I’m going to squeeze as many of these first impressions posts in as a can so as not to have a horrific backlog when Anime Expo is over. Teppeki Danshi Aoyama-kun was one of the more anticipated shows in my second tier, based if nothing else on that fact that it looked the closest thing to a true sports anime on the schedule. I liked the premiere a lot, but I’m now thinking maybe that title ought to fall to Ballroom e Youkoso.
Make no mistake about it, this story about a germaphobic high school soccer boy is a comedy first, soccer series second. If anything it reminds me a bit of Sakamoto Desu ga? in terms of comedic style and tone. Absurdity is the order of the day here, right down to a team full of high schoolers played by famous seiyuu a generation or two older making no effort to disguise their generous supply of tree rings.
There’s nothing truly exceptional in this premiere, but the comic moments work pretty consistently. My favorite among the cast is Tomokazu Seki as Zaizen Kaoru, the old-school tough guy who’s appalled at the prospect of a super-talented (he even plays for the national U-17 team) teammate who won’t head the ball, won’t tackle, and won’t get his uniform dirty until the last five minutes of the match. There are a lot of deformed character shots and face-pulls and such, and the climactic gag of the episode (the reason Aoyama-kun chose Fujimi High School) is a great payoff. I think my favorite part of the episode, though, is the ED – which gloriously recalls the glory days of sports anime in the 70’s, with tongue firmly in-cheek.
I don’t know if this gag style of humor is going to hold up well for a full cour, or whether it’ll lend itself to blogging. But for a week at least, it was quite enjoyable.