Clean Freak! Aoyama kun – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Aoyama kun is a hot, young soccer prodigy who plays midfielder for the National U-16 Soccer Team. But he’s also an extreme germaphobe! The TV anime adaptation of “Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama kun!” (Clean Freak!! Aoyama kun) portrays the friendships he forms and the challenges he overcomes in a “spotless” coming-of-age story! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Clean Freak! Aoyama kun is yet another LOL SO RANDOMZZZ kind of comedy where the most bizarre characters and gags parade for your amusement. While there’s plenty of fans for this genre of comedy, it’s also a type of comedy that has a high chance of falling flat on its face and coming off more try hard and nonsensical than amusing. And in the case of Clean Freak!, it ensures that the show will appeal only to diehard fans of that genre. The show seems to be pushing some of its gags really hard, even featuring them in the opening credits, and then featuring them repeatedly in the actual episode until any humour it offered completely dies.
Tom: Despite tagged as a comedy, seinen, and slice of life, this first episode feels more like a standard shonen sports anime coupled with ‘lol so random’ humor forced into proceedings. It’d work if the gags didn’t feel so one note, repetitive and predictable. It beats the audience over the head with its comedy and that makes the episode a real slog to get through unless the humor is actually working for you.
Linny: Fans of the show, “Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto” might be more likely to take to Clean Freak! as there are quite a few similarities between the two. First off, the protagonists in both shows behave in a quirky manner and their most mundane and bizarre behaviour is somehow the very reason why almost everyone worships them. There’s also their random brand of gags. However, I cannot guarantee if Clean Freak will be able to match or outdo Sakamoto as I wasn’t a huge fan of Sakamoto either making this brand of humour hard for me to truly judge and compare.
Tom: That’s the biggest thing that bugs me. I had qualms with Sakamoto for the way in which his classmates seemed to absolutely idolize him despite so many of his actions being entirely bizarre. It’s the same issue here, but to a stronger degree. The girls seem absolutely smitten with Aoyama’s germophobia, clean freak tendencies and no one actually calls that out as weird. The series isn’t helped by quite a few characters possessing extremely odd quirks, like Takechi, an arrogant youth soccer player who is constantly showing everyone his six pack. An odd quirk isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but these colorful traits are generally very one note and offer little variation throughout the episode.
Linny: For viewers who prefer a straight man in their comedies, Clean Freak! has Kaoru Zaizen, a football fanatic and fellow teammate who starts off being the only person not enamored with Aoyama and is even annoyed by everyone’s obsession with someone he considers an oddity. There’s a few decent gags played off of Kaoru that makes it feel like he might be the character that appeals to anyone who likes more subtle and sincere characters.
Tom: Clean Freak! Aoyama kun is pretty disappointing. It’s absurd concept isn’t very well used, with plenty of repetitive jokes and lots of ‘lol so random’ humor that just isn’t at all clever. It’s shaping up to be a weak Summer so far, but even so there has to be better than this.
Linny: Should you watch Clean Freak! Aoyama kun? Sure, if you’ve watched and loved “Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto” as both shows have similar enough tones and comedy that it seems likely that a fan of one of them will end up becoming a fan of the other. However, if you are averse or extremely picky regarding the random and bizarre kind of comedy, you might want to give this show a skip.
Clean Freak! Aoyama kun is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com