internal monologue during this scene is powerful, as her character reveals its flaws and admits to her own share of emotional manipulation.
Dismissing her pure and innocent persona, Moca is determined to make Mugi hers by being intimate with him, as the two start making out. Moca’s fear and reluctance begin to come through, and at first Mugi is unmoved, having her take her clothes off and beginning to touch her body. Moca is scared, but her love for Mugi and willingness to do what it takes be his meant she was willing to endure…and Mugi knew that. His realization of what he was doing to his childhood friend is a powerful moment.
Ultimately, Mugi realizes he can’t take advantage of her feelings for him – their longtime friendship has made Moca into someone precious to him. Moca curses her ornamental personality and desires to be close to Mugi, but ultimately the dream ends on Mugi’s bed as Moca gathers her clothes and the date comes to a close.
Meanwhile, Hanabi is entertaining the older guy she saw with Akane in an attempt to get him to fall in love with her. Manipulating people is the next step of her evolution as far as she can tell, and so the two go out for coffee. After his teasing leads her to lean against him suggestively, Hanabi slaps him. He offers to make it up to her “at the hotel”, and constantly references going somewhere more private until Hanabi’s had enough.
To which he replies: Uhhh, duh? A short phone call later he abandons Hanabi, telling her he’s going to see a girl that will “let him do her”. Pathetically, Hanabi chases after him, if only briefly…realizing that she still lacks the confidence and commitment to win men over.
The episode ends with Hanabi and Mugi meeting up again and deciding to confess their feelings for their respective true loves by the end of the summer. Mugi agrees.
I’ve seen a good share of anime dramas in my time. From classics like Now and Then, Here and There, to more recent tear-jerkers like Angel Beats! and Clannad. So far, my experience with Scum’s Wish has led me to believe this will take a spot on the shelf among my favorites due to its brutal honesty and dedication to the development of its characters. This week was no exception: each character continues to make startling, poignant, emotional discoveries about themselves as people as each week passes. For me, this is far more accurate as a “coming of age” story than the tale of John and Jane doe having their first relationship. While other series enjoy spending time in the emotional shallow end, celebrating surface-level victories, Scum’s Wish has no problem diving head first into murky, morally ambiguous waters. The result is a captivating and dramatic series that continues to win me over week after week.