How I Met Your Mother, The Anime
Yes. We will begin this review by comparing a wacky anime to a sitcom.
Sakurai Shinichi wants peace. But Hana Uzaki wants none of that. She just wants to hang out with her senpai, have fun and clown him. This might be the start of a beautiful relationship or a living hell—for Shinichi, anyway.
Sugoi Dekai t-shirt, um, Season 2 returned Fall 2022 anime season. The season begins with a flashback. Wait, no, a personification of summer and a desire to hang out. No, it’s bowling. Or a gray cat with a frozen look of horror. Perhaps the cat represents the viewer. Who knows?
Regardless, you’d be remiss if all you know about Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out is the semi-controversy caused by Western concern for the adult Uzaki’s child-like facial features paired with very adult-sized body proportions.
Season 1 examined Uzaki-chan’s (aka Hana’s) interactions with her senpai Shinichi. They “hang out,” whatever that means these days. For this pair, that means Shinichi meets Hana’s mom, Shinichi’s workplace is invaded by Hana, and hijinks ensue. Also, there is a sprinkle of cringe.
But there are heartwarming moments too.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out has always treaded this line between a slice-of-life mundanity, genki antics, and Uzaki fan service. Since Season 1 established the dynamic between Uzaki and Sakuri Shinichi, Season 2 jumps straight into the absurdity and cringe outfit.
Only the café owner seems level-headed about the outfit affair in episode 1.
The theme of this season is: They should date already.
Season 2 of Uzaki-chan is what Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2 should have been. Uzaki-chan builds up the scheming, tension, and character development throughout.
Frankly, this season’s first great episode was “Episode 5 – The Whole Uzaki Clan Wants to Get Together!” Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! is at its best when mundane and absurd. The series makes regular everyday life blown out of proportion—antics included. Episode 5 —to this point—reaches heights not seen since the series’ choco-mint scene in season one. This is the first episode where the series comes together, and you can see the roadmap to the season’s conclusion.
Episodes 6, 7, and 8 ramp up the antics even more. As the show introduces more and more characters, the craziness increases exponentially up to the season’s end.
Do viewers want to spend their time with this season?
What I like about this series is that not only do people like Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! but in the comment section of each episode, viewers don’t talk about whether the episode or series, in general, was good or bad. Commenters talk about their favorite parts or memes. Viewers are engaged. This is a nice change of pace.
Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out—especially season 2—isn’t the Chainsaw Man waiting room like Shinobi No Ittoki was…
Music to Hang Out To!
The music goes from a lively opening to pensive to a muted upbeat. This is a series whose music is dictated by the situation and complemented by sound effects to highlight key details (character height) or facial expressions.
The opening is Ichigo Ichie Celebration (Once-in-a-Lifetime Celebration) performed by Kano, and Naomi Ozora (the voice actress for Uzaki-chan) is an appropriately over-the-top and upbeat track. The opening is suitably Uzaki-chan.
The ending is Happy Life by MKLNtic, written and arranged by Chinozo.
Uzaki-chan is a nostalgia trip like no other in anime for those of us beyond our college years. Personally, Uzaki-chan reminded me of my college dating years and all the wildness associated with that bloodbath. Others probably watch it for this reason. Most probably started watching for Uzaki-chan, aka Hana, the titular character—which includes that other reason.
Simplistic, yet expressive. Controlled yet exaggerated. Static yet fluid. This is the best way to describe animation and art. I never had any negative things to say about the animation in Uzaki-chan. In fact, the animation is the bedrock of this series. If this series was not absurd with quality animations, it would be a subpar anime.
We are long past the controversy for this series. No alleged questionable Red Cross campaign posters redraws of Uzaki-chan’s character design itself (to a not disproportionate body dimension on a young face); or the titular character’s shirt (Sugoi dekai).
i redrew that gross anime design and actually made her 20 years old… the anatomy on the og hurt me so much guys— karkats number 1 fangirl (@catlateral_) August 10, 2020
also gave her a froggy cause her fit was boring pic.twitter.com/UTYnU16OUu
None of that was mentioned in any recent articles or comment sections of the episodes on Crunchyroll.
Some initial backlashes to the series were engineered for attention a la a viral marketing campaign. But who knows? The series is firmly a non-issue now.
I like to compare Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out to Kaguya-sama’s Love is War. I’ll do it here again. Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out season 2 is better than the second season of Kaguya-sama. Certainly, Uzaki-chan’s second season was one of the better offerings for the Fall 2022 season and perhaps even Winter/Spring 2023. The series is worth a watch—Seasons 1 and 2. If you hope to get back into the series, you will like what you see.
There are one or two slower episodes toward the later middle of the season. Still, they are more about character development and relationship dynamics between the characters. Forgivable offenses. My least favorite part of the show is the alcoholism near the end of the season. I don’t drink and despise inebriation. The show goes the next step with some risqué antics too.
Not my cup of tea. But I get it. Cultural differences. Season 1 had a little of this, and there are certainly worse offenders in anime with far worse vices and horribleness. I got to put a warning here for the series if you don’t like alcohol or aren’t cool with people being passed out drunk. It is a core trait of the latter have of the season.
In short, Uzaki-chan is a must-watch series, with a must-watch season 2 that is slightly marred (potentially) by booze.
A numeric rating? Sure, why not?
9 out of 10.