In media, teenagers often possess a delicate balance of callousness and narcissism. In CW dramas like Gossip Girl, producers lean into their more sociopathic tendencies, not considering the emotional debates that lead them to cheat, steal or hurt others, all well-trod stereotypes of teenagers discovering themselves. Often, in real life, it is self-preservation driving these things. That's the one thing so many dramas don't capture.
There's a new anime that does, and with cutting tenderness. Scum's Wish is without a doubt my top anime this season. Based on a 2012 manga and produced by Studio Lerche, Scum's Wish is a disturbing but empathetic drama about how teenagers use others and are used, all in the service of keeping afloat. It's only four episodes into a ten-episode series, but it's already slated to be one of my all-time favourites.
Hanabi is a 17-year-old high-schooler who dates Mugi, a handsome older student. They go through all the motions of young love, stowing away behind the school to kiss and walking each other home. There, in the dark, they test their ...