I first looked at the title of this episode, “Aoyama-kun Has Many Secrets” and I thought to myself, “What else is new?”. When you think about it, we have learned a lot about Aoyama’s character from his sportsmanship to his desires to his love for cats. But almost all the time, these details surface through how other characters see Aoyama. The spotlight rarely ever on Aoyama.
With that in mind, it is fitting that Aoyama’s teammates know very little about Aoyama, especially his personal life (while I’m at it, does anyone know Aoyama’s first name?). This results in a hilarious chase scene between Aoyama and his teammates. I kept laughing at that little cop who randomly shows up to tell the viewer not to try everyone’s bicycling stunts at home. Ultimately, Aoyama’s teammates do learn a secret of his but evidently, the man still remains a mystery to them. I suppose it would’ve been funny if Aoyama’s teammates did find out where he lives but I think I would prefer it if Aoyama’s living conditions were kept a secret. Whatever my brain imagines Aoyama’s house to be would probably be a funnier image than what the show would actually present.
It is still an interesting revelation that Aoyama has a rival that he is unable to beat at soccer. We’ve spent nine episodes where everyone praises Aoyama as this soccer genius so imagine my surprise that we get to see Aoyama a bit embarrassed when his rivalry with Seigo becomes public. This detail honestly humanizes Aoyama a bit; he’s a terrific soccer player but even he has room for improvement and people he can’t beat.
Originally, I expected the second half episode being Seigo attempting to recruit Aoyama to his soccer team but instead we have Aoyama helping Seigo reconcile with his childhood friend and manager Kozue after insulting her cooking. It is disappointing for the episode to divulge back into the show’s usual “guest of the week” format; I would’ve liked to see the comic reliefs investigate Aoyama more. Still, it was pretty entertaining seeing Aoyama, a man who avoids intimate contact with people, give romantic advice to Seigo. Just the first piece of advice Aoyama gives was enough for me. I just can’t get over the fact that Aoyama thinks the cat suit would entertain a person as well as a real cat would (and where did he get that costume?). I know Seigo is a pretty dense guy (he fails to recognize that Kozue cooks food to keep him fit) but surely, anyone would know that Aoyama is hardly a expert in romance.