What is this?
Crude, rude, and a little…cute? Get ready for the larger-than-life attitude of Popuko and Pipimi, the small and tall stars of Pop Team Epic! Based off the bizarre four-panel webcomic by Bukubu Ōkawa comes a comedy that’ll throw you off with its out-there jokes and intense absurdity. You think you’re ready for these girls? Think again, F#%**er!
Pop Team Epic is based on a surreal four-panel manga by Bkub Okawa and streams on Crunchyroll on Saturdays.
How was the first episode?
Rating: The king, the corn, are born to fall, and all must die in sacrifice underneath the harvest moon.
Back in 2018, when God died, people weren’t entirely sure what to expect from Pop Team Epic, and everyone was pretty taken aback when it first launched. While similar levels of semi-random shitpost humor had appeared on formats like Cartoon Network‘s Adult Swim, a production like this had never really been attempted in mainstream anime. But now it’s 2022 – the Oak King has long since replaced the late lord Jehovah on the sun throne, and longform, high-effort shitposting is a staple of internet culture. So the question coming into this sequel season was obvious – has the world caught up to Pop Team Epic, or are these muffin-faced garden gnomes still capable of raising the middle finger to the God Emperor and burning the church of light to the ground?
As of this episode, it’s hard to say. Now that PTE is a known quantity, it’s harder to really be surprised when I’ve had four years and an entire remixed version of the first season to prep us for the random and irreverent asides that make up this show’s humor. There’s still some funny moments and classic gags interspersed, but the novelty has worn off, and if we’re using old battle plans then we’ll never break the fae’s line in time to sacrifice the Oak King on Samhain. Personally I think some of the issue lies with shifting so much attention to the Shōta Aoi Extended Cinematic Universe and completely dropping Hoshiiro Girldrop from the rotation. I don’t care what Aoi’s batting average is, he’s just not a good enough shortstop to play proper defense, and it’s absolutely costing the Cardinals games. If Pipimi and Popuko want to make it to the World Series, they need their lineup in order and their bullpen rock solid, because that fielding is guaranteed to be a weakness.
But hey, while being predictable to an extent won’t help you wage war against the divine or overcome the Astros in October, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be funny or weird, and the same creative spark that made Season 1 so unique is still apparent here. Japon Mignon is sadly not present in this premiere, but the fine lads at AC-bu deliver another eye-bleedingly fantastic segment that made my insides want to die. Good job guys. Also if they ever make a full Pop Team Epic Side-B, I promise to watch all of it for the uncomfortably sexy way they animated Pipimi’s hair in that one shot. God damn. The dual voice acting and repeated runtime also return, to similar effects. I really hope they throw in some curveballs with the voice acting this season, now that it’s an established gimmick. It just wouldn’t bet Pop Team Epic if it didn’t take an opportunity to tip its own cows too.
For now, the question still remains if PTE can reclaim its title of King Shitpost of What The Fuck Mountain, but even if it can’t recapture that particular pinnacle, it’s still a unique treat for anyone who’s brain poisoned enough to watch a 40-minute video about how Space Jam 2 isn’t real. So for now, I’m plenty happy to sit back, sharpen my mistletoe arrows, and wait until the right time to join the holy war alongside the brides of chaos.