Perseverance is an admirable trait. I definitely have trouble following through and I need instant gratification. Episode 8 of Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun explores patience for love and how a romantic spark can cause everything in life to change. What would you do for love? We’ll find out in this week’s review.
Japanese Title: 梅屋くんは忍耐強い
Umeya is Fujimi High Judo Team’s star. He’s spent his whole life training in Judo and can take down anyone. He’s at the height of his career and his coach is very proud of him. However, while walking across campus one day, he sees Gotō watching the soccer team practice. Umeya instantly falls for her and throws his years of Judo practice away (Judo pun) to join the soccer team.
This upsets his coach who becomes a major stalker throughout the episode, trying to figure out ways to get Umeya to return to the Judo team. This is understandable since Umeya was the sure shot in the Judo championship. In order to get Gotō’s attention, he starts on the soccer team. He shows strong skills despite never having played. Without spoiling anything, the main arc this week revolves around Umeya being a generally great dude and about the suspicious eyes of onlookers.
Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun continues to break the formula this week, further pushing Aoyama to the side in order to highlight this new character. I’m really interested to see how many cast members the series will be able to fit into the season. I’m almost sad, because I haven’t done my due diligence. I’m afraid the series will end at 12 episodes. I will have just gotten to know all of the characters and the feeling will be similar to moving away to a new city with no friends.
I think the major theme this week is about appearances, goals, and personality. Umeya’s personality is stoic and his coach lauds his perseverance. But Umeya’s ‘betrayal’ makes the coach angry and believes Umeya has changed. Many characters make assumptions about Umeya’s ‘why’ for doing anything this episode. It’s hard to believe that sometimes people can just be great people because they are great people.
There’s also something to be said for long-term goals. The present is a means to an end when you have your eye on the future. Do the best you can now for the goal in the future – but don’t rush. Good things can take time to happen.
Umeya is a good dude.
Highlights & Comments
This week’s highlight is cats. Big cats, small cats, cats cats cats. Look, I really like cats. Gotō really likes cats. Aoyama really likes cats. You’ll really like the cats this week. (And Odigiri returns!)
My final comment this week relates to episode quality. Episode 8 is a really incredible episode. It is severely lacking in action and that makes it difficult to give textual substance into a review. Do not let this fool you. The lack of action is a good thing, because this episode is all emotion. From a story-telling standpoint, it’s one of the best to date and Umeya is an excellent addition to the cast. He literally becomes a top-tier character before the 10-minute mark of the episode. Being able to create this level of attachment to new characters in a 24-minute anime episode is the definition of masterful storytelling.
Someone to Root For
If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve already picked your pairings. Some of them may have previously made you sad because you want every character to be happy. ‘I wanna root of Aoyama X *spoiler-free name*, but I don’t want *other spoiler-free name* to be sad.’ That’s what I say every episode. Now, I can finally root for everyone to be happy. Umeya’s episode adds a strong foundation to a series that juggles humor, sports, life, and love brilliantly.
Who are you rooting for?
NEXT TIME: Miwa-chan Wants to Do a Training Camp (美和ちゃんは合宿がしたい)