Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! Is a slice of life, romantic, comedy series which initially released in the summer of 2020. At the time of its release Uzaki created quite a stir in the anime community. Most of this controversy was laid at the titular character Uzaki and her somewhat childlike and sexualised image. If you are a person that is sensitive to any provocative moments then this series may not be for you. If I am to give my honest opinion, I believe that this criticism was largely unwarranted as whilst the series does have a lot of comical misunderstandings and sexual innuendo there is actually not a great deal of ecchi content given the genre of this series. Plus, the age of the character, as seen later in the series, makes it pretty clear she is an adult albeit a petite girl (well in height at least!)
With that out the way how is the actual series? Being a slice of life series, the overall plot of the show is rather light. In fact, you could go so far to say that the show is largely episodic and can easily be watched in any order. Saying that there is an element of character development that while subtle is there so it could be noticeable if you were to jump from earlier episodes straight to later ones.
But with the overall story being rather light the thing that really drives Uzaki show is the characters, their interactions and the various gags Uzaki and Sakurai get up to. This in essense is the Uzaki and Sakurai show. On that score the series does hit on a somewhat rocky start and I can see a number of people dropping this after the first episode as Uzaki was particularly obnoxious and could, at points be seen as an outright bully. Thankfully whilst her basic traits of being rambunctious, obnoxious and generally carefree carry throughout the series it is toned somewhat. What’s more as we progress through the show we see another side to Uzaki and to a lesser extent Sakurai where both their personalities appear to converge and we witness a genuine friendship and bond developing between the two characters.
Sakurai follows one of the staples character types of this kind of show and is the typical socially awkward loner who often says or acts in ways that are easily misunderstood. Whilst this maybe an anime trope the way these misunderstandings occur is well executed and I found myself laughing at various points throughout the series. Moreover, what is slightly unusual and welcome in my eyes is the main characters are slightly older than your typical anime series being in college rather than high school. Yes, Uzaki is actually a college girl and this not some silly nod to making her legal. There are a few escapades involving alcohol that makes it perfectly clear that these people are actual adults.
The secondary cast's main function is to add fuel to the Uzaki-Sakurai fire and whilst they have their moments they are largely, well, secondary. Like furniture to the overall series. Perhaps I am being overly harsh and people will differ in opinion but that is how I saw it. I would say the episodes featuring Uzaki’s mum were often amusing so perhaps you can find your favourites here.
In terms of other factors such as animation it all seems decent, nothing breathtaking but with this being a slice of life series this it is not a critical factor; you are in it for the laughs. The OP and ED are also fairly standard, good not great but I will insert videos so you can have your say here on that score.
Overall, I would say this show is primarily a character driven comedy series. Surprisingly the amount of ecchi is relatively tame although the main source of ecchi will come from Uzaki's ample bosoms. This is only raised up a notch in the later episodes. If you are into comedies, it is worth a shot but I do think the potential pain point in this series will be how you can handle Uzaki. I thought she was great but at the same time I could also see how her character could rub people the wrong way. I would recommend this series but if you are curious then watch an episode or two (don't need to watch more and it doesn’t really matter which ones you watch). If you do that then I am pretty confident you can reach a conclusion as to whether this show will work for you.
Story 6 – Largely episodic Uzaki Wants to Hang Out is not a plot driven series. Saying that there is subtle change in tone as you progress through the series.
Characters 8 – Strongest part of the show and is the main driver of the series. Uzaki will ruffle some feathers and I could see how people see Sakurai as a bit of stock character but what makes this series stand out is the interactions and comedy moments generated by the two main characters throughout the show.
Animation 5 – Standard stuff nothing much to comment here. The OP and ED are also serviceable but found the OP to be catchier.
Overall 8 – Overall good anime and that should appeal to a range of people. Season 2 coming up soon so if you like this you can look forward to a second season!