Do you wish Seitokai Yakuindomo had 10 more seasons? Well, this is one of them.
Which is to say, this is an inappropriate comedy that manages to stay classy and not devolve into outright vulgarity. The source of gags is absurdity of situations and absurdity of character interactions, which, on the other hand, brings it closer to the stuff like Asobi Asobase. Also be mindful that it’s that specific type of anime comedy where they find a billion ways to tell the same exact joke differently.
The heroine is a middle-school girl inventor that could’ve easily propelled humanity a millennium forward if she wasn’t too busy with romantic plots like trying to force the male lead to drink her (purified) urine, which in her adolescent maiden’s mind is something akin to an indirect kiss.
The hero is genuinely autistic in an actual medical sense of the term, on a high-functioning end of the spectrum. He isn’t just dense to heroine’s advances – he’s not familiar with the concept of romance or boy-girl relationship (and can’t tell boys and girls apart to begin with).
The supporting cast are colorful weirdos, some of them are blatantly copied from Monogatari, at least as far as character design is concerned. The show wears this on its sleeve, in fact, the similarities are incorporated into the show’s comedy – some gags are based on subverting your expectations of how the corresponding Monogatari character will act in a given situation.
Also, there are plenty of moments of genuine romantic fluff that makes you go “aww”, further driving home SYD comparison. The OP and ED songs (there are 3 different ones of the latter) are likewise cute and fluffy. The season ends on a high note of PROGRESS.
The only downside is 10 minutes per episode format, the comedy is strong and varied enough to carry full-length episodes, so it feels like a wasted opportunity.
9/10 for a comedy show that knows what it does and does it well.
Ueno-san is a simple show at heart, but it manages to use great execution, creative ideas, and one very adorable Ueno-san in order to make a comedy that not only works, but provides more than just it's comedic jokes.
At it's heart it is a sexual joke comedy like other shows before it, most of Ueno's inventions have to do with something lewd, or something romantic. While some shows go out of their way to force this sort of stuff, and Ueno-san admittedly at times can too, the bulk of these have a simple source: the infinite horniness of Ueno-san, and how much she loves her beloved kouhai. Most of her inventions are attempts at getting him closer to her or to get him to do perverse things to her. Her manner is pretty interesting to watch as it's not just about her trying to lewd him all the time, but rather her mindgames in trying to get him to lewd her, which is what she really so badly wants.
However, she happens to be a complete and utter tsundere and even when she gets what she wants she ends up overreacting and running away unable to deal with the strong emotions that are in her heart. Despite how over the top her character is, she feels genuine and manages to feel like a real character. When she is dealing with problems that relate to other club's that go to her for help she manages to treat them seriously and do her best to help out. She isn't just her infinite horniness, even if it is a large part of her. After all she is a teenager and she is experiencing strong emotions for the first time, and it's not unnatural to not know what to do with them. So while over the top her emotions make sense to me, and I find myself able to relate to her and her struggles in trying to get closer to her love and get the things she wants without being so forward about it.
Furthermore the jokes are able to have a good amount of variety and are able to focus on a wide array of different lewd actions and romantic actions rather than focusing on the same items over and over again. The wide array of her inventions allow for a diversity in what happens depending on what she wants to get Tanaka to do at that time.
And while a dense harem MC can be frustrating at times the sheer denseness of Tanaka is quite humorous especially with how obvious Ueno is. It also helps that because Ueno is such a tsundere, it's not like either of them are making that many serious attempts to showcase their love. Nor is it like she is losing because he is so dense. And besides I feel the sometimes sweet and off the top of his head statements that he is prone to making is exactly what she likes about him. Because with all of his denseness he manages to make these statements that light her heart on fire, without even trying to do so in the first place. Not to mention the denseness actually does a great job for the straight man role that most japanese comedies have. With his denseness he is able to fill this role without feeling too over the top and unnatural in it. He states normalcy and acts the most normal of the bunch without overdoing it or putting too much weight on the joke in his words. While he fills the straight man role, he doesn't become nothing but a straight man, and manages to fit into that role naturally due to who he is.
And this denseness creates an interesting mindgame dynamic. While some other shows have the main romantic leads face off against each other and try to outwit each other, Ueno's mindgames aren't battles of wits, they're battles of who is the dumbest. Ueno's plans are good but she manages to sabotage herself almost every time. Tanaka isn't even trying to mindgame, rather his sheer denseness works in his favor as he manages to go against her plans with sheer density. Despite this, the mindgames don't have a clear power structure. Ueno often gets her wants in a round about way due to Tanaka's denseness. It may not be the way she wanted but it still warms her heart and brings her closer to him.
Even thought her plans fail their closeness grows with each one. Even in their interactions it's easy to see how close they are. Despite Ueno's weird requests Tanaka often humors her and goes along with them. Despite Ueno getting overloaded, she does get some of the love and interaction that Tanaka desires. Her plans may fail, but often she doesn't go empty handed. And when it comes down to it Tanaka does try his best for her, and it's sweet.
Also I have to mention Yamashita who is a great wingman and does her best for Ueno. The dynamic between the two of them is also quite nice as they do care about each other and do try to help each other.
Overall Ueno is a great comedy and a great romance. With some fun gags, some fun mindgames, and some great characters. Ueno is the highlight of the show, and it's so much fun watching her demanding tsundereness and all of her adorable over the top reactions to everything. It's funny, cute, and heartwarming, and makes for a great rom-com to watch.