To the outside world, Mugi and Hanabi look like the perfect couple, but the truth is that they are only dating each other because they can’t be with the people they actually want to be with. For Hanabi, it is her childhood friend-turned-homeroom-teacher and for Mugi it is his older tutor that has been teaching him since middle school. In order to stave off the loneliness, the pair find solace in each other’s arms.
Scum’s Wish was a clear standout of the winter 2017 season, and a clear standout of the romance genre in general. Abandoning all traditional tropes for a graphic and truly dramatic show, it will be difficult to capture that same love-to-hate feeling you get from the characters in these other anime recommendations.
For Fans of Scumbag Characters
This is the story of two girls, both of which are named Nana. Nana Komatsu is a naive girl addicted to love who is moving to Tokyo to chase after her boyfriend going to school there. Nana Osaki is a proud punk rocker that is moving to Tokyo to become a rock star. By chance they meet on the train. By even bigger chance they end up wanting to rent the same apartment only to decide to rent it together.
While the characters in Scum’s Wish each get their focus on how different they are, Nana focuses on the differences of just a handful. However, it has scumbag characters in spades, and ends rather unexpectedly for a romance, just like Scum’ Wish. Both of these shows are all about the drama and feature a number of intimate scenes.
In a stroke of fate, Makoto Itou noticed Kotonoha Katsura on the train ride to school. Too shy to ask her out, he finds himself encouraged by his classmates Sekai Saionji who also has a crush on Makoto. What should have been blissful school days soon turns sour as love triangle cross and both women find themselves unable to live without Makoto.
Both Scum’s Wish and School Days tell the tale of what happens when people bring physical relationships to life before people are mentally prepared for them. Of course, that is also used as an infinite well of drama. However, School Days gets a little more extreme with its conclusion.
Flowers of Evil
Kasuga Takao is a bookish student, but when he goes back to look for his book in the classroom one day, he instead finds the gym uniform of his school crush. Without thinking, he takes it. Now all his classmates are on the lookout for a pervert and he is being confronted by a friendless girl in class that saw him do it.
While Scum’s Wish has beautiful art, it is less so in Flowers of Evil, but if you can get past the experimental type of artwork they used to try and foster realism, then it is one of the best examples of scumbag characters before Scum’s Wish. Full of drama and depression, if you need series to bring you down, they both will do the trick.
For Fans of Taboo Romance
Kodomo no Jikan
As Aoki Daisuke prepares to teach his very first elementary class, there is nothing that could prepare him for the challenges ahead. It is his kind-heartedness that makes one of his 3rd grade students fall in love with him, and she is more aggressive than an elementary school girl should be about it.
While Kodomo no jikan is meant to be a comedy and a drama, it is a highly uncomfortable one. Unlike Scum’s Wish, it deals with younger characters, but just as mature themes. While not every character is a horrible person, it does have a few select scumbags within. However, they are not as endearing as in Scum’s Wish.
Saeki Koushirou has dreams of becoming a wedding planner, but his own love life is in shambles. After being dumped by his girlfriend, his desire for love is dulled, but again awakened by a chance encounter with a high school girl. Unfortunately, as it turns out, this girl is his sister whom he has not seen since his parents’ divorce, and she is coming to live with him and his father.
Both shows deal with a fair bit of drama and mature themes, but does so in a mature way. While it is not quite as dramatic as Scum’s Wish, the subject matter in Koi Kaze makes it one of the best shows to deal with the topic.
Sky of Connection
Twins Haruka and Sora Kasugano are coming back to a town filled with memories for them. After their parents died in a horrible traffic accident, the twins want to start over peacefully at their grandfather’s house. However, it is their own suppressed memories and emotions that come back to haunt them.
Both Scum’s Wish and Sky of Connection are about taboo relationships with a large emphasis on physical scenes. However, Scum’s Wish excels by developing its characters more, but both have superb art and soundtracks.
For Fans of Unrequited Love
Ryuuji Takasu is a gentle student with a passion for housework, however his thug face causes his fellow students to think him a delinquent. Taiga Aisaka is small and cute, but with an attitude as fierce as a tiger. Both of these misunderstood students have a crush two classmates, and after a series of misunderstandings of their own, they find themselves in an unlikely alliance.
The obvious similarity between Toradora and Scum’s Wish is that both are shows about people who are together because they are in love with other people. However, while both have their share of drama, Scum’s Wish is inherently sad while Toradora is inherently happy.
White Album 2
Haruki Kitahara’s light music club is on the verge of disbanding due to lack of interest, an event that will crush his dream of playing at the school festival. However, as he solemnly plays “White Album,” the first song he ever learned to play, an angelic voice suddenly harmonizes with his lonely guitar.
Both shows focus heavily on the unfairness that often comes with falling in love during those youthful years. They explore the insecurities of many different characters, but more so in Scum’s Wish and are deeply unapologetic in their portrayal of romance, making them perfect for adults.
Kimi ga Nozomu Eien
Initially Takayuki Narumi befriended Mitsuki Hayase because Mitsuki’s friend Haruka Suzumiya had a crush on him. He grew close to Mitsuki, but when Haruka asked him out, he accepted in order to not hurt her feelings. However, as Takayuki and Mitsuki begin to realize their feelings, tragedy strikes hat changes everything.
Both shows are a rarity, they provide a mature look at romance where the drama isn’t phoned in, but rather surrounds realistic situation. You don’t always love who you want to love and you can’t always love who you should love.
Did we miss a quality anime recommendation that is like Scum’s Wish? Inform us fools in the comments section down yonder.