I told my friend I’m interested in watching Kuzu no Honkai, and the first advice she gave me was: Don’t watch it in class.
Being such a great friend, I went ahead and watched it anyway.
Guess what the teacher said.
Kuso—-I mean, Kuzu no Honkai is a drama anime about unrequited love and loneliness. The story follows Yasuraoka Hanabi, a high school girl who fell in love with ‘Onii-chan’, her childhood friend and homeroom teacher. However, Onii-chan is in love with the music teacher, Akane, who is Awaya Mugi’s crush. As Hanabi and Mugi discover each other’s feelings that cannot blossom, they use each other as a stand-in for who they really love.
This show is very popular in Japan and I found the manga in its own section in every bookstore when I visited Japan.
So far, I’m liking what I see. The art style is nice, the music is fitting, and the animation is very detailed.
The story is as painful as a story of unrequited love can get. As Hanabi and Mugi find their feelings too difficult to handle, they use each other to escape into their own fantasies. There is no possibility of love between them, since their relationship will be over the moment one of them fall in love. They fulfill each other by doing what their crush will never do to them or let them do (AKA sexual stuff.) However, the sexual scenes are not just some hollow fanservice, since these scenes serve to reveal the character’s inner thoughts and desires. Can Kuzu no Honkai do without sex scenes? Yeah, it can tell the same story with only the kissing, but it won’t be called ‘Scum’s Wish’ if the characters didn’t think of each other as a tool of sexual relief.
The first episode made a point of what the story would be like. If you don’t like the first episode, well, don’t watch the rest of the show.
Kuzu no Honkai is similar to School Days in a sense that it made use of panels to tell the story. School Days did it in the first episode but ceased to as the story progresses. Kuzu no Honkai’s tone is more serious. School Days just seemed like a harem love triangle gone wrong because the main character is a Scum. I hope nobody gets the nice boat treatment in Kuzu no Honkai.
The main difference between School Days and Kuzu no Honkai is that we don’t really hear what main characters in School Days are thinking. With Kuzu no Honkai, each character gets their turn to narrate, giving them depth and motives. This saved Noriko (Moka), the twin tails girl who threatened to be just this “annoying” third-wheel character. She is in love with Mugi and dislikes Hanabi because she dates him only for solace. Because she loves him, she starts creating an ‘image’ of her ideal Mugi in her head, which scares her. She knows the real Mugi will never be like her fantasies, but is probably too afraid to accept that. She’s a great character with not enough screen time. That’s sad, since if she doesn’t act like the annoying friend she would probably be the most logical character around.
Speaking of friends, Ecchan. Do I need to elaborate? I liked her when she first appeared, since she’s a cool-looking girl with pretty red hair. When she reveals her love for Hanabi, I was like ‘Alright a Yuri couple yeehaw.’ Then, she couldn’t hold her love and made a move on impulse. I stared at the screen going: whoaaaaaaaa what?!
That proceeds to change their friendship forever. Ecchan is probably the most pitiful character in this show for a reason I will explain later on.
Now, let’s talk about the biggest *beep* the show has to offer: the music teacher.
Judging from the picture above, you think she’s a pretty lady who accidentally loves the same man as the heroine, huh? Well, no. LOL. Hell no. That’s what I thought initially but as the show progresses I want to slap her in the face with a chainsaw.
What we know about Akane is that she’s been a b since her school days (no pun intended) and proceeds to steadily remain a b into adulthood. She enjoys bathing in the attention of males, the downside being that she doesn’t know if those males even like her for real or not. She just likes to make people feel hurt for no reason (or I just didn’t catch it). I thought Noriko is annoying but then there’s Akane. It’s like watching Koe no Katachi. Do you prefer Ueno who assaults people straightforwardly, or do you prefer Kawai who pretends to be all innocent all the while trying to destroy people’s social standings to save her own ass?
Akane plans to let Hanabi in just as Onii-chan confesses his love for her, and that killed Hanabi inside. Akane is the character that pushes Hanabi on the path of becoming a sad wreck. Hanabi, unable to vent her pain and not wanting to rely on Mugi, turns to the easiest person to snatch into bed: Ecchan.
Hanabi doesn’t love Ecchan in the same way Ecchan does, but she takes advantage of Ecchan’s love for her as an excuse to relief her own pain. Moreover, Ecchan knows she is being used but is okay with that since it’s the only way Hanabi can become hers. She genuinely loves Hanabi but to her love she can only be someone to come to when Hanabi wants to forget about Onii-chan. How sad is that? For this reason, Ecchan is the most pitiful person so far in Kuzu no Honkai.
Speaking of Onii-chan, he’s the most plain character in the story so far. Everyone got their turn to narrate, but when it’s his turn to narrate… He’s just this naïve Mr. Nice Guy. I hope they give him something interesting later on.
All in all Kuzu no Honkai does a great job of making none of the characters truly likeable and make all of them succumb even darker and darker into the dark side. Will there be any hope for them?