Series Review

Anime Hajime Review: Ueno-san wa Bukiyou

Original Run: January 7, 2019 - March 25, 2019
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Based on the Series Created By: tugeneko

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Ueno-san wa Bukiyou. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Ueno (voiced by Yuu Serizawa) is a genius inventor and president of her school’s science club. Every day in the science-prep room, she can be found crafting a new piece of advanced technology.

And to test every item she makes, Ueno turns to her clubmate, Tanaka (voiced by Aimi Tanaka).

Although it may seem like Ueno is getting Tanaka to try out her potentially embarrassing devices for the fun of it, if you look a little deeper, you can see the truth. Ueno simply has a massive crush on Tanaka.

Granted, Ueno may be incredibly awkward when it comes to just telling Tanaka her feelings, but it’s not as if her intentions are hard to figure out. The problem is, Tanaka is utterly oblivious to Ueno’s not at all subtle advances.

Even when faced with a denseness of epic proportions, Ueno, stubbornly, refuses to give up.

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Series Positives

Ueno-san wa Bukiyou has the unfortunate distinction of being one of those series that wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for a single, crippling detail.

I’m not saying this show was a near masterpiece; it wasn’t anywhere close to being that spectacular. However, a majority of this series was fun and — dare I say — clever. There was plenty, and I mean plenty to like about Ueno-san wa Bukiyou.

Sadly, that makes it all the more tragic I can’t look upon this show with a favorable light.

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That notwithstanding, I won’t ignore the stuff Ueno-san wa Bukiyou actually did well.

For starters, the gadgets and gizmos created by Ueno were quite fun. Every item seen in this series was fantastical enough to be both outrageous and silly. More than that, though, these devices had to them plenty of details to not only make them practical (assuming we ignore the laws of physics) but desirable as well.

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To describe a few:

  • An intergalactic black hole device that concealed a girl’s underskirt region.
  • An ultra-thin fabric that was even better than modern body armor.
  • A contraption that condensed the surrounding air which allowed the user to sit anywhere without the need of a chair.

It would have been simple to think up niche items that were needlessly sophisticated to solve mundane problems. Instead, Ueno-san wa Bukiyou went a step further and thought up ideas that made sense.

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Following that, this series had a wonderful habit of introducing entertaining side characters. I’m not talking about people who had deep personalities or highly-crafted backstories. Instead, everyone who visited the science-prep room kept adding healthy doses of freshness to whatever was going on.

Ueno-san wa Bukiyou never got stale; it was never boring.

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Lastly, Ueno herself was the best aspect of this show. She was what gave Ueno-san wa Bukiyou something to grab onto.

Ueno was energetic, but not obnoxious. She was super intelligent, but not snobbish. She could go off on others, but she was also never stingy when it came to offering out her help. Plus, an embarrassed Ueno was kind of cute.

As I said earlier, this wasn’t a great show, but it was Ueno who made sitting through it tolerable. It would be wrong of me to pretend there was zero enjoyment in this series.

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Series Negatives

Okay Odyssey, what is going on? It sounds like you have plenty of praise to give this show. Can one detail really sour something so much?

If you are thinking as such, I should let you know that Ueno-san wa Bukiyou was only ten minutes per episode. Thus, that did make its resilience to nonsense less effective. Still, I will acknowledge that most shows with so many good points aren’t often undone by a lone element.

However, most shows don’t have characters like Tanaka. This guy’s denseness was insufferable.

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To be fair, having someone with no sense of what is going on around them is nothing new; a show can do fine with this type of character. The key to successfully doing this, though, comes from balance. There needs to be something to counteract rampant cluelessness.

Ueno-san wa Bukiyou completely failed in this area. But to tell you the truth, I’m not sure how anything could have balanced out Tanaka. To give you an idea of his inhuman lack of awareness, let me paint you a picture:

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There is a boy studying in a classroom, and it’s raining outside. Suddenly a girl comes in dripping wet. The boy asks what the girl is doing, and she says, “I want to spend time with you and only you.”

The boy’s responds, “Why?”

Why do you think numbnuts? Maybe try putting two and two together. That level of obliviousness can get annoying real fast.

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If you have this scene firmly visualized in your head, I want you to keep everything the same: the classroom, the rain, the girl walking in soaked. Now all you have to do is replace the boy with Tanaka.

Cut to the girl’s comment, “I want to spend time with you and only you.”

Tanaka’s responds, “I didn’t know girls could get wet. Also, why are you always frustrated with me?”

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If you think I’m being overdramatic, consider this:

In the show, Tanaka didn’t realize girls could grow leg hairs. That was a genuine surprise to him.

Tanaka was a constant drag on this series. Every time he was on screen, he sucked the life out of whatever was going on. Normally, I would say I would have liked to smack some sense into him, but several characters tried that, and nothing changed.

Therefore, if you think one bad element can’t ruin an otherwise decent show, I strongly beg to differ.

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Final Thoughts

I feel so bad.

In most any other circumstance, I would have seen this series as a quirky little gem. It wasn’t anything special, but there was a charm all the same.

However, think of it this way. If you were to offer me a fancy dinner free of charge under the condition I would let you punch me in the face every five minutes, thanks but no thanks.

Even with everything it did well, I still can’t find it in me to recommend Ueno-san wa Bukiyou.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Ueno-san wa Bukiyou? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

And if you’ve liked what you have read, be sure to follow me here at LofZOdyssey Anime Reviews and on my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.

I’m LofZOdyssey, and I will see you next time.

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