This year has been a solid one for silly slice of life anime. Rent-A-Girlfriend was a surprise highlight, a romantic comedy that featured characters firmly out of high school and into their college years. Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out is a similar show, a comedy with a simple with-they-won’t-they premise and featuring a young woman whose spine should be studied for its ability to ignore the laws of physics.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out Review
We’ve all had a friend like Uzaki. Endlessly chipper. Relentlessly excitable. Determined to force us to do new and exciting things with our lives, whether we want to or not. The show’s basic premise revolves around the pair of Uzaki Hana and Sakurai Shinichi, a pair of friends attending college. Upon seeing her friend spend his entire first year at college relentlessly avoiding any sort of social activity, Hana takes it upon herself to give him a much needed injection of fun into his life, much to his annoyance.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out would be easy to write off as purely a fan-servicey anime simply by looking at the design of the main character. Her short stature causes her to be mistaken for an elementary school student from time to time while her ample assets presumably cause her no end of back and shoulder pain. And there are moments where the typical jokes pop up. The oblivious grabbing hand while using VR in episode one, for instance, or the way her back cracks as she swings a baseball bat.
Uzaki’s bust is certainly the first thing you’ll notice about her when she appears on screen, but the humour of Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out certainly doesn’t depend on it. Rather, it depends on her obliviousness to Sakurai’s reluctance to their friendship as well as her penchant for shouting things that are easily and readily misinterpreted.
Okay, it also relies on her boobs, but there is a lot more happening in this show than just that, I promise.
There are some very clever moments in the show’s design and writing. The way that narrative text pops up to provide bits of context, mimicking the original manga, as well as how the owner of the café where Sakurai works part-time is essentially a stand-in for the audience in his desire to see how the relationship between Sakurai and Uzaki plays out, give the show a much needed depth. The cast remains small and serves to keep these two in the spotlight, as a good supporting cast should.
The Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out anime and manga certainly have an amount of romance elements to them, with the relationship between Uzaki and Sakurai occasionally veering toward that territory at times, but the first season at least is very much grounded in friendship. Uzaki helps Sakurai make the most out of his time at college while he gives her the support she needs to succeed in her classes. There is a sweetness in how simple the premise is, even in such a comedic story, that kept me entertained long after I had figured out where it was trying to take me.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out is a simple show with a simple premise, meaning that there isn’t anywhere to hide if things start to go off the rails. Fortunately, the first season does a solid job of knowing where it is trying to go and, aside from the occasional joke that falls flat, manages to entertain without relying too much on the kind of crude humour you might expect from a show featuring that character design.
But yes, she also has some massive boobs too.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out is streaming now with Japanese and English dubs on Funimation.