Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Scum's Wish Vol. #04 Manga Review

I'm a creature who can't help himself...It makes me miserable.

Creative Staff:
Story & Art: Mengo Yokoyari
Translation: David Rowe-Caplan & Megan Denton
Lettering: Erin Hickman

What They Say:
Now that Hanabi has discovered how warped Akane's true self is, she's made a certain resolution to herself. In place of the one she loves, as a substitute for the things that are lacking, there is a warmth that people reach out for. The various feelings of love and desire mix and combine with complicated relationships, and the red string of fate is lost in the tangle.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
With three volumes of exposition and several intimate yuri chapters behind us, Scum's Wish has officially plateaued. Don't get me wrong, it's not like the series doesn't have anything left to give us- but now that the tone and the characters are established, Scum's Wish has fully transitioned into an incessant stirring of dark, lust-filled romance. At the forefront of this volume, however, is Mugi. The fourth instalment of Yokoyari's love-pentagon heavily embellishes on the feelings of the male protagonist, leaving Hanabi on the backburner for most of its duration. And while this might sound interesting and's really not?

Mugi makes it overwhelmingly apparent (Hell, he even says it himself at some points) that he isn't all that unique. He's just a normal guy giving into lust whenever he has the chance to. While he isn't fantasizing about banging his tutor, he's using his time wisely to get off with Hanabi or some random senpai of his that bears a disturbing resemblance to Anastasia from Cinderella Girls (Can not unsee). Now, this is all fine and dandy but it gets kind of boring when you're trying to characterize a protagonist whose personality is literally just sex if it took on the form of a human body. Thankfully, after several confusing time skips and perspective swaps, the book regains its footing, albeit ever so slightly.

While Mugi was living the life of a high school playboy, Akane was off on a date with the object of Hanabi's affections. However, even with her affinity for homewrecking, she's having a hard time dealing with how boring Kanai-sensei is. It isn't until he accidentally utters Hanabi's name that she goes into nympho-mode and basically forces him into a nearby love hotel. Of course, this can't stay a secret forever. In fact, she straight up tells Hanabi that she banged him the next day and just walks right by her- an incredibly rude gesture that I do not condone even in the slightest. This ignites a bit of a spark in Hanabi. She goes from 'playing nice' to fighting her way through an inner struggle that will ultimately determine how 'thirsty' she is going to be from now on. She winds up succumbing to Akane's desires and decides that she, too, will become a homewrecker from this point on...Or at least she'll try.

The one home that Hanabi isn't willing to wreck, however, is Ecchan's. Ecchan has somehow managed to stay neutral despite her best friend and the object of her affection turning into a strumpet before her eyes. When Hanabi approaches her and informs her that she's going to dating Mugi "for real" from now on (Don't worry- I purposely didn't go over this because it changes literally nothing), she even says right to her face that she doesn't care and is still willing to be used. Even in the midst of this emotional and physical war, Ecchan proves to be the shining light in Hanabi's life. Of course, the show must go on. Instead of shooting for the true route with Sanae, Hanabi takes her first step into the world of nymphomania and dedicates herself to ruining peoples' lives from this point on. Or something. Man, I don't know what she's even thinking anymore.

In Summary:
Without beating around the bush, this is the weakest volume of Scum's Wish thus far. Riddled with hard-to-follow perspective switches and time jumps, the fourth entry in this series does not gain its footing until its already too late. While there several obligatory sex scenes, none of them are especially interesting or even different for that matter. Volume four is just more of what we've seen so far- only instead of focusing on the interesting protagonist we have to put up with Mugi and his stupid face for half an hour.

Content Grade: C
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: July 18, 2017
MSRP: $14.99

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