「二人で花火を見上げたい!」 (Futari de Hanabi o Miagetai!)
“I Want to Watch Fireworks Together!”
This episode of Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai! is really going places with where it sees itself by the end of the story. While there’s been plenty of “will they, won’t they” hinted throughout the anime, this episode makes it more explicit that Sakurai is starting to think deeper about how he sees Uzaki and what she’s always meant to him.
We’ve also received a number of hints that she meant a lot to him in the past as a fellow swimmer. However, their past significance is given far more significance in this episode with a good amount of time spent focusing on their time swimming together. At the same time, we also got to see them have a cute date moment in the past as they went to visit a nearby festival.
This is important because this also blends into their present pursuits as Ami helps set up the right atmosphere to encourage Uzaki and Sakurai to go out to the same festival.
It isn’t a joke-heavy episode, especially since the supporting cast hasn’t gone out of their way to orchestrate their entire festival date like what many romance animes are tempted to do with most of these dating scenes. But it more than makes up for that by giving Sakurai depth as he reflects on both the time he spent with Uzaki in high school and the time he has spent with her since the beginning of the anime.
It’s impressive how they have a scene like this long before the show’s finale since that’s usually reserved for an Episode 11-13. But it really helps make Sakurai more understandable and sentimental by giving him more time to reflect on how he relies on someone like Uzaki to brighten up his life and that, in spite of her annoying personality, she’s still a very important classmate and life partner that continuously helps him come out of his shell and be his best self.