When Pop Team Epic‘s anime finally debuted last season, I asked my husband if he wanted to check it out with me. He did not know what he was getting into. “What the hell did I just watch?” he asked. My guess is you’re probably thinking the same thing.
Pop Team Epic is an anime adaptation of a popular 4-koma (4 panel) web manga known for being absurdist humour and mocking all sorts of anime, video game, and pop culture tropes. The series stars 14 year old friends Popuko, who is very quick to temper, and Pipimi, the calm and collected one. Each episode contains a wide variety of short skits and halfway through the episode “replays” those same skits but with new voice actors for each girl and some minor differences, if you are quick to catch them.
This irreverent series pokes fun at everything, including itself. Footage of voice actors struggling with an incoherent script and storyboards in the second episode were a great addition. And the handcrafted felt plushies of Popuko and Pipimi made me want a pair of my own. They are the best idol duo, IMO. Notice me, Pop-chin!
Another favourite recurring segment of mine is Japon Mignon. In these skits, the girls are in France with French voice overs and are meant to show you that the French are nothing like the stereotypes. It’s only on the “replay” in the second half of the episode where you will get English subtitles. Just writing about this makes me crave a proper French baguette with butter and some macarons for desserts… That skit with Popuko and the baguettes in bed is 100% me.
Sure, not every skit is going to be a hit with you. There are clearly ones I enjoy more than others (looking at you, Bob Team Epic). But the video game and anime ones will get me every time. And what is up with Pipimi and needing to hide blood all the time? It’s always the calm ones. Calm, calculating, and buying absurd amounts of bleach.
All 12 episodes of Pop Team Epic are currently available to stream in Japanese on Crunchyroll with dubbed versions on Funimation’s streaming service. So now’s a great time to dive head first into the insanity that is Pop Team Epic, especially so you can prepare yourselves for the awesome exclusive piece of merch we’re going to have in our QUIRKY Loot Anime crate this April.