Strike Witches: Road to Berlin Ep 2 Impression

Is it just me or has this new season of Strike Witches really kicked it up a notch? Perhaps even a notch could be an understatement. I really have to say that the second episode of Road to Berlin was fire (no pun intended). This episode was one big action sequence that pulled me in and did not let go until that last few minutes. Imagine the final battle from Strike Witches 2, but on steroids. That’s probably the best way I could describe it. The animation from the battle sequences are definitely the best in the series. I noticed a lot of 3D animation being implemented into the character models when flying which I don’t recall seeing in previous seasons. I hope the quality of animation continues this way because that was beautiful to see.      

While the first episode was setting the scene for the first battle, episode two dives straight into the action with Yoshika defending herself against the iceberg Neuroi. As any Strike Witches fan would know, Yoshika is probably one of the strongest of the 501st due to her incredible magic power which has only become more refined throughout the series. As an anime fan, I expect characters to grow stronger over time, but it’s important to be mindful of the situations you put these “strong” characters in. It can be a little boring and predictable to see the main character beat everyone so easily because they’re so strong (Ahem, One Punch Man), but I’m glad to see that Road to Berlin did not fall for this mistake. The show is aware of Yoshika’s strength and puts her in a situation that is suitable for someone at her level. Yoshika is fighting a Neuroi with a flimsy striker unit and without a gun—only being able to use her magic shield to protect herself. While I wasn’t expecting anything bad to happen to Yoshika, it kept the battle interesting to see one of the strongest being challenged.

It truly wouldn’t be a Yoshika battle without some kind of epic comeback. Yoshika rushed to check on the distress call coming from the warship Altia’s dad was commanding and Yoshika had to settle for a piece of junk striker unit. During the battle Yoshika’s striker unit begins to malfunction and can no longer keep her suspended in air. It might be weird to say that she was lucky to crash land on the deck of the warship, but I suppose it’s better than falling into the ocean. Yoshika is stuck on the ship holding off the beams from the Neuroi with her magic while the crew repairs her striker unit. She pretty much lost all of her offensive options and is just trying to help the ship tank its way through the Neuroi beams. The ship ends up taking heavy damage, but out of the smoke, Yoshika comes up the elevator shaft with her repaired striker unit. It was very reminiscent of Yoshika coming up the elevator in season one when she flew a striker unit for the first time. I was very happy to see that throwback.

The Neuroi heads off to the port of Antwerpen to destroy the military’s supply base. While Yoshika’s striker unit has been repaired to let her fly, she cannot use it at her max speed. As she struggles to catch up with the Neuroi, her friends from the 501st come in to help. Yoshika is reunited with her team and the Strike Witches come together once again to take down the Neuroi. As expected, the overwhelming speed and firepower was too much for the Neuroi to escape from as it was quickly destroyed. I mean they really shot this dude up to pieces. Even though the Neuroi was destroyed, the iceberg still carried its momentum and the Strike Witches could not stop it from crashing into the port of Antwerpen. The Strike Witches won the battle at the cost of their supply base. This is wartime and it keeps things in perspective to show that the good guys can’t win everything.

I’m glad to see the Witches all back together again. Seeing them shoot up a Neuroi through the skies of Europe really brings me back to a better time. Minna explains that there is a plan to counter attack the Neuroi at Berlin and officially reinstates the 501st joint fighter wing of the Strike Witches. Since Mio Sakamoto is no longer able to participate in combat due to her fading magic, she is being replaced with Shizuka—a character who was last seen in the Strike Witches movie. I am kind of bummed to see that Mio might be sidelined, but I’m interested to see how Shizuka handles the new role given to her.    

Strike Witches: Road to Berlin Ep 1 Impression

For a certain group of anime out there, number three seems to be the cursed number in terms of how many seasons the studio decides to put out. One of the anime in those groups that I’m referring to is Strike Witches. This anime originally came out in 2008 with a second season titled Strike Witches 2 in 2010 and Strike Witches the movie in 2012. I watched both seasons and immediately fell in love with them almost a decade ago and within that time Strike Witches seemed to go silent. At one point I wasn’t holding my breath for a season three anymore. Granted we did get spin offs like Brave Witches and Strike Witches: Joint Fighter Wing, but that was not what I was looking for. Here we are almost ten years later and I can’t believe they actually did it. The third season titled Strike Witches: Road to Berlin has somehow found itself in the fall 2020 anime lineup and I couldn’t be happier to see the return of the series.

For those unfamiliar with anime, the story of Strike Witches roughly takes place from 1937 to 1945 and is an alternate history where instead of World War II being a battle between the Allies and the Axis powers, it is now a fight between humanity and an alien race called the Neuroi. At the end of Strike Witches 2, the girls of the 501st had once again defeated the Neuroi and restored peace to Europe. Since then I’ve been wondering what the Strike Witches were up to nowadays and Road to Berlin did not hesitate to fill me in. The main character Yoshika Miyafuji has left the front lines in exchange for medical school. Yoshika is visited by her Squadron leader Mio Sakamoto who is there to inform Yoshika that she will soon be returning to duty. However, Mio mentions she is being removed from the Strike Witches as she is no longer fit for combat. I love how season three quickly addresses the issues that were brought up at the end of season two. In Strike Witches 2 Mio was slowly losing her magic ability due to her age. As a witch ages, she slowly loses proficiency in using her magic and is expected to lose most of it by the time she turns twenty. Likewise, Yoshika lost her magic ability as well, not because of age, but because she went over her limit in the final battle last season. While Yoshika has been able to regain her magic, she is studying medicine so that she can heal people without relying on her magic should she ever lose her ability again.

Much like the previous two seasons, Road to Berlin is quick to set the scene for confrontation. Yoshika’s friend Altia is allowed by Mio to contact her father who Altia has lost contact with at some point during his deployment. During the radio call Altia can hear her father’s ship in distress and the signal cuts out. Yoshika is quick to offer to go check on the warship that Altia’s father is commanding. Mio and I were on the same page because we were both thinking about how Yoshika hasn’t changed one bit. Yoshika is always determined to help her friends despite the danger and I really felt that old Strike Witches vibe coming back. While I do love the nostalgia the episode tries to bring, there are some similarities in how previous seasons have begun. I would hope that it would be careful to not become too predictable.

Yoshika sets off on her Striker unit and flies towards the location of the ship. Yoshika is confused as to why the battleship is engaging with a random iceberg out at sea. Honestly, I was confused too and it looked funny to see a battleship getting ready to waste their firepower on a piece of ice. However, I already had a feeling where this was going. It turns out that this iceberg is actually a Neuroi in disguise. This sets up the first battle sequence of the season as Yoshika and the Neuroi engage with each other. Earlier in the episode, Mio mentioned that the Neuroi didn’t like the water, so to see one being able to sit in the middle of ocean might make things interesting in terms of the battles ahead. Will this season introduce a new type of Neuroi?

It’s great to finally see the Strike Witches back in action. As far as Yoshika and Mio go, their relationship hasn’t changed. Though, I’m curious to see how Mio is handled this season due to her dwindling magic ability. Will she truly be removed from the 501st or will she compensate and find another way to fight like she did in season two? I think the animation this time has improved greatly. The opening sequence where the Witches take down the first Neuroi was smooth and flowed very nice. The Strike Witches series has always had an excellent soundtrack and Road to Berlin delivered big time in that respect. I’m already in love with the opening and ending theme. While the first episode ended on a cliffhanger with Yoshika being attacked by the Neuroi, I’m really looking forward to seeing the first fight they have set up for episode two.     

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 12 Impression (Final)

I have to admit that it’s been quite a ride to watch Uzaki and Sakurai getting into their various antics over the course of twelve episodes. I really did have a blast being able to grow with these two characters and the final episode of Uzaki chan wants to hang out continued to make the duo fun to be around. The characters are what really made this anime fun to watch as Uzaki and Sakurai play off of each other so well. The final episode takes a moment to go back in time to explain how Uzaki and Sakurai actually met. Despite being the final episode, nothing aside from the flashback feels like its leading up to a grand finale and plays out the same as any other episode. I’ll talk a little more about that in my final thoughts.

The previous episode ended on a cliff hanger with Uzaki crying and telling Sakurai that she couldn’t hang out with him anymore. Considering the nature of this anime, anything serious needs to be taken with a grain of salt, and because this is the end of season one, maybe, just maybe, the writers are going to make things serious. If you actually thought this show was getting deep, then Uzaki is slapping you in the back while obnoxiously laughing in your face. The real reason why Uzaki was crying was because summer break was ending and she still didn’t finish her writing assignment. She needed to spend the rest of her time finishing the report so she couldn’t hang out anymore. Of course that went out the window and she still chilled at Sakurai’s apartment anyway. Now that I think about it, I don’t recall Uzaki ever finishing that report.   

I always love a good flashback because it really puts the missing pieces of a character together. I remember a flashback was shown back in episode eight about how Uzaki and Sakurai interacted as members of their high school swim club. This is further expanded upon as Uzaki tells Ami how she met Sakurai in the first place. High school Uzaki is nothing like present day Uzaki. She was a lot quieter and less energetic. Uzaki is approached by one of her classmates who wants to join the swim club. Her classmate does not want to join alone and asks Uzaki to join with her. Uzaki is not interested, but in typical anime fashion, she gets dragged into it anyway. Uzaki meets Sakurai on her first day and freaks out because of how scary he looked. I pondered that assessment for a bit and agreed with Uzaki somewhat. Younger Sakurai looked like he could be on the cover of a Yakuza game with those serious eyes. Sadly, the flashback didn’t go any deeper than that and I was expecting to see more since this was the final episode. Either way, I was glad to be able to see Uzaki and Sakurai’s background further expanded on.

I am already well aware on how weird Uzaki can be when she’s scheming something and her reasons behind it can be equally weird. This time, out of the blue, Uzaki decided she wanted to get Sakurai drunk. I guess she was still upset about getting drunk a few episodes ago that she wanted to even the playing field and get Sakurai drunk. Sakaki, a longtime friend of Sakurai, tells Uzaki exactly how to get Sakurai to lower his guard and get him to drink more. While Uzaki does get Sakurai to pass out, her plan goes out the window as she gets drunk too and passes out. Even this far into the series, I wonder what is going on in Uzaki’s head sometimes.

Now for my final thoughts on Uzaki chan wants to hang out as season one has finally come to an end. It was a very fun series for me to watch and I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I really didn’t know much about Uzaki chan prior to the anime and I figured a show like this would stick to cheap gags and generic writing. That was not the case as Uzaki and Sakurai really made this show with their chemistry. I felt like these two characters were well thought out and ironically, are more or less perfect for each other. Episode one was the weakest for me. Uzaki came off as slightly annoying and Sakurai just seemed like someone who couldn’t keep up with Uzaki’s energy. Episode two quickly fixes this and allowed Sakurai banter back with Uzaki in a way that makes their interaction well balanced. The two have been solid ever since and the anime never lost its momentum. Episode twelve did not really play out like a conclusion, but I think that was intentional. The second season for Uzaki chan wants to hang out was officially announced minutes after the last episode aired. This makes me believe that the studio knew this way ahead of time and therefore a conclusion was never in their plan. Even if that wasn’t the case, Uzaki and Sakurai could never seriously confess to one another because there wouldn’t be a story without that tension. I really loved this anime and look forward to covering the second season as well. Until then, it’s been SUGOI DEKAI.              

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 11 Impression

The series is on the cusp of the finale and I never get tired of seeing Uzaki and Sakurai hang out with each other. I’ve been spending so much time with these two for the past couple of months that it’s become more of a privilege to be able to come this far with them. Their interactions are always entertaining and even more so in this episode. I felt like we really got back to business now that the vacation in Tottori is over. Episode eleven of Uzaki chan wants to hang out returns back to its usual format, but with a twist. Instead of Uzaki wanting to hang out, it’s actually…Sakurai? That was unexpected, but I’m glad the anime is still trying to mix things up this far in.

Despite being a gamer, Sakurai has been getting beat up by Uzaki every time they play a match. Though in Sakurai’s defense, Uzaki has always practiced in her spare time with the intent of annoying Sakurai. The tides of turned this time because Sakurai has found something that Uzaki could never beat him at—rock climbing. No matter how difficult the rock climbing course became, Sakurai had no trouble completing it. Uzaki on the other hand, well let’s just say she was dangling on her harness rather than climbing. Sakurai is very athletic so I knew there was no chance for Uzaki to win. Uzaki finally did admit defeat to Sakurai but only before trying to sneak in a dinner invitation as her consolation prize.

I was waiting for this for a long time, but I didn’t know when to expect it. I finally had the chance to see Uzaki in her bunny girl cosplay. Needless to say, this was the highlight of this episode for me. Sakurai is doing solo karaoke and enjoying his time practicing songs without having to worry about being judged by others. Uzaki and Ami happen to see Sakurai and barge into the room to bug him because they’re both drunk. Ami is so drunk that she figures it would be a good idea to cosplay as a cop and have Uzaki put on the bunny girl outfit. Sakurai is desperately trying to ignore them looking slightly annoyed. I know he was liking that bunny costume though because I certainly was. Bunny girl Uzaki alone made this episode great for me.

Sakurai was truly one lucky guy this episode. Not only does he get Uzaki to admit defeat and see her in a bunny costume, but he also received personal cooking lessons from Uzaki’s mom. Tsuki Uzaki makes a return and not much has changed between her and Sakurai. For a moment, Tsuki and Sakurai were actually having a normal conversation and Tsuki noticed the same thing too. Tsuki was glad that Sakurai wasn’t actually a Milf hunter, but that impression didn’t last too long. When Tsuki comes back to the kitchen, she overhears Hana and Sakurai talking about petting her cats. Tsuki takes their words out of context and assumes Sakurai is after her again. If I were Sakurai, I definitely would be paying more attention to Tsuki rather than the cooking.

As I mentioned before, this episode was great for the bunny girl cosplay alone. All joking aside, it was a good episode that really emphasized where Uzaki and Sakurai are in their relationship. They have come so far and have been able to bond closer than they did in episode one. Though, I wonder what’s going to happen now. The episode ends on a cliff hanger with Uzaki crying and telling Sakurai that she can’t hang out with him anymore. Knowing the nature of the series, it’s hard to tell whether this is something serious or not. Either way, I thought that was a good way to build up some suspense for the final episode. I’m looking forward to see how Uzaki chan wants to hang out closes out its first season. 

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 10 Impression

Have you ever wanted to visit Tottori but just didn’t have the chance to go? Well today is your lucky day because episode ten of Uzaki chan wants to hang out is going to take you on a tour around Tottori prefecture. I found this episode to be a lot more laid back in the sense that it was really just a vacation episode. Some of it actually felt like an interactive travel brochure with the intent of increasing tourism. There was a collaboration with Uzaki Chan and Misasa Onsen where illustration posters were created of Uzaki and Sakurai around various sites and landmarks. Perhaps that was the purpose so I’m sure a lot more people will go visit now that they are aware of everything Tottori has to offer.

As I mentioned before, this episode felt a little different than the rest since it was mostly about Uzaki and Sakurai enjoying their trip and traveling from landmark to landmark. Story wise, I can’t really say that much happened. There were some cute moments here and there, such as Uzaki and Sakurai racing down the sand dunes. Since Sakurai is the athletic type I knew that Uzaki wouldn’t have much of a chance of winning. That is until she suddenly starts sandboarding down the sand dunes. Not sure where she got the sandboard from, but she ended up losing anyway. Another cute moment that I liked is when Sakurai and Uzaki read their Omikuji, which is a slip of paper that tells your fortune. Sakurai’s fortune said that he was most compatible with someone like Uzaki. Uzaki’s fortune said she was most compatible with someone like Sakurai. Was this really fate or is someone pulling the strings here?

Speaking of pulling strings, Sakaki makes a return alongside Ami. I don’t think I’ve seen Sakaki since the beach episode so he has been missing in action for a while. Sakaki and Ami team up once again to try to influence Uzaki and Sakurai to confess to each other. Sakaki and Ami pretty much set up some of the sights, in particular the shrine with the Omikuji. It turns out that it was a shrine intended for lovers. There were various places during the trip that were intended for couples and both Sakaki and Ami were hoping that would push the relationship further. Knowing how Uzaki and Sakurai are, any outside influence isn’t going to have any effect on them. Sakaki and Ami eventually accept that as they realize their efforts were pointless.

My favorite scene was when Uzaki and Sakurai visit the figure museum. I did not know about this place prior watching this episode. The Kurayoshi Figure Museum is exactly what you expect it to be. It is a museum that is dedicated to a variety of anime character figures. Watching Uzaki and Sakurai browse through the massive figure collection was so cool that I had to look up myself. The anime did a good job replicating the details as the setting really did look like the real life counterpart. This is definitely a place I would like to visit and I’m really glad that the anime made me aware of this place. I would encourage anyone who’s into figure collecting to look up a few images of the museum.

As you may or may not have noticed, this episode was a lot more laid back. If anything I found it to be pretty informative since every place Uzaki and Sakurai visit are based on real locations. Aside from Ami and Sakaki trying to force Uzaki and Sakurai together, the episode felt like a virtual tour around Tottori. That’s not a bad thing of course and those interested in traveling around Japan will find this episode very interesting. I’m glad that the episode allowed me to become a little more familiar with Tottori and I would like to go see the same things that Uzaki and Sakurai did.

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 9 Impression

At this point in the series I have a pretty decent grasp on who Hana Uzaki really is. She is a very energetic college girl who never misses an opportunity to make fun of her senpai Sakurai. Considering how hyper she can be, where in the world did she get this personality from? Usually if you want to understand someone a little better, you have to turn to their parents. Episode nine of Uzaki chan wants to hang out briefly turns the focus over to Uzaki’s mom, Tsuki Uzaki. Her addition to the cast did make things a little more interesting and I ended up liking her character almost as much as Hana Uzaki.

It actually turns out that Tsuki Uzaki is nothing like her daughter Hana. Tsuki is a lot calmer than Hana and does not carry her same overwhelming energy. The only time Tsuki ever gets “loud” is when she is scolding Hana for doing something stupid. Other than that Tsuki is soft spoken, but she is also very sweet. The only similarity between Hana and Tsuki is probably their breast size. Now it’s pretty clear how Hana eventually became “Sugoi Dekai”, but the origins of her upbeat personality are still a mystery. One interesting detail that I did notice about Tsuki is that she seems to be a bit oblivious to her daughter’s college life. That’s not to say that she doesn’t care about Hana because that is not the type of character she is, but Tsuki is mostly unaware of Hana’s recent activities. Tsuki is surprised to hear that Hana has been working at the café and even more so when she finds out Hana’s senpai is a boy. Hana slept over at Sakurai’s apartment the night she was drunk, so as a Mother you would wonder why your daughter never came home one night. I found it pretty funny that Tsuki is just finding out about these things now.

Tsuki Uzaki is nothing short of a Milf and has everything her daughter does, but with twenty more years of experience. This episodes tries to play with that idea by making Tsuki the type of character who easily misunderstands the situation she finds herself in. Throughout the episode there is a running joke where Tsuki thinks that Sakurai might be into her. Tsuki catches Sakurai staring at her breasts, at least that’s what she has convinced herself of. In reality, Sakurai was actually staring at the cat sitting on Tsuki’s lap since he has an obsession with petting cats. Hana and Sakurai have a conversation about how much he would like to touch the Uzaki family’s house cat, but out of context it sounded like he wanted to fondle Tsuki’s body. Tsuki misunderstood the situation to the point where she had to ask Ami and her dad whether Sakurai was into married women. While Ami and her dad assured Tsuki that Sakurai wasn’t like that, Tsuki doubts it as she catches Sakurai and Hana talking about fermenting beans out of context. I suppose it also doesn’t help that Tsuki is currently watching a romantic drama about a young guy falling for an older woman.

Towards the end of the episode, Sakurai and Uzaki end up winning a trip for two to Tottori. I did not know this previously, but Tottori is the birthplace of Gosho Aoyama who created the Detective Conan manga. In order to honor his work, the town of Hokuei in Tottori prefecture is filled with reference from Detective Conan. It was pretty cool to see Sakurai and Uzaki walking by the Detective Conan display as they arrived in Tottori. The character statues shown in this episode are actually real statues that you can go see for yourself.

If I had to date an older woman, I would definitely take Tsuki any day. At forty three years old she’s a lot better than the choices in my age group. All joking aside (wink wink) this was quite an interesting episode. Not only was a new character introduced, but they really wanted to play with the idea of a younger guy liking an older woman. Of course that never actually happens because it was all in Tsuki’s head, but the thought was still planted. It would be very hard for me to choose between Hana and Tsuki, but if I could have it my way, I would definitely take both.    

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 8 Impression

I really love it when the elements of a story begin to come together. It’s very satisfying for me to start seeing a glimpse of the bigger picture when the setup is done right. Episode eight of Uzaki chan wants to hang out is a direct sequel from the previous episode, but also acts as a prequel to the anime by revealing an interesting flashback. The fragment of details left behind by the previous seven episodes begin to make a little more sense, and in doing so we get to learn a little more about the two main characters. I remember back in episode one, I wondered what kind of history Uzaki and Sakurai had with each other. Now, the answer is getting that much closer.

Episode eight picks up right where episode seven left off as Uzaki’s first drinking experience is still fresh in her mind. Uzaki feels embarrassed about her behavior while under the influence and hands Sakurai an envelope of money to make up for everything he spent on the drinks. Sakurai refuses to take the money, but Uzaki keeps insisting for Sakurai to take it. The two have a funny back and forth because if you were to hear their conversation out of context, it almost sounds like they did something else. Uzaki is more or less depressed for the first half of the episode due to her incident. While I don’t think she did anything embarrassing enough to warrant a somber mood, I guess it’s plausible to say it was just a side effect of the alcohol. Ami suggests, well, more like commands Sakurai to take Uzaki to the fireworks festival in order to cheer her up.

Sakurai truly is one lucky guy and I don’t even think he realizes it. If taking a girl like Uzaki to a fireworks festival didn’t sound good enough already, wait until Uzaki shows up dressed in a Yukata. I think I’ll let the image speak for itself. Sakurai buys Uzaki food and plays various games with her at the festival, but despite all that she still didn’t seem like her old self. Going by Ami’s advice, Sakurai complements Uzaki on how well her Yukata suits her. Uzaki is flattered and responds positively to the praise. Sakurai is desperate to get the old Uzaki back and goes overboard with the compliments. Uzaki becomes so overwhelmed that she hits Sakurai in the face and knocks him out by accident. I never heard of such a thing happening for receiving too many compliments, but I guess that’s Uzaki for you. 

While Sakurai is knocked out, the episode delves into a flashback scene. It was interesting to see the high school version of Uzaki and Sakurai because they don’t really act the same way as we know them in present day.  Sakurai had a serious look on his face to the point of almost being scary (I guess I understand where Uzaki got that from). He was the best swimmer on the high school swim team and took his position seriously. As for Uzaki, she was a quiet high school student who was not very good at swimming. She relied on her senpai Sakurai to teach her how to be more efficient with her movements in the water. From what I could gather, Sakurai and Uzaki’s high school relationship was more like a mentor and student relationship. I wonder what changed Uzaki between high school and college that resulted in her explosive personality.

Honestly, I was not expecting a flashback to happen in this episode. If anything I would have expected one closer to the final episode, so this was quite a surprise for me. I always love it when an anime slowly starts to answer the questions that they leave behind. I understand Uzaki and Sakurai a little more by seeing where their relationship started. Things like the swim club have been previously mentioned, but this time I actually saw how the events played out and it added more depth to the two main characters. There’s one last thing still lingering on my mind, Uzaki looked so good in that Yukata.    

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 7 Impression

It’s one thing to have a budding romance eventually reach its climax and another thing to be teased into believing that it has reached that point. Episode seven of Uzaki chan wants to hang out knows what its audience wants and it does exactly just that—tease. I would say that was pretty much the main theme of this episode. While the teasing is normally done on purpose from Uzaki, both Sakurai and Uzaki managed to tease each other without even realizing it. The way it all plays out is rather cute and forces these two characters into situations that strengthens their relationship. I’m always down to see Uzaki and Sakurai’s relationship become more affectionate no matter how subtle it is.  

The episode does not waste any time teasing the viewer and opens up with Uzaki receiving a phone call from Sakurai. During the phone call Sakurai tells Uzaki how much he needs her and wants her to come meet him. I was more or less convinced that this had to be a dream sequence because there was no way that Sakurai would openly admit something like that. It turns out that it wasn’t a dream and this event actually happened. A blushing Uzaki meets with Sakurai and his reasoning for desperately needing Uzaki became clear to me. Sakurai wanted to go to the cat café, but he didn’t want to go in alone and called Uzaki immediately. Sakurai’s desperation was not for Uzaki, but for his obsession with cats. The guy always looks like he’s about to pass out every time he touches a cat. Once the pieces came together and the real reason for the phone call became clear, I couldn’t help but face palm a little bit. I think Uzaki was thinking the same thing because once she realized there wasn’t any romantic meaning behind the invitation, she started kicking Sakurai in the ankle multiple times in frustration.

It’s funny to think about how Uzaki does the same exact thing to Sakurai and calls him on the phone telling him how much she needs him. It’s Uzaki’s twentieth birthday and she expects to spend it with “high hopes”. As expected, Sakurai over thinks any subtle meaning behind Uzaki’s words and even more so when Uzaki calls him on the phone desperately wanting to see him. When Sakurai meets up with Uzaki, the meaning behind her phone call becomes clear. Uzaki wanted to spend her birthday at an Izakaya, which is a Japanese pub, and called Sakurai to treat her to dinner. More explicitly she wanted to run his wallet dry. The “high hopes” she had for her birthday was to drink alcohol with Sakurai. Since Uzaki is now twenty she is old enough to drink. Once again I face palmed and Sakurai felt the same way when he realized there wasn’t any romantic meaning behind the invitation.   

I think this would be a good time to introduce a new character—drunk Uzaki! Okay, I’m just kidding. Obviously, this isn’t a new character and drunk Uzaki isn’t much different from normal Uzaki… except for maybe talking to telephone poles. I knew Uzaki was going to get drunk judging on how fast she was chugging them down and Sakurai picked up on the same thing. I think this scene had a pretty accurate portrayal of how some first time drinkers handle their alcohol consumption. Since Uzaki doesn’t have any experience, she doesn’t understand what her limits are and she just kept ordering more drinks (RIP Sakurai’s wallet). Sakurai and I were exactly on the same page with each other. Sakurai warned Uzaki to take it easy, but both Sakurai and I knew that she wouldn’t listen. I felt like I had a bounding bro-moment with Sakurai watching Uzaki make a typical rookie mistake. I was wondering whether a confession would slip out from a drunk Uzaki, but the only thing that came out of her mouth was a lot of throw up.

As expected, another good episode from team Uzaki. The teasing went as far as it could without either one of the two main characters flat out confessing. Surely, it made me face palm twice as both Uzaki and Sakurai missed their opportunities to make their feelings clear. It was funny to see Uzaki drinking liquor for the first time and she ended up learning a valuable lesson the hard way. Uzaki vowed to never drink again, but let’s see if she still feels the same after her hangover goes away. 

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 6 Impression

It was only a matter of time before an episode like this came along. Episode six of Uzaki Chan wants to hang out mixes up the scenery by taking the cast down to the beach. I know beach episodes have a stigma of being cliché, but it would be dumb to think an anime like Uzaki Chan would miss out on that opportunity. While the fan service is more or less what you would expect, it definitely does not pull any of its punches. I still found the beach episode to be enjoyable as Uzaki and Sakurai continue with their usual antics. Ami and Sakaki seem to be creating some antics on their own as well behind the scenes. This was definitely an episode I was waiting for and it seemed to go by faster than I thought.

Before heading over to the beach with the rest of the gang, I would like to congratulate Uzaki on starting her new job. You might have wondered, what kind of place would Uzaki like to work at? Well, what better way to annoy Sakurai than to work at the café with him. Sakurai is not thrilled to have Uzaki as his coworker, but since Ami and her dad want to keep Uzaki and Sakurai together, Uzaki was pretty much guaranteed the job. Sakurai is tasked to show Uzaki how to carry out the responsibilities of being a waiter at the café. However, it turns out that Uzaki had already received training by Ami before Sakurai came in. Uzaki asked Sakurai to train her, acting as if she didn’t receive any training beforehand, so she can make fun of Sakurai trying to be serious while explaining the instructions to her. When I thought about it long enough, the joke was pretty funny in a dumb way as Uzaki never ceases to amaze me at how far she will go just to amuse herself.        

The highlight of this episode definitely has to be the watermelon scene. Sakaki brings a watermelon to the beach for the sake of making Sakurai play watermelon piñata. The objective as you might have already guessed, is that Sakurai must hit the watermelon with a bat while blindfolded.  It’s up to Uzaki to guide Sakurai to the location of the watermelon. As usual, Uzaki takes the opportunity to mess with Sakurai and directs him with a string of fighting game combos instead of normal directions. I’m not sure which specific fighting game Uzaki was referring to because obviously the letter inputs she was shouting don’t make any sense in terms of direction. A flustered Sakurai trips over the sand and lands in the best way possible—with his hand on Uzaki’s chest. This was the moment I was waiting for because I knew something was going to happen on the beach. I don’t how Sakurai managed to get his hand in there, but I’m glad to see the old “falling on a girl” trope still going strong today. Here’s to many more years to come!

I will say that the one thing this anime loves to consistently do is to tease any possible romance between Uzaki and Sakurai. After a long day at the beach, Sakurai is passed out on the couch at the cabin they are staying in. Ami and Sakaki are also asleep and Uzaki is the only one awake still playing games. Uzaki decides to try to take a picture of Sakurai sleeping so she can make fun of him later, but a sleeping Sakurai pulls Uzaki unto the couch and hugging her. Uzaki is surprised, but once she realizes that Sakurai is still sleeping, she begins to pat him on the head. Their relationship seems to grow a little more in each episode, even though Sakurai was unaware that he slept next to Uzaki. While I would say just let it happen already, there is some excitement in being teased on what could possibly happen in the future.   

While this was a beach episode, it wasn’t the entire focus of the episode. Now that Uzaki is working at the café, I wonder what kind of trouble she will cause Sakurai at work. Maybe Uzaki is just using her employment to get closer to Sakurai in her own way. Also, apparently in the last scene of the episode Ami mentions Kakyoin in one of her lines. Apparently this is supposed to be a reference to a character from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. This kind of went right over my head since I haven’t seen JoJo at this point in time, so I feel like I missed out on something funny. 

Uzaki Chan Wants to Hang Out : Ep 5 Impression

The more I watch Uzaki and Sakurai interact with each other, the more it becomes apparent that they are a good fit for each other. Episode five of Uzaki Chan wants to hang out returns to the comedic routine of the earlier episodes while also keeping the progression of Uzaki and Sakurai’s relationship in mind. One thing I can say so far is that the series does a pretty good job in sprinkling in a little bit of romance in between the comedic scenes. I actually felt a touch of “Kaguya Sama” vibes in the last half of this episode. Another character is also introduced in this episode so would like to take a moment to give him a shout out.

The new character introduced is Sakaki Itsuhito. To be honest, I’m not sure if I could call Sakaki a new character because I have a feeling that I’ve seen him before back in episode two. If I remember correctly, I think Sakaki was off screen and did not say anything, but this time he gets a proper introduction as he adds himself into the main cast. Sakaki is a close friend of Sakurai who seems to be the opposite in terms of lifestyle. Sakaki likes to go out, drink with girls, and apparently is so care free that he took a trip to Okinawa before summer break even started. Sakaki is also critical of Sakurai’s lifestyle as Sakaki freaks out on him when Sakurai tells Sakaki that he spends his time going to work, going to school and playing games. Sakaki lectures Sakurai that he’s wasting his youth away, that is until Uzaki shows up and Sakaki suddenly has a renewed faith in Sakurai. There was an interesting interaction between Ami and Sakaki where Ami does not want Sakaki to meddling in Uzaki and Sakurai’s relationship. While Sakaki is also rooting for Uzaki and Sakurai to get together, Ami doesn’t want an outside source to sway a natural process. I’m interested to see how Ami and Sakaki interact with each other as the series goes on.

The comedy is still as fresh as always and I’d say this almost halfway through season one, (Yes, I am already calling a season two this far in advanced). Uzaki and Sakurai are still able to play off each other with their teasing very well, and after watching them for five episodes, some of the teasing might even be kind of cute in a way. Then again, that could be just me looking too deeply into the simple things. There is a scene where Sakurai falls asleep during a lecture where the professor is talking about dream interpretation. Sakurai has dream is he trying to help a cat who is perched on a plank off of the edge of the building. Sakurai ends up falling off of the building and is jolted awake when he hits the ground. In that moment, the professor mentions that falling off of high places in a dream is a sign of being anxious, and Uzaki, who just witnessed Sakurai dozing off, does not hesitate to spend the rest of the lecture teasing him about it. After class, as Uzaki is still amusing herself with Sakurai’s dream interpretation, Uzaki slips down the stairs, but is quickly caught by Sakurai. Sakurai does not let a good opportunity to get back at Uzaki pass him and tells her that they say that people who trip on the staircase develop a fear of descending them. Sakurai goes on to tell Uzaki that pretty soon she will never be able to go down stairs again and Uzaki freaks out. I thought it was really funny to see Sakurai pull a fast one on Uzaki to settle the score on their teasing battle as I honestly was not expecting it.  

I actually learned a great deal about Uzaki in the last scene. It was a big reveal that I never saw coming and that was…wait for it…that Uzaki loves chocolate mint. Yes, you heard me right. Uzaki loves chocolate mint so much that she went on a rant about it when Sakurai tells her he doesn’t like mint. Uzaki went crazy and gave the whole history of how chocolate mint performed in the Japanese market ever since it was brought overseas. It was a hilarious rant that felt like it lasted longer than it actually did. I thought that it was quite interesting to end the episode in something completely random. Uzaki really showed off her aggressive side which ended being more cute than scary.

Once again, I’d say this was a pretty solid episode. It really had a nice balance of focusing on the comedy and the evolution of Uzaki and Sakurai’s relationship. My guess is that Sakaki and Ami could end up being rivals from here on. I’m not sure what Sakaki’s motive is, if any, but I am interested to see how his addition to the cast will end up influencing the story. As we approach the halfway point at episode six, I’m also interested to see how the series paces itself from here on, but I’m still calling a second season this early on.