Update (11/20/2017): Re-arranged screencaps
My summer course just ended so now I have more free time until the summer ends.
So we’re now at Episode 4 of Aoyama-kun and I have to admit: this show is a little bit more interesting than I expected.
It has become pretty clear that Aoyama-kun is more of a surreal comedy than an actual sports anime. I mean, there is soccer in the show and it is fun to watch, but the sport feels rather secondary to Aoyama’s germaphobia. That’ll probably disappoint those who watch sports anime for, well, the sports but I’m fine with the direction this show is taking. Besides, it’s really hard to not find hundreds of people fighting to sniff Aoyama’s towels funny. I still can’t believe that happened!
Still, for a comedy, Aoyama-kun sure has a fair amount of edge. I watch moments such as Kana threatening to accuse Aoyama of sexual harassment and Narita getting suspected for stealing a female classmate’s backpack and they’re appropriately uncomfortable t o sit through. It only throws me off given the weird stuff that happens alongside those scenes but so far, I think these moments are executed pretty well. It’s nice that the show is not comedic all the time.
On top of that, Aoyama-kun is surprisingly very interested in, well, Aoyama-kun himself. The show surprisingly does not trivialize his germaphobia as a comedic gimmick. The fact that Aoyama willing to take some dirt and mud during the last five minutes of the game because he can’t stand losing and cheating really shows how much soccer means to him. It goes to show that some people have more important things than their phobias. And as funny as it is to see Aoyama playing an MMO, it really reveals a different side of him. In the game, he’s able to be the exact opposite of what he is in real life – cocky, loud, and even disorganized. We get a sense that Aoyama does take enjoyment in cleaning stuff but I think there is more depth to him if he uses a video game for a little bit of escapism.
Most of the supportive cast are gag characters but there have been a few standouts. I particularly love Moka. She is crazy and overprotective of Aoyama (that baseball bat…) but it’s also clear that she completely gets Aoyama’s obsession and she does her best to try make it less of a burden for him. I also found the inclusion of Narita kind of interesting. Frankly, I’m surprised the show even has a second clean freak but it plays some nice contrast with Aoyama. I can’t blame Narita for wanting to keep his habit a secret but it it really sheds some light on the pros Aoyama gets for being public about his phobia.
So far, Aoyama-kun is shaping up to be a far more interesting anime than I expected. I went into the show expecting to laugh, and I have been laughing a lot, but its exploration into Aoyama’s character has me as invested as the surreal comedy. Episode 5 airs in a few days and I’ll definitely get around to watching that.