“A Perfectly Normal Show.” Pop Team Epic Review

So this show, is one hell of a trip. For those of you that haven’t read/watched it yet, it’s a show about a seemingly regular high school girl named Sosogu Hoshifuri, who happens to be the secret main idol of a group called “Drop Stars” and her interaction with Daichi Taira, a high school boy and childhood friend of Sosogu. While following a number of tropes, the show seems to be indicative of a very interesting and unique story to be told with a very interesting and unique approach. Daichi eventually becomes the group’s manager and we see the interaction between Daichi and Sosogu become strained and the introduction of other rivals vying for the attention of Daichi and/or Sosogu. We begin with Daichi trying to figure out who “Sosogu” is after 5 years and a rather well done and musically written OP. All this seems to be copy pasted from any generic anime until…Pop Team Epic Reveal.jpg

We are then given this lovely display of one of the two proper characters of Pop Team Epic, Popuko the Smol One, revealing herself and we begin the anime proper. Confused? Don’t be, there’s much worse coming on in a bit. I watched this with a couple of the BAYOG crew and my brothers and reveled in the confusion, especially when pausing at the end of the OP and asking their opinion of the show, only to have it literally ripped apart in front of them. Pop Team Epic is really about a couple of high school girls as they randomly interact with random things randomly. This show was originally a 4 panel manga and for the most part maintains that approach in anime form, creating a series of 30-60 second skits where the punchline is anything ranging from arbitrary randomness, to dark humor, to simply mocking a bit of pop culture much like an anime version of Robot Chicken. These tend to be made even better by the fact that Pop Team Epic manages to nail the pacing not once but twice. To cap off each “episode” we are given an outro to Hoshiiro Girldrop, or the show from the beginning, that takes place as if we were really watching it. But that’s not all, as each episode is approximately 12 minutes long and has TWO tracks, one with a male cast and one with a female cast. One could assume the insanity and entertainment may get stale after the first pass. That person would be horribly wrong, as the show is just as interesting delivered a second time, as the inflection and style is entertaining and random and like a new skit.

This show is truly an example of right proper insanity done right. Pop Team Epic has presented the meme communities with endless fuel for their creativity. Matching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in terms of randomness, r/animenocontext has been having a field day with this show. Between Pipimi’s stoic and cold planning, to Popuko’s violent outbursts (which are my personal favorite moments) the show has you laughing from the sheer crazy. Hell, even in the self deprecating moments where the show makes fun of it self, it doubles down on the pop culture by throwing in things like fidget spinners, commonly thought of the first time a fidget spinner has been included in anime.

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Normally at this point I’d begin reviewing the VAs, music, art, animation, and overall production value of this show. That is really hard to do in all honesty due to the jumps in style of all these things over the course of a single episode. In addition to the “normal” art style, we have the shift sometimes to a low quality “Bob Epic Team” where things become almost unbearable akin to a child’s drawings and usually maintain the same style of joke and delivery with the different artwork. We also have times where the show shifts gears into old school 16-Bit games like Contra, Metal Slug, or Metroid, which leave a border and music sound type as if I was in a 1980’s arcade. For the voice work, as I said before, all of it is really quite entertaining even in duplicate. They have a different set of voice actors for both the A and B sides of things and they all have been damn good at their jobs. Overall I enjoy watching this mindless show to burn away some worry and stress, and just laugh/be confused. Let me know if you too enjoy this show or if you are motherfucker?

Pop Team Epic You Are Mother Fucker.png

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