Review – The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, vol 4

Posted February 26, 2024 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Review – The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System, vol 4

The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System, vol 4

by Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù

Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 436
Series: The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System #4
Rating: four-stars

What happens after an epic tale ends?

This collection of eleven short stories picks up days after Scum Villain’s finale and follows the cast’s relationships and adventures through their pasts and futures. The first trial? A glimpse into another world, where Luo Binghe was never saved by his beloved teacher — unless he can claim this world’s Shen Qingqiu for himself. Other tales recount the riotous history of Shang Qinghua and Mobei-Jun, the bittersweet romance of Luo Binghe’s parents, and the untold tragedy of the original scum villain himself.

The fourth volume of The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System is actually a collection of extras and shorts, some of which are focused on Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu, and some of which don’t even mention them — expanding instead on Shang Qinghua, Mobei-jun, Shen Jiu, etc.

Some of the stories were more of interest to me than others (Shen Jiu is pretty unredeemable to me, sorry, and I don’t quite get the appeal of Mobei-jun and his relationship with Shang Qinghua), but it was interesting to get a better look at the world and particularly at Binghe’s experiences during the five years that Shen Qingqiu appeared to be dead.

It’s lovely as well to see in some of these stories a sense of ease growing between Binghe and Shen Qingqiu. At times, Shen Qingqiu is still a little too caught up in his own internalised homophobia, but we see him begin to forget where he came from and live fully alongside Binghe, and accept their relationship.

It’s funny sometimes to look at the relationship between the two of them, though. Just reading the words on the page, Shen Qingqiu spends a lot of time protesting — but it seems pretty clear that it’s a case of the maiden protesting too much, putting everything together. Still, I’d have loved another snippet a bit later on, showing him being a bit more comfortable still with the physical side of his relationship with Binghe. And for the love of god, someone give the two of them some sex ed, geez.

Rating: 4/5

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