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Scum's Wish: Tainted Teenage Love


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TasteyCookie



Joined: 19 Jan 2017
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:54 am Reply with quote
Scum's Wish is by far my biggest disappointment of the season. It started out with so much promise, but the writing got drowned out by the author's desire to write a story about eroticism. (Her words not mine.)

Reading the manga and watching the show, the story devolved into trashy people doing trashy things, for the sake of doing trashy things. The episode write-ups here at ANN have been much better writing than the manga/show has ever provided. Which goes to the nature of someone who had insecure sexuality during adolescence, using shows like Evangelion, Scum's Wish, School Days, Flowers of Evil, to vent the frustrations they had. Which I'm glad they have shows that cater to their experience, but some are definitely better stories than others.

Out of the "dark teen's sexual experiences" stories that have come out, the Flowers of Evil Manga (not anime, since it's not complete) is in my opinion the best written. Offering retrospection but also development. The main character evolves and becomes a person of worth, using their awful experiences to become a much better human-being. Something that Scum's Wish has yet to do. Hopefully in the last remaining chapter (or last episode), something magically changes, but that won't change the disgust felt for the characters over the last 46 chapters.
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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 836
Location: Holland MI
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:24 pm Reply with quote
Personally I hate the series and find watching Scum's Wish a dispiriting experience pretty much my thoughts can summed up in this quote from Carlos Santo's review of Boku wa Imōto ni Koi o Suru:
Quote:
"This smut is repeated over and over until you just want to read some conservative, pedantic pre-Tezuka shōjo manga about how little Chieko became a good obedient wife and waits every day to serve dinner to her salaryman husband because he gets so tired from perpetuating the Japanese economic miracle."


That pretty much sums up how I feel better than I could say it and all in all the series in short I don't even really care about any of them they could all be crushed by a giant rock in the end I'd shrug feeling nothing.


Last edited by Parsifal24 on Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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purplepolecat



Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 120
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:55 pm Reply with quote
I've been following this show with great interest, not because I'm personally invested in the characters, but because I want to see what they do next. None of them are particularly sympathetic, but you get to see inside their heads in such voyeuristic detail that it's hard not to be fascinated. Characters all fall somewhere on a spectrum between confused and evil.

I'm not expecting much in the way of redemption for any of these people in the timeframe of the story, but that's not what I'm here for.

I was also a fan of Flowers Of Evil, which has probably the most unjustifiably whiny protagonist in anime.
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KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 52
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:53 pm Reply with quote
I've been enjoying (although I'm not sure "enjoy" is the best word) Scum's Wish so far. I haven't read the manga, and am interested to see where everyone ends up, but more than that, I appreciate how different it seems, both with its characters and its themes, especially given the subject matter. It reminded me a little bit of NANA even.

I also like how each character is dealing with the same basic issue: untying personal self-worth from their own perceived physical/sexual value, but everyone handles it in very different ways (or for some, not so much). I think it highlights how many different ways teenagers go through all that emotional mess in their head in order to come out the other side, both through inward thinking and some outside perspective.

I see a lot of reactions towards this show about how its just a general pit of misery to avoid, but I really agree about the realism and empathetic nature of the series, and I think for me, that pushes it above typical reactions I normally feel watching a typical melodrama.
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ultimatehaki



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 378
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:59 pm Reply with quote
Parsifal24 wrote:
in short I don't even really care about any of them they could all be crushed by a giant rock in the end I'd shrug feeling nothing.


Pretty much how I feel about the series too, then again I only got through the first ten minutes of episode 1 but it was so mind numbingly boring that I had to stop.
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zrnzle500



Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 2320
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:51 pm Reply with quote
I've be enthralled by the show and characters from the beginning, though my adolescence was nothing like that, for better or worse. At first it was just interest but now I really care for a number of the characters. It isn't for everyone but I've enjoyed the show.

@Parsifal24 Don't take this the wrong way but the type of work referred to in your quote is far more off putting to me than this show. I'm not casting judgement on you or the person you are quoting.
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
Posts: 168
Location: Arizona
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:36 am Reply with quote
TasteyCookie wrote:
Scum's Wish is by far my biggest disappointment of the season. It started out with so much promise, but the writing got drowned out by the author's desire to write a story about eroticism. (Her words not mine.) ...


I agree with most of your points as well. I think many "fans" of this show are blinded by the unique topic of teen sex (which I agree needs to be told more in anime and media in general) and don't realize how lame the script and writing is. If you said half the crap these characters say out loud you'd realize how bad much of it is.

The other issue I have is how unrealistic this whole setting is. Yeah... I remember that year in highschool where I hooked up with a random guy, had my first sexual experience, had gay sex, fought with a predatorial nympho teacher all while pining for my life long crush that happens to be my teacher and neighbor.

Good Lord.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3356
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:56 am Reply with quote
AholePony wrote:
The other issue I have is how unrealistic this whole setting is. Yeah... I remember that year in highschool where I hooked up with a random guy, had my first sexual experience, had gay sex, fought with a predatorial nympho teacher all while pining for my life long crush that happens to be my teacher and neighbor.

Good Lord.

Personally, I think real life is a lot stranger than this show. Not meaning that it is common place, but there are always those outliers in any school.

Really, is this anymore far fetched than two middle school girls nearly stabbing their best friend to death as a sacrifice to Slender Man. There are worse things going on in school, than what is in Scum's Wish.
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2012
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:56 pm Reply with quote
I started the show and caught up to it mainly because of Jacob's reviews. While I don't agree with all of his points I find that I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Yes, there is some exaggeration, but that is par for the course in melodrama. Also while I tend to like my melodrama in modest amounts I have been for the most part ok with it in this show. Part of it is a bit of rubbernecking, what is going to happen next? However, its also because I find some of the issues that the characters struggle with are relatable to some experiences my friends and I had growing up.
AholePony wrote:
The other issue I have is how unrealistic this whole setting is. Yeah... I remember that year in highschool where I hooked up with a random guy, had my first sexual experience, had gay sex, fought with a predatorial nympho teacher all while pining for my life long crush that happens to be my teacher and neighbor.

Good Lord.

Wow you should get off the farm more often then. <---jk Smile

Well, first of all it is a work of fiction and it is going to involve at times some fantasy and exaggeration. On the other hand, sometimes fiction is inspired by reality. I mean, I knew a fair amount of people through high school and college that experimented with drugs, alcohol and yes sex. Some people were confused about their sexuality and others were curious. Is unrequited love so strange for you? Had a gay friend fall in love with his straight roommate and he struggled very much with it and at one point he tried to convince himself that if they had sex it would work out. Fortunately, he got over it and they remain friends to this day. Predatory nympho teacher? There's been several female teachers arrested over the years for having sex with their middle school and high school students, that's reality. I'm sure there are plenty of people that live calm lives with minimal drama or angst, but that doesn't mean everyone has and in fiction such lives may not be as interesting or entertaining to consumers of media.
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CheezcakeMe



Joined: 31 Dec 2015
Posts: 222
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:20 pm Reply with quote
I dunno, angsty teen sex is a pretty rare topic for anime, but YA fiction, my other love besides anime, is just DROWNING in it, to the point where I'm longing for ye olde days when everything was about glittery vampires. Scum's Wish seems to tell its story well. Not enjoyably, but well, but since it's a topic I've already come across six bajillion times I got to episode three and forgot its existence.
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TasteyCookie



Joined: 19 Jan 2017
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:51 pm Reply with quote
One-Eye wrote:


Wow you should get off the farm more often then. <---jk Smile



No one is saying those instances don't happen. But the odds of every single one of them happening to a single person in the span of a few months is veeeeery unlikely. Which is why I don't deem this show as "realistic".

I don't know if you have ever seen or heard of the American TV show "Degrassi" but Scum's Wish is the Degrassi of anime. They both tackle "mature and dark themes" of adolescence, but they are both ultimately immature shows with immature characters. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with liking a show like that, as it's been stated before how anime has very few shows that tackle the subject matter. But as stated by CheezcakeMe, there are numerous other works that have much better writing, better characters, etc. when looking outside of anime.

Which is ultimately my biggest problem with Scum's Wish and why it was such a big disappointment to me personally. Of course, that is all personal opinion and everyone is free to like what they like.
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Otaking09



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 629
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:51 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, we have better stories of teenage angst. 4/10 for me.

Going based on the examples, Flowers of Evil provided a meditative contrast to properly pit the character's plight against the world and Evangelion's portrait of "wounded egos and psyches in a world where moving past your problems wasn't probable to happen... and therefore not worth it" is a strength of its own, even separate from how it was used to subvert.

But Scum's Wish? Part of it stems on the characters having a false awareness about their issues that most kids that age wouldn't have a solid grasp of (not to mention, this shows me that the ability to demonstrate their issues visually as opposed to voice over is a crutch that's leaned on far too much for my tastes).
Another part is that there's no source of any real stability for these characters which, given the slice of life nature, is no excuse if we try to play the realism card. A friend of mine said, that Scum's Wish wants to sell us on being realistic without actually having earned it, and dealing with extreme situations - even if just to hasten the exploration - is cutting thematic corners. Thus I dub the show pretentious, at worst.

At best, value-wise, allows newer fans a gateway title of sorts to make a decent plunge into character study stories. When I look at it that way, the buzz surrounding it is a necessary evil.

Really, calling the show controversial is like freaking out because someone made an animated version of some silly soap opera. Nice try.
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 3702
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:55 am Reply with quote
Wow....so much bashing in this talk-back. It hurts. This anime is amazing, imho. And I FAR prefer fluffy shoujo romance where only good things happen. If I actually like a series drowning in toxic love such as THIS, they are doing something right.

I do not find this show "pretentious" in the least bit.


Flowers of Evil on the other hand, is so ugly and uncomfortable that I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. I even tried the manga which is less ugly but no less uncomfortable. Nope nope nope.

Otaking wrote:
At best, value-wise, allows newer fans a gateway title of sorts to make a decent plunge into character study stories.

Yeah, I've been watching anime and reading character study manga for almost two decades now. So that statement falls flat.
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Lifesongsoa



Joined: 26 Feb 2017
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:08 am Reply with quote
I'm sad to see so much hate for the show. Not entirely surprised, but sad.

I'm loving Scum's Wish and think it's something special for the way it shares perspective from nearly everyone in the story. I love that it gives me the opportunity to understand how they think. It's so focused on their perspective that it manages to level the moral playing field between the cast without feeling judgemental.

It may be that Scum's Wish is more compatible with the way some people think than it is for others. For myself I find all the characters relatable. It scares me a bit how well I feel like I understand what they are going through.

I do think the story is a perfect storm, but that just makes it more compelling as a piece of fiction. The emotions and character growth of it all feel very real to me. Few pieces of fiction, anime or otherwise, have inspired me to think as much as Scum's Wish has.

Evangelion is what got me into anime, but I never did really relate with most of those characters. I don't really get Aku no Hana's characters either. I don't want to say either is bad, but they are very different things I think. At least the experience is dramatically different for me.

In Evangelion the characters and their issues were new and fascinating, something to explore, but also something I never felt fully connected with. The appeal was always more intellectual than personal. I liked how alien most of the experience was for me. I haven't read much of Aku no Hana, but I got the same general vibe from what little I have read. With Scum's Wish for the most part the characters click into place for me in a natural way. It's both intriguing and personal.
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Otaking09



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 629
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:25 pm Reply with quote
Chiibi wrote:
Yeah, I've been watching anime and reading character study manga for almost two decades now. So that statement falls flat.


Sure, except the part where I said allows newer fans exposure to a narrative they might otherwise skip entirely. You being seasoned doesn't elevate Kuzu's material nor does it negate my claim.

But despite that, how is Flowers of Evil "ugliness" take away from its strengths? I thought the point of teen angst stories (or angst in general) was that it was supposed to expose raw emotions that we deliberately try not to think about daily?
I mean, from what your reply indicates, that would make Kuzu a comparatively tamer experience, and therefore optimal for those who do, in fact, shy away from heavy material without the casual support of levity.

Oh, and since Kuzu never tries to offset it's melodrama with contrast so we can palpably understand the intamacy behind the main characters feelings, I do indeed deem that pretentious, if not lazy and short-sighted (and this is to say nothing of the recent episode explaining Akane's flimsy rationale) to its aims beyond steamy, exploitation. Not sure why you felt the need to put quotes on the word, pretentious.

Just because you disagree with me on how Kuzu's writing is no deeper than your garden variety tween soap, doesn't mean downplaying my opinion will take away my criticism's merits.
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