Scum's Wish Vol 5
This volume covers chapters 23 to 28 and it really feels now like all the characters are getting desperate. They realise their choices haven't left them fulfilled and that they aren't emotionally getting what they need out of their relationships. Hanabi sums it up nicely during chapter 23:
Did I do the right thing? Is something like this going to fulfill me?

She says this in reference to her fliratious effort with Takuya. Even though she comitted to going with Mugi, her quest to take men away from Akane leads her to enter a relationship with the man she saw Akane with at the restaurant. She knows nothing about him, other than the fact that he is aware Akane has other partners and doesn't seem to care.  Soon, we see Takuya pressing for a physical relationship though Hanabi stalls at this point.

This is where I really like this particular story. The characters do horrible things to each other. They do stupid things and make stupid choices. But at no point does it feel like the manga wants you to believe that these choices are anything but self-destructive. The characters use warped logic and it is incredibly powerful because we have all had that moment where we've talked ourselves into doing something we know is questionable because we choose to phrase it to ourselves in a particular way. 

Takuya delivers this pearl of wisdom that seems so relatable and yet if Hanabi had listened this could have had some really serious consequences. 

You have to go crazy sometimes right? Nobody can be serious all the time.

Despite this, Hanabi still rejects moving forward with a physical relationship and is abandoned.

Though, in this instance, Hanabi gets what she deserves in that Mugi is now on a date with Moka and ignores her when she calls leaving her truly alone with her self-pitying thoughts. Her actions have clear and immediate consequences and while Mugi may have been willing to play at a fake relationship, he isn't willing to have her fake away through a real relationship. However, he is pretty flighty in that, without speaking to Hanabi, he's on a date with another girl and kisses her.

None of these characters are nice or admirable but they are definitely representing thoughts and ideas that most people can relate to and it is truly fascinating to watch this story play out. I'm going to read volume 6 next week and then I'm going to take a break from this for a bit, so I'll think about what else to review.

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