Random Curiosity

Pop Team Epic – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Twinkling star」 by ドロップスターズ

「出会い」 (Deai)

It’s shows like this that make me miss when Adult Swim would air something like this at midnight.

Pop Team Epic is a short form anime, but there’s no shortage of insanity as every second is jampacked with scene after scene, cut after cut. The show acts as a compilation of the 4koma strips, repurposed and reformatted to benefit from the switch to animation. So many of the scenes go by so fast it can be hard to let a joke sink in, especially since the sense of humor steers more towards absurdist comedy and surreal takes on pop culture. It is right up my alley, but it can be a tough pill to swallow if Super Milk Chan made you fidget in your chair, waiting to get off its wild ride.

But if you stay on-board, you’re in for quite the treat as there are some funny jabs that Pop Team Epic takes at itself and other shows, movies, and games that they can get their hands on. Some of it does feel like it was thrown in without too much thought of a punchline like its spin on My Neighbor Totoro, Skyrim, or Guardians of the Galaxy, but I got a kick out of how the characters interacted in relation to its homage to Kimi no Na Wa. The funnier references were in the stylistic choices it played with, such as the choice bars and damage counter from some of the older Final Fantasy games appearing as Popuko snatches a locket away from Pipimi.

Although it is well-versed on pop culture, the anime’s funniest moments were regulated towards its original jokes that emphasized the sociopathy of the two girls. The genre switch where Pipimi takes out Popuko and her space marines as she continues to ask them not to shoot throughout the scene was great, as was the scene where they try to force a hippo man to eat a scorpion. Much of the comic strips’ humor relies on how abrasive yet affectionate the two girls are, so its hilarious to see a scene unfold, and figure out whether one of them is sincere or has ulterior motives that they’ll only let out of the bag once the punchline hits.

4komas can be challenging to adapt, and even short anime can be tough to digest if their stories rely on adapting one strip after another. With Pop Team Epic, however, the stylistic choices for some of the skits help justify their adaptation in animated format. Adding segments where the art gets really poorly drawn, ones where the art glitches out into oblivion, and including a live-action segment where a French animator presents his CGI rendition of a comic spiced things up, and made it so that it didn’t feel like they weren’t overstaying their welcome. I didn’t imagine the girls with tough male voices, but it felt natural as the show progressed, and made the redo they tacked on with actresses replacing the men from earlier all the more hilarious. There have been a thousand anime with the idol-inspired opening fake-out so it wasn’t the most original way to start the first episode, but it would be fun to see them revisit the characters they created for the generic magical girl anime within the universe.

Pop Team Epic is going to be one of those comedy anime that you either love at first sight or hate immediately. The series itself has been prime material for meme culture since its fan-translations were released years ago, but its resurgence as an anime has potential to bolster its status as a more beloved series, and bring attention to their brand of comedy. It would be a hard series to discuss and approach, but it’ll be a heck of a ride, and it should be fun to see where it goes from here. Again, this is an acquired taste, but if you’re like me and enjoy this kind of comedy, then you can’t go wrong with Pop Team Epic.

ED Sequence

ED: 「POPPY PAPPY DAY」 by Komatsu Mikako and Uesaka Sumire


January 6, 2018 at 1:29 pm
  • January 6, 2018 at 4:12 pmLoliHat

    I’m confused. Did I take too much mind altering chemicals… or not enough?

    • January 6, 2018 at 6:12 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      Take a wee bit more…but please be careful!

  • January 6, 2018 at 5:47 pmseregios

    I believe the “Final fantasy” reference is actually a Chrono trigger reference.

  • January 6, 2018 at 8:24 pmNitro

    I didn’t know what I expected out of a Pop Team Epic anime but I sure as hell got it. Its existence itself is a gigantic shitpost and I absolutely love it

  • January 6, 2018 at 8:54 pms_w


  • January 6, 2018 at 11:06 pmstarss

    It’s official. I need to watch this show.

  • January 6, 2018 at 11:28 pmArche

    Before this began I figured I’d be cool with Pop Team Epic getting a full-length anime just as long as the staff did something utterly stupid with it (Let’s face it, a straight adaptation would not have worked). Expectations were met in spades

  • January 7, 2018 at 1:00 amAndre

    I was expecting this to be great but… C’mon, it’s just a bunch of old memes one after another.

    Nothing funny or intelligent there. They were just relying on meme because they know the young people are all about them.

  • January 7, 2018 at 2:51 amAngelus

    It’s like the team that made Nichijou found some even more powerful drugs. We had Manzai of the North Star, My Neighbor Totoroadkill, Kimi Jong Un Na wa, and even Bipimi the Clown (I didn’t realise Marcel Marceau was big in Japan until I looked it up). And then they pulled Endless 2wo by repeating the first half of the show with a few slight changes.

    I’m sure I didn’t get even a third of the anime and cultural references, but count me in for this one.

  • January 7, 2018 at 4:24 amCroos

    An anime that must not be ignored.

  • January 7, 2018 at 4:31 amMakoto

    What if Robo chicken concept was transposed to Anime ? Pop Team Epic !

    It is indeed trash anime at its best.

  • January 7, 2018 at 6:57 amSingerOfW

    I feel obliged to note that the ED is not, in fact, performed by Komatsu Mikako and Uesaka Sumire. They’re performed by Popuko and Pipimi, yes, but since they’re actually voiced by different people, the same goes for the song… Except that it’s not even performed by the same voice actors that were in the episode. Yes, they have four different pairs of CVs in a single episode.

  • January 7, 2018 at 7:39 amNamaewoinai

    This show may consider be terrible……(My Eye Rolling)
    UH…Not Exactly…Not Really Exactly…Still, We shall see!

  • January 7, 2018 at 8:51 amstarss

    Best premiere of Hoshiro Girldrop I ever seen!

  • January 7, 2018 at 1:43 pmPokeNirvash

    I’ve been a little scared to watch this after finding out that they straight-up lied about the seiyuu, but after reading this, I feel like I’m ready to go back in again. But still, I’m gonna give it another few days, just for my sanity.

  • January 8, 2018 at 2:08 pmAnton is my dad

    This is something I’d expect on Adult Swim. 10 minutes of WTF did I just watch?? I laughed my butt off at the Your Name cheap shot. Lots of Macross puns in there too.
    And here I was expecting another idol show based on the first two minutes.


  • January 9, 2018 at 2:51 amquixotic

    YTP: The Anime

  • January 9, 2018 at 7:49 amKarry

    >It’s like the team that made Nichijou found some even more powerful drugs.

    Uh, dude, in Nichijou the majority of gags were character-based. Even when they werent – there was true random nonsense, not just some guy making a list of what memes should he draw on next. This…thing…doesnt HAVE characters.

    >There have been a thousand anime with the idol-inspired opening fake-out

    Osomatsu-san…that’s one…aaaand that’s all of them. All one thousand.