「桜井も遊びたい?」 (Sakurai mo Asobitai?)
“Does Sakurai Want to Hang Out, Too?”
This writing is on the wall for this week’s Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai! that the Summer season is coming to a close. While a majority of the episode plays out with a combination of the things that make Uzaki-chan funny yet sentimental, it also comes at you with a surprise cliffhanger that begs to question if things have changed for the two.
There’s quite a bit that makes this episode a fun one to watch. Uzaki has a lot more hilarious moments this time around such as when she takes up Sakurai’s invitation to laugh at how horrible his cooking turned out to be. In the nice trend of having segments where Sakurai is reveling in glorious victory, it’s humorous to see Uzaki once again grow irate by Sakurai dunking on her at rock-climbing. There was also a nice surprise near the tail-end of the episode where Uzaki and Ami slip into revealing qipao and Uzaki puts on a bunny outfit. Although it’s easy to see how it became a convenient excuse to see what Uzaki’s t-shirt was talking about this whole time, they did give us a funny moment out of it where Sakurai bluntly answers that he enjoys her bunny costume a little too eagerly and quickly.
It also gave us a little more time with her mom Tsuki. Her sections do have the unfortunate distinction of being solely comedic since the jokes tied to her character are on being flustered yet welcoming of any of the misunderstandings she perceives from Sakurai’s possible interest in her. At the same time, it’s hard to knock her character when she’s very adorable and it gives us another opportunity to hear Hayami Saori play an okaa-san character type.
One thing I’m not quite prepared for though is the end of the episode where they hit you with a revelation that Uzaki will tearfully be unable to hang out with Sakurai ever again. Tonally, it felt like a jarring contrast from when she was mocking Sakurai for showing complete regret for letting it slip out that he liked her bunny suit. And knowing how the reveal for the Danganronpa shadow stalker in the cliffhanger before the vacation episode turned out to be innocuous, I can’t help but think that this ending will be diffused within the first minute where she jokes about not being able to see him just to mock his despair. At the same time, we’ll have to check out the next episode and see if the final Uzaki-chan of the season ends on a somber note.