Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out is a fun little slice-of-life show from Summer 2020 about how a loner college student named Sakurai learns to enjoy life a little more thanks to the unsolicited help of his peppy and somewhat obnoxious junior Uzaki.
The internet seems to have decided that the very well-endowed Uzaki is a symbol of everything that’s wrong with oversexualized female characters in anime, but after watching all 12 episodes, we can’t find anything (either with her character or the greater story) worth getting outraged over. It’s not necessarily anything special, but it’s a charming puff of harmless fun that stands a chance at brightening your day in this blighted hellscape of a year we all must trudge through together. So let’s just step away from all the controversy and review the show on its own merits, shall we?
A Cute and Surprisingly Healthy Relationship
Sakurai and Uzaki have known each other since high school, when they were on the swim team together. Uzaki used to be shy but held a fondness for the gloomy and intense Sakurai because he was kind to her. Several years later, they attend the same college and reconnect when the now highly excitable Uzaki notices that her senpai hasn’t changed in the slightest and spends all of his time alone. She drags him on trips to shopping centers and pubs, livens up his workplace with her presence, and knocks on his door at odd hours to play video games together – all the while teasing him and purposefully pushing his buttons.
But even though she can be a bit of a pest, Uzaki is actually much more respectful and good-natured than other “manic pixie dream girl” characters like Haruhi Suzumiya tend to be. She genuinely wants Sakurai to be happy, so she’ll back off if he’s clearly not having fun (such as when she steals his phone during the test of courage) and will own up to her own mistakes if they cause him trouble (such as when she throws up on his futon after drinking too much). She even stops insisting that they hang out until Sakurai brings it up himself! They seem to bring out the best in each other despite their constant bickering, and the few romantic moments they share make their relationship all the more heartwarming.
There’s Just Not Much to It
On the other hand, there’s not much substance to this anime besides the relationship between Uzaki and Sakurai. While it’s entertaining to watch Sakurai’s friend Sakaki and his coworker Ami encourage the couple’s antics from the sidelines (especially since they have radically different philosophies about how hands-on they should be), they and the other side characters have little personality of their own.
The adventures Uzaki and Sakurai take together are also relatively standard, with the exception of a trip to Tottori that comes off as more of an advertisement for its board of tourism rather than an important piece of their relationship. And, as we mentioned earlier, there’s very little gratuitous sexualization to get outraged at, except for a few cosplay outfits and some boob jokes that wouldn’t even fill two minutes of something like Interspecies Reviewers. Basically, if you’re not completely invested in the main couple, there’s no reason to stick around.
If you love a good “manic pixie dream girl” plot, obnoxious pests with a heart of gold, or hilarious relationship drama, you should definitely check out Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out. It’s not an instant classic or anything, but it’s fun and lighthearted and gives us just a little bit of hope for the future. And really, that’s all we can ask for right now. Let us know what you think of this show in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!