「亜細親子は見守りたい!」 (Asai Oyako wa Mimamoritai!)
“The Asai Family Wants to Look Out for Us!”

Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai!’s third episode builds off of the momentum of the second one by expanding the cast to incorporating the coffee shop owner’s daughter Ami into Uzaki and Sakurai’s antics. At the same time, the content of the episode does well to add more depth to the pair’s relationship by giving them more opportunities to bond in ways that don’t involve Uzaki trying to pull the rug out from underneath Sakurai.

Introducing Ami to the plot was a pretty clever way of making sure that the comedy behind her father’s habits aren’t regulated to merely the coffee shop that Sakurai works at sometimes. It was tricky to gauge if she would end up being a love interest who showed jealousy for Uzaki’s closeness with Sakurai, but it was a pleasant surprise to see that she was quick to see the appeal in watching the two bicker with each other. And because Ami is around the same age as our protagonists, she has a lot more potential to bring a lot of situational humor to the table as she observes Uzaki and Sakurai silliness from afar.

It’s only the third episode, but Uzaki-chan makes some good strides to make Uzaki and Sakurai feel much closer to one another and makes a legitimate argument for the two really caring for one another. Uzaki in particular goes beyond her standard annoying shtick to take care of Sakurai while he’s sick. She still gives him a hard time, especially since the dude doesn’t take care of his own living space (that rice cooker). But it is sweet that, in spite of her habit of annoying Sakurai, she wants to be seen by him in a different light in some instances.

This is prevalent during the moment where she is jealous that Sakurai is on a first name basis when Ami. Even though it’s because he wants to differentiate her from her dad while they work together, as soon as Sakurai realizes what Uzaki is trying to do with the hypnosis spell, he is quick to accept the idea of appealing to her wishes to call her by her first name Hana. It might make him embarrassed, but it was nice to have a conversation between him and Uzaki that felt mature and gave you the vibe that the two characters have more to them than just the jokes that are tailored towards their personalities. It makes me optimistic for what’s to come if they’re able to strike a balance between Uzaki and Sakurai getting on each other’s nerves and Uzaki and Sakurai getting better acquainted with one another.

9 Comments

  1. Practically dropped the show after the first ep, but reading your impressions of ep2 brought me back to the show, and glad I did.

    Still don’t really like Uzaki’s voice and speech though. Too baby-ish, but apparently that’s actually a not-uncommon thing in Japan.

    tsirrus
  2. First unexpected pickup of the season. And yeah, I also miss going out to eat at restaurants and chatting with friends (or extended family) before this “new normal”…

    Anyway, I first heard of Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai! from a news article about social media backlash (by certain groups) to Uzaki being the mascot for Red Cross Japan’s blood donation drive (complete with accusations of being “oversexualized” for a mascot). Reading further, a later article explained why the manga’s creator, Take, wanted to collaborate with Red Cross Japan: He was a survivor of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 and wants to pay it forward.

    So I gave the first few chapters of the manga a read after the anime started (TL;DR: The manga’s pretty good.) and got interested in the anime after finding out that Uzaki is voiced by Naomi Oozora (a.k.a.: Gabriel Dropout‘s Future Queen of Hell, Satanichia Kurumizawa McDowell [“NYAHAHAHAHAHA!”]). Hell, one could say Uzaki has moments where her inner Satania shines through! (Mischievous grin and cute little fang FTW! Being a well-endowed slice-of-life “manic pixie dream girl” kinda helps, too.)

    That said, I do appreciate that even though Sakurai frequently gets annoyed at Uzaki’s antics and can otherwise handle being by his lonesome, he still has some degree of trust towards Uzaki (and vice-versa). Both Sakurai and Uzaki can also be themselves in front of each other, something not possible without that trust.

    Incognito
  3. I have to agree that after the first episode I think a lot of people dropped it or considered dropping it. I think the problem is that after the first episode it was relatively well self contained but it didn’t have a hook to attract viewers to the next episode so it gave an impression that I had seen everything there was to see and could move on.

    Still decided to watch the 2nd episode and am glad my first impression wasn’t my last impression.

    Miscreant
  4. Call me crazy but if Uzaki was a guy, I don’t think people would not tolerate her behaviour 🙁 It makes me so happy when stalking and harassment gets called out in anime but then it makes me feel awful when I realise this is only the case in BL. These toxic tropes exist just as frequently in non BL, for example Kaicho wa maid-sama; one of the most popular anime “romances” of all time… So it seems that the anime community only takes the moral high-ground when men are the victims of harassment and abuse but not when women are the victims and/or perpetrators.

    This isn’t just hypocrisy either, people genuinely get disturbed by abusive, coerced and underage relationships but subconsciously excuse it in heterosexual and lesbian portrayals. Now I’m not arguing if presenting these tropes or even a times romanticising them in works of fiction is good or bad. I’m pointing out that condemning these tropes inflicted on one gender and not the other (especially when that gender is statistically more likely to go through those tropes in reality) is sexist… and a bit terrifying!

    JustWondering
    1. A lot of these toxic tropes are also judged differently in real life. For example if your secret crush goes up to you and kisses you unexpectedly without asking consent it’s quite likely you’ll be happy. If a fat, ugly person that you hate goes up to you and kisses you unexpectedly without asking consent it’s quite likely you’ll call it sexual assault despite the fact that both people have done exactly the same action.

      So basically the most important thing is the viewer’s perspective. For example for a straight male it’s a lot more appealing being stalked by a cute girl who is totally your type than a guy. On the other hand for a gay male it’s definitely better being stalked by a cute/macho guy who is totally your type than a girl. I’m not really too sure why BL has to be brought up but BL fans aren’t the target audience and problem is that if you try to change it so appeal more to non-target audiences you risk alienating target audience while non-target audience wouldn’t watch it anyway…

      I guess there is also the standard trope of high school romance where by definition everyone is underage unless they claim every character is over 18 in which case it’s a school for people who are mentally retarded as they are around 2+ years behind on the school curriculum although in this case they are in college.

      Miscreant
      1. Yea I know I went a bit off-topic but

        The point I was making is I have seen the anime community very adamantly complain about harmful tropes like romanticized abuse, lack of consent, comedic harassment leading to coerced and/or underage relationships in the BL genre. They don’t claim “it’s not my genre” thus dismissing it, they are legitimately morally outraged! This public outrage even makes the industry takes steps by preventing or heavily editing official releases or giving trigger warnings which cost them a profitable market segment.

        The reason I bring up BL is because what I’ve mentioned above is non-existent outside of that genre or outside portrayals of gay male relationships in anime. Now that’s fine, until you do the math and realise these tropes are more prominent in magical girl, shojo, moe, josei, eichi, R-18 & hentai than their BL counterparts and somewhat present in shounen and seinen. This is where the sexism comes in, because if you are not morally outraged when the same sh*t happens to women or is done by women, I find that more problematic than the tropes themselves.

        Basically, I just wish the community could have less of a double standard with their outrage & the industry could then make the rest of anime (with heterosexual+lesbian romance) less problematic or at-least give me some trigger warnings dammit!!!

        JustWondering
      2. Plus I may just be a weirdo but I wouldn’t appreciate a surprise kiss by anyone that I hadn’t already established to be dating/hooking up with. I don’t care how hot they are, if someone blindsides me with a kiss with no prior history, my reflex self-defence will most likely kick in… context: It’s a pun coz I’m a kick boxer. I get there’s the heat of moment, but I always prefer someone reading signals, to go for it with a slow lean in rather than a sudden grab and face mush, as it gives me the option to turn away or stop them if I don’t want it.

        I get that’s not the case for everyone tho

        JustWondering
          1. Thanks! Good to know I made sense about something

            but seriously am I the only one bothered by this? If it was a matter of genre preference I would understand BUT every review, article, video response, and comment section goes on saying “this is problematic” or “I don’t find rape romantic” or “is this technically consent” instead of “this isn’t my thing” or “I don’t find the appeal of guy on guy” or “maybe if there was a girl or two this would be hot”. This proves it’s not an anti-BL preference but a moral issue with romantic depictions in BL … and that’s why it’s disturbing when those same people find the exact same stuff they deemed dangerous to be hot and/or endearing when it’s a straight or lesbian relationship… it just shows we are conditioned to abuse happening to female characters :<

            JustWondering

Leave a Reply to tsirrus Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *