Seventeen-year-old Mugi Awaya and Hanabi Yasuraoka appear to be the ideal couple. They are both pretty popular, and they seem to suit each other well. However, outsiders don't know of the secret they share. Both Mugi and Hanabi have hopeless crushes on someone else, and they are only dating each other to soothe their loneliness. Mugi is in love with Akane Minagawa, a young teacher who used to be his home tutor. Hanabi is also in love with a teacher, a young man who has been a family friend since she was little. In each other, they find a place where they can grieve for the ones they cannot have, and they share physical intimacy driven by loneliness. Will things stay like this for them forever?
A fruitless love. A painful love. A one-sided love. Is that really such a wonderful thing?
It's all too common throughout the romance genre to follow the journey of an unrequited love. These stories are light hearted in nature and sparkling with color as characters fantasize about confessing to their unobtainable goal. What rarely gets explored is the emotional toll that weighs on the soul of a person who rests their hopes on the choices of another adolescent. To not be able to share yourself with the one you desire most in this world, even worse watch them grow closer to someone else, is an excruciating
ordeal. One that can lead you to make terrible choices out of utter desperation and that is what Kuzu no Honkai attempts to depict in gritty detail - the darkness that can develop from an unrequited love situation and the depths one is willing to go to in order to fill that void in their heart.
In this story we encounter two seventeen year olds named Mugi and Hanabi who attempt to quell the pain from their own unrequited loves by using one another as substitutes, pretending as though the other is the one that they truly love in order to satisfy their raging desires. We witness the consequences they face from beginning such a disingenuous relationship and how it impacts the people around them for the worse.
For adolescents in a school life setting, our two main characters are unusually mature. They obviously make their fair share of mistakes throughout as any teenager would, but the way that they describe events that happen before them, rationalizing their ever changing feelings by referencing modern psychology and embracing their sexual proclivities make them appear as though they're older than they actually are. Maturity is a prevalent theme as our lead characters look to progress themselves in order to make the people that they love, both adults in their early 20's, look their way. They each have childhood friends who are in love with them and are understandably upset over the suspicious relationship that they share which serves as the root of much drama in this story. Even they begin to change drastically as the plot progresses. Character progression is a refreshing strong-point for this manga as everyone begins to develop before your eyes with the turn of each page leading into the next chapter. Kuzu no Honkai is also told from a variety of different perspectives with each central character getting an opportunity to describe the events through their own point of view, helping to keep the story from ever feeling repetitive or stale.
The art in this manga does a great job of depicting the emotional state of the characters especially during intimacy scenes. Despite the lewd premise however, this is not a very explicit manga as there's much more focus on the reasoning behind why the characters act upon their impulses, rather than the impulse itself.
Given the current events thus far its safe to say what this manga sets out to accomplish as intended by the author: Kuzu no Honkai is designed to make you feel. To evoke a reaction out of the reader that will range anywhere from lukewarm sadness to berserk anger due to the many painful decisions that these characters you grow accustomed to make. It can be quite the vexing read for many who are used to more predictable happy romantic outcomes but a strong quality of any work of literature is the ability to create a rise out of the reader. That was me as I sped through this manga upon discovery which compelled me to compose my thoughts into a review. Hopefully that is what will inspire you to continue on forth with this manga and witness the most oft ignored aspect of love that is human desperation and desperately sought after compensation for a broken heart.
I've just finished reading Kuzu no Honkai (Scums Wish) and I felt the need to put my thoughts into words, so I decided to write a review. As this work is ongoing take my current score with a grain of salt, as many of you know you can't give an accurate score till something is over. However, rest assured the 8 does mean that I have "enjoyed" what I've read (More on those quotations later). That being said, let's get into the nitty gritty.
The story is simple enough, two people find comfort in each other as the pine away for the ones they truly
love. At it's heart the author tries to make the manga about the pain of having unrequited love. However, the more I read of this manga I begin to see something more. The author has created something more, something honest. Scums Wish shows depravity. The characters in Scums Wish are empty. And this emptiness gives way to their struggles. They want something desperately to fill their emptiness, but they can't get it. This is where the honesty comes in. How often do we pine away for something to fill up our own longing? Scums Wish shows this struggle. People seeking something, something they may not even be fully aware of, and that something is destroying them from the inside out.
The art is clean, and consistent, no qualms and not much to say.
Scums Wish is an accurate title. The characters in this manga are truly scum. They are empty people doing selfish and empty things with no concern for the damage it may cause them. They so desperately want to be filled that, the very desire they wish for is killing them. Our two leads are pitiable, but not just them, the whole cast (Except for one) are sad individuals. Lonely and broken people. There have been countless times during reading the manga that I wanted to punch the characters, to yell at them. But this is not because I hated them. It is because it is painful to watch people go down a path of self-destruction. This is not bad story writing, when I stepped away from this work to look at it objectively, I agreed with how the characters acted. If I had the values that these characters hold, I could see myself doing what they have. They acted honestly to their characters, and I my mind no matter how much I hate that honesty, it is the mark of a good character when you see where their actions come from. However, that honesty is painful and frustrating to read.
Now, let's talk about why I had quotations around my "enjoyment" earlier. As I hinted at in my characters segment. Watching people spiral down a self-destructing life cycle is painful. It is like watching a friend who has a drug addiction fry his brain. You want to punch your friend, but it won't do anything. Scums Wish is a hard read, but despite how sad the characters are, I enjoyed the work. I can look at the world Sums Wish has painted and agree with the action of its characters, even if those actions frustrate me, it is an honest look at the way I believe people are. We may not seek such rotten fulfillment in love, but we may in other areas. Scums Wish is introspective and honest, and I found my self enjoying it.
I'll wrap up my thoughts here, and add a warning to future readers of Scums Wish. Scums Wish is an honest depiction of how empty people act, when they can't reach for the thing they think they desire. Bad decisions pile up, one on top of another. I ate the story up because it fascinated me, and if you can handle the shear sadness of the characters I would recommend you try it too. If you are not instantly turned off, you may learn something about people too. I know I have.
That being said, I want to end with a warning. Around the 33rd chapter or so, the main female lead decides to find a resolution. I am desperately worried that this manga will slip into a cliched "I'll believe in myself" kind of manga which would depress me greatly. I'll be honest, I'm a sucker for happy endings, but a work like Scums Wish should not be set up for one. Unless the Author can find a way for her characters to find true redemption, I worry that Scums Wish will end hollowly. She has painted an honest world. One where people are screwed up, and I feel as if a shallow solution to the characters problems and trauma would be a disservice to this work. So be warned, all readers of Scums Wish, you may be in for a poor ending. Here's to hoping I'm wrong.
tl;dr: Scums Wish is interesting. Although the characters are frustrating, they act honestly. The drama is intense, and can be an off put, but instead of focusing on it, instead ask yourself this question, "Where do you seek fulfillment?" If it is in love, do you see yourself honestly acting any different if put in the characters situations? Try it.
I don't really like the idea of writing reviews and have never written a manga review before, but after reading all of the currently released chapters of this manga, I just thought damn, wtf did I just read and am I so masochistic enough to read all 38 chapters that are currently released. So I've decided to write this review to display my enjoyment of this miserable experience.
At first glance, you see a young high school couple who is the "ideal" couple, however, further reading along, you realize that they are perverted humans who only utilize each other in order to satisfy their physical needs
because they cannot obtain the ones that they truly love. For the first few chapters you think, oh, they are going so going to eventually fall in love and its going to turn into one of those cute fluffy romantic mangas. This is where it all goes wrong and it is made known that the author of this manga is a perverted freaky schadenfreude who makes the sudden turn of events in this manga just to mindf*** with people and maybe earn a little extra money at the same time.
Although you can see me going on and on about how this manga mindf***s with people, you can see that I've put quite a good rating on this manga, this is because the story is very deep and makes you get attached to certain characters and at the same time, makes you like and dislike certain characters. The infidelity that appears so much in this manga should've already made me turn away from this manga in the first dozen or so chapters, but the author of this manga somehow makes me want to find out what is next. The desire to read this manga and find out what is next beats my sense of morals and it makes me sad to have to admit how a perverted freaking mindf***ing author is actually a good one.
What I am saying may or may not be accurate, but my overall view of this manga is that the story and plot of this manga is very enjoyable and contains many deep ideologies and if you are resilient or maybe masochistic enough to endure through many sudden changes that will make your heart tremble with emotions (mostly anger, sadness, and hatred), then I recommend you to start diving into this manga that came from hell.
This review is spoiler free with nothing to do with the story, so you can enjoy the manga without knowing 'too' much. Remember this is my thoughts, therefore I will make a paragraph at the end about it not based on my personal thoughts.
Kuzu no Honkai is kind of messed up in many ways, not school days messed up but not your average manga. For me it's hard writing a review for this because i can't find much good things about it. Its not boring at all,I read all 40 chapters (so far) in the first go. I can't really love any of the characters,
I just can't get attached to them because its not a simple romance but a complicated romance. I didn't necessarily dislike or love it, just too hard for me to get in the story.
The plot is kinda lame no matter what way you think about it. Some say complicated relationships makes it interesting, BUT their is a limit of how f*cked up it can get. The characters are absolutely screwed up at times and some people get annoying especially this one female character. The reason why the characters are like that is because THEY are STUPID and they DONT think. Somehow i managed to give a 7/10 because it wasn't boring and it was kinda fun reading it.
The manga in general is good and worth reading but If you dont like f*cked up relationships and mature moments then I suggest you give it a pass. The art was well done, proabably one of the best aspects. Story has potential and surprising at times.