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).
the final poptepipic ending where Shōta Aoi sang and danced was one of the best things to happen to me recently and i am sharing it with you all in the hopes that, if you weren't watching this show, it enriches your lives as it did mine..... pls enjoy pic.twitter.com/OUkmCoTt4L— kuso anime girl (@__makimaki0) March 24, 2018
Viewers responded on Twitter to his appearance with both confusion and humor.
anyway i can't watch the pop team epic finale until i get back but after seeing the clip of aoi shota in it i have decided that anime will be allowed to exist for another year. well done you did it— [email protected] (@Xythar) March 26, 2018
sorry, I was thinking about Shota Aoi— vestenet @ sakura-con soon △△ (@vestenet) March 25, 2018
THIS IS THE MOST TIMES I SCREAMED IN A SINGLE POP TEAM EPISODE AHAHAHAHA TANGINA MO SHOTA AOI— PLS TELL LORENTZ I LOVE HIM (@dettsuuu) March 27, 2018
aoi shota became a meme oh god— [email protected] (@hakakamiiii) March 27, 2018
I printed out the Aoi Shouta face mask from Pop Team Epic and stuck him to my office door to scare my coworkers and ward off evil spirits I guess pic.twitter.com/r6VL3v19XS— 蒼井翔太 (CV: 蒼井翔太) (@zetsubouzhainu) March 27, 2018
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
#バッドエンドから一行で救う— 逆月🍶 (@sakai_hikkoshi) March 27, 2018
Saving Anakin Skywalker at the end of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
アナキン「あんたが憎い!」— 彩悲~ (@doraewithyou) March 26, 2018
Saving Souther so he can instead star in the comedy anime Fist of the North Star: Strawberry Flavor
サウザー「お…お師さん……む…むかしのように…もう一度…温もりを」— KYウリエル (@KYuriel) March 26, 2018
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.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history