Is Toradora a well-written version of Scum’s wish?

Is Toradora a well written version of Scum's Wish?

If you ask for romance recommendations, 8 out of 10 times, you are guaranteed to be recommended Toradora. That’s the kind of impact it has within its genre and in the community. On the other hand, Scum’s Wish is a show very few know of. Polar opposites to each other, but you can call them mirrored products. Here’s why.

Toradora – A Hall of Fame Legend

Ryuuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka have a secret – they love each other’s best friend. Ryuuji faces the scorn of his school as he is unjustly perceived as a delinquent, while Taiga is adored despite being a delinquent. This dynamic duo was never supposed to be friends, until one day when Ryuuji unveiled her sweet side.

Taiga kicking Ryuuji
Ryuuji and Taiga | Courtesy of J.C Staff

Forming a pact to help each other get their feelings across to the other’s best friend, the story embarks on their journey to love. The show has good pacing and well-rounded characters, with both cliche and not-so-cliche romantic scenes, making it just the right amount of wholesome goodness.

Scum’s Wish – An Underdog?

Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Awaya have a secret – they are in love with someone else. Not just with someone else, but specifically with someone they cannot be with. Hanabi is in love with her childhood friend and neighbor who is now her homeroom teacher, while Mugi is in love with his tutor from childhood.

Hana and Mugi in the school terrace
Hanabi and Mugi | Courtesy of Lerche

Stuck in the never-ending agony of not being with the one they want to, they find solace in each other. Their made-up relationship seems perfect to whoever looks at them, but deep inside they only ease the pain of their longing for the other. The show varies in its pace throughout the duration, moving fast when not needed and moving slow when it needs to be quicker.

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Who did it better?

Toradora and Scum’s Wish both tell a story of the unrequited love of a duo. While the former has cute and comedic tones to it, the latter contains explicit and mature tones to it. Here’s how they differ:

  • The former are friends throughout the series, while the latter duo are in a relationship the entire time.
  • The former duo end up together at the end of the series, while the latter duo end their relationship.
  • The former duo do not experience explicit scenes, while the latter duo’s relationship is marked by their explicit contact.
  • The former duo helps each other in matters other than their unrequited love, while the latter duo is only concerned with the satisfaction of their needs.
Ryuuji and Taiga
Ryuuji and Taiga | Courtesy of J.C Staff

Toradora is an amazing show, however, despite being 25 episodes long, Ryuuji and Taiga’s relationship was rushed in the last three episodes. Their bond as friends was well-developed, but to suddenly shift gears into a relationship made the entire transition very awkward and rushed. The entire show revolved around the duo as they dealt with issues besides love. The duo was able to grow past their innate traumas and be the best version of themselves by supporting each other.

Hana and Mugi being intimate
Hanabi and Mugi | Courtesy of Lerche

Scum’s Wish is in a similar light. Hanabi and Mugi’s relationship was dictated by their uncontrolled need to satisfy themselves. Their time together was governed by extreme modes of affection, not recommended to teenagers of their age. Their unrequited love was pure, yet their means to deal with it was immature. The show is good because it did not falter into showing how horrible their conditions were. The show prides itself on one of the best endings in anime, by having both Hanabi and Mugi end their toxic relationship.

Toradora portrays the gravity of the emotional spectrum in a manner that is easier for the audience to take in, while Scum’s Wish makes their audience uncomfortable by portraying exactly how ugly the situation becomes. Both of them touch upon the theme of unrequited love in their own unique way, each the flagbearer of the extremes.

However, if looked at purely on story basis, because no other criteria will help – they are both equally great, Toradora has an edge over Scum’s Wish. The former has a greater emphasis on the relationship between the main duo and the side characters, while the latter emphasizes only the main duo.

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