The current anime season is ending, and it’s time to take stock of it. This season anime fans thrilled at the continuing (and extremely dark) adventures of Subaru, Rem, and Emilia in Re:Zero season 2, were treated to the final resolution of the Oregairu love story, enjoyed more of the best cyberpunk anime since Stand Alone Complex, and even got to “play doctor” with monster girls. But to me, the most enjoyable anime of the current season was Uzaki-chan was Asobitai!, aka Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Here are some reasons I loved Uzaki-chan the best!
What show was your favorite from this season? I really liked #UzakiChanWantsToHangOut. Fun comedy about two young people getting close to each other emotionally and a story that progressed! This scene was great.
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) September 27, 2020
Why I Loved Uzaki-chan the Best
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! tells the story of Hana Uzaki, a boisterous and busty first-year university student, and the senpai she likes
playing with hanging out with, going to his house to play video games and frequently cooking for him. While the two aren’t dating, several characters around them clearly want them to hook up and are constantly acting as wingmen to help make this happen.
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One reason I loved Uzaki-chan so much is that it tells an adorable story of two young people who are clearly being drawn closer to each other, even though the two of them don’t seem to notice. In a world where most manga and anime creators would be happy to keep a story resolution from happening for as long as possible (*cough* Kaguya-sama *cough*), I thought that Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! told a nicely-paced story with lots of progression in the relationship between Hana and Sakurai. Although there was fan service, the creators always made sure the story and characters were more important than the occasional visual boob jokes.
The humor in #UzakiChanWantstoHangOut often revolves around what isn’t said in Japanese sentences. The scene where Hana repays Sakurai-senpai for “dirtying his futon” because “it was her first time” was hilarious. pic.twitter.com/uOx3rNxLg1
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) September 28, 2020
What Uzaki-chan Can Teach Us About Japanese Humor
Humor is a tough enough thing to quantify in your own native tongue, and introducing elements that are unique to the Japanese language only make things more complex. One of the major features of Japanese is that subjects are often left off of sentences, allowing for quick transmission of information verbally, since everyone presumably knows what’s being discussed. But this can create confusion in situations where the subject is more vague and open to misunderstanding.
In the above scene, Hana is making financial restitution for “making senpai’s futon dirty” because “it was her first experience.” As Uzaki tries to apologize, the women standing around them get entirely the wrong idea about what’s happened, because neither of them state the specifics of what’s going on (that Hana got drunk and puked all over Sakurai’s futon).
Then there was the scene where Sakurai-senpai wants engage in “petting” (of her cat) which is sitting in Hana’s mother’s lap. The angle makes the mother think Sakurai wants to touch her breasts. The lack of overtly-stated subjects in Japanese sentences adds to this confusion. pic.twitter.com/AoC0qo11pD
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) September 28, 2020
More humor ensues when Hana invites Sakurai over to meet her mother, saying her “senpai from university” is coming over. Not expecting her daughter to bring a man home, Hana’s mother is further caught off balance when Sakurai starts staring at her breasts…though he’s actually eyeing the cat she’s got on her lap, which he wants to pet.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Trigger Twitter!
One feature I look for in a “successful” anime is whether fans enjoyed the show, having fun making memes and debating about it online. Sometimes the feelings towards an anime are very positive (That Time I Was Reincarnated as a Slime, Steins;Gate), and sometimes there’s criticism of the twists the story took (Oreimo, School Days) resulting in some negativity. Whether most fans end up loving or hating a certain show by the end, as long as it held our attention and we all had fun at the time, I consider that show a success.
One odd phenomenon this anime season has been the negative reaction by some fans on Twitter over Uzaki-chan’s “problematic” character design, as if university students weren’t allowed to be busty and short at the same time. Most people reading this will know that there are many, many other anime series with stories and character relationships that are a lot more potentially troublesome if viewed through a “normie” lens, and an adorable story of a fully legal-age girl hanging out at her senpai‘s house is basically the most harmless thing ever. Happily, Uzaki-chan’s haters ended up creating so much buzz for the anime that a lot of people who wouldn’t have discovered it became fans, and may have helped secure the second season that’s coming in 2021.
Thanks, Uzaki-chan haters! We’ll buy you some choco-mint ice cream to show our gratitude!
I hope you enjoyed this anime season wrap-up and my reasons why I loved Uzaki-chan so much. Got any thoughts on Uzaki-chan? Let us know below, on Twitter, or on the newly-relaunched official J-List Discord!
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