Pop Team Epic – Episode 2 – “Vanver – A Game in Another Dimension/By Space Cat Company”

Hey, everyone. I’m back again for the second episode of Pop Team Epic, as the crazy, trolling manga finally became a reality in anime form. The last episode had us meet the girls (abeit before we started with an Idol anime), and took off with all the EPICness you could handle. There were parodies, slapping, French dudes, weird animation, beef or chicken, cursing at lightning, schilling for Todd Howard. Anything you could ask for. And I didn’t even get to the voices on here as well. The first episode was fantastic. Did the second episode remain the same, get better, or get worse? Well, let’s go on to episode 2 together and find out.

The episode starts off this time with no Hoshiiro Girldrop. Instead, we get the actual OP for the show, which I’ll get to in a bit. Then we start the episode title of the show, with a “Game in Another Dimension – Vavner.” And…and…it’s all storyboards. Like literally, the damn storyboards frames for writing up the anime.

I have no words for this. They did all of this for the whole segment. Anyway, our RPG-heroes are facing the Demon King, who I don’t know if it’s the same one from Konosuba. A mage girl asks to summon a 2-headed dragon, and she commences the summoning. However, she summons to their world Popuko and Pipimi, and they immediately notice the background they are in. They also don’t want to deal with the “bit-part actors,” giving them lip.

Aw yes. Criticize the very show you were given life to

Popuko sees the hero of this world, who suspiciously looks alot like Kirito, twin blades and all. She wants a response from him, or else she’ll beat him. He nervously gives out a “How You Doin’?” It is very lame. Pipimi then wants the mage girl to do an impression. She does the hero’s last part he did, and it was just as bad. Pipimi can’t believe their voice actors get paid for this. Guess who’s not happy with that? The voice actors themselves.

Specifically, the voice actors for the hero and mage girl. They do not like this as all, as the script says to “ad-lib” and “do impressions.” The producer thought it be fun, as the two complain and do mention how Popuko and Pipimi’s VA’s were snickering as they did this. The male VA wants this re-written, and leaves, and as the others leave, a ghost is there, as someone asks “Did you get that?” I believe so, as it focuses down below the couch, showing that Popuko and Pipimi are under there as well.

The next segment is the Nintendo world again, as it has the girls fighting before it freezes up, causing the person to re-start it. Then there’s a segment called “Uchu People.” It shows the making of Popuko and Pipimi dolls, and quite frankly, they are very good and very cute. Then another “Bob Epic Team” segment with the crudely-drawn animation. This one has the girls going to the zoo. Pipimi points out the animals, including a panda, a koala, a Tasmanian tiger, a wombat, and a wallaby. Popuko thinks they’re cute (She does hate the dingo), but when some are shown again, her interest is waned. They show a Tasmanian Devil, not the Looney Tunes one, which Popuko thinks she saw. But it was a different Tasmanian animal Pipimi points out. They laugh, as the background reveals they are actually in Australia.

Next segment. The girls go to the beach and enjoy the view, then Popuko wants to go to Japan’s version of Machu Picchu. They can’t, because the anime set isn’t ordered for that. The next bit has Popuko playing a giant set of xylophones, as she goes down a steep hill playing them. It shows she’s on skis as she takes off from a ski cliff. The next segment has the girls seeing who has the better smile. After that, it’s time to bring back the dolls, as they do a nice song-and-dance routine called “Love Me * PTE”  involving them, as the song is as shitposting as this show.

The next bit involves the girls in kimonos handing out fortunes, that you had to use your cell phones on. There are many bad fortunes that are handed out (Which I’ll get to at the end) and some involve include: Written ones, a bikini chick, a food one, one involving your wife being kidnapped by terrorists, and this one…

And many others that go by at a brisk pace. Quite frankly, I liked this fortune the best.

The next segment has Popuko telling Pipimi that whenever she sees a jagged manga bubble, she dies. Pipimi makes one saying “EHHHH?!” and Popuko dies. Her angel then says the same thing, as Pipimi reacts with another jagged manga bubble, and Popuko’s angel dies. Her angel’s angel then says …. well, you get it. The next part involves Pipimi getting some food and wanting to post it on Instagram, but Popuko interrupts this throughout.

Then we have another “Bob Epic Team.” Hey, you know how some talk about the K-On “side mouth” and how weird it looks?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure Pop Team Epic destroys that and then some.

If I can’t unsee this, then neither can you! Anyway, the girls on this round play hide & seek. As Popuko counts, Pipimi hides by literally becoming one with the animation with a side bar graphic saying she’s ready to be found. Next segment involves birds happily ready to be fed by Popuko. The show slows down as she gives them bird seed and they bask in it. The next bit has Popuko singing, and a random girl starts to sing with her. Popuko is downright furious at her.

Pipimi holds her back, and tells the other girl to run for her life. The last segment shows the girls laughing at something, until Pipimi ask what Popuko would do if she became an adult tomorrow before Popuko did. This question crushes Popuko’s soul.

After the ending credits and “Poppy Pappy Days,” we see the next episode preview of Hoshiiro Girldrop, even though we didn’t see any of “Episode 2” in this episode. And then the episode starts again. And here’s where I take a quick detour to talk about the OP. Holy crap, the OP is great. It’s trippy and amazing, and feels as right as can be in this show.

With the mix of EDM, techno, J-Pop, and all the weirdness that Pop Team Epic can bring, this OP became my favorite OP of the winter season immediately. Hell, I watched this OP at least 30 times by the time of this writing. Be it on Crunchyroll, on Twitter, on here, or anywhere you can hear it. And it certainly won’t be the last time either when this article is published. I love everything about it, and hope it isn’t a one time deal like with the Hoshiiro Girldrop OP. But seeing as I saw this should be the official OP (and how “Poppy Pappy Days” got another go-round), it looks like it isn’t. This OP has everything: Trippy animation, the girls in different outfits, “Cool Time,” Popuko sleeping in a fridge, a bat destroying a TV, meerkats, a world tour. manga stills, anything you can imagine/see in this. Again, I love this OP and all it brings.

As the show begins again, we again venture into Vanver, and like the last episode, the girls get male voices. Ah, but these ones are different than before. One Piece fans would recognize these familiar voices, as they are the VAs of Ace and Buggy. It seems that there may be different voices, at least male ones, going forward for the girls in different episodes. To get back to the show, the same thing happens, but it’s kind of different. This time, the hero imitates a donkey, but does it very poorly. The mage girl then does an impression, which is Fred Flintstone’s “Yabba Dabba Do!” line and Arnold’s infamous “Hasta la Vista, Baby!” line. And well, it is a re-written part they wanted, but the VAs can’t take this anymore. The male VA can’t comprehend this “idiotic anime,” as the female VA breaks down crying. The male VA takes the producer’s glasses away, and throws them back and fourth with his partner, before leaving with the glasses himself. The ghost appears again, with the same line. But this time, the ghost’s face is under the couch, with Popuko and Pipimi in the ghost’s mouth. The only other changes include the males signing as the dolls, making it a fun version of an Ace/Buggy duet. And then the jagged manga bit is the same, but Popuko’s voice doesn’t come out as she turns into an angel. Also, I don’t remember if they did two versions in the last episode, but “Poppy Pappy Days” has a female and male version in this episode, with the latter being at the end of this episode.

The second episode did not disappoint at all, as it continues down this path of surreal trolling come to life in anime form. I’m glad they’re sticking with male voices for the time being, and are somehow flipping the script just a tiny bit for each time they replay the episode after the first time. My only issue this time had nothing to do with the episode itself, but for some trying to start some stupid shit between Crunchyroll and HiDive involving the subtitles. Remember what I said about the bad fortune segment? As said, the fortunes go at a brisk speed that could barely be seen. Some people, even though the speed of said fortunes were basically at 1/4th a second, complained because Crunchyroll didn’t subtitle said fortunes, and HiDive did. Come on folks, are you really going to fault a company for not showing something that you could barely see at the first place? I mean, I commend HiDive for actually somehow being able to sub all that was on there, but as such, that didn’t go so well because as fast as it was, the subtitles couldn’t catch up to them, making it a mess. Maybe that’s why Crunchyroll didn’t do it. Hell, if I watched this raw and knew Japanese, I still probably wouldn’t read most of it, because it went by too fast. I have no idea why people want to die on this hill, and why they have to complain about something so minor. But I guess that’s what anime fans are, they want everything to be perfect, including their voice actors (Find that out yourselves. That’s a different story I’m not getting into because it’s so messed up.)

But again, other than that, this episode was another win for this show. Pop Team Epic delivered once again, and I’m hoping for more to come in the on-coming episodes. Now just remember the motto of this show:

Okay, maybe that wasn’t it.

Pop Team Epic is simulcasted on Crunchyroll and HiDive, and can be seen at 12:30 PM ET Saturday.  Funimation is making a simuldub that will come out soon.

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