Saitehen no Otoko a.k.a as Scumbag Loser is a classic example of a story that had potential to be very good, but unfortunately it never was able to maximize that potential due to various flaws.
Saiteihen no Otoko starts off very mysterious, its premise is interesting and original. The story starts with our main character Murai Masahiko, Masahiko has the strange ability to notice odours and smells of various people. One day a girl he knew as kid transfers to his school, however her scent isn't the same.
Masahiko feeling suspicious decides to question this girl(Haruka) and is able to successfully identify her as a "
pretender", though unlike your typical Mary Sue protagonist he agrees to be quiet as long as she pretends to be his girlfriend
After some days Masahiko notices that fellow classmates slowly are starting to change, unfortunately for Masahiko he can't prove anything even if his intuition tells him something is wrong.
Sound interesting right? Well it isn't but I'll get to that later.
The art is bearable to say the least. The major problem with the art that it's full of inconsistencies, sometimes it's very detailed and other times it feels flat out lazy and unpolished.
Thus in conclusion the art was never really able to maximise the atmosphere, or to build tension.
Just Plain Horrible. Throughout the story the MC(Masahiko) is portrayed in a negative light, he has his creepy obsessions, his creepy fetishes but he isn't a bad character at the start, he's just a character you’re not supposed to feel sympathy for. This is all good until halfway when the author tries to take a 360 turn and decides to portray in a positive light. Masahiko was from very early on shown as a scumbag, but suddenly the author decides to say Fuck it all and tries to convince the audience that he had his "reasons" to act in such a manner and tries to make the reader sympathize with his struggles but it just doesn’t work.
Another thing that I disliked was the development of Haruka,in the first few chapters the interaction between Haruka and Masahiko was very exciting and entertaining, Haruka would drop subtle threats and would install fear upon the vulnerable Masahiko, she'd go as far to "transform" the only person Masahiko liked into another monster/demon. Frustratingly enough at the end guess what she did all those horrible things because she loved him. Yes dear readers if you love someone you have to ruin their lives, stalk them and treat them like livestock because that's love apparently.
Lastly and most annoyingly the author kept on introducing characters that really didn't matter to plot progression, maybe Saitehen no Otoko would have been better if the author dedicated his time to develop the two protagonists.
Though it started off with a lot of potential due to bad execution and horrible character development Saitehen no Otoko never really went anywhere, and in a sense it's a shame because the premise was an original one
I enjoyed the first few chapters when I thought it was going to take a "psychological thriller/horror" pathway, but after chapter 7-8 it just falls in quality and plot and thus not worth bothering to waste your time.