Clean Freak! Aoyama-kunwanders off the beaten trail in Episode 11. In this week’s review, we’ll over-analyze the lore and magic in the Aoyama world and how Sakai manipulates it for a short time to become the protagonist. I can hear the whispers…read on!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 坂井くんの髪型が変わった
The plot this week is pretty simple. Sakai gets a haircut which looks suspiciously like Aoyama’s style. Because of this haircut: he suddenly becomes popular at school, gets a soccer fan club, becomes better at soccer, and replaces Zaizen as forward. The episode chronicles the journey of Sakai turning into a cool dude, while his friends Tsukamoto and Yoshioka mourn the loss of their friend to the Handsome Club.
How did a haircut give Sakai the ability to be great at soccer… and get the girls?
In the sub-plot, Zaizen is forced to train to reclaim his position on the team.
The real charm in the past few episodes, and literal savior of them, has been Zaizen. This week, the Zaizen family steals the show with more gags from the pockets of Daddy Zaizen and his misguided son.
Goto’s Training Camp Is the Highlight
Goto becomes more terrifying each episode as she casts off her innocent shell and becomes a more visible part of the team. Due to her performance in Episode 9, Zaizen asks her to train him. Unfortunately for Zaizen, she doesn’t make it easy. This takes a really strange turn as Zaizen’s rich father shows up to the field and is forced into submitting to Goto’s wrath.
I’m getting a little bit frustrated. The past few episodes have felt lackluster in comparison to the fantastic season we’ve had so far. This is not to say there weren’t humorous moments, but the series seems to have plateaued. The problem may be that the formula has changed. No longer is Aoyama center to solving problems. He kind of just sits on the sidelines and is kind of in the episode, but doesn’t do much. This is disappointing to me.
The problem may be a result of the large cast of characters. I’ve commended the show in the past for its ability to build a character story in 20 minutes, but now that we’ve met nearly every character – some of these episodes feel a little crowded. The past couple of episodes have moved too far from the charm of the first 9. Bring back Aoyama. The contrast in his role doesn’t feel right, maybe this is the purpose of him taking the sidelines, to bring emotional turmoil to the viewer – but I doubt it.
As far as the lore I promised, here’s my breakdown.
This week, Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun reveals that there is a God of Soccer. He has the ability to bestow a player with talent and fame. I am unsure exactly what it takes to appeal to the God of Soccer, but my assumption is based strictly on appearances. Interestingly, Sakai has a name that fits Sakkā (サッカー). The similarity between soccer and Sakai’s name may be enough to draw the God of Soccer to him. He blesses a player with whispers of soccer triumph. We know it is a male deity, because he has a mustache.
I do not like this god. The God of Soccer is a vain entity and most likely has ulterior motives existing in a realm of perversion. Sakai fell victim to the Soccer God’s manipulation and was punished for it. Perhaps, the entire universe is controlled by gods and deities that embody sports. It would explain so much.
I very much hope they make Episode 12 incredible.
Is Twelve the Redemption
Did you fall victim for Sakai’s magical hairstyle? Did he woo you? I wasn’t impressed, Aoyama’s cuter, you know. Who wore it better? Aoyama or Sakai? Sakai at least has a personality, but Aoyama just has something about him. Vote below in the comments and see you next time!