What do you do when sempai doesn’t want to notice you? Well, if you’re our title character, Hana Uzuki, you get all up in his face. Eff this noise about being a shrinking violet. She ain’t no Hinata Hyuga. Get all up in his grill and make him notice you! That’s the overall premise of the 12 episode series Uzuki-chan Wants to Hang Out.
But first, before we get into our little conversation let’s get the most obvious and controversial thing out of the way:
Uzuki has large breasts.
There, I said it. To say that her character design has brought up all sorts of conversation and some controversy is an understatement. In fact, it was because of the conversation and controversy that pinged this show on my radar. Sometimes you need to see what all the hullabaloo is about. So on Sunday, I decided to try it out. I was laying around the house, wondering what to do with the fleeting moments of my weekend off, and remembered that I hadn’t watched any anime for the last few days. Mostly this was because I was still recovering from having all four of my wisdom teeth taken out. Funny how having four pieces of your body forcibly yanked from your unconscious body by a stranger you only known for 5 minutes completely puts you off watching anime. But I digress.
I realized that I hadn’t gotten the chance to check out that new show that everyone was talking about, so I decided to fire up my Funimation App and try out Uzuki-chan Wants to Hang Out. I had heard a few things about it…including the controversy surrounding the title character, so I figured, “Meh, let me see for myself what this is all about.”
What I found through the first five episodes was a very nice slice-of-life comedy about coming out of your comfort zone, enjoying life with your friends, and most importantly of all, not being alone. Lemme break it down.
First year student Hana Uzuki is over the moon to be attending to the same college as her sempai, Shinichi Sakurai. However, after following him around for a whole year, she notices that Shinichi is very much a loner, without any real meaningful relationships or friends to speak of. So upon seeing this, Hana decides to draw Shinichi out by just hanging out with him and getting into various shenanigans, much to his chagrin. Whether it’s going to the movies, having a drink at the café he works at (because lets be real, crashing your best friend’s workplace is awesome) or playing
Pokémon Doramon Go, Hana is determined to help Shinichi open up and enjoy his college days. Though Shinichi seems to be annoyed at this sudden flood of attention wrapped up in a “tiny” package, he does slowly start to open up and accept his newfangled friend. He allows himself to open up and venture out. Granted I’ve only seen a handful of episodes as of the time of this writing, but I can only imagine that by the series end, this show will address why exactly Shinichi is so withdrawn…at least I hope so.
There is some perverted humor involving misunderstandings and PHRASING, but admittedly, I found it to be pretty funny and not too annoying.
In addition, I am SO FREAKING GLAD that this show takes place in a college. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good high school romcom like Toradora just as much as the next guy, but after a while, it just gets repetitive! I mean, does EVERYTHING have to take place in a high school with teenagers? I mean, it just seems like over the course of the last couple decades all the major potentially world-ending events happen between the 9th and 12th grades in anime. I love that this show takes place in college with young adults who can go out and get jobs and go have drinks at the local pub instead of worrying about exams. Thankfully, I’m starting to think this is a trend as Rent-A-Girlfriend also has a cast that is in college, but we’ll see if this recent influx of college-based anime carries on into the Fall anime season. Honestly if this is a new trend in anime, I welcome it wholeheartedly.
Speaking of older characters, maybe it’s just my imagination, but this show gives me some strong My Roommate is a Cat vibes; an introverted loner gets his life turned upside down by an outside force. In Roommate, the outside force is a cute little kitten named Haru, in Uzuki-chan, it’s…well…Uzuki. In fact, the female leads in both shows are pretty similar and serve the same purpose to the story; they both, knowingly or unknowingly, create a change in the male lead for the better. The only real difference in this case is that Haru is a mischievous cat, unaware that her actions are causing trouble for her owner, and Hana is a mischievous woman who takes delight in needling and playing around with Shinichi, all with the goal of getting him to have fun.
Admittedly, when I was watching this, I kinda saw myself in Shinichi. For the longest time, I was a loner a lot like him. I wasn’t what you would consider a social butterfly; heck, I wouldn’t even be considered a social caterpillar. I wanted to be alone more often than not, primarily because I didn’t really have any offline friends outside of those that I made at school, and even then, they were all off doing their own thing. I was also dealing with a lot of other family issues at the time, which made me shrink further and further into my own room and into my own mind. When I wasn’t at work, I would go to the mall and other stores alone. I would go to festivals and take long road trips alone, too. I wasn’t exactly lonely; I was just a loner, if that makes any sense.
However, in Genesis 2:8, God says “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” And looking back at the person that I was compared to the person that I am today, I can see that it really wasn’t too healthy or helpful to my psyche to be alone. We all need that outside force, that person or persons to change things up and give us a new view on life. Granted, the referenced verse refers to a martial partner, but I firmly believe that God blesses us with these people in this way in many different forms; best friends, mentors, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters—you name it. We all need that “helper” to share our time on this Earth because heaven knows we can’t do it all alone.
Now, does that mean that it’s bad to be alone every once in a while? Of course not. We all need that alone time. However, being alone ALL the time is a big no-no. Again, we all need that “helper” on our journeys every so often. And just as Hana is Shinichi’s helper of sorts, eventually I would be blessed with so many different helpers in my life, both online and off; beautiful individuals who helped change my outlook on life, broke me out of my loner tendencies, and opened me up to a life outside of my own room and my own mind. They in turn made me consider if I was being a helper to others. How was I being a Hana or Haru to those around me?
Ain’t that something? A series that has gotten so much attention and has fallen under such controversy for its well-endowed lead and some pervy humor is actually a really good (so far) slice-of-life romcom with a great underlying moral, one that has been worth my time and, unless it does a COMPLETE 180 by the time I finish it, will be worth your time as well.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out can be streamed on Funimation.