352nd G-View: Pop Team Epic

Well this is a show that will certainly be difficult to review but I will try anyway. This is Pop Team Epic.

Pop Team Epic Poster.jpg

Genres: Comedy, Parody, References

Themes: Meta-Humor, 4th Wall breaking, Mainstream Media, Western Culture, Eastern Culture, Absurdity, Sketch Comedy

Number of Episodes: 12

G-Rating: N/A

Plot Summary: Popuko and Pipimi are a pair of foul mouthed girls ready to take on every pop culture reference ever made. Pop Team Epic follows the pair through a series of surreal skits and short stories full of internet, movie, video game, and self-referential based comedy.

POP TEAM Plane.jpg

Expect the unexpected. Do not even try to predict what these two will parody next.

Let me see. How do I best describe this show. Think the WarioWare series in animated form. What I mean is the majority of the show is 5-15 second rapid fire comedy sketches (micro gags) with 6 minute short story parodies per episode. The premiere episode is pretty much micro gags but episodes 2 to 12 feature a short story parody alongside the micro gags. Like all comedy the enjoyment of the short stories and micro gags is entirely dependent on the viewers’ sense of humor, hence why I cannot give the show a definitive. People’s enjoyment will greatly vary. While the plot summary does say the girls are foul mouthed it is half true. Yes they are crude and flip people off a lot (The middle finger is their trademark signature after all) but they do not cuss as often as say Panty and Stocking.

Pop Team Skyrim.jpg_.jpg

This reference made my jaw drop. And that was only in the first episode.

So the kind of comedy on the show is two-fold:

1: whatever silly scenario the writers of both the manga and anime could think of.

2: Lots and lots of Western and Eastern media references.

Viewers can expect to see anything from American and Japanese culture, be it video games, music videos from the 1970’s and 80’s, American movies, Japanese folklore, cooking infomercials. While the list has a limit it is a LARGE LIST of references and parodies. The enjoyment for some of these depends on the viewer either recognizing the references or the jokes being funny on their own.

Bob Team.jpg

Bob Epic Team.

As I said above the first style of comedy is a mix of the original web mangaka’s jokes and whatever the anime staff could think of. Then there is Bob Epic Team…I have no words for these sketches. I truly do not. They either get you to chuckle or they do not. Simple as that.

French Animator Sketches.jpg

French animator sketches.

Another example is the French animator jokes. From what I have gathered this show gave independent animators and artists the opportunity to show their craft like the French animator here. I am not 100% certain but I think the joke in these segments is that “foreign cultures are weird” or “Hey. Let’s make fun of the silly traditions our culture has”. This brings us to the next part of the review. Every episode in actuality is less than 12 minutes long. Why? Because every episode repeats the same jokes twice. Only the second time there are differences that range from subtle to very noticeable. One example is horror movie trope sketch. The first time around the sketch starts and ends no problem. The second time while watching the sketch it is presented with director’s commentary pointing out the horror tropes and ending with “Oh. This is a parody of that movie”. Again bringing up the French Animator, the first time it does not feature subtitles whereas the second time it does.

The animation and soundtrack are all over the place. There is no definitive way to judge it. I suppose one way I could describe it is “stylistically low budget”. It is not something one would put out in cinemas but as far as television/computer monitors go it has a simplistic charm going for it. Even Bob Epic Team’s intentionally ugly designs are kinda charming. The OP, I will say, is one of my personal favorites of the Winter 2018 season. Then there is the voice acting. Each episode has different guest voices for Popuko and Pipimi, both male and female. After the first episode where the characters are first voiced by men and then women it is reversed from the on. Most of the time the change of voices does not contribute much other than that “Haha. Look at these anime girls being voiced by manly men” though sometimes the voice change works. One example is a 70’s music video parody. The male version of the song is funnier than the female one. However, most of the time the girls do it better because the guys’ script has them pointing out the jokes, which like I mentioned several times the entertainment value depends on the person’s sense of humor.

Of course there are also those hidden or subtle jokes for the highbrow or incredibly observant to discover alongside the “What is this parodying/referencing?” or “Name the seiyu of the week!”.

Pop Team Name.jpg

As for yuri, believe it or not there are several sketches where the two show affection for one another both in a comedic and sincere way. What is more, it happens exclusively when the two are voiced by girls. Even at conventions during the show’s broadcast their relationship was acknowledged. So yes, OTP.

Overall Pop Team Epic is an interesting kind of sketch comedy show. Certainly better than the garbage that aired on Cartoon Network years ago, mainly the terrible MAD TV cartoon (How the heck did that crap get 3 seasons whereas Symbionic Titan only got one!? #Injustice!). While technically watching the same episode twice a week with minor changes may sound cumbersome, and sometimes it is, it works in the long run. As I have stated time and again throughout the review because of how important this statement is, the viewer’s enjoyment of this show depends ENTIRELY on their sense of humor. What do they as a person consider “funny”? I for example, enjoy random, wacky or nonsensical humor so it was easy for me to enjoy it. The same cannot be said for others.

PS: The ED previews continue the story shown during the premiere episode so be sure to not skip the EDs the first time. It is interesting to see where exactly that story is going and will end.

P.S.: As for the final episode…do not ask…just do not ask. It is better not to ask.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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16 Responses to 352nd G-View: Pop Team Epic

  1. Pingback: 352nd G-View: Pop Team Epic – Yuri.media

  2. I’m pretty Nostalgic for old school Adult Swim. This reminded me of that at times while also appealing to my more recently developed Otaku humor interests. It’s funny but I wasn’t able to keep up with it.

    Like

  3. tbiscut74 says:

    I liked this show. I also like random wacky humor.

    It is injustice that Symbionic Titan got canceled. It was great! It was created by the master cartoonist Genndy Tartakovsky after all. But from what i read/heard it got canceled becuase it had no toys. Like they did with Young Justice. But at least thats comin back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MarkS00N says:

    Most Bob Team Epic (except for the glorious episode 7 with Hellshake Yano) is not exactly original. As you can see in the end of episode 1, Bob Team Epic use the same material with the regular Pop Team Epic, but with different art style and sometimes different punchline.

    I quite like Pop Team Epic, but I admit most of my enjoyment comes from the fact that I find it fun to hear a familiar seiyuu (like Aoi Yuki and Nana Mizuki) and hear how PTE tried to incorporate those seiyuus’ well know voice in the show itself (Hibiki’s fiery voice for example, even though it only used in one very brief segment).

    It is something that otaku (especially those who know the meta of anime industry, from its trope to its real life drama) can enjoy. But I think I’ll hesitate to recommend it to those who only casually watch anime, let alone as someone’s first anime.

    Still, it has yuri, so I like it.

    Like

    • OG-Man says:

      Alright. I’ll edit that part.

      Hence why I mentioned “Who’s that Seiyu” as being part of the appeal for certain viewers.

      One has to be insane to truly appreciate this show.

      Like

  5. cirno9fan says:

    Sometimes I was laughing pretty hard, sometimses I snickered, and sometimes I was bored. the final episode was meh. Watching the reairing was a waste of time.

    The French segments involved them not telling the guy anything about the characters and letting him have at it creating sketches. Found that interesting.

    OVerall, a good watch, but nothing spectacular

    Like

  6. LuzeriP says:

    I really liked PTE. Weirdly random but funny. Even when the manly voice did the same thing I still laughing. Mostly because now they’re sound funny. I’m so easy to amused. Popuko x Pipimi are girlfriends.

    For the seiyuu, I kept thinking who’s this voice belong to the entire episode. The selected seiyuu for Popuko and Pipimi are close friends in real life. My favorite was Aoi Yuuki and Ayana Taketatsu episode. They’re in the famous singing seiyuu duo named Petit Milady. Very cute couple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      There’s a strong possibility they are girlfriends.

      I needed help identifying some of the seiyu but all of them did a great job.

      Like

  7. The Otaku Judge says:

    I have seen many memes with these characters. The show sounds a bit too wacky for my taste, but I might give it a chance as the episodes are short.

    Like

  8. K says:

    When I realized that the skits were the same in the second part, I decided to watch only one part each week, alternating between the male and female VAs so I didn’t know that there were differences between them.

    This was a good watch. The humour was hit or miss. The Hellshake Yano skit was the best one in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Hellshake Yano was the one that stood out for most. My personal favorite was “Eisai Harumasukoi” or however it is spelled.

      Like

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