Friday, August 3, 2018

Scum's Wish Vol. #06 Manga Review

It's Hell, but who cares?

Creative Staff:
Story & Art: Mengo Yokoyari
Translation: David Rowe-Caplan & Megan Denton
Lettering: Xian Michele Lee

What They Say:
After a summer of love lost, Hanabi and Mugi agree to confess their true feelings before school resumes. Though rejection seems certain for both, love never is. Somewhere along the line, their twisted relationship yielded genuine emotions, but how will those feelings settle into the mix of unrequited love and desire that so entangled their hearts?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
With its last volume focusing much of its time on the relationship between Moka and Mugi, volume six kicks off exactly where we left off -- the middle of a sex scene. So with this already-great opening laid out (Both literally and figuratively), the book gets off to an intimate and interesting start immediately. Moka, flooded by a dangerous mix of emotions, is more than willing to give herself over to the guy she's fawned over since childhood. Mugi, however, is able to stave off his desire in the name of keeping Moka "pure." The way she perceives this action is actually rather spot-on when you really think about it. Moka realizes that she's sort of a trophy for Mugi -- a pure symbol of unrequited love and the living embodiment of admiration toward him. This is something he realizes that he's likely to never receive from anyone else. Sullying her sanctity would only prove to taint that trophy.

And so the sex scene comes to an abrupt end. Mugi and Moka part ways and Moka is never seen again. Well, at least for the rest of the volume. But the reason for that is that both Mugi and Hanabi have decided to tackle the main plotline head-on this time. Realizing that their summer will be coming to an end before they know it, the two of them agree to finally confess their feelings to the objects of their affection. But this comes with the added difficulty of giving each other up. Throughout the last book or two, it's become evident that our protagonists have begun to see each other as more than just replacements. This becomes even clearer when Mugi straight-up says this Hanabi right before they part ways.

The actual process of having their hearts broken goes about the way both the reader and the characters themselves expected it to. Well, for Hanabi at least. Mugi winds up going to a love hotel with Akane and willingly plunges himself deeper (Pun not intended) into a hole (Still not intended) that he can never crawl out of. He admits to Akane that he knows all about her tendencies to "eat men" and how she'll accept anyone willing to give her affection. But he also admits that he wants to be the person to change her. Unfortunately, Akane doesn't seem like the type to be influenced by others all that easily. The rest of the volume then tails off to Hanabi's side, leaving the conclusion of this pair in the dark for the time being.

Hanabi's confession, as mentioned earlier, is a bit more on the standard side of things. Kanai is surprised, but completely understanding of her feelings and embraces her while she breaks into a hysterical fit. And while the scene does possess a good amount of emotional intensity, it comes to an end relatively quickly. But that's totally fine because the next part brings the goddess, Ecchan, back into the picture!

Needing a retreat from pretty much everything, Hanabi decides to go on a trip to Ebato's family-cottage in Karuizawa. Now miles from home, Hanabi gives herself over to the one person who has shown her unconditional love for as long as she can remember in an effort to feel wanted again. And, I'm sure she'd feel exponentially more wanted if the worst character in the whole damn series didn't show up to ruin everything. You see, Ecchan has a cousin who is suspiciously obsessed with her. He's only going to be in this volume and the next, but that's more than enough time to insert himself (Figuratively, thankfully) between our destined yuri pairing. Now, with a major roadblock in the way, Ecchan must figure out how to step up her relationship with Hanabi or face losing everything for good.

In Summary:
In book five, we saw action sidelined in favor of ramping up emotional intensity and character development. This time, those tables are turned. For the first time in quite a while, Hanabi and Mugi make a few moves that will heavily and directly impact their future. In some ways, volume six can even be considered the "point of no return." Now that everything is laid out on the table, the only things our characters need to worry about is persevering and not succumbing to inevitable heartbreak. Everything in Scum's Wish has been destined to fail from the beginning, but seeing how Mugi and Hanabi tackle this endeavor is what we've all been waiting for. It's finally here.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A-

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: February 27, 2017
MSRP: $14.99

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