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Shouta Aoi Pop Team Epic Appearance Saves the Day (and the Internet)

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

Voice actor Shōta Aoi is an anime idol regular, showing off his singing chops in DYNAMIC CHORD, KING OF PRISM by PrettyRhythm, MARGINAL #4 the Animation, Utano☆Princesama Legend Star, Tsukiuta. THE ANIMATION, and Shōnen Hollywood - Holly Stage for 50 to name a few. His voice has become a staple in the genre, but the Pop Team Epic finale might be the first time viewers have watched him perform in person.

In the episode, Aoi appears as himself and a time-traveler to carry Popuko and Pipimi back in time to defeat a very convoluted group of masterminds set on establishing hegemony. Like most of Pop Team Epic, it's all very absurd.

Aoi then appears again to perform the series' ending theme "Poppy Pappy Day" while performing the dance routine seen in an earlier Pop Team Epic segment (but that time, it was performed by felt versions of the characters).

Viewers responded on Twitter to his appearance with both confusion and humor.

Aoi's appearance has inspired viewers in Japan to insert the voice actor into other images under the hashtag "バッドエンドから一行で救う" (Bad End Kara Ikkō de Sukū; Use one line to prevent a bad ending). Viewers are copy-pasting images of Aoi in situations that would lead to a bad ending, but he manages to prevent it with a single line.

Shōta Aoi as a time traveler in Steins;Gate Saving Anakin Skywalker at the end of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Saving Souther so he can instead star in the comedy anime Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor

The positive reception has created an "emergency release" situation over at T-shirt company Club T. The company is offering its Pop Team Epic Shitty Sub-Character Shōta Aoi T-shirt for 3,132 yen (US$30). Like it's name implies the shirt is literally a low-res image of Shōta Aoi's face surrounded by a black square border and printed onto a white T-shirt.

Crappy or not, the announcement saw a large increase in traffic to Club T's website, with some users unable to connect at all.

[Via Nijimen]

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