「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.