「久しぶりの音尾と、新しいバイト＝山田（！？）」 (Hisashiburi no Otoo to, Atarashii Baito = Yamada (!?))
“Otoo Again After a While, and the New Part-timer Yamada (!?)”
Just when things were starting to feel too routine at Wagnaria, Otoo brings in Yamada Aoi in the nick of time to spice everything up. As suspected, Ueda Kana was replaced for the animation adaptation in favor of Hirohashi Ryou, whose soft-spoken voice worked out really well since Aoi’s a big fat liar pretending to have amnesia after her house supposedly burnt down. In reality, she’s just a home runaway who took advantage of Otoo’s kindness (…and likely a spoiled rich girl as well). As annoying as that might sound, it proved to be the exact opposite since Souta saw right through her act from the very beginning but decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and go along with it. While I’m sure he’ll live to regret that decision, it was absolutely hilarious seeing Aoi try to deal with how Souta was onto her and Hiroomi getting involved with the dirt he dug up on her.
For a while, it almost seemed like Aoi was one of those girls who like to make-believe (i.e. “denpa-kei”) with the way she wanted to make Otoo her new father and Yachiyo her new mother, but I’m really glad she wasn’t since her inability to keep up her facade up lead to some of the funniest moments. Souta may be the only one onto her lies and fake surname, but I really enjoyed how everyone voiced their displeasure with her at the restaurant. Watching Hiroomi’s blackmailing antics come back and to bite him for a change was also nice to see, so I got a good laugh out of how he praised her for messing up Jun and Yachiyo’s situation by laying it all out later on. I couldn’t help but laugh at how much enjoyment Hiroomi took out of Jun’s misfortune as a result, which was even funnier because Popura ended up being the victim of Jun’s frustration once again.
However, given that Popura is one of the few girls who has her act together, it’s a shame that Jun didn’t take it out on Aoi instead since he took an almost immediate disliking to her. Hopefully there will be more Aoi hazing down the stretch though, because it’s fun seeing her get what she deserves in light of all the problems she causes. Next time is the fabled hot spring episode, which should lead to some good times, especially when the magic hand is back in full force!