Clean Freak! Aoyama kun
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Clean Freak! Aoyama kun ?
It's time for another weekly streaming review of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun—wait a minute. Turns out this review is actually for Clean Freak! Aoyama kun episode 6, but I wouldn't blame you for being confused. This episode is about a manga artist named Ozaki-kun and the trouble that befalls him when he decides to make Aoyama his manga's villain. Once again, this anime has given us a half-baked imitation of another story that pales in comparison.
Ozaki-kun has been way too busy drawing manga to pay attention to episodes one through five. As a result, he mistakenly saw himself as the hero of his own story—the one who girls lust after, a cool guy who rescues cats and solves student-teacher altercations with a quick comeback. So when he learns that everyone at school—and the unseen viewer audience—are actually here for a germaphobe named Aoyama, he decides to draw him into his manga as Blue Wizard, a Tuxedo Mask lookalike who turns townspeople into mindless cleaning zombies. Somehow, this is his strategy for getting back at Aoyama for a one-sided slight—despite the fact that nobody at school even knows Ozaki-kun is the author of this manga.
Of course, Blue Wizard is a hit, and the harder Ozaki-kun works to make him unlikable, the more everyone at school loves him. From here, the episode seriously picks up the pace, showing a relevant scene from Ozaki's manga, then the readers' reactions at school, rinse and repeat. It becomes extremely meta, potentially exploring Clean Freak! Aoyama kun creator Taku Sakamoto's relationship with audiences who don't understand his own work. “Love it, love it,” Ozaki-kun creepily demands while watching his classmates read the latest chapter. The “twist,” what Aoyama thinks of the whole thing, is a total non-conclusion.
This episode did a few interesting things animation wise, like the manga-in-motion introduction, and any of the scenes inside “I'm Going to Save This World,” Ozaki-kun's typical shonen manga. Still, even the unusual stuff felt accelerated and sloppy. If you want to see “high schooler manga artist using his school life for inspiration,” you can tune in to Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun for a way more creative attempt. It seems extremely likely that Clean Freak! Aoyama kun was aping that series, especially after its imitations of Case Closed, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma, and other successful titles—plus “Ozaki-kun” is way too similar a name for comfort.
Overall, this was a fast-paced and passably entertaining episode, but with zero character development or much originality. I know that Clean Freak! Aoyama kun can be more than a vehicle for insincere parody, but we didn't get that today.
Clean Freak! Aoyama kun is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.
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